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MirjanaV

Portfolio review, critiques welcome

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Hello to all photographers


I'm an amateur photographer. I like to take pictures and started learning about microstock in 2013. I quit because i had family health problems. In the meantime, I realized that I don't have feeling of microstock.
In january 2019 I finally found the time and started photographing, found Alamy: " Whether it’s your full-time job, a weekend hobby or you’re a student" and I try.

With the help of Alamy and photographers forum tips,  I started posting photos.
I have 3 sold photographs so far, and I found 1 photograph in an article on the internet, but it is not yet reported as a sale.  Cleared Balance: $28


I really like to take pictures and I think I'm doing better, but I would like you to give your opinion and advice. I uploaded, among other works,  2200 photos in the past 9 months. I'm tired :( I'll take a break

 

https://www.alamy.com/portfolio/mirjana

 

Does it make sense for me to continue contributing to the Alamy? My pictures? My caption and tags?

 

By the way,  Alamy is a very functional site, and thanks very much to the photographers for the tips on the forum. :)

 

Best regards and thanks for your opinion.

 

Mirjana from Serbia
( I don't speak English, so sorry for any mistakes in writing. )

Edited by MirjanaV

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Knock, knock, anybody here? :)

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Hi, I took a look at your photos and they look fine, some of you Medieval Festival photos look a bit dark, you could brighten them and upload that version also. Some of your photos could use more keywords.  As English isn't your native language I would suggest using a keyword generator such as this one.  

https://microstockgroup.com/tools/keyword.php

Much of your portfolio looks like microstock subject matter, just remember you aren't as limited here on Alamy as to subject matter so you might try including more businesses, products, signage, restaurants, historic sites, museums, and things that would be of interest to tourists.  If you have photos that are on Alamy and on Microstock people can do reverse image searches or search your name and find the same photo for much less money so that is something to consider.

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I agree with Johnnie.

Some of your images look a little flat, but your main problem is lack of relevant keywords.

Although perceived wisdom is not to over keyword, to under keyword is worse. 

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  @Johnnie5  Thank you for your time.

Because I'm pretty busy and photography has been my hobby for the last year, I used all my free time on Alamy. I gave up with microstock in June and have no more than 300 photos on a couple of MS sites. and, frankly, even if I had the time for it, I don't know how much it would actually pay off to photograph products, signage, restaurants, historic sites, museums etc. in my country because pictures are being bought for 0.25$ and they are misusing licenses, probably because this economic crisis has been going on for decades now...
Mostly, I take pictures of insects, plant diseases and plants in my area.
Photographing relaxes me, I like to take a photo of something the way I see it.
Thanks again, I'll pay more attention to the tags and the brightness in the future. 🙂

 

 @BobD  I know, I deleted some but it takes 6 months for them to disappear from the site, most of the pictures are me experimenting.
I'm still learning. Thanks a lot 🙂 

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Realize that your photos will be sold not just in Serbia but all over the world where prices are slightly higher.

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  @Johnnie5  I understand, I will photograph Serbian products and I hope to find some free time to travel around the country and take pictures where allowed.

Thank you

  Mirjana

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Just taken a look at your stuff. Have to agree with the others that quite a few shots are far too dark. For example :-

 

Quinapril 20mg tablets, Mylan France - Image ID: 2A9Y872

 

This image has no true whites while the coiour balance looks to be off to me. If you open that image in Photoshop and take a look at the histogram you will see that it is skewed well to the left, indicating that most of the tones are in the dark region. I would suggest that you re-process quite a number of your shots,  and re-upload, then ask Alamy to delete the originals, explaining what you have done. You don't need to reshoot them, there's plenty of saleable material there, but they will never prosper in their current form. 

 

In the absence of a calibrated monitor, I don't have one, you must rely upon the histogram and learn how to use it to optimise your images. In essence most photos should show an even balance of tones across the histogram, while most should also include a true white and a true black. Dangerous territory this as some images are intentionally dark or light etc, but I suspect that if you were to apply this idea in the general case your sales would improve.

 

Finally it is always better to get it right in camera,  I always check my photos in camera, and, if possible,  re-expose if I'm not happy with the histogram, but it is generally possible to correct many deficiencies in post processing.

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I agree with what Bryan says... many of your images look a bit dark and potentially lacking in some contrast. But you seem to be on the case in terms of looking up how to fix this. I also recommend this YouTube video on setting white and black points if you happen to be a Lightroom user:

 

 

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5 hours ago, Matt Ashmore said:

But you seem to be on the case in terms of looking up how to fix this. I also recommend this YouTube video on setting white and black points if you happen to be a Lightroom user:

 

 

Thanks Matt!!  So LR ACR does have an Auto-contrast after all, even if it does take twice as many clicks as PS. I'd been searching for how to do that without success. A note of caution though, if the image is significantly underexposed (by 1 stop or more), it's better to roughly correct the exposure using the exposure slider before setting black and white points, since only setting black and white points will cause the mid tones to be significantly darker than they should be. I've never understood why black and white point settings adjust the histogram in a linear way, whereas an exposure adjustment is non-linear.

 

I find the same trick works in PS ACR too 🙂

 

Mark

Edited by M.Chapman
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Thanks @Matt Ashmore

 

Noted. And I agree,

 

I should have posted a portfolio for review earlier. 

 

As a single mother, who lives and works on Grandpa's farm, does housework and occasionally serves as a driver, I deactivated all my social network accounts since June so I can dedicate all of my free time to Alamy and taking photos :)
I came across the information that newbies should not have hope for profit  during first year, and that I should expect regular sales after 2000+ pictures. This August, I sold one, in September two, from which one was sold for $ 50 and all were paid off. QC has 3 stars, I am on Alamy 10 months 
Because of all of that I strongly believed I was on the right track.
Right up until I posted my critique portfolio, Only used Nicon's software, and starting from November I started using Photoshop, primarily camera raw, thanks to the comments I got.
Honestly, my kids were trying to convince me from the very beginning, but I felt like it would be time consuming and that I would be left with "too many Photoshop" pictures so I refused to use it. :( 


Once again, thank you all for the advice given.

Much appreciated

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6 hours ago, M.Chapman said:

A note of caution though, if the image is significantly underexposed (by 1 stop or more), it's better to roughly correct the exposure using the exposure slider before setting black and white points, since only setting black and white points will cause the mid tones to be significantly darker than they should be.

 

Yes, I agree and it is exactly what I do with my images.

 

2 hours ago, MirjanaV said:

I came across the information that newbies should not have hope for profit  during first year, and that I should expect regular sales after 2000+ pictures. This August, I sold one, in September two, from which one was sold for $ 50 and all were paid off. QC has 3 stars, I am on Alamy 10 months 
Because of all of that I strongly believed I was on the right track.

 

People do warn new contributors not to expect too much too soon. We see so many new contributors that arrive, upload a couple of hundred photos and then complain that they are getting no sales. You have already made it to over 2000 images though so you seem to be making good progress from that perspective. Some people sell faster than other people.. depends on individual's skill and subject matter(s). I think you have some great images and clearly know how to use a camera... hopefully the suggestions around brightening some of them a little and setting white and black points will really make them pop and you will see your sales improve further. Image processing software be it Lightroom/Photoshop or something else really does pay for itself ultimately. For a long time, I used the free camera software plus a free software package called GIMP.. once I purchased the Adobe Photography package subscription, my image processing improved no end! You can often find discount codes to get the adobe software at a reduced price for the first year of your subscription but it sounds like you already have it!

 

If you work on your Grandpa's farm, I would absolutely make use of this and photograph the animals/crops (depending on what type of farm it is), photograph people working on the farm (I'm guessing your Grandpa/children would probably sign a model release for you), photograph the different jobs on the farm and machinery, and photograph it at different times of year.

Edited by Matt Ashmore
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Thank you for your time and suggestions @Matt Ashmore, you're very polite.

I'll incorporate what I feel is right and work on my performance.

The winter is coming which means more free time as well.

Best regards

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