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Portfolio review after 10 months


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On 02/01/2020 at 10:38, Jacquelin said:

Hi Betty,

Thanks much for the information. I must admit even though a few of my keywording include the country, Jamaica, I have been forgetting to add it to others where it is relevant. Thanks again for that very important reminder. It is much appreciated.

Regards

Jacquelin

You are most welcome.

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Posted (edited)
On 04/12/2019 at 22:11, AlexG said:

Hi dear Alamy community,

I joined in Apr 2019 and am slowly inching towards 200 photos. I realize I am going at a slow pace, but my time is occupied with family commitments. I have one sale so far in September, but zooms have dropped since then, although new views have been consistent.

 

Is the content I am posting relevant? Do I just need to increased the frequency of uploads? Or do I need to change both aspects?

 

Thanks very much!

 

Hi Alex,

I thought I'd have a look at your portfolio again seeing as you said you haven't been having much luck recently. Just had a quick look at the feedback previously from contributors, going to concentrate more on the technical aspects and subject matter. Actually, what is your CTR?

 

White balance:

I don't know what Capture One can do, but I assume it can make white balance adjustments. You seem to have a blue colour cast in a lot of your pictures, which you could correct with post processing:

Rebuilding of Coffey Park in Santa Rosa, California, which was devastated by the Tubbs Fire in 2017. - Stock Image

The Russian River at Riverfront Regional Park near Windsor, Sonoma County, California, USA, with a view of Mount St. Helena. - Stock Image

Brown and white horses at a farm graze on grass in a field in front of forested hills and Mt. Saint Helena on a cloudy day in Windsor, California. - Stock Image

 

Lighting:

If my subject has bad lighting, I just won't take the picture (I might relent if I'm somewhere exotic on holiday, but it's really difficult to rescue an image with poor lighting). You need to watch the lighting on your main subject in relation to the background - it's not a good look when the main subject is in shadow compared to the brighter background (this is only to be done generally if you're trying to create a silhouette). Shoot at a different time of day, or cheat and use an adjustment brush in your editing software for minor edits:

Public health sign next to a paved walkway regarding safe practices amid the Covid pandemic at Windsor Town Green park, in Sonoma County, California. - Stock Image

A health notice cautions public to abide by social distancing and safety guidelines for Covid-19 at the Windsor Town Green in Sonoma County California. - Stock Image

 

A health notice cautions public to abide by social distancing and safety guidelines for Covid-19 at the Windsor Town Green in Sonoma County California - Stock Image

 

Historic aircraft carrier battleship and now a museum, the USS Midway is docked at downtown San Diego California and is a popular tourist attraction. - Stock Image

Also, aside from the lighting, composition: you've chopped off the end of the museum sign.... And you could have shown less sky and more tourists.

 
Keywords and captioning could still be better:

Historic aircraft carrier battleship and now a museum, the USS Midway is docked at downtown San Diego California and is a popular tourist attraction - Image ID: 2BH5MYP

Historic aircraft carrier battleship and now a museum, the USS Midway is docked at downtown San Diego California and is a popular tourist attraction. - Stock Image
I think you've copied and pasted this caption from your other pictures. We're actually looking at jet fighter planes and tourists on the deck of....... Would be good to name the type of jets too.

 

 

Young girl stands on a beach and looks out to sea at Santa Cruz, California, at dusk, with reflection in the wet sand - Image ID: 2BH0RK4

 

Young girl stands on a beach and looks out to sea at Santa Cruz, California, at dusk, with reflection in the wet sand. - Stock Image

First off, amazing picture, love it! Add the ocean in the Caption. Keywords, you're missing: North America, United States, looking out, standing, reflected. Perhaps too many generic keywords like horizon and outdoors too. Composition-wise, I think it might have worked better if she was horizontally centred, I don't think the rule of thirds helps here.

 

 

Composition and subject matter:

Woman walking dog in front of Epicenter sports and entertainment multi-business complex in Santa Rosa, California, USA. - Stock Image

This kind of looks a bit like a boring snapshot (not that pictures of shops are generally exciting, but still). There's no balance in the picture, I'm not sure if the woman and the dog are the main subject (too small), or the shopping mall behind (not centred on the main sign, the entrance or anything else; because of the woman and the dog, my attention is drawn to the massive upright behind her first). Perhaps try photographing from the side at an angle. What is interesting in the subject that makes you want to photograph it? Concentrate on that. Lighting is not great either if the mall is the main subject.

 

 

Rebuilding of Coffey Park in Santa Rosa, California, which was devastated by the Tubbs Fire in 2017. - Stock Image
A fence and bare earth is taking up the front 2/3 of this picture, the main subject is small and hidden at the back. Too boring. Why the need to include the clipboard and paper at the front - it's out of focus and distracting and not the main subject. Would have been better to zoom in and crop out most of the fence. If you still want the fence in the image when you take the picture, crouch down a bit.
 
Vineyard in Sonoma County California USA with view of Mount Saint Helena, on a sunny day with some clouds. - Stock Image
You can use out of focus or dark foreground elements to draw in the viewer's eye to a picture, but it looks like the main subject here is the grapevines and they're totally in shadow. Terrible lighting. Also, looks like a quick snapshot, what is your main subject here? The left hand grapevine row, the right hand one? Neither? No attempt to find any pattern or symmetry - you've got long rows available - these can be great leading lines to draw the viewer into the picture. I would either concentrate on the detail of the nearby grapevines, maybe putting the background out of focus. Otherwise, if you want to show the whole landscape, get higher or find another vantage point, so you're looking down on the grapevines leading away into the distance.
 

A private dirt road lined by trees and fence leads to a classic American red barn on Old Redwood Highway near Windsor, California. Sunny spring day. - Stock Image

Main subject too small and in shadow. You can have a small main subject if you're dong something with negative space or patterns/leading lines, but here you just have very large distracting trees.

 

A T-Rex skeleton on display at the San Diego Natural History Museum in Balboa Park. - Stock Image

Use a lower F-Number to get the background more out of focus and draw the attention to the head.

 

Historic aircraft carrier battleship and now a museum, the USS Midway is docked at downtown San Diego California and is a popular tourist attraction. - Stock Image

Looks like a snapshot again. What is the main subject here? Is it the people on the left or the plane on the right? They're both too far to the side. And we generally read a photo from left to right, so try to have people moving into the picture from the left, rather than out of it on the left.

 

An electric pole and a wooden shed by vineyards with lots of green spring grass on a sunny day in rural Healdsburg, Sonoma County, California. - Stock Image

Generic landscape picture, hut and pole not interesting enough and too far to the side if they're supposed to be the main subject. Is this showing some sort of famous landmark/landscape in your area? Is the lighting and the sky amazing? Will anyone looking at this picture associate it with anything in particular? Vines are too small and difficult to make out - I'm assuming they are the main subject? Can't see this ever selling.
 
I hope this gives you some ideas for when you're out and about taking pictures.These are my subjective thoughts, other people may have different opinions... Also have a look at stock photos for your local area/State. How do yours compare?
Steve
 
Edited by Steve F
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  • 2 weeks later...
On 05/05/2021 at 13:33, Steve F said:

 

 

 

Steve,

Thank you for the detailed feedback! I am extremely grateful and thoroughly impressed by the amount of time you spent to view my photos and provide exactly the feedback and tips that I sometimes inadvertently overlook.

 

Well now what to do with the news of the new contract that puts me at Silver tier? Haha

Very bummed out.

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1 minute ago, AlexG said:

 

Steve,

Thank you for the detailed feedback! I am extremely grateful and thoroughly impressed by the amount of time you spent to view my photos and provide exactly the feedback and tips that I sometimes inadvertently overlook.

 

Well now what to do with the news of the new contract that puts me at Silver tier? Haha

Very bummed out.

 

Alex, you're very welcome. Also bummed out, I've got to pay a lot to get my camera fixed and then this news comes out....

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13 hours ago, Steve F said:

 

Alex, you're very welcome. Also bummed out, I've got to pay a lot to get my camera fixed and then this news comes out....

 

By the way, I never answered this question about my CTR. It shows total CTR is 0.62, and average CTR is 0.55.

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2 minutes ago, AlexG said:

 

By the way, I never answered this question about my CTR. It shows total CTR is 0.62, and average CTR is 0.55.

 

Well, you're doing better than me, I'm 0.56. Maybe I should get my keywording and captioning checked out some time 🙃

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Just now, Steve F said:

 

Well, you're doing better than me, I'm 0.56. Maybe I should get my keywording and captioning checked out some time 🙃

 

I am looking at your photos now. Indeed you focus on very good lighting for the most part. I guess my shooting for stock is more opportunistic, and not always carefully measured. I suppose I can return to certain locations at a different time of day for better lighting. Lack of time, or maybe a bit of laziness. haha

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Just now, AlexG said:

 

I am looking at your photos now. Indeed you focus on very good lighting for the most part. I guess my shooting for stock is more opportunistic, and not always carefully measured. I suppose I can return to certain locations at a different time of day for better lighting. Lack of time, or maybe a bit of laziness. haha

If it's somewhere I live, I go back and get better lighting if I'm not happy with it the first time. You need to be slightly obsessed at least ;)

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Just now, Steve F said:

If it's somewhere I live, I go back and get better lighting if I'm not happy with it the first time. You need to be slightly obsessed at least ;)

Especially now under the new contract. I better get cracking really hard if I wanna climb out of the $250 pit they've trapped me in, =/

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2 minutes ago, AlexG said:

 

I am looking at your photos now. Indeed you focus on very good lighting for the most part. I guess my shooting for stock is more opportunistic, and not always carefully measured. I suppose I can return to certain locations at a different time of day for better lighting. Lack of time, or maybe a bit of laziness. haha

 

See the first page with the stream and weeping willow trees on my profile. There's two versions. Lighting was terrible the first time and I wasn't happy with it (so it's awaiting deletion). Notice the difference on the more recent one. Looks miles better. Just the lighting.

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1 minute ago, Steve F said:

 

See the first page with the stream and weeping willow trees on my profile. There's two versions. Lighting was terrible the first time and I wasn't happy with it (so it's awaiting deletion). Notice the difference on the more recent one. Looks miles better. Just the lighting.

I do see it now, shows particularly clearly in the reflection.

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