Stock Image -vs- Snapshot

posted on 15th of november, 2007

For the past couple of weeks, I have been slowly editing and keywording several images before uploading them here. These were images from two different caverns, one in Virginia and one in West Virginia.
I probably have about 100 photos between the two locations. Going through them, I found about 28 of which I deemed great! They were, to me, unique shots of interesting formations within the caverns. I thought to myself that these will definately be accepted! After uploading these images, I endured an 80+ hour wait period to see how they would fair.
This morning was the unveiling! There were 30 emails in my inbox, all from Dreamstime! The images had been reviewed! I hastily clicked into my inbox. To my dismay, I saw "Image Not Selected" over and over again. Twenty-seven out of 28 of the images had been rejected do to composition issues. What had gone wrong? I was so upset that I couldn't address it with myself this morning. I filed the emails away for later.
During downtime at work, I was able to go back into the thumbnails and review them. As I looked them over, I could clearly see why they were rejected.. and wanted to bang my head on the desk for being such a doofus! While the formations were nice formations and very interesting, the on-camera flash did not bounce well against them.
Many of my images contained clearly over-exposed areas do to the harsh flash, and under-exposure in areas do to it being a small flash. I was saddened at the loss of hours keywording all of those images, but I have learned a great lesson. When shooting a scene or editing an image, there are some key questions to ask oneself:
1) Will this make a good stock photo?
2) Would *I* buy this, or would it look better in a family/trip photo album?
3) Is the flash creating hot spots on the subject?
4) Is the white balance adjusted correctly?
5) Is there enough light to properly light/expose the subject and scene?
6) Can I, and should I, crop out those dark or bright edges?

So which cavern image won the 28-image competition? This one. :)

Comments (2)

Posted by Amyemilia on January 17, 2008
[imgl]3933777[/imgl] Thank you for this honest and very useful post. I am just beginning to learn, and it is great to see that someone so successful had trouble in the beginning!
Posted by Ellenboughn on November 16, 2007
Painters sometimes stand with their backs to the painting and look at the work over their shoulder in a mirror to get distance between themselves and their work. THis is the critical lesson that you have learned: to stand back and look at the work with an unbiased eye.

This article has been read 1307 times. 2 readers have found this article useful.
Photo credits: Teresa Kenney.

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