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Do you shoot landmarks and other top subjects, or do you give them a pass because you figure they are overdone with too many images in the Alamy collection?  

 

Ed

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If I can see a dramatic angle or pov that's not all too obvious to the casual eye, then yes, often. I learned that lesson a few years ago, on my first trip to Singapore. I took some "different" views of one of Singapore's prime tourist structures, and one of those small handful of images has sold repeatedly, for commercial use, with those-whose-name-should-not-be-mentioned-in-fair-company.

 

The Eifel Tower is an example that springs to mind . . . I have seen some beautiful shots of the tower taken from surrounding suburbs, far from the tourist masses, with magnificent trees and delightful street-scenes framing the view. Should I venture to that fair city again, I will walk as long as it takes to find viewpoints of the tower other than the usual. So again, Ed, yes :)

 

dd

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Most of Glasgow's skyline has been done to death on Alamy, so I don't even give it a glance when I walk by. I try to concentrate on things around me that people just glaze over. Urban wildlife, social issues, and any news worthy stuff. I think I came to this conclusion when I saw 3 photographers line up at the Kelvingrove Art galleries to take the same shot. You search for that on Alamy and get swamped with results. 

 

Not just Alamy, it was the same on Fine Art America too. 

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Yes, absolutely!

 

Oddly enough, I try to find unusual angles of the Eiffel Tower. have found two recently that I either haven't seen before or are very rarely done :D

 

Just had a sale elsewhere of Paris for around $1000. Gotta love Paris and I'll be back again on Monday :D

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Of course, I take pictures because I like the subject. I do not care if there are already millions of the same subject.

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There's always another angle, another mood, another time of day, another season, another play of light. A lot of photographers are pretty unimaginative; they won't walk half a mile for a shot if they can wind down a car window and shoot from there...

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If images on the site are already better than mine I won't put mine up. No need to add dross to the library. I may consider another sales outlet that could use my image. If my images are equal or better in some way (obviously my opinion), I will certainly shoot and upload a scene that has a thousand images already.

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I always photograph landmarks when I travel, although I don't bother much with the Vancouver skyline. It has been photographed ad nauseum, plus it now looks like so many other cities, just a collection of boxy glass towers. Something to keep in mind is Alamy's "New" button. With it, recent shots, even of subjects that have been done to death (e.g. Msr. Eiffel's tower), can be brought to the forefront for awhile.

Edited by John Mitchell

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There's always another angle, another mood, another time of day, another season, another play of light.

 

 

And, especially in cities, a bang-up-to-date shot.

 

Alan

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I wouldn't go out of my way but if I am there then why not.

You gotta be in it to win it.

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Guest dlmphotog

Yes, I do.

 

Each location has its own iconic landmark and it is a visual short hand that people can instantly recognize. When I go to a new destination I look at a postcard rack of all the iconic images of the location to get ideas on what views are most popular. Of course I don’t copy the views/subjects exactly but it is a great starting point.

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Guest dlmphotog

I always photograph landmarks when I travel, although I don't bother much with the Vancouver skyline.

 

Funny how living in a location kind of makes you dead to the beauty of the iconic images of that location. After having shot the location to death you get tired of it, at least it’s true for me. Living in one of the world’s most beautiful places (Almost as nice as Vancouver) I do tend to tire of it... photographically.

 

I guess that is why travel is so appealing…

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Just had a sale from a mile down the road and, before that, from about 5 miles away. Before that, a 3-year-old image from Oslo. The market's trying to tell me something.

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When shooting landmarks, besides the above mentioned points about searching for different angles, I have been trying to get tourists into the picture, or if there is some repair work or something happening, will surely shoot photos of the same. However, don't have enough photos yet for sale to figure out whether this is working or not.

 

And I totally agree with the point made above, where if you have a good rank, your photos can move above others. I don't have such a good rank, but one particular set of photos of mine shows up consistently in the top 2 pages of a known tourist destination.

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City skylines with iconic buildings change constantly due to new construction activity and have to be kept up to date for certain markets, so, yes.

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My most remunerative Alamy photo is of a local landmark of which there are already thousands of shots. In fact I have flogged a few different views of said object. There might be loads of photos to choose from but there are also umpteen customers constantly wanting a slightly different take.

 

If local you should know the best views and the best times of day/year, while you can go when the sun shines/rises/sets, or the snow falls. You have a huge advantage over punters coming from afar.

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I uploaded images of the Taj Mahal. Done to death. Search for it and you'll get more than 12,500 results. But yes, I got a sale. So I wouldn't rule anything out to be honest. Just have to be original like everyone is saying.

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"I'm shocked shocked to find that there is thinking going on here!"  :)

 

Yes, there's a lot of sensible advice in this thread.  (I have no idea why this post decided to split itself into two parts, but there it is.) 

 

I guess you all are wondering what I think . . . well, perhaps not, but I'll tell you anyway.  ;)  My approach is a combination of the two main suggestions that most of you have posted here: if the light is good, get that classic shot and drop it in the mix. And try to find a new view, a new angle, to capture those old subjects. One thing I've mentioned before is that when a big subject sells it commands better money.  (This has been my experience.)  My Alamy rank seems to be very good now, so I would be foolish not to upload landmarks and other main subjects.  

 

I don't travel anymore, but when I did I would try to spend the time and energy on a subject like the Eiffel Tower by walking every widening circles around it. Someone mentioned postcards. The first thing I would do in a new location is buy all the postcards in the lobby shop and use them to tell the taxi driver where I wanted to go. 

 

Lastly, don't avoid the landmarks in your own town or village: you are there all year round and so you have a real advantage in being there when the light is perfect. Visitors must catch as catch can.

 

Thanks all for your thoughts. 

 

Ed  B)

Edited by Ed Rooney

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Most of Glasgow's skyline has been done to death on Alamy, so I don't even give it a glance when I walk by. I try to concentrate on things around me that people just glaze over. Urban wildlife, social issues, and any news worthy stuff. I think I came to this conclusion when I saw 3 photographers line up at the Kelvingrove Art galleries to take the same shot. You search for that on Alamy and get swamped with results. 

 

Not just Alamy, it was the same on Fine Art America too. 

I used to think exactly the same about my neighbourhood . . . until I spent a couple of days walking the surrounding area . . . and I found picturesque outlooks showing the city I'd never even known existed, let alone photographed. Like Ed says, walking in ever-widening circles around a subject, you will without doubt see what you've never seen before.

 

dd

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Yes...and I have to confess I didn't reply to this question the first time I read it.  My answer was the same but it had me thinking about how when I travel out of town, I'm excited to go and photograph a new place, but when in town, I fail to check out all of the places.  That's something I've been working on for the past year (and continue to need work on).

 

Yes, I photograph them.  Yes, I think they are worth photographing.  In fact, I've been pleasantly surprised after going to monuments/tourist attractions around town that the collection DOESN'T have images of these places.

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Yes I shoot. If it has been done to death then I try to find a different angle, lighting, feature,processing to differentiate. A friend has taken a shot of a very famous landmark and has regular sales. I took the same pic from the same position with a better camera a month later and have never had a single sale.

 

Dov

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I started shooting popular landmarks because I used stock sites this summer to document my vacation spots. I usually tend to avoid crowded places...I like to search for unknown places.

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Try Angel Falls in Venezuela, Popa. It took me 3 days up by foot and canoe to get there and another three days back. They probably have a bus to drop you off now.  (I'm drinking Romanian wine tonight.)

Edited by Ed Rooney

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Excuse the large watermark (this image has been nicked many times!) but this has been licensed very well on G (when I was a contributor) but not yet licensed on Alamy.  Its not your "run of the mill" image of the SOH and that is probably why it has been successful.

 

92848087.ggb2oltm.SHOweb.jpg

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I know what you mean Ashish, about just by-passing the famous places, assuming it's been done many, many times before - which of course it has.

 

One bus route I can take 'into town' (as we Londoners say) takes me over Westminster Bridge and down Whitehall, so imagine the amount of material represented by Alamy along that mile route. If I get off down there, there have been times when something unusual is happening nearby where the famous landmark is still relevant and I'll do that with the mind that within Essential there will be an extra emphasis. The new Routemaster buses, being a good example. 

 

It's all about what's different - keyworded accordingly. 

 

Richard. 

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