Minggu, 26 Oktober 2014

Digital Camera Is A Money Maker

Can you imagine anyone paying you good money for your photos? No? You know, I had all those photos from a recent trip to Rome, Italy, laying around and I thought it should be possible to make a few bucks off of them. First, I couldn't think of a way to market or sell those images but then I discovered micro stock sites.

Micro stock sites are great: You register (it's free) and then upload a few sample images. After your samples passed an initial review you start uploading and making money.

Let's look how this works in detail:

Stock photography

What is stock photography? Imagine someone is creating a website about healthcare. To beef it up they want a few images of doctors, nurses, operating theaters and the like. Rather than hiring a photographer (sending him on "assignment" as it's called in the business) which can be very expensive the designer decides to use stock photos, i.e. images that are readily available. Usually stock images are much cheaper than "bespoke" photos. So our designer would visit one of the established stock image sites and browse around a little until she finds some nice healthcare related imagery. After paying up (usually at the tone of $100 per image or higher depending on the use) she downloads the photos, puts them on the website and calls it a day. Get more here smartphonereview101.com

Micro stock sites vs. traditional agencies

With a traditional agency our designer likely spent between $500 and $1,000 for half a dozen images of doctors, nurses and stuff like this. That's small change if you are a Fortune 500 company, but what if you are on a budget or doing website design for a friend or a nonprofit organization?

Enter micro stock agencies. Micro stock sites have stirred up the traditional market for stock photography over the last three years. What's the idea here? Rather than charging $100 or more for a photo, on many of those sites you can get high quality images for less than $10, sometimes as low as $1!

With a payout of perhaps 25 to 50 cents per image this is not very attractive for professional photographers but an amateur can make decent money this way and should at least be able to finance her hobby. And remember, this is the Internet we are talking about: Make it up on volume. 25 cents per image downloaded may not sound like much but if you have several hundred or even a thousand decent and usable images, all of them submitted to the big micro stock sites even a paltry 25 cents per download can add up nicely.

What you need

Most micro stock agencies have the same requirements: You'll need at least a four Megapixel camera (more is better, although you'll be fine with between six and eight Megapixels), your images should be free of noise, properly keyworded and should picture sought after subjects. For example, good selling images are business or healthcare related or illustrate a concept or an emotion such as love, relationships, carreer and the like.

Sabtu, 25 Oktober 2014

Poppies in Tuscany – Definitive Flower Pictures

A splash of scarlet poppies among lush green fields in the foreground, a medieval hill town in Tuscany, the red brick warm and glowing, in the background - the photograph travel brochures dream of. People will flock to see fields of poppies. Finding the perfect combination to photograph together in real life, even in Tuscany, isn’t always easy. (See my article Poppies in Tuscany - the Digital Photography Alternative if you’re tempted to try to create the shot digitally).

Everywhere you drive among the Tuscan hills in late May, early June the fields of poppies cut a swathe of picturesque red and strike a chord of nostalgia in those from countries where agriculture is now dominated by herbicides and pesticides.  So the poppies are everywhere, medieval towns are scattered liberally over the countryside, but to find the two strategically placed at the right angle to each other, with the right light, to get the ultimate shot, involves a lot of driving down tracks and dirt roads.

Drive south from Siena, towards Montalcino, San Quirico d’Orcia and Pienza and you will find endless vistas of rolling hills, cypress trees, small towns on hills with Monte Amiata gently curving on the horizon, here and there splashes of red lure you into finding  a strada bianca to get closer - could this be your shot?

Maybe we will have to allow for other possibilities in the background: a lone Romanesque church with a couple of sentinel cypress trees is a classic shot; or perhaps a tumble-down farm-house. It is very much a matter of luck and perseverance to find the right components of the shot -- the skill lies in choice of lens (telephoto or wide-angle), angle (lying low down amid the flowers or standing up to gain the panoramic view), time of day (morning or evening light).

Look at the shot through wide-angle lens first for greatest depth of field, make sure the background town doesn’t dwindle to nothing, fill the foreground with a sea of poppies.  The telephoto gives more prominence to the town or church allowing a bright smudge of colour from the poppies in the foreground. Choose early morning or evening light - once you have found the right place to take the shot, you will have to calculate which is better and wait it out - midday sun will bleach out all colour and atmosphere.

Once the light is right shoot every possible combination of lenses, angles, apertures and framing (vertical and horizontal) that you can think of. By next week the poppies may be over or harvested and next year a different crop may have taken its place. So your shot will be unique, the definitive Poppies in Tuscany photograph of the year.