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Author Topic: Application photos  (Read 12772 times)

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CofkoCof

« on: February 19, 2008, 15:57 »
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Hello. This is my first post on the forums. I'm pretty new to stock photography (could say photography in general), just uploaded a few pictures to DT and FT. I also tried to get to IS and SS, but my applications got rejected (on IS because of artifacting and not a clear focal point and ond SS because of keywords  - 5 photos because I included name of a lake in Slovenia, which isn't an english keyword ).

I was wondering if you could browse trough my portfolio on DT and tell me which (if any) photos should I include in next application (I know that they aren't anything special, still learning). Tell me if you need higher resolution.

I'll try with isolation and some model shots in the next week or two so I might even wait for those before I try again.

Tnx


« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2008, 19:33 »
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How stupid to reject an image due to a foreign name... Was it in the title or description also?

Judging by the thumbnails only, I would pick the following for variety:
 


But then you have to check them for image quality.

Regards,
Adelaide

CofkoCof

« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2008, 20:19 »
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I think the name was in the title and description also.  It's probably best to downsize images to the minimum requirements, so it's harder for them to find the problems?

Tnx for your reply.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2008, 20:24 by CofkoCof »

CofkoCof

« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2008, 16:37 »
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Made a cheap lightbox today, tried some isolations. Tell me what you think (not about the subject, more about the isolation,...). Second one needs WB adjusted.



« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2008, 16:44 »
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it should look more like this:


CofkoCof

« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2008, 16:48 »
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Yeah I know, didn't edit much, just cloned out a shadow. You think shots like this one could get accepted if I'd put them into my application?

« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2008, 16:52 »
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I cant tell. With that dull grey background definitely not. What camera do you use? I can not see sharpness, or any possible purple fringing or noise... they do not tolerate chromatic aberations and noise. If you have compact camera, forget about IS or SS....
« Last Edit: February 20, 2008, 16:54 by Chode »

CofkoCof

« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2008, 16:59 »
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I'm using pentax k100d super.

Edited the apple also a bit:

« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2008, 17:03 »
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... You think shots like this one could get accepted if I'd put them into my application?
You need to use levels to make the backgrounds pure white. I can't see the images close enough and thus cannot make a technical judgment, so I'll make a few subjective comments:

The apple's shadow is green and will be rejected for "poor white balance and/or lighting". There is also too much whitespace around the apple - square framing better suits the subject (a "poor composition" rejection).

As it stands, the money shot won't be accepted. The out-of-focus foreground is too distracting and the coins are too "sideways". Both of these fall under the "poor composition" umbrella. The coins don't have to be perfectly vertical, but they definitely shouldn't be completely on their sides either. Try adding more out-of-focus coins and move them behind the subject of the shot, where they'll add extra interest and impact.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2008, 17:05 by sharply_done »

« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2008, 17:16 »
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I'm using pentax k100d super.

Edited the apple also a bit:



nope. hard shadow, poor lightning.

CofkoCof

« Reply #10 on: February 20, 2008, 17:25 »
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Yeah, I played with levels to make the background pure white on the apple.

Wasn't looking at the color of the apple shadow, tnx for the tip. Should probably desaturate it right?

These two shots were just a test of my softbox, will make a few more interesting shots in the next couple of days. Still have about a week before I can try again so I'll try to get really good shots till then (also include some of my pictures that are already on stock sites).

Tnx again.

PS: Could you go trough my photos on DT and tell me wha you think about those?
« Last Edit: February 20, 2008, 17:48 by CofkoCof »

CofkoCof

« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2008, 17:01 »
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I did some more apple shots and uploaded them to 123rf and FT, they got accepted. Looks like they are ok. Will try to get some more interresting subjects for IS and SS, don't want the overabundant rejection.

« Reply #12 on: February 22, 2008, 17:11 »
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They're dull, the backgrounds aren't white, the shadows are deep and harsh and the subject.. well.. it looks like my dog rolled the apple round the floor.

Get perfect specimens (unless the point is that it's NOT perfect!) and get the lighting more evenly.  If you look at my pictures at the link below (I don't know about putting pictures on these forums - is that pimping?) you can see colours the pop off the page and really attract buyers from the thumbnail.  This is one that seems to do really well for me on shutterstock.

http://www.istockphoto.com/file_closeup/health_and_beauty/diet_nutrition/healthy_eating/3050005_healthy_eating.php?id=3050005

Best of all - no lightbox needed.  You could do this with 20 worth of eBay goodies.  ;)

CofkoCof

« Reply #13 on: February 22, 2008, 17:21 »
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How much whiter than 255,255,255 can you get? I know they are dull, was just testing if the isolation part is ok. If it wasn't they would get rejected for that. Don't even think they will sell, was just testing my isolation method.

I have a homemade lightbox. These shots were taken with only one lamp, will improve the lightning.

« Reply #14 on: February 22, 2008, 17:28 »
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The first shots were not 255 white.  They were sort of murky grey.  And when you used your "isolated method" it introduced a whole host of other problems.

CofkoCof

« Reply #15 on: February 22, 2008, 17:30 »
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If you click on the 123rf link in my profile, you will see the pictures I was referring to. Looks like we were looking at different pictures :D
« Last Edit: February 22, 2008, 17:31 by CofkoCof »

« Reply #16 on: February 22, 2008, 17:43 »
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Sure ok.

The first shots in this thread do not have a white background.

The shots in your portfolio are pretty awful technically, and I'm not sure why they would have been accepted.

« Reply #17 on: February 22, 2008, 19:39 »
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The shots in your portfolio are pretty awful technically, and I'm not sure why they would have been accepted.

Does anyone remember Editorial?   ::)

PaulieWalnuts

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« Reply #18 on: February 22, 2008, 20:37 »
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Must be related

« Reply #19 on: February 23, 2008, 00:56 »
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Pleasant feedback Seren - really positive and encouraging

« Reply #20 on: February 23, 2008, 03:26 »
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Pleasant feedback Seren - really positive and encouraging

To be fair, the first post I (and others) made was pretty fair, but the person didn't appear to want to listen.  Sometimes you just have to point out the obvious!

CofkoCof

« Reply #21 on: February 23, 2008, 05:26 »
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Well the obvious thing is that you didn't read the topic, just looked at the pic (on the forums, not portfolio), then started saying how everything was wrong about it. It's very easy to do that, everyone can do that, even me. The hard thing is to offer some ideas and help the person improve.

The only one that actually browsed trough my portfolio was Madelaide and I'm very thankful for that.

« Reply #22 on: February 23, 2008, 05:40 »
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Sorry, I responded to the bit where you wrote:

"Tell me what you think (not about the subject, more about the isolation,...)."

If it's any consolation, I love this shot.  I had the chance to go to Slovinia this year but had to pass it over due to lack of money!  I'm going to have to go back, to add exactly this sort of iconic shot to my portfolio!



« Last Edit: February 23, 2008, 05:44 by Seren »

« Reply #23 on: February 23, 2008, 08:16 »
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If it's any consolation, I love this shot.  I had the chance to go to Slovinia this year but had to pass it over due to lack of money!  I'm going to have to go back, to add exactly this sort of iconic shot to my portfolio!

The location and framing is great, but the shot totally lacks pop-up and a dramatic sky. I know it's stupid, but buyers buy on thumbnails and they should be overdone a bit.


« Reply #24 on: February 23, 2008, 09:36 »
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Well the obvious thing is that you didn't read the topic, just looked at the pic (on the forums, not portfolio), then started saying how everything was wrong about it. It's very easy to do that, everyone can do that, even me. The hard thing is to offer some ideas and help the person improve.

The only one that actually browsed trough my portfolio was Madelaide and I'm very thankful for that.


Use larger light sources when you doing isolations. Being a flash or tungsten light bounced against a huge foil of foam, or a light tent or whatever else which gives you VERY diffuse light. There are hundreds systems, some of them very simple and cheap.

Don't be afraid of the critics and be overly critic yourself about your own shots, watch other people successfull images and try to replicate the light, read forums and blogs like Strobist to get ideas of how light works and more than all experiment.

This is my current learning path and following it I made huge leaps in quality in very little time.

« Reply #25 on: February 23, 2008, 10:48 »
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or a light tent


My advice too for isolations: buy a light tent.

http://www.amazon.com/Lastolite-LL-LR3686-3-Feet-Cubelite/dp/B00009R8I1

With a light tent, you get with no pain a diffuse lighting with soft shadows. No need for a softbox and complex lighting setup: 2 hard lights outside the tent and the light is soft and subtle inside.

And you should work a little bit on your isolation technique in PS: you don't do it right with your green apple IMHO.

And as other people said before: try to make your photos "pop" a little bit more  ;)



« Reply #26 on: February 23, 2008, 10:51 »
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Forget spending all that money on light tents.  Instead buy a cheap, second hand flash gun, a cord to get it off camera and a sheet of white poster-board.

90% of my isolations were done with the above kit (well, except I have a canon speedlite, but it makes no real difference, I also use a Centon flash).  Just set the flash up to bounce the light off a white ceiling and you'll get flawless diffused lighting every time.  Add reflectors as needed (silver foil) and you have an easy way to do isolate small objects.

« Reply #27 on: February 23, 2008, 11:09 »
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Forget spending all that money on light tents.  Instead buy a cheap, second hand flash gun, a cord to get it off camera and a sheet of white poster-board.

90% of my isolations were done with the above kit (well, except I have a canon speedlite, but it makes no real difference, I also use a Centon flash).  Just set the flash up to bounce the light off a white ceiling and you'll get flawless diffused lighting every time.  Add reflectors as needed (silver foil) and you have an easy way to do isolate small objects.

I used this kind of setup: it works just fine indeed.

But for $150 you get a 3' light tent and 2 1000W halogen light. Switch on the lights, put your object into the tent and that's it. It is a lot easier and faster to shot isolated objects this way: I've used both techniques.

And I'm not sure a flashes + a cord + various poster boards and reflectors will be cheaper. The flash only is probably more expensive. And you need some diffuser for your flash.

Another advantage of the light tent: you can easily shot reflective objects without worrying about everything in the room reflecting on your subject.

Anyway, choose the technique which fits the best your needs.



« Reply #28 on: February 23, 2008, 11:39 »
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And I'm not sure a flashes + a cord + various poster boards and reflectors will be cheaper. The flash only is probably more expensive. And you need some diffuser for your flash.
ds.


I got a flash on eBay for $15 (Centon flash with moving head.  Not pretty but it works).  Sync cords can probably be picked up for not more than $10 (or a cheap remote from HK).  Posterboard is about $2.50.  Diffuser is your white ceiling.  Add $2.50 for your reflectors.

That's around $30 if you're a good bargain hunter!
« Last Edit: February 23, 2008, 11:41 by Seren »

« Reply #29 on: February 23, 2008, 15:08 »
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I got a flash on eBay for $15 (Centon flash with moving head.  Not pretty but it works).  Sync cords can probably be picked up for not more than $10 (or a cheap remote from HK).  Posterboard is about $2.50.  Diffuser is your white ceiling.  Add $2.50 for your reflectors.

That's around $30 if you're a good bargain hunter!

It takes a few seconds to find a tent on eBay for $19.99.

Anyway, we are talking about microstock photography which is a business and the most efficient you are when shooting the better it is for your business.

Did you try to shoot with a light tent? I've made isolations with and without tent and for me, it is easier and faster to shoot with a tent and you get more predictable results. But it may depends on the subject, the photographer etc.

Anyway, everybody use different techniques and this is just fine.





« Reply #30 on: February 23, 2008, 15:23 »
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It takes a few seconds to find a tent on eBay for $19.99.

Anyway, we are talking about microstock photography which is a business and the most efficient you are when shooting the better it is for your business.

Did you try to shoot with a light tent? I've made isolations with and without tent and for me, it is easier and faster to shoot with a tent and you get more predictable results. But it may depends on the subject, the photographer etc.

Anyway, everybody use different techniques and this is just fine.

Yes I did.  And I found it frustrating because I either had to use a tripod to shoot with, or I had to dig my strobes out to get enough light.  Shooting with a flashgun bounced means I can shoot handheld, but can have a "shoot" completed within 15 mins or so when I have just a little spare time, including set up and take down.

« Reply #31 on: February 23, 2008, 16:09 »
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ond SS because of keywords  - 5 photos because I included name of a lake in Slovenia, which isn't an english keyword

Hi

As regards SS you will see this comment so many times, read the rejection in full, it states words not in English, read on further it states not relevent keywords or Description.

So go back on your keywords and descriptions have another look, is each one relevent to the image you see,  the rejection can sometimes happen because of a place name, stock is a lot about non specific generic images and keywords, so a lake in slovenia is just a lake.

Looking at the Image Seren highlighted it is very specific to a region, however a shot of a couple of rowing boats or canoe's pulled up on the bank, and maybe a distant shoreline is more stock, because it could have been taken and used anywhere.

David 
 

« Reply #32 on: February 23, 2008, 16:20 »
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Looking at the Image Seren highlighted it is very specific to a region, however a shot of a couple of rowing boats or canoe's pulled up on the bank, and maybe a distant shoreline is more stock, because it could have been taken and used anywhere.

David 
 

I disagree, this is a particularly famous place in Slovenia.  If I'm right, it's at the foot of the only Alpine peak in Slovenia, so would make excellent stock, for places such as climbing / mountaineering websites, kayaking websites, mountain biking websites...  It was the place that made me want to go there.  Those steps on the island are beautiful, and one of our plans was to kayak out to them.

Saying that you should not keyword this lake with it's name, is the same as saying that you shouldn't keyword the Panama Canal with it's name - they're both famous landmarks in their own subcultures.

It concerns me that Shutterstock would reject "foreign" place names because they're not in English, because we are in a global image market.  How on earth are you supposed to find pictures of places if  you can't use their native names?

CofkoCof

« Reply #33 on: February 25, 2008, 02:28 »
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@Seren: Maybe you'll visit our country some other time. I'm sure you'd enjoy some of the very nice places we have (lake Bled included :D).

@FlemishDreams: I know, was a boring overcast sky that day. Will have to go and reshoot.

@ale1969: I'm gonna buy a few lights and I'm improving my lightbox. Will post some shots when I have time.

And regarding keywords: I used "Bled" keyword only at pictures that offer a clear view of the island, which is very recognizable.

Tnx for now, will select 3 shots for IS and ask you what you think about them, then 7 more for SS.

CofkoCof

« Reply #34 on: February 27, 2008, 17:42 »
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I'll try with these 3 at IS, what do you think:
http://www.fotolia.com/id/6431965
http://www.dreamstime.com/colorful-park-image4234437
http://www.fotolia.com/id/5889714   (will boost saturation a bit on this one)

CofkoCof

« Reply #35 on: February 28, 2008, 16:15 »
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All my 10 photos got approved at SS :D I saturated them a bit, downsized to 4m and used keywords from SnapVillage(at least one use of that site).

They don't show in my portfolio yet (how long does it take), but I linked them from other sites if some1 is interested:
http://www.123rf.com/photo_2563884.html
http://www.123rf.com/photo_2555718.html
http://www.123rf.com/photo_2555723.html
http://www.123rf.com/photo_2555724.html
http://www.123rf.com/photo_2563231.html
http://www.123rf.com/photo_2563833.html
http://www.123rf.com/photo_2563264.html
http://www.123rf.com/photo_2577854.html
http://www.fotolia.com/id/6437383
http://www.fotolia.com/id/6436421

IS is next. I'll probably select colorful park, island with the church and that gold metal texture.

CofkoCof

« Reply #36 on: February 28, 2008, 16:19 »
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Double post.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2008, 16:21 by CofkoCof »

« Reply #37 on: February 28, 2008, 16:20 »
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I think the gold texture won't be accepted at IS.

Just a guess  ;)

CofkoCof

« Reply #38 on: February 28, 2008, 16:21 »
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Why? Overabundant category?

« Reply #39 on: February 28, 2008, 16:24 »
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Why? Overabundant category?

IS would say:

We're sorry, but we did not find this file suitable as stock. With the rapid growth of the iStock collection, we give valuable consideration to each file but unfortunately cannot accept all submissions.



CofkoCof

« Reply #40 on: February 28, 2008, 16:50 »
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Ok tnx. Which ones would you choose?

« Reply #41 on: February 28, 2008, 16:58 »
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The red forest (I like it a lot) or the boat.

I may be wrong however  ;D

CofkoCof

« Reply #42 on: February 28, 2008, 17:14 »
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I used the forrest with my first submisson. They said it has too much CA (probably got that weird look on the edges since it's a HDR image).

EDIT: The images are already up:
http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery.mhtml?id=159397
« Last Edit: February 28, 2008, 19:19 by CofkoCof »

CofkoCof

« Reply #43 on: March 07, 2008, 06:58 »
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Gonna try at is today with these photos probably:





What do you think?

CofkoCof

« Reply #44 on: March 10, 2008, 03:26 »
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I got accepted with these 3 images :D

fotoKmyst

« Reply #45 on: March 27, 2008, 17:46 »
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I disagree, this is a particularly famous place in Slovenia.  If I'm right, it's at the foot of the only Alpine peak in Slovenia, so would make excellent stock, for places such as climbing / mountaineering websites, kayaking websites, mountain biking websites...  It was the place that made me want to go there.  Those steps on the island are beautiful, and one of our plans was to kayak out to them.

Saying that you should not keyword this lake with it's name, is the same as saying that you shouldn't keyword the Panama Canal with it's name - they're both famous landmarks in their own subcultures.


thanks ppl , i really enjoyed this thread. very helpful.
also the debate between generic vs regional .
in this case, i would go with Seren re : a specific tourist drawing image.

but all in all it was very insightful from everyone
thx  :)


 

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