Category Archives: “How-to” articles

Announcement: How can I sell my photos and make some money???

I asked myself that question over 8 years ago, and decided the answer was to sell my images. Since then I have increased my income to more than $30,000 a year and I share the steps and lessons learned in the newly revised 2017 edition of my eBook – Getting Started in Stock.  You are facing a simple choice – do you want to learn as you go, following the forums and their inconsistent information from people who may or may not know what they are talking about, or do you want to save hours of frustration and learn it all on one easy to follow guidebook?

You can buy the book directly from my site or buy this new eBook directly from Amazon as a Kindle download and get immediate access to the information you need to make money from your photographs! Now recognized as the Best Seller in Professional Photography Books!

amazonbestseller

I try hard to keep this blog informative, but not bombard you with ads that pop-up and spoil the experience. If you find the site useful and have a need for anything from Amazon (a new camera perhaps!), please use this link (or the product bar below) to check out Amazon Electronics, Camera and Photo Best Sellers It won’t cost you anything, but I will get a small affiliate payment if you decide to buy something! Thanks again!


How to take great images in dark buildings

One of the things that proved invaluable on my travels was the ability to take great images in dark indoor spaces. Of course, it would be nice to use a tripod and a low ISO, but almost all churches and palaces don’t allow tripods and there are few places where you could even rest your camera or use a small portable tripod. Modern cameras are getting better each year in terms of noise performance, but for stock images, the agencies generally want perfection! What about noise reduction techniques – those are good for low levels of noise, but they work by smoothing or averaging out the values of the pixels to remove the noise and so the edges and details can get softer as well.

So how do we get panoramic shots like this in a dark cathedral?

My technique is to first really bump up the ISO such that you can set a suitable aperture (F7.1 in this case as there were some significant differences in distance from the camera and although the focal length was just 20mm  Continue Reading

Microstockr Pro now handles Alamy sales

One of the issues with Alamy is that while you can look at a page of sales with small thumbnails, it is hard to understand how much you actually earned as it shows the gross sales price. I’ve become a keen user of Microstockr Pro over the past 6 months – to be honest, I didn’t think I would as I’ve never been one to pore over the sales, but I actually have found it pretty instructive to see when new images have sold, and to use the “best seller” page which combines sales of an image across all sites to let me understand what my best selling images actually are. Now the developers of the App have gone one step better by including Alamy sales into their application:

Alamy Sales now in Microstockr Pro

This is the first time that I have been able to see at a glance what has sold on Alamy, and to see the actual net income from the sale. What was immediately interesting was that a simple and boring picture of a watch has sold so often. That gives me some ideas for other shots that might sell OK on Alamy! It also shows what a mix of images has actually sold on Alamy as well. I’m not sure I can detect much of a trend, but it will be interesting to watch this (slowly) grow as new sales come along.

Microstockr Pro is free for the PC version while it is in Beta. Try it out!

 

Another Bored Panda article

I’ve converted my recent blog post on creating new stock photos into a Bored Panda article. It is my aim to get picked up in their “Trending” area and get more viewers of my blog via that!

Businessman offering a bitcoin in payment for bottles of wine in wine store or supermarket in concept for e-commerce

If you wouldn’t mind, please “Upvote” on the article

Remove a step-up ring from a filter

Since I moved to the Sony from Canon, I’ve had to buy some step-up filter rings to use my 77mm filters on the various Sony lenses. Simple solution, and to some extent it is better having larger filters on wide angle lenses to avoid vignetting. But what when the ring has been on your polarizing filter for some time and it refuses to budge? The polarizer is quite thin, it rotates of course, and so the amount of “gripping” space is pretty small. I saw a video about tapping the edge of the filter several times to try to free up the threads, but it didn’t work for me. And then I thought back to my Physics days – expansion due to heat! So I put a thin layer of hot water (from the tap, not the kettle) in a plate and put the filter (ring side down) into the water. The level was designed to just cover the step-up ring and no more – it didn’t touch the glass. Waited a few minutes and then, bingo, the ring easily unscrewed as it got warmer and expanded away from the threads on the filter itself. One little tip to add to your memory banks!

Thinking of new ideas for stock photos

Today I’ll give you some insight on how I approach a new concept. I saw a drawing of three hands holding a bitcoin (very stylistic) and thought it would be nice to cover something similar as a photo, especially as bitcoins are in the news a lot as they hit record prices (and will be in the news when the price collapses!). I already have some mock bitcoins and an ethereum coin (a different sort of bitcoin) and so I thought I would create a stock photo of three traders fighting over a bitcoin.

Now this took quite a bit of planning to get the angles all right, so here was my secret. Continue Reading

Trying to get some traction on Bored Panda

I don’t know how many of you have seen photography articles on Bored Panda? It often has some pretty interesting pieces and I wrote a short article tonight on stock photography.

This is my first attempt, but if you can spare the time, please have a look and comment or upvote the piece! Thanks!

Steve

Work those images!

Sometimes (often?) you travel to a location for a sunset photo, but the weather just doesn’t co-operate! On my recent UK vacation, we were driving back from visiting friends in Snowdonia National Park and I thought a detour to take a sunset image of the Vale of Llangollen would be nice! The roads up to Panorama Walk are really narrow and steep, but once you are there it all opens up and you get a great overview of the vale, the Dinas Castell Bran ruins and complex cliff structure on the adjacent hills. But the light just didn’t look right. I was not really thinking about the power of Raw images though! The end result:

But what did my first “record” shot look like?  Continue Reading

How much effort should you put into a photo?

I was thinking about this question recently. I have many, many images that I sell via stock agencies and then I have a smaller subset that I try to sell as prints via Fine Art America and also Photo4Me in the UK. I sometimes even print my own images but there is a limit to the amount of wall space I can dedicate to my own prints! So there is a conflict between the commercial calculation of time spent versus potential income and the artistic desire to get the best out of an image that catches my eye. A case in point arose this week when I was looking back at an image that I had taken in California (and was already on FAA) but there was something not right with it. I’ll start with the final finished product that has now replaced the original on FAA:

 

There has always been something Continue Reading

Trying to increase Fine Art America Sales

I’ve been spending time adding more “fine art” images to Fine Art America recently, adding perhaps 40 or so in the past month. My latest images can be seen here. But how to “goose” those sales? I decided to try Facebook advertizing for an image that I created in black and white of San Francisco:

The image itself needed a bit of work as it was taken using a 200mm lens (on a tripod) from the Marin Headlands near the Golden Gate bridge  Continue Reading

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