Get your priorities right!

posted on 4th of january, 2013

We often come across a great opportunity for that perfect shot but either miss it or capture it wrong if we are new to serious photography. Here's a little list of things I'd suggest. Most of these are already taken care of by your camera but just in case your camera isn't one of the smartest available... better not lose it for that.

1. CHECK YOUR ISO! It's such a damned thing if you have a point and shoot that wants you to impress you with fast shutter speed. Some cameras actually prefer setting aperture to f/8 and ISO to 800 for a shutter speed of 1/500 when you could do with 1/80 just as well. So NEVER set the ISO to auto during an outdoor daytime shoot. But at evening or morning, if you are trying to freeze motion, better walk out with ISO set to auto or 400.
2. Shooting still...

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Comments (19)

Posted by Harshvardhan on February 01, 2013
hey! Pratik how r u bro? Just Thanx again as five of my more images have been selected today. thankyou for everything!
Posted by Robinstockphotos on January 05, 2013
Thank you. I'll need all the wishes. :)
And good luck to you too. Just went through your port. I look at everyone's port who comments here.
My blog posts are more like spider webs trying to trap people. Most people who comment are usually neither too good (the big guys scare me!) nor too new. Those with 5000+ sales don't comment here anyway. Nor do those with 2 or 3 uploads.
Good to compare my performance with others and see what they are up to. ;)
Posted by Ewapix on January 05, 2013
And I certainly wish you all the best!

Comments (19)

This article has been read 1310 times. 6 readers have found this article useful.

Switch off IS when using a tripod - but WHY?

posted on 4th of january, 2013

I think many of you must wonder why you should switch off Image stabilization (IS) when using a tripod? IS was meant to suppress vibrations right? And using it on a tripod might get you really, really sharp pictures?

So here is the secret behind it:
Your camera has two types of IS. Digital and optical. Digital IS is something like digital zoom in the way it affects images. It isn't as good as the true, mechanical IS (which uses lenses). There are various ways of implementing digital IS. The most basic and efficient method behind it is to monitor certain points on the screen and as your hand moves in tiny vibrations, it matches the sensor data aquisition rate to that of the frequency/pattern of vibration. That misses most of the displaced frames and gives out a stream of "aligned frames" which...

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Comments (10)

Posted by Lenutaidi on February 02, 2013
Congratulations!Great blog, thanks for sharing!
Posted by Wordplanet on January 28, 2013
Great article - lovely portfolio. Best of luck!
Posted by Robinstockphotos on January 25, 2013
Thank you everyone! I was just looking around and searching for a few things. Never found any mention of WHY to switch off IS in any manual, etc. So I thought you'd like to know.

Comments (10)

This article has been read 1118 times. 8 readers have found this article useful.

Bird Photography

posted on 6th of january, 2013

I've always been interested a lot in observing birds. Sitting with a pair of field glasses or binoculars and watching out for a single little bird for hours and hours...that was when I was 12 years old. Now after 6 years I can combine it with photography and get some decent shots out of my hobby. Birds are wonderful. Camera can capture them in such astounding detail that you'd be surprised you saw the birds every day but failed to notice the true beauty of their eyes.

I'd like to share some of my tips. I've gotten as close to little birds as you'd have to go to even touch them. It was unfortunate I didn't have a good camera then. Otherwise I could have built a colorful portfolio. (back then, 2 years ago, I was in a forest area full of animals from leopards to woodpeckers -...

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Comments (15)

Posted by Wildphoto2 on December 22, 2013
Enjoyed this blog. Birding is lots of fun but requires patience to reap the best rewards. It is best to wear clothes that blend into the environment.
Posted by Cmoulton on January 08, 2013
Thank you for this wonderful blog! Birds are a subject I enjoy attempting to capture with my camera as well, but so far, I have not had a whole lot of success. I think your blog will help me, lol!
Posted by Robinstockphotos on January 08, 2013
Sure, humans always behave like animals. They are just not careful enough as animals are. ;)
Babar760, you're right. At least 600mm lens is needed to get very good closeup shots without cropping. A 400mm with 2X would be even better. But the cost.... :/
I'd rather just watch birds. haha!

Comments (15)

This article has been read 1133 times. 4 readers have found this article useful.

First sale of 2013! :)

posted on 9th of january, 2013

This image was sold first this year. December was nice with 5 sales. Hoping to make it 10+ this month? I have a very, VERY small portfolio. A cute little port isn't going to earn a cute sum. Trying to find time to upload more. Three months with DT have been nice. :)
Thanks to my friends for all the support and encouragement and double thanks to the "big guys" here for the inspiration and guidance. Love this site! Very friendly for newbies.

Here are my favorite two photos. Let's see when they sell....

Comments (14)

Posted by Py2000 on January 12, 2013
Posted by FabioConcetta on January 12, 2013
Posted by Laurasinelle on January 10, 2013

Comments (14)

This article has been read 1727 times.

Distorted pixels?

posted on 14th of january, 2013

Don't be too happy about the title. I'm not going to tell you the exact process to get rid of it. Call it a trade secret reserved for the persistent guys? I'll tell you what they are exactly referring to - fix it yourself. (I'm soo mean?)

I recently intentionally uploaded a set of overprocessed images. Okay, it might bring my AR to 30% or some day to a negative number...but it doesn't bother me much. Common sense says I'll be able to upload only 20 images a week for the lack of time. And getting some rejections to improve isn't a bad idea. I'll write about my experiment.

WARNING: If you're a professional, please close this article from right here or you may pass out within the next paragraph. I assume no responsibilities for a drastic reduction in AR or uploads/month if...

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Comments (12)

Posted by Robinstockphotos on November 01, 2013
Hi! are you talking about this blog? If yes, report incompatibility problem to Dreamstime support. :)
Posted by Robinstockphotos on January 15, 2013
Not really. I was getting rejection after rejection whenever I used photos from my Canon SX30. So I finally modified the workflow. Got my AR beaten up with experimental images.
But now I'm happy it's fixed.
Posted by Bradcalkins on January 15, 2013
Personally I think you are missing the forest for the trees if you are checking your images at 200% or higher :) DT has a quick intro on distorted pixels and other problems here: Contributor resources

Comments (12)

This article has been read 1441 times. 1 readers have found this article useful.

Photographing reptiles

posted on 15th of january, 2013

In this particular article I'd write only about the non-venomous reptiles and some tips or tricks for photographing them. The venomous reptiles would be covered in a future article after I've completed studying their behavior. I've had a lot of interest in reptiles and earlier I used to observe them a lot. Right now, I'm trying to photograph some common species around. It doesn't look like a hard experience after having observed them for years. But they are impossible subjects if you're not ready for the challenge.

In my last article about bird photography I had mentioned mainly about precautions like not wearing a bright shirt or using cover to hide. But photographing reptiles is quite different. A non-venomous reptile is usually defenseless and thus they have to rely on their...

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Comments (5)

Posted by Robinstockphotos on January 15, 2013
I uploaded them casually. They don't sell unless they're too good. So I didn't upload much of this. It's more of a fun thing. :)
Some people are terrified of them. Just stay away from them. :)
Posted by Dan1 on January 15, 2013
Lizards might be okay. But SNAKES poisionous or not are out of the question for me. I'm terrified of them. There was a small lizzard in the house today but got out the door before i could do anything. You have some great shot and i hope they sell well for you
Posted by Egomezta on January 15, 2013
Great blog, thanks for sharing...

Comments (5)

This article has been read 1070 times. 4 readers have found this article useful.

To upload flowers or not to?

posted on 21st of january, 2013

But Dreamstime has got enough flowers to fill up the Mariana trench and drown the Everest.
I still don't know what would be a good strategy here. Of course I have to upload flower photos and I will. But what sells and what doesn't?

After thinking about it all I decided to pick out one flower photo here:

And another generic background:

I have a million flower photos on my disk and most have been declared "awesome", "extraordinary" and "classic!" by family and friends. That, obviously is not something that matters. DT teaches this to newbies the hard way. I've had half the pollens of a flower out of the frame with only the stalk in focus and it was labelled "lovely". Another flower on the dead centre with zero space left for text was "my best...

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Comments (14)

Posted by Livingstonatlarge on January 29, 2013
My very first sale on DT was PINK flowers...LOL
Posted by Peanutroaster on January 22, 2013
Better be top notch images to compete!
Posted by Pindiyath100 on January 21, 2013
Try water lilies, lotus, tulips, orchids, frangipani etc. I’ve HAD lots of sales with these flowers. Used to be a flower photographer in the beginning but when rejections received due to my lack of creativity, I slowed down and switched to other areas that I could manage. Hope this helps… :)

Comments (14)

This article has been read 2357 times.

The cobra, at last!

posted on 24th of january, 2013

I've been hunting for some snakes lately to photograph some. I got some photos but none were very impressive and looked quite common. It is hard to photograph snakes in the wild here because what you get here are mostly venomous and they are hard to find these days, thanks to the concrete jungles growing so fast.

This is the best shot I got in the last 2 weeks and I uploaded only this one. (Snakes aren't in a great demand unless very colorful - and not many colorful snakes here)
This one looked quite healthy. Shot this photo from a very close range to fill in the entire screen with the scale texture. I really tried to make it stand but well, they have their moods.
It is a spectacled cobra by the way.

Thanks to sir Austin Steven's show and his encouraging me via Twitter...

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Comments (10)

Posted by Robinstockphotos on January 25, 2013
Well I don't support reptile shows. If I ever go there I keep a watch for signs of cruelty or bad treatment with the animals. Which is very common here.

Photograph them wild. Attaches some value to the photos....something that you feel when you finally get a hard shot. :)
For those following my wildlife photography articles, I'm going to write some butterfly photography and night photography articles soon.
Posted by Inyrdreams on January 25, 2013
you are welcome to the snake shooting.. im not a snake fan! also look for reptile shows.. a great place to photograph them.
Posted by Laurasinelle on January 25, 2013
I loved the cobra pic! amazing!

Comments (10)

This article has been read 915 times.

Why I just love Dreamstime

posted on 28th of january, 2013

I'm new to stock photography and so far I haven't done photography seriously. It was just a hobby - snap whatever you like looking at or whatever looks beautiful. But since I decided to do it for some income (to buy more equipments, etc), I joined several stock photo sites. But things suddenly become hard as a newbie. You find yourself on the same site as the world's top stock photographer. I was quite discouraged after 4 rejections at first and left for some time.
Then after I came back to take a look, I saw that someone else who had started around the same time as me had 11 sales already. I wondered why he and why not me? Agreed I don't have the equipment he has, but I can do something about it, right? So I learned Photoshop.

After observing some new people on here,...

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Comments (18)

Posted by Robinstockphotos on January 30, 2013
Weill I'll never look like one. I'm allergic to body fat. ;)
Posted by Pindiyath100 on January 30, 2013
Well said, Panda (though you don't look like one ;)!! Keep up the positive attitude and great work always. :)
Posted by Thanatonautii on January 29, 2013
Great advices and great site indeed! DT is one of the best on the market and is making us happy :)

Comments (18)

This article has been read 1462 times. 4 readers have found this article useful.

My first ever conceptual image sold!

posted on 30th of january, 2013

This was my first ever planned shot....and I had shot this especially for uploading on Dreamstime. And tonight it sold. :)
And this was also my 4th uploaded shot on Dreamstime. At that time I was finding this site TOTALLY frustrating. It was like there is no hope. I was getting rejections after rejections for poor lens quality and compression artifacts and a thousand other things I never really could understand. I had signed up just before I turned 18 hoping to earn big. (Now I have been on here for less than 6 months). Then I uploaded some files and got rejections...I didn't know what to do. I changed some settings and still got the rejections.

The most frustrating was "poor lens quality", "distorted pixels" and "uneven focus"...

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Comments (21)

Posted by Jordieasy on February 20, 2013
Congratulations Robin!
I'm also new at it, but I have 41 pictures uploaded (40%), a EOS550D and 31 years... But I haven't sold nothing yet!!!

Well done guy and keep on!!
You inspire us!!
Posted by Auenlaender on February 06, 2013
Hallo Robin,
I am absolutely new here and I sent my first pix last week (still waiting for answer...) and today I read your blog and must add a comment. It's so wonderful to read about your success and I can absolutely share your happyness with you. I am a mother of 3 children and photography is my passion, my therapy etc. but I still do it with a camera like yours and do not have really great expectation in selling something. My motivation is to share my work, my creativity and you are so right, when you say, that this is, what really matters. None technique equipment can't replace creativity and first of all: heart and soul.
I also must admit, that I saw photos here at DT that are really ugly and nothing special. nothing notable and I asked myself, why did they choose them...?
Anyway I wish you a great future here and elsewhere with your work!
Posted by Beyo1980 on February 06, 2013
Ive just read this and it blew my mind. Last night, I uploaded my first set of pictures. As we speak, they are still under investigation and I have no idea if they will be allowed. I thought I wasnt good enough, and not to sure if this is something I wanted to do. But you are so right. Its not the camera that makes the picture, its the few inches behind it.

Thanks you so much for your inspiration.

Comments (21)

This article has been read 1371 times. 3 readers have found this article useful.

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Combining digital imaging with careful post processing to produce the images you are looking for, my steadily growing portfolio contains a wide range of images from space backgrounds to still life photography. All the images are painstakingly corrected for all types of noticeable noise and chromatic aberrations, however minor.

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