Stock Photography

Sorry no recent posts. In an effort to earn some money from my hobby "Photography" I have started uploading images to a couple of stock photography websites. one is Crestock, the other is Dreamstime. My Crestock Portfolio is here (while on Crestock check out Judge Ross's best and worst image of the day). My Dreamstime Portfolio is here. You'll notice both are pretty much the same. It is interesting to note which images were selected and rejected by the two sites. Crestock with it's "high" standards has accepted images without the modifications requested by Dreamstime and vice versa. However I have made .50 cents at Dreamstime (woo hoo!) someone liked my picture of the Durango and Silverton locomotive.

Stock photography is interesting. I can't just upload any pictures, all the pictures must meet the following standards:
In focus
Properly lighted
Proper contrast
Composed (more on this later)
No logos, trademarks, or copyrighted items visible.
Larger than 4 mega pixels

Sounds simple, right? Ha Ha Ha, how naive you are.
Here is an example of a rejected and accepted image.

What I did to make this acceptable would take up a whole blog entry. To summerize, I isolated the bird and twig on a seperate layer. and using a layer mask I addjusted the color, saturation, and contrast independently in each layer (it was much more complicated than that), and clone brushed out the smaller distracting twig.

This image is an example of what a properly composed image is:
I won't tell them that it was just an accident I was walking to the scene of a fire and snapped a picture.
The image is divided up into approximate thirds. The red and blue squares are in two of the 4 golden spots. For stock photography you rarely want an image perfectly centered. You want you points of interest in one or more of the 4 intersections. So We have the fireman and fire truck in one and a column of smoke in the other. To add more interest the fireman is running.

This image was rejected, the only reason given was "Lack of composition".
Even though I spent a lot of time clone brushing out several cars on the road, houses in the valley, and a fat guy on the next hill to the right of Mike it was not considered interesting enough.

Here is the only image I uploaded that has sold (so far). Can you spot what I did to make it acceptable?

That's Right I clone brushed the tree on the left side out, added a blue sky, clone brushed the Durango & Silverton name off the side of the tender (and first visible car), and clone brushed the McDonald's crap from the background. I also added more steam to cover up a problem area on the mountain above the train.

One thing that is popular with Stock photography websites are Isolation's. Isolations are used to add an object into another image
In this case I suspended a .45 caliber pistol from fishing wire, in front of a projector screen. I then setup some lights to limit the amount of shadow on the screen, I then messed around with the camera settings to get a good picture with very little background. I opened the image in Photoshop, and to save time here "worked my magic on it". I then set to work deleting the background. once completed I "worked more magic on it" and uploaded it. At this time it's status is pending and I won't know if it has been accepted for a couple of days (update 7-12-07 image accepted).

Why is my name on some of these images, well I don't want anyone being able to get a free copy if they follow the links in my profile on Crestock, or Dreamstime.

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