As the image editors (not entirely correct a statement - we're more like... well, reviewers only) review up to a couple of thousand images per day - each - then they most likely see the big picture, when it comes to balancing the various subjects and categories within Dreamstime's database. I'd like to start this blog series - aimed at pointing out various pitfalls many of the images have, that we review each day - with discussing the term "too many" and why "we have reviewed your file, but it is not what we are looking for". So take a seat...
This is a very well covered subject in our database or the subject of your image is too specific. We are looking for images that exceed the technical quality and creativity of the images already online. Please take a few minutes to browse through the best selling images online (on this subject) and go deeper, play, have a more creative, more personal approach to it, also keeping in mind the technical quality of the image.
Actually it is all written there, nicely and coherently what I am going to lecture about in detail. So let's see... So many subjects spring to mind, so that it is hard to choose... well...
Spring is all over (most of the world), so it is time for all those lovely buds and blossoms that stretch out of the ground, naturally. Well, this is definitely a category that is extremely competitive. It's not the first spring around ;)
As of May 18th, 2008, at midnight the search yielded 92,760 images with the keyword "flowers", with singular term the number is even more pronounced - 160,090. That is around 5% of the whole database. So one might think, flowers already make us sneeze... (Bless you!)
So there are at least 69,537 roses, 22,223 tulips, 7,722 dandelions, 4,183 lilies, 2,860 narcissuses, and 2,598 orchids - this is still the tip of the iceberg, since tens of thousands of the rest are simply listed as a "flower".
So tip No.1 is that BE AS SPECIFIC as possible about the species of the subject. If someone is zeroing in on a very narrow subject - i.e she knows what she is looking for - then she would be able to find your image. More often than not, we will be refusing just "roses", "tulips", "pink flowers", etc. And now you understand why that is. Tip number 2 would be to step out of the traditional flower-centric photography, bringing the subject into new, but suitable, context. Someone sniffing a bouquet, that someone could be a ... CAT or a PUPPY perhaps!? Not in the vase but outside in the flower-bed perhaps? Because simply blossoms have been photographed from all angles, from top to bottom, on various backgrounds... Generally, when there is an evident IDEA behind the flower image, it will be accepted (given the other requirements are all met). But if it is just "blooming rose" - do yourself a favor and do not bother to waste the bandwidth.
I've been forced to reject hundreds of tulips lately, since no matter from which side you photograph them, we've seen them all. Single blossoms, bouquets, flowerbeds, rows of tulips, fields of tulips. Pink, red, purple, and yellow tulips. Closed buds and fully opened ones. On green backgrounds and on sky-blue backgrounds. From the top and from the bottom up. The only way you'd hope for approval would be to submit very hi-res, pixel-prefect, with adequate depth of field images. Remember the part of the reject reason "We are looking for images that exceed the technical quality and creativity of the images already online."? Good. This is the most important sentence in the paragraph.
Coming back to the part where interesting results and concepts could be achieved when thinking out of the box and complimenting the sole flower with other props and situations. Although it is surely more challenging, the rewards are greater as well. To round this all up, here are a few MORE COMPELLING concepts, where flower plays the central role.
Next week: Butterflies, bees, wasps and flies - commonly known as insects.