Excited. Thrilled. Eager. These are some of the emotions that I felt when I first found out about stock photography. Receiving money for taking photos of random objects? How great was that?
Well, that was back in October. A massive upload of photographs later - a big slap in the face.
A true wake up call. Shortly thereafter, these emotions set in: dejected, disappointed, embarrassed, confused.
Ex-rookie photographers will recall how emotionally traumatizing it was when it seemed like no matter what we did, the photos being submitted would always get rejected. For one reason or another - with comments like, "Poor optical performance...", "Poor lighting..." or "Distorted pixels...". So traumatizing to the point where I wanted to pull out all my hair. (metaphorically speaking of course).
The learning curve no doubt was steep. I went through a period of time of withdrawal – abstaining from submitting any photos - for fear of further lowering my acceptance ratio.
Didn’t want to quit, I began to attribute the failure to the fact that I was using a point-and-shoot camera. Without first using a DLSR camera, I refused to admit defeat. That’s where the Nikon D50 came in.
Learning to use the DSLR camera was rather easy. Much easier than I thought. I also noticed a significant difference in image quality when I uploaded the photos onto my computer. I found the overall quality of the image appeared sharper. Colors looked more vibrant. Not to mention, I can now shoot in RAW format as well as JPEG.
Tempting fate once again after a month or so of withdrawal, I uploaded a batch photos taken from my new DLSR camera. Well, guess what - all my images got accepted. Here're some examples:
The excitement and the relief that I felt could not be explained. The mini-triumph was nevertheless an important milestone for a struggling and an extremely green photographer.
Of course, this is not to say that I haven’t had rejected images since I got the DLSR. Far from it. I tried to experiment with various shots using the DSLR. Trying out shots that I couldn’t do with a point-and-shoot camera. And experimenting doesn’t always guarantee success.
But sometimes, it works. Like this one:
I guess for me, the most gratifying aspect of this is not to prove that my DLSR is much better than my point-and-shoot camera. (Does this really need to be proved? :)) It has to do with overcoming difficulties and not giving up. Back in November and early December, I could have easily dropped this hobby and stuck with my point-and-shoot camera and be happy with what I had. I remember telling myself it would be unimaginable to purchase two new cameras in one year. (Please refer to my blog article: Reflection on my 2007
for background). Yet, I knew there was unfinished business to take care of. So I took action and it has paid off.
So to those rookie photographers out there that feel down now, don’t give up!
JJPHOTOS - Joe Ng
PS: Any comments or suggestions are welcome.