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brewedallday

Whats Good Fellow Photographers?

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Whats up everyone!

 

I have been running through my photography and realized I have over 20,000 photos offline.  And in my completely unbiased viewpoint, some of them seem to be  worth selling.  :P  I have pulled up a site that walked through the top 10 sites to use for this type and Alamy came up high in the rankings.  

 

Heres the thing, I have very little idea what I am doing.  I learn fast though and I don't want to waste a ton of time.  Is there a top tricks and tips forum to help me get started on this process of getting my pictures past Quality?  

 

Also, editing, how important is this?  Would you recommend I spend a lot of time editing photos or should I just place them out as is and hope for the best.  Any of your advice would be awesome. 

 

 

Thanks and look forward to speaking with you all!

 

Edited by brewedallday

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While I always hope for the best, there is certainly a middle ground between heavy editing and just uploading and crossing your fingers. Carefully checking to make sure that your images are technically solid is a worthwhile thing to do. When you start uploading images to stock photo vendors like Alamy, you are being judged as a professional, it's what buyers expect.

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First and foremost - what camera was used to take the images?  If it was a consumer point and shoot, then it is highly unlikely any will pass through alamy QC.

 

If a decent DSLR or mirrorless took the images, then you can get started.  Get the free trial from Adobe for PS, ACR, Bridge and LR.  Start editing.  Are you familiar with any of this software?  If not, you will almost have to, although there are other alternatives

.

You must check each image at 100% to check to make sure they are in focus, don't have any dust bunnies, no CA, and no obvious noise, especially colour noise.

 

Perhaps post a link to a full size image so we could take a look.

 

Jill 

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On 6/23/2017 at 20:48, brewedallday said:

I have pulled up a site that walked through the top 10 sites to use for this type and Alamy came up high in the rankings. 

 

Must be an interesting site! Could you give us a hint?

 

wim

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An important part of stock photography is whether anyone will actually want to buy what you offer. Before you spend time editing for all possible faults, ask yourself if the picture will illustrate something.  If it is a flower, you must identify it in your caption and keywords (tags) with the common name and the scientific name.

The same goes for any animal. Common, scientific.  You don't just say, "brown dog" you say "chocolate Labrador retriever."

You don't say, "pretty red bird", you say, "Male American Cardinal," followed by the scientific name.

if you have images of people, they will do best if they are doing something.  A girl sunbathing, a guy playing volleyball, several people interacting and talking to each other, (keywords -companionship, friends). Avoid simple portraits of someone looking at the camera, unless they are exhibiting an emotion like anger, sadness, or have an attribute like red hair, goatee, acne, bad teeth, etc.

 

A buyer wants your image to say something. Or to illustrate an article in a book, newspaper or magazine. Go to a shop and browse the magazines...pay attention to the photos used and what they are illustrating.  Look at what's used in newspapers.

when you identify your images that can fit in these molds, concentrate on making that image perfect. If it can't be fixed, toss it.

As Jill said above, you need a decent camera, and you'll have the best chance of developing it properly if you shoot RAW.

Betty

 

 

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6 hours ago, Jill Morgan said:

First and foremost - what camera was used to take the images?  If it was a consumer point and shoot, then it is highly unlikely any will pass through alamy QC.

 

If a decent DSLR or mirrorless took the images, then you can get started.  Get the free trial from Adobe for PS, ACR, Bridge and LR.  Start editing.  Are you familiar with any of this software?  If not, you will almost have to, although there are other alternatives

.

You must check each image at 100% to check to make sure they are in focus, don't have any dust bunnies, no CA, and no obvious noise, especially colour noise.

 

Perhaps post a link to a full size image so we could take a look.

 

Jill 

 

 

https://500px.com/photo/217629771/ocean-picnic-by-danbrue?from=following&user_id=22664341

- Sorry for the different site.  It is the only link I had for some of these pictures.  A lot of my pictures are this quality without editing.  From the naked eye they look ok to me but I am a certified newbie and they might be full of problems. :) 

 

I am using a Sony NEX5 to take the pictures. I love it but I know I am not using it to the full capability it has to offer. 

 

As for the software you are speaking of.  I have Adobe Creative Suite, is this a part of the PS, ACR, Bridge, and LR; or will I need to purchase a separate software.  I keep hearing about CA, Color Noise, and Focus. I will have to do some research on YouTube to find out first how to identify these pieces and know if my photos have these problem areas. 

 

Thanks for all the input!

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2 hours ago, Betty LaRue said:

An important part of stock photography is whether anyone will actually want to buy what you offer. Before you spend time editing for all possible faults, ask yourself if the picture will illustrate something.  If it is a flower, you must identify it in your caption and keywords (tags) with the common name and the scientific name.

The same goes for any animal. Common, scientific.  You don't just say, "brown dog" you say "chocolate Labrador retriever."

You don't say, "pretty red bird", you say, "Male American Cardinal," followed by the scientific name.

if you have images of people, they will do best if they are doing something.  A girl sunbathing, a guy playing volleyball, several people interacting and talking to each other, (keywords -companionship, friends). Avoid simple portraits of someone looking at the camera, unless they are exhibiting an emotion like anger, sadness, or have an attribute like red hair, goatee, acne, bad teeth, etc.

 

A buyer wants your image to say something. Or to illustrate an article in a book, newspaper or magazine. Go to a shop and browse the magazines...pay attention to the photos used and what they are illustrating.  Look at what's used in newspapers.

when you identify your images that can fit in these molds, concentrate on making that image perfect. If it can't be fixed, toss it.

As Jill said above, you need a decent camera, and you'll have the best chance of developing it properly if you shoot RAW.

Betty

 

 

 

Hey Betty, 

 

Thanks for the solid info and advice.  I will 100% start adding much more general and scientific keywords to help with matching.  

 

When you say shoot in RAW, will you help me understand what that is?  

 

As for what is being used currently, I see what you are saying. I will start focusing on a more interactive shot to express emotion.  

 

 

Good looking out, hope you have a great day!

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1 hour ago, brewedallday said:

 

Hey Betty, 

 

Thanks for the solid info and advice.  I will 100% start adding much more general and scientific keywords to help with matching.  

 

When you say shoot in RAW, will you help me understand what that is?  

 

As for what is being used currently, I see what you are saying. I will start focusing on a more interactive shot to express emotion.  

 

 

Good looking out, hope you have a great day!

 

Your camera certainly should be good enough.

 

The sample image is not good enough unless that is a 100% crop of the full size image.  I am on my laptop now ad it is really hard to judge an image on a laptop as it looks different depending on the angle of the monitor.

 

RAW is the base format of your images.  All good cameras shoot RAW and jpeg.  A jpeg is a compressed version of your RAW image.  All editing should be done in RAW, but it's not an absolute.  There are people here quite successful shooting in jpeg only.  But it does give you the best flexibility in editing.

 

Watch some videos at Adobe or on YouTube on editing with ACR. It is designed strictly for working with RAW images (although can work with jpgs).  Before uploading a whole pile of images, do tons of reading and watching.  The Sony's RAW format is ARW.  Canon's is CR2.

 

Jill

 

 

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Bre,

 

I've been a "working" photographer since 1974, small daily newspaper using Spotmatics and TRI-x.

I've come up in the world from shooting K-14 and E-6 to $36,000 DSLR bodies, 2.11 and 6MP's.

Now I shoot on 36MP NIKON DSLR's and I start with a 40+MP RAW file producing a 200 + MB 16bit

TIFF file to work on in Photoshop. 

 

In my opinion "pretty pictures" are nice, but they don't license often or for high fees.  I am, was, a

magazine photojournalist and I have been very happy with Alamy, best online agency I've ever found.

 

When it comes to "Stock" photography I am no expert, there are others on this forum who know more,

but in my own opinion, shoot what you love, caption and keyword very very well and it will all fall into

place.

 

Good Luck

 

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Jill said it for me about shooting in RAW.  

The difference between shooting in RAW and jpeg is this. Jpegs will initially have better looking pictures than RAW. That's because your camera develops the picture. RAW looks somewhat flat and less colorful. 

 

But then you can make the decisions on how you want to develop the RAW picture, and what you do doesn't degrade it. Adjusting jpegs, you can only do so much with it. If the highlights are blown, you usually can't recover any detail. But with RAW, you often can. RAW is more forgiving, and darks/lights much easier to adjust.

Betty

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21 hours ago, brewedallday said:

 

 

https://500px.com/photo/217629771/ocean-picnic-by-danbrue?from=following&user_id=22664341

- Sorry for the different site.  It is the only link I had for some of these pictures.  A lot of my pictures are this quality without editing.  From the naked eye they look ok to me but I am a certified newbie and they might be full of problems. :) 

 

I am using a Sony NEX5 to take the pictures. I love it but I know I am not using it to the full capability it has to offer. 

 

As for the software you are speaking of.  I have Adobe Creative Suite, is this a part of the PS, ACR, Bridge, and LR; or will I need to purchase a separate software.  I keep hearing about CA, Color Noise, and Focus. I will have to do some research on YouTube to find out first how to identify these pieces and know if my photos have these problem areas. 

 

Thanks for all the input!

 

The NEX-5 is fine. I've had lots of sales of images taken with a NEX-3 (same sensor) and kit lenses.

 

I currently use the NEX-6. The viewfinder makes a huge difference BTW.  I kept my trusty NEX-3 body as a backup.

 

Good luck.

 

 

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On 6/28/2017 at 15:14, Jill Morgan said:

 

Your camera certainly should be good enough.

 

The sample image is not good enough unless that is a 100% crop of the full size image.  I am on my laptop now ad it is really hard to judge an image on a laptop as it looks different depending on the angle of the monitor.

 

RAW is the base format of your images.  All good cameras shoot RAW and jpeg.  A jpeg is a compressed version of your RAW image.  All editing should be done in RAW, but it's not an absolute.  There are people here quite successful shooting in jpeg only.  But it does give you the best flexibility in editing.

 

Watch some videos at Adobe or on YouTube on editing with ACR. It is designed strictly for working with RAW images (although can work with jpgs).  Before uploading a whole pile of images, do tons of reading and watching.  The Sony's RAW format is ARW.  Canon's is CR2.

 

Jill

 

 

 

Hey Jill, 

 

It is 100% crop image.  

 

Thank you for the information and I will take this advice before posting more pictures.  

 

This is a passion project, leading to a much bigger goal, for me and your replies and optimism have been very helpful. 

 

Cheers!

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On 6/28/2017 at 15:28, Chuck Nacke said:

Bre,

 

I've been a "working" photographer since 1974, small daily newspaper using Spotmatics and TRI-x.

I've come up in the world from shooting K-14 and E-6 to $36,000 DSLR bodies, 2.11 and 6MP's.

Now I shoot on 36MP NIKON DSLR's and I start with a 40+MP RAW file producing a 200 + MB 16bit

TIFF file to work on in Photoshop. 

 

In my opinion "pretty pictures" are nice, but they don't license often or for high fees.  I am, was, a

magazine photojournalist and I have been very happy with Alamy, best online agency I've ever found.

 

When it comes to "Stock" photography I am no expert, there are others on this forum who know more,

but in my own opinion, shoot what you love, caption and keyword very very well and it will all fall into

place.

 

Good Luck

 

 

Good Sir you have clearly mastered your craft!  I would love to be on your level in the years to come.  

 

I will absolutely look into what is selling vs the pictures I love to take.  I am signing up for these sites to make a few dollars here and there; however the bigger goal is to help build my brand.  I love having the portfolios and learning more from all of you. 

 

Thanks for the comments on it all coming together the way it should, I am a big believer. :)

 

 

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On 6/28/2017 at 19:23, Betty LaRue said:

Jill said it for me about shooting in RAW.  

The difference between shooting in RAW and jpeg is this. Jpegs will initially have better looking pictures than RAW. That's because your camera develops the picture. RAW looks somewhat flat and less colorful. 

 

But then you can make the decisions on how you want to develop the RAW picture, and what you do doesn't degrade it. Adjusting jpegs, you can only do so much with it. If the highlights are blown, you usually can't recover any detail. But with RAW, you often can. RAW is more forgiving, and darks/lights much easier to adjust.

Betty

 

Betty, 

 

You and Jill are awesome and I love the help. Your pictures are amazing and the editing is what I'm looking for. 

 

I'm going to put some more effort into editing and see what this next round of pics might look like.  In a year or so, it will be fun to watch the growth! 

 

I have definitely been shooting a mix of both, so from now on, RAW it is. :)

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On 6/29/2017 at 01:56, arterra said:

 

 

Just my two cents, but don't you think you should master all this (which are basic photography skills) BEFORE even thinking about submitting to a PROFESSIONAL market? Taking pictures for customers who expect professional quality involves a lot more than just making a pleasing composition. Judging the above, all you seem to do is press the shutter. Correct me if I'm wrong.

This stock business is completely over-saturated (Eiffel tower: 54,000 pictures / Havana, Cuba: 81,000 / zebra: 62,000 / ..... and that's just here. Customers look at other agencies as well). If you want to make sales, you need to surpass the competition or be at least on par with what's already offered. Therefore, you need to make your pictures "pop": sufficient saturated colours, details in both shadows and highlights, good contrast, splendid composition. That takes time and skill. You greatly underestimate all that. Pictures don't just happen, they are MADE!

Concerning subjects: customers are not waiting for hastily taken holiday snapshots,  which - sorry to say - 3 of your 4 examples are. You need to shoot a lot more well defined, clear subjects ( like your spider shot. You do know the species, do you?). Remember, pictures aren't published just because they are pretty, but because they fit to illustrate an article. Before pressing the button, you have to ask yourself "who could use this picture, to illustrate what?".

Judging your own work is pretty easy: look for subjects with Alamy's search engine which you also covered, . Now, imagine you're a customer. Which image would you buy? Yours, or do you find way better ones? If you have to admit that loads of other pictures show much better quality ....... then you're wasting your time in this business.

 

Cheers,

Philippe

Photography Prints
 Fine Art Collection Arterra

 

Love the enthusiasm Phillips.  

 

As I said before this is a process for me that in 20 years I hope to look back on and laugh at those first few photos.  

 

I understand what you are saying with the market being inundated. And if my work is basic, you are correct, it probably wont be purchased.  But what I can say, is the next photos I post will be basic +1 new learned trick...thanks to all the kindness of these posts I am receiving. 

 

So while some might see this as a waste because it takes me time to make money, this is one of my many different hobbies I live for and will continue to learn and grow in. 

 

Best of luck to you. 

Edited by brewedallday

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On 6/30/2017 at 21:15, brewedallday said:

 

Good Sir you have clearly mastered your craft!  I would love to be on your level in the years to come.  

 

I will absolutely look into what is selling vs the pictures I love to take.  I am signing up for these sites to make a few dollars here and there; however the bigger goal is to help build my brand.  I love having the portfolios and learning more from all of you. 

 

Thanks for the comments on it all coming together the way it should, I am a big believer. :)

 

 

 

Welcome. Pleasantries out of the way and straight to the chase - out of curiosity, why is your "bigger goal" to help build a brand and what "brand" is that?

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Hi Brew,

There aren't really any "tips or tricks" for getting started.  I think it's important to ensure your photography and post-processing skills are at a high enough level before starting to submit to alamy.  And, as mentioned, you must have images that would be useful for buyers.  Also, if you are thinking of submitting an image, it's always helpful to see what other images are already in Alamy's collection on that topic.  I only add an image if I think it will fare well against the competition and/or if there aren't many on that topic.  If you submit images that are of lesser quality than existing ones, your ranking will drop, causing you to have fewer views and less chance of sales.  It's best to start off with a good quality product to sell, and one that buyers would find useful.

 

Maria

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el

On 30/06/2017 at 20:15, brewedallday said:

 however the bigger goal is to help build my brand.  I love having the portfolios and learning more from all of you. 

 

 

 

Elsewhere, maybe, but Alamy's the brand here, not you.

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Thanks for the info and advice all.  I will start other threads to continue some of these side conversations.  

 

What I learned...

 

- RAW vs JPEG

- How to ensure there is no blurring in a photo

- Professional Quality vs Vacation Photos (see pics above)

- Importance of tagging and identifying pictures

- Editing vs Uploading Photos

- What's Hot vs What's Available is key for $$$

- What editing software to learn and invest time in

- Basic understanding of how the ranking system works for Alamy

 

For a first post, I am very impressed with the community here.  While you all are clearly very protective of your craft, it is fun to see the vastly differing approaches to "helping a newbie" through the process.  

 

Above is what I gained from this post and I look forward to continuing the learning process.  Good luck to everyone out there helping and I will see you on the next post. :)  

 

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