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Author Topic: Shutterstock review process again  (Read 8267 times)

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ShadySue

« Reply #25 on: January 03, 2014, 09:42 »
0
It would help if you told us where you photographed it. A lot of Sandpipers are very similar.
BTW, there's little point in supplying wildlife if you can't identify it properly.


« Reply #26 on: January 03, 2014, 10:01 »
+1
good good.
Now we can really talk.

As Ron says, the original wader has noise in the background, is underexposed in the meaning that it has uneven light and a combination of measuring and ambient light exposes the bird almoat correctly but not the background. You have probably spot measured.
That is not so important.
Important is the noise, you have in the data, that is processed into artefacts.
Everybody can see the noise in the background, (try and zoom in to 400 or 800% and se how big the noised pixels are).
Not everybody can see the noise in the bird, but there is the same amount.
Noise means undefined pixels.
Noise can easily be blurred away in the background, gaussian blur with a value higher than the size of the noised pixels.
But not so easily in the bird.
Now look at the original and see what amount of details you have in the feathers.
Not much, it us undetailled and seems unsharp. It might very well be in focus, but the lens cannot resolve more details, because of shake, too even light, or the birds movement, or all at the same time.
So when you begin to postprocess that, you cannot create what is not there, but end up with too much contrast, instead of sharp details. Someone mentioned the halo around the beek, which comes from the contrast/ sharpening process. Its visible around the beak, but the same effect is around every dark feather on the bird. That was what I saw as artefacts in the first place. Thoug I didnt see the halo. ;-)



timd35

« Reply #27 on: January 03, 2014, 10:31 »
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It would help if you told us where you photographed it. A lot of Sandpipers are very similar.
BTW, there's little point in supplying wildlife if you can't identify it properly.

Garden City, South Carolina

Hope you know the actual species!

BTW, there's little point in supplying wildlife if you can't identify it properly.

I do not like interpreting vague statements. Since most of the time I get it wrong.   ;D
Do you mean the following?

BTW, from my experience you will have better success in selling your images if you identify the species by it's proper name. Many buyers of wildlife images search by their proper names.

-Tim

timd35

« Reply #28 on: January 03, 2014, 10:35 »
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Thanks Ron, JPSDK, and Sue for your input. I feel bad about taking over this thread started by someone else.

-Tim

« Reply #29 on: January 03, 2014, 10:52 »
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Dont. With your pictures the thread became valuable.

ShadySue

« Reply #30 on: January 03, 2014, 11:02 »
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Possibly (juvenile) Sanderling, but Martha is more familiar with the confusion species you're likely to get there.

« Reply #31 on: January 03, 2014, 11:11 »
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Garden City, South Carolina

That's a good start, Tim. I was going to ask you that and also the time of year you made the image. Migrating birds may only be in a given area (like GC, SC) in a specific month or season.

I just got out my reference book, The Shorebird Guide (O'Brien, Crossley, Karlson), and will hunt for your lovely little bird. But please provide that extra info if you can.

timd35

« Reply #32 on: January 03, 2014, 11:14 »
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Garden City, South Carolina

That's a good start, Tim. I was going to ask you that and also the time of year you made the image. Migrating birds may only be in a given area (like GC, SC) in a specific month or season.

I just got out my reference book, The Shorebird Guide (O'Brien, Crossley, Karlson), and will hunt for your lovely little bird. But please provide that extra info if you can.

It was August 8th 2013

« Reply #33 on: January 03, 2014, 11:23 »
0
BTW, from my experience you will have better success in selling your images if you identify the species by it's proper name. Many buyers of wildlife images search by their proper names.

However it's phrased, that actually is very good advice. I don't upload an image if I can't ID it, or at least come reasonably close. On a few occasions (especially with lizards) I've provided the first half of a Latin name (which I'm sure of) but not the second half (which I'm not sure of).

Since I shoot mostly birds and critters, I have a library of reference guides, including special ones on the hardest-to-id species (warblers, shorebirds, lizards, etc). Those books help a lot, but there are times when I'm still not sure. In rare cases like that--and only if an image is exceptionally good--will I upload it and describe it just as "lizard in the Mojave Desert".

OK... off to check out the Shorebirds. ;D

« Reply #34 on: January 03, 2014, 11:23 »
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It was August 8th 2013

Bingo! I'm on it. :)

« Reply #35 on: January 03, 2014, 12:16 »
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So. I've been "fishing" through the plovers in my book, and it's definitely not one of them. Not a surprise that my original guess was wrong, since I live in the New Mexico desert and seldom see or shoot these creatures. That's my story, anyway, and I'm sticking to it!  :P

Actually, I believe Sue got it just right. It appears to be a moulting Sanderling, probably an adult. The Shorebirds book has a photo of a moulting adult Sanderling that looks almost exactly like Tim's, made in August in New Jersey... not too far up the coast from where Tim made his in August.

A quick Google search turned up this document, which shows Sanderlings in various stages of aging and moulting on the European coast: http://www.waderstudygroup.org/docs/SandAge_man_en.pdf

The bird in the bottom left photo on page 4 looks almost exactly like Tim's bird. So now I've seen photos of this bird in moult on the North American Atlantic coast and the European Atlantic coast, and they appear to be the same despite being on different continents.

If this were my image, Tim, here's how I'd ID it: Sanderling, Calidris alba, and then I'd go on to mention the place and month and the fact that the bird is moulting.

« Last Edit: January 03, 2014, 13:54 by marthamarks »

« Reply #36 on: January 03, 2014, 12:26 »
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so a circumpolar bird
Calidris alba
I can inform you that they taste fine.  I shot them in my younger days back in the last century.

« Reply #37 on: January 03, 2014, 13:37 »
+2
Just to add a note about post processing...

I don't think this sort of subject has much of a shot at sales at Shutterstock - not that much demand and too much supply - but I do think that you can improve on your post processing even for shots like this. But bear in mind that shooting at ISO 100 instead of 400, even with a 5D Mk III will give you something much better to work with as a starting point for a stock image.

I post processed the unmodified JPEG you provided and was able to improve contrast and appearance without introducing halos and artifacts:



This is using layer masks to apply high pass sharpening very selectively, noise reduction to the background (which is most of the image) and Curves adjustment layers, one set to soft light and the other to hard light to increase local contrast. You don't get the crispy crunchy look, lose the halos and still improve on the appearance, IMO. Let me know if you want the PSD file and I'll stick it up on my site

« Reply #38 on: January 03, 2014, 13:53 »
+1
I don't think this sort of subject has much of a shot at sales at Shutterstock - not that much demand and too much supply

As one who actually does this kind of work and offers it on SS, DT, etc, let me say that Jo Ann is right. Compared to the sales figures I see some of you citing here, bird photography is not a winning category. For sure, selling through the subscription agencies alone, one will never recoup the price of a big-glass lens.

And I'd like to make another couple of suggestions to Tim.

First, this bird's eye contains no catch light. It's flat black and without that sparkle in the eye, looks dull. Maneuvering around so you get a catch light is challenging but absolutely essential if you want to sell wildlife images. I toss images, even good ones, that don't have at least a hint of a catch light.

Also, if it were my image, I would crop the background away as much as possible to set the bird off-center, facing into the image. Obviously, how much you can crop depends on the size of your original image.

« Reply #39 on: January 03, 2014, 14:00 »
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I'm always so impressed by how helpful most people on this site are, so I'm popping in to ask a question mostly directed to Martha since I have nothing to add that hasn't already been said and her answer could prove useful to others as well. I too shoot a fair amount of nature and wildlife, especially along the east coast of the US, and while I've built up my reference library I still find that when it come to shorebirds, especially gulls, I spend a lot of time on the internet refining my determination, especially as there is a lot of cross breeding there. Anyway, would you recommend the book you mentioned, The Shorebird Guide (O'Brien, Crossley, Karlson), as your first choice for a reference in this case? And are there any other books you'd recommend for the shorebirds? I've only got the large Petersen's Guide to Eastern North America and the pocket guide to the US, so I have a ways to go.

Any suggestions out there for flora in northern Europe? I'm still struggling to id plants and flowers I shot in Iceland, Sweden and Russia.

Thanks much and wishing Tim and the OP best of luck getting into shutterstock! Follow the advice given here and you'll be on your way.

Martha, suggestions on sites to approach for wildlife? I'm with the usual micro suspects and Alamy. Alamy's a better bet but not really a winner for wildlife and nature.

ShadySue

« Reply #40 on: January 03, 2014, 14:05 »
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I'm not Martha, but for US birds, Sibley is highly recommended, by me and many others.

« Reply #41 on: January 03, 2014, 14:35 »
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bird photography is not a winning category

Yes. And species specific wildlife photography does best at specialist agencies. Shooting wildlife is a specialist thing and is not mass market. It's the domain of experts who are probably typically quite close to the science. That is why great wildlife pictures are so expensive. How much a picture is worth is about how difficult it would be to shoot. If you can shoot it as a tourist or at the zoo then it will not be worth much.


timd35

« Reply #42 on: January 03, 2014, 16:13 »
+1
Actually, I believe Sue got it just right. It appears to be a moulting Sanderling, probably an adult. The Shorebirds book has a photo of a moulting adult Sanderling that looks almost exactly like Tim's, made in August in New Jersey... not too far up the coast from where Tim made his in August.

If this were my image, Tim, here's how I'd ID it: Sanderling, Calidris alba, and then I'd go on to mention the place and month and the fact that the bird is moulting.

Awesome, thanks Martha (and Sue :) ) for the research on this bird and the input on the image.

...and wishing Tim and the OP best of luck getting into shutterstock! Follow the advice given here and you'll be on your way.

Thanks Wordplanet

Just to add a note about post processing...

Thanks Jo Ann. I need to work on my post processing. I just need to get to the point where my photography is better requiring little post.   :D

« Reply #43 on: January 03, 2014, 16:21 »
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I'm not Martha, but for US birds, Sibley is highly recommended, by me and many others.

Thanks Sue!

« Reply #44 on: January 03, 2014, 18:18 »
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Im no expert (I mostly contribute vectors), but maybe the subject and uniqueness also matter in this case? Although they didn't mention it in that "automatic reply", but if the photos were a new look on a subject, or really original, maybe the technical quality could be enough. It's a combination of reasons.

+1

« Reply #45 on: January 03, 2014, 19:16 »
0
I'm not Martha, but for US birds, Sibley is highly recommended, by me and many others.

I use Sibley as my main reference too. It's the best overall guide, and fortunately it's available in Eastern and Western editions. I find it easier to work with a smaller book and considering where I live and tend to travel, that's usually the Western version.

But I do keep a selection of specialty references, especially ones with photos (like Shorebirds), which often look more like what I'm trying to ID than books illustrated with line drawings.

BTW, my favorite "critter" reference book, bar none, is SQUIRRELS OF THE WEST.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2014, 19:27 by marthamarks »

« Reply #46 on: January 03, 2014, 19:23 »
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Martha, suggestions on sites to approach for wildlife? I'm with the usual micro suspects and Alamy. Alamy's a better bet but not really a winner for wildlife and nature.

I'm just on a few stock sites. SS, DT, and Veer are the only ones I've had any success with. Haven't tried Alamy or any wildlife-specialty sites.

Mostly, that because I spend about half my time on this. The other half of my time is spent writing fiction. Odd combination? Yeah, I know.

Uncle Pete

« Reply #47 on: January 04, 2014, 15:37 »
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I have a small library of assorted wildlife and identification books. But for birds the Sibley is the one I have on the desk. Must be some abridged version, because it's not East or West, like Martha mentions, it's just "National Audubon Society" 544 pages.



I'd say 90% of my identification books (collectibles and cook books) are from estate sales. $39 book for a buck? Count me in.  :)

I'm not Martha, but for US birds, Sibley is highly recommended, by me and many others.

« Reply #48 on: January 04, 2014, 15:39 »
0
Martha, suggestions on sites to approach for wildlife? I'm with the usual micro suspects and Alamy. Alamy's a better bet but not really a winner for wildlife and nature.

I'm just on a few stock sites. SS, DT, and Veer are the only ones I've had any success with. Haven't tried Alamy or any wildlife-specialty sites.

Mostly, that because I spend about half my time on this. The other half of my time is spent writing fiction. Odd combination? Yeah, I know.

Martha, Thanks for the book recommendation - I checked it out on Amazon & it looks very good - I'm a writer too - lifestyle, corporate communications and PR. Seems like a natural combination to me.  8)

Thanks Pete too - sounds like everyone recommends the same book - I used to buy a lot of my reference guides for a few bucks off the remainders table at Border's - got some great stuff and all new too, but after they put the local bookstores out of business, Amazon put them out of business. I miss being able to browse the stacks - there seem to be fewer bookstores all the time. Amazon's convenient but it's not the same.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2014, 15:43 by wordplanet »

ShadySue

« Reply #49 on: January 04, 2014, 16:13 »
0
I have a small library of assorted wildlife and identification books. But for birds the Sibley is the one I have on the desk. Must be some abridged version, because it's not East or West, like Martha mentions, it's just "National Audubon Society" 544 pages.



I'd say 90% of my identification books (collectibles and cook books) are from estate sales. $39 book for a buck? Count me in.  :)

I'm not Martha, but for US birds, Sibley is highly recommended, by me and many others.



That one is the complete version.
The Eastern and Western versions are smaller (easier to carry in the field).


 

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