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In Alamy's recent blog post about tips for news photography, they talk about the popularity of weather images, especially among newspapers. Just wondering, has anyone in the USA or Canada managed to license local weather images via live news? I see plenty of weather images in the Alamy news feed, but they tend to be documenting conditions in the UK.

 

UPDATE: A quick Web search of weather news for Vancouver comes up with mainly not-so-fresh looking microstock images purchased from the usual suspects.

Edited by John Mitchell

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I live in the tornado Capital (Capitol?) of the world. Yet all I want is to capture some outstanding thunderstorms. The kind that has blue skies to contrast with the thundercloud. A defined storm.

Yet in my area, they seem to form after dark. Or else the skies are so heavily overcast the storms don't stand out. Last scenerio, one is coming, but has golf ball to baseball sized hail in it, and one is in danger of having one's automobile beat to pieces.

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John:

 

I used to know a guy who shot nothing but American weather scenes - tornadoes of course, but also cloudbursts in Florida, blizzards in Montana and everything else in between. Weather is one of those huge, under-the-radar markets.

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I think there two different types of stock weather photos and they may not be mutually exclusive. There are the generic severe weather photos, i.e. tornadoes, floods, big snows etc...and then there are hard news weather events that are very specific to a locale. It is my guess that the hard news weather photos, taken in Europe, will do better in Europe, through Alamy, while the more generic weather photos, taken in the U.S. And Canada, will do better, on Alamy, than the newsy ones.

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Alamy does a lot of textbook sales and weather everywhere winds up in textbooks. It doesn't matter if you're teaching the Chinese word for rain, or showing a classic thunder cloud in an Earth science class - the need for photos is there and buyers look to Alamy for the images. In most cases, I would skip the news angle and keyword as if it were scientific phenomena.

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Interesting responses. Submitting North American weather event images to Alamy as "live news" doesn't seem like it's worth the effort. OTOH, documenting weather/meteorological phenomena and uploading them as general stock for textbooks, scientific use, etc. certainly makes sense. Personally, I'd give twisters a wide berth, Betty. Leave them to those intrepid microstock shooters.

Edited by John Mitchell
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Interesting responses. Submitting North American weather event images to Alamy as "live news" doesn't seem like it's worth the effort. OTOH, documenting weather/meteorological phenomena and uploading them as general stock for textbooks, scientific use, etc. certainly makes sense. Personally, I'd give twisters a wide berth, Betty. Leave them to those intrepid microstock shooters.

 

In the U.K the times when we get coverage of North American weather is generally during the winter ice/storms. Usually along the lines of 'Think that the U.K has it bad....". They'll be a photograph of a traffic jam and sleet in the U.K next to a photo of someone digging their car out of head height snow in the US/Canada.

 

Michael

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Interesting responses. Submitting North American weather event images to Alamy as "live news" doesn't seem like it's worth the effort. OTOH, documenting weather/meteorological phenomena and uploading them as general stock for textbooks, scientific use, etc. certainly makes sense. Personally, I'd give twisters a wide berth, Betty. Leave them to those intrepid microstock shooters.

 

In the U.K the times when we get coverage of North American weather is generally during the winter ice/storms. Usually along the lines of 'Think that the U.K has it bad....". They'll be a photograph of a traffic jam and sleet in the U.K next to a photo of someone digging their car out of head height snow in the US/Canada.

 

Michael

 

 

Are any of those photos ever from Alamy by chance?

 

I guess we're lucky in Vancouver in that we generally get to shovel rain rather than snow during the winter.

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John, my highest grossing image was licensed to the American Meteorological Society for a front cover on a report about the rain we received here in Colorado in 2013. 

 

boulder-co-15th-september-2013-officers-

 

Sadly it was not via Alamy or Live News (it was submitted via Live News).

 

Given my experience, there is a demand for these types of images...though I'm not sure that Alamy has built up a large enough customer base in the U.S. to attract the attention.  I'm hoping that improves with time.

Edited by Ed Endicott

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A shot of Hurricane Hazel trashing the waterfront in Kingston Ontario 1954 turned my head towards photography as a career. Result: $100 prize in local calendar contest. Serious money for the teenager!

 

The first stock photo I ever sold was an approaching chinook coming over Calgary. £20 to a small UK educational publisher circa 1968. bulk sale of 2 images! Not riches but I thought building a collection might be worth doing.

 

Storms & weather don't really feature that high on my sales record. I don't chase them, but will grab when they present. I don't mind getting a bit wet or cold in the process.

Edited by Robert M Estall

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I had five weather images license through Alamy News last Halloween: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2816880/65-mph-winds-creating-freak-waves-slam-cars-Chicago-early-snowfall-Sierra-Nevada-Wacky-weather-greets-change-season-clocks-weekend.html

 

First five stills are mine. Of course it's not everyday we get a storm surge of several feet and waves this big. A side note, Jim Cantore and a team from the Weather Channel were not far from me. It's been said that when Jim Cantore shows up, it's time to evacuate.

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something i've never thought of, my first instinct in bad weather is... hide lol.

 

i have seen some good weather shots taken by drones recently, sadly of the destructive kind.

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I like taking weather event photos and have a number of them posted on Alamy but none have sold so far.

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