My family hates microstock
Well, not exactly.
I suppose I should rephrase my title to more correctly say, "My Family Hates the way microstock has changed me".
Yup, it has. I am changed, altered.
Microstockly-speaking, I am but a shadow of the man I was fifteen months ago. Like one of the Autobots of Cybertron I seem to constantly be shifting into another shape and form.
I am a transformer. I have been transformed...I'm Different.
My camera and gear, now permanent appendages, swing out from my carcas at a moments notice, ready for action.
"Not another picture!", sighs my wife.
"What the heck are you taking a picture of?", she wonders, standing by my side, staring to the ground below unable to comprehend what is there that makes a photo. Then, shaking her head in absolute disbelief that anyone would want a photo of ice.
Or, "We're in a rush. Don't stop the car!", says my daughter, when I saw that shot of the beautiful red barn and cows...
I am unable to travel without my new limbs. They are my crutch, my cane.
Solidly attached, they travel with me everywhere. To the market, to the grocery store, to work, to the bathroom.
Wait, the last ones a little weird...but I recall I did once get shots of 'bathroom out order' and 'wet floor bathroom'.
And my sight has been retooled, my vision sharpened. I can no longer just see something before me and snap recklessly...Usually.
I must ponder. Think. Move about, change perspective. Reflect... Repeat eight(teen) times.
And even then, I sometimes now choose to not take the shot because I concluded it was not artsy, or stockworthy, or the light not right, or something.
My photographic DNA has mutated.
After all, the future of man is in his jeans...Or so I've heard.
And this is where, "my family hates microstock", comes into this blog.
My family, who with great patience and tolerance, put up with the old man and suffer as Microstock extends itself into the family photos. It seems I have become too selective. Too demanding of self. Too picky. What I have learned from microstock has extended into all my photos.
As an example of my families distress over microstock, I describe a scenario of two weeks ago.
Granddaughters second birthday party.
Many family members from both sides of parents present. Number of cameras present...three.
Number of cameras requested to take special shots...one. Can you guess who?
Number of photos taken over the two days we stayed visiting grandkids...about 750.
Number of photos remaining after first pass screening of the shots...about 350.
Number of photos remaining after second pass screening...about 200.
Number of photos remaining after first round of actually editing photos...about 150.
Final result and posted to Facebook...90 photos!
Where does the family get most of their photos of the event? My Facebook.
Now, in this case, I was obviously not taking too much time to reflect on each shot. Just snapping, including many duplicates, and going to pull out the best later. But this is a ridiculous 12% personal acceptance ratio for my family weekend. Heck, that's lower than my Dreamstime ratio! It doesn't really bother me though. I can live with that. My family photos don't affect my AR :) I'm happy with the final photos and don't miss the ones I deleted whatsoever.
But my family does...
"Where's that shot of me and Aubrey joking around on the couch?", said my daughter with much disgust.
"Slightly out of focus", said I. "Not a keeper".
Or, as my wife asked, "What about that shot Ethan and Aubrey playing on the floor with Mickey the dog? You know, the one where he's licking everyone's face!".
"Early evening. Inside. Not enough light, didn't use the flash", I replied, "Had the aperture wide open but ISO not set high enough. Didn't have enough shutter speed. Had motion blur. Not a Keeper. Sorry".
"Huh?", she replied, "I don't care, I just wanted the picture."
Or, as my daughter has commented in the past, "I don't care if it's not good enough for you. It'll be good
enough for facebook and me...just keep them!".
But I can't do it. I can't keep them.
I am no longer able to pass on photos to others which are now unacceptable to me.
Oh, I used to, but not anymore.
I now attack my personal photos more harshly than a gaggle, herd, or a flock of microstock reviewers could ever do so. Unforgivingly, ruthlessly and mercilessly rejecting my family shots, before anyone can even lay eyes upon them, leaving them to burn into smoldering, white ash flakes in the vast, deep and firey pit of the recycle bin.
I am unwilling to send my rejects out to the world of Facebook and family. I won't do it dammit!
And of those remaining, I must tweak, crop, touch-up and adjust to achieve my view of perfection, my vision of excellence for each image...I must painstakingly play with every photo before it's released into the world...I now boldly go where I never went before. And I do so because, in my own simple mind, I've developed a imagined reputation that I must keep. I've learned things that cannot be unlearned. And anything less than what my reformed photo-DNA demands will just not do.
Similar to the old catch phrase from the 'Six Million Dollar Man' television show (I may be dating myself here),
"Microstockmen, we did rebuild him. We had the technology. Daddioman is that man. Better than before.
Better, stonger, faster."
I dunno. Maybe.
Perhaps it should now actually be, "Microstockmen, we did rebuild him. Improvement was necessary. Daddioman is that man. Better than before. Fussier, pickier, critical."
And so it is that my family hates microstock.
Sorry. Hate might be too strong a word. I've taken it too far. But it did make the blog title more interesting.
My family's just upset I delete crap they want to keep.
I suppose I'll just have to ease-up on the family photos....
Now I lay me down to sleep.
I love my family, our joy to keep.
Should I die before I wake.
I hope they liked the photos I take.
:) Have a nice, smiley and silly day!
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Photo credits: George Kroll.