I’ve been very busy lately working on uploading images to a stock library with a difference. If you’ve ever thought about selling your images online and don’t know where to start then look them up at https://www.eyeem.com/
Creating an account is easy and costs nothing then all accepted images are offered for sale under licence with the better images being further offered for sale when they partner up with the world’s leading photo agencies to get your work seen by even more buyers.
In their own words “The EyeEm app is the ultimate place to discover stunning photography, participate in photo briefs with top brands and sharpen your skills with daily tips, tricks and tutorials. Beyond inspiration, this is where you can sell your photos and earn 50% profit every single time”
OK, it can take a few weeks for your images to be initially reviewed but consistent uploading will soon get your site growing, especially as you can upload from tablet or phone. I’ve now got 840+ images on this site and starting to see the first sales. If you want to see what your site would look like then check mine out at https://www.eyeem.com/u/jwimages
As I see it putting your images to work is much better than leaving them to stagnate on a hard drive somewhere plus you learn new ideas and techniques whilst you are doing it. Its a win/win as it also gives you somewhere to show off your photos on your phone/tablet via the app.
Need any help then drop me a line on firstname.lastname@example.org
For the fans of bicycle races out there my village in the Barossa Valley (South Australia) became the centre for the international bike race “Santos Tour Down Under”. We had the luck of hosting the men’s event Stage 1 on the 19th January and the previous day we also hosted the women’s event stage 3 as they raced around the southern Barossa. As a photographer an event like this was one not to be missed, as you all can expect the village was packed solid for the 3 lap circuit which saw them clocking up 130 Km as they hit the finish line. The bikes were only in view for seconds so this was a good opportunity to try out the sports mode capability of my Canon EOS 760D. Standing at the barrier with an 18-135mm lens attached gave me a good viewing choice but the speed that these bikes were travelling demanded more control than judgement. I set the camera to sports mode, the drive mode to continuous and the autofocus to AI Servo, this meant that once a bike rider was chosen the lens auto tracked him while the camera recorded 5 frames a second as long as I kept him in the viewing pane. I was quiet pleased with the results and have attached a couple for your comments. Even though I’m predominantly a landscape photographer I’m still trying out new functions on this camera as the opportunity arises.
Santos Tour Down Under
Santos Tour Down Under
Although I do the majority of my work for uploading to a number of sites for online sales there always comes a time when a print is required whether its a simple 6 x 4 for the album or posting to the family or an 18 x 12 to frame up formally. So the first question is do I print at home or travel to town with a jpg on a stick and have someone print it for me. The end result in both cases can often be “Why is the print different to what I see on the screen?”.
And so we enter the wonderful world of colour calibration. I like to print up to A4 at home more for convenience sake, so its essential to me that the colours I see on the screen are the same as those printed. The pc and the printer should share the same colour profile which loads on start up but if the pc profile is wrong to start with it will never match any Pro or local kiosk colour setup.
The monitor profile can be calibrated manually (the harder way) or by a calibrator (the easier way). I use a Spyder 3, though its outdated now it still performs well, which new model just depends on your budget, the following is a link for those interested: http://spyder.datacolor.com/display-calibration/
If I was into portraits then regular monitor calibration would be essential to preserve skin tones. I’m mostly into landscapes so have some leeway although I am aware that my uploaded files need to be seen correctly on other sites and customers monitors.
The difference could be as little or as important as seen in these two images:
After much debate, (in reality convincing myself that I needed it) I’ve finally bought myself a new camera, its the Canon EOS 760D and will replace my trusty Canon 550D which has done great service up to now. So why the change, well the increase from 18 to 24 Megapixels was a big decider plus a swivel screen and a host of new features which I wont bother everyone here today with, for the techies the specs are easy enough to look up. One of the interesting features however is a Special Scene selector which incorporates HDR backlight control.
HDR is to quote Wikipedia “High-dynamic-range imaging (HDRI or HDR) is a technique used in imaging and photography to reproduce a greater dynamic range of luminosity than is possible with standard digital imaging or photographic techniques. The aim is to present the human eye with a similar range of luminance as that which, through the visual system, is familiar in everyday life.” If you want to look it up the link is https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-dynamic-range_imaging
The HDR technique is something I’d read about but never tried so was pleased to find the capability within the camera which takes then combines 3 shots at 3 exposures to improve highlight/shadow detail.
Having found it I had to try it out, the attached shot was taken on a beach in Queensland in late evening light where deep shadows on the beach competed with bright patches in the sky, (ISO 100, f22, 1/10 sec), often the camera doesn’t capture what the eye sees but I was pleased with the final result, the image height has been cropped slightly for presentation. Now I need to try this again in a few more locations, anyone else tried HDR? open for comments.
No matter what you do everyone has a favourite, with me and photography its no different, of the thousands of images in my archives there are some that I keep going back to over and over again, the ones I show when people ask me what I’m up to, the ones I choose the pc background from, the ones I print and frame for display. The more I get into this the larger the collection becomes and better cameras don’t necessarily make it easier as I still include images that I took with my first DSLRs.
So what makes a particular image a favourite?, well sometimes its the time of day, that occasion when the lighting is just right and the image comes out just as I imagined it and you know that the odds are very high against ever being able to take it again. For others it could be the amount of work that I put in afterwards to create a mood that didn’t exist at the time, that took so many steps in editing that I’d lost track of what I’d done yet I remained pleased with the final result. Whatever the reason these are the images that I copy into a separate file so I can access them immediately, if you haven’t then I can only recommend you start one.
Wind driven water pump
I’ve attached two favourites, the first of the water vane in the wheat field brings back memories of how it was taken, the position I’d chosen was the home of hundreds of persistent flies that I had to ignore until I’d achieved the image then run to chase them off, so glad the final result was worth it.
Return from Patrol
The second Return from Patrol was a lot of work considering the subject, I knew what I wanted and it took so long editing to get it there, there are lots more on display in the Favourite Photographs Gallery, take some time and look around…
Sometimes I have images that in themselves are pretty straightforward but always look as though something is missing. Looking through my files I came across this image of part of the Roman arena in Verona Italy that I had taken on holiday.
The subject was interesting enough however there was nothing distinct about it that would make it stand out (ref the original image). I then stripped all the background from it, darkened the remains to resemble a night scene and changed the structure of the stonework to give a very grainy effect. Behind the image I added the moon with a blue tint and lined up the two, in all I was quite pleased with the final effect, open to comment.
The second image was treated similarly using another part of the same arena stonework, in this case the arches once cut out gave a window effect so I added the sunset taken at Verona that evening behind the arches and gave a hue to the stonework to match.
These are just examples of what can be achieved with a little effort so never delete shots just because they don’t look interesting, just mix it up a little.
Camera Canon EOS 550D with EFs 18-135 IS lens. More images can be found in this sites galleries as well as high definition versions available through my online shops.
Animals, they’re all around us, from the wild ones that we often can and a great deal that we can’t see to the domestic variety on farms and in the home. The list is pretty endless so its only natural that they find a place in my portfolio. The zoo is a pretty obvious place to find the more exotic ones plus there are plenty of wildlife parks showing native animals in Australia. The distinct advantages of course are that I can get in a lot closer and don’t have to travel too far to find a great variety, my visits to these places often result in hundreds of images to choose from. There still remains the problem of course of achieving the right image, apart from the Meerkats they don’t pose for the camera so everything is about patience and timing and a reasonable zoom is essential, I find my 55-250 lens adequate for the job.
Meerkat, suricata suricata
African Lion, panthera leo senegalis
Then of course there are the crowds and the kids but who said anything about this being easy. I’ve attached three images to show that reasonable results can be obtained, the Meercat and Lion were from the local zoo and the otters from a wildlife park in England. So give it a go, its good practise and certainly a good day out.
Asian short clawed otter, Aonyx cinereus
More images of animals can be found in this sites galleries as well as high definition versions available through my online shops.
Flowers just ask to be photographed, I’ll bet that there is no-one who has bought a camera who has not taken a photograph of a flower at some time. Although you can take them outdoors on the plant itself I find that setting them in a studio type environment works much better, to start with there is not all that background clutter of other plants, fences etc and they are not always in the best position to be photographed or lit and of course you would need to get down on your knees in the flower bed. I did say studio environment but this doesn’t mean you need a studio.
I use sheets of black or coloured mounting card as a backdrop and natural daylight, often on the patio. With the flower in a suitable holder it can be rotated to achieve the effect, the backdrop is far enough away that the card doesn’t come in focus and the composition can be better displayed to suit.
I’ve attached examples of flowers using the black background as examples.
More flower images can be found in this sites galleries as well as high definition versions available through my online shops.
Night is a fantastic time to take photographs however choosing the correct time is as important as choosing the location. My favourite is the short period of time between the sunset ending and the darkness of night being absolute when there is still some light left in the sky, sometimes the eye cannot see it but the camera will record it when taking long exposures. After this time the sky becomes a black mass and only the subject is lit.
Somewhere in the above I said long exposures, with not much light around and wanting the keep the same depth of field without increasing the ISO with its inherent noise means that you can no longer hand hold exposures, certainly not greater than 1/30 second. The obvious solution is a tripod which once set up can give exposures for as long as you need. But what if you don’t have one with you at the time, well any stable platform will do, a stone wall, a bridge parapet and I’ve even used the top of a rubbish bin (and once in a graveyard the flat stone of a tomb). In short anywhere safe where the camera cannot be moved during its exposure time.
Enjoying the Singapore night life
I’ve attached a couple of images, the Singapore shot was taken from the bridge parapet (with my hand through the camera strap in case of an accident) and the shot in Verona of the arena was actually taken with a monopod (a single pole tripod). For the techies Singapore was ISO 100, F8 for 8 seconds and Verona ISO 100, F9 for 3.2 seconds.
Night at the Arena in Verona
Taking long exposures with a monopod can be done though it needs a little more thought. Set the camera to time delay (to give the camera time to settle once you have pressed the button) and find something to hold the monopod against ( a railing, signpost, anything). Frame and focus the image, press the button and hold the monopod in place, the countdown beeping should start, giving you time to get settled, the results can be reasonable, who said taking photographs wasn’t fun.
More images can be found in this sites galleries as well as high definition versions available through my online shops at the bottom of the page, please visit if only to view and comment.