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How to take profiatble skyline pictures

Author Message
Simathers
71 posts
<10
Message posted at 08/05/2013, 16:06:00 PM by Simathers
My favorite subject to take pictures of are skylines of various cities. Unfortunately it seems like they aren't a big seller in stock photography. Are there certain tips that would increase there sales? I would greatly appreciate if you would look at my portfolio and give me specific details.

Thank You all very much!!!
Nikon Coolpix P520

Uploaded files:247 | Total Sales: 41
Wisconsinart
1529 posts
80
Message posted at 08/05/2013, 16:21:11 PM by Wisconsinart
Never stop taking pictures of your favorite subjects.

If you want to SELL pictures and MAKE MONEY, then you need to take pictures of BUYER favorite subjects.

That may sound like a riddle, but there are no Cliff notes in stock. Sweat and hard work is the only way to get there.
Nikon D800, D100, Canon G15

Uploaded files:1846 | Total Sales: 10236
Pulsar124
190 posts
<10
Message edited at 08/05/2013, 19:00:59 PM by Pulsar124
If in doubt, always look for bestselling photos here on the topic of your liking.

I looked at your photos. I am not a skyline expert, but it looks like you are shooting at the wrong time of the day. The most spectacular city shots I've seen are all made in the dusk, when the sky is dark blue, in comparable brightness to city lights . This time is fairly short - probably 15 minutes or so, so you should be well prepared for the shot in advance.

Something like this:

   Chicago Skyline at Night.   
Canon 50D, Canon 135mm f2.0L, Canon 70-200mm f4L, Sigma 1...

Uploaded files:107 | Total Sales: 319
Simathers
71 posts
<10
Message posted at 08/05/2013, 17:17:04 PM by Simathers
Thank You Wisconsinart! I'll keep that in mind
Nikon Coolpix P520

Uploaded files:247 | Total Sales: 41
Simathers
71 posts
<10
Message posted at 08/05/2013, 17:55:11 PM by Simathers
Thank you Pulsar 124! That's very good advice and I look forward to trying it!
Nikon Coolpix P520

Uploaded files:247 | Total Sales: 41
Afagundes
3244 posts
<10
Message posted at 08/05/2013, 21:14:13 PM by Afagundes
Hi Sam, the tip on the twilight is good, it lasts for about one hour after sunset and the best images are after the lights turn on.
Another tip is to use an ND filter to darken the sky, or take multiple exposures merging them later, some of your skies are too light as compared to the foreground.
Skylines are not poor sellers, if you make a search you will find images with more than 200 downloads!
Canon EOS 5D Mark II Canon EF 17-40mm USM f/4L Canon EF 24...

Uploaded files:9659 | Total Sales: 15295
Alvera
2655 posts
77
Message posted at 08/05/2013, 23:51:41 PM by Alvera
Of course, name of the city does matter too.
Nikon. 4x4 car for wildlife adventures. Inkscape for vectors...

Uploaded files:3920 | Total Sales: 4476
Kinsjeroen
540 posts
76
Message edited at 08/06/2013, 03:20:52 AM by Kinsjeroen
another thing: your Impatiens picture is not Impatiens, but Surfinia Million Bells, the 'beautifull flower' is a normal Surfinia, and the unique flower is Coleus
Nikon D3000

Uploaded files:419 | Total Sales: 366
Miraclemoments
1209 posts
72
Message posted at 08/06/2013, 06:25:31 AM by Miraclemoments
As correctly mentioned you need to get those best selling images after sunset of before sunrise. The lights are what makes the city. If you are taking photos in the golden hour use an ND filter to balance out. Using an ND filter will not only balance out the sky and foreground but make sure you retain detail in both sky and foreground/ground.

A soft grad ND is usually best. If you are going to be shooting during the day and there is no other way try using a CPL to eliminate glare of the buildings and glass. The CPL will also give you better colours.

good luck!!
Canon 60D I AM A SIGMA AMBASSADOR Sigma 8-16 f4.5-5....

Uploaded files:776 | Total Sales: 398
Simathers
71 posts
<10
Message posted at 08/06/2013, 09:20:38 AM by Simathers
Thank You Afagundes, Alvera, and Miraclemoments. I'll definitely look into those filters! And thank you Kinsjeroen. I'll rename them immediately!
Nikon Coolpix P520

Uploaded files:247 | Total Sales: 41
Fengshang520
143 posts
Message posted at 08/06/2013, 10:15:26 AM by Fengshang520
Right, about half an hour before sunset time.
That is the best time to it!


Uploaded files:295 | Total Sales: 15
Amdizdarevic
76 posts
<10
Message posted at 08/06/2013, 10:47:34 AM by Amdizdarevic
Here is one that I shot. No tripod but it turned out okay and it was accepted by DT. no sales though.    New York City Skyline   
Nikon D90 Tokina 11-16mm Nikon 70-300mm Nikon 18-105mm N...

Uploaded files:301 | Total Sales: 81
Pulsar124
190 posts
<10
Message posted at 08/16/2013, 08:28:42 AM by Pulsar124
This discussion thread made me interested in this kind of photography, and my first experiment at "blue hour cityscape" photography was just accepted by DT. What do you think? Many people think it is HDR, but it is not - it is just a single shot, f/5.6, 20s exposure, shot ~30 minutes after sunset, with careful adjustment of white balance, black levels, contrast, and saturation in PP.

   Hamilton, Canada, at blue hour   

Canon 50D, Canon 135mm f2.0L, Canon 70-200mm f4L, Sigma 1...

Uploaded files:107 | Total Sales: 319
Alvera
2655 posts
77
Message posted at 08/16/2013, 16:55:59 PM by Alvera
excellent!
Nikon. 4x4 car for wildlife adventures. Inkscape for vectors...

Uploaded files:3920 | Total Sales: 4476
Afagundes
3244 posts
<10
Message posted at 08/16/2013, 18:11:29 PM by Afagundes
Great image Pulsar124, congrats
Canon EOS 5D Mark II Canon EF 17-40mm USM f/4L Canon EF 24...

Uploaded files:9659 | Total Sales: 15295
Simathers
71 posts
<10
Message posted at 08/16/2013, 18:26:23 PM by Simathers
Beautiful images Amdizdarevic and Pulsar124! Hamilton actually has a very nice skyline and of course NYC does
Nikon Coolpix P520

Uploaded files:247 | Total Sales: 41
Pulsar124
190 posts
<10
Message posted at 08/16/2013, 20:08:57 PM by Pulsar124
Thanks!
Canon 50D, Canon 135mm f2.0L, Canon 70-200mm f4L, Sigma 1...

Uploaded files:107 | Total Sales: 319
Amdizdarevic
76 posts
<10
Message posted at 08/17/2013, 22:18:55 PM by Amdizdarevic
Thanks!
Nikon D90 Tokina 11-16mm Nikon 70-300mm Nikon 18-105mm N...

Uploaded files:301 | Total Sales: 81
Doubleclick7
53 posts
Message posted at 10/22/2013, 10:58:35 AM by Doubleclick7
On city skylines are company names on buildings OK?
Canon 7D, CS4 Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, Acrobat. ...

Uploaded files:876 | Total Sales: 141
Simathers
71 posts
<10
Message posted at 10/22/2013, 15:31:55 PM by Simathers
No, I try to blur them out in photoshop, but at night the name typically isn't readable so you don't have to change it.
Nikon Coolpix P520

Uploaded files:247 | Total Sales: 41
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