The above picture was taken during a hike in the Alps. In this blog I wrote about the hike through the Nufenenpass before. I really enjoyed it and I hope you will also enjoy it.
Half way the hike I saw this water reservoir. It is called the Griessee. Compared to other pictures I took during my many hikes in the Alps it is not spectacular. However, I decided to see how well it would sell on Dreamstime (of course, if it would be accepted).
As you can see it was accepted by Dreamstime and it is selling reasonably well. It has been sold 5 times, the last time was yesterday. The question is: who is interested in a picture like that?
This question is difficult to answer. On microstock websites the buyer is anonymous for the seller. A consequence is that as sellers we do not know what type of buyers make use of these websites and what they are looking for.. Would it not be nice if, possibly at an aggregated level, we would know the type of buyers and what type of pictures they are looking for. Knowing more about the characteristics of the buyers would give the sellers a better opportunity to contribute pictures that match the need of buyers. Which is also beneficial for the microstock websites.
It would be nice if websites that bring sellers and buyers together would start “Webservice 2.0” by sharing information about buyers with the sellers: what they are looking for, and searches that did not result in sales etc. This would be very informative for the sellers and creates a win-win situation for the sellers, the buyers, and these websites. Based on all the searches it is relatively easy with data mining algorithms that are developed for Big Data to extract that kind of information.
Dreamstime has recently started with mailing the sellers Trending Searches. This a good start.
Concept photography is new to me. I am still experimenting. The idea of concept photography is to express an idea in a single picture. Looking at the picture, you immediately know what it wants to communicate.
Above is an incense tower with burning incense. It expresses spirituality. Although the picture looks very simple, actually making the picture was quite a challenge.
First, I had to decide about the background. I decided to buy black velvet, to make sure that all the light from the strobes would be absorbed, to get a complete black background to contrast with the white smoke.
Second, I placed the incense tower a few meters away from the background to make sure that the background would be dark enough and not lighted by the strobes that lighted the tower and the smoke.
Third, I lighted the incense tower and the smoke separately. Lighting them together would create too much light falling on the nearby background.
Finally, during processing I found out that there was some fluff or dust on the velvet. So, I still had to clean the background with Photoshop to make it completely dark. Although it has never been sold I am very proud of it. I put in a lot of effort and I learnt quite a lot by doing it.
Here you will find more of my concept pictures at Dreamstime. The challenge is to to identify a message that is immediately recognized when looking at the picture. Some of them have been sold. Like the one above and the one below that captures the concept Always connected or 24/7 Economy. Enjoy!
Almost 34 years ago I visited the tiny village Chinchero, near Cuzco in Peru. I remember that we had a quick visit to the village and that we were surrounded by small children. The indians in the village were wearing black clothes and that we gave ball pens to the children.
Last summer we had a lot more time to visit the village and the old market square. I spent a lot of time to walk around to look at the white buildings from various angles. The picture on top is one of my favorite ones:
- the white buildings with the horizontal and vertical shapes,
- the blue sky and the white clouds,
- the two diagonal lines of grass to shape the market square.
All this together challenges our eyes to wonder around. I am about to buy a large canvas for my office. Here you see more pictures of Chinchero accepted by Dreamstime.
The Chinchero site is now much bigger than 34 years ago. As you can see here. There are:
- markets professionally run by a consortium of families,
- recently revealed Inca terraces,
- Inca walls, like in Sacsayhuamán,
- children being taught to be proud of the Inca culture.
Many beginning photographers have the ambition to improve their photography skills. At the same time there are too many opportunities: photography books, photography blogs, courses by photographers in their neighborhood, courses by or even trips with famous photographers, tutorials on youtube, websites etc.
Personally, I started with books recommended by Ken Rockwell on his website. I had to start somewhere. It actually turned out to be a good choice. I started with a book of Brenda Tharpe (Creative Nature & Outdoor Photography). By now I have read almost all books on his website. I have learned quite a lot, and also spent quite a few euros. To be honest, for me it was worth the money, however, not everybody has the means to do so.
Craft&Vision is a good alternative. It is a photographic education company initiated by David duChemin and his team of more than 20 famous photographers. Their manifesto is: “for the joy of creation and the love of the photograph”. They started with high quality, concise $5 eBooks. Easy to read on an iPad. By now, I collected quite a few of them. Just like I said, all of them are written by famous photographers, they cover a wide variety of topics, they are to-the-point, and they are cheap.
Nowadays, they have more products than just eBooks. They also have magazines and videos. I enjoyed listening to The Created Image Video, describing a journey of craftsmanship by David duChemin. Every time he mentions things that makes you aware there is still room of improvement in the way you take pictures.
I hope you will enjoy Craft&Vision as much as I do. On top you see a recently sold picture of Versailles. By reading a lot, I got more creative in composition and at the same time improved the technical quality of my pictures. Here you can see my pictures accepted by Dreamstime.