EyeEm Stock Library

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 jwimages@outlook.com

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Canon EFS 10-18mm IS STM Wide Angle Lens

Its been a while since I posted anything on here, been sorting out my images but recently I acquired a new lens, a Canon EFS 10-18mm IS STM wide angle. I’d been looking for a new addition to my equipment and since I concentrate predominantly on landscapes I’ve always fancied a wide angle lens that would go beyond the limitations imposed by the 18mm setting of my current lens. Cost was always a problem however, everything I found was far beyond my budget until I found this one, the EFS 10-18mm IS STM. Reviews for it were very promising and met everything that I was looking for then made even more interesting when a camera store in the city discounted it.

Couldn’t wait to try it out, spring was just around the corner but winter wouldn’t go away. the following were taken in the Barossa Valley just before the big storms hit, devastated the state and tried to flood everyone out. The images were taken at the 10mm and 18mm setting on ISO 100 for comparison.

10mm-1

10mm (1) taken at f/8 1/320 sec

18mm-1

18mm (1) taken at f/8 1/250 sec

10mm-2

10mm (2) taken at f/8 1/250 sec

18mm-2

18mm (2) taken at f/8 1/200 sec

Ok, at the 10mm end there is some distortion as can be expected from any ultra wide angle lens but choosing the right subject this can be acceptable or even corrected for with a photo editing tool. Overall though I’m really pleased with its performance, for the last two days the sun has been shining here in the valley so its time to really check it out.

The Race is on

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

Santos Tour Down Under

Santos Tour Down Under

Colour Calibration

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:

Calibrated

Calibrated

Uncalibrated

Un-Calibrated

 

Camera HDR Feature

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.

2015-(189)

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.

Can you earn money from selling Photographs?

Like me, most of us who take photographs regularly will no doubt have had the thought cross their mind that if I like an image then maybe someone else will too and buy a copy. So where did I start after all there are a number of ways to approach this and at the time I was only looking for a way to help support my hobby.

Option 1  – Create prints, frame them and try and find a buyer possibly at a local market, For – all the profit you make is your own, Against – It costs financially and in time to print, mount, frame, buy equipment and hire a stall on the off chance someone will buy it on the day. I decided quickly that this option was not for me.

Option 2 – Joined a local art gallery, provided them with a few framed images so that they can sell them for me. For – the gallery does the selling, the gallery holds regular exhibitions, Against – Annual membership fee, they keep a percentage of the sale price.

Option 3 – Provided digital images to an online agency that does the printing, framing, shipping and handles sales. At present I am using Fineartamerica, Redbubble, Zazzle and Crated, if you want to check out my shops the links are on the front page. For – I can upload any image and determine which product it sells on and for how much, they contain social networks for all artists to promote each other, Against – Some have an annual membership fee, Fineartamerica for example charges $30US pa for premium but does provide a personal website.

Option 4 – Provided digital images to an online shop to sell as digital downloads, currently giving Etsy a try. I could also sell prints through Etsy but that would still give me the problems of printing and shipping. For – I can upload any image and determine its selling price, contains a social networks for all artists to promote each other, Etsy handles the sale finances, Against – Etsy charge 20 cents for each image uploaded and a percentage of the selling price when sold. The link to Etsy is on this page.

Option 5 – Upload images to a stock library, these are the images that are used every day in magazines, advertising etc. The images are sold under licence so the returns will vary depending upon what level/size is bought. I’m currently uploading to Dreamstime, Bigstock and 123RF. If this is for you the links are at the bottom of the page. There is no joining fee for these libraries. For – Once the image is accepted they handle everything, returns per image can be small but regular as the same image can sell over and over.

The type of image needed can vary, for example in one library this picture of Stonehenge has sold 47 times while the UK Notes has sold 22 times.

Stonehenge Sunset England

Stonehenge Sunset England

UK Notes

UK Notes

Against – Having millions of images in their library they only want the best and so will reject any that do not meet their criteria.

Up front I had to decide where I wanted to spend the majority of my time, either taking and editing the photograph or running back and forwards between the printers, framing and post office. Taking the image works for me every time.

So there you have it, there are obviously many other ways of selling but these are my current methods, its a bit daunting at first but If anyone has any queries then please contact me and I’ll try and help, it all depends on how much time you want to spend on it.

Filters

If you are into the creative aspects of photography then no doubt you have a use for filters that come with photo editing tools. I find that these filters are often very useful in creating that very different approach to an image be that creating an abstract or enhancing an original image as demonstrated in earlier posts on this site.

Image-1 orig

Image 1

Craquelure filter applied

Image 1 – Craquelure filter applied

There are of course many filters offered for sale on the web but there are many that are free as well. I’ve attached two flower images that started off as straightforward record shots of flowers in a local park.

 

 

 

Image-2 orig

Image 2

Mashberry Filter applied

Image 2 – Mashberry Filter applied

To each of them I’ve applied a filter that was offered free on the web and as can be seen the end result is very different.

 

 

 

 

For those with an interest Image 1 is a filter called Craquelure and Image 2 is named Mashberry and both are available at http://www.redfieldplugins.com/ . Have fun…

Favourites

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

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

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…

Mixing it up

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.

Original

Original

2015-(116)

Final Image

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.

Archway

Archway

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

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.

Meercat

Meerkat, suricata suricata

2007-(131)R

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.

2015-(069)

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.