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Steve Bower

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About Steve Bower

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    Photography, woodworking, travel,

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  1. Steve Bower

    recognizable person definition

    Donna, I think the individual could recognize them self in this image. I'm quite sure SS would correctly ask for a model release. Based upon my experience, SS has recently tightened their interpretation on this issue. I consistently get rejections when including any person in silhouette no matter how far away they are. Sorry, It's SS company and their rules and their interpretation, even if they are inconsistent.
  2. Eziz Charyyev, You've gotten some good advise so far but I think your going to have some problems following through on the suggestions until you learn more about what makes a good photograph. Have you read any books or taken any courses on photography? Do you understand depth of field and how it is controlled by your camera settings? Do you know about the "Rule of Thirds", effective use of diagonal (leading) lines and the necessity of avoiding merges within your images. Exposure, do you know how to adjust it using your camera's settings? Do you only shoot your camera on "auto"? With out knowledge and a real understanding of how to make a good image through the control of your camera, uploading additional photos will be a waste of your time. Owning a camera does not make you a photographer. You are competing against professional photographers learn the craft, do the work and you will make sales.
  3. Steve Bower

    When did you feel you were ready?

    bhaji, Rudy is correct, don't be like your friend and the majority of new the contributors. If you are actually interested in photography, learn it. Don't embarrass yourself. Learn how to make images that you are actually proud of, before joining here or hanging out your "shingle".
  4. Nilupuli, Hang on to your seat as you are going to hear a lot of negative comments regarding your portfolio. Nicholas is correct. While it sounds like a broken record, SS is not doing anyone a favor by allowing low quality images into their portfolios. It use to be that a contributor had to learn and apply basic photographic skills before they were accepted as a contributor. That is no longer the case. While the comments already made regarding your portfolio (see RLD Photography and Little Adventures) are valid, I think your biggest problem is the cluttered background in each of your images. Your job as a photographer is to Isolate the beauty in the chaos of nature, people and or a situation. This requires you to eliminate distractions in the background. Make your subject obvious. I would suggest you do what has already been suggested (learn photography) before you waste your time uploading any additional images.
  5. Steve Bower

    A tip for beginners!

    Antonio, sorry, it looks like you've gotten all the help you're going to get. Ingibjorg, my first question, "Have you taken any courses or read any books on photography"? If not, that would be my first suggestion. I assume you live in Iceland, if so I would venture out as I understand there is some beautiful landscapes in your country. Alex is correct, flowers, unless extremely well done don't sell very well (everyone has access to them) and there is far too much competition. In my opinion, the majority of your images are underexposed. Learn how to increase your exposure (even if you use the auto settings) on your camera. Better yet, learn how to shoot using at least the aperture priority setting on your camera if you don't already know how. While this is not always necessary, you will produce more details in your subjects if you shoot with the sun behind you rather than shooting into the sun (many of your horse shots as well as your flower images are backlit). If the sun is not cooperating, learn to use fill flash. You might also consider buying a telephoto lens if you wish to shoot wildlife images (closer almost always is better). The subject of your image must be apparent when looking at the small "thumbnails" images. This is likely all a buyer will see and you image must stand out from your competition. If not, your images will be lost, never to be seen .
  6. Steve Bower

    Why are getty images so much more the SS?

    Jungle, I would check the "Earnings Breakdown" page again. The 120.00 mentioned is the highest amount that Shutterstock would pay to a contributor. If I did my math correctly, that means Shutterstock is charging the buyer 400.00. I did not see what you are referring to but as worledit stated, I believe what you saw is the price that is being charged to the BUYER. If this is correct Shutterstock's charge is not that far off what the competition is charging the buyers.
  7. Steve Bower

    Why are getty images so much more the SS?

    Jungle, I would suggest you click on "Earnings types?" found in the "Earnings summary" section of the "Shutterstock Contributor" Page. This will give you basic pricing info here at Shutterstock. That info for IS or Getty is a bit "harder" to find. Here at Shutterstock if an image is purchased for a printed publication that exceeds 500,000. the buyer is to pay for an Enhanced License which can pay to the contributor up to 30% of what SS charges to the buyer. The percentage that is paid to the contributor depends on their level. "Single or Other" is another category that can pay higher amounts. Search Shutterstock's website for their criteria. Hope this helps. It may take a while but you may see a high payout. I recently receive an "Enhance" payment of nearly 30.00. and in past S&O payments that exceeded 100.00. Good luck!
  8. Steve Bower

    Upgrading my gear, but is it worth doing so?

    Qi Yuan, You definitely received some good advise regarding whether you should buy expensive equipment based upon your desire to become a filmmaker. However, given your admission that you are struggling to get sales with your current portfolio I would suggest (as others already have) that you learn the craft of photography. You may or may not have the artistic aptitude to make it as a filmmaker. A good way to determine if you've got what it takes is to produce images and videos that are in demand at this level. If you can't produce a portfolio here that sells maybe you should look to some other line of work. No one else has chosen to make suggestions on how you might improve your portfolio. While I can't speak to your video work (I'm a still photographer) I will make a few suggestions that might improve your photography. 1. Many of your images are under exposed. 2. Do you know Photoshop or some other program for enhancing your images? If not learn it and use it. Many of your photos appear "muddy" or could use some perspective correction. 3. Look for the light. Most of your images would have been better if you had waited for the proper light. Early morning or evening generally provide the most photogenic light. 4. Your images tend to be of low commercial value. Why would someone buy one of your images, what would it be used for? If you can't answer those questions, it probably won't sell. 5. What is your subject? In many of your photos I can't really tell. The buyer is looking for "something specific" and that "something" has to be obvious from your small thumbnail image. 6. Have you taken any classes on photography or film making? If these are not available in your area, read all you can online or books on these subjects. This should be your first step (if you haven't already done so). You will be competing against professionals both here and as a filmmaker. Put in the work so you can compete. There are many other suggestions that could be made, hopefully others will offer their suggestions. Good luck with your studies.
  9. Steve Bower

    New Freedom

    Annie (Milleflore Images) Given the high quality and uniqueness of your portfolio I'm sure a popular search using the obvious keywords of your best sellers provides multiple pages of high quality images, however, not all popular searches are so fortunate. I shoot nature and landscape (something anyone can shoot) and "crapstock" shows up by the second page on many of the Popular searches of the obvious keywords for nature. Case in point: Look up the most popular photos using the keyword (keywords) "Osprey bird". Check out that second page, even part of the first page. Maybe my portfolio is an exception but "Crapstock" is a issue that should be addressed. IMO
  10. Steve Bower

    New Freedom

    Some good arguments and analogies, however in Phil's restaurant (SS) they offer the crap and the fancy foods all at the same price. Wouldn't you rather go to a restaurant (AS, IS) that only offers the fancy food especially if they offer it at (approximately) the same price as the other restaurant? I would!
  11. Lucy, I viewed your whole portfolio and I was quite impressed. You really have a very obvious artistic flair which shows through even in your photographs. However, the majority of your portfolio is made up of backgrounds and patterns. I think your performance as a contributor is based more on your artistic talent and Photoshop ability rather than on your photographic skills. IMHO. As Farbled pointed out, those that have received the harshest critiques included in their forum titles. phrases like "instant earn", "why not selling", etc. Upon review of their PHOTO portfolios we find a complete lack of basic photographic skills and apparent lack of artistic ability. We that learned the craft through years of study and practice, tend to take exception to this entitlement mentality (yeh, I know it's a bit immature). These are not people that went to the (old time) critique forum looking for help in improving their photography skills but those apparently trying to make a quick buck without putting in the work. This is not the old "community" of photographers and artists. it's the new Shutterstock created by SS corporate decisions to accept anybody and review nothing (or very little). None of us like it and it's showing up in the forum, big time.
  12. Steve Bower

    How to sell Photo?

    Assadul, I do a lot of nature photography (to include insects) because I love it. But to be honest, they (insects) don't sell well. My first recommendation would be to pick a different subject but if you are like me (you want to photograph what you love regardless off the payout) I have a few tips that might help. 1. Get closer, through either a longer lens or just plain stealth. 2. Improve your lighting, either use a diffused flash or approach the insect from the direction that provides the best ambient light. 3. If possible use a tripod, especially with a long lens. 4. If you're really interested in macro photography, invest in a macro lens or at least extension tubes. 5. Learn as much as you can about photography, as others have already suggested.
  13. Steve Bower

    ideas for getting highest number of selling

    Lucy, I appreciate your thoughts. As I stated in my opening sentence "I don't always agree with Richard. . .". I try to be tactful but as Patrick stated in his post, "these individuals don't put much effort into their photos". If these images are the OPs best efforts (his "newborn pic"), maybe photography should not be his best choice for a profession nor a hobby. Saying "nothing" does not help the OP deal with the reality that he or she does not have the gifts or talents needed to make money here. We can't all be mechanics, construction workers, computer programmers nor photographers. Learning our strengths and weakness' is part of life, the sooner we learn what they are the better. I agree, a "tactful" nudge in the right direction is best.
  14. Steve Bower

    ideas for getting highest number of selling

    Lucy, I don't always agree with Richard but I totally share his frustration. You started in 2008 so you know how hard it was to become a contributor and how nit picky they were in their subsequent review of our uploaded content. Do you really believe any of the OP images would have been accepted when we started ten years ago? Admittedly, we all "started" with little to no knowledge of photography but we had to learn before we became "stock photographers". That is no longer the case. Anyone with a cellphone is good enough, regardless of their photographic knowledge. Richard is totally correct, "Shutterstock is totally to blame" and ultimately will suffer (along with all of their contributors) for their "stupid" shortsighted corporate decisions. Try looking up "Most Popular" for Tai Chi, martial arts, or one of your other "niche" using the most obvious key words. Your portfolio may be so unique that you have been spared but I think you will find that by the second or third page, spammed keyworded "terrible pictures" have clogged out your good images. If so you may also share some of Richard's frustration.
  15. Steve Bower

    Why allow something like this?

    My Question Is, Do these portfolios actually generate any real income? I Realize the upload process must have been computerized and the portfolio doesn't represent a lot of man hours but how can this be cost effective? Are these portfolios subsidized in some way by SS to inflate their numbers? I'm sure I'm not seeing the obvious but where is the logic for the contributor to upload this mess and for SS to allow it????