MicrostockGroup Sponsors


Author Topic: 6 pictures that aren't up to scratch but I cannot take forward- please comment  (Read 6115 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

« on: February 20, 2010, 18:04 »
0
Hi, my name is Alex I'm an amateur photographer. I work with a canon digital camera and in photoshop. The trouble is I've hit a wall and I'm not sure how to improve my photographs and if it is even worth doing so.

Here I have got 6 which I've uploaded to photobucket- all of which have been rejected by istock. The reason behind it probably will be quite obvious to a lot of you so what I'm looking for is some advice.

My photos- http://s844.photobucket.com/albums/ab2/bosharpe/stock/ [nofollow]

I know they bug me but specifically what I haven't figured yet. I've played around with contrast, brightness etc..and learnt some techniques in the process but nothing extremely useful.

Thank you very much in advance.

Alex
« Last Edit: February 20, 2010, 18:35 by bosharpe »


« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2010, 20:07 »
0
Most of these aren't very "stock" oriented. The photo with the bottle and the couple could be a good concept photo but it is too dark and looks too out of focus. Bad lighting on the eagle, can't really tell if that's a wren on the windowsill, already LOTS of photos of mallards online. I like the christmas tree in the snow.

My personal opinion is that these types of photos might do better and be more appreciated by a site like Photocase.
http://www.photocase.com

« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2010, 03:05 »
0
Where to start? Just enjoy using your camera and let your skills develop as you do so __ read a book (or ten) and practice what you learn. You need to understand photography itself way before even considering 'stock photography'.

ShadySue

« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2010, 05:27 »
0
My personal opinion is that these types of photos might do better and be more appreciated by a site like Photocase.
http://www.photocase.com



I hadn't heard of that site so hopped over there and did one of my usual searches.
First impression: over 50% of returns on the first keyword I tried don't match the keyword. At all. Not even at a stretch.
                         Around 70% of my second keyword didn't match, but several of these, generously, could be considered a 'stretch'.
Second impression: They don't half soup up their images!
Anyone using this site? Anyone getting decent sales?

« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2010, 11:40 »
0
Most of these aren't very "stock" oriented. The photo with the bottle and the couple could be a good concept photo but it is too dark and looks too out of focus. Bad lighting on the eagle, can't really tell if that's a wren on the windowsill, already LOTS of photos of mallards online. I like the christmas tree in the snow.

My personal opinion is that these types of photos might do better and be more appreciated by a site like Photocase.
http://www.photocase.com [nofollow]



I thought the Christmas tree was a winner, maybe colour wise slightly off. I understand about the mallard one and the beach photo- that was really when I just picked up a camera. Not heard of Photocase. I'll check it out properly later today.

I've bought some cheap pan lights so I can create basic studio lighting in my kitchen so hopeful I can photograph items I have in my inventory to a better degree. They'll probably make for better stock images. I'm also going to try my hand at audio at istock also since I own a Edirol R-09hr.

Thanks again everyone for your comments

donding

  • Think before you speak
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2010, 12:21 »
0
You gotta think stock...look at those pictures and think of who...customer wise... could use them? Most of them are dull and flat and lack color. Stock agencies like vibrant images, people photos in various situations, and isolated images. Believe me I know...I get rejects for that all the time. Just think before you shoot about the concept that you want to convey with that photo. You gotta look in magazines...your local grocery store ad...any advertising. That is what microstock is all about. And if you go through with this...better get use to those rejects cause it happens all the time... ;)

« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2010, 13:59 »
0
1 - bird in window - plain bad - not stock - bad focus and lighting

2 - falcon? - bad lighting - no detail on bird body.- bad composition/crop because of the man's arm - OOF on bird legs

3 - ducks - bad lighting and composition, not really stockworthy.

4 - couple on beach.- the couple should be the focus and the bottle should not even be in the pic. This would be a good one for stock if it was executed properly. I would have staged two shots and focus stacked them, one show the couple and horizon properly, and the other to show the forefront water properly. Also a little dynamic range would have helped here to maybe get some proper highlights on the water. It's a good idea but it's not executed properly.

5 - It's a nice shot, a little unusual, and I could do a lot with this but the lighting is poor. In something like this you need to learn to balance a proper fill flash with ambient exposure. The bottom front of the tree looks muddy with lack of proper contrast. If it was lit properly, this would make a nice greeting card. A shot like this is where an external flash on a cord comes in handy.

6 - boy with gum? - Not stock. Poor composition. No message or concept here. It's a mediocre snapshot of boy with gum.

This may seem a little harsh, but it's just an assessment of what you have decided to show.  

Take a look over at istock and see what sells. Scrutinize one subject at a time. Stock images are a little different from playing around with the camera. From the way your images were shot, it looks like you were trying to show some moodiness but it's not working. Think more in terms of a clear cut subject with perfect technical execution. Sometimes stock images are different from the shots that you like ;-) Save the attempts at arts stuff for a personal portfolio.

Good luck with your lights. If you need help just post.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2010, 14:01 by stormchaser »

« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2010, 14:31 »
0
Thanks again everyone for your comments
You're welcome. I'm sure you will do great with audio.   8)

« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2010, 15:12 »
0
Quote
From the way your images were shot, it looks like you were trying to show some moodiness but it's not working. Think more in terms of a clear cut subject with perfect technical execution. Sometimes stock images are different from the shots that you like ;-) Save the attempts at arts stuff for a personal portfolio.

I don't know. To me, it sounds like you are describing some of the photos I have seen in the Vetta collection. :)

« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2010, 19:35 »
0
Quote
From the way your images were shot, it looks like you were trying to show some moodiness but it's not working. Think more in terms of a clear cut subject with perfect technical execution. Sometimes stock images are different from the shots that you like ;-) Save the attempts at arts stuff for a personal portfolio.

I don't know. To me, it sounds like you are describing some of the photos I have seen in the Vetta collection. :)

Yeah you're right there  :) but in the really good Vetta stuff the lighting is usually to notch. There are some Vetta pics though that just make me wonder how they got there  ???

« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2010, 19:52 »
0
Thanks all for the input and thanks to stormchaser for the no BS approach. Its helpful to get a mix of opinion.

I'll play around a bit more with the Chriitmas tree image and see if any magic happens. I shall concentrate on lighting I think since I feel thats whats letting me down - flashes, accessories etc- the camera I took thoses shots with is my only piece of photographic equipment.


« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2010, 22:04 »
0
At this stage I would focus more on getting your technical skills improved. Then when you are confident at the camera, try to do some stock. Most of the previous posts have correctly stated the obvious: why would someone buy this, and what could they use it for.

lisafx

« Reply #12 on: February 23, 2010, 17:01 »
0
I agree with the posts stating that none of these are really stock shots.   

However I do think that a few of them show an eye for composition.  I liked the mallard shot a lot.  Great perspective on that one.  And the boy blowing the bubble is also a unique and interesting composition.

It looks like you are having fun with your photography and being creative.  That the most important thing. 

Microstock, at this point, has become pretty business oriented and highly competitive.  In your shoes I would continue enjoying photography as a hobby and learning all I can.  Then down the line once your skills are where you need them to be, you could always reconsider stock.

« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2010, 20:02 »
0
Haven't really read all the answers here but I think your ideas are not a lost cause - at least some of them.

First off, lose the animal pics - market is over saturated and you need to deliver outstanding execution and concept to get those accepted and sold. Just because they get accepted doesn't mean they will sell... Think about that.

In Microstock it's about volume. If you deliver great quality you'll be rewarded with lots of downloads.

IMO the last three shots are really good concepts. It's the way you executed them that killed the saleability.

Now, the couple shot on the beach. Again I really think this is a good concept with the bottle in the foreground but for a shot like this it requires a lot more preparation than aligning the bottle in the foreground with the couple in the background. With outdoor shots like this one you better be checking the light first before trying to get the shot. This may sound funny but depending on if the beach is facing North, East, South or West you have to adapt to the sunlight and see if you can frame the shot ideally. This requires some understanding in terms of composition but also directing the couples postures and the correct placement of the bottle. These are all little details that can make a huge difference if the image sells well or not so well.

The X-mas tree. Maybe this tree in particular doesn't look too flattering but I love the concept. First off how often do you see a fully decorated X-mas tree outdoors in the snow? I think it's a unique approach and that concept hasn't been covered as much as "close-up of X-mas tree with ornament"  :-X
I'd stick to the concept and maybe try it again next year with the tree being in a better shape and hoping for a lot of snow with nice blue sky. I think by now you understand that outdoor shots really depend a lot on factors that you can't control (some you can but not all).

Search results at iStockphoto for:
"Christmas tree outdoors" = 2300 images
"Christmas tree" = 15000

And the results for the outdoor trees barely include your approach. There are very nice ones already in their collection but it's still a great idea to shoot this rather than "beautiful woman with headset"  ::)

The bubble gum situation.

Love it! Hold a second - I love the concept. Again, the execution needs work. I think the shot is too tight/close. IMO I see Vetta shots with "not-stock worthy" concepts but obviously somebody thinks otherwise. If this would be executed nicely I could see that as a Vetta shot. It'll definitely require some post processing to get there but again, I love the concept. Something we don't see a lot.

I think you have some nifty ideas. Once you get your camera under control there might be hope  ;)

Keep going! You'll get there.

« Reply #14 on: February 26, 2010, 06:50 »
0
My personal opinion is that these types of photos might do better and be more appreciated by a site like Photocase.
http://www.photocase.com [nofollow]



I hadn't heard of that site so hopped over there and did one of my usual searches.
First impression: over 50% of returns on the first keyword I tried don't match the keyword. At all. Not even at a stretch.
                         Around 70% of my second keyword didn't match, but several of these, generously, could be considered a 'stretch'.
Second impression: They don't half soup up their images!
Anyone using this site? Anyone getting decent sales?


Epantha is right, providing those are decent quality technically, I would certainly have accepted a few of your example images.

Hi Shady Sue,

We already know there is room for improvement in our search. In fact, we've been optimizing the catalogue for the past 6 months or so, but there are still some words that have yet to be checked. The optimization is prelude to a huge search update which will vastly improve the search results. This update is coming on Sunday night (Feb 28th, 2010).

 What search terms did you use, if you don't mind my asking? ( My go-to search words for trying out a new site are "glacier," (for depth) "dog" (for stock photo clichs) and "sexy" (to gauge the overall cheeseball factor.)
« Last Edit: February 26, 2010, 07:11 by dudebun »

« Reply #15 on: February 26, 2010, 15:29 »
0
Alex, it's the lighting. They all look dull, nothing pops out. You can't cure that in photoshop, you need to get it right when you take the shot. Backlit objects/people will look muddy unless you add fill flash or adjust the exposure to get a pure silhouette.

Photoshop can make a good shot look great. It can't make a bad shot look anything better than barely average.

Stock needs to have a message or to be useful as an element in a design. I don't think these work that way.

« Reply #16 on: February 27, 2010, 15:51 »
0
A lot of you have mentioned the tree concept specifically as being a good idea which I'm quite pleased to hear. If only I could use it.  The lighting is poor/dull, and some of the decorations aren't symmetrical which are my primary concerns as people have pointed out. I was playing around with the lighting on the day and had difficulty getting it spot on. I took about 150 RAW images in the process.

Lighting Is something I've been training myself to notice more and concentrate on as well as flash- something I've seen as negative in the past. I know what looks good but technical know-how shows me up and until recently I haven't really been thinking about what sells.

Click_click- Thank for your comments. I'm glad you like my ideas, they don't take me long to come up with. I'm quite resourceful and usually use what I've got around me for stock ideas. The bottle one- I just happened to be on a beach with a bottle of bud and two people walked past. Same with the bubble gum image- just circumstantial. The tree was the first image I planned in regards to stock imagery and I plan to carry on this way while I improve. I'm just curious to know but do you think the tree image will ever amount to a stock image- any advice on editing and how to help it achieve its purpose? If It can't then I'll be done with it and come back to the idea next year.

Thanks again to everyone.

« Reply #17 on: March 03, 2010, 08:25 »
0
Hi Alex,

I guess I should have mentioned that I am a photo editor at Photocase and when I said "I would have accepted those photos" I meant as a photo-editor I would literally accept them if you uploaded them at our site (providing they are good quality at full size). :)

WarrenPrice

« Reply #18 on: March 03, 2010, 14:47 »
0
Hmmmmm... thanks, dudebun.  Guess I need to study these images a little more.  I have not had one accepted in several months.   ::)


 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
10 Replies
3926 Views
Last post May 30, 2008, 23:13
by PaulieWalnuts
6 Replies
2623 Views
Last post May 21, 2009, 09:53
by Anyka
1 Replies
1926 Views
Last post August 26, 2009, 17:05
by hqimages
9 Replies
5356 Views
Last post August 01, 2011, 09:50
by TheSmilingAssassin
3 Replies
1953 Views
Last post August 04, 2013, 22:19
by Uncle Pete

Sponsors

Microstock Poll Results