After the long snowy winter and some really dull, gray skies, this weekend, it was finally sunny for a while. This set of photos was taken in a local country park and is consisted of early spring flowers close ups.
“Some say it exists, but I don’t believe there is anything after you finish working,” said the Atheist.
“After work, you get rewarded if you have worked honestly. You go to Heaven for eternity,” said Christian.
“After you finish working, you have some time to reflect on your work, and then come back to work again. When finished, you reflect again….and so on, until you do your work perfectly well.” said Buddhist.
It is often said that a picture is worth a thousand words. Every image tells its story with each shade of its colour and every shadow.
But is that the only story it tells us?
Although, there is a story, we all can see by looking at the photo in front of us, the open and upfront story, the emotion, the message entailed in the imagery of the photograph, there is also a hidden, often untold story behind every single image.
What story could that be, maybe you are asking yourself right now?
It is a story of an adventure, hidden behind the creation of the image, known only to its creator – the photographer.
A Runaway… squirrel
If you are also doing Wildlife photography, than you might be familiar with several techniques every professional has to master.
The most popular technique, used only by the best, is the TECHNIQUE of CRAWLING and CREEPING. While I was practicing this mighty craft of creeping amongst the fallen leaves, trying to do a close up of a squirrel stretching on the tree trunk, in the local park, I heard a squeaky voice of a boy: “Mummy, mummy look, a squirrel!!!”
It is needless to say that the furry little squirrel didn’t feel like stretching anymore. It ran away, faster than the flash goes off on my camera.
The boy cried out: “Mum, look, it’s gone now! Did you see it?!”
We’ll, since I was the mum in this story, all I could say was:”Really? Haven’t noticed a thing…”
A close encounter
The close (I mean really close) encounter with a swan.
As I have spotted two beautiful white swans on the lake, just by the shore, I came closer and got in the squatting position. I was moving closer and closer in the same position and taking the photos at the same time. At one point when I got by the water, nearby ducks(pretty big ones) and a swan got curious and decided to get out of the water and went towards me.
As the ducks were passing literally next to me I didn’t move, keeping an eye contact with a swan. The photo on the left was taken as the swan was stood right in front of me. He was observing me as I was watching him, surrounded by the ducks, which were staring at me with their questioning looks.
At the time I didn’t know if they were going to attack me, or just came to say Hello. I decided to stay calm and don’t make any sudden movements, while still taking photos of the swan stood in front of me. Suddenly, they just decided to get on with their own business, assured that I don’t mean any harm. (”Just another funny human with a big camera,” they might have thought.)
This is just one of the experiences I will never forget. I felt connection with the nature. That connection, we are slowly losing every day, more and more with our unhuman artificial lives, imposed on us. People are a part of the nature as well, just we are forgetting (somehow) who we are.
How deep is your love (towards photography)??
My experiences (SO FAR) are nowhere near so extreme, such as the one on the photo above.
Feel free to share in the comment: How far did you go to get a great shot?
What is the story behind your photography?
Thanks for stopping by, and please feel free to share some of your photos and the stories behind them.
Here is some of my work, the photos made completely by surprise, through the window of my living room. The weather was changing so rapidly, from sunny blue sky to dark gray hailstorm clouds and than surprisingly back again to heaven-like blue.
Feel free to drop a line in the comment or share the link to your work.
If you are an artist of any kind, whether it is photography, music, painting or writing, that means you are spending hours and hours of your free time practicing, writing, painting (or whatever that it is you do), by yourself and mostly in the company of nobody else but yourself (maybe your cat, or another pet – I have plants). Also, that means that you, most likely, have an Introverted type of personality.
I am not saying that just being an artist makes you an introvert, it takes a little bit more than that. But if you are unsure, here is a simple TEST. It is not very scientific, but besides a bit fun, it hits some basic points about introverted/extroverted personality traits. Of course, my result was a STRONG INTROVERT, which I am, indeed. Feel free to write your results in the comment.
”Each person seems to be energized more by either the external world (extraversion) or the internal world (introversion).” Jung (1921)
Some more information about Introverted/Extroverted Personality traits
What makes you feel energized?
If you are an EXTROVERT, you love spending time out and about, in the crowd of people and with large network of friends. You feel energized after interacting with other people. Small talk is something that comes naturally and when in a room with another person, known or unknown, you will seek for an opportunity to speak to them. Spending your free time alone, or completing a task on your own is boring and tiring for you.
If you are an INTROVERT, you absolutely love spending time by yourself or with a very small group of close friends in a quiet home-like environment. You feel energized when spending time on your own, doing what you like. Small talk is absolutely dreadful for you (I absolutely hate small talk), however talking about something meaningful is fine. When in a room full of people, you will not start a conversation, but rather be in the corner with your phone, looking for an opportunity to leave.
How do you deal with problems?
If you are anEXTROVERT, you will seek other people for comfort and advice. It comes naturally for you to share with other people how you feel and what you think. It is hard for you to stay alone with your thoughts and emotions and introspection is not really your thing.
If you are an INTROVERT, you will suffer or contemplate about your problem in silence, far from another human being. It is very hard for you to tell other people what is bothering you and how you are feeling. You are often engaged with your inner thoughts and introspection is a natural occurrence in your daily life.
What is your preferred method of communication?
As an EXTROVERT, you love spending time talking to people in person, but also often make long, long phone calls. You will rather speak to people than write an email.
As anINTROVERT, your preferred method of communication is email or texting. You absolutely hate long phone calls or talking to people you don’t know, especially if you need to talk about yourself.
How do you come up with ideas?
If you are an EXTROVERT, you will speak as you think. In the matter of fact, you come up with ideas as you communicate with other people. Others inspire you, and you love working as a part of the group. If left alone, it is hard for you to concentrate and find new ideas. You are an excellent member of the team.
If you are an INTROVERT, getting ideas out of your rich inner world is no problem at all, BUT you need some time to think before you can verbalize it. In this fast-paced modern world it often means that by the time you are ready to propose your grand idea, the topic of the conversation had already finished. Loud noise and other people are rather blocking you and you are at your best when left alone to complete your task.
These were just some basic information on this topic. I am very curious to hear your thoughts on this. Are you an introvert too? If YES how do you cope with this noisy, extroverted world we live in?? I will write about that in my next post.
Answer to this question depends on what type of photography you are working on. More information on current popular customer searches you can find here.
Irrespective of whether you are shooting only one type of photography or wide range, it is important not to include similar images into your first submission. even if you have amazing collection of cat or dog pictures, choose your best one and go on the next topic. They want to see a potential range of images you can provide if your content is accepted.
5 Possible mistakes to avoid in your first submission – most common reasons for rejection.
You have submitted an amazing, high-quality photo of a cityscape, and it has been rejected! Why? Possible reason for this is because you have submitted a photo with the visible, recognizable property, logo-s on the billboards etc. as a commercial photo. Make sure you tick the box – editorial use only if you are submitting content with any logos, recognizable places, celebrities, landmarks etc. More information on editorial vs commercial photography, you can find HERE.
Focus, focus, focus!
One of the most common reasons for rejection on Shutterstock – in my experience is focus. Make sure you check (by zooming it in by 100%) if your main subject is crystal clear. I like to use Nikon software ViewNX 2, before I edit my photos in Lightroom, just to check whether the subject is in focus. The reason I do that is just to make sure, because Shutterstock sure does care about its focus! The photos above (accepted on Getty Images and/or Adobe) were rejected onShutterstock due to subject being out of focus.
Noise / Artifacts / Film Grain — Image contains excessive noise, film grain, compression artifacts
Another possible reason for rejection, not as often in my experience, but also important to mention, at least for your first submission. Again, if you check your photo zoomed in 100% and there is no noise/grain you should be fine. No excessive post production is desirable. Simple addition of a little vibrance, contrast or cropping to improve your composition is just fine, especially for editorial photography.
Composition — Distracting elements are entering the frame obscuring the main subject or the horizon
Maybe it seems as needless to say, but check if the subject of your photo is not obscured by any distracting elements and is composed well.
For example although I found it really cool to take a ‘really close’ close up of this crane, (picture on the left) Shutterstock didn’t quite like the idea of it.
Also, I really liked the view through the opening on the picture on the left, but the Shutterstock quality control wasn’t very excited about the composition.
Exposure — Image is extremely underexposed or overexposed
Even though only one of my photos has been refused for the reason of exposure, I believe that it is important to mention it, since this is one of the reasons for rejection of the photos on Shutterstock. There is often a personal feeling to what is a good exposure of a photo. However if unsure about certain photo don’t include it in your first submission.
Thank you for stopping by and good luck with your submission.
Feel free to share your experience in the comment.
and press the red button – Sign Up Now, and enter required information.
– Step No. 2 – Confirm your email address.
After signing up, you will be sent an email to your email address, which you need to click on in order to confirm your address, and log in to your account.
– Step No. 3 – Confirm your identity.
You will be asked to submit a scanned copy of your passport. If you don’t live in the same country your passport has been issued, you will be asked to submit additional document as a proof of your residence.
– Step No. 4 – Upload your best 10 photos.
After your identity has been confirmed, you can start uploading your photos. Needless to say, you should choose your best photos. Your first submission should be ten photos that represent a variety of topics you can contribute to. If you click on the following link you can find more information about How to choose photos for your first submission .
– Step No. 5 – Tag your photos and submit.
After your content is uploaded, you will need to add a description, choose a category and if required add a release (e.g. you have recognisable people or private/recognisable property in your photo).
After that, you will need to scroll down and choose/add the keywords. It is very important to choose wide range of relevant keywords, because this is what bring your photo visible in the search of potential buyer.
After you have entered your keywords, all you need to do is press SUBMIT.
Hope you find this post helpful. Feel free to share your experiences, and links to your Shutterstock portfolio.
So, you have some nice photos, taken during your last holiday. Maybe you generally love to take pictures and happen to have a stash on your computer. If you have a Digital SLR camera and would like to earn some extra money doing what you love, than stock photography might be what you are looking for.
When searching for a place to sell your photos you will come across endless amount of websites. Some are well known companies, such as Shutterstock, Adobe, Getty; some are less known. The question is how to choose the best site/s for you in order to avoid spending hours uploading and tagging your photos without having much or any sales at all.
LIST OF THE TOP 3 NON-EXCLUSIVE STOCK PHOTOGRAPHY WEBSITES:
Relatively easy, stress-free application procedure. All you need to do is – sign up to Shutterstock contributor website, upload the scan of your photo ID and upload your best 10 photos for review.
Quick reply on the status of your uploaded photos. When you upload your photos, they will be reviewed very quickly. Usually within 24 hours for commercial photos and about 48h for editorial, in my experience.
Assessment of each submitted photo. Every submitted photo will be assessed individually, unlike some stock websites (such as Alamy) that judge your whole submission based on random selection of photos. For example, one not accepted photo on Alamy can make your whole submission rejected.
Your earnings are updated frequently. More precisely, every fifteen minutes if someone downloads your photos, you can see it on your dashboard, alongside with the information about the location of the download and the list of the most downloaded photos.
What to Shoot list. One of the new features on Shutterstock – the list of the topics that the customers are searching for the most in the given month. Very helpful tool for increasing the number of downloads.
Low fee for subscription download. If your photo is downloaded via subscription, you will earn only $0.25 per image download ( $0.33 after you earn between $500 and $3000 and so on – bigger your lifetime earnings, bigger the fee per image download). However, if you photo is downloaded on demand or with custom/enhanced licence you will earn more.
Possibility of paying 30% of your earnings due to American tax. If you don’t live in America and your country doesn’t have a treaty with America, 30% of your payment might be deducted for the tax purposes. If your country has a treaty with America you will need to fill in the form accessible from your Shutterstock account and that should save you from paying extra tax.
Relatively higher royalty fees. Like other stock agencies, Adobe also has various royalty bands, depending on various factors. On my experience, these fees are slightly bigger and are available in currencies other than dollar (e.g. on my account, earnings are in pounds, since I live in United Kingdom) unlike Shutterstock, Getty etc.
Easy application process and upload of photos. All you need to do is, create an Adobe ID and you can start uploading your photos. If you are an Adobe Lightroom user, you can upload photos directly from Adobe Cloud. After upload, the keywords are generated automatically; all you need to do is write a title and double check the keywords.
High quality of photo submissions. This may be seen as a con at the same time, since only the best quality submissions are accepted due to very rigorous quality control. I personally like the idea of being a part of such a community as Adobe is.
Your photos are automatically offered on another stock website. If you are contributor on Adobe, your photos are offered for sale on Fotolia as well, since it is a part of Adobe stock.
Only commercial content is accepted. No editorial content is accepted on Adobe, so make sure there are no visible trademarks and logos on your photos. Also if you shoot lot of editorial, as I do, this can be discouraging, when you need to sort your photos and submit only a small portion of it.
Long waiting times for approval of your submitted photos. I have found that the waiting times for finding out if your photos are approved is somewhat longer than on other websites. However, they do inform you via email.
Photos accepted on other websites refused for lack of aesthetic/commercial appeal. I have had my good quality photos, sold multiple times on Shutterstock and Getty images, being refused on Adobe, due to lack of aesthetic/commercial appeal. This can be annoying, especially if you know that your photos are being sold successfully elsewhere. However, they probably know the needs of their market and customers better.
3. Getty Images (Istock)
Access to exclusive briefs – what to shoot. You can submit your photos to an assignment. Photos are approved faster and it enables you to have more relevant content.
Your photos are being sold on multiple platforms at the same time. Besides being sold on Istock (Getty) your photos are being sold on Thinkstock and Photo.com.
Lower royalty fees if you are non-exclusive. If selling photos as non-exclusive photographer, I have found that the fees are slightly lower and very inconsistent, compared to other websites.
Long waiting times for getting information on your royalty statements. Unlike on Shutterstock, Getty is not so transparent on your downloads and earnings. Although you can find information on number of downloads and views, you need to wait for a statement in order to see your actual earnings.
Please note that all above information are based on my personal experience. Other photographers may have had a different opinions or experiences with the same websites.
If you are reading this, feel free to share your experience with stock photography.
One of several falcons kept and well looked after in the Cardiff Castle. The reflection in his eye is of the spectators who came to see him. It was impressive to observe these mighty animals who although being still, due to having the string attached to their legs, appeared to be alert and waiting to be set free.
My visit to Bristol was very brief, unfortunately, and I was able to move around the city centre area and everything on the walking distance. Even so, I was able to visit some magnificent historical places, such as this one. From the outside, this appeared to be another very old church (if you oversee its leaning tower) but when I came closer, it was hard not to notice the missing roof and the changed color of the burned stones. This magnificent building was dated in XII century (as a Round Church) and was partially destroyed in WWII. If you are interested in historical facts about this building you can find them here.
If you are not that interested into architecture or history, you can enjoy the serenity of nature in the Temple Gardens.
This beautiful tower was constructed in memory of John Cabot, in late XIX century, 400 years after he set sail in Matthew from Bristol and landed in what was later to become Canada (taken from Wikipedia.)
The tower is very high, with its magnificent 105ft. The way up is worth the view, on my opinion, although I wouldn’t recommend it to everyone. I personally, couldn’t climb all the way up, due to the stairs being very narrow, steep and dangerous to a certain extent.
There is only one way up and down, with stairways being too narrow for two people walking next to each other, giving the experience very claustrophobic feeling.
Although the tower looks like Rapunzel’s, from the outside, it is needless to say I haven’t seen her. Maybe if I climbed all the way to the top…
Maybe she will be home, when you visit the Cabot Tower 😉
Tower is surrounded by a beautiful nature reserve, with lots of meadows, walking paths and wildlife, especially squirrels, I mean a lot of squirrels. There is also a playground for children and children alike – very nice swings indeed. 😉 This is just one of the must see places on the walking distance from Bristol city centre. Whether you are up for some excitement (climbing the tower surely gets your adrenaline levels high) or some peace (enjoying the tranquillity of the nature reserve) there is a little something for everyone.
At the end, there are some really nice coffee shops across the Bristol University building. which is very close to Brandon Hill. Even more, the whole Bristol is full of little independent shops, with their authenticity and uniqueness, unlike the big brands, we are somehow (I feel) forced to use, since there is nothing else to choose from.
The experience of the whole city was absolutely amazing and I can’t wait to go back there someday.
It often crosses my mind, but especially on Sundays ( when I look through my window and jazz is playing so softly, from my stereo)… what would it be like, if I was sitting on the porch of a cottage by the seaside and looking at the waves… big waves crashing on the rocks by the sand beach, full of shells and birds flying across the ocean. And the bunch of freshly picked bananas resting on the table. Warm, refreshing wind is gently caressing my face and playing with my long hair.
I could smell the ocean, feel the sun on my skin, feel the taste of sweet freshly picked bananas, so smooth and soft, melting in my mouth. The seagulls’ calls blending with the sound of the waves…what a perfect harmony!
Then something always happens, I open my eyes and see THIS…
Then I realize, all I can hear is unnerving sound of cars, trucks, rushing, even on Sunday. The cold wind is battering my face and hair…my poor hair, unpleasantly flying everywhere as if it is trying to break free from this torture… Smell of polluted air, teasing my nostrils. And no, there are no bananas. You can buy some from Tesco-s though, if you can wait few days till they ripen, to be eatable.
Almost forgot about the seagulls. There are seagulls in the city, lots of seagulls, considered for the pests. Scavenging the food from the containers… What a nice image…
Maybe it’s all that jazz, or lack of colours around me…but often on Sunday, it comes across my mind, what would it be like… if I was somewhere nice… somewhere warm, even for a moment, only in my thoughts…
Living in a big city? Tired of noise and crowd? Looking for a place in the nature, you can spend some time alone or alone with someone you choose? Woodgate Valley Country Park is an excellent choice for that. More information about location and what you can do here, you can find if you click on the following link.
”Woodgate Valley Country Park is a 450 acre area of countryside in the centre of Bartley Green and Quinton. There are many mixed, mature hedgerows, meadows, woodland, and small ponds. The Bournbrook runs through the park. Over 250 species of plants have been found at Woodgate Valley, the damp meadow areas being especially rich and producing wonderful displays of wild flowers in spring and summer. The meadows also attract many kinds of butterflies and over 90 species of birds have been recorded in the park.” (information retrieved from Woodgate Valley Country Park website.)
Park is a real nature reserve. It is consisted of several walk tracks/horse trails.
Not only that you can find beautiful, untouched nature, in the country park, but you can also see some farm animals. The entrance fee for adults is only a POUND. On the farm you can see various types of geese, chicken, rooster, two bunnies, two goats, pig etc.
Long story short, this is a beautiful place to visit during spring or summer holidays or as a weekend getaway with friends and family.
After very cold two weeks, the sun is finally showing its face, at least for a little while. Some of the flowers have survived the cold, snow storm and have shown their little heads. Looking forward to some nicer weather, I have looked through my last years archive for some flower photos.
Needless to say, but I still have to say it, nature is absolutely amazing. Especially plants. Besides being so beautiful and being a part of the Earth’s respiratory system, in the big cities, they are thriving on some of the most unusual places.
No matter how hard people try to urbanize, every single spot, the amazing plants will find their magical way to grow, even in the very harsh conditions of a big city.
The plant on the picture above, is growing near the very top of the modern building, which is a shopping centre. I bet, not many people have noticed this, since I had to hold my camera pretty high in order to take this shot.
This beautiful, single, isolated poppy flower, was growing by the construction site fence.
Another construction site. The one and only flower growing in the very harsh conditions.
And something a little bit different, a clover plant in the pot. It was bought as a lucky clover, but somehow it grew just the regular three leaf clovers, until after a while… few occasional lucky clovers started to appear. In case you think having a clover plant in a pot is funny, just to let you know, I also have some garlic planted as well (it started to sprout and I just couldn’t throw it in the bin, so I planted it).