See documentary about making the newest Pirelli Calendar (2013)
I make 90% of my living from Stock Photography, and have been doing it for over 20 years, so here are a few tips that might make it easier if you’re trying to get started.
1) You have to spread yourself as wide as possible. Don’t go with just one library, go with as many as you can. I have work with 16 currently.
2) You need quantity AND quality. There’s a rough guide that says that once you have a certain quantity online, you can expect to make an amount equal to $1 per image per year. However you need 1000′s up for sale before this kicks in.
3) Its a long term job. It can take years before you start to make any real money. People think its an easy option to make some money. Its not. It takes as much work and persistance to become successful, as it does to make a living from portraiture, weddings, advertisng, commercial etc.
4) One rejection is nothing. My first library wanted to see 1000 “sellable” shots before they took me on. The first batch was turned down, so I had to shoot another 1000!
5) Have a good look at whats out there. Check out all the sites, looking at what the competition for your kind of image is. Do you have better shots? If not why would anyone buy yours?
6) Ignore the fact that somebody on the internet said your pictures are good, ignore the fact that you have taken competition winners. Stock is about what designers and picture editors want. In virtually all cases, your images are there to serve the text, not vice-versa. Look in newspapers, magazines and on websites. How are pictures used? What kind of pictures are used? Many of the pictures you see are fairly ordinary, but most will be well composed and technically OK. My most sold image is of a bathroom!
7) Be prepared to work really hard and long. Shooting images, editing them, captioning and keywording them takes a long time.
8) Shoot ALL original images raw. The final product is going to be sold for download at jpg.8 usually, so shooting on jpg. originally means the image will degrade too much.
9) View all images at 100% to check for CA, fringing, noise, artefacts. Make sure your levels are within printable limits. Most libraries require 5 to 250. i.e. no pure white, no pure black.
10) Shoot everything you can at the lowest ISO possible, including interiors. If you don’t own a tripod, GET ONE!
11) Make sure your image is bright and well-exposed. Learn to get this right in-camera as it means less work later and your images will look better.
12) If you shoot travel, landscape etc. never shoot in dull, overcast light. Nobody is going to buy pictures like that, unless you are shooting extreme weather. Blue skies sell pictures.
13) If you shoot lifestyle, people etc. you will need model releases. You will also need to update these regularly as clothes, gadgets, cars, interior design etc. go out of fashion very quickly.
14) You may get get pictures rejected simply because the library has too many of the same, they don’t think it will sell or its technically poor. With the amount of images available, libraries can now be incredibly choosy about what they take. They expect top quality, both aesthetically and technically. If you can’t give them that, there are lots of others who can.
15) Stock photography is now global. You are competing with the whole world! Libraries tend to have all the pictures of cats, dogs, sunsets over lamposts, cute toddlers etc. they are ever going to need. Modern online libraries have millions of images online. Alamy in the UK has 20M + for example.
16) Does your image look good as a thumbnail? Because thats how people will view it first. What is going to make them click on it to see the larger version?
17) With regard to the above, keep it simple. If you need to write a couple of paragraphs to explain whats going on in your picture, then you are in trouble.
18) Stock photography is nothing to do with art.
19) Did I say stock photography is nothing to do with art?
20) With regard to 18 and 19, take as much trouble and care over photographing ordinary domestic objects or street furniture as you would over a glorious landscape or a beautiful model. If you do that you are in the ball park.
21) Don’t be afraid of the obvious. Don’t be afraid of simple. Just make sure your image is as close to technically perfect as you can make it.
23) Yes size does matter. The more MP’s you have the larger your image, the more potential it has to sell to the clients with the biggest budgets.
24) Actually reading the libraries submission guidelines helps. I used to run my own library and people who thought that they were “different” and could ignore my requirements got rejected. To be honest the technical standard of the material I received was also pretty dire on the whole. “It’ll do, its only for a library” seemed to be the attitude of many.
25) Finally, following on from the above, send only your “best” work to a library. Also send what people like. I use flickr a lot. I post several images and see what gets the most hits and the most positive comments. These are often not my personal favourites.
There are advantages.
1) You get to photograph what you want, when you want, in the way that you want.
2) If what you happen to like photographing has a market, you can do very well.
3) You have no client breathing down your neck and looking over your shoulder and giving you the benefit of their “artistic” advice.
4) If you shoot “non decade specific” images your pictures can have a very long “shelf life” and be earning you money for years.
5) You get to try your hand at all kinds of photography. Landscape is my love, but I’ve shot house interiors, industry, still life, performing arts, lifestyle, models, transport, animals, product shots and sport as well.
The most important lesson in all of this is to look at photography in all its commercial manifestations. Can you shoot an image like you see in the adverts, the billboard, the magazine article, the brochure etc. that pass your eyes every day. Absorb what you see, think how its done, say to yourself “Can I do that?” Chances are what you are looking at is a “Stock” photograph.
Its often been said that if Ansel Adams, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Man Ray etc, submitted images to a picture library they would probably get turned down.
Finally, I work 12 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year doing this. I happen to love it and think that I have the best job in the world, but not everybody feels he same. If it just turns into another chore, then it may not be for you.
© david taylor-hughes / soundimageplus
What were the most innovative products to come to market in 2012? BJP asked their resident experts, David and Richard Kilpatrick, alongside Kevin Carter, to name the cameras, lenses and accessories that have inspired them this year.
read the full story here
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a photojournalist for the military? As a photographer for the United States Air Force, Staff Sgt. Ryan Crane does just that, documenting life in the combat zone during recent deployments to Afghanistan.
A revealing new documentary by Hannah Hill, titled “Snap Snap Snap” (below), about Crane’s life and work is up on YouTube and it’s definitely worth checking out. (Running time is just under 15 minutes.) Crane, a Nikon shooter, also answered some questions about what it’s like to be a photographer in a combat zone in an informal Q&A on Reddit (read it here), where the documentary was first shared.
Read full article here
The Nenets of northern Siberia live at temperatures of -35C, wash just once a year and eat raw reindeer liver to survive. Photographer Sebastião Salgado travelled with them.
Eight years ago, at the age of 60, Sebastião Salgado set out on his most ambitious project. The photographer, best known for his painterly portraits of migrant communities and manual workers, decided to document the world’s pristine territories – areas untainted by the brutal grind of industry, exploitation and modern life.
Through his work, Salgado had seen so much horror – in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, he witnessed 10,000 people die in one day in the refugee camps of Goma. The playwright Arthur Miller once described Salgado’s pictures as an act of deep devotion, but the photographer returned from Exodus, a project about people fleeing genocide, with his faith in tatters. “I was injured in my heart and my spirit,” he says. “I came away from this with incredible despair.” So he embarked on Genesis, hoping it would be restorative, a celebration of the world’s natural beauty. (…..)
Read full article here
See all images here
by rosielarose. imdb.com
A film that took 5 years to make and co-ordinate. Shot in Panarama 70mm, across 26 countries, needing major government and regulatory clearances, having to wait for certain seasons or lunar phases to get the light to hit the way director Fricke wanted…carefully strung together with a massive 7.1 surround sound design and music score from Michael Stearns, Marcello de Francisci, and Lisa Gerrard (of Dead Can Dance).
The 70mm negative has been digitally scanned and oversampled at 8k resolution (much like the ‘Baraka’ Blu-ray); the TIFF Lightbox theatre installed a brand new Christie 4k projector (Christie Projection Systems rushed the projector before its release to the market specifically for this event) making it the first true 4k screening of it’s kind.
From sweeping landscapes to time-lapse sequences of the night sky and from exclusive looks into the processing of food to the consumption and effects it has on the human body, Samsara is nothing short of astounding. Modern technology, production lines, and human robotics are juxtaposed against a backdrop of deserts, garbage mounds as far as the eye can see, and traffic congestion in modern centres. The time-lapse footage is simply transcendent. In fact, I caught myself questioning the reality of some of the landscape vistas and night skyline montages…they looked so hyper-real that I thought they must have come from a CG lab somewhere. Simply astonishing. The richness, depth and clarity of colour and image achieved within the processes utilized gives birth to the most beautiful visual meditation that I have ever witnessed.
As one film journalist noted, “That Samsara is instantly one of the most visually-stunning films in the history of cinema is reason enough to cherish it, but Fricke and co-editor Mark Magidson achieve truly profound juxtapositions, brimming with meaning and emotion. It sounds preposterous, but it’s true: In 99 minutes, Samsara achieves something approaching a comprehensive portrait of the totality of human experience. If you’re even remotely fond of being alive, Samsara is not to be missed.”
It is a well-known fact that our society is structured like a pyramid. The very few people at the top create conditions for the majority below. Who are these people? Can we blame them for the problems our society faces today? Guided by the saying “A fish rots from the head” we set out to follow that fishy odor. What we found out is that people at the top are more likely to be psychopaths than the rest of us.
Who, or what, is a psychopath? Unlike Hollywood’s stereotypical image, they are not always blood-thirsty monsters from slasher movies. Actually, that nice lady who chatted you up on the subway this morning could be one. So could your elementary school teacher, your grinning boss, or even your loving boyfriend.
The medical definition is simple: A psychopath is a person who lacks empathy and conscience, the quality which guides us when we choose between good and evil, moral or not. Most of us are conditioned to do good things. Psychopaths are not. Their impact on society is staggering, yet altogether psychopaths barely make up one percent of the population.
Through interviews with renowned psychologist Professor Philip Zimbardo, leading expert on psychopathy Professor Robert Hare, former President of Czech Republic and playwright Vaclav Havel, authors Gary Greenberg and Christopher Lane, professor Nicholas Christakis, among numerous other thinkers, we have delved into the world of psychopaths and heroes and revealed shocking implications for us and our society.
Watch the full documentary:
The Nikon Photo Contest International has been held by Nikon Corporation since 1969 to provide an opportunity for photographers around the world to communicate and to enrich photographic culture for professionals and amateurs alike.
In the last 10 years, with the wide penetration of digital cameras, the environment surrounding photography and cameras has dramatically changed. And so the contest is changing as well, both in name and in structure. On its 34th anniversary, the historic, worldwide Nikon Photo Contest is changing as well. In this exciting new phase, the name is being changed, photographic video category added and Nikon is opening up the judging to expert photographers selected from all over the world.
See more here:
See the full documentary here:
Directed by: Tom Tykwer, Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski
“Cloud Atlas is unlike its contemporaries at the multiplex. It tells a big story in an engaging, difficult fashion. It has big names and a big budget. But it also is thematically dense… it wants to tell you something through plot, characters, dialogue and symbols. Cloud Atlas is also thankfully a very enjoyable film, much longer and denser than much of what is available today. “Ambition” defines this film.
In just under 3 hours, six radically different stories are told, and they appeal to a broad audience: a 19th century tale of unlikely brotherhood, the letters of a gay composer to his partner in the 1930′s, a San Francisco- set conspiracy in the 70′s, A hilarious account of an old publisher’s woes. A Blade Runner-esque clone’s struggle for freedom, and the survival of a tribe after ‘The Fall’. Genre conventions are toppled, as these stories with different tones are juggled in short intervals, leading from comedic highs to shocking drama in minutes.
But as with the characters, these plots are connected thematically, and clever wordplay and visual imagery links the stories, such as the end of a monologue referencing “the gates of Hell” and cutting to a shot of the gates of a building that, for Cavendish at least, is the gates of Hell. Each of the stories has strengths, a few have faults, but together the medley is incredible.
I found that while the earliest two stories began slowly and plainly, they developed very well and provided fantastic drama, especially the 1849 story. The Nuclear thriller was strong, Halle Berry is great and there are some real twists, and I also loved the ‘Dirty Harry’ and ‘China Syndrome’ vibes, but comedy bled into it from the 2012 story which diminished the climax. The 2012 story is hilarious, and its first scene is a standout; Tom Hanks is incredible as Dermot Hoggins. Although while the story is interesting, it doesn’t fit quite so well thematically- it’s almost too light. Listening to the ‘Cloud Atlas Sextet’ fits with all the stories, but can’t resonate with Cavendish’s. The future Korea is visually stunning and communicates its themes well, certainly the darkest plot, but the action can get over the top (Yes, I know who directed this) and there are some horrible clichés. But that scene of horrendous dialogue, the weakest in the film, can’t derail a great piece. Lastly is the bleak, Hawaii- set post-apocalyptic story. It was my favourite, possibly because I’m a sucker for anything involving apocalypse. But Hanks and Berry are fantastic again, the barbarians are menacing and scary, and the story is cool. It also concludes the film perfectly.
I’ve only talked about the plot! The actors really steal the show. In the credits, each actor’s name is placed with a clip of every one of their characters… everyone in the theatre stopped and stayed. People play characters you had no idea they played. A few highlights: Sturgess’ lawyer and the slave Autua, Frobisher, Hugh Grant’s sexist nuclear boss, Cavendish and Hanks’ Hoggins. Doona Bae as Somni and Hugo Weaving’s “Old Georgie” round it out- the latter is truly a demon. Much credit has to go to the makeup, literally making actors disappear into their roles. There is a huge number of transsexual and even race-bridging roles- it’s worthy of note that Lana Wachowski was at one point Larry Wachowski. Also deserving of praise, and possibly Oscars is the large scale visual effects that cover hundreds of years and look so believable. Sound quality is top-notch as well, listening to Old Georgie is chilling, as is the vision of Korean diners, and well… the whole future.
But all this plot serves a purpose, and Cloud Atlas intends to tell you things. Freedom is possibly the biggest theme, as well as the idea that our actions affect others greatly throughout time: we’re part of a large human network. Really though there’s so much to talk about you should just see the film. There are small stumbles every so often, but the structure hides them very well. No one story takes more time than others, no one character takes more time than others, and the structure and pacing drives the film forward briskly. It’s a shame this film hasn’t been better received commercially, because it’s a phenomenal achievement, interesting sci-fi and drama, and as of now, the best film I’ve seen in 2012. ”
Review by by Connor (Toronto, Canada), imdb.com
Whatever country we live in, we’re probably all familiar with the well-known photography magazines available in our newsagents and bookstores. The UK has Practical Photography, France has Photo, the Italians have Zoom and the Americans have American Photo. What you may not know is that there are many more photography magazines that are only available online. And some of them are good, very good.
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As if you needed another reason to have a “girl crush,” Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell share the cover of Germany’s Interview magazine – topless.
PHOTOS: Kate Moss Loses Her Top & Talks Johnny Depp In The December Vanity Fair
Believe it or not, Interview Germany is the very first German magazine that Kate was ever photographed for and she went all out…both literally and figuratively. Not only was Ms. Moss paired with another top supermodel, Naomi Campbell, but the shoot was done by none other than fashion photography duo Mert & Marcus.
Although the standout pictures in the article feature the two models topless, it’s more fashion spread than soft core porn.
Photo Credit: Mert & Marcus for Interview Magazine
Fashion film has evolved beyond videos of catwalks – and the big labels are starting to take notice
A blonde woman in a red fetish-style bikini moves to the slow beat of Love To Love You and an undercurrent of soft, ecstatic moans. She talks quietly in voiceover about her muscle-bound body: ‘I feel different to most women – stronger, leaner.’ She performs bicep curls with sculpted gold weights, the moans become louder.
Directed by Elisha Smith-Leverock, I Want Muscle won Grand Prize at last year’s ASVOFF Fashion Film Festival. Female bodybuilder Kizzy Vaines wore clothes by David Koma, Husam al Odeh, Lyall Hakaraia and Maria Francesca Pepe. The aim of the three-minute short, says Smith-Leverock, was to ‘play with taboos and gender stereotypes and to explore a different kind of female beauty’.
This weekend, the fifth ASVOFF film festival takes place at the Pompidou Centre in Paris. Over three days, visitors will be treated to filmwork as equally provocative and polished as Smith-Leverock’s.
Launched in 2008, ASVOFF has almost single-handedly encouraged an industry to reconsider the way it presents itself in film.
‘Fashion film is a vibrant, relatively new applied art form with huge potential,’ says founder Diane Pernet. ‘We’re still exploring exactly what the parameters are but I suppose the easiest way to define it is this: film where fashion is the protagonist, rather than a prop.’ (….)
Read more here (….)
We are continuing our work on car commercials. See our new clips:
More clips at Signature Car Hire YouTube Channel