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Helissa Grundemann

Portfolio critique

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I like it. Varied subject matter, colourful, a good eye for composition. They look saleable to me, if someone is looking for pics of Brazil.

 

Alan

 

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Thanks, Alan!

 

I'm fairly new here on Alamy (started uploading on January), and my portfolio is still small, no sales yet... so it's good to have some feedback! 

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I agree with Alan's comments, however whilst your portfolio is still small I would advise you to check through your key wording.

Good luck and keep building your portfolio.

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Thanks Dave!

But can I ask you if you've seen something wrong with my keywording, or was that just a general advice? I thought they were good, but maybe I'm missing something! Anyway I'll surely check them through again.

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Hi Helissa

 

Very nice colourful images - keep going! I agree with Alan, they should produce sales. 

 

If I may make a few suggestions?:

 

1. Be cautious with sharpening/contrast - eg. image W4A7YH looks a little overdone? 

 

2. If you use a brush to lighten a subject against a background be careful not to make that obvious - eg. in Image W0D6D8 I think the mans head has been lightened, but some of the blue sky around him has as well - more obvious looking at the thumbnail but picture editors spot that quickly!

 

3. Re. Keywords (or tags as they now are called), I note all your tags are one word. There are advantages in putting more than one word in a tag, if the phrase is searched for frequently your image will be higher up in the search. eg W86X10 - I would put "fish market" in as a single tag. If you look at Alamy Measures in All of Alamy, "fish Market" as a search phrase was used 12 times in the past year

 

4. I don't know what software you are using in your workflow, but some of your images are showing typical lens barrel distortion, where horizontal lines are not straight; eg W4A8NH - . Many  image editors eg. lightroom will now get rid of that very easily (or maybe the trucks were just not straight!!) . LOL

 

Good luck!

 

Kumar

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Hi Kumar!

 

Thank you so much for the time you took to look at my portfolio and give such good and detailed suggestions!

I agree with you on all of it, for sure. As for the overdone one and the overly lightened one, in both the subject was very dark, totally in the shadow, so my way to compensate that went a little overboard! I will be paying much more attention to that in the future.

And the keywording tip, that is really something I didn't know. Actually, I thought one word tags were better than putting a phrase as a single tag! So, that was a real eye opener for me.

As for the lens distortion, I must admit I often overlook that, and I do use Lightroom. But I went back on my Lightroom catalog to the photo you mentioned and actually that one I could fix easily (it was not the truck's fault, just mine! hehe). Anyway, lesson learned, that's something I won't overlook anymore.

 

Thanks again!

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Helissa,

 

You are in a wonderful part of the world to make colorful images, but you need to edit (select) images

and spend time on your IPTC (caption and keywords) information.  I spend a lot of time preparing images

and more time researching my IPTC info. 

 

Like many of your images.

 

Chuck

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Helissa, I agree with the advice you've been given by my forum mates but let me add this:

 

You say you've been uploading images since January 2019? But it says on your ID that you've been with Alamy since 2017. Either way, 179 pictures is nothing. Unless you produce regularly you won't make it with stock. 

 

Edo

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Hi Chuck, 

 

Thanks for taking a look at my portfolio and for the tip, I will dedicate more time on that for sure!

 

And hi Ed! What happened is that I signed up for Alamy in 2017 but my photos were rejected (unsuitable camera). So I bought a better camera now on January 2019 and from then on my photos started to get accepted. Don't know why Alamy already considers me a "member" since 2017 for just signing up but not getting pictures accepted...

 

I know my portfolio here is still super small, I have many more pictures on some microstock sites, but I find it very useful to get some feedback now in the beginning here on Alamy so I can grow my portfolio without making silly mistakes that would cost much time to correct. The tips from this thread were really helpful, and yeah, need always to keep shooting and uploading!

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Thanks for the clarification, Miss H. 

 

Back in my film assignment days, I visited Brazil several times. One of those times I almost went over Iguazu Falls. 

 

"South of the Border

 

Imagined danger was my constant companion when I traveled alone to strange, far-off lands, even when I was booked into a suite at a Four Seasons or the local high-rise Hilton. Occasionally the danger was real.

 

On one trip to Brazil, I flew up from Rio to photograph Iguazu Falls. Iguazu is really an expansive series of hundreds of waterfalls that sits on the border between Brazil and Argentina. The powerful and dramatic Devil’s Throat is its centerpiece. 

 

It was overcast the afternoon when I arrived, but the forecast for the following day was for bright and clear weather. I set my alarm for 6 AM. The large, rustic inn that sat above the Iguazu River on the Brazil side was just a five-minute walk from where I could view the falls. I decided to let breakfast go until after I’d finished shooting my pictures. 

There was no one about, no one but me on the path down to the falls. I could hear the soft roar of the Devil’s Throat but could not find an uninterrupted view. In my briefing at the Avianca Office in New York, I was told that the area that encompassed Iguazu had been having a drought for the past four years. This meant that the water would not be as high as it might be, and some of the lesser falls on the peripheral would have disappeared. It seemed not worth the expense to rent a helicopter. I would have to get some good shots of the center of the falls, the Devil’s Throat. 

 

I stopped beside the water on the top of the falls that was nearest the path. I could see that the edge curved around and led back to where I knew the Devil’s Throat to be; I could just see the top of that massive falls from where I stood. There was a series of large, flat stones in the water leading out to the far edge. If I could make my way out to the last stone I would have a perfect view down into the Devil’s Throat. 

 

Normally in life, I err on the side of caution, but when I have a camera in my hands something changes and I tend to sometimes take irrational risks. As carefully as I could, I began stepping, jumping from stone to stone, leaving the safety of the shoreline behind. These flat stones, mostly round in shape, ranged in size from three to over six feet across and protruded just a few inches above the water. I jumped to the first stone and then to the second. I was on my way and so far everything was fine. This is going to work, I thought. But when I got about a third of the way out my thoughts turned negative: are all these stones fixed solidly in place? Are any of them wet and slippery on top? I considered the fact that I had never learned to swim. Taking a few deep breaths, I kept going. 

 

When I reached the half-way point a large piece of a tree, not a branch, more like half of a medium-sized tree trunk, floated past the stone I was on, moving towards the water’s edge. But “floated” is not the right word. The tree moved past me almost silently but moving like an express train. And then it was gone. It took no more than a second or two for it to move from the stone I was standing on to the edge of the falls. 

 

There was a strong metallic taste on the roof of my mouth. I was in deep trouble. If I fell into the water, not being able to swim would be no problem. Not Mark Spitz, not Michael Phelps, not Tarzan himself could have navigated that fast-moving water to safety. I was no more than twenty feet from the edge. What on Earth was I thinking? 

My hands began to shake. I crouched down and pushed myself into a survival mode. When the shaking stopped and my breathing was back to normal, I stood up and very very slowly, one rock at a time, I made my way to shore. 

 

I took a different path back to the hotel, one that was closer to the river, and I came upon a viewing platform that was built out over the river and provided me with a perfect view of the Devil’s Throat. Click click click. 

 

Back at the hotel dining room, I ordered a large American breakfast, pancakes, bacon and eggs and a double Pisco Sour. 

I'm sorry I don't have an image of Iguazu Falls to include here. I was shooting film back then, and those color slides may be around here somewhere but maybe not. Do Google it. If I continue with this blog, and I hope to do that, I will not always be able to match an appropriate illustration of my own to the story. 

 

Also, there was a change in the Blogger software a year or so ago and my earlier blogs are messed up because of that. So in between the new blogs, I'll be updating some of my older ones and reposting them." 

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Thanks for sharing, Ed! A good cautionary tale :) 

 

Funny you shared this now, as I'm going to visit the Iguazu Falls in October. I'm actually really interested in shooting the cities of the three countries, visiting the falls on the Argentinian side, and also the smaller falls on the Paraguayan side (Saltos del Monday). Hope the weather helps. 

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On 16/08/2019 at 13:01, Helissa Grundemann said:

Thanks Dave!

But can I ask you if you've seen something wrong with my keywording, or was that just a general advice? I thought they were good, but maybe I'm missing something! Anyway I'll surely check them through again.

Sorry for not responding sooner.

Just small things really, for example:-

Image WF8DC2 has FISHERMEN and FISHERMAN in the key words but there are no people in the picture.

T5GTMN has PEOPLE, WINDOW, JAIL, INJUSTICE, PRESIDENT none of which appear or seem relevant to the image.

Check out the Alamy blogs where you will find good guidance to keywording and captioning your pictures.

Get on top of it now while you have a small collection which can be easily checked, apply the advice already given by others and you will be on top of things as your portfolio grows.

All best wishes for a successful future with Alamy.

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6 hours ago, Dave Richards said:

Sorry for not responding sooner.

Just small things really, for example:-

Image WF8DC2 has FISHERMEN and FISHERMAN in the key words but there are no people in the picture.

T5GTMN has PEOPLE, WINDOW, JAIL, INJUSTICE, PRESIDENT none of which appear or seem relevant to the image.

Check out the Alamy blogs where you will find good guidance to keywording and captioning your pictures.

Get on top of it now while you have a small collection which can be easily checked, apply the advice already given by others and you will be on top of things as your portfolio grows.

All best wishes for a successful future with Alamy.

Thank you Dave, I'll do that. And just to explain about the picture T5GTMN, Lula is the name of the ex-president of Brazil who is currently in jail - many people believe he was wrongly convicted and the flag is a symbolic way of "protest" asking for him to be freed. I believe in this case "injustice, president" should stay - or maybe "president lula" would be best. Anyway, I'll get on with reviewing my keywords, thanks again for taking the time to answer and for the kind words!

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