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Jim Fisher

New to stock. Happy to have critique of my images and keywording

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Greetings all from Michigan. Taking the opportunity from COVID to enter the realm of stock photography. I'm happy to receive any and all critiques for image and key word quality.

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Posted (edited)

Hi Jim,

Welcome to Alamy, I hope your lockdown is going ok if MIchigan has brought it in. I've got some comments, these are my personal opinion. Please don't get discouraged. I'm not big on providing positives, but you do have some very nice light in some pictures.

 

  1. One of the main things that jumps out to me is that you don't seem to be doing perspective corrections. I don't know what software you're using, but this would be the panel to use in Lightroom:

 

How to correct distorted horizontal and vertical perspective in ...
 
You can get away with Auto in a lot of cases, otherwise use the sliders as appropriate.
 
It is very noticeable. The buildings are all leaning very far forward or backwards. The lines that should be vertical on the left and right hand sides of the photo are all converging to a point above the centre of the photo ("converging verticals"):
 
Dramatic backlit photograph of the Wexford Town Library in Wexford Ireland on a sunny day with blue shy with clouds - Stock Image
Streetview photographs of the Colorful Shops in Dingle Town in the Dingle Peninsula in the Republic of Ireland - Stock Image
 
Exterior view of St. Nicholas Church, Adare, County Limerick, Ireland - Stock Image
The Cong Abbey ruin in Cong, County Mayo, Connemara, Republic of Ireland - Stock Image
 
You don't tend to see pictures in publications with anywhere near this much distortion because it's a relatively easy fix in a lot of software.
 
2. Some of your shadows are really dark. You are probably getting clipping of your blacks on your histogram - some areas of shadow contain no detail and are just pure black because the detail has been lost. Again, this is an easy fix in Lightroom:
Single boat at sunrise traveling Black River in Port Huron, MI to St. Clair River and Lake Huron. - Stock Image
Photograph looking down left curving railroad tracks toward the US Canadian international crossing Blue Water Bridge in Port Huron Michigan USA - Stock Image
The Cong Abbey ruin in Cong, County Mayo, Connemara, Republic of Ireland - Stock Image
3. Some photos look underexposed. Your histogram will be too far over to the left. If you've had a look at Alamy's submission guidelines  https://www.alamy.com/contributors/alamy-how-to-pass-qc.pdf they recommend:
"Black point should be at 0, white at 255 (or within 5% of)"
Meaning that the histogram should be full width with no clipping. You don't always have to stick to this, but its generally a good idea to. A general rule of thumb (not all the time by any means), is that the peak of the histogram should be near the middle - your histogram for the photo below will be skewed to the left:
 
Blue Water Bridge connecting Port Huron, Michigan USA with Sarnia / Point Edward Ontario Canada - Stock Image
This photo is exposed for the sky, but the land is completely underexposed. This can be corrected by lifting the shadows - again, the histogram will be clipped on the left hand side so you're losing information:

Beautiful sunrise over the Black River downtown Port huron, Michigan with view of city marina and train bridge. - Stock Image

4. I'm not saying never use vignettes on pictures, but they are quite gimmicky so use them judiciously. If you haven't applied a vignette, the lens used here has created a lot of vignetting - this is correctable in a lot of editing programmes:

Sunset Photo of Fort Gratiot light house in Port Huron Michigan Stock Photo

 
 
5. Keywording - I'm only having a brief look, hopefully someone else can give you more detailed tips.
  • You can mention the season in a lot of landscape shots, and the country in the caption.
  • You don't need to spam keywords (put lots of irrelevant keywords). If you put lots of keywords for your photo, you get a green bar and it says the photo has "optimum discoverability". The forum members collectively decided a while ago getting images to green just hurt your ranking unless you really did need that many keywords for an image. There's a lot of threads about it in the forum. What is your CTR rank and how does it compare to the Alamy monthly average? CTR stands for “Click Through Rate” which is the number of zooms divided by the number of views, multiplied by 100. It only counts zooms from particular clients of Alamy. If you do lots of irrelevant keywords for your images, they will show up in searches, but will not be zoomed. This will drop your CTR rank. If you have a lower CTR rank, your images will get pushed back by Alamys algorithms to the back of the search pages.

 

I hope this helps, good luck.

Steve

Edited by Steve F
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Thanks Steve. I really appreciate the feedback. 

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Hey Jim,

We are on lockdown here too, seems like forever now. Anyhow, good portfolio and abundance of subjects. I do like vignettes for artistic and appeal purposes. But I have accepted Steve's advice in not applying it to images uploaded to Alamy. Customers can decide to apply vignette easily themselves.

 

I don't have much more to add than Steve. Make sure captions are as descriptive as possible in the short space you have. And that you select the best keywords as your supertags.

Sales will come. I have just over 300 images in a whole year, only 2 sales. But you've already been quick at uploading fast.

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