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Author Topic: Shutterstock review process again  (Read 8255 times)

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« on: January 02, 2014, 17:55 »
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I have a large portfolio istock, Dreamstime and Alamy with regular sales on all and can't believe how difficult it is to get the first batch if images accepted with shutterstock.
My latest review has failed again despite adding a comment for the reviewer as requested by a member of shutterstock staff.
It almost appears as if shutterstock aren't interested in new contributors.
If anyone from shutterstock reads this post please could you contract me.
Thanks
Sue.


Ron

« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2014, 18:02 »
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Sue, I am afraid it dont work like that. You need to come up with 10 perfect images and 7 should pass at a minimum. There are a lot of people who can help you here when you ask for help.

http://submit.shutterstock.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=4

However, without showing photos, you are not going to get the answers you need/want.

SS is still accepting new contributors, but the bar has been set high over the years. You really need to send them perfect images.

« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2014, 18:06 »
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Wow, there are some really bad images in that forum that people are trying to get in with!

Ron

« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2014, 18:13 »
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Wow, there are some really bad images in that forum that people are trying to get in with!
Yes, most people are new to photography, like me, 2 years ago. Eventually they get in, after they have experienced a very steep learning curve.

timd35

« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2014, 21:53 »
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I tried twice and have not tried again. The first submission of 10 had 6 accepted and on a couple of the 4 that got rejected they gave recommendations on what to fix. I submitted the original six, fixed one per their recommendations, and submitted 3 others. All but one were rejected the second time.

I emailed them regarding the rejections and they essentially told me the following with reference to their reviewers.

"it is possible that they have different views about what is acceptable content. Our reviewers inspect all images at 100% for quality guidelines like focus and noise"

Oh well, I will spend time on my own site as well as the other sites I have been accepted too. I am just beginning in Stock anyway so I will cut my teeth at 123rf, DT, IS, and CS. Actually I started to get involved in Stock about 3 years ago but had to put everything on hold for a couple of years due to a family illness and just picked back up in August. For 2014 I was trying out Symbiostock and submitting and building portfolio's at the above sites I mentioned.

-Tim

« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2014, 22:53 »
+1
please, please, please,

show us the pictures and a 100% crop. Then we can talk and advice, else its all speculations.
We are not wizzards.

timd35

« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2014, 23:37 »
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please, please, please,

show us the pictures and a 100% crop. Then we can talk and advice, else its all speculations.
We are not wizzards.


I was not really looking for critique right now as I have more than enough to do to get going on the other sites but here are a couple that was rejected for noise but have been accepted at 123rf, Canstock, and DT. I have not submitted them to iStock yet. I am just getting started in stock and I still have a lot to learn.







Thanks
Tim

« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2014, 23:58 »
+1
See now we can talk.
All agencies are different, and there is some randomness to it.
But this case is clear.

"Noise can mean many things", such as noise, which is logical, but it can also mean postprocessing that yeilds artefacts or and that is relatively unknown, lack of pixel quality, or pixels resolution from the sensor. (lousy camera)

In this case you have artefacts in both images. In the bird they come from overprocessing, too much contrast, too little resolution, too few well defined pixels. Which gives the image an unsharp and undetailled look.
With the book, you have clipping in the light, so that the edges of the letters, become artefacted. It can come from overexposure, uneven light or from sliding sliders in post.
In both cases, there is a loss of original details, which maybe werent there, transformed into artificial details that do not hold water in the chosen size of the image.

Ron

« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2014, 02:26 »
+1
I am sorry but I dont see noise nor artefacts

Beppe Grillo

« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2014, 04:31 »
+1
I am sorry but I dont see noise nor artefacts

Even if there could be a little it is absolutely not a problem for images that will be used @ 10% of the original size on web, and/or printed @ 300 dpi (so 25% of the original size) in offset
The story of "noise by stocks" is just ridiculous
« Last Edit: January 03, 2014, 04:34 by Beppe Grillo »

Shelma1

« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2014, 06:05 »
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Inspectors' New Year's resolution, maybe? A couple of my B&W vectors were rejected because the inspector wanted "reference," though they accepted the color versions of the same art.

Carl

  • Carl Stewart, CS Productions
« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2014, 06:52 »
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It does seem to be a moving target.  It took me eight submissions to get accepted, and a couple of times I submitted only photos that had been accepted from previous submissions.  I suppose it's due to the differences among inspectors.

« Reply #12 on: January 03, 2014, 07:09 »
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I am sorry but I dont see noise nor artefacts

Even if there could be a little it is absolutely not a problem for images that will be used @ 10% of the original size on web, and/or printed @ 300 dpi (so 25% of the original size) in offset
The story of "noise by stocks" is just ridiculous

No it is not.
First, you sell pictures in the size you sell them, and they should hold water at max size. Else you can sell them smaller, if you can.
Second. Noise and artefacts is the singlemost efficient parameter to ensure a certain technical quality of the pictures.

Beppe Grillo

« Reply #13 on: January 03, 2014, 08:18 »
0
-
« Last Edit: January 03, 2014, 08:22 by Beppe Grillo »

ShadySue

« Reply #14 on: January 03, 2014, 08:26 »
0
,
« Last Edit: January 03, 2014, 08:44 by ShadySue »

timd35

« Reply #15 on: January 03, 2014, 08:27 »
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Okay, my own critique on my images.

Bible: I think the lighting was a little harsh when I zoomed in at 100% and I do not like the shadow. But that is all. I did very little post processing so I just do not get "noise" as rejection. Maybe "lighting".

Sandpiper: The only area that I disliked at 100% was around the beak. I did heavily process this image. It was taken at the 300 end of a 70-300L and I cropped in a little too, but not a lot. I did use some noise reduction but used it selectively.

I do appreciate all comments because I am learning.

Thanks
Tim

« Reply #16 on: January 03, 2014, 08:28 »
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In the bird picture it looks like sharpening has been overcooked in camera or post processing. This has caused some artifacts on the bird's fish/prawn. The text on the bible also shows signs of sharpening and looks slightly unnatural but....if I were reviewing I'd overlook that.


Ron

« Reply #17 on: January 03, 2014, 08:33 »
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I still dont see it, is it not the texture of the surface and how the light hits it? I dont see the noise and artefacts. Maybe its my monitor.

« Reply #18 on: January 03, 2014, 08:50 »
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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.


timd35

« Reply #19 on: January 03, 2014, 08:52 »
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For reference here is a 100% of the raw with no processing and then my processed image.

Original:


Processed:


Thanks
Tim

Ron

« Reply #20 on: January 03, 2014, 08:55 »
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Yes the original is underexposed and has noise. So by increasing the exposure, you will even get more noise, which needs to be reduced, which creates a soft image, which was already soft because of the noise. Its eminent to exposure correctly and use the lowest ISO possible to get the best results. You can downsize an image do reduce noise which will also make the image appear sharper. If you have enough pixels.

ShadySue

« Reply #21 on: January 03, 2014, 08:56 »
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You introduced a halo aroun the beak.
Hope you know the actual species!

timd35

« Reply #22 on: January 03, 2014, 09:06 »
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You introduced a halo aroun the beak.
Hope you know the actual species!

I am not sure which species of Sandpiper it is. I looked but it was difficult to pinpoint since several of the species looked very similar.

« Reply #23 on: January 03, 2014, 09:25 »
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I am not sure which species of Sandpiper it is. I looked but it was difficult to pinpoint since several of the species looked very similar.

It's a plover of some kind. I have a reference book just about Sandpipers and can look it up in a bit if you need an ID.

timd35

« Reply #24 on: January 03, 2014, 09:39 »
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It's a plover of some kind. I have a reference book just about Sandpipers and can look it up in a bit if you need an ID.

That would be great, thanks Martha. At your convenience though.

-Tim

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 »
0
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 »
0
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 »
0
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 »
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.


Uncle Pete

« Reply #47 on: January 04, 2014, 15:37 »
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.

« 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).

« Reply #50 on: January 04, 2014, 16:14 »
0
Like everyone with a camera, I get excited about all of the birds on the beach while on vacation (I didn't see any shore birds on a recent trip to Maui).  I shoot them.  But the reality is there isn't much demand for them and the stock agencies have tons of these pictures already.

« Reply #51 on: January 04, 2014, 17:26 »
0
the reality is, that I DO sell pictures out of a search for the latin name.
Like maybe 2 times with each picture. Which is not sustainable in stock.

But I sell many more pictures from nature, IF they have other qualifications, like beauty or a concept.

This sanderling wont do, there is no concept, and the bird in it self is boring, or worse.
Take a photo of vulptures instead, feeding on a dead carcass and photoshop some dollars into it, and you have a stock photo.

« Reply #52 on: January 05, 2014, 09:20 »
0
the reality is, that I DO sell pictures out of a search for the latin name.
Like maybe 2 times with each picture. Which is not sustainable in stock.

But I sell many more pictures from nature, IF they have other qualifications, like beauty or a concept.

This sanderling wont do, there is no concept, and the bird in it self is boring, or worse.
Take a photo of vulptures instead, feeding on a dead carcass and photoshop some dollars into it, and you have a stock photo.

That is an Awesome idea!
Just make sure you do not have your pet vultures snacking on a Bichon Frise!

by the way  your bird photo is out of focus at 100%

Tryingmybest

  • Stand up for what is right
« Reply #53 on: January 05, 2014, 09:51 »
0
It's a totally subjective process. Just keep making pictures and submitting. You'll make it.

I have a large portfolio istock, Dreamstime and Alamy with regular sales on all and can't believe how difficult it is to get the first batch if images accepted with shutterstock.
My latest review has failed again despite adding a comment for the reviewer as requested by a member of shutterstock staff.
It almost appears as if shutterstock aren't interested in new contributors.
If anyone from shutterstock reads this post please could you contract me.
Thanks
Sue.

Uncle Pete

« Reply #54 on: January 06, 2014, 17:12 »
0
Hopefully I made it clear, I don't have a clue.  :) But it was the best guide of all the ones I've accumulated over the years, so I'm happy to find out I chose the best one for my desk.

I have a Bantam or Golden Books "Birds of North America" in the back of car. (trees, weeds, wildflowers, geology, Diesel spotters guide, all sorts of maps and a rock hammer) My Little Honda wagon comes with a reference library.  ;D That's not including the "necessary" photo stuff.

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


 

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