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Author Topic: New to stock photography, looking for feedback  (Read 3542 times)

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« on: March 20, 2015, 22:31 »
I just submitted to shutterstock and got rejected, and I'd love to get some feedback on my images and how I might be able to correct them as well as how to avoid the same problems in the future.

This image was rejected for being too noisy:

I have a Canon EOS 60D. When the photo was taken it was just past sunset, and my ISO was only at 400. I don't see how I could have gotten that image any cleaner (unless I wanted to blur the water with a longer shutter speed). Up until now I would have considered that an acceptable level of noise.

This one was rejected for being out of focus:

This one I am a little perplexed about. Yes the image could technically be sharper, but pretty much any image I take with my camera isn't going to get much sharper than this at 100%. Or I could be completely wrong and doing something wrong, I'm open to that possibility.

Here's the rest of the photos I submitted (2 out of 10 would have been accepted, the star trails and the blue silhouetted mountain): newbielink:http://adobe.ly/1xmFbD8 [nonactive]

Any feedback on how I could correct these images or what I need to do in the future is greatly appreciated!

« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2015, 23:34 »
These images don't, in my opinion, have much chance of selling even if they had no technical flaws. Stock images need to tell a story, illustrate some common concept, be of a well known location, cover a holiday or be very very pretty.

Do some searches on Shutterstock for the subjects you like to shoot and take a look at what's there. That'll give you an idea of the sort of work they're looking for

With the other images in your application set, you've shot in challenging light and missed the mark on handling  the high contrast settings. The HDR is overprocessed (blown highlights and too crispy looking), there are blown highlights, lens flare that isn't all that pretty, harsh shadows and some editing (at a guess) to lighten areas that were underexposed and thus became washed out and noisy. Leave things like the abstract sparks or light out of your application set.

For your application, you need a variety of subjects, good light (leave the artsy stuff until after you're accepted), sharp focus and shoot at ISO 100. Use a tripod if needed.

Good luck

« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2015, 00:03 »
Jo Ann is right with her comments as usual.  Technically these are well off the mark, and also aren't particularly commercial.

You might like to check the lens you are using, or reconsider exactly how you are going about taking photos - your images are incredibly soft and nowhere near the sharpness requirements of photo agencies.

I think you also need to practice and read up on noise, as you don't seem to be able to recognise noise or how a high quality photograph should actually look.  Take your sand dunes image for example - can't you see all the noisy pixellation in the sky?  That sky should be super smooth, not broken up into pixels.  Also, the sand dunes in the foreground should be razor sharp given the lighting conditions, but they are soft like all your other work.

Your city skyline is also soft or out of focus, and cannot be used as a commercial stock photo unless you clone out all the building and corporate signs.

Spend some time finding out how to produce high quality sharp images.

« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2015, 18:39 »
Thanks for the input. Some of the images got accepted elsewhere (including the sand dunes), so it was reasonable to assume they would have a chance at Shutterstock. I can clearly see the noise in the sky, and when I selected the images I was looking at content rather than technical quality. Now that I know the standard of quality Shutterstock is looking for, I will be able to get better images in the future.

« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2015, 19:29 »
Lens and camera quality add to the noise issue especially if you have to push it in an eating software.  Hatman is right. If you want to shoot landscapes and such get good at it. According to Fred Miranda's website the 60D does not do well at higher ISO's in the shadow areas and if your waterfall shot was just after sunset that might be part of your problem.  Shoot on a tripod whenever possible, use your in-camera histograms to make sure your exposure is correct. Don't rely on the camera monitor to gage accurate exposure. The waterfall shot might have been good at 100 ISO and a tad longer exposure, but it would have to be on a tripod and I would be using either a wired or wireless remote to trigger the camera to avoid any camera shake.  Generally speaking, using a lens at its sweet spot is desirable. I try not to shoot most of mine below F8 unless I am doing something where I need shallow DOF or in areas where slower shutter won't do the trick. With noise, the key to minimize it is getting proper exposure in the camera, not later in post. 


« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2015, 12:28 »
With noise, the key to minimize it is getting proper exposure in the camera, not later in post.

I totally agree with this - any underexposure, if bumped up and adjusted  to equal in Lightroom for example introduces significant noise increase... always best to get it right in camera and save yourself time and work later on, for what may be impossible to rectify..

« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2015, 08:15 »
Shutterstock is very strict - it took me 5 attemps unless I was accepted.
On other sites like iStock I was accepted immediately and also my first uploaded pic was accepted directly.

When I started I tried to enhance my images with lightroom, sharpen them and work on the lighting settings.
Most of those pictures were rejected because of technical reasons.
Then I changed and now leave my images mostly unaltered - and most of them get directly accepted.
For me this shows that if you get the original shot right you have no trouble later :-)


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