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Colin Woods

Astounding Photo - Have a Look

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I am always knocked out by the wildlife images that we see, but this one here is really something, not just perfect location and timing but, in terms of lighting, a technical tour de force as well. All the shots in the WPOTY are of the very highest quality, but this one leapt out at me. 

Colin

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Agreed, I saw that image and the effort the photographer put in to capture it some back in (I think) the UK Telegraph. Quite amazing and kudos the the guy.

Edited by ReeRay

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Guest Stockfotoart

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Edited by Stockfotoart

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well this is really a great image! Thanks for sharing :)

 

Could anyone explain to me how he gets a sharp image of the bird with 1/15 sec :huh:

Multiple flash to capture detail, slow shutter for the motion.

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Yup, four big flashes to freeze the motion and a LED light to leave that blue trail. And lots of frames per second as well as many hours sat in the hide and countless images deleted until he had his set-up right. Brilliant work.

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A red for me and a red for the questioner... very odd!

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Edited by Stockfotoart

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Maybe someone caught them by accident on an ipad - its very easy to do and this is not exactly a thread full of diverse opinions and inflammatory language. Otherwise, don't get me going on red arrows or it will become a thread full of inflammatory language. 

 

Edited to add:

 

The thing that strikes me here is not only the technical side but the pre-visualisation as well. I'd like to see more as the bird goes further into the water.

Edited by Colin Woods
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It is an astounding image, but for some reason I find it slightly disturbing, can't put my finger on it, though. Perhaps it's a bit too perfectly executed.

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Edited by Stockfotoart

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It is an astounding image, but for some reason I find it slightly disturbing, can't put my finger on it, though. Perhaps it's a bit too perfectly executed.

my thoughts :)

 

he shoots plenty of images like that

 

http://www.linkingoo.com/foto/13/1310/mario_cea_sanchez.html

 

 

They certainly do have the "Wow!" factor. He's a very talented (and patient) wildlife photographer.  Now I remember why I stick to more mundane subjects... B)

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A technical tour de force. A photographer’s photograph. I wish I could do that. However the general public, looking at an advertisement, would not care about the photographer’s skill. Wow to photographers, but lost on the general public.

 
As a stock shot, that should appeal to a wider audience, I think this easy to take shot is better.
 

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A technical tour de force. A photographer’s photograph. I wish I could do that. However the general public, looking at an advertisement, would not care about the photographer’s skill. Wow to photographers, but lost on the general public.

 
As a stock shot, that should appeal to a wider audience, I think this easy to take shot is better.
 

 

 

Sad thing is, they don't get a penny more than my shot of a sparrow sitting on the railing of my balcony, taken while keywording for Alamy  :wacko:

 

Cheers,

Philippe

 

 

 

Not sad at all.

 
The eye contact shot that I referenced is the type of shot that would be used in a national advertisment and would sell for a lot more money than your sparrow shot.
 
You do see the sales use difference between a quick shot of a sparrow on your balcony while keywording, and the eye contact shot.

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The buyer does not care about the photographer’s expense or effort to produce the image. The buyer does not care about infra-red beams, time, or the price of a ticket to Namibia.

 
Contents of the image will place the image in higher end markets, for a higher price.
 
Instead of shooting nature subjects for nature magazines, why not shoot nature subjects for backgrounds on bank cheques, or postage stamps, or jigsaw puzzles, or travel advertising, or product packaging, or wallpaper for real walls?
 
This bird shot is perfect for selling toilet paper.
 
 
Feels soft, but oh so tough. Don’t goose yourself by breaking through weak toilet paper. Only needs three folds. Oh, feels so good.
 
The dog image could be used on a package of dog food, or some other high end advertising use. It strikes an emotional cord. Everyone loves babies. It communicates. Room for type. Easy technically, but otherwise very hard to get. 
 
The bat is scary and ugly. No advertising use for you. No high end bank calendar to hang over the kitchen table so diners can throw up for a month. All that black ink will clog up the press and offset onto a viewers hands. Printer’s nightmare. We know the bat is a night creature but how about shooting at twilight to lighten the background. Halloween maybe, but only if we have a scary closeup of the face and ears showing a big red tongue.
 
The Namibia shot. Why can’t we see into the pot? Why can’t we see the costume? Why is the background so in focus? What is all that hairy stuff at the top of the image? Why is the lighting so soft? What is that clutter in the right foreground? Why not a wide angle shot from the front, so we can see into the pot, see the fire, the persons eyes, and maybe more of the costume?
 
These are all questions and concerns that a client, willing to spend bigger money, has a right to. That is why the dog image grossed $600, and the other two only grossed $9.31 each.
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Someone liked my Iguana and leased him (or her) for $31.40 not too long ago, which didn't quite cover the airfare to Mexico.

 

iguana-at-the-mayan-ruins-of-el-rey-in-c

 

But it was an easy shot, and I did have fun in the sun...

Edited by John Mitchell

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Oh my days, that picture is spectacular!

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The buyer does not care about the photographer’s expense or effort to produce the image. The buyer does not care about infra-red beams, time, or the price of a ticket to Namibia.

 

Contents of the image will place the image in higher end markets, for a higher price.

 

Instead of shooting nature subjects for nature magazines, why not shoot nature subjects for backgrounds on bank cheques, or postage stamps, or jigsaw puzzles, or travel advertising, or product packaging, or wallpaper for real walls?

 

This bird shot is perfect for selling toilet paper.

 

http://www.nhm.ac.uk/visit/wpy/community/peoples-choice/2016/7/eye-contact.html

 

Feels soft, but oh so tough. Don’t goose yourself by breaking through weak toilet paper. Only needs three folds. Oh, feels so good.

 

The dog image could be used on a package of dog food, or some other high end advertising use. It strikes an emotional cord. Everyone loves babies. It communicates. Room for type. Easy technically, but otherwise very hard to get.

 

The bat is scary and ugly. No advertising use for you. No high end bank calendar to hang over the kitchen table so diners can throw up for a month. All that black ink will clog up the press and offset onto a viewers hands. Printer’s nightmare. We know the bat is a night creature but how about shooting at twilight to lighten the background. Halloween maybe, but only if we have a scary closeup of the face and ears showing a big red tongue.

 

The Namibia shot. Why can’t we see into the pot? Why can’t we see the costume? Why is the background so in focus? What is all that hairy stuff at the top of the image? Why is the lighting so soft? What is that clutter in the right foreground? Why not a wide angle shot from the front, so we can see into the pot, see the fire, the persons eyes, and maybe more of the costume?

 

These are all questions and concerns that a client, willing to spend bigger money, has a right to. That is why the dog image grossed $600, and the other two only grossed $9.31 each.

 

With all that knowledge, you must be a millionaire by now :)

Theory is one thing, reality however..... a very different one ;) 

 

"The Namibia shot. Why can’t we see into the pot? Why can’t we see the costume? Why is the background so in focus? What is all that hairy stuff at the top of the image? Why is the lighting so soft? What is that clutter in the right foreground? Why not a wide angle shot from the front, so we can see into the pot, see the fire, the persons eyes, and maybe more of the costume?"

 

Maybe because the photographer - Marica van der Meer - considers herself a GUEST and RESPECTS the hosipitality, the people, the culture AND doesn't act as a pretentious Western photographer giving directions as if shooting in a studio with paid models. You don't rearrange things on strangers' poperty and you keep a respectful distance! You don't hang around an individual for half an hour irritating her with big reflector screens nor blind her with flashes for the sake of your hobby/making a few bucks.

Marica shows everyday life as it is, NOT as you would like to see it ..... uncluttered and she shoots without interfering. Frankly, I'm a little surprised about your remarks. Marica is a world traveller who shoots what crosses her path, but she's a traveller in the first place who earns money as a travel guide, stock photographer and by selling articles about her adventures. Don't confuse that with someone who's on assignment for a big company, whether it's National Geographic or Dior. Maybe that's your goal, but it isn't Arterra's.

 

OK, off topic, but seen

? Now that's what I call a lack of respect for people :o That's New York, but you see the same disrespectful idiots in Calcutta or in a remote Maasai village. In Brussels, he'd end the day with two black eyes, his nose pointing towards one of his ears and with a smashed camera.

 

Anyway, I don't travel oversees anymore, nor do I any time consuming projects because the current prices aren't worth the trouble. My last three sales combined would hardly pay for a parking meter in my hometown.

 

Cheers

Philippe

 

 

 

I have no financial problems. I live well. It is all from a life in photography. It’s not hard to do, if you know what you are doing.

 
My comments are not photographic theory. It is the reality I have lived all of my life.
 
Most good photographers live among the people for months at a time and make friends. They eat their food, sleep in their homes, work their fields, go on their hunts, catch their diseases. They come back year after year. There is no need to order people around or intrude in their life. People like the photographer, they put on their best face unbidden, and welcome him back. Whatever gave you the idea National Geographic photographers intrude? They are some of the most charming un intrusive people in the world. Thats how they get pictures that communicate.
 
Don’t put words in my mouth. The moves I was suggesting only require the photographer as a friend with a camera, a wide angle lens, willing to wait for the light, and a friendship born out of time spent and respect one for the other.
 
The Namibia shot looks to me like a dog and pony show where, for money, a photographic tour group, forms a distant semi circle around someone who puts on a show for 10 minutes. More like looking at an exotic animal in a zoo. The defenseless subject knows this, and resents it, as they should.
 
That guy in New York is terrible. A lot like a Namibia tour group. Notice how he picks mostly old people who can’t fight back? It’s assault with a camera in my opinion, and I would punch him in the nose. Do not try to associate me with him.
 
If that guy wants to really capture the real New Yorker why not move into the neighbourhood? Make friends. Give away some pictures to those friends. Photograph their friends when they ask. Become a neighbourhood fixture, and part of the culture. Not someone on tour with a camera.
 
The elephant in the room here is if a photographer produces $10 pictures they will get $10 for them.
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The guy in the NYC video is truly obnoxious. However, I've always wondered how much animals (the non-human variety) enjoy photographers invading their habitats and then blasting them with powerful flashes. I imagine that the best wildlife photographers also have to show a lot of sensitivity for their subjects and get to know them well.

 

Bill, I think that your comments about the Namibia shot are unfair. There's no way of knowing if it's a posed shot. I used to get invited on press trips to Latin America quite often, and I know all about those "dog and pony shows" that you mentioned. Always hated them. Ironically, some of the pictures that I reluctantly took at those events have fetched very good prices on Alamy, which is not to say that I'm especially proud of them. Sometimes the "performers" actually feel proud to be photographed -- i.e.they want to show off their cultures (even if they aren't really what they used to be). But, yeah, I'm sure that most resent what they are forced to do for money.

 

P.S. I dislike most zoos as well.

Edited by John Mitchell

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B.t.w. when Marica shoots stock, she's on her own and not on tour with a group. Her last trip was through Australia, Iran, the -stan countries ( Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, etc) Turkey and China........... solo and by bicycle.

 

Cheers,

Philippe

 

Her Namibia image doesn't look like a "dog and pony show" shot to me, Philippe. But what do I know. B)

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B.t.w. when Marica shoots stock, she's on her own and not on tour with a group. Her last trip was through Australia, Iran, the -stan countries ( Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, etc) Turkey and China........... solo and by bicycle.

 

Cheers,

Philippe

 

Her Namibia image doesn't look like a "dog and pony show" shot to me, Philippe. But what do I know. B)

 

 

Of course, it isn't!

You know more than you think  ;)

 

Cheers,

Philippe

 

 

Thanks, but I'm really just a guy who enjoys photographing non-threatening iguanas. Homo sapiens can be totally scary.

Edited by John Mitchell
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Are we off-topic :huh:

 

Cheers,

Philippe ;)

True, we are. But, allow me just one more indulgence, this is a real "dog and pony" image shot at a staged for tourists traditional Mayan market in Mexico. I spoke with the young Maya woman (I speak rudimentary Spanish as did she) and she was very proud to show off the medicinal herbs, spices, etc. that are still used by the Maya. She was also happy to be photographed.

 

woman-grinding-spices-and-herbs-at-a-may

Edited by John Mitchell

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I have been to Maasai villages with tours and one near the Mara offers a "show" that is a lot of fun. That particular village seems to enjoy the attention and generally are pretty good at getting the tourists to dance as well. They do laugh at us. Mind you, the guide who arranges that visit is Maasai himself and apparently the amount of money we provide can support the village for half a year. On the other hand, I went to a Samburu Maasai village where it was all pretty uncomfortable. A lot of the people were enjoying the posing but mostly it felt like it was done for the money and we didn't have as much fun either. The guides I have gone with in Africa are very conscious of not stressing the animals and will often drive off after a very brief stop. No flash allowed (or needed). Just my experiences as a "tourist" photographer.

 

Paulette

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Pay me enough, and I'll put on my traditional costume (whoops! I'm already wearing it) and do a little dance. B)

 

Back to the astounding image...

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Indeed a great image.

 

The ensuing discussion is interesting as it illustrates many of the issues we face. With a common thread, price, both literally and metaphorically. The price we pay (time, effort, money), the price point we put it in the market for various usages, the price the market is willing to pay, the price of authenticity, whether that price achieves real or perceived authenticity.

 

All of which is very dependent on individual circumstances so there will be no one answer.

 

With regards authenticity. My brother had a chum who was planning to come to the fair city where I live but didn't want to see tourist stuff but the "real" Amsterdam. I was working as an auditor at the time so I offered to let him see me do 500 calculations on my Adler in a cellar. He never came. 

 

True, "authenticity" is a many layered cake. It has been raining steadily here for almost two months straight. Great time to come and see the "real" Vancouver. B)

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