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Peso For Your Thoughts...


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My portfolio is not just small, but it spans a good amount of time. I'd enjoy hearing your thoughts on it, especially along the lines of "You should keep doing this" or "Dude...you suck. Seriously. I wish my vacuum cleaner sucked that much. My carpets would be like new..."


A bit about me. I've been signed up as a contributor for years, but my contributions have been sporadic and small; some years I sent in nothing. Photography was never my career; I worked in public service and that, combined with raising a family, took up most of my time. But last January I retired at 54, and shortly after moved to Mexico City. My intent was to ramp up my submissions in a big way once I was here and my time was my own, and I'd started doing exactly that. Then all the hubbub around the new contract came along, so I pressed "pause" while I mulled over the ramifications of that and did further research into Mexican law re. right of publicity.


So, paused as I am, I thought it a good time to see what y'all thought of what I have on offer thus far. Any feedback is appreciated, but I won't actually send you a peso.








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I'm not going to talk about composition or subject matter, but I will mention editing.


Are you editing your images before uploading? Some of the images might pop better if the shadows were lightened up and and a tiny bit of contrast added. 


You've got a fabulous city outside your door - explore the color of it and experiment with your compositions. 

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Hire some amateur models or photograph foreigners who aren't as likely to sue if the photo becomes famous.  The Mexican law seems a bit complicated.  You can carry a Spanish language release on your phone (I have Easy Release on mine).  I got verbal permission but didn't get releases. 

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Hi Matthew,

I'd certainly try to get your collection up to 2000+ images as soon as possible so you don't fall to the silver category for commission.


1) I like your portfolio. I think there may be one too many pictures in there of something that caught your eye, but isn't necessarily ever going to sell. You might try going out and about with a more commercial eye if you're ok doing that with your photography. Look for stock photos online and in books/newspapers, they're everywhere. Some example images - if I need to read the caption to understand what the picture is showing, you're probably not illustrating any sort of concept very well (which is what you should generally be doing with a stock image):


Great that the background is not distracting, but you probably need to show more context here.

Ladles line the chozuya wash basin at the entrance to Tsukiji Hongwanji Temple in Tokyo, Japan. - Stock Image


There's nothing in this picture that says train station to me. If that's a speeding train in the background, the shutter speed is so slow that it just looks like a background.

A woman reads trackside while waiting on a Yamanote Line train at Tokyo's Ikebukuro Station. - Stock Image


When you're photographing things like this, I'd do a range of shots from a closeup detail, to showing the whole thing from different angles/viewpoints.

An abstract of a torii, or shrine gate, in Ueno park, Tokyo, Japan. - Stock Image

2) Composition/subject matter. Be aware that Westeners generally read pictures from left to right (as we read words. It feels more 'comfortable' to flow from left to right)

Pinwheels decorate a wall in Tokyo's Asakusa neighborhood. - Stock Image


I can't see this ever selling (although you never know....). What could you imagine it being used to illustrate?

A scene from a quiet side street in Mexico City's Colonia Chimalistac. - Stock Image

Concept is fine and I like the tree framing. But main subject is too small. Can't really see what he's doing. Can't imagine this selling under the concept man working on laptop in xxx.
A man works remotely on his laptop in Mexico City's Parque De La Bombilla. Stock Photo





Consider getting involved in your pictures. How about pushing something into the recyling thing and photographing with your other hand?

A BioBox recycling machine in Mexico City. Stock Photo





3) I'm assuming you're not editing your pictures. I think editing them so they 'pop' more would be beneficial. It would certainly help if you could change your white balance; a lot of your direct sunlight pictures look almost like it's almost an overcast day because they're blue shifted:


The Museo del Cárcamo de Dolores in Mexico City's Chapultepec Park, Section II. In front is Diego Rivera's 'Fuente de Tlaloc' fountain. - Stock Image

Looking down Chapultepec Park's Paseo de los Compositores toward Mexico City's Polanco neighborhood. The Fuente Xochipilli is visible on the left. - Stock Image


Diego Rivera's 'Fuente de Tlaloc', at the Museo del Cárcamo de Dolores, in Mexico City's Chapultepec Park, Section II. - Stock Image


Good luck,









Edited by Steve F
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  • 2 months later...

Your "730" link led to a blank page

but how about this...:

Some like that borderline HDR look

that makes viewers wonder,

"is it HDR or is it real

it looks real, yet..."

try this if you dare:

in ACR or similar:

a. exposure slider add (can't see images)

b. contrast slider to +60
c. highlights slider to -80

d. shadows slider to +80

e. texture slider to +40

f. vibrance slider to +40

g. saturation slider to 0


some don't want viewers thinking

"its a flash photo"

so they use fill flash with a light touch

some don't want viewers thinking

"its an HDR photo"

so they use sliders with a light touch

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