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Author Topic: Similars - is the type of smile enough for 2 versions?  (Read 12223 times)

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« Reply #25 on: March 29, 2011, 08:18 »
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To me, the darker bg says "I could only light the person in the front and took what I got in the back".  A lighter bg says "I had full control of the area" (even if you fake it).  Also, I'd take out some of the pink color, overall.


No disrespect intended but I was under the impression that stock photography was intended to serve the image needs of buyers not a venue to prove your photographic skills by "controlling the area". I'm not a stock photography expert but I am a graphic designer with going on 2 decades of experience and I know something about images. Dark areas recede and lighter areas advance. If you want the subject to pop and the background to be, well, in the background, the darker image is better. I'm not really a fan of the Yuri Arcurs style of blowing everything out to look bright, happy and shiny.

On top of that, as far as being useful for design, the dark background provides a far better foundation for placing text. It recedes into the background (as it should) so it won't fight for attention with the message.


If I saw the image with the darker background in an ad, I'd think the company went on the cheap and either got a photographer who couldn't light well, or bought an inexpensive stock photo.  It doesn't look like it was purposefully created that way, but instead was the result of minimal flash usage.  And if I thought that about the ad, I'd probably think that about the product as well.  I already think that when I'm driving down the highway and see poor stock photos on billboards, which I tend to find an inordinate amount of poor design on.  (not that the image in the OP is a terrible image or something :))

In this case, I'd have adjusted shutter speed/ISO/aperture to get more ambient from the background, with adequate fill to make the model pop.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2011, 08:21 by sjlocke »


digitalexpressionimages

« Reply #26 on: March 29, 2011, 09:49 »
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To me, the darker bg says "I could only light the person in the front and took what I got in the back".  A lighter bg says "I had full control of the area" (even if you fake it).  Also, I'd take out some of the pink color, overall.


No disrespect intended but I was under the impression that stock photography was intended to serve the image needs of buyers not a venue to prove your photographic skills by "controlling the area". I'm not a stock photography expert but I am a graphic designer with going on 2 decades of experience and I know something about images. Dark areas recede and lighter areas advance. If you want the subject to pop and the background to be, well, in the background, the darker image is better. I'm not really a fan of the Yuri Arcurs style of blowing everything out to look bright, happy and shiny.

On top of that, as far as being useful for design, the dark background provides a far better foundation for placing text. It recedes into the background (as it should) so it won't fight for attention with the message.


If I saw the image with the darker background in an ad, I'd think the company went on the cheap and either got a photographer who couldn't light well, or bought an inexpensive stock photo.  It doesn't look like it was purposefully created that way, but instead was the result of minimal flash usage.  And if I thought that about the ad, I'd probably think that about the product as well.  I already think that when I'm driving down the highway and see poor stock photos on billboards, which I tend to find an inordinate amount of poor design on.  (not that the image in the OP is a terrible image or something :))

In this case, I'd have adjusted shutter speed/ISO/aperture to get more ambient from the background, with adequate fill to make the model pop.



And when you design a billboard you can do it anyway you please I suppose. I however, find the image you posted far too busy in the background for text and would likely edit the image to darken it or even blur it so that the actual message stood out. You would then look at it as a bad photo so what are you gonna do?

I have often been fascinated by the different ways photographers and designers view images. Designers don't look for the same things as photographers. We look for elements we can use to create commercial artwork i.e. the photo is simply a part of a larger whole. Photographers like to see images that stand alone as good photos and frankly that can limit their value to a designer. I don't want photographers deciding for me what i can do with the image. It's a bone of contention for me and has been for many years because good stock is not the same as good photography. You expose it and compose it to be a great photo (and it is a good photo on it's own) and I then have to edit the crap out of it to make it useful.

I prefer leaf's photo with the darker background.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2011, 09:52 by digitalexpressionimages »

« Reply #27 on: March 29, 2011, 10:08 »
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Thanks for the thoughts digitalexpressions

It is interesting to hear the opinion of someone who comes from a designers background, because like you say, it appears to be quite different than a photographers opinion.

I'm not totally sure if that is how I would of kept the shot if I had finished editing it (I posted them fairly quickly just to compare the two) ... but given how they are now I would have to say I like Sean's shot quite a bit better.  Most of the shots from this shoot I tried to keep the background fairly light with sufficient ambient light... a bit lighter than the one I posted.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2011, 10:13 by leaf »

« Reply #28 on: March 29, 2011, 10:11 »
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Sorry, I didn't mean to infer that would be a great billboard shot or anything.  It was more "here's how I'd balance the light".

digitalexpressionimages

« Reply #29 on: March 29, 2011, 17:05 »
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Thanks for the thoughts digitalexpressions

It is interesting to hear the opinion of someone who comes from a designers background, because like you say, it appears to be quite different than a photographers opinion.

I'm not totally sure if that is how I would of kept the shot if I had finished editing it (I posted them fairly quickly just to compare the two) ... but given how they are now I would have to say I like Sean's shot quite a bit better.  Most of the shots from this shoot I tried to keep the background fairly light with sufficient ambient light... a bit lighter than the one I posted.

You know, it's not necessarily the dark that I prefer but the fact that the background in your shot is background. The darker tone helps to make it recede so that if I placed text in the space to the left of the model's head it would not have to fight with the background for focus and readability.

Sjlocke's shot is fantastic and nicely lit but as I said earlier it's busier and being lighter, draws your eye more. What colour of text could be used (in a headline for an ad or whatever) that would overpower the background but not take away from the model? Design is about balancing elements, directing the viewer's eye to what you want them to focus on and in this case it would be the message and the subject of the photo. You don't want the background waving it's arms and shouting "hey look at me".

But I'll be quiet now. No offense to anyone.

lisafx

« Reply #30 on: March 29, 2011, 17:42 »
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But I'll be quiet now. No offense to anyone.

I hope not.  This has been a really interesting exchange.  I have gotten a lot of useful info from your posts.  Keep it comin'!  :D

rubyroo

« Reply #31 on: March 29, 2011, 17:44 »
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Yes. No. Don't go.

I agree with Lisa - it's incredibly helpful to hear what buyers need.  Exchanges like this help us to help each other.

« Reply #32 on: March 29, 2011, 17:50 »
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IMHO, the two smiles are ok, but the rest is too much the same. If feels like playing one of those "7 errors" games. :)

« Reply #33 on: March 29, 2011, 19:22 »
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being different crops as well as smiles I'd submit both (although she looks to me in the first one as unsure, bit of the am I doing this right?) - my wife would look at it and say they are the same shot.
I like the lighter version better, it certainly is more microstock style and I think it will sell better.

« Reply #34 on: March 29, 2011, 23:18 »
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My thinking is pictures with lighter backgrounds sell more as a whole than the darker ones since these pics blend better on lighter/white backgrounds. Kind of like the characters really stand out as the light backgrounds recedes into the page.  Im not sure exactly what kind of work digitalexpressionsimages does, but the majority of the microstock images i see on ads online or print is usually the image itself just cropped and with text outside the image. I would likely bet that the majority of the images bought on microstock sites are just used as is or with a slight crop and plopped on some sort of a white or a light background with minimal design experience needed. Its also likely that dark texts are used more commonly than light text.

digitalexpressionimages

« Reply #35 on: March 30, 2011, 07:44 »
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My thinking is pictures with lighter backgrounds sell more as a whole than the darker ones since these pics blend better on lighter/white backgrounds. Kind of like the characters really stand out as the light backgrounds recedes into the page.  Im not sure exactly what kind of work digitalexpressionsimages does, but the majority of the microstock images i see on ads online or print is usually the image itself just cropped and with text outside the image. I would likely bet that the majority of the images bought on microstock sites are just used as is or with a slight crop and plopped on some sort of a white or a light background with minimal design experience needed. Its also likely that dark texts are used more commonly than light text.

OK. I will say one more thing. There is certainly a lot of stock being used "as is". It's a big part of the industry. If i were doing a layout for a magazine article about consumerism i might use either shot but would probably choose the lighter, brighter image because it stands alone very well.

You might consider though that there are massive amounts of stock images being used in ways you don't recognize in ads as stock. Mostly because the designer has "edited the crap out of them to make them useful". What I like most about sjlocke's shot is the model. The colour of her top and her pose is very appealing. There's plenty of DOF in fact to allow me to crop her out of that environment and place her in a background of my choosing that would compliment her and allow editorial text or advertising copy to shine. Would you recognize it as stock then?

digitalexpressionimages

« Reply #36 on: March 30, 2011, 08:22 »
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My thinking is pictures with lighter backgrounds sell more as a whole than the darker ones since these pics blend better on lighter/white backgrounds. Kind of like the characters really stand out as the light backgrounds recedes into the page.  Im not sure exactly what kind of work digitalexpressionsimages does, but the majority of the microstock images i see on ads online or print is usually the image itself just cropped and with text outside the image. I would likely bet that the majority of the images bought on microstock sites are just used as is or with a slight crop and plopped on some sort of a white or a light background with minimal design experience needed. Its also likely that dark texts are used more commonly than light text.

Oops, one more thought. For the record, light areas don't recede. Bright colours and bright highlights draw the eye. When I look at sjlocke's image the brightest spots, at least on my monitor, are the freezer door in the background, second from left, and the area to the right of the model. Try as I might, I can't keep my eye from going to that  freezer door.

Also, the goal is contrast. Form and function are equally important. You can't have a beautiful piece of work that fails to get the message across. That would be pointless. So, you would place text so that it's readable and therefore use dark text on light backgrounds and light text on dark backgrounds. But you want the text to draw the eye, not the background.

Lastly, as far as the kind of work I do, I would be willing to believe that i am different in my approach from every other designer in North America and perhaps the only one with more than "minimal design experience" but I tend to doubt it. These are basic design principles. I crop models and objects from images to use as I choose all the time. Which is maybe why you don't recognize them when you see them. I get ideas in my head that I reproduce and I use stock images as elements in those concepts because it's the message and the whole that matters, not the individual images. That's my belief, as I suspect is the case with most designers.

« Reply #37 on: March 30, 2011, 09:11 »
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My thinking is pictures with lighter backgrounds sell more as a whole than the darker ones since these pics blend better on lighter/white backgrounds. Kind of like the characters really stand out as the light backgrounds recedes into the page.  Im not sure exactly what kind of work digitalexpressionsimages does, but the majority of the microstock images i see on ads online or print is usually the image itself just cropped and with text outside the image. I would likely bet that the majority of the images bought on microstock sites are just used as is or with a slight crop and plopped on some sort of a white or a light background with minimal design experience needed. Its also likely that dark texts are used more commonly than light text.

Oops, one more thought. For the record, light areas don't recede.

Please re-read what i said above... i said light areas recede into the page (the page that is right next to the image is usually a light color like the background color of this and many internet pages...) There is less contrast. You are talking about the image as a whole while i am talking about the image in regards to its environment it is inside of.

And for what its worth, i was talking about the creating for the volume business that is microstock. I should have been more clearer in my earlier post that while your points are valid, they are just a small part of the bigger microstock market. I was in no way referring to you when i said minimal design experience so im sorry if it somehow came across that way. I just know there are all kinds of buyers out there. Many of them have minimal design knowledge.

digitalexpressionimages

« Reply #38 on: March 30, 2011, 12:42 »
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Please re-read what i said above... i said light areas recede into the page (the page that is right next to the image is usually a light color like the background color of this and many internet pages...)

I keep coming back to this thread and posting even though I don't want to.  ;D I did read your post correctly I promise but you seem to be speaking in generalities. Yes, if a page is light or white then a light background would have less contrast but if it's not white or light then your theory stumbles. I see all kinds of background colours in ads and magazines and on the web: dark, light and everything in between. Your use of the term "usually" just doesn't apply. however, I still maintain that the images in question are not so much light as they are bright and bright does not fade into the background. perhaps my use of the word light in my previous post was in error and I should have said bright which is what it is.

Quote
And for what its worth, i was talking about the creating for the volume business that is microstock. I should have been more clearer in my earlier post that while your points are valid, they are just a small part of the bigger microstock market. I was in no way referring to you when i said minimal design experience so im sorry if it somehow came across that way. I just know there are all kinds of buyers out there. Many of them have minimal design knowledge.

Have no fear my friend I did not take your words in a negative way. I only used that in my comments to demonstrate that I'm not really atypical in my views as a graphic designer.

Now I'm going to leave this thread alone. I think I've said everything I need to on this subject and in fact i've gone totally OT.  ::)

« Reply #39 on: March 30, 2011, 16:51 »
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Now I'm going to leave this thread alone. I think I've said everything I need to on this subject and in fact i've gone totally OT.  ::)

Yes, perhaps you have (gone off topic), but it was an interesting and enlightening diversion.


 

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