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Please click on the link below to read this highly recommended article by us.

http://digital-photography-school.com/3-ways-to-improve-your-images-with-composition/

shared by www.stockimagebank.com  June 2014 for non commercial use.

Royalty Free (RF) – What is it ?


Royalty Free (RF)
“Free” in this context means “free of royalties (paying each time you use an image)”. It does not mean the image is free to use without purchasing a license or that the image is in the public domain.

  • Pay a one-time fee to use the image multiple times for multiple purposes (with limits).
  • No time limit on when the buyer can use an image.
  • No one can have exclusive rights of a Royalty-free image (the photographer can sell the image as many times as he or she wants).
  • A Royalty-free image usually has a limit to how many times the buyer can reproduce it. For example, a license might allow the buyer to print 500,000 brochures with the purchased image. The amount of copies made is called the print run. The buyer is required to pay a fee per brochure, usually 1 to 3 cents, for additional prints. Magazines with a large print run cannot use a standard Royalty-free license and therefore they either purchase images with a Rights-managed license or have in-house photographers.

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Your imagination will set you apart by Udita Singh


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They say “an image is worth a 1000 words”. I couldn’t agree more. I recently saw an image that pierced me in places I didn’t know existed. It was a picture of a frail old man, a panhandler, standing with a stick for support in one hand and a begging bowl in the other. His head hung extremely low and the people around him in the photograph just seem to walk on past him. Was he invisible to them? My heart just broke.

I wondered. What really is the purpose of this image or images in general?

It is my belief that the purpose of an image then is to be evocative, to haunt you with the unspoken, to alter your state of mind for a brief moment, to transport you to places, to make you wonder, to give you a glimpse of someone else’s life, to capture a fleeting moment, to inspire, to tell a story … the list is endless. Whether you are a hobbyist or a professional photographer, each capture is a once in a lifetime event.

But then how does one distinguish good photography from bad? Coming back to the old man narrative in the preceding section, what I didn’t mention then was the fact that this image was black and white. It was dramatic; it had an arresting center of interest (the subject), the lighting albeit natural – set the right mood and had a strong impact. If the same image was in colour, I believe it would have lost almost all those qualities.

There are certain key elements in good photography in any genre of the art form whether it is stock photography, street photography, nature photography, so on and so forth.

1.      Timing and Composition – Perfectly timed images make for perfect images.

2.      Lighting – It sets a striking mood. And your image will be striking when it’s used effectively. Do not be afraid to experiment with natural lighting.

3.      Editing and publishing – Be selective in choosing your images and pick few to publish. There is sense and satisfaction in exclusivity.

4.      Effects – The right effects can achieve and say a lot about your image.

5.      Consistency – Maintaining the same feel and movement in your body of work, especially individual projects.

6.      Steering away from the obvious – No one wants to see clichéd pictures of sunsets and tourist attractions! Step out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself to see what no one else does! Do not overlook tiny details.

One can write endlessly about the zillion technicalities involved in image making but to me “the” most important element in good photography is that individual’s vision behind the camera lens.

All you really need is your imagination and curiosity to set you apart from the crowd. How far are you willing to go to tell your soul stirring story?

Article Credit : Udita Singh                                                                                      Udita is a dreamer. She works in the creative department at  http://www.StockImageBank.com. A cheerful, bright spot that she is, she is very observant. This ability has created a very honest expression of her point of view on images and photography. We though it was worth sharing with all of you ! Hope it changes the way you look at the image.

Five Tips for Shooting Stock Images


OK, so you have been involved in nature photography seriously for the last few years, and you have started to accumulate a number of quality images. Maybe it is time to seek an agency, or perhaps you would rather self-market your images. In either case, the leap to “stock images” represents a paradigm shift that will require you to totally rethink your approach to photography. Rather than debate the advantages and disadvantages of various types of agencies, this article covers five specific tips for photographers that market their images or are contemplating doing so.

  1. by Bill HornDon’t always shoot for yourself- diversify. 
    It is no longer just about you and what you enjoy shooting. If your intent is to sell images, and you specialize in butterflies or birds only, your market will be restricted to that customer base alone. Expanding your horizon photographically will not only increase sales potential, but it will make you a better, more diverse photographer as well. Embrace each photographic event as an opportunity to expand your portfolio. I once went to SE Oklahoma for a weekend photographing birds. On the way back, a radio communications tower caught my eye, so I stopped and took a few shots. None of the bird images I got that weekend have sold, but the image of the radio tower has sold more than once. There is nothing unique or special about the image; it just happened to catch the editor’s eye on a given day. Not every image you take has to be a nature image.
  2. Vary composition and technique. 
    Editors and publishers are a finicky lot. I learned long ago that it is pointless to try and second guess them. It is better to offer them choices. Let’s say you encounter a butterfly on a nice, clean perch. Make sure your first shot is with him centered and lots of room on all sides – you have no idea how the editor will want to crop the final image. Then, take more shots from different angles, varying lighting conditions, background, and other elements of the image. It is all about choices. Case in point: Note the Red-bellied Woodpecker image. If I posted that image in the avian forum at PM, it would get numerous negative responses such as chopped bird, too much space on the left, etc. But imagine it as a two page spread in a magazine with lead-in text on the left, and you can then see the potential as a stock image.
  3. Maintain technical perfection. 
    Stock agencies want you to submit massive quantities of images; and indeed your goal should be to have thousands of images on file eventually. But, don’t sacrifice quality for the sake of quantity. Each image you create represents you as a photographer. Submit only images that are technically perfect. Prior to submitting, pull each image file into your image editor and zoom to 100%. Scroll over the image and get rid of all dust spots. If the image won’t hold detail at 100%, do not submit it. Be your own worst critic. The client deserves a high quality image; anything less can damage your reputation.
  4. >by Bill HornThink like an editor. 
    While it may be impossible to anticipate the specific desire of any given editor, publisher or client, there are a few things you can do to get a leg up on the competition. Put yourself in their shoes; try to think as they would. How do you do that? Pay attention trends and to what is being published. If you are marketing to a specific entity, such as a local magazine, look at back issues. Try and get a feel for the type images they like. Clients want to sell their products, period! Look closely at images in magazines, and you will often see images that at first appear somewhat mundane. In these type images 70-80% of the image will be drab or out of focus, and your eye is automatically drawn to the 10% of the image they want you to see – that is their commercial intent. As nature photographers, we strive to keep elements of the hand of man (HOM) out of our images. For stock photography, the EXACT OPPOSITE applies. People like seeing people in images, doing things, interacting with nature. So, spend more time thinking like an editor, rather than a photographer when making your images.
  5. Marketing 101. 
    Even if you decide to go with an agency, you still must market yourself. Agency sales will represent only a portion of your sales; the rest is up to you. This is the toughest issue for most photographers; they do not know how to go about marketing their own work. First: be organized and prepared. You photograph a Purple Martin today, and three years later a client asks if you have any Purple Martin images. Will you remember? Maybe, maybe not. Keyword your images and employ any one of the commercial databases available to photographers. Perhaps your goal is to get published in your state’s outdoor magazine. I will offer three ways you could go approach the task: 1). Burn 200 of your best images onto CD-ROM and mail it to the editor. The CD will likely be trashed and never viewed, as the editor does not know you personally. 2.) Create a quality Kinko’s type photo album using the same 200 images, and mail that to the editor. Chances are increased slightly, but when and why will they need your particular images? 3.) Write a 1500 word article relevant to subjects the magazine would cover. Personally deliver the article and album to the editor and introduce yourself in a professional manner. You increased your chances tenfold by cutting his workload. He can publish your article and images will little effort on his part – editors are lazy and love for us to do all the work!

by Bill Horn by Bill Horn

Credit : http://www.photomigrations.com/articles/0706100.htm

We acame across this article by Bill Horn. It made perfect sense to share it with our readers. We hope you benefit from this information and it helps you in creating images that will fetch you revenues.

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Importance of Professional Stock Photography in designs.


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The use of photography in graphic design had its birth way long ago, back in late 1920 decade, when Herbert Bayer, after leaving Bauhaus school, where he was the teacher of  “Print and advertising Workshop”, started to study the interconnections between “advertising science” and psychology.
He started then to integrate photos in his work, with montages and screens, in order to give more dynamics and expressiveness to his creations and make of them what he called “an architectural framework“.
Those really were first photo montages of graphic design history.

In our days, with the use of computer graphics the use of pictures in any kind of job is a must.

Recently I’ve read an article in a blog that stated: “it is useless to spend a lot of time in Stock Photography websites to search for the right shot while you possibly have a nice camera and you can do the shot yourself”.
I personally STRONGLY disagree with this point of view.
Unless you are an experienced photographer yourself, I firmly believe that a paid job is not the moment to make experiments and play with the brand reputation of your customer!

An image in a website, in advertising or any other printed composition is never just a “shot”.
It has, in a first instance, the task to grab attention.
It has then to engage, beautify, tell a story, create desire, and all of this it must be done being consistent with the image of the brand.
To make it short “it has to sell”.

Your photography necessarily must be “professional”: if photography misses the mark, your brand message will be diluted, if not damaged!
After you’ve spent so much time brainstorming about a message that compels, it must be supported by compelling imagery.
Notice also that if you need your image for printing, professional quality is necessary to guarantee quality reproduction.
Never think customers won’t notice it: they will, whether consciously or not.

Furthermore, if you use photos with people you NEED to have the Model Release, a legal document signed by subjects portrayed, that grants you the permission to use and publish the photo.
I have read a lot of times on various design groups on Usenet, both about people that got into trouble because they used a picture without legal permission and others that were bragging about suing others because they used one of their shots, so, I always use professional stock photography.
A thing you have to know, however, are the differences between various kind of licenses:

  • Royalty Free is the most common and affordable license type, often called just RF. As the name says, you can use the image purchased as many times as you want without paying an additional royalty. They have usually good prices, that may vary according to the company of your choice. The only downside is that these images are not exclusive.
  • Rights Managed license (or RM) gives you exclusive (but time-limited) use of a stock image. This means that if you buy this kind of license you are the only one to use the image in the period specified in the contract. Photos can be used only for one project and for a period of time, sometimes even only on specified geographical areas. This is an expensive licence, but it protect you brand from competition using the same image.
  • Extended/ Enhanced licenses. Not every company offers this kind of licenses, which extends the use of a previously licensed work. You have thus the permission to increase the printed copies featuring the image, to use it for resale purposes or for other method of distribution. It is advised to carefully read the contract, as uses allowed vary from company to company.
  • Subscription. This is pretty new, it is not available everywhere also, but this kind of offer is quickly expanding. You pay a monthly fee, often choosing among different price plans, and you can download a set number of photos of your choice. This is probably the best deal if you have to download images often. As a plus, you usually have no limitation about the use.

Credit : http://www.graphdesign.com/ Shared by http://www.stockimagebank.com