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Need a little help please on my portfolio


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Hi everyone been member since 2013 though this is my first post.

 

Rather than me putting loads of time in I thought I would ask where I am going wrong.

 

I key word but don't feel very good at this and may have over done this reading what has been said in the past.

 

Even the images may need to address. 

 

Any tips would really be Grateful 

 

Cheers Steve

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David, my work is done!! 😀

 

Hey Steve,

Ditto David's comments. In particular, the apparent lack of editing, white balance is off on a lot of pictures, many are underexposed and undersaturated. Many of your captions are far too short - captions are searchable too, not just the keywords.

 

I think it would help if you looked at your composition too, be aware of the rule of thirds and when to break it, what have you got in the foreground/background, have you got boring dead space in a lot of the image, is it clear what the main subject of the photo is? etc. Also consider lighting (key in most photos), you have for example, some images where the main subject is in shadow and the background is 'correctly lit' (you can go for this effect if you want to e.g. create a silhouette, but it should be deliberate, not just poor lighting of your subject):

Canal boats on river Kennet overcast day holiday break - Stock Image

Other than that, I would really recommend having a look in books, magazines, on websites, in newspapers, online newspapers - e.g. the Guardian, there is a photo at the head of each article. There are lots and lots of stock photos being sold out there (you can see in the image credits). Now compare the pictures you're taking to what actually sells.

 

Good luck,

Steve

Edited by Steve F
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What they said, plus the titles/captions need attention - e.g "Manhattan bridge New York iat night n winter " is full of typos (I retain my crown as king of the typo). many more keywords required. I usually check web pages and articles for appropriate words. The spellings of keywords need to be correct unless you are keywording with common mis-spellings intentionally - e.g.

 

Manhattan, Manhatton, Manhatten

 

Cheers

 

Kevin

Edited by K J Bennett
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If your images are looking brighter on your monitor than we are seeing, then you may need to calibrate your monitor.  I had that happen to me when I started.  Images looked great on my monitor, then saw them on someone else's monitor and they all looked real dark.

 

Jill

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2 hours ago, Jill Morgan said:

If your images are looking brighter on your monitor than we are seeing, then you may need to calibrate your monitor.  I had that happen to me when I started.  Images looked great on my monitor, then saw them on someone else's monitor and they all looked real dark.

 

Jill

Thanks think that could be a problem

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6 hours ago, David Pimborough said:

You asked "I would ask where I am going wrong" what do you mean exactly would you like more sales or is it just keywording and image quality?

 

Any way here's my thoughts.

 

You photos do seem very under exposed are they processed in anyway?  You might want to consider lifting them by half to one stop and improving the colour saturation as they just seem dingy.

 

You might want to alter the white balance in a lot of them too as they don't seem very warm.

 

Subjects seem to be very snap shot like as if there's little thought going in to the process of taking shots. 

 

A lot of repeats of similar subjects

 

Descriptions are very bland and don't say much about what is going on in the photos.  Remember you have to sell the image to potential buyers.

 

Keywords:

 

Example

beach huts at Paignton uk bright colour doors typical british resort Stock Photo

 

 

 

beach beach huts blue sky british break british holiday changing room chilling clouds cloudssky coast collected colors colourful countryside day holidays deck chairs devon doors europe funfair harbour holiday hotel inflight lockdown old paignton rock rocks sand scene sea seagull seaside sky summer summer time sunny torquay traditional uk vacation water weekend break

 

The highlighted ones in this example are highly irrelevant you need to tidy up keywords and keep them relevant to the subject matter only.  Its not a sunny scene by the way is a dour looking stormy grim day.

 

You miss out obvious ones like British, Great Britain, England, English, United Kingdom, Hut, architecture, coast, coastal, resort, and so on.

 

The one thing I do notice in your photos is the total lack of people which might be fine for some shots but without some one doing something it makes for a very empty composition.

 

You also have images for example note pad for to do list DIY on floor just a bunch of bits thrown on your patio I guess which shows little thought about concept and styling.

 

note pad for to do list DIY on floor with tools ready to go Stock Photo

 

 

 

 

Here's an example of something I did just on the kitchen table in natural light with a few bits and pieces the concept is about laying wood floor panels

 

Pieces of wood laminate flooring ready to be laid with a carpenters spirit level - Stock Image

 

I hope that helps :)

 

Thanks David appreciate the  thorough reply.

I thought with people in the pics I would have to have  model release forms but I take that on board though.

Yes I take the point being a bit drab it does take someone to point that out .

Point taken on the patio will try harder on this.

 

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5 hours ago, K J Bennett said:

What they said, plus the titles/captions need attention - e.g "Manhattan bridge New York iat night n winter " is full of typos (I retain my crown as king of the typo). many more keywords required. I ususally check web pages and articles for appropriate words. The spellings of keywords need to be correct unless you are keywording with common mis-spellings intentionally - e.g.

 

Manhattan, Manhatton, Manhatten

 

Cheers

 

Kevin

Would you say getting up to good or 50 words is best I must say I struggle with that and probably looks spammy thinking about it after reading some other posts.

Thanks for the tips though.

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5 hours ago, Steve F said:

David, my work is done!! 😀

 

Hey Steve,

Ditto David's comments. In particular, the apparent lack of editing, white balance is off on a lot of pictures, many are underexposed and undersaturated. Many of your captions are far too short - captions are searchable too, not just the keywords.

 

I think it would help if you looked at your composition too, be aware of the rule of thirds and when to break it, what have you got in the foreground/background, have you got boring dead space in a lot of the image, is it clear what the main subject of the photo is? etc. Also consider lighting (key in most photos), you have for example, some images where the main subject is in shadow and the background is 'correctly lit' (you can go for this effect if you want to e.g. create a silhouette, but it should be deliberate, not just poor lighting of your subject):

Canal boats on river Kennet overcast day holiday break - Stock Image

Other than that, I would really recommend having a look in books, magazines, on websites, in newspapers, online newspapers - e.g. the Guardian, there is a photo at the head of each article. There are lots and lots of stock photos being sold out there (you can see in the image credits). Now compare the pictures you're taking to what actually sells.

 

Good luck,

Steve

You would not think I have been taken pictures as long as I have I will have to go back to the drawing board. I think that maybe I am putting any old thing in without much thought. I will have a re think on what I am trying to achieve rather than just quantity.

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All valid comments made by others earlier. One thing that caught my attention re images of narrow boats on the Kennet Canal, I noted 5 that had completely out of focus segments of boats in the foreground. These potentially spoil the images. Dark images have already been mentioned, some could have been improved by opening up the shadows. Be careful then not to introduce noticeable noise into the image. Only submit your best.

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12 hours ago, stephen chatterton said:

You would not think I have been taken pictures as long as I have I will have to go back to the drawing board. I think that maybe I am putting any old thing in without much thought. I will have a re think on what I am trying to achieve rather than just quantity.

 

Hi Steve,

I'm glad you're taking all this in a positive way. I constantly keep a look out for published stock photos and I now see them everywhere. I compare the pictures I'm taking with what actually gets published and it drives me to improve the pictures I'm submitting. The annoying thing is when you think you have a subject covered and you see a similar image has sold, but not one of yours! I'm not talking about 'fine art' landscape images here either - you have to be really lucky to be in the right place at the right time, otherwise you need to keep going back to the same place over and over until you get the perfect light and weather conditions; I don't have the patience for that. And I'm not sure how well 'fine art' landscape pictures sell as stock - given the time involved, I would imagine it's better to sell them on your own website (but I stand to be corrected!)

 

Here's a few of my subjective thoughts on some pictures:

 

It can be a useful compositional device to use a foreground element to frame the picture and lead the viewer's eye to the main subject (something I don't do often enough myself). However in this case the foreground blurred object is very distracting, doesn't frame the subject at all and I'm not sure what it is (at first glance). I know that the boats are the main subject, but you've picked the in-focus one - the main subject - to be a very small boat in the image. When I look at this picture, my eye is first automatically drawn to the large boat in the bottom right - and it's out of focus. I would have cut out the left hand side of the image up to the lock gate and focused on the nearest boat; it doesn't matter if the background is a bit out of focus. Or changed my viewing point to make sure the in focus boat is much larger, or changed my F-number to ensure the foreground is more in focus.

Canal boats on river Kennet overcast day holiday break - Stock Image

 

Really really dark, very underexposed, several stops. And what is the main subject? My eye is looking for one in the middle of the picture and not finding it - I guess it's the clump of buildings on the left, but they're too far into the corner of the picture. You've got a very noticeably curved horizon - this is from pointing your camera upwards, and would need to be corrected with editing software if you didn't want to show more of the water and less of the sky when you took the picture.

Manhattan skyline New york sunny day - Stock Image

 

Both of these are underexposed, the top one more so. Also, there's a complete lack of interest in both pictures - there's a bridge in the top one but it's very small, and nothing in the bottom one (plus the bottom one has a very distracting out of focus element in the bottom left). If you're a buyer looking for a picture of Aldermaston river, you want a well exposed picture with e.g. a recognisable landmark, or maybe showing some human interest like someone walking a dog on the bank, or a boat, or something colourful like autumn colours, or interesting textures. The colours and tones in these images are very muted - if I had lighting like this I might not even bother taking pictures in the first place, or I'd have to edit them a lot to try and produce some interest. I sometimes take pictures of scenes I like even I think they might not sell, but generally I'm asking myself "could this picture potentially sell / what would a client use it for?"

canal scene in winter on Aldermaston river - Stock Image

 

canal scene in winter on Aldermaston river - Stock Image

I'm guessing that the clump of rocks in the bottom left foreground is the main subject, but the lighting on them is poor and they're not really interesting. The lighting in the image is very bland, there's no interest in the sky or the water. Lighting can really make the difference between a mediocre and a great image.

milford on sea coastal sunset - Stock Image

I think this image might work if you had the groynes clearly delineated as silhouettes from the surrounding ground, but it all looks like one big black smudge. The sky and water is really boring again and you've chopped off the sunset - I would either show the sunset or not show it at all. The horizon is clearly not horizontal and I think most viewers would think this is not deliberate.

milford on sea coastal sunset - Stock Image

I think flower images that I almost always see published are flowers outdoors, or if indoors, looking like they're part of a room, with an out of focus room in the background so the image looks like it wasn't planned/staged. I can't remember seeing a published flower image with a decorated studio background like this. It might work if it was a plain out of focus background colour maybe. I feel like the top of the plant is a bit too close to the top of the frame too.

pink shop flower in still life set up with grey and yellow backdrop - Stock Image

 

'Basingstoke AA building in background of eastrop park spring time - Image ID: 2EBB3W9

Watch your captioning too sometimes, I can't see the AA building in this picture. The building on the left is 'leaning' inwards a lot, you've got converging verticals. I do see pictures published with converging/diverging verticals, but try to correct this in post processing if you can. Also, a very plain image again; if I was taking a picture of Eastrop park in the spring, I'd be looking for people walking in the park, spring flowers, some leaves on the trees.... The foreground is very plain - it's too boring and takes up a third of the picture.

Basingstoke AA building in background of eastrop park spring time - Stock Image

 

As David says, we're all continuously learning. I hope some of this is useful - other people might have completely different opinions from mine! I do find I'm more selective and I'm taking less and less pictures these days when I'm out and about and I'm not prolific at all. There may be some success in going out and scatter gunning images, but I would think the editing and keywording would be a lot more work and the majority of these images would never sell. There must be a happy balance in the middle somewhere...! 🙂

 

Steve

 

Edited by Steve F
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12 hours ago, stephen chatterton said:

Would you say getting up to good or 50 words is best I must say I struggle with that and probably looks spammy thinking about it after reading some other posts.

Thanks for the tips though.

No, there's a lot of posts on the Forum on this. Spamming keywords for an image to get up to 50 will hurt your ranking (how high up your images appear in searches). Ignore the orange/green optimised thing, just do up to 50 keywords if they're relevant.

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Image ref: KNEGMP

 

The caption reads - "Squirrel amongst old disagreed tin can....  "  I assume you meant - discarded.

 

Also, I would add 'litter' as a keyword.

 

 

Edited by Vincent Lowe
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16 hours ago, stephen chatterton said:

Would you say getting up to good or 50 words is best I must say I struggle with that and probably looks spammy thinking about it after reading some other posts.

Thanks for the tips though.

 

 

Quality and relevance above quantity. I have very few with 50, many with 30ish

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5 hours ago, Steve F said:

 

Hi Steve,

I'm glad you're taking all this in a positive way. I constantly keep a look out for published stock photos and I now see them everywhere. I compare the pictures I'm taking with what actually gets published and it drives me to improve the pictures I'm submitting. The annoying thing is when you think you have a subject covered and you see a similar image has sold, but not one of yours! I'm not talking about 'fine art' landscape images here either - you have to be really lucky to be in the right place at the right time, otherwise you need to keep going back to the same place over and over until you get the perfect light and weather conditions; I don't have the patience for that. And I'm not sure how well 'fine art' landscape pictures sell as stock - given the time involved, I would imagine it's better to sell them on your own website (but I stand to be corrected!)

 

Here's a few of my subjective thoughts on some pictures:

 

It can be a useful compositional device to use a foreground element to frame the picture and lead the viewer's eye to the main subject (something I don't do often enough myself). However in this case the foreground blurred object is very distracting, doesn't frame the subject at all and I'm not sure what it is (at first glance). I know that the boats are the main subject, but you've picked the in-focus one - the main subject - to be a very small boat in the image. When I look at this picture, my eye is first automatically drawn to the large boat in the bottom right - and it's out of focus. I would have cut out the left hand side of the image up to the lock gate and focused on the nearest boat; it doesn't matter if the background is a bit out of focus. Or changed my viewing point to make sure the in focus boat is much larger, or changed my F-number to ensure the foreground is more in focus.

Canal boats on river Kennet overcast day holiday break - Stock Image

 

Really really dark, very underexposed, several stops. And what is the main subject? My eye is looking for one in the middle of the picture and not finding it - I guess it's the clump of buildings on the left, but they're too far into the corner of the picture. You've got a very noticeably curved horizon - this is from pointing your camera upwards, and would need to be corrected with editing software if you didn't want to show more of the water and less of the sky when you took the picture.

Manhattan skyline New york sunny day - Stock Image

 

Both of these are underexposed, the top one more so. Also, there's a complete lack of interest in both pictures - there's a bridge in the top one but it's very small, and nothing in the bottom one (plus the bottom one has a very distracting out of focus element in the bottom left). If you're a buyer looking for a picture of Aldermaston river, you want a well exposed picture with e.g. a recognisable landmark, or maybe showing some human interest like someone walking a dog on the bank, or a boat, or something colourful like autumn colours, or interesting textures. The colours and tones in these images are very muted - if I had lighting like this I might not even bother taking pictures in the first place, or I'd have to edit them a lot to try and produce some interest. I sometimes take pictures of scenes I like even I think they might not sell, but generally I'm asking myself "could this picture potentially sell / what would a client use it for?"

canal scene in winter on Aldermaston river - Stock Image

 

canal scene in winter on Aldermaston river - Stock Image

I'm guessing that the clump of rocks in the bottom left foreground is the main subject, but the lighting on them is poor and they're not really interesting. The lighting in the image is very bland, there's no interest in the sky or the water. Lighting can really make the difference between a mediocre and a great image.

milford on sea coastal sunset - Stock Image

I think this image might work if you had the groynes clearly delineated as silhouettes from the surrounding ground, but it all looks like one big black smudge. The sky and water is really boring again and you've chopped off the sunset - I would either show the sunset or not show it at all. The horizon is clearly not horizontal and I think most viewers would think this is not deliberate.

milford on sea coastal sunset - Stock Image

I think flower images that I almost always see published are flowers outdoors, or if indoors, looking like they're part of a room, with an out of focus room in the background so the image looks like it wasn't planned/staged. I can't remember seeing a published flower image with a decorated studio background like this. It might work if it was a plain out of focus background colour maybe. I feel like the top of the plant is a bit too close to the top of the frame too.

pink shop flower in still life set up with grey and yellow backdrop - Stock Image

 

'Basingstoke AA building in background of eastrop park spring time - Image ID: 2EBB3W9

Watch your captioning too sometimes, I can't see the AA building in this picture. The building on the left is 'leaning' inwards a lot, you've got converging verticals. I do see pictures published with converging/diverging verticals, but try to correct this in post processing if you can. Also, a very plain image again; if I was taking a picture of Eastrop park in the spring, I'd be looking for people walking in the park, spring flowers, some leaves on the trees.... The foreground is very plain - it's too boring and takes up a third of the picture.

Basingstoke AA building in background of eastrop park spring time - Stock Image

 

As David says, we're all continuously learning. I hope some of this is useful - other people might have completely different opinions from mine! I do find I'm more selective and I'm taking less and less pictures these days when I'm out and about and I'm not prolific at all. There may be some success in going out and scatter gunning images, but I would think the editing and keywording would be a lot more work and the majority of these images would never sell. There must be a happy balance in the middle somewhere...! 🙂

 

Steve

 

Thanks for really looking at this in detail valid comments... 

 

One big problem I have not taken care and attention and just loading for the sake of it.... Hence why they don't stand a chance looking realistically... 

 

Normally my shots are from walking around so yeah it shows so I will try and filter out at the end...

 

This is all good stuff I really did not think I would get as much help this is so appreciated....

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1 hour ago, Vincent Lowe said:

Image ref: KNEGMP

 

The caption reads - "Squirrel amongst old disagreed tin can....  "  I assume you meant - discarded.

 

Also, I would add 'litter' as a keyword.

 

 

Thanks for that very sloppy of me cheers for the heads up though

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8 minutes ago, stephen chatterton said:

Thanks for really looking at this in detail valid comments... 

 

One big problem I have not taken care and attention and just loading for the sake of it.... Hence why they don't stand a chance looking realistically... 

 

Normally my shots are from walking around so yeah it shows so I will try and filter out at the end...

 

This is all good stuff I really did not think I would get as much help this is so appreciated....

 

Steve, you're welcome. One more thing that occurs to me, when I started out, I read a lot of photography books and magazines. This could help hammer home the techniques and things like composition and lighting so that these considerations are occurring to you more when you're out and about shooting.

 

I do a lot of walking around and shooting too (when I get the chance!), I just take some time finding a suitable viewpoint and composition etc. rather than just pointing and shooting. If the subject is not interesting enough or the lighting not good enough, I just keep walking.

 

Edited by Steve F
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7 hours ago, David Pimborough said:

 

If there are people in the photo (or property) and you are submitting as royalty free then just mark them as editorial and indicate that they contain people and property in the optional tab in the image manager.

 

Rights managed I just indicate that they contain people and property in the optional tab in the image manager.

Ah thanks for that will take a better look

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49 minutes ago, David Pimborough said:

abode aptitude art artistry barn owl bird blended burrowing color colour combined composite compound concept art concept nature conservation contamination craft digital art dirtiness dramatic dramtic environment filth filthy fouling habitat home illustration impurity mixed nature rubbish skill soiling synthesized tail tainting territory waste wildlife willife

 

But you missed the obvious ones "Squirrel"  "garbage" "pollution" "can" "tin can" and so on....

 

If you don't take care with your keywords then your images will be either overlooked or never found.

 

Its a shame as this is a brilliant picture

Ah thanks started going through these a bit so will take a look 

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One of the things that could help your images is developing your software skills. Some of your skies have that dull or muddy blue I recognized in my own images when I started out.  Clicking on a true white, or gray, or black in the white balance panel does remarkable things in PS or LR.  A lot of the time, clicking on “auto” in the develop panel will do it.
 

An example of how great lighting can make an image.
I took this just outside of the city I lived in.  There are several things of interest. This lake is the water source supply for Oklahoma City. Then there is the lady exercising on the levee between the lake and a river.  Then the bench next to a running/walking/biking trail. Then there is an interesting sunspot between the trees. Has it licensed?  NO!

Do I think it’s worthy of licensing? Yes. If for nothing else, a spot in the local newspaper about the water supply or the trails.

I do have other images of people using the trails, but the lighting is what made me take this one.

 

H2N9HC.jpg
 

 

 

 

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On 29/03/2021 at 01:47, Betty LaRue said:

One of the things that could help your images is developing your software skills. Some of your skies have that dull or muddy blue I recognized in my own images when I started out.  Clicking on a true white, or gray, or black in the white balance panel does remarkable things in PS or LR.  A lot of the time, clicking on “auto” in the develop panel will do it.
 

An example of how great lighting can make an image.
I took this just outside of the city I lived in.  There are several things of interest. This lake is the water source supply for Oklahoma City. Then there is the lady exercising on the levee between the lake and a river.  Then the bench next to a running/walking/biking trail. Then there is an interesting sunspot between the trees. Has it licensed?  NO!

Do I think it’s worthy of licensing? Yes. If for nothing else, a spot in the local newspaper about the water supply or the trails.

I do have other images of people using the trails, but the lighting is what made me take this one.

 

H2N9HC.jpg
 

 

 

 

Thanks Betty for you input very kind of you.

I definitely think I have been lazy and just dumping images on here expecting results.

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I don't know if anyone has mentioned this but you have several images with the title "Police on parade in New York". The uniforms are marked with the initials FDNY - I believe that this is not the police but actually the Fire Department of New York.

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On 26/03/2021 at 09:54, stephen chatterton said:

Hi everyone been member since 2013 though this is my first post.

 

Rather than me putting loads of time in I thought I would ask where I am going wrong.

 

I key word but don't feel very good at this and may have over done this reading what has been said in the past.

 

Even the images may need to address. 

 

Any tips would really be Grateful 

 

Cheers Steve

Stephen,

 

I put loads of time into what I upload to Alamy as well.  You asked what you need to do?

My response is to edit (Select) your images carefully and for the images that you want to

upload, caption and keyword (it is one word) them very carefully.  You have been submitting

to Alamy for many less years than I and you have more images up?  I submit to Alamy under my

own name and a pseudonym (images that I think will license, but are not up to the standards I

have set for myself.)  I do not care about  my CRT, which stays around .75 and license just below

100 images per year.  

 

In my opinion: It is about the image and the information provided with the image.

 

During COVID I have stopped accepting commercial assignments and have been working on

the file images that I've had sitting on drives and as slides in boxes.  One of the images that I

would love to upload to Alamy is a wonderful image of a sculpture that I shot in Xi'an in 2006.

I Know where it was shot, when it was shot, but I can not find any reference to it, I.E, who the sculpture

was that created it, who in depicts.  To me without that information it is worthless on the editorial market.

 

My advice to you is as it has always been for the last 40 years.  Make better pictures, make better

selections and write better captions with better information.

 

Chuck

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In addition to what other people have said about exposure, editing and keywording, you might also like to think about making sure that horizons are level...

 

Old people retired getting fresh air sitting on bench Hythe looking over Southampton waters - Stock Image

 
Unless a horizon is slanted for obvious artistic intent, it just looks wrong. This one slopes from left to right.

 

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On 10/04/2021 at 16:07, Bob J said:

I don't know if anyone has mentioned this but you have several images with the title "Police on parade in New York". The uniforms are marked with the initials FDNY - I believe that this is not the police but actually the Fire Department of New York.

 

On 10/04/2021 at 16:07, Bob J said:

I don't know if anyone has mentioned this but you have several images with the title "Police on parade in New York". The uniforms are marked with the initials FDNY - I believe that this is not the police but actually the Fire Department of New York.

Thanks Bob for looking I will check this out now.... 

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