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Isacco

What should I improve?

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I'm constantly reading about how to improve in photography, but sometimes it's hard to be self-critical. I use this setup:

 

- I upload mainly 7mpx photos shot with a Canon EOS 1300D and a 18-55mm lens
- I as software, use Canon DPP 4 for raw, Hugin for panoramas, Photomatix for hdr, Gimp for retouching.
- I try always to have a 150 chars description and about 40 keywords

 

These are my photos:

https://www.alamy.com/search/imageresults.aspx?&xstx=0&userid={E2DD8EE7-FA83-4A8C-95DB-3A759BFC22C7}&name=Isacco+Mattia+Coccato&st=12

 

I would like to know what I should improve. Any critique is welcome! 🙂

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Posted (edited)

Some nice photos, but to my eyes some of your buildings have a heavy distortion.  Second, I would used a smaller dof to make your main subjects stand out.  Again, maybe my old eyes but several of your images look soft.

 

Some of your keywords are incorrect, such as “police” when there are no police.  I also think. And many will know better than me, that some of your keywords are too generic and likely to give false positives.

Edited by IanDavidson
Typo

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I would say you have too many similar images, for example the fireworks. You've also fallen into the trap of adding irrelevant keywords to get your discoverability into the green - it's best to ignore discoverability, and keep to the relevant keywords - otherwise your CTR and ranking will be badly affected. Some of your photos are very nice, but personally I don't like the landscapes with excessive lens flare, and people with heads cut off! Good luck.

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I agree there are too many fireworks photos.  I would only submit a few of your very best (one's that make you go wow!). And for future fireworks shoots, try to include more of the setting along with the fireworks.  If someone is searching for photos of a particular fireworks event, they probably want to see more than just the dark sky and fireworks.

 

Maria

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I like some of your  indoor shots, they should be saleable, but I 

 

Agree there are too many similars (of many subjects, but particularly the fireworks) - delete the weakest shots.

 

Also agree that you should not feel obliged to use 40 or more keywords, sometimes it is necessary, but often not.

 

I would hold off taking so many photos of your location until the sun arrives, or there is dramatic winter weather.

 

Look to see what the competition has to offer and try to better their efforts, aim to have the best images available from where you live.

 

 

 

 

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You have to shoot in brighter light, Isacco. If you show up at a church, and the lighting is terrible, why are you taking pictures? And why are you submitting them to Alamy for sale? ???

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Posted (edited)

My tip for the day is do not cut one foot off of a goat 🙂

Edited by Mark Baigent

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Thank you all! 🙂 Your opinions are very useful to me. To resume, I should improve:

  • Technical skills: distortion in panos, dof, sharpness, light and composition (not cutting subjects)
  • Avoid keyword spamming and vary my portfolio, removing similar images.

About light (too dark environments or sun flares): I like to challenge myself and shoot in difficult environments, but sometimes I can't judge correctly the result.

 

Is publishing at 7mpx a big limit? I can see most of you have 18mpx or more photos.

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Isacco, I'm sorry if my comment was harsh, but please understand -- challenge yourself as much as you want in your shooting. Just don't upload all the results as stock. 

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9 minutes ago, Isacco said:

Thank you all! 🙂 Your opinions are very useful to me. To resume, I should improve:

  • Technical skills: distortion in panos, dof, sharpness, light and composition (not cutting subjects)
  • Avoid keyword spamming and vary my portfolio, removing similar images.

About light (too dark environments or sun flares): I like to challenge myself and shoot in difficult environments, but sometimes I can't judge correctly the result.

 

Is publishing at 7mpx a big limit? I can see most of you have 18mpx or more photos.

 

7 mpx is close to being the smallest acceptable size. In terms of what most customers actually use their images for it is OK. Your greatest problem is that you have no scope for error - you can't downsize the photo to improve perceived sharpness if the image is a bit soft. Also you can't crop very much to improve the composition of the image. A camera with a greater resolution would give you more flexibility. On the other hand, if you can learn to shoot good images straight out of the camera with your 7 mpx, you have a skill which is invaluable, whatever camera you eventually use.

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1 hour ago, Ed Rooney said:

Isacco, I'm sorry if my comment was harsh, but please understand -- challenge yourself as much as you want in your shooting. Just don't upload all the results as stock. 

No problem, I understand your point. Simply, I didn't think those shots were so badly underexposed, because perhaps I don't have enough experience as a photographer. If I post them, I think they're ok. Could you link me a few photos which don't have a nice light?

 

1 hour ago, Joseph Clemson said:

you can't downsize the photo to improve perceived sharpness if the image is a bit soft

Joseph, I actually shoot with a Canon EOS 1300D at 18mpx, and then I often downsize to gain sharpness. I'm glad to hear that 7mpx is ok for most customers needs.

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37 minutes ago, Isacco said:

No problem, I understand your point. Simply, I didn't think those shots were so badly underexposed, because perhaps I don't have enough experience as a photographer. If I post them, I think they're ok. Could you link me a few photos which don't have a nice light?

 

Joseph, I actually shoot with a Canon EOS 1300D at 18mpx, and then I often downsize to gain sharpness. I'm glad to hear that 7mpx is ok for most customers needs.

 

I understand what you are saying now. I will be interested to hear what other experienced photogs might say, but I would want to avoid routinely  downsizing to 7mpx if at all possible as it does place some limitations on what the customer might do with the image. I too shoot at 18mpx and I only find it necessary to downsize for sharpness very rarely, maybe less than 1% of my images.  Is the downsizing really necessary to the extent you are describing?

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10 hours ago, Joseph Clemson said:

 

I understand what you are saying now. I will be interested to hear what other experienced photogs might say, but I would want to avoid routinely  downsizing to 7mpx if at all possible as it does place some limitations on what the customer might do with the image. I too shoot at 18mpx and I only find it necessary to downsize for sharpness very rarely, maybe less than 1% of my images.  Is the downsizing really necessary to the extent you are describing?

 

Like you Joseph I hardly ever downsize. There was some discussion about the ideal size for Live News where smaller files might be advantageous, but for general purposes I don't downsize. You occasionally get a search specifying the minimum file size (FS) so some customers do occasionally require large files. My most lucrative sale was  intended for a large print to  cover the wall of an office, clearly the bigger the file the better.

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10 hours ago, Joseph Clemson said:

Is the downsizing really necessary to the extent you are describing?

No, there's really no point. When I started on Alamy I was quite intimidated by the guide on QC, so I preferred to play safe and downsize almost everything. Now I choose the optimal size for each photo. I was wondering why my portfolio is doing so bad, but I see that 7mpx is not the problem.

 

Maybe nowadays 7mpx is ok, but the photos will "age" faster, because the size of the sensors and the displays is increasing; sooner or later Alamy will set a higher minimum resolution.

 

35 minutes ago, Bryan said:

My most lucrative sale was  intended for a large print to  cover the wall of an office, clearly the bigger the file the better

I love big panoramas, they give you the idea of still "being there". Maybe high resolution photos (say 50mpx or more) could be an interesting niche, for example for applications like the one you mentioned.

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