Category Archives: Stock Photo Examples

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

Earnings from Stock Photography in September 2017

It is a long time since I posted, but I do have an excuse. I was on a cruise around the Baltic sea (and to save you reaching for Google Maps, the ship went from Sweden to Finland, Russia, Estonia, Poland, Germany, Denmark and finally Norway). I’ve come back with 2270 images and am slowly working my way through them to try to get the best stock photos out of the voyage.

However, I came back to some nice earnings this month, with the total just short of $3000 – I ended up with $2977. Here is my graph showing earnings per month over the past four years:

Earnings from stock photography and microstock agencies over the past four years

As you can see, this was a very nice increase over last month and seems to be following a trend in most months this year where the 2017 total is more than the same months in previous years.  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!

 

Do Alamy buyers search elsewhere?

Earlier in August I did an analysis of all the zooms on Alamy in the first half of the month to see if a buyer then searched for, and bought, that image on one of the microstock sites. This post continues that analysis for the rest of the month.

11 August – No zooms on this RM image, but sold on Alamy

I only uploaded these images from Equatorial Guinea to Alamy and Getty (via Corbis). Continue Reading

My bitcoin shots are selling out fast…

I wrote about my approach to a new stock idea earlier in the week, and continued to think of new variants as the week went on. One I did as a bit of a laugh yesterday was to illustrate the concept of Bitcoin mining. Using one of my old photos of a mine entrance in Australia, I composited in one of my arms:

Not the best image in the world, but I thought I might as well upload it. I did that last night, it was approved overnight and has just sold. That hasn’t happened for a while for me.

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

Do image buyers search for cheaper versions?

Last month I outlined my view that the old “wisdom” that a really good photo should only be placed on a more expensive agency as Rights Managed (RM) was perhaps not really true. In that article I outlined the sales I had made via Alamy and Getty for higher amounts and found firstly that the RF images on average made the same amount of money, and that people bought RF images from Alamy and Getty even though the same image was available on a lower cost microstock agency. What that doesn’t really prove is that I’m losing money by someone seeing an image on Alamy, say, and then searching elsewhere to buy it. So I decided to start to track the “zooms” on Alamy and see whether the same image was bought during the following days on one of the other sites I am tracking using Microstockr Pro. Alamy allows you to filter the zooms to a particular day and so I started on 1 August:

Not a great image, but did it sell elsewhere on 1st or 2nd August?  Continue Reading

The best drone I ever had

This should really have been titled the best drone I never had… About a month back I finally gave in to my impulse to buy a drone for stock photography and videos. I did a lot of research, and my key requirements were obviously a good camera for stills and video but also something that I could travel with on my jaunts around the world. I’m going on a cruise later in the year and thought lovingly of a great shot of the cruise boat sailing from port with my drone up in the air above the stern! To get there, it had to fit in my luggage in some way on air flights. The answer for me turned out to be the DJI Mavic Pro which I bought from Amazon:

For just less than $1000, you expect something good, and this surpassed my expectations. It was solidly built but not too heavy at just over 2 pounds, and folded down into a small space of perhaps a large bottle of water. The controller uses a smartphone as the controller/viewer which saves weight on travel as well. I practiced around my home and found it really stable in the air, easy to fly and the early video output was very good. I flew it above my house to see why the gutters were leaking and saw some debris in there – great first success!  Continue Reading

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

Copyright © 2017. Powered by WordPress & Romangie Theme.