Best earning stock photos in January 2011

It is always difficult working out which is the best earner in a month, as sales are spread out across multiple sites and it isn’t easy to calculate total earning per image. Instead, I will post and discuss the ones that had the highest individual sales this month.

The biggest by far was this Panorama of Salo Harbor on Lake Garda in Italy.

Panorama of Salo harbor on Lake Garda

Lake Garda Panorama

It was downloaded three times in quick succession, presumably by the same buyer who liked the size (almost 30 Mpixels) and quality. The final download gave them the right for unlimited reproductions and the total earned $60 for this one image.

The picture was pieced together from 4 individual images and stitched in Photoshop. I liked the way the speedboat draws your eye towards the center of the picture and obviously the day was nice and sunny and so highlights the colors on the buildings in the town.

The next two photos sold as “Enhanced” licenses on Shutterstock. I think that an enhanced license allows you to incorporate the image in another product made for sale, and so it could be on a calendar or similar item – you can never tell unless you happen to see the photo at some point. The first was another panorama – this time of a bay off the far south west corner of Puerto Rico. This was stitched from 5 images, and it also shows how Photoshop manages to smoothly stitch moving objects. The waves were coming in and out as I took the photos, and the stitching did a great job except for one area where the tide appears to come in like a wave of hair!

Panorama of a sunny bay in Puerto Rico

Cabo Rojo bay on Puerto Rico

Enhanced images on Shutterstock result in a payment of $28 to the photographer, which is very different from the normal $0.36 per image that you get from subscription sales! Panoramas were obviously the “in” thing in January – perhaps people are creating their summer vacation brochures and needed a very broad image for the top of the brochure across both pages? I’ll have to watch out for this distinctive image!

The final image that sold as Enhanced on Shutterstock was a plain and simple picture of a house in the snow. The use that someone will make of this is less clear to me! I guess it could be on a calendar, but it would be a pretty boring one if this is the best they can do for January. Anyway, it was an easy photo to take, I had to remove the door numbers and other identifying signs and then keyword and upload and so there was little work involved. It is good to get a pleasant reward for that effort!

Modern house in snow

Family home in the snow

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