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Imagery by Charly

Critique Request

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Well with school it took awhile, but I finally have over 500 images up. University is really putting a crimp in my shooting. Now I'd like to ask all you experienced contributors for your "honest" thoughts. I don't learn by hearing good job or well done, etc., so give it to me straight: the good, the bad, the ugly. :) Trust me I don't take anything said as a personal attack, it's all about improving as a photog for me which is most important.

 

Outside of stock, I've placed/won some awards; community based and well known competitions. Mostly see myself as a... for lack of a better term... fine art photog. I have sold images on here and 2 other stock sites (am only on Alamy at the moment), but since I'm green with 2 yrs. serious photography under my belt, would like to know if I'm on the right track or not. I know I need to get more people images up and I'm gonna work on that. What other suggestion do you have for me? Even if it's get out while I'm behind, let 'er rip. lol Appreciate your time and help!

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They look really good to me. And the keywords we can see look fine too. I think if you keep submitting similar subjects up to this standard you should do well.

Think of yourself as a fine art photographer by all means, but your fine art images might do better elsewhere. What I've seen looks like stock. Just keep looking for new subjects, and lots of them. You've got the quality, now you just need the numbers.

Just one thing - I'm not sure I'd bother with the black and white. I'd post in colour - if the customer wants b/w they can change it themselves but they can't do it the other way. (others may disagree)

Edited by Phil Robinson

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I don't have time to write a critique right now, but I'm wondering if the two shots of the Cobra have the official name in your keywords, in the keywords we don't see, I mean. It's a Bell AH-1 Model 209.

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Not the best qualified to comment here, relative newcomer, but here goes.

 

I like your style, and, without wishing to start a war, would continue to upload black and white, I've sold a few.

 

Not sure where you are going with all of those recent similars of frozen trees though; suggest you pick a few of the best and kill the rest.

 

You probably need more people shots to get regular sales. Persuade your Uni mates to model for you. Nothing special, just natural looking photos of students around campus, in the bar, lecture hall etc.

 

I would also suggest that you take some boringly straightforward views of the well known locations, as well as the arty interpretations. Do both and see what sells best.

Edited by Bryan

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They look really good to me. And the keywords we can see look fine too. I think if you keep submitting similar subjects up to this standard you should do well.

Think of yourself as a fine art photographer by all means, but your fine art images might do better elsewhere. What I've seen looks like stock. Just keep looking for new subjects, and lots of them. You've got the quality, now you just need the numbers.

Just one thing - I'm not sure I'd bother with the black and white. I'd post in colour - if the customer wants b/w they can change it themselves but they can't do it the other way. (others may disagree)

 

Appreciate your comments! Kind of a tough call on the B&W images, cuz out of those I've sold 1/2 have been B&W. :)

 

Look good to me, keep taking and uploading the photographs and see what happens

 

Thanks!

 

I don't have time to write a critique right now, but I'm wondering if the two shots of the Cobra have the official name in your keywords, in the keywords we don't see, I mean. It's a Bell AH-1 Model 209.

 

Yanno Ed, I was going to post an ID thread for the helicopter, cuz I wasn't sure if it was a Cobra or not when I tried researching and didn't know the official name. Oooops! Thanks for the clarification!

Edited by Imagery by Charly

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Not the best qualified to comment here, relative newcomer, but here goes.

 

I like your style, and, without wishing to start a war, would continue to upload black and white, I've sold a few.

 

Not sure where you are going with all of those recent similars of frozen trees though; suggest you pick a few of the best and kill the rest.

 

You probably need more people shots to get regular sales. Persuade your Uni mates to model for you. Nothing special, just natural looking photos of students around campus, in the bar, lecture hall etc.

 

I would also suggest that you take some boringly straightforward views of the well known locations, as well as the arty interpretations. Do both and see what sells best.

 

Well I had a feeling the ice was overly done. Up till those the only images I put up in succession were the Iwo Jima Monument ones. But with the devastating ice storm here, figured throw some up. Prolly should weed through them..... Thanks!

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I agree about the ice shots; you don't seem to have too many other similars.

 

The Cobra was introduce in late 1967 (I was there early 1967 as a PJ). Before that they used the Huey (Bell UH-1) for four purposes: Ass&Trash, basic transport of troops and materials; Dust-off, to pickup the wounded, and Guns, that is outfitted as gun ships with rockets and 20mm canons. 

Edited by Ed Rooney

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Thanks Ed! When I saw the Cobra through the fog driving down the highway, I turned around. Was surprised to see it was for a Viet Nam War Memorial, as I only really associated Huey's with the era and usually see them mounted. Thought Cobra's didn't come about till mid to late '70s for some reason. Love learning new things every day! :)

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When you describe yourself as a 'fine art', I assume you mean that you have studied those who are sometimes described as 'art photographers' such as Wm Eggleston.  If you have, then you have learned a lot.  But at the same time the work is also editorial in style.  You seem to be bringing into editorial photography some of that great tradition (American colourists).  I am less sure about some of the black and white, and agree with your comment about the ice pictures.

 

Someone whose work you might be interested in looking at is Dean Forbes (Based in Seattle, on Corbis and Getty)

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Perhaps just a few months ago I would have made the point that fine art photography is not stock photography and . . . well, blah blah blah. Now, just recently, I am becoming much less conservative about what is and what is not stock. I refer you to DavidK's article on stock:  http://www.dphotoexpert.com/2010/12/31/thirty-keys-to-stock-photography/

 

In that piece David points out the value of B&W pics in a stock agency.  I had been suggesting that B&W does not really have a place in stock. Also, look at the images featured on the Alamy home page. They tend to be off-beat.  So I'm the one who needs to shake up my view of stock. You, Charley, are all over the map, a little of this, a little of that. But you are trying things out; every other image is a change of direction.  Some fail, I think, but others work.  Me? I fear I may have become set in my ways.  I have been a professional photographer for 53 years, after all. No kidding, I have.  Okay, I'm retired now, but I'm still shooting and I still place images  in stock.  But my concepts have become . . . lazy. 

 

"Make journeys. Attempt them. There's nothing else." -- Lord Byron in Camino Real.

Edited by Ed Rooney
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"Perhaps just a few months ago I would have made the point that fine art photography is not stock photography and . . . well, blah blah blah. Now, just recently, I am becoming much less conservative about what is and what is not stock" ER

 

I have a lot of respect for that attitude.

 

At around the turn of the century one or two companies started to specialise in what some describe as 'art photography'.  There were other companies that thought the big money was in stocky stock.  Most of those companies aren't around anymore, whereas some of those foolish companies that thought that art photography was the way to go are now doing very well.  See how many staff and offices the German company Plainpicture have, who a few years ago nobody had heard of.  Alamy is playing catchup.

 

What happened to stocky stock?  Well it's still around, but now we call it microstock.

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When you describe yourself as a 'fine art', I assume you mean that you have studied those who are sometimes described as 'art photographers' such as Wm Eggleston.  If you have, then you have learned a lot.  But at the same time the work is also editorial in style.  You seem to be bringing into editorial photography some of that great tradition (American colourists).  I am less sure about some of the black and white, and agree with your comment about the ice pictures.

 

Someone whose work you might be interested in looking at is Dean Forbes (Based in Seattle, on Corbis and Getty)

 

How very kind of you to say. Honestly up until recently I could only name 3 photogs: A. Adams, W. Eugene Smith and Annie Leibovitz. My photography Professor brought Eggleston, Brown, Imes, Graham and others to my attention upon seeing some of my work. Saying this is like so and so's work, which still baffles me as I'm not "that" good or even close. Thanks for the info on Forbes. Like some of his work a lot! :)

 

Perhaps just a few months ago I would have made the point that fine art photography is not stock photography and . . . well, blah blah blah. Now, just recently, I am becoming much less conservative about what is and what is not stock. I refer you to DavidK's article on stock:  http://www.dphotoexpert.com/2010/12/31/thirty-keys-to-stock-photography/

 

In that piece David points out the value of B&W pics in a stock agency.  I had been suggesting that B&W does not really have a place in stock. Also, look at the images featured on the Alamy home page. They tend to be off-beat.  So I'm the one who needs to shake up my view of stock. You, Charley, are all over the map, a little of this, a little of that. But you are trying things out; every other image is a change of direction.  Some fail, I think, but others work.  Me? I fear I may have become set in my ways.  I have been a professional photographer for 53 years, after all. No kidding, I have.  Okay, I'm retired now, but I'm still shooting and I still place images  in stock.  But my concepts have become . . . lazy. 

 

"Make journeys. Attempt them. There's nothing else." -- Lord Byron in Camino Real.

 

Ed, thanks for the link. That was a good read over morning coffee. :) As I said, of all I've sold 1/2 have been B&W. I think the reason is B&W conversion is tricky and hard to learn. Hell I'm still learning and don't always pull it off right. LOL

 

Over the past year or so, people have said I need to stop being "all over the map": to find my style and specific genre or two to shoot. For awhile I fretted terribly over this, trying hard to do just that and I failed miserably to the point of ready to chuck the camera.... Finally decided to do my own thing, my own way and let nature takes it course sort to speak. To shoot what I like or moves me and see what happens in time. I'm extremely left brained so upon my kiddo's suggestion, I went to university where my Professor is making strides at "massaging my right brain", as he calls it. To see things w/o the restrictions of technique and analyzation. A difficult task at best....

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I don't normally comment on other people's work because I don't particularly want them commenting on mine, but I'll make an exception because I like your stuff.

 

Alan

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They look really good to me. And the keywords we can see look fine too. I think if you keep submitting similar subjects up to this standard you should do well.

Think of yourself as a fine art photographer by all means, but your fine art images might do better elsewhere. What I've seen looks like stock. Just keep looking for new subjects, and lots of them. You've got the quality, now you just need the numbers.

Just one thing - I'm not sure I'd bother with the black and white. I'd post in colour - if the customer wants b/w they can change it themselves but they can't do it the other way. (others may disagree)

 

Appreciate your comments! Kind of a tough call on the B&W images, cuz out of those I've sold 1/2 have been B&W. :)

 

Ignore me. I'm going to start uploading black and whites.

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Traditionally people / lifestyle image sell well.. your people imagery is clean.. loosen up the framing some for designers usage.  Shoot until the subject is comfortable enough to forget you are there then the real great shots start.

Always carry a camera. Shoot as much as possible. Practice makes perfect. Soon you will find the short cuts to making great images.  Making sell-able will become automatic.

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Thanks David. Yeah, I'm still not "really" comfortable shooting people, but I shall overcome. :) My cameras are extensions of me and rarely am I without them.

 

 

A tad off topic: I deleted some of the ice images and a couple of duplicates I found from Manage Images v2.4, yet they aren't gone. Do I need to contact MS for them to be deleted?

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A tad off topic: I deleted some of the ice images and a couple of duplicates I found from Manage Images v2.4, yet they aren't gone. Do I need to contact MS for them to be deleted?

 

If you delete a Ready image, it normally takes 6 months for it to go. I picked up a useful trick from another contributor.  Set up a dummy psuedo and shunt the images to be deleted in there a day or two before deleting them. That way they won't damage your CTR. 

 

If you upload an improved version of an existing image Member Services will delete the existing photo on request.

 

If the deleted image is half decent, copy its code into the keywords of the replacement.

Edited by Bryan

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Thanks Bryan! So if I move the images to be deleted into another pseudo, they won't be seen in my main one correct?

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They will still be seen by someone searching for that subject. You can remove the keywords to prevent that. Just put in a letter or symbol.

 

Paulette

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OOOOpss. I think you are right. I've not done it but it seems to me people have said you have to delete keywords and move to another pseudo first. Sorry for bad advice.

 

Paulette

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Really nice, strong images, well composed, you will sell stuff when you get the NUMBERS up... I like the 'motel' image made to look like a postcard...

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