How $20 increased my acceptance ratio

About 18 months back, my acceptance ratio on DT was at about 35%. While this was an increase from the earlier 25%, thanks largely due to a slightly better understanding of microstock requirements and general composition, it was still a bit dispiriting to see many images being refused for poor image quality.

I had sold a DSLR and settled down with an Olympus E-PL1, a small mirrorless camera, and a 14mm lens. While it took some great images in bright light, handholding was a major issue for night shots. When I pushed the ISO up, it would lead to poor detail and hence, rejected images.

Since most of the places I shot were open to public, and quite a lot of public, I was too shy to carry a tripod. Hence, I bought one of the local made gorillapods for less than $20. This not only helped in providing the small camera + lens support, it also was quite inconspicuous.

Jumeirah Lake Towers

Once I started using this, the ISO 1600 shots could easily be shot at ISO 100 or 200 with longer shutter speeds. Most of my recent night shots were done this way. Even for some sports shots, I could just go with a manual focus lens on a wider aperture on the gorillapod. This would both freeze the action, and a lower ISO would ensure cleaner pictures.

Kabaddi tussle

One can perhaps handhold better cameras thanks to their ability to produce cleaner pictures at high ISOs. But on older, less expensive cameras, and for people not keen on carrying a large tripod around, the gorillapod is a huge help.

Gateway of India

By the way, my acceptance ratio stands at around 59% now (last three quarters being close to 90%).

Photo credits: R S Vivek.

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Heidieaston

Hi, coming to this blog rather late, just stumbled across it, very interesting and sounds like a journey we are all on in some way, trying to achieve better images constantly! I read about a little trick, which you probably already know, but it's to set your camera up and take the same photo but try it on different apertures, so start with f4, then f5.6, and keep going up through all the apertures, look at them all at 100% and I found my images were sharper if shot on f9 - f11. I had previously thought, stupidly, that if it was taken on f22 it would be pin sharp, but not on my lens! It's a good test for each of your lenses to see where their optimum level is, hope that helps someone out there! Keep up the good work!

Famed01

Well done!!! Congratulations!!!

Haotian

Congrats!

Wxh6763

Great images ! Hope you do better in 2015!

Nelieta

Beautiful pictures! Yes a tripod is quite heavy to carry around but it really does help to improve the overall quality and sharpness, Best of luck for 2015!!!

Llevin1001

The above comment is photography 101. The demands of Microstock are, on the one hand, valid and when viewed by amateurs, quite another.
When photos are rejected for incorrect reasons (composition, focus, etc) there does not seem to be an appeal process. When photos are rejected by Microstock that have sold well on other sites like ********, and are tack sharp, perhaps it is time to just use the other sites.

Perstock

Yeah thats great - small investment - big improvement...
Learning the gears ”sweatpoint” is really critical.
Congrats!

Vogonify

Thanks for all the nice comments.

Cmoulton,

Indeed, such a good little camera

Martingraf,

I have a smaller one too, which comes with a little ballhead and spirit level of its own. Very versatile.

Dnelsonphoto

Here's a shot of my bigger Gorillapod in action holding a Nikon FX body with 50 mm lens on a tree branch. This shot was taken with my cell phone.
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Sorry I can't get the image to appear here.

Martingraf

I also use several tripods - two small ones from Joby - one of them the mentioned gorillapod :) and the other I can even leave under the camera - great for situations where u don't want to or cannot take a "normal" tripod with you

Tenkende

never heard about a gorillapod! thank you for sharing your experience!

Cmoulton

Love this blog, I've always wondered about the practicality of those gorillapods - think I might get one soon too. Incidentally, I shoot with the very same camera that you do, ha ha! Great little camera !

Dnelsonphoto

Good post and nice images. I carry a Gorillapod whenever I don't have the energy to carry a big tripod.

Angelaostafichuk

Very interesting how a small investment makes a huge difference. Congrats on your acceptance and lovely pics. : )

Steveacer

Well done, that is a very interesting post.

Leswrona

Way to go. Learn and grow. My acceptance ratio was at 6 % at some point. I did not understand that kit lens had a lot of limitations. Now I use it only at some apertures and focal length plus adder a prime lens to my collection. My last two quarter acceptances are above 90%.

FabioConcetta

You have done well, I use a regular tripod Manfrotto for my Nikon D700 with a nikon 24 70 2.8 also to photograph a background. The sharpness is a prerequisite. Congratulations for your beautiful pictures!

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