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I am a 18 year old hobbyist photographer from India. I am new to Alamy & still in a process of building my Alamy profile to make sales. I have read all of Alamy's rules & regulations before coming here but still have a doubt if I am really doing things the right way. I would be glad if some professional photographers with experience in stock photography would just check out my photos & point out the mistakes (if any) in keywording or other departments. Since I have just begun and have a meagre 80 images for sale I thought this is the right time to rectify my mistakes after consulting professionals

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Hi Arunabh,

first thing that is easy to notice is lack/poor light on your pictures, conspicuous really. Images are dark or light is flat, not attractive. Basic photography rule - the light! Right? ;)

 

About keywords...

ED8X93 where is title and description? :unsure:  Word "anything" in keywords doesn't mean much, I would delete this one.

EAN40F  background? It is not a background...

 

Generally I can see you add camera model, why?

 

There's master of keywords here on the forum, let him talk :)

Edited by Arletta

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Hi Arunabh,

first thing that is easy to notice is lack/poor light on your pictures, conspicuous really. Images are dark or light is flat, not attractive. Basic photography rule - the light! Right? ;)

 

About keywords...

ED8X93 where is title and description? :unsure:  Word "anything" in keywords doesn't mean much, I would delete this one.

EAN40F  background? It is not a background...

 

Generally I can see you add camera model, why?

 

There's master of keywords here on the forum, let him talk :)

I adjust the brightness & contrast of most of my images by clicking the 'Auto adjust brightness/Contrast' on Photoshop Elements 13. I thought that would be the most accurate setting for the images. But thanks to you, now I know that it is not the best thing to do. Now I'll manually adjust the brightness & also consider editing pictures on a better monitor. Is there anything else you would like to suggest? Thanks a lot for your reply. 

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The images look fine on my calibrated monitor.

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The images look fine on my calibrated monitor.

Yes actually. Even on my monitor they look fine. But I agree with Arletta that the light is flat in my images. So I think I have to manually adjust Brightness & Contrast rather than clicking 'Auto adjust brightness/Contrast' on Photoshop Elements 13.

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I would endorse Arletta's comment about the importance of the light. Do a search for Taj Lake Palace Hotel Lake Picho and compare the results with your own image.

 

Quite a few black and whites, they do occasionally sell, but should probably only form a small part of your collection. 

 

You also need to ensure that the subject of the image is sufficiently large in the frame, e.g. EE83C0 the dog.

 

Perhaps most importantly you need to try to put yourself into the mind of a buyer, does the image tell or illustrate a story. In what context would the pictures be used? Do the research, find out what is required, what is already available, and feed the market. I occasionally, probably too often, take indulgent photos, i.e. those that I like taking, they don't necessarily sell.

 

A good way to find out what is used is to study your local papers and magazines, if you subscribe to the Images Found threads that is a good learning experience.

Edited by Bryan

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your collection looks mostly good. The flat lighting comments really refer to city scenes taken in the middle of the day when lighting often looks a bit flat unless you are shooting details. Why black and white? It may please you, but colour sells more often and clients can change colour to black and white if that's what they want. It does not harm your ratings to specify what camera was used, but it is of no interest to clients. You don't need to bother with this detail. Of course you need a whole lot more images than 80 to have a chance of making sales.

 

There are many excellent specialists shooting flowers and animals. These are hard areas to compete as a photographer. But what to photograph? that is probably the hardest thing to decide, especially if you are young. But most of us were young once!

 

good luck!

Edited by Robert M Estall

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A model release for the hair style photo and the man reading would be nice for your selling opportunities.

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The images look fine on my calibrated monitor.

Yes actually. Even on my monitor they look fine. But I agree with Arletta that the light is flat in my images. So I think I have to manually adjust Brightness & Contrast rather than clicking 'Auto adjust brightness/Contrast' on Photoshop Elements 13.

 

 

 

Your images are definitely not too dark. I have my monitor calibrated quite dark and most of your images look fine in that respect.

 

My strongest  advice would be to get hold of Lightroom rather than Elements, shoot raw and learn how to convert raw images. Auto brightness and contrast adjustments are way too coarse a tool for a serious photographer. Working in raw gives (far) superior image quality, much greater control over how you want your images to look and the option down the line to modify and re-convert the raw images. For black and white, I would say it is absolutely essential to shoot raw and work in 16-bit mode until you are finished editing. I don't know if you can edit 16-bit images in Elements. 

Edited by MDM
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I think there's a confusion between monitor brightness and image brightness range. Arletta's post isn't clear.

Edited by spacecadet

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You need to put the latin name of any animals in your keywords. People do search with the latin name. At the zoo you can help yourself by shooting the sign as well as the animal. Easier than taking notes.

 

Paulette

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I think there's a confusion between monitor brightness and image brightness range. Arletta's post isn't clear.

 

I think that his images could have better lighting, now it's poor. I mean when we take a photo we take care of light, ok? Here I see flat light and nothing in post processing will change it - it's photo already taken! Yes, we can brighten it up in computer, but it won't change light on picture.

 

Examples:

 

EAN40F.jpg

 

ED8X93.jpg
EDTRB8.jpg 

EDPTDT.jpg

EAEFCM.jpg
 
 
And to see what I'm talking about, lets see two images, one with poor light (it is flat and dark, not nice looking) and other one from Alamy's gallery:
 
EAN40F.jpg
 
ECEARD.jpg
 
Maybe not the best sample but I hope you get what I'm talking about :) On the second picture I see green color of leaves and light is better. When you take that kind of photos you can add some light, backlight or from side. It will give more real effect and you increase chances that client will choose your file. You know, it's not reportage where we take photos in natural light or flash it into face (flat light). You can be more creative here and it will gets your work better only...
 

 

 

The flat lighting comments really refer to mostly city scenes taken in the middle of the day when lighting usually looks a bit flat unless you are shooting details.

 

Well, not really. I mean yes, middle day gives us bad light usually, correct, but I don't talk about that images. It's obvious we can't do much with day light in scenes ;)

Edited by Arletta

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I would recommend you do your editing in Adobe Camera Raw. Shooting in RAW instead of jpg (or both if you feel safer) and then editing in Camera Raw gives you much more flexibility in adjustments, and everything is non-destructive.

 

You can edit jpgs in Camera Raw, but the results aren't as good as if done on the RAW file. I put your flower in Camera Raw and did a few adjustments here:

 

Your Original:

 

flower.jpg

 

A few adjustments in Camera Raw:

 

flower-2.jpg

 

I just brought out the background a bit more, and slight adjustments on the flower.

 

When I started my photos were terrible in Post Processing. Dark due to the fact that I used a TV instead of a monitor. Once I switched to the monitor, calibrated it, it made a big difference.

 

Study the multitude of videos out there on Photoshop, but I highly recommend using Adobe Camera Raw. It is a free plugin to Elements and may have come with your copy.

 

If you have ACR with your copy of Elements, when opening a file, choose Open As - then choose Camera Raw. It will then open in ACR if you have it.

 

I think post processing is an important element of finishing off your images.

 

Jill

Edited by Jill Morgan

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I would recommend you do your editing in Adobe Camera Raw. Shooting in RAW instead of jpg (or both if you feel safer) and then editing in Camera Raw gives you much more flexibility in adjustments, and everything is non-destructive.

 

You can edit jpgs in Camera Raw, but the results aren't as good as if done on the RAW file. I put your flower in Camera Raw and did a few adjustments here:

 

Your Original:

 

flower.jpg

 

A few adjustments in Camera Raw:

 

flower-2.jpg

 

I just brought out the background a bit more, and slight adjustments on the flower.

 

When I started my photos were terrible in Post Processing. Dark due to the fact that I used a TV instead of a monitor. Once I switched to the monitor, calibrated it, it made a big difference.

 

Study the multitude of videos out there on Photoshop, but I highly recommend using Adobe Camera Raw. It is a free plugin to Elements and may have come with your copy.

 

If you have ACR with your copy of Elements, when opening a file, choose Open As - then choose Camera Raw. It will then open in ACR if you have it.

 

I think post processing is an important element of finishing off your images.

 

Jill

That is nice. I can feel the difference. Thank you for your tip.

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Arunabh, if you want to learn about lighting for photography (flash in this case) I recommend you take a look at www.Strobist.com; it's free, and there's no need to register.  Strobist has accumulated a lot of information over the years, so you should begin with the Lighting 101 series that is bookmarked at the top of his home page.

 

If you would like a book, try "Light Science and Magic"; it's available from Amazon, and you might find a copy if you have access to a good library (I'm guessing you're somewhere in that big country called India, and I don't know what resources are available to you).

 

Regards

Lionel

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As per the advise given by few, I dumped Photoshop Elements & tried Adobe Lightroom. The results I got by manually editing some images were amazing. Wish I could show the results here. But Alamy forum only allows URL to be entered so unfortunately I can't show it here. I tried editing some of my pictures which are already on sale and I was a lot more satisfied. But now my doubt is will Alamy allow to upload the same (better edited) pictures again if I delete the present ones? It will be like replacing few of the current ones with same but better edited ones. Will it be worth doing it? Or should I just forget the ones already uploaded & from now on take a stand on uploading pictures edited in Lightroom rather than PSE?  

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As per the advise given by few, I dumped Photoshop Elements & tried Adobe Lightroom. The results I got by manually editing some images were amazing. Wish I could show the results here. But Alamy forum only allows URL to be entered so unfortunately I can't show it here. I tried editing some of my pictures which are already on sale and I was a lot more satisfied. But now my doubt is will Alamy allow to upload the same (better edited) pictures again if I delete the present ones? It will be like replacing few of the current ones with same but better edited ones. Will it be worth doing it? Or should I just forget the ones already uploaded & from now on take a stand on uploading pictures edited in Lightroom rather than PSE?  

 

 

Great you took the advice and see such benefit (actually I think I was the only one to suggest Lightroom  :)).

 

So here is a second piece of excellent advice  :D. If you can afford it, buy Martin Evening's Lightroom book - it is the absolute learning and reference tool. If you read that and use it, you will soon be back here confidently answering questions from seasoned photographers as well as beginners. 

 

And my other piece of advice is take it easy with getting your revised images back on Alamy. You may improve them even more if you use the Martin Evening book. There is no hurry. Learn the trade really well first.

 

As for re-uploading, if it is only a few images, then you can request Member Services to swap a few images (I've done this for one or two in the past), but if it is a lot, then your best bet may be to load them back through QC and delete the other ones manually.

 

Best of luck 

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As per the advise given by few, I dumped Photoshop Elements & tried Adobe Lightroom. The results I got by manually editing some images were amazing. Wish I could show the results here. But Alamy forum only allows URL to be entered so unfortunately I can't show it here. I tried editing some of my pictures which are already on sale and I was a lot more satisfied. But now my doubt is will Alamy allow to upload the same (better edited) pictures again if I delete the present ones? It will be like replacing few of the current ones with same but better edited ones. Will it be worth doing it? Or should I just forget the ones already uploaded & from now on take a stand on uploading pictures edited in Lightroom rather than PSE?  

 

 

Great you took the advice and see such benefit (actually I think I was the only one to suggest Lightroom  :)).

 

So here is a second piece of excellent advice  :D. If you can afford it, buy Martin Evening's Lightroom book - it is the absolute learning and reference tool. If you read that and use it, you will soon be back here confidently answering questions from seasoned photographers as well as beginners. 

 

And my other piece of advice is take it easy with getting your revised images back on Alamy. You may improve them even more if you use the Martin Evening book. There is no hurry. Learn the trade really well first.

 

As for re-uploading, if it is only a few images, then you can request Member Services to swap a few images (I've done this for one or two in the past), but if it is a lot, then your best bet may be to load them back through QC and delete the other ones manually.

 

Best of luck 

 

 

As per the advise given by few, I dumped Photoshop Elements & tried Adobe Lightroom. The results I got by manually editing some images were amazing. Wish I could show the results here. But Alamy forum only allows URL to be entered so unfortunately I can't show it here. I tried editing some of my pictures which are already on sale and I was a lot more satisfied. But now my doubt is will Alamy allow to upload the same (better edited) pictures again if I delete the present ones? It will be like replacing few of the current ones with same but better edited ones. Will it be worth doing it? Or should I just forget the ones already uploaded & from now on take a stand on uploading pictures edited in Lightroom rather than PSE?  

 

 

Great you took the advice and see such benefit (actually I think I was the only one to suggest Lightroom  :)).

 

So here is a second piece of excellent advice  :D. If you can afford it, buy Martin Evening's Lightroom book - it is the absolute learning and reference tool. If you read that and use it, you will soon be back here confidently answering questions from seasoned photographers as well as beginners. 

 

And my other piece of advice is take it easy with getting your revised images back on Alamy. You may improve them even more if you use the Martin Evening book. There is no hurry. Learn the trade really well first.

 

As for re-uploading, if it is only a few images, then you can request Member Services to swap a few images (I've done this for one or two in the past), but if it is a lot, then your best bet may be to load them back through QC and delete the other ones manually.

 

Best of luck 

 

Thank you sir. I will surely check out the book. I had one question about Lightroom. There is a 'clarity' slider in Lightroom which is really fantastic. The details in pictures are more enhanced by increasing it I feel. I read on some website that it works by manupulating the Mid-tones of pictures. But I have a doubt. Does it have anything to do with sharpness of the image? I am scared because Alamy says images shouldn't be sharpened no matter what. I don't icrease the slider too much. I am usually somewhere around +10 to +20. But I hope this won't lead to Alamy rejecting my images because of sharpening or something.

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Using clarity is fine. It sounds like you are not overdoing it.

 

Paulette

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If you are new to Lightroom I strongly suggest you watch

 

OK it takes a couple of hours, but it's the most useful Lightroom Tutorial I've found.

Edited by Russell

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Thank you sir. I will surely check out the book. I had one question about Lightroom. There is a 'clarity' slider in Lightroom which is really fantastic. The details in pictures are more enhanced by increasing it I feel. I read on some website that it works by manupulating the Mid-tones of pictures. But I have a doubt. Does it have anything to do with sharpness of the image? I am scared because Alamy says images shouldn't be sharpened no matter what. I don't icrease the slider too much. I am usually somewhere around +10 to +20. But I hope this won't lead to Alamy rejecting my images because of sharpening or something.

 

The Clarity slider is a form of sharpening as far as I know (I'm not an expert on the intricacies of the process but it is described in the manual as "like a large-radius unsharp mask". 

 

Sharpening gets debated every so often on the forum and it's not entirely clear what the answer is from Alamy's point of view. I believe, from an Alamy post in a thread on this a few years ago, that a small amount of what is called Capture Sharpening (see Martin Evening's book for a very good description as well as a few interesting pages on the Clarity slider) is permissible and I think that a small amount of Clarity is also probably permissible. Having said that, I know from previous discussions that some people are submitting in-camera JPEGs which have been pre-sharpened so the situation is not at all clear. 

 

 I think you should not really need to do any sharpening for Alamy, as your pictures do not need to appear pin-sharp on screen to pass QC, and, if you have already been passing QC without doing any sharpening, then you don't really need to start now. You can produce different versions for different purposes - if you want to make prints, then you will need to apply some sharpening of course. 

Edited by MDM

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Clarity increases microcontrast, I believe,  but it doesn't introduce artifacts- I wasn't aware that it was an unsharp mask. I use a bit routinely on import.

Edited by spacecadet

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Clarity increases microcontrast, I believe,  but it doesn't introduce artifacts- I wasn't aware that it was an unsharp mask. I use a bit routinely on import.

 

I think all forms of digital sharpening use contrast differences between adjacent or nearby pixels as the basis of method but I am certainly no expert on this. Martin Evening (Lightroom 4 book) describes the Clarity slider as a hybrid of two techniques for contrast enhancment, one of which uses local contrast enhancement using the Photoshop unsharp mask filter set to low amount and high radius.

Edited by MDM

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Clarity increases microcontrast, I believe,  but it doesn't introduce artifacts- I wasn't aware that it was an unsharp mask. I use a bit routinely on import.

 

I think all forms of digital sharpening use contrast differences between adjacent or nearby pixels as the basis of method but I am certainly no expert on this. Martin Evening (Lightroom 4 book) describes the Clarity slider as a hybrid of two techniques for contrast enhancment, one of which uses local contrast enhancement using the Photoshop unsharp mask filter set to low amount and high radius.

 

 

 

If you are new to Lightroom I strongly suggest you watch

 

OK it takes a couple of hours, but it's the most useful Lightroom Tutorial I've found.

OK, so after a long wait for a notification of failed QC, I was able to submit the images edited in lightroom. I personally liked the new images than the old ones but it wil be kind of you to just check out the below differences & tell me if I am doing the editing right. I watched the video recommended by Russell. I hope I am not over-editing my pictures. Also it will be better if you reply soon because I'll have to delete the old ones or Alamy might take action for selling images of similar composition. Here are the images:

 

Before: 

wall-made-of-interlocking-dry-stones-wit
 
After:
wall-made-of-interlocking-dry-stones-wit
 
Before:
two-red-boats-docked-for-boat-ride-on-fa
 
After:
two-red-boats-docked-for-boat-ride-on-fa

 

Before:

nilgiri-tea-plantation-in-coonoor-tamil-
 
After:
nilgiri-tea-plantation-in-coonoor-tamil-
 
Before:
close-up-of-palm-tree-trunk-in-nehru-par
 
After:
close-up-of-palm-tree-trunk-in-nehru-par
 
Before:
beautiful-wall-paintings-of-flower-desig
 
After:
beautiful-wall-paintings-of-flower-desig

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