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Those Rare Advertising or Highway Billboard Sales


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Except for the food and drink closeups I do, all my Alamy images are editorial only. But I'm wondering -- do buyers want or need larger jpegs for larger advertising use? The jpegs I upload to Alamy are between 30 MB and 57 MB.

 

Edo

 

Edited by Ed Rooney
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I had a $2800 billboard sale last year. Refunded due to no property releases, even though annotated as such. ☹️

Looking at the file on Alamy - 73.3MB (1.6MB compressed download) 6240 x 4160px,

Hope thats useful.

Webby

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Thank you for getting back to me, Webby. Sorry that big sale was refunded. 😧

 

However, that doesn't answer my question. I realise that many contributors routinely submit larger files than I do. But what I want to know is do smaller files exclude the possibility of a billboard sale. Obviously, billboard sales are rare at any size. 

 

Edo

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Presumably it does as buyers can filter by image size. I had a few searches in December with a file size filter.

You can check in Measures, your images. There will be [FS] after the search term.

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No personal experience of billboard sales unfortunately but Apple are well known for running poster campaigns with Iphone photos which look pretty good to me, and the wide and telephoto cameras are still 'only' 12MP (34MB). That Alamy 70MB threshold is pretty low by today's standards (24.4 MP) but my X-T2 files won't pass although the later 26MP models do just get over the line. You look at posters and billboards from further away and their printing resolution will be pretty coarse so I suspect that your 20MP (57MB) files would look fine but it may well be that potential buyers still use that 70MB filter.

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I've had a couple of billboards made from 35mm slides way back when. This thread got me curious about this, so I had to look it up.

Basically, it boils down to viewing distance.

From an article I found, "If you were only shooting images for billboards that were going to be viewed at over 100 feet away, you probably wouldn't need a high-resolution camera, but some ads are printed large and can still be viewed at close distances. I always liked viewing the wall-sized ads in the subways and bus stops of NYC. Sadly, even these ads never seem to be printed at a very high resolution. But maybe one day, a company will come along and start printing ultra-high-resolution subway ads, and if you have an expensive new camera, you'll be ready."

The full article here,

https://fstoppers.com/originals/how-many-megapixels-do-you-need-print-billboard-220239

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How about adds on the huge billboard at Piccadilly circus. London. If they have APPLE adds, they could have been shot with an iphone? A DLSR camera would need much less than 12mp to get a good image. I remember walking past a printed billboard many years ago & it was pretty coarse, you could even see the tri colour dots used for printing it. Its different now though see link above.

Edited by dunstun365
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12 hours ago, Rico said:

I've had a couple of billboards made from 35mm slides way back when. This thread got me curious about this, so I had to look it up.

Basically, it boils down to viewing distance.

From an article I found, "If you were only shooting images for billboards that were going to be viewed at over 100 feet away, you probably wouldn't need a high-resolution camera, but some ads are printed large and can still be viewed at close distances. I always liked viewing the wall-sized ads in the subways and bus stops of NYC. Sadly, even these ads never seem to be printed at a very high resolution. But maybe one day, a company will come along and start printing ultra-high-resolution subway ads, and if you have an expensive new camera, you'll be ready."

The full article here,

https://fstoppers.com/originals/how-many-megapixels-do-you-need-print-billboard-220239

The image must have been cropped from the original photo because F-stoppers said it was only 2MP.

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On 20/01/2023 at 10:03, gvallee said:

You can check in Measures, your images. There will be [FS] after the search term.

I've noticed that in my measures many times too over the years, which would indicate that whatever the purpose - billboards or not - that there is benefit to offering the larger files. One of my crimes when editing is cropping images to make them hopefully punchier to the eye when viewed as thumbs in searches, and so I've recently been going back to take second looks at old files with many now uploaded with such lessons learned.

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Just for reference the current minimum file size options in the filter sidebar are 15, 24, 48 & 70MB which equate to 5.2MP, 8.4MP, 16.8MP and 24.4MP.

 

For the normal 3:2 format this means:

 

15MB/5.2MP   - 2804 x 1870 px

24MB/8.4MP   - 3547 x 2365 px

48MB/16.8MP - 5017 x 3344 px

70MB/24.4MP - 6058 x 4039 px

 

On the face of it they could do with updating, or an extra higher MB tier added to favour those using the many higher MP cameras with 36, 40, 45, 50 & 60MP sensors. Perhaps 100MB/35MP.

 

On the other hand I suppose the (FS) suffix in AoA means that one of these minimum file size filters has been used, not necessarily the highest one.

Edited by Harry Harrison
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1 hour ago, Avpics said:

I've noticed that in my measures many times too over the years, which would indicate that whatever the purpose - billboards or not - that there is benefit to offering the larger files. One of my crimes when editing is cropping images to make them hopefully punchier to the eye when viewed as thumbs in searches, and so I've recently been going back to take second looks at old files with many now uploaded with such lessons learned.

 

I'm guilty of the same. I find it difficult to leave space for text. I find that the subject is 'floating' in the frame and harder to see.

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On 20/01/2023 at 04:46, Ed Rooney said:

Thank you for getting back to me, Webby. Sorry that big sale was refunded. 😧

 

However, that doesn't answer my question. I realise that many contributors routinely submit larger files than I do. But what I want to know is do smaller files exclude the possibility of a billboard sale. Obviously, billboard sales are rare at any size. 

 

Edo

I had a $2800 billboard transit ad sale before. The image happened to be 38.2mb in size (4500x3000), but I doubt this made any difference to the buyers; I found a copy of the ad online and saw my image was just one of several used in the ad, with subject matter likely more important. This was for a German company running a  sweepstakes to win a travel experience in NYC of all places. Coincidentally, I was traveling through France, and Germany at the time trying to get away from NYC.

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20 yrs ago, one could use software like Genuine Fractals to enlarge images from small megapixel cameras to billboard size if needed. Today, AI powered software is available to enlarge images.

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Long ago before Alamy I sold a London night shot with no crop taken with a Sony DSC-R1 bridge camera (10.3mp sensor), to be used on a banner background on a stage for some event. I would assume an Alamy sale for a billboard would need to be fully released. Once I had taken an image and tried to obtain releases, never again. I was asked for a considerable amount when there would only be a very small chance of a sale.

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Billboards don't need higher resolution than what comes out of even a 16 megapixel camera. Back in my photo researcher days at a stock agency in Chicago, we had a large suburban hospital that regularly licensed images for billboards. They requested 35mm transparencies. Billboards aren't high resolution, but in general you can't get close enough to see that.

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On 21/01/2023 at 07:25, gvallee said:

 

I'm guilty of the same. I find it difficult to leave space for text. I find that the subject is 'floating' in the frame and harder to see.

 

I'm the same with many images.  You are fighting for visibility amongst all the thumbs that buyers are looking at.  If the main subject is smaller, it can easily be scanned over, even if it is the best of the lot, and a high MP shot so they could crop quite easily.  Thumbnail visibility is the key as far as I can tell with most images, especially if the buyers is going to be looking over a few hundred or thousand.

 

Jill

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