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Bob J

I think i'm too busy...

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So I have been a contributor for a while now although not in a big way. I subscribe to the view that I probably need to get a few thousand images on the site before getting any 'real' results. Nevertheless, I have had three sales and very grateful for them.

 

I have been doing a few courses and reading some books and articles and I have come to the conclusion that my images are perhaps a bit too 'busy'. The problem is that I have been staring at them so long that it is a struggle to remain objective.

 

I would appreciate some input if you could spare a few minutes.

 

very best

 

Bob

 

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Bob, I thought you meant that you were personally too busy. That's my problem, between getting the car(s) fixed, waiting for plumbers and other contractors and going to the dentist, I barely have time for stock photography. Otherwise, the only suggestion I could make is to use a tiny little bit of fill flash on faces. If you're already doing it, try cranking it up a half stop or so, otherwise, a bit of strobe might make a difference - or it might give you a result you hate. It's worth a try.

 

I'd try some new techniques too, but I'm so busy waiting for other people that I can't get the chance.

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Hi Bob,

I took a quick peek at your first page of photos. You are competing with 65 million photos with only 500 in your portfolio, which is a challenge. I don't think submitting thousands of more photos of the same style and similar subject matters would be a winning strategy. If you want to experiment with close ups (to be less busy), that would be a good idea to try. I would recommend shooting subject matter which actually sells, and in a more modern style. I have a couple of videos on Youtube which may steer you in a different direction. If you are up for it watch my episodes on food, silhouettes, point-of-view, etc. You found such pretty models, now just take a photo of them taking a selfie, or using social media like texting, etc. In other words try taking photos that look 'real' and authentic, rather than fake or posed. I think the demand for self driving cars will sell well in 2016, any chance of you going to a car show? If not, how about going to a local car dealership and take photos of the newest tech dashboards with only a hand or a finger pushing the new technology? Anything with Star Wars is selling for me right now. Do you know anyone with a child with a Star Wars toy? Shoot them with just their hands in the photo, from their point of view. How about taking photos of food shot from above, with a hand with a fork in the photo, to draw the viewer in? How about old hands using a smart phone or iPad? My next Youtube video will show my best selling photos of 2015, which might spark some ideas for you.

 

Edit: spelling

Edited by Lisa
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To answer just your specific question, Bob: no, I don't think your images are too busy.

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I think that you might be cropping too close. This was one of the suggestions about my portfolio when the forum did a critique. I was advised to leave more room for text and keep more sky in the scene.

 

Otherwise your photos look good. As Lisa has suggested variety of subjects is important.

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Thanks guys, appreciate the responses and, yes, I think I do need to use a bit of fill flash on some of these - just bought a new canon 430 EX 3 - RT so hope to improve this aspect.

 

Lisa - I am on the second video already - many thanks !

 

Bob

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The 'model' shots are more like a model's non-studio portfolio than stock. Too often the woman has poor makeup choice or is not really doing anything that is stock worthy. Natural expressions and 'real' looking people are better choices unless you put the model in to an environment that suits them. Also the world really is not 18-25, female and white.

 

You need to plan much more pre-shoot and match up model to location/mood much better IMO. I don't know if they are on Alamy, should be via Image Source, but look at the work of people like Frank and Helena, especially in matching colour palette/mood.

 

I agree with the cropping......too often it's too tight and killing copyspace.

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I wouldn't say the cropping's too tight; you just don't have enough pix yet to make regular sales...

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Hi Bob - my comments are about your landscapes and more about the aesthetics than the commercial potential. I think you need to spend some time working on composition, both in-camera and post processing. The sloping marine horizons are very easy to correct in post and they really stand out  (e,g. the one of Galway Bay).  You could really improve your photography by learning more about perspective and the basics of classic composition in relation to landscapes - you don't have to follow the so-called rules rigidly but they do act as general guidelines. Chopping the head off the Shard is not good to my eye but could have easily been resolved if you had taken a second image and merged as a vertical panorama. This can be better than using a wider angle lens

 

I notice you have given some very detailed descriptions of localities but you have not included the actual localities in the keywords - important as the locality field is not searchable. Also you have given some very generic localities (looking here at some of your Connemara shots) - say where the sleepy harbour in Connemara is or where on the shores of Galway Bay you took the picture. The shoreline of Galway Bay is several hundred km long and very specific searches are possible. Best of luck.

Edited by MDM

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If you want to make your images less busy use a bigger F opening to get a smaller depth of field. Focus on the subject only and allow the rest to go soft, but still visually readable. Too much depth of field, resulting in too busy images, is a common mistake.

 
Here is a shot of mine taken with a RX100 small sensor camera that has too much depth of field. The sharp background confuses the outline of the Tiki subject. Had I taken it with a full frame camera at F4 or 2.8 the background would have been readable as tropical vegetation, but soft enough not to interfere with the subject. The subject would have stood out from the busy background.
 
This is what I do not like about small sensor cameras. Too much depth of field. However my wife and I were walking through a shopping mall on the way to supper, so picture taking delay had to be minimal. The best camera is the camera that you have with you, so I used my small sensor Sony RX 100. I intended to go back and reshoot with full frame, but never got around to a reshoot.
 
tiki-hawaiian-culture-statue-in-shopping
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To answer your question, I do not think your pictures are too busy, but agree with some of the comments above.

Specially on light of the subject, have your subjects move to a place with better light. 

Fill flash can make your subject appear artificial in the scene, rather I'd move the subjects to catch the light they need.  

 

Fully agree agree with Bill, less depth of field makes the subject stand out from a busy background.

 

 

woman-on-pickup-truck-in-sisophon-cambod

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I'm seeing plenty of saleable images in this collection, but, as others have noted, the model shots lack a theme.

 

People need to be doing/looking at something interesting for general stock sales. There's a better shot of a mature couple sitting with their bikes, it tells a story and could be used to illustrate a piece about active older people.

 

Ask yourself, in what context could this image be used?

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Being busy is my problem too, meaning not having time to organize and plan shootings. I think you have a nice portfolio with many apparently sellable images but what do I know. I think you might want to spend some more time keywording. Alessandra :)

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