Jump to content

Hopefully I've done this correctly for a critique


Recommended Posts

I see others are getting sales and I cannot get anything really Just wondered if I have done anything wrong Have been in to add tags etc so it's not as feeble as before  Don't know if I have to change things to be able to get sales Getting peeved off  Alamy Image Manager Any ideas would be great 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No, we get our own image manager from that link. If you have made a portfolio a link to that would work. Or you can give us the reference number of one of your photos and we can click through to see all your images. That's if you only use one pseudo.

 

Paulette

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Search on 

Alexander Hogg/:pseudonym 

 

I did this search and saw Alex's portfolio and now it doesn't work anymore. More gremlins.

 

Alexander, from what I briefly saw, you have a good selection of subjects but what I have noticed is that your keywords are very sparse.

Also, your port is from Scotland but I haven't seen 'Scotland' in the caption, only the town. The location field is not searchable. This will push your images down. You should have Scotland both in caption and as super tag. Also think of adding 'Scottish' as a tag.

 

Good luck.

 

Edited by gvallee
  • Upvote 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Alex, I think you've probably got a Portfolio page, or it's easy to switch on if you haven't. You can get there from your Dashboard. There's a share link when you go on your Portfolio.

 

1 minute ago, gvallee said:

and now it doesn't work anymore. More gremlins.

 

 

p.s. A lot of Gremlins, hope it all gets fixed soon....

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, gvallee said:

Also, your port is from Scotland but I haven't seen 'Scotland' in the caption, only the town. The location field is not searchable. This will push your images down. You should have Scotland both in caption and as super tag. Also think of adding 'Scotish' as a tag.

I have put Scotland in the tags but not as a super tag and I will add Scotland in the caption 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, I could go to that photo and then to your name to get the rest. You are doing subjects that are not my strong suit but looking at the first page I'd say you need to wait for good light on a number of them. They are very flat and dull. I would want to crop in to the guy on the jet ski so as to remove all the distracting elements and see him better. Just be sure the result is at least 3000x2000. I see Steve has stepped in as I write and he is very good at the critiques.

 

Paulette

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just now, Harry Harrison said:

Missed out the 'f'

 

Alexander Hogg/f:pseudonym 

 

Arghh! That's why. Bedtime for me...

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Alexander, a nice set of images but as each year goes by, you need more and more images in your collection to see regular sales, perhaps double what you have now.  Unless you are Wim, who defies the odds with his super tightly edited, top notch images.  

 

I noticed a couple photos you have captioned and keyworded "Canadian geese" but they are actually called "Cananda geese" or "Canada goose"....so just add Canada to those

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, Michael Ventura said:

I noticed a couple photos you have captioned and keyworded "Canadian geese" but they are actually called "Cananda geese" or "Canada goose"....so just add Canada to those

From the way other contributors are speaking I understand what you are saying Ah Ok I'll add Canada to them Thanks for correcting me 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Alex,

Sorry you're not having much joy with sales, it's very demotivating. I'm going to try to be quite thorough as you might need to make some significant changes as what you're doing now doesn't seem to be working. So just an advanced warning, I'm going to be quite critical! 🙃 This isn't to say that you're not doing some things right, but it would take even more time to write about that. And also bear in mind, this is just my opinion. I am doing pretty well on Alamy for my portfolio size, but there are others with far more experience and success.

 

Subject matter

Going to start high level - choice of subject matter. You appear to be doing a lot of walking around and just shooting lots of stuff that you see. I think you need to be more commercial about what you shoot. Don't get me wrong, I also do walking and shooting too. But when I take photos for Alamy, I'm asking myself the question - can I see this photo selling? What concept or story is it illustrating? Is the lighting terrible, or can I get a decent composition - if yes and / or no, then just don't bother taking the picture, we've all got limited time. Same goes for when you get home - when you're editing, ask yourself if you think the image could sell. Be ruthless with deleting average shots that don't particularly illustrate something well. And when I say be more commercial, for example, you noted in a recent post that there's lots of new housing and potholes(!) in Edinburgh at the moment. There are news articles about these all the time, illustrated with stock photos - where are your photos of these subjects?? Yes, it's not very sexy and it might not pay well, but you can get repeat sellers. And if you start selling more, then your other e.g. local landmark photos will probably sell better as they'll appear higher in the search results. 

 

I guess you might not be uploading a lot because of lack of sales. But how about taking pictures of the Queen's Jubilee celebrations / decorations in Edinburgh. I'm sure lots of those will have sold.

 

Are you keeping a look out for published stock photos (easy to find, they're everywhere)? Obviously these are the 'winners'. How well do they illustrate the concept? How good is the lighting and composition? What subjects do you see that sell? How do your images compare in terms of lighting, composition, choice of subject matter, composition...? You should then get a better idea of what sells so you can be more commercial with you choice of subject matter.

 

What about more variety of subject matter, e.g. concept shots? Here's one of mine that sold recently for example:

A man throwing a blue disposable surgical mask away into a pedal bin. Concept: anti masker, no face mask, binning face mask, mask debate  - Image ID: 2GN1EYC

a-man-throwing-a-blue-disposable-surgica

 

People in images

I'm reminded of 28 Days Later or The Day of the Triffids when I look at your photos. Apparently there aren't many people in Edinburgh... 😆 You must be waiting ages to get empty shots sometimes. I used to shoot like this when I was shooting for myself, but what you'll notice with editorial shots that sell, they're often full of people. Images with people in sell well, particularly people engaged in a particular activity. Some landmarks may look good with no people, but otherwise, shoot images with people in. Especially for your street scenes - you've got loads of empty road /pavement showing in many images. Negative space is a thing, but it just looks really boring / makes Edinburgh look like a ghost town.

 

Perspective and wonky horizons

Are you doing any image editing? That's a whole other topic of discussion - good editing will improve your sales. But it's easy to correct perspective and wonky horizons with editing software. Yes, there is a use for quirky views and looming towers that lean, but often, you want a straight horizon and non-converging verticals. Otherwise it just looks very noticeable and not great. A couple of examples:

 

Wonky horizon

kintore-town-house-kintore-aberdeenshire

 

 

Converging verticals/building looks like it's leaning back

edinburgh-language-school-on-the-royal-m

 

 

Composition

 

There's just so much empty space and the water and shore is just boring. Can you shoot panoramic shots to miss some of the sky and water out? Could you shoot from a better angle? Did you check what else is out there? Can you find a different way of shooting that no one else has done? Or at least shoot something that compares. There are some terrible images of the bridge on the first page of Alamy search results, but also some really good ones. Compare and contrast!

forth-rail-bridge-in-south-queensferry-2

 

 

So you're trying to illustrate roadworks. The roadworks in question are a really small part of the image - don't forget that clients search by looking at thumbnails, your roadworks will be miniscule. I think a horizontal shot would work better. You've got loads of boring empty asphalt in the foreground - some queuing cars would look great, perhaps with a long lens so you can compress everything. Bad lighting too.

road-works-in-roseburn-edinburgh-2JH2M9R

 

 

 

Lighting

Lighting is quite a big problem in this portfolio. Lighting can really make or break an image. One of the main reasons we see objects as three dimensional is due to light and shade on the subject. You've got loads of images taken where the sun is taken behind the main subject leaving it in shadow. There is such a thing as silhouettes and backlighting, but that's not what what we're talking about here, it's just bad lighting. You live in Edinburgh, so you've got time to go back to locations and shoot in the best light possible (and hopefully with an interesting sky too). You might need to shoot a particular subject in morning or late afternoon sun to get the best lighting for it - so if you're there and the sun is in the wrong place, go back at a better time of day. And don't think that just because you've shot something once, you've 'done' it. If you can get better lighting and/or a better composition, go for it again. If you have bad lighting on the day, just don't shoot, unless it's a really rare subject or a one off event. But remember that you're almost always in competition with lots of other photographers and at least a few will have very good lighting and an interesting sky for any particular subject that you're shooting.

 

E.g. the church under 'perspective' above.

 

Most of the main subject in shadow.

orroco-bar-and-restaurant-on-the-high-st

 

Rear lighting, so the lighting is uniform - subject looks dull and flat.

jubilee-clock-tower-on-the-high-street-s

 

Sky is correctly exposed, everything else is underexposed. I know this is due to the time of day, but you really needed to edit this to balance up the exposure. Also, you're showing too much context, your subject - the roadworks - is tiny.

road-works-in-roseburn-edinburgh-2JH2MA2

 

Choice of subject matter

 

So birds and baby birds on water are often used to illustrate spring, which you're doing here, great. But there's loads of images that you're in competition with, so you need to stand out and provide really great images. The lighting is a bit dull, you're showing scummy/algae water, we're looking at the back of the duck's head. Maybe you didn't manage to get a better shot, it happens, animals are difficult to photograph. Just scrap your images then, don't bother uploading. Also, this isn't a Canada Goose.

 

canadian-goose-and-her-gosling-2JG50GD.j

 

Image is too boring - can't see any pretty flowers, no context of the park. I would either shoot a closeup of a pretty flower, or show some of the park in context. Or even better, get down low if you can and do both.

nymphaea-flowering-in-figgate-park-edinb

 

You're trying to illustrate a landmark here, so it should look picturesque if it's e.g. going in a travel book/website etc. The fence is a big no no. Also, the caption is too short - "Dunblane Cathedral for worship". What city, county, country? Which religion, e.g. Roman Catholic church. What type of architecture, e.g. early gothic (these aren't correct, I'm just providing examples!). What stone, sandstone? Could have sorted out the perspective distortion in an editing programme.

dunblane-cathedral-for-worship-2JDP33G.j

 

This just doesn't work for me, it's too boring / doesn't really show the bars well and bad lighting again. Either shoot them straight or maybe show more of the street. Too much empty foreground and boring building above in shot. Might work better if people walking in or out of the bars / walking across the street in the foreground. Preference would be people walking from left to right as that's the way we read in the West.

bars-on-the-royal-mile-edinburgh-2JCDNP3

 

 

Main subject is in shadow, background is in sunshine, not a good look. Also, too boring, you're not showing any context. Show some of the building behind, the information panel shouldn't take up too much of the shot unless there's a good reason to.

information-on-linlithgow-palace-linlith

 

Too too boring. Lots of generic bushes that take up lots of the image space. There must be a better view that illustrates the woods.

 

duddingston-loch-woodland-with-trees-and

 

You've obsured half of the main subject with a really boring tree - no no no! 🙃 This makes it a really busy image. My eye travels around, not settling on anything. Also something for you to consider, some images work without a main focal point (e.g. patterns like a field of grapevines), but many don't. Investigate the use of leading lines, patterns or e.g. someone walking in a particular part of the image to draw the viewer's attention to where you want it to go.

river-tyne-running-through-haddington-2J

 

Majority of the image is a boring sky and boring asphalt. Can't see this selling to illustrate the street.

hight-street-in-the-town-centre-of-inner

 

I'm not going to cover captioning and keywording because this post is long enough. Other have commented too. 

 

I hope this helps. Best of luck.

Steve

 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
  • Upvote 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks I was hoping it was going to be critical For the church and house I thought I had them straight and agree with everything you have said Appreciate the advice 

Only got a couple of shots of the construction of new properties and a couple more to put up A lot of them are fenced off for health and safety 

Best thing for me at the moment is take a break from it and come back to it at a later date 

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Alexander, you've done the right thing asking for a critique. Steve's post has highlighted images that could be improved to potentially increase sales. All I will suggest here is before shooting for stock it's also worth checking what is already on Alamy, tens, thousands or more. It would likely only be worth shooting an image if you could improve on it or it has changed since another photographer shot it. Incorporating visually interesting people in an image can potentially do this.

 

Looking through your port I noticed image 2JDP32W, Cockenzie Power Station. It is captioned 'Cockenzie Power Station is now disused and left redundant'. You could have made better use of the 150 characters/spaces allowed for stock by something like 'Scotland’s coal fired Cockenzie Power Station closed in 2013 after 45 years generating electricity, and part demolished in 2015.'

 

Wishing you well,

 

Steve 

  • Upvote 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks I am going to take a break from this at the moment but leaving the portfolio up I have got other shots which I'm not sure whether to upload or not yet but it has been a great learning curve as it is all new to me and everyone has been fantastic It has been greatly appreciated

Alexander

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I feel a lot of the shopfronts 2JG50MW 2JG50FJ 2JF7X57 could be improved if they were taken from a straight on perspective, and at a horizontal format.

vpz-for-your-vaporizing-equipment-to-try-and-stop-smoking-2JG50MW.jpg brewdog-restaurant-and-take-away-in-inverurie-aberdeenshire-scotland-2JG50FJ.jpg golf-tavern-bar-in-haddington-2JF7X57.jpg

 

The one with levi's 2JBDNHC at least seems a bit more interesting at least for the people passing by the store. better if it's horizontal format.

levi-clothing-store-on-princes-street-edinburgh-2JBDNHC.jpg

 

The Ships Inn Bar 2JF7X7X i feel could be improved if the sun was shining on the front instead of its backside. this one also has white balance issue with a blue shade thing going on. even if a photo editor was looking for an image of the Ships Inn Bar, they will probably skip this one rather than spend time color correcting; and even if there are no other ship inn bar photos on the web, likely go with no photo than use it. 

the-ship-inn-bar-in-musselburgh-2JF7X7X.jpg

 

better. 2JDP340

dunblane-museum-near-the-town-centre-2JDP340.jpg

 

 

properly lit signage are nice, and do sell, but only if the keywords had the name of the shop and maybe the address in it so people searching can find it (i couldn't find lou lou's in a search).

shakespears-bar-for-having-drinks-with-friends-and-family-2JDP3BW.jpg ice-cream-shop-sign-in-south-queensferry-2JH2KYK.jpg 

 

 

I noticed a lot of the cutouts could be improved by choosing one light source to work with and white balancing the background until white. the ones currently on sale have mixed sunlight and tungsten light which are too far apart in temperature that it's almost impossible to edit correctly without a lot of photoshop which you want to minimize.  2H8CH3K

egg-cups-for-using-at-breakfast-time-2H8CH3K.jpg

 

there are some graffiti images in the port, i would skip them unless you caught Banksy in the act, or caught somebody trying to steal a banksy. 

Edited by sooth
  • Upvote 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I looked at a few of yours and thought more tags needed. If you look at other people's images of jetskis for example you will see more can be added.

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, sooth said:

I feel a lot of the shopfronts 2JG50MW 2JG50FJ 2JF7X57 could be improved if they were taken from a straight on perspective, and at a horizontal format.

vpz-for-your-vaporizing-equipment-to-try-and-stop-smoking-2JG50MW.jpg brewdog-restaurant-and-take-away-in-inverurie-aberdeenshire-scotland-2JG50FJ.jpg golf-tavern-bar-in-haddington-2JF7X57.jpg

 

 

I prefer straight on shots of shopfronts unless there are cars parked too close in front or it's near on impossible to avoid my reflection in the shop windows. If positioned on the opposite side of the road rather than close up it is usually easier to avoid your reflection when using a long lens. You can fill the frame but your reflection is obviously smaller and easier to hide. Additionally, if possible, I try to shoot in both landscape and portrait orientation to potentially give a buyer different options. To me landscape orientation is the more important.

Edited by sb photos
  • Upvote 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

19 hours ago, Steve F said:

perhaps with a long lens so you can compress everything. Bad lighting too.

I do have 2 long lenses 75-300mm EFS and a 100-400mm L lens but don't always have them with me

I've taken everything on board that you have mentioned 

Once again Thanks for your time Much appreciated 

Alexander 

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks everyone that has commented and have taken on board all your suggestions

Taking a break from this and will be back sometime after getting in more practise  

Alexander

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, Alexander Hog said:

Thanks everyone that has commented and have taken on board all your suggestions

Taking a break from this and will be back sometime after getting in more practise  

Alexander

 

Alexander, good luck. It was a bit similar for me when I started out. I failed my first submission with Alamy, didn't really understand the file size requirements. So I did a reset and spent a year learning about photo editing and also improving my general photography. Been relatively plain sailing since trying again. But also, my keywording etc. has improved since I first started uploading, the Forum has been a big help.

Steve

Edited by Steve F
  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

33 minutes ago, Alexander Hog said:

I do have 2 long lenses 75-300mm EFS and a 100-400mm L lens but don't always have them with me

I've taken everything on board that you have mentioned 

Once again Thanks for your time Much appreciated 

Alexander 

 

Alexander, same here, I have a 100-400mm, but it is a conscious decision to take it out with me because it's heavy. I would try planning some suitable views you want to capture with a long lens and try and hit them all in a few trips.

  • Upvote 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, Steve F said:

Alexander, same here, I have a 100-400mm, but it is a conscious decision to take it out with me because it's heavy. I would try planning some suitable views you want to capture with a long lens and try and hit them all in a few trips.

I agree that the lens is heavy

Will be scouting for locations when out and about

I am actually looking for a job and giving the camera a break for the next month then starting afresh near the end of August/September

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.