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Image Acceptance -- Designer POV

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Geekonthewing
37 posts
Message edited at 07/18/2012, 15:00:39 PM by Geekonthewing
As both a designer and a stock photographer, I am familiar with both sides of what I consider the most frustrating thing about microstock companies in general: acceptance policies that are too constraining, and which in the end serve the needs of neither designers, photographers, or the companies themselves.

Please bear with me while I relate the latest (and current) example of my frustration, this one from the point of view of a designer.

I'm currently working on a site for a firm that specializes in vegetation management in the Southwest United States. That's a fancy way of saying that they kill weeds. Well, it's important to their site visitors that there be pictures of the various weeds on the site so they can look at them and say, "Hey! That's the weed I have!"

So what I need right now are pictures of weeds. Specific weeds. Accurately identified and focusing on whatever particular details will help a customer recognize them as the weeds that they have growing on their land.

So I've spent the past few days scouring stock sites (including this one, of course) for pictures of specific weeds. I have found only two suitable pictures (on another company's site, incidentally). For the rest, I've either had to use less-than-wonderful public-domain images, or attempt to contact photographers on sites like Flickr to secure rights.

Yes, I know that I could post a request for specific weed pictures. But that takes time, and I'm on a deadline. Also, in the past, when I've used that option to try to find oddball images on other microstock sites, I've never gotten the kind of pictures I needed. Not once.

Here's why: The kind of pictures I need are ones that break a lot of the rules. Let's look at my present situation: I need pictures of weeds that focus on the details that will enable customers to identify them as their special weeds.

In some cases, that means they will be macro shots that are closely cropped to highlight some specific detail. Those shots are routinely rejected by most stock companies because they supposedly "limit the image's usefulness to a designer." Not always. Sometimes they're exactly what the designer needs.

And then there's the rule of turds, which DT and most other stock companies revere like it came down from Sinai. That's all well and good for an artistic shot, but it sucks for what I'm looking for. I want a shot that places the image dead center, because that's what works better for what I'm doing. I'm trying to sell my clients' services, not win any awards for artistic excellence.

I also need images that are evenly-lit to make it easier for visitors to, once again, identify the weed as the one that they have. This kind of lighting would likely be considered "flat" or "uninteresting" by most microstock reviewers. But it's what I need.

The images should also appear within the contexts of their typical backgrounds. So if a weed usually grows along the side of the road, then I want a picture of that weed growing on the side of a road. I don't want it isolated. I want it to appear in the visual context that a prospective customer of my client would see it in.

I did find some weed pictures here and on other microstock sites, but most were not remotely usable for me.

Some were very visually attractive, artistically excellent pictures of the weeds growing in a landscape shot, with the rule of turds obediently observed, and the lighting perfectly timed for a visually beautiful shot. Unfortunately, it was impossible from the images to identify the *specific* weeds, and I'm not looking for a shot of weeds to frame and hang on my wall. I'm looking for a shot of a weed that customers can identify as their own.

Other shots were highly abstract, too isolated, too "creatively" lit, overly manipulated color-wise for artistic effect, and so forth. Very pretty shots, most of the time. But also very useless for my purposes.

What I need is pictures of specific weeds, accurately identified, centered in the frames, evenly lit, and in the same visual context as an ordinary person who has those weeds on their property would see them.

In other words, I need exactly the kind of pictures that would *never* get past the reviewers, here or at any other stock company.

My client's customers don't want to admire the weeds. They want to kill them. They also have short attention spans. They don't want to have to squint at a picture of a weed in the context of a spectacular sunset to ask themselves, "Is that the weed that's in my yard?" They'd rather click out of the site.

What the *visitor* wants is the image that screams out: "HERE I AM! I AM THE WEED IN YOUR GARDEN! KILL ME!" And because that's what the visitor wants, that's what I want as a designer, as well.

Stock companies seem to be hampered by a failure to grasp that not all businesses exist within the context of brightly-lit offices inhabited by smiling people wearing nice clothes and drinking coffee. As I have complained countless times, I could find millions of those pictures if I needed them.

I don't.

I have carved out a niche in the world of design building sites for gritty companies doing blue-collar jobs in an incredibly diverse variety of contexts. And since the first site I built, finding images for my sites has been the single most frustrating and time-consuming part of the job.

Before I'm done with my current project, I'll most likely post requests for pictures of specific weeds in specific contexts, photographed in a specific way, both here and elsewhere. And if experience is any indicator, I won't get the images I need. No microstock photographer is going to make a trip out to the desert to take the pictures that I need, considering the compensation they'll receive. My client does have a budget, after all.

So I'll probably either get the images I need from Flickr (which means more effort on my part to secure rights), or I'll put an ad on Craigslist for some BFA student or serious amateur photographer in my client's neck of the woods to go out and shoot the pictures I need.

My advice to reviewers and stock companies would be to expand your own points of view beyond the confines of what you believe the business world to be, and to familiarize yourselves with the less-visible side of the business world. Take a ride-along with a pest exterminator. Spend half a day with a plumber. Tag along with an electrician. Mow lawns with a landscaper. Visit a mortuary. Flip burgers in a roadside diner. Clean the stains off a carpet with a carpet cleaner. That sort of thing.

All of these business, and many more, have their own little places in the wonderful macrocosm that is human society. And designers like myself do indeed need images of these people doing their work, as well as images of the problems that they solve. We need images of weeds, bugs, stained carpets, ragged lawns, and pretty much anything else for which someone might engage the services of a professional.

That's *our* problem, as designers. These images simply aren't out there. You could solve that problem by being more willing to consider such images for sale.

Thanks,

-Richard
Nikon D5100, Nikon L810

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Geekonthewing
37 posts
Message edited at 07/18/2012, 11:23:55 AM by Geekonthewing
Here's a more concrete suggestion:

Establish categories for specific industries, occupations, trades, and professions. Be exhaustive. Try to cover every possible service you've ever paid someone to do, from pounding a nail to unclogging a toilet. Then invite photographers to submit photos and designs specifically related to those fields of work.

I'll bet that the first stock company that does this will rapidly become the most-loved image source of designers everywhere.

-Richard
Nikon D5100, Nikon L810

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Adpower99
906 posts
69
Message posted at 07/18/2012, 14:34:25 PM by Adpower99
Thanks for that input, Richard. I wish we had more designers like you telling us what they really want to see. As it stands now, we mostly have to rely either on our own knowledge or on what DT tells us the designers want, and they really don't tell us much. Their guidance is mostly limited to what the designers don't want and it's conveyed in the form of a rejected image.

Again, thank you so much and please encourage other designers to do the same.
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Geekonthewing
37 posts
Message edited at 07/18/2012, 20:21:52 PM by Geekonthewing
Thanks, Anne.

The problem is that the photographers can take the pictures, but as long as the agency believes no one will want them, they'll never get seen.

I posted a request for one particular weed this morning. No one has a picture of said weed in their port, apparently, because no one has replied. In the meantime, I've located one federal government image I can use and one with a CC license that permits use with attribution. I'll use them for now unless someone comes up with better ones.

But while I was browsing through the various requests, I noticed something that was very shocking to me: People had responded to other designers' specific requests with new pictures that were rejected by DT before the requestor even got to see them!

What the hell is that all about?

On the one hand, I understand the concept of quality control. Stock companies don't want to litter the landscape with garbage. If a submitted picture is simply horrid or doesn't conform with the requestor's specs, then fine. Shoot it down.

But on the other hand, this is a stock site, not an art museum. When a designer *requests* a specific picture, and a photographer goes out and takes one that at least approximates the designer's specs, isn't is a bit counterproductive (not to mention arrogant) to reject the submission before the requestor even gets a chance to see it?

It simply makes no sense to me. That places DT is the position of being a wall, rather than a bridge, between the photographer and the designer. It makes no sense at all.

If I were running the show, I would grant provisional acceptance to any image that is submitted in response to a request, as long as it at least roughly conforms to the specs, and isn't truly horrible. Then if the requestor buys it, it keeps its approval and is added to the database. If not, then the approval expires (unless it's worthy of approval on its own merits, request aside).

Yes, this would mean that designers would have to wade through more crap. But I expect that when I request a pic. I'd rather have to wade through many to find one that I love, than to wade through few and find nothing I can use.

-Richard
Nikon D5100, Nikon L810

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Kenneystudios
1408 posts
65
Message posted at 07/18/2012, 21:20:32 PM by Kenneystudios
You make a very good point, but unfortunately I think the niche is too small for these kinds of shots, from the stock perspective. I am on your side, though, by the way. I myself have scoured the internet for certain images represented more realistically and they are few and hard to find that are not bad quality or unobtainable.

Another option you have is to hire a photographer (or photographers) to obtain the images for you outside of a stock agency. Some photographers who submit to stock agencies also provide other photography services. Not all are in the Yellow Pages, as they are freelance and not official business, but many do have their own websites.
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Parkinsonsniper
1092 posts
72
Message posted at 07/19/2012, 02:22:45 AM by Parkinsonsniper
First of all, I have a question. By "weed"; do you mean the weed that people smoke and get high, or the dangereous and unwanted plants? Sorry for the question, I'm not a native English speaker :)

I saw your request thread. You are requesting photos of a plant. You know what, maybe the photo you need is here, but the contributor don't know that it's a "weed" and he just named it "plant". Because he wants more exposure. I have tree images in my port and I don't name them after their Latin names. I just named them "Isolated Tree". Because very few people look for specific species.

+++ "Establish categories for specific industries, occupations, trades, and professions. Be exhaustive. Try to cover every possible service you've ever paid someone to do, from pounding a nail to unclogging a toilet. Then invite photographers to submit photos and designs specifically related to those fields of work."

--- I agree with you about the professional categorization. It might add some power to the agency, but it's not easy to create such a huge categorization. It's a good idea from a designer.

+++ "I also need images that are evenly-lit to make it easier for visitors to, once again, identify the weed as the one that they have. This kind of lighting would likely be considered "flat" or "uninteresting" by most microstock reviewers. But it's what I need."

--- "Evenly lit" doesn't mean "flat". In a flat image, you cannot see the details, you want to see the texture, color etc...which means it should not be flat :) so the agency do the right thing here...

+++ "And then there's the rule of turds, which DT and most other stock companies revere like it came down from Sinai."

--- In many situations, rule of thirds is not being taken into consideration. It's a rule for some situations. I have looots of pics that doesn't care that RoT. You can't use it for every photo. Sometimes you have to put your object in the center. Actually; RoT is not a rule, but it's a compositional technique.

+++ "What the *visitor* wants is the image that screams out: "HERE I AM! I AM THE WEED IN YOUR GARDEN! KILL ME!" And because that's what the visitor wants, that's what I want as a designer, as well."

--- Stock photography is about to create beauty and attractiveness, most of the time. While your customer wants to kill weeds, they are plants and most of the photographers will try to show them in a beautiful way in their photos :) it's a good idea again, not everything is good and beautiful. We, contributors, should show some of the ugly sides of some subjects!

I'm not trying to prove that you are not right. In contrast, I'm trying to tell you why you can't find what you are looking for.

+++ "Take a ride-along with a pest exterminator. Spend half a day with a plumber. Tag along with an electrician. Mow lawns with a landscaper. Visit a mortuary. Flip burgers in a roadside diner. Clean the stains off a carpet with a carpet cleaner. That sort of thing."

--- Most of the people don't want a photographer taking and selling photos of him/her or they want to be paid for the photo session. What you say is the dream of every stock photographer. I wish I can get into the kitchen of a restaurant and take some photos. But they don't let you do that. I mean, we already try to do what you say here.

----------------------------------------

I tried to answer as much as I can, thanks for being in the forum and sharing your ideas. Please keep sharing them about everything, we have lots of things to learn from designers.
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Melonstone
836 posts
51
Message posted at 07/19/2012, 04:14:33 AM by Melonstone
Mmmmm, there is a lack of "ordinary" pictures depicting ordinary (non-smiling business) people and ordinary everyday things (such as weeds) but, as you noted, these types of pics are often rejected as they're judged not to have any commerciality. If a pic doesn't comply with the rule of turds (I just love that!) it's rejected for composition, but quite often designers want tight crops or plenty of copyspace around the subject.

I do have a weeds pic (UK weeds, not US), which is very "ordinary". When I submitted it to DT, I doubted whether it's ordinariness would be acceptable, but it was accepted & has sold several times as this is the type of ordinary thing that happens in EVERY ordinary garden or backyard.

I do hope that someone from Admin reads your post as I believe there is a market for the ordinary in microstock.
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Geekonthewing
37 posts
Message edited at 07/19/2012, 07:54:48 AM by Geekonthewing
Thanks for the kind responses.

Parkinsonsniper: My suggestion to flip burgers, ride with an exterminator, and so forth were actually intended for DT's management and reviewers, not the photographers. I know it'll never happen that they actually do that, but if they did, it would help them to appreciate the broadness of what is, in fact, commercially viable.

Melonstone: When I need images of plant and animal species, I usually search for the taxonomical ("Latin") name as well as the common names, as I did in my request for the Tribulus terrestris picture. This is because on a site for a weed control or pest exterminating company, for example, it's very important to have the correct species in the pictures, and common names are often applied to more than one specie.

On the other hand, however, in most cases I already know what the specie looks like (usually because I already have a picture of it that I can't use for rights reasons). So I also search under the common name(s), knowing that not all of the results will be the specie I'm looking for -- but hoping that some will.

The main reason I got into stock photography is because I am semi-retired as a designer, and I have time on my hands. And a camera. I thought it would be fun to use my ample spare time to create images of the kind that I always had trouble finding, and to put them out there for other designers.

It stopped being fun when I realized I would never get most of what I considered my best and most marketable shots past a typical microstock reviewer. (Some of my worst shots, on the other hand, have been accepted.) So now I see the other side of the reason I could rarely find the images I needed.

It started being fun again, however, when people started contacting me out of the clear blue sky, asking to license many of the same pictures that had been rejected by stock companies. These designers found my low-res versions on Flickr or Picasa and needed them for their projects. Again, I was on the other end of the equation: Designers were contacting *me* for rights because they couldn't find what they needed on microstock.

Most of my best pictures are railroad-related. I have a cozy relationship with two railroads that gets me unfettered access to their tracks, bridges, and property, in return for licenses to use any pics I create. (I keep the copyrights, but they get a license.) Once in a while they send me on assignments, as well.

I believe I have have submitted my railroad-related pictures to almost every microstock company on the planet. Not one has ever been accepted. Not a single one.

I get the stupidest reasons for rejections, such as "unevenly focused" when the picture is a portal view of a 150-meter-long railroad bridge. (A "portal view" means looking onto and over the bridge's span, as the train engineer would see it when first entering the bridge.) Yes, I could stop the lens down and get most or all of the span and truss work in focus, if I wanted to; but then it would look unnatural. It would lose some of its depth. The human eye doesn't see that way.

Another one that made me chuckle was a picture of a wheel truck (a "bogie" to those of you in the UK, or more simply, a set of railroad wheels). That one was rejected because it didn't meet the other stock companies' "artistic or aesthetic" standards. It's a set of train wheels, for crying out loud, not the Mona Lisa.

I never bothered submitting it to DT, because they've rejected every other railroad picture I've ever sent them, and I don't feel like wasting my time. The picture is a pretty hot seller privately, however. In fact, a railroad with which I have no existing relationship is considering a non-exclusive print license to use it on their next paper calendar, because there are no trademarks visible in the picture (and therefore no way to tell that it's not one of their cars, but that of another railroad).

The thing is, I'm really not in the photography business for the money. I was more hoping to get some stuff out there of the type that I always had trouble finding when I was a full-time designer. And in a way, I'm doing exactly that, albeit through channels not ordinarily intended to be used commercially. It would be a lot less hassle, however, if some stock company would take a fresh view of more ordinary occupations and industries, and accept and categorize these types of images accordingly.

If I had the ambition, I would build my own stock site and do exactly that. It's an idea I toy with from time to time. But I really don't want to be bothered with the business end of it all. Building the site would be one thing. Running the business once it's built would be quite another, and not something I'm interested in.

-Richard
Nikon D5100, Nikon L810

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Adpower99
906 posts
69
Message edited at 07/19/2012, 08:32:25 AM by Adpower99

Originally posted by Geekonthewing:
Quoted Message: I posted a request for one particular weed this morning. No one has a picture of said weed in their port, apparently, because no one has replied.


Yes, I saw your request and immediately Googled it. My first obstacle was not knowing what it looked like, of course, but that was easily overcome. The second obstacle was finding out whether it grew in my area. Once that was established, I found that the nearest it grows is about a 1½ hour drive from here and, thus, not feasible to get considering how much I would earn from the sale.

But while I was browsing through the various requests, I noticed something that was very shocking to me: People had responded to other designers' specific requests with new pictures that were rejected by DT before the requestor even got to see them!

What the hell is that all about?

On the one hand, I understand the concept of quality control. Stock companies don't want to litter the landscape with garbage. If a submitted picture is simply horrid or doesn't conform with the requestor's specs, then fine. Shoot it down.

But on the other hand, this is a stock site, not an art museum. When a designer *requests* a specific picture, and a photographer goes out and takes one that at least approximates the designer's specs, isn't is a bit counterproductive (not to mention arrogant) to reject the submission before the requestor even gets a chance to see it?


What you couldn't have seen was that the ones they remove really are so far from the designer's request as to be ridiculous. It often amazes me some of the photos people submit even when the requestor has been very specific and has said "don't submit if it doesn't meet these criteria." But they still do. So I do have to side with DT on that one. I've seen them allow many, many through that really aren't what the designer has requested. It's only when they get really ridiculously off that DT removes them.
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Geekonthewing
37 posts
Message posted at 07/19/2012, 08:38:11 AM by Geekonthewing
Adpower99: Okay, if that's the case, then I stand corrected. An image that's horrible or totally irrelevant to the requestor's needs should, in fact, be shot down. Thank you.
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Adpower99
906 posts
69
Message posted at 07/19/2012, 12:27:04 PM by Adpower99
What part of the country is your weed control project in, Richard, just so we can get an idea of which weeds you might want in the future?
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Geekonthewing
37 posts
Message edited at 07/20/2012, 07:53:24 AM by Geekonthewing
Anne: This one's in Arizona and is nearly finished. Maybe another week or two. But I wouldn't turn away images that are better than the ones I already have.

I may or may not have more weed-related jobs in the future. I don't specialize in weed control companies specifically. I will consider pretty much any blue-collar business. I just thought that this particular example would be a good case-in-point for the marketability of photos that are a bit out of the mainstream.

When uploading pictures of any living thing (except people), if a photographer *knows* (not guesses) the common and taxonomical name(s) of those things, they'll do themselves a favor by listing them in either the title or the keywords. I know that I search by both when I need pictures of a particular specie. Colleges, Cooperative Extension, and so forth do the same when they need images for their own materials.

-Richard


Nikon D5100, Nikon L810

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Bradcalkins
2541 posts
84
Message posted at 07/19/2012, 18:51:32 PM by Bradcalkins
One issue is that there is no guarantee a buyer will buy the images we respond with, or at a decent price. The first sale is the cheapest, and may be the only one. I'm not willing to spend much time to earn $2 on six sales unless I see potential in future sales. There is a fine line in niche subjects - some take enough specialized knowledge that it isn't worth selling on RF. Of course, if they get rejected that is a different issue, but my experience is the DT doesn't reject as harshly when there is a request in from a buyer - assuming you submit with that fact.

These reasons keep me from responding to most requests...
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Geekonthewing
37 posts
Message posted at 07/20/2012, 07:51:06 AM by Geekonthewing
That's very true; and in fact, in my request for a photo of Tribulus terrestris, I even advised photographers not to go out and shoot one unless it happened to be growing outside their window. Whether fair or not, there's only so much my client is going to pay for a picture of a weed.

But that's not usually how stock works, anyway. More often, photographers take a picture of something they believe is marketable, and then run it up the flagpole to see if anyone salutes. Submissions are speculative most of the time.

There are a lot of opportunities to create marketable images in the course of an average, ordinary day, assuming an open-minded attitude about what is marketable. Designers do need well-crafted, realistic pictures of the ordinary.

-Richard
Nikon D5100, Nikon L810

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Geekonthewing
37 posts
Message edited at 07/20/2012, 08:54:57 AM by Geekonthewing
Okay, so I visited the "Positive Criticism" forum. What I found was that the first three threads to which I would have liked to respond had been closed, with mild reprimands that questions about rejections should be sent to support.

Reading between the lines, that means, "Don't question the reviewers' decisions in public. We don't like when you do that."

How petty and counterproductive an attitude to take.

One thread dealt with a picture that had been submitted in two versions, one wide and one close. They apparently were rejected for being too similar. Ironically, what was on my mind when I visited the forum was a brief discussion about the question of how tightly-cropped something should be.

Putting my designer's hat on again, I can tell you that there are times that I want wide shots, and there are times that I want tight shots. I usually prefer tight shots that illustrate some detail of my clients' business: for example, a greasy hand on an oil filter for a car mechanic; or a close-up of an arc flash for a welding company (that's a difficult and very dangerous shot to get, by the way).

I usually don't want a lot of negative space except in a few very specific formats. For example, some item of interest that is related to my client's business, positioned either at the extreme left or right of an image in a panoramic format or at the extreme left or right of the middle 1,200 - 1,600 px section of a panoramic image, might make a nice header background.

Does that description make sense? Visualize it this way:

------------------------------|++-----------------|------------------------------


There also are times that I'll buy the highest-res version of a wide shot because I'm going to crop away everything except the detail that I want, but I'm reluctant to do that unless I can see the high-res version first to make sure the portion I want is detailed enough.

To me, as a designer, the thing that would make me giggle with glee would be to have several versions of the same shot, some wide and some tight, available to me. Wide shots lose detail when cropped post-exposure, and sometimes I want the detail. But sometimes, I want the wide shot to add text to. So if you want to make me happy, as a designer, offer me both versions of the same shot.

Unfortunately, at DT and elsewhere in the stock world, getting two shots that are so "similar" past the reviewers would be a very unlikely thing. As a designer, that makes no sense to me. If you give me a choice, it's more likely that I'll buy one or the other.

I even had a case once where I needed a wider version of a shot on another stock company's site. I contacted the photographer and asked if she had one. And in fact, she did have a wide version, but it wasn't in her port; so she said she'd upload it with a notation that it was in response to a request, to supposedly expedite the approval.

Get this: The stock company rejected the wide shot because it was too similar to the tight shot already in her portfolio!!

In that case, I paid her privately and got the picture. Hey, the company rejected the image, so their loss was their own fault. I didn't shed any tears about knocking the agency out of the loop.

In summary, as a designer, I would prefer to be able to choose from multiple versions of the same shot, taken at different focal lengths (NOT cropped after exposure -- I can do that myself, thank you). Sometimes I want exquisite detail, and sometimes I want the big picture. If you give me both, your chances of making a sale double.

-Richard
Nikon D5100, Nikon L810

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Bradcalkins
2541 posts
84
Message posted at 07/20/2012, 08:57:39 AM by Bradcalkins

Originally posted by Geekonthewing:
Quoted Message: That`s very true; and in fact, in my request for a photo of Tribulus terrestris, I even advised photographers not to go out and shoot one unless it happened to be growing outside their window. Whether fair or not, there`s only so much my client is going to pay for a picture of a weed.But that`s not usually how stock works, anyway. More often, photographers take a picture of something they believe is marketable, and then run it up the flagpole to see if anyone salutes. Submissions are speculative most of the time.There are a lot of opportunities to create marketable images in the course of an average, ordinary day, assuming an open-minded attitude about what is marketable. Designers do need well-crafted, realistic pictures of the ordinary.-Richard


Sorry, I should add that those reasons stop me from going out and spending hours on it, or getting something in time for the request. But in the future you can be sure I've got the request on my list and will definitely take the shot and submit it if I come across the subject in question... For me the time invested is directly related to my expectations on revenue returned on a given image.
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Kenneystudios
1408 posts
65
Message posted at 07/22/2012, 07:40:56 AM by Kenneystudios
I have responded to two photo requests in the past, only because I saw potential in them for future sales based on the content they were asking for. Thankfully, those images have had sales since because the initial sales netting me less than $1 per image weren't very appealing.

One idea for contributors to keep in mind is to make image ses. If something looks good both as a wide shot and a tight crop, perhaps they should be combined into one image to submit for approaval. Then again, it is still up to the reviewers to decide the sales potential.
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Wisconsinart
1529 posts
80
Message posted at 07/22/2012, 10:38:26 AM by Wisconsinart

Originally posted by Geekonthewing:
Quoted Message: And then there`s the rule of thirds, which DT and most other stock companies revere like it came down from Sinai. That`s all well and good for an artistic shot, but it sucks for what I`m looking for.


This is an ongoing complaint from Designers.

I very much dislike "rule of third" rejections. This is stock, not art. Providing the largest image possible and allowing the designer to crop per their needs is the priority.
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Heywoody
595 posts
69
Message posted at 07/22/2012, 13:48:44 PM by Heywoody

Originally posted by Bradcalkins:
Quoted Message: One issue is that there is no guarantee a buyer will buy the images we respond with, or at a decent price. The first sale is the cheapest, and may be the only one. I`m not willing to spend much time to earn $2 on six sales unless I see potential in future sales. There is a fine line in niche subjects - some take enough specialized knowledge that it isn`t worth selling on RF. Of course, if they get rejected that is a different issue, but my experience is the DT doesn`t reject as harshly when there is a request in from a buyer - assuming you submit with that fact.These reasons keep me from responding to most requests...


I have to agree totally with this. Personally, I would make an exception if it involves being unsure if I can do it and then ot bercomes a challenge where I can learn something.

On the wider question, stock sites and contributors alike are totally institutionalised demanding higher and higher resolution images with pixel perfection where the reality is many sales are low res for web use, the buyer is looking for an actual representation of a subject and probably doesn't care if there is a bit of noise or pixelation that is only visible reviewing something section by section from close range and not at all apparent when looking at the whole picture.
Vue 7, Daz 3, Wings 3D and the odd photo.

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Geekonthewing
37 posts
Message posted at 07/22/2012, 20:28:43 PM by Geekonthewing

Originally posted by Heywoody:
Quoted Message: < snip >

On the wider question, stock sites and contributors alike are totally institutionalised demanding higher and higher resolution images with pixel perfection where the reality is many sales are low res for web use, the buyer is looking for an actual representation of a subject and probably doesn`t care if there is a bit of noise or pixelation that is only visible reviewing something section by section from close range and not at all apparent when looking at the whole picture.


That's very true, especially because these flaws tend to be at the edges of a photo due to the physics of refraction. The insistence that images be free of CA, pixelation, and so forth right to the edges leads many contributors to simply crop out the defects.

But as a designer, I may not care about a bit of chromatic aberration in the upper left corner because maybe all I need is a 140px-high horizontal strip taken from the center to use as a header background. This is a very common situation with landscapes, especially panoramic landscapes, and most especially panoramic landscapes of bodies of water.

Or maybe I do plan to use the whole picture, but as you pointed out, by the time I resize and optimize the image for the Web, the flaw will be become unnoticeable or invisible.

The problem, of course, is where does one draw the line? Assuming that there is, in fact, such a thing as a "perfect" picture, how much imperfection is too much? That's a thorny question.

It appears that this thread is attracting some designer attention, which is good. I think communication between artists is always a good thing.

-Richard
Nikon D5100, Nikon L810

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