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I have more than   6 thousand images in Alamy.  Part of it is a landscape, nature. Some photos from world famous places like «Yellowstone park», «Arches park», etc. Strangely, none of them has been sold. Why is this happening? It may Alamy buyers   not be focused on this kind of pictures?

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Why is this strange? World famous locations are the most over supplied subjects in photography. Indeed, landscape photography is one of the most competitive activities out there. 

 

Check your ranking and see how far you are from the top of typical searches and then take a look at how many searches for your subjects there are. The ratio between the number of searches and the number of images available will tell you what you need to know.

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A good question, and good advice from Brian and Mark.

 
I would suggest that you work on a unique personal style for famous places that are close to your home. Make it your own unique style. Stand out from the avalanche of images. This way you will not have as much of the competition that Brian and Mark refer to.
 
Once you develop that unique style, close to home where there are no travel costs, then you could travel further afield.
 
There are photographers that shoot travel images within a days drive from home. They do not really travel.
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I've found that adding a human element to landscape and 'famous places' images can help them sell -- e.g.  include people looking at the ruins, speaking with a guide, marveling at the view, etc. in the image.

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Lots of searches though on AoA set to Jan 1st 2016 till now: 35 pages/100 for %landscape%.

It looks like some of the few landscape images I have could do with the keyword landscape  ;-)

Thank you for alerting me.

 

wim

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I've found that adding a human element to landscape and 'famous places' images can help them sell -- e.g.  include people looking at the ruins, speaking with a guide, marveling at the view, etc. in the image.

I completely agree with John, all my photos of well known national parks, that have sold, have been with people interacting with the park. That is not saying that pictures without people won't sell but my experience is that with people, they have a better chance. At least mine have a better chance.

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I've found that adding a human element to landscape and 'famous places' images can help them sell -- e.g.  include people looking at the ruins, speaking with a guide, marveling at the view, etc. in the image.

I completely agree with John, all my photos of well known national parks, that have sold, have been with people interacting with the park. That is not saying that pictures without people won't sell but my experience is that with people, they have a better chance. At least mine have a better chance.

 

 

I have some images from the heavily-photographed Mesa Verde region of Colorado that -- much to my surprise given the competition -- have produced several good sales on Alamy. They all had people in them. Here's one that has licensed:

 

young-woman-tourist-looking-at-anasazi-c

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Just looked at my last 30 sales, none were exclusively landscape in the conventional sense. The nearest shows a tractor ploughing a field in a rural landscape. 19 of those 30 sales were of locally taken shots.

 

I have relatively few shots with landscape in the keywords, and they don't sell well. A quick check shows only one sale ever for a straight, people free, landscape shot. One that made it into a guide book includes people.

 

We're all different, I'm a jack of all trades, nothing too humble or mundane escapes my camera. I do this because I like doing it and to make money, I can't afford to be narrowly focused or precious about subject matter, but that's not to say that a specialism won't work, it clearly does for some.

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There are many conventions attached to landscape pix, when shooting and, subsequently, viewing. Conventionally ‘beautiful’ landscape pix - of the kind that turn up in photo mags - may not have so much sales potential (apart from photo mags!). Better to have people in them (foreground/middleground), to illustrate various kinds of rural recreation. Or illustrating specific environmental issues (land use, threatened landscapes, building projects, flooding, etc)…

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Having looked at some of your landscape images and in my humble opinion they are in general good but just do not seem to POP.

 

Maybe a bit more colour and midtone contrast may help.

 

JMO. Others will differ in their opinions.

 

Allan

 

PS Just looked at some of my images and should take my own advice too. :)

Edited by Allan Bell
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This is the competition. Or this when set to Creative.

 

wim

 

Yup, the competition is YUGE!

 

These must be very difficult times for landscape photographers looking to make a living from their work.

 

 

Just casually browsing the forum and saw someone had marked this as a down arrow? Why on earth would they do that? 

 

Trying to make a living as a fully fledged; full-time and no other specialism apart from landscapes is nigh on impossible unless you add in other elements such as doing workshops/ tours and things such as magazine work.

 

As someone who is a landscape photographer I realized very early on that diversification is the keyword here. You've got the numbers but the quality? Yes and no is the answer I see from the brief glance.

 

Composition has to be way tighter. Too many similars from what I saw too.

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Rohn Engh (Sell and resell your photos), the guru of stock photography, was writing in the 1980s advising budding stock photographers that scenics including landscape, flowers, wild life and generally the sort of images loved by photo mags were not the way to stock success. It has not got easier to sell those pictures in the 35 years since with the increased competition, everyone and their dog is producing such pictures.

 

But what to take, now that is the question! But who has the answers?

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About a third of the pictures which I licensed so far are landscapes and cityscapes without people in the foreground.

 

(The other two thirds of my licenses are objects, trains, cars/trucks, people).

 

 

Christoph

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I just checked the landscapes in my portfolio against sales. Landscapes with people sell more than landscapes with no people.

 
Gonna change my approach. Thanks John.

 

 

Beacause they tell a story, they illustrate an idea, which is exactly Rohn Engh's point. For Alamy especially we should be thinking illustration, not pretty picture. Editorial wants something that tells part of the story.

Edited by Martin P Wilson
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