Friday, August 19, 2011

Microstock update

Thought I would give a quick update on the microstock end of things.  So far I have submitted images to six microstock sites and have had images accepted by four of those sites.  You can take a look at the accepted images at  Dreamstime, Fotolia, Bigstockphoto, and Graphic Leftovers.  Dreamstime was the first to accept one of my images so they will have a special place in my heart.  There are at least four more sites that I would like to have accept some of my images, but it is a process. Speaking of a process, so far, there have been no sales on any of the sites... I know, I know, it is still early in the process.

Today's photo- a hawk soaring.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Paradigm shifts & creative crossroads

Here I am thinking about where I am coming from and where I am going, photographically speaking.  Over the last several months I have pondered whether the digital point-and-shoot cameras were producing the quality of photos that I desired.  In a previous post, I mentioned that I thought the quality of one of the cameras had decreased over the last year or so. I have entered a fair number of local competitions with shots from these cameras and, if I may say so myself, have done very respectably. I certainly have not won everything I have entered, but have received a number of awards at local and regional venues and will have a gallery show later this year (the subject of a future post).  In many ways, I owe these successes to my participation in and feedback from the Utica Art Association and the Utica Camera Club. The generous members of these organizations have helped me, over the last two years or so, shift from thinking about taking technically good photos to taking both technically good and artistic photos.  What a difference that has made!

Now I find myself at another photographic crossroads, complicated further by having armed myself with a ridiculously better camera than the point-and shoots, and having experienced/realized/become excited about/suffered through(?) another photographically major paradigm shift as I am starting to dabble in the world of microstock photography.  My submissions to a number of microstock websites have, so far, been less than spectacular. My submissions have been largely rejected by these sites. I have, of course, found this infuriating.  How could they reject me?!?!?!  But they did, and when I calmed down and started to look more carefully, I began to realize why.  Three reasons: (1) The point-and -shoot cameras typically don't have high enough resolution or quality images. (2) The photos I have taken to this point are largely 'regional show, small print format' quality, rather than 'global marketplace, publication ready' quality images. (3) While there is certainly overlap in the fields of artistic photography and commercial photography, they are not the same thing. I seem now to be taking this as a personal challenge... reject me will they??... I'll show them!  (In reality, it would be profitable for both the companies and me to get photos accepted, but emotionally I am not quite there yet. I don't make a living off of this, and I take pictures for pleasure rather than profit (though both would be nice), but tell me no?!?!...  Unacceptable.)  The first reason I have addressed - new camera, check. I need to learn how to use it, true, but that will come.  The second reason follows the first; I have a new camera, now I need to take new pictures. In some ways this is scary and disheartening, I have taken a bunch of photos that I thought were really good, but in my new mindset, I now consider them only fair. I can't / don't want to take these same images again, so what on earth will I shoot now if I am starting from scratch? But again, I take photos of whatever inspires me. Now, good isn't good enough;  I just can't stop until I have the highest quality image possible. The third reason is the kicker.  Do I take artistic photos, or do I take commercial photos?  Ultimately, I think that this will push my boundaries and result in mush higher quality images, regardless of the target audience, but right now I am having trouble reconciling art versus commercial, or even figuring out what is desired in the microstock world.

Photos of the day:
Below are two photos: one accepted by multiple microstock agencies and the other rejected by those same agencies.  Which one do you think was accepted?