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Ed Rooney

About Good Lighting . . .

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I couldn't find the thread where we were talking about "good light" as one of the elements of a very good stock image -- light, shape, color, gesture. At the time in that post I got the feeling people were thinking that I meant good light was always sunlight and crosslight. I remember that Mark (spacecadet) posted an image I liked that showed some threatening storm clouds. That worked.

 

To be clear, I feel that good light is lighting that works for the subject. 

 

 

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Yes, good lighting, in terms of stock, is just appropriate lighting. Lighting should lift a pic (making it catch the eye even at thumbnail size). The combination of grey skies and raking sunshine can be spectacular, but don't sell too well as stock.

 

There are millions of drab and dreary pix in the Alamy collection. I thought that learning about light was one page one of the photography manual, but not so. Maybe people think they can recover detail in PP... but no software can recreate what the light can do. I like the low-tech approach: being prepared to wait for the light to co-operate...

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Maybe post some thumbnails which have sold and which have done nothing.
Hmm it seems that we have done this here? But where is it? Because I remember posting this one as an example:

Gettysburg Eternal Light Peace Memorial on the Gettysburg Battlefield at sunset looking west. Gettysburg National Military Park. - Stock Image

 

Maybe the topic was bad light, not good light.

 

wim

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Sometimes the subject outweighs the quality of the light. CB7JF8 has sold twice for a total just short of $$$ gross, despite the cloudy background and flat light. If I shot the same subject again under better conditions it may well sell more frequently, but I would have missed out on sales if I hadn't uploaded the less than ideal image.

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I believe the thread was "Weather or not".

 

Allan

 

You will find it HERE.

 

ITMA

 

Edited by Allan Bell
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2 hours ago, John Morrison said:

Yes, good lighting, in terms of stock, is just appropriate lighting. Lighting should lift a pic (making it catch the eye even at thumbnail size). The combination of grey skies and raking sunshine can be spectacular, but don't sell too well as stock.

 

Here's a dramatic lighting one that sold, my 2nd ever picture! But I'm not normally lucky enough to get light like this when I'm out and about....

 

A yacht passing by The Needles, Isle of Wight - Stock Image

 

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Snap!  Sort of. Slightly different viewpoint. Different lighting too.

 

 

View of the Needles Isle of Wight Hampshire England Stock Photo

 

 

 

 

 

Allan

 

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37 minutes ago, Allan Bell said:

 

Snap!  Sort of. Slightly different viewpoint. Different lighting too.

 

 

View of the Needles Isle of Wight Hampshire England Stock Photo

 

 

 

 

 

Allan

 

 

Watch lots of "The Needles" shots suddenly appear for sale on Alamy... :):):) 

Edited by Steve F

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2 hours ago, Allan Bell said:

 

I believe the thread was "Weather or not".

Allan

You will find it HERE.

ITMA

 

 

Well spotted!

It seems short term memory is the first to go. 😂

ITMA? Aha.

 

I've checked my sales since that thread and all 25 images taken outdoors have blue skies or otherwise brilliant weather. So no new examples of bad weather with good light.

These are 19 of those sales:

The White House Washington DC. Equestrian statue of Andrew Jackson in Lafayette Square and the North Portico - Stock Image  Christmas. The White House w Christmas trees and the equestrian statue of Andrew Jackson in Lafayette Park, Washington - Stock Image  Amsterdam De Oude Kerk, The Old Church with Oudekerksbrug (Old Church Bridge) and Oudezijds Voorburgwal Canal. - Stock Image  Amsterdam Magere Brug, Skinny Bridge, on the Amstel River and Hermitage Museum at dusk night evening in summer Parked - Stock Image  The Ambassade Hotel on the Amsterdam Herengracht Canal in winter with seasonal Christmas lights. - Stock Image Amsterdam Reguliersdwars Reguliersdwarsstraat outdoor bars rainbow flag in the traditional heart of the gay LGBT - Stock Image  McDonalds restaurant on the corner of Gran Via and Calle de la Montera in Madrid Spain Europe. - Stock Image  Dutch Windmills in Green Heart of Holland: Molenviergang Aarlanderveen. 3 of the flight of 4 wind mills keeping - Stock Image  Lake Habeeb in Rocky Gap State Park near Cumberland Maryland. Totally quiet the day after Labor Day weekend. - Stock Image  Fallingwater or Kaufmann Residence aka Falling Water is a house by architect Frank Lloyd Wright. - Stock Image  Birds on a wire. Yellow street lamp against a dark blue sky. - Stock Image  TAFE Marcus Clark Building; Medina Hotel; Central Railway Station and Bus Station on Railway Square in Sydney, NSW, - Stock Image  Potomac Mills Outlet Center in Woodbridge Virginia near Washington DC US USA. Side entrance, newly redesigned. - Stock Image  Washington DC, the white marble fountain in Dupont Circle. The statue symbolizes The Sea and is carrying a ship. - Stock Image  Buenos Aires, Torre de la Nación. Modern office building of national newspaper in Catalinas at dusk. - Stock Image  The Hirshhorn Museum on the National Mall in Washington DC - Stock Image  Bixby Bridge Pacific Coast Highway Big Sur California. Bixby Creek Canyon Bridge with coastal fog mist rolling in - Stock Image  New York historic view. Lower Manhattan at sunset with the Twin Towers of the NYC NY WTC in the background. - Stock Image  Edinburgh Skyline from Canton Hill with Edinburgh Castle and the Old Town at sunset in summer. - Stock Image    

 

It's clear that light does play a big role. Whether that is in my images or in the taste of the buyers I'm not sure. It could also be color or just content, and mine was on the first or second row for their search.

 

That content has something to do with it, could be deduced from these two:

Gettysburg Eternal Light Peace Memorial on the Gettysburg Battlefield at sunset looking west. Gettysburg National Military Park. - Stock Image

The one from the previous thread which has sold 5 x

and this one from the same outing:

Worm fence or snake fence a split rail fence on Civil War Battlefield at Oak Hill, Oak Ridge, Gettysburg National Military Park - Stock Image

which sits on 5th row @10/row @100/page for small thumbnails; or 8th row for large thumbnails.

And has not sold once.

I like it better though, but clients think otherwise. Or they just don't see it because it's too far down on the page. (There are 11,929 images for Gettysburg.)

Could be content: ah yes that's a monument with some interesting light as a bonus. That's God's hand or Jacob's ladder or a Sun Harp (depending on where you live and which language you speak). What's the other - just a fence? Huh? (Fences played a role on that battlefield and they looked like this.)

My image is #2 for Gettysburg fence. However nobody ever searches for that. Ever.

 

wim

Edited by wiskerke
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Ah, Weather or Not, my own post. I coin these hipster titles and then forget them. Thanks, Allan. 

 

And John, "appropriate" is spot on. Having worked in travel marketing, I tend to value a bright, upbeat look. I've been shooting at night lately. 

 

90-plus % of my images are found rather than planned. Those pocket Sonys make that easy. Everything we do regarding uploads, however, is a judgement call. 

 

The Needles are just north of me. More than a fifteen-minute walk from Liverpool? Never been there. I've never been to Gettysburg either.

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28 minutes ago, Ed Rooney said:

 

The Needles are just north of me. More than a fifteen-minute walk from Liverpool? Never been there. I've never been to Gettysburg either.

They're in the Isle of Wight, Ed. A little way away.

This isn't too far, though. Blundellsands. That's the Anglican cathedral on the left there. Sometimes Autocontrast is your friend.

Nice sky but not a seller yet.

port-of-liverpool-wind-farm-seen-from-blundellsands-beach-crosby-liverpool-C5YJ16.jpg
 
Here's the Isle of Man ferry, same place.
C5YHXE.jpg
Antony Gormley's statues are out there as well. That's my hat and brolly.
C5YHWB.jpg
Edited by spacecadet

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Here are some that sold where I waited for good light:

Sleepy Hollow New York, USA. 15 February 2018: USA Weather - a stunning sunset over the Hudson River as unseasonably - Stock ImageMillway Marina, Barnstable, Cape Cod, Massachusetts in the fall autumn with sunburst wooden boats, clear blue sky, - Stock ImageSteel globe from the 1964 World's Fair Corona Park, Flushing Meadows Queens WB enhanced also Earth Day concept - Stock ImageFather and child fishing from a pier dock Connecticut coast at twilight with sailboat passing by Niantic East Lyme Connecticut - Stock ImageHigh view of  hotels and casino lights on the Strip from above lit up at night, Las Vegas Nevada USA, nightlife, February 2015. View of casinos and hotels includes the Mandalay Bay, Monte Carlo, Luxor hotel and casino, Delano and New York New York. February 2015. - Stock ImageSummer in the Hamptons. Ponquogue Beach, Hampton Bays, New York blue hour sunset lifeguard chairs, sliver of the moon, Venus. - Stock Image

 

 

 

 

Herring gull laurus flies over Castle Hill lighthouse at twilight sunset over Narragansett Bay Newport Rhode Island New England - Stock ImageA dramatic and beautiful sunrise with buildings and boats in silhouette reflected in the waters of Baltimore's Inner Harbor Harbour Maryland, USA. Friday 27th April 2012. - Stock ImageCastle Hill lighthouse light house at twilight golden sunset with rocky cliffs over Narragansett Bay Newport Rhode Island US HDR - Stock Image
 
 
 
 

 

 
Edited by Marianne
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And here's a comparison of similar shots -  from a 4-day event where both the flatter gray day shots and the beautiful weather shots sold. Given the search terms and use I'm not sure why both sold but I had intended to delete the flat ones, glad I didn't, though they still bother me. This event was in 2012 but all these sales were from 2017 through 2019, so it wasn’t a rush for live news and all the images have been on Alamy since I shot them in 2012 so they were all there for the choosing:

 

 

The Brilliant, a schooner from Mystic, Connecticut operated by Mystic Seaport, under sail as the Parade of Ships prepares to head out of Niantic Bay toward New London, Connecticut during OpSail 2012 CT. - Stock ImageNew London, Connecticut, USA - July 9, 2012: The Brazilian tall ship Cisne Branco with signal flags and the flag of Brazil flying, sails away from Fort Trumbull toward home with a red tugboat behind it as OpSail 2012, commemorating the bicentennial of the War of 1812 and the penning of the US national anthem, the Star Spangled Banner draws to a close. - Stock ImageNew London, Connecticut, USA - July 9, 2012: Crowds gather to see the tall ships sail away from Fort Trumbull to their home ports as OpSail 2012, celebrating the bicentennial of the War of 1812 and the penning of the Star Spangled Banner, the US National Anthem, draws to a close. The Wolf, a 74 foot topsail schooner from Key West, Florida, sails by. - Stock ImageNew London, Connecticut, USA - July 9, 2012: The US Coast Guard training ship Eagle moored at Fort Trumbull on the last day of OpSail 2012 CT, celebrating the bicentennial of the War of 1812 and the penning of the Star Spangled Banner, the US National Anthem. - Stock Image

 

I have many online from this event that I would have chosen over these: You can see them here if you're interested

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Finally, it poured minutes after I took this Gettysburg shot, which includes that fence you have Wim ( @wiskerke ) It's been zoomed but hasn't sold. I keep holding out hope. I didn't wait for the light on this one - I shot it and ran to find my daughter and the car.  Such a long ride and we didn't get to see anywhere near as much as we'd hoped. Will have to go back. 

 

Monument Civil War Veterans of the 111th New York Infantry, Gettysburg National Military Park Gettysburg Pennsylvania - Stock Image

 

I also spent 10 days in Edinburgh and it was gorgeous weather all but one of those. I've sold as many from the dull gray day as from the beautiful ones.   

And some of the gray ones sold more than 10 years later. But I still think it's worth waiting for the light. I still get a kick out of seeing the good shots on book covers, in magazines and calendars - and on people's walls. 

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Actually, I think the pale, flat light works fine with those sailing ships, Marianne.

 

Dusk works, wherever we are.

 

HBC834.jpg

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Here's a monochromatic dusk snap of Port d' Andratx, Mallorca, where Spain's King used to keep his sailboat.

 

AN5NCN.jpg

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20 hours ago, wiskerke said:

Maybe post some thumbnails which have sold and which have done nothing.
Hmm it seems that we have done this here? But where is it? Because I remember posting this one as an example:

Gettysburg Eternal Light Peace Memorial on the Gettysburg Battlefield at sunset looking west. Gettysburg National Military Park. - Stock Image

 

Maybe the topic was bad light, not good light.

 

wim

 

Below I will follow your suggestion, Wim, and post an image that has sold and one that has not sold, both with lighting I like. 

 

But I'm not sure if images that sell tell us what will sell. What I do, and will continue to do, is only upload images I approve of. In the terms of stock, the subject has to suggest a caption. Otherwise, I go with pictures I like. (If I don't like it why would I expect others to like it?)

 

people-taking-the-view-from-the-platform

 

Above is a landmark snap taken in Seville that sold. Below is one of my biggest frustrations -- the many good shots I have of St. Peter's in Rome that have never sold . . . and have never been zoomed. And they're 11 years old now, not that Old Rome has changed. 

 

 

B5YN04.jpg

Edited by Ed Rooney

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@Ed Rooney - Edo - 

 

Thanks again for your kind words on my sailboats. Appreciated. I love that purple shot -of yours - I love monochromatic color shots (the gold Baltimore Inner Harbor shot I shared earlier is one of my all-time faves).

I just had to share this one with you, not just the same place this time, but nearly the same shot but in daylight (other side of the street, but awfully close) -

 

Downtown Manhattan Little Italy with Welcome to Little Italy sign New York City USA summer summertime NYC Mulberry - Stock Image

 

I licensed it directly earlier this year to a calendar company for their NYC calendar and last month they sent me my three comp copies and the other calendars with my work. (My daughter who no longer lives in NYC is excited since I've earmarked one for her. Despite being a millennial, she always puts up one of my calendars in her cubby in her office at the university, and her hubby asked for the lighthouse calendar for their fridge). If you would use a wall calendar, email me your address when you get settled and I'll send you the 3rd copy. It's for 2020 so hopefully you'll be settled well before the end of the year. 

 

I spent the better part of the day searching for rentals & trying to decide where we want to move to. Someplace more urban - probably Stamford or Norwalk - with beaches and lighthouses for me to photograph. We've been here nearly 22 years. Plan to put the house on the market in the spring or summer, but need to know where we want to go before we say goodbye here. At this stage of life it's scary to move to another state even though we will still be within commuting distance of my husband's job and close enough to friends  (many of whom have already left our sleepy suburb now that our kids are all grown) , so once again I really admire your guts in moving across the pond. 

Edited by Marianne
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A few that I like.

 

Has never sold (no manipulation)

 

telus-world-of-science-dome-and-condomin

 

 

Has never sold (no manipulation)

 

two-paddle-boarders-on-english-bay-at-su

 

 

This one actually did sell, but I used a faux infrared effect, so maybe I was cheating.

 

el-castillo-or-pyramid-of-kukulcan-at-th

 

 

I like the lighting on this one (an isolated beach in Nicaragua), and it has sold as well

 

pristine-white-sand-caribbean-beach-on-b

 

P.S. I think that content is more important than lighting on Alamy, but "good lighting" is obviously worth chasing. I've got lots of dreary images that have sold multiple times.

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by John Mitchell

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6 minutes ago, John Mitchell said:

A few that I like.

 

Has never sold (no manipulation)

 

telus-world-of-science-dome-and-condomin

 

 

Has never sold (no manipulation)

 

two-paddle-boarders-on-english-bay-at-su

 

 

This one actually did sell, but I used a faux infrared effect, so maybe I was cheating.

 

el-castillo-or-pyramid-of-kukulcan-at-th

 

 

I like the lighting on this one (an isolated beach in Nicaragua), and it has sold as well

 

pristine-white-sand-caribbean-beach-on-b

 

P.S. I think that content is more important than lighting on Alamy, but lighting is obviously important. I've got lots of dreary images that have sold multiple times.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nice - especially the gold one. 

 

I didn't manipulate my gold one either - though I did manipulate the purple globe (which I like) and the two (strikingly similar) lighthouse images. And I kind of hate them now, too saturated - but they both have sold a lot - but not as much as the dozens of lighthouse images (including that one) that are pretty much straight from the camera. 

 

I like what you did with the infrared. It's not cheating - it's artistic license. 

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That's sweet of you, Marianne. But I think I need a wall or a fridge before I can hang something on them. 

 

Nice shots, John. 

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4 minutes ago, Marianne said:

 

Nice - especially the gold one. 

 

I didn't manipulate my gold one either - though I did manipulate the purple globe (which I like) and the two (strikingly similar) lighthouse images. And I kind of hate them now, too saturated - but they both have sold a lot - but not as much as the dozens of lighthouse images (including that one) that are pretty much straight from the camera. 

 

I like what you did with the infrared. It's not cheating - it's artistic license. 

 

Thanks. I've always been intrigued by infrared photography. There's another world out there that we can't see.

 

Unfortunately, golden light doesn't always translate into real gold. Oh well...

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4 minutes ago, Ed Rooney said:

That's sweet of you, Marianne. But I think I need a wall or a fridge before I can hang something on them. 

 

Nice shots, John. 

 

Thanks mucho. I hope some more permanent walls materialize for you soon...

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8 hours ago, John Mitchell said:

 

Thanks mucho. I hope some more permanent walls materialize for you soon...

 

+1 

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This one is a case of iffy light that turned out to be good light. It has sold. 
The Green mountains in the U.S. No truly blue sky, just a cloud touching the top of the mountain. But the subdued light, somewhat of a softbox light, allowed the colorful trees to be more saturated with color.

 

 

a-road-winds-through-the-misty-saturated

 

 

Edited by Betty LaRue

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