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Author Topic: Istock rejects  (Read 6654 times)

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« on: December 03, 2010, 17:14 »
None of my first attempt at stock photography were accepted for istock.  The reasons were composition and impact and suitability for stock.  These are the three I submitted:

newbielink:http://dl.dropbox.com/u/16190936/wildanimalpark_247_wtm.jpg [nonactive]

newbielink:http://dl.dropbox.com/u/16190936/la%20costa%20pools_325_wtm.jpg [nonactive]

newbielink:http://dl.dropbox.com/u/16190936/kylie%20hall_wtm.jpg [nonactive]

Yes, I'm a novice photographer, so be gentle.  I guess the water park one has a bit of a snapshot feel to it.  Not sure how to fix that.
A few I have thought of submitting:

newbielink:http://dl.dropbox.com/u/16190936/drivingmarathon_351_wtm.jpg [nonactive]

newbielink:http://dl.dropbox.com/u/16190936/faith%20hat%2012_wtm.jpg [nonactive]

newbielink:http://dl.dropbox.com/u/16190936/fall_026_wtm.jpg [nonactive]

newbielink:http://dl.dropbox.com/u/16190936/wildanimalpark_099_wtm.jpg [nonactive]

newbielink:http://dl.dropbox.com/u/16190936/foxes%20300%2014_wtm.jpg [nonactive]

I hope this image thing works.   Thanks for all the help in advance!

« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2010, 17:17 »
Sorry, but the dropbox images do not work.

edit: oops they are showing for me now.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2010, 17:28 by cclapper »


  • Canadian Photographer
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2010, 17:26 »
I've only clicked through on three so far, but I'd say lighting is your biggest problem. composition too. you need to think more like a designer and less like a tourist on vacation....


  • Canadian Photographer
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2010, 17:36 »
okay - one of your horse shots is really nice, but 1) horses are boring stock, 2) there are lots of lighting issues. artefacts (in this case, small, white squares missing colour information)....secondly the shadows are very hard. direct sunlight should always be diffused, or if not diffused, the effect should be done very well.

the cheetah shot is also nice, but that one is quite flat. the colours are muted and the composition is a bit off. if you want to know what sells, do searches on major sites and sort by downloads to get an idea of the lighting and composition in best-selling images. however, don't copy someone's idea. build your own ideas, but use technical standards of accepted and well-selling images as your reference.


  • Think before you speak
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2010, 17:43 »
I agree with everyone else...the lighting is the issue.

I wouldn't submit any of the horse ones...the lighting is to far off. The little girl on the swing I'd submit. I didn't zoom in on it but it looks good.
I liked the one of the cheetah also...maybe you can increase the saturation on it.
The one with the yellow house and autumn is also nice but the problem with it is the cropping. You've cropped off part of the main subject of the photo. That is considered bad composition.
Got any thing else?


  • Canadian Photographer
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2010, 18:28 »
I didn't see the girl on the swing. I just loaded it, it's a nice shot, but again lighting. it's way too dark and flat. the focus also isn't that sharp.

« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2010, 18:37 »
I like the cheetah image but it would probably have a lot more potential if the eyes were open and it was looking at the camera.  Animal shots sell when the animals are "saying something."  Fwiw I've seen far worse first efforts.  Keep at it, and as the others said, work with a little better lighting and you should be good to go.

« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2010, 19:17 »
Here is some "tough love" :)


Soft, I can't find sharpness in the images (at least not in the important parts. It's too hard to tell what the cat is doing, I have no idea what concept this image could illustrate. Also you might need a property release from the zoo.


It took me too long to understand what is going on here. The pose is awkward (especially the hand is in an awkward position), as is the expression (I can't tell if she's happy or terrified). Chromatic aberration in the highlights. The overall composition doesn't work


The text need to be removed in the "badge". An okay horse portrait, but nothing special, I wouldn't send this as my initial submission. Too tightly cropped top and bottom.


This one is too cluttered, it's (again) too hard to see what is happening. The crowd in the background distracts. Lighting is harsh.


This has a too flat and cool lighting. It also has lots of chromatic aberration. The bokeh looks bad in the feet. Top and bottom parts of the background are too cluttered. This in my opinion is the best photo of this batch.


This is soft. Huge amounts of chromatic aberration, for example in the top right branches against the sky. The building is unappealing, I have no idea what concept this image could illustrate / lack of commercial value.


Too Noisy. The cat has some white stuff on his nose. Flat and dull lighting. The "platform" the cat is standing on says "zoo!". Property release needed from the zoo. The shape of the cat is too strange and unappealing. Would be much better if the cat looked in the camera.


Okay it's a fox :) A boring composition

Sorry if I sounded harsh, but it's important to hear these things from someone. I think your main weak points are: composition, post processing (the colors and tones need more OOOMPH!), chromatic aberration. You also need to focus to understanding that stock is not about taking pretty pictures, it's to shoot something that customers need. Either to shoot some subjects that are in need but there aren't too many of them already, or to shoot something in a different way or better. For example your fox image has to compete against these: http://www.shutterstock.com/cat.mhtml?lang=en&search_source=search_form&similar_photo_id=&searchterm=fox+animal&anyorall=all&search_group=photos&images_per_page=150 , if it's not better than the most of the images already there, it won't be sold. You need also always to think "in what kind of an article or advertisement could this image be used on?", If you don't know the answer it's often better to come up with some new ideas.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2010, 19:22 by Perry »

« Reply #8 on: December 03, 2010, 19:26 »
I really appreciate all the quick comments, and man are they FAST.  I think one of you hit it on the head -- thinking like a tourist.  It's so easy to put the feelings you had surrounding the picture into the evaluation process -- you think, "I LOVE that shot, and really don't look at the photo.  I'll probably sit on the submission process for a little longer while I work on technique and see if an honest few months of work will get me any closer.  I need to get a little further from GWC before I'm ready, I guess.  
This forum is fabulous.  

Not necessarily stock, but I love this one -- the animal is saying something!

newbielink:http://dl.dropbox.com/u/16190936/wildanimalpark_102_wtm.jpg [nonactive]

And some remainders from that set I liked.   Not feeling like submissions after the previous comments and a little harder looks though.  Thanks!

newbielink:http://dl.dropbox.com/u/16190936/wildanimalpark_281_wtm.jpg [nonactive]

newbielink:http://dl.dropbox.com/u/16190936/wildanimalpark_237_wtm.jpg [nonactive]

newbielink:http://dl.dropbox.com/u/16190936/wildanimalpark_099_wtm%20%282%29.jpg [nonactive]

newbielink:http://dl.dropbox.com/u/16190936/wildanimalpark_263_wtm.jpg [nonactive]

newbielink:http://dl.dropbox.com/u/16190936/wildanimalpark_178_wtm.jpg [nonactive]

Thanks again for all the kind critiques.

« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2010, 21:22 »
Instead of just looking through your photo folders on your computer, try taking pictures especially for the submission.

I had a couple of failures at iStockphoto, then I decided to ask a mother with two cute kids I knew. I asked them to jump up on their couch with a book (note, an old book with no text on the back for copyright purpose).
This is what the picture came out as. Not until I got home I regreted not seeing the black curtain in the background as a distraction, but I tried it anyways. The series of 7 pictures I took of this family has been accepted to all sites I have uploaded them to. And it was so easy! Not the best picture, but apparently good enough for stock.
Here is the picture: http://i51.tinypic.com/207aipk.jpg [nofollow]

I also decided to do some isolations, so I rolled out a white backdrop (white paper of anysort big enough will do) and took a picture of a guitar I had.
These were two of the shots (along with a winter image of Toronto skyline) I submitted to iStock and I got submitted. My previous attempts were with random crap I had in my photo folders from before I thought of joining stock photography, and they were rejected.

Good luck! :)

« Reply #10 on: December 03, 2010, 21:57 »
in terms of composition you aren't that bad.. you just need to come up with clean pictures, no distractings objects, foreground etc sometimes some work but mainly try do it the simpliest way..

overall i think you need to get better exposure at your photos maybe more small F numbers or a little higher iso, it will bring more sharpness and a lot less noise if you expose properly..

i have only two or three picture in wildlife but mainly focus on the animal eyes, that where reviewers will look (they need to be very nice at 100% but if they aren't that tack sharp most agencies also big ones will approve them, just do your best..)

you have also a lot of blown out highlights (blinks option in Nikon, maybe Canon have also).. shoot raw and recovery them a little, also on raw you can adjust exposure and wb (a lot of other stuff)..

shoot more and more, don't take hard comments negatively, so are a little exaggerated, stock isn't thard hard so far.. but again the better you shoot the more successful you will be :)


  • Canadian Photographer
« Reply #11 on: December 03, 2010, 23:27 »
What Luis says is bang on. and you seem to have a great attitude, so keep trying and don't be discouraged. I posted in another thread about this that it took me five tries over six months to get accepted on iStock...and now four years later I'm a gold contributor and have learned more than I can express. keep at it and know that most critiques truly intend to be helpful, so take the good from the bad and really focus on learning to differentiate between nice photos and stock images. good luck.

« Reply #12 on: December 05, 2010, 06:59 »
Thanks again everybody.   I spent a little time yesterday figuring out some focus problems and working a little more with CNX2 on some of the other pictures to give them a little more pop.  Lots to learn.  This reminds me of golf -- no matter how much you've learned already there's a mountain of learning left.

« Reply #13 on: December 05, 2010, 07:24 »
Thanks again everybody.   I spent a little time yesterday figuring out some focus problems and working a little more with CNX2 on some of the other pictures to give them a little more pop.  Lots to learn.  This reminds me of golf -- no matter how much you've learned already there's a mountain of learning left.

Keep learning, you'll get there. My horse photos do well on istock, so don't be discouraged about submitting them. You have already gotten some good ideas about how to improve, so I can't really add any more there. It is much more difficult today to get in at IS than it was when I started, so I totally wish you the best of luck.


« Reply #14 on: December 05, 2010, 10:47 »
Yes, lighting and also as pointed out, think like a designer, think commercially. You frame the subjects too close, leave some room and dont forget, they have a gazillion of kiddies and horses which nowdays is regarding as pretty boring.
Your wildlife shots are the best.


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