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!


Dreamstime Blog Contest

I wrote last week about the Dreamstime Blog Contest and my entry. Well, and this is a bit of a downer, my entry was rejected for not meeting some or all of their guidelines. I checked those out, but am not really sure what I did wrong, but, hey, there are other things in life! I’ll reformat the article and post it here a little later!

In the meantime, I do have a favor to ask. My colleague, Alex Rotenberg, writes really well and is trying to make it in stock photography as his full time occupation! He has a blog entry over on Dreamstime, which I think is a pretty interesting perspective of someone who got into the stock game relatively recently. If you like it, please mark it as “Useful” in the upper left hand column! Perhaps we can get the prize for Alex!

Thanks

Dreamstime has a blog competition – you can help me!

Dreamstime has announced a competition for “best blog” post on their site and so I have had a go at my first blog on the Dreamstime site.

**Update** – it doesn’t appear to be visible on the site yet. Perhaps in moderation? ***

I decided to write about a tricky subject – how to come up with ideas (and images) to illustrate things in the news. If you have an account at Dreamstime, would you mind having a look at my blog post and, if you find it useful, click on the green “Useful” button at the top of the left column (at least it is there on a webpage view of their blog!)

Thanks!

Steve

Don’t assume you know everything!

What a strange title! But I realized over the past few days that what I have been doing with editorial shots was not only a lot of hard work – it was unnecessary as well! For the past year, I have been uploading editorial shots to the stock agencies using the guidance in this Shutterstock blog article, Creating the Perfect Editorial Caption. Basically, a perfect caption is like this:

GDANSK, POLAND – 16 SEPTEMBER: Hyundai cars on dockside on 16 September 2017 in Gdansk, Poland. Hyundai sold over 7.8M vehicles in 2016.

It has the date, location, then a description, then the location again and finally something that makes it newsworthy – a “qualifying newsworthy statement” as Shutterstock explains it. This same caption is accepted at all the other sites and so I have been dutifully Continue Reading

Watch for scams on Fine Art America

I received an email today via the Fine Art America website that said:

Subject:
ARTWORK

Message:
Greetings,

   My name is Anthonio Jack from Oregon.. I actually observed my wife has been viewing your website on my laptop and i guess she likes your piece of work, I’m also impressed and amazed to have seen your various works too,You are doing a great job. I would like to receive further information about your piece of work and what inspires you.. Kindly confirm the availability for immediate sales..

Thanks and best regards..

I was a bit doubtful – why is he saying he observed his wife on his laptop? I’m also a photographer, not an artist and so why is he wanting further information about my work and what is that about availability for immediate sales? I did a bit of a search on his name on Google and found this interesting explanation of the scam.

So, if you receive one of these via FAA, ignore it!

Steve

 

How to make the best of a day in a new city

As I think I mentioned, I went on a cruise in September around the Baltic Sea. 11 cities in 15 days! Apart from a cruise being a really relaxing way to spend your time, how does it match against a travel stock photographer’s needs? How do I approach a day in a new city? I thought I would illustrate this with one day’s shoot in Copenhagen – I just finished keywording and uploading this particular set yesterday. As I had to keyword a total of 65 images, it brought home to me just how much work this business can generate! Time will tell if it generates some income to match that effort…

We arrived around sunrise in the port, which is reasonably close to the city center of Copenhagen. Although you are completely at the mercy of the weather on a one day trip, I still try to get the best shots I can. Luckily, Copenhagen was dry and somewhat sunny! My first start is to see what I can see from the boat itself:

In this case, the new power station in the harbor built with a ski slope and climbing wall inside. Looking around I also see the Genetically Modified Little Mermaid: Continue Reading

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!

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