This is a call to the other newbies on Dreamstime. I respect, admire, and am floored by members with 200, 2,000 or 20,000 downloads, but I'm thinking right now of people, like me, who are just getting started.
What has it been like for you? How did you get started trying to share (and sell) photos via Dreamstime?
How do you go about determining which photos you will submit? Are you culling your collection of photos from days and years past, or are you creating work specifically for Dreamstime?
What have you been learning, and wanting to learn, about this process?
I've been wrestling with all of the above, and I would love to hear from you--established successes and newbies like me both!
(Apparently I need to provide at least one image, so I'll include one of my...
The way I run my flickr account is this: I take a photo, downsize it, provide a watermark (sometimes two), and I add a link to Dreamstime. I refrain from publishing EVERY photo available on DT, just one from a series to be an example of what can be expected on DT. See my flick profile: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sebcz/
I don't know about anyone else, but isolating images is one of my least favorite tasks in Photoshop.
I see that there was a blog on this topic in late December, but that was focused on shooting within a lightbox, or in other conditions that you can manipulate. Lots of times, I'm trying to isolate a large object that I found in natural conditions, rather than a small subject that I can get in a lightbox.
I have tried just about every method I can find to isolate my subject, and then create credible, realistic transitions between the image and the background. Magic Wand, Quick Select, Extraction, Calculations. . . None of these are easy, and few are satisfying. I end up spending hours on a single image, trying to get things just right.
What do other people do? I have seen many beautiful isolations...
HI Thank you, so if I extract an image from the background and fill with paint brush in any color, the color fill doesn't add back the pixels lost from extracting? And If I have an 12x8. When I submit to DT with this process, will the isolated image be accepted without enlarging the MP
HI, When I isolate my subjects , How do I retain original file size? When I isolate and add a white background with paint bucket or brush tool, I lose file size in the "save file as" even though the image size in adjustments shows the original file size. I go from 4.5 MB down to 2.1 or so. Which is below DT minimum.
Thank you, This has been frustrating for me.
I think you are confusing file size with size of the image in X-px * Y-px.
It's normal the file size in JPG format goes down since you eliminate the (unwanted) information in the white area. The picture dimensions should stay the same.
PS - you will get the same file size reduction when you reduce the noise, for instance in a sky, at least in the compressed JPG format. In a bitmapped uncompressed format like TIFF, the file size will stay the same.
As I am deciding to open a Flickr account and start using it as a way to share photos, get critiques, and maybe even drive sales to Dreamstime, I wanted to toss out one more question:
Does anyone have comments on Picasa? Several people have commented eloquently on their happiness with Flickr, and I have seen how active that community seems to be. On the other hand, much of my life is already integrated into my Google account, and so I don't want to toss away this option without at least giving it some consideration.
So, any arguments for Picasa over Flickr if my goals are sharing, getting/giving critique and pointing people toward my Dreamstime portfolio?
Flickr has a more extense community, but Picasa is growing very fast. The integration between Google users and Picasa is excelent, and also, it has a easiest way to upload pictures to a webalbum stored in your Google account.
You can try it both and then decide wich one to use as a common tool.
At this point in my exploration of Dreamstime, I've hit a wall: I've combed through my existing photos for shots that might have commercial value, and submitted most of those.
I have no travel on the immediate horizon, and so, for now, my subjects are limited to my immediate area.
For better or worse, I live in Washington, DC. The better: There are many, many iconic buildings here, from the Capitol to the White House to all the Smithsonians. The worse: These might just be the most photographed buildings in the country, with everyone from tourists with disposable cameras to the most accomplished pros capturing images of all the settings, in all seasons.
So, how do you get started? How do you make that break between re-purposing existing photos to creating photos for...
Here's the dilemma: I will be heading to Africa on a safari with family this summer. Fourteen days of once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunities.
Right now, my biggest lens is the Canon 70-200 f/2.8 L with IS. I love this lens, BUT I have a feeling it pales in comparison with the Canon 300 f2/8 L with IS. On the other hand, the 300 is about $3900 at B&H.
So, the question is: Is that 300 mm worth it? Or is it so big, heavy and attention-getting that I would hesitate to haul it out? Am I having an unjustified case of lens lust?
Anyone out there have recommendations, one way or the other, on the Canon 300? I have heard it's technically outstanding, BUT do you use it much if you have it?
I have the EF 300 f4L with IS that I also use with an EF 1x4 teleconverter which boosts the range dramatically with the loss of just one f stop. (With an EF x2 telconverter you would have no autofocus and would lose 2 f stops) ) Really great lens for shooting animals and although you have the 70-200, the range on this lens may not be good enough for shooting animals at a distance. You could whack an EF teleconverter on it though to boost the range some more. How about getting an EF 100-400 LENS with IS and then whack on a 1x 4 teleconverter, that would give you massive range. I got one last year and I love it. Its weighty though, sometimes makes my arms ache when Im shooting with it for hours on end.
Tripods! Is carbon fiber really worth the extra $?
Currently, I use a Bogen-Manfrotto tripod (I think it's model 3021B). It's fine--tall, and relatively sturdy--but it's HEAVY. Hauling it around when I already have a camera body or two in hand is a hassle. I'm not super happy with the ball head, either (also Bogen-Manfrotto). It works, but it's not all that easy to adjust, especially with a heavy camera/lens combo.
I've been checking out the Gitzo Mountaineer tripods, and even tinkered with them at B&H one day. They are amazingly light, and supposedly extremely sturdy. On the other hand, they're a good chunk of change: over $1,000 for tripod and ballhead.
So, my second equipment question is: Is a really good tripod worth it? Has anyone here moved from a good, but not great, setup to...
I will have the good fortune to spend a week at what is said to be a very nice resort in Mexico next month. The resort is set on what they call the Maya Riviera.
I have seen many beautiful images of Mayan ruins (see this shot from Kineticimagery), and even more gorgeous photos of Mexican beaches. As always, though, I would like to find a new take on the subjects at hand.
What is still to be shot in this part of the world? Has anyone been down there and thought afterward 'Oh, if only I had thought about THAT?' Or have any designers searched through the Maya Riviera photos and wished there were more photos of something else?
A few days ago, I was lamenting in this very blog about the mixed blessing of living in Washington, DC: Nearly all the buildings, at least downtown, are extremely photogenic. At the same time, you can't walk down the Mall without seeing at least 1 photographer per square foot.
Since writing that entry, I have spent a lot of time in the city's museums and around the major monuments. Looking at them through a potential designer's eyes, trying to sort out what would and what would not be useful, has been eye-opening. I've tried to focus (literally!) on the universal appeal of what I'm seeing, while at the same time appreciating what's unique about a particular angle, or one afternoon's unique sky, or a detail that might be overlooked without some patience...
This entry is for all the photographers out there who have had to deal with my biggest photo phobia: DUST. Sometimes, dust doesn't raise its ugly head. When I've got an intricate subject and vivid colors, it can find lots of places to hide.
On the other hand, half my photos have a big chunk of blue sky. Each and every time I scrutinize one of these shots, I find those annoying blurs and blobs.
So, my question is:
What do you do about dust? I've read a million how-tos on the web, advocating everything from blowers to swabs to vacuums. I am pretty darned nervous about sticking anything in the bowels of my cameras, but enough is enough.
The most promising solution seems to be something called the 'Arctic Butterfly,...
Next week, I will have the chance to spend a couple days in and around Denver. I don't know the city at all, but I hope to change that, and of course I'll have my camera around my neck.
I've checked out the available shots of Denver, and have found some beautiful images (see above and below, and there are plenty more.
As always, though, I want to go beyond what's already been done.
Any Denverites here with ideas on photo opportunities? I'll have plenty of time and a car, so locations outside the city are fine, too. Alternatively, any designers (do they read these blogs?) with Denver photo hopes/needs?
I think some photos of the creek that runs down through downtown Denver would be interesting. I forgot the name of that creek. Platte? Something taken from the east with the skyline with mountains in the background would be nice.
I live about 3 hours from denver, but have been there many times. There are zoos, parks, mountains, ski resorts. Pretty much anything you could imagine there, that would make great subjects for pictures. I hope you have a great time!
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