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Steve Bower

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Everything posted by Steve Bower

  1. RF The .10 actually represents (per SS) more than the percentage SS would pay you on the largest subscription plans even at the highest Level. According to SS this .10 is actually the minimum they will pay even if your level percentage times what they earn is less than .10. They do this out of the kindness of they heartšŸ¤£. You will get .10 even if get to level 6 on the largest subscription plans. Sorry for the bad news!
  2. Organic Hippy Photographer, I live in the Panhandle of Florida (if that means anything to you) and up until the last few days we had plenty of flowers to photograph but the last few nights the temperature has gone below freezing and the flowers now look pretty bad. I like your "misquote" of my comment regarding, "Smelling the Flowers". Just for your information flowers actually do sell but they have to stand out from the crowd in some way. Avoid photographing them in full sunshine and get as close as you can. I might also suggest that you isolate them in some way or at the very
  3. Repelsteeltje, and Linda Thanks for filling in the rather huge gaps in my comments to this new contributor. I use to spend a lot of time responding to new contributors request for help but since the Contributor's Rate Adjustment, I seldom see a response from any other contributor or even the original poster. Given the fact that Shutterstock is no longer a real money making endeavor, it seemed like a good idea to use the platform to help out the new photographers. I appreciate that you obviously feel the same way. I'm off to smell and photograph some more flowers.
  4. I think I would spend some time looking through the forum regarding what sells. This topic has been discussed extensively since I've been here (over ten years). The first thing you need to know is; Shutterstock has drastically reduced the amount they pay contributors in 2020. While you might be the exception, most new contributors make next to nothing especially given this new contributor payout structure. If the money is not important and you choose to continue uploading, you need to know that the micro stock industry was established to provide a cheap source of images for the promo
  5. Charles, I'm not at level 4 yet but I was last year before the change in pmt. was announced. Like you, the number of ODDs and Large SODs I have received since the first of the year has gone down significantly. My RPD for Jan 2021 was .29 and so far Feb's is .48 on my image portfolio. After the reduction in contributor pay outs, I discontinued uploading to SS but toward the end of the year started to upload again given my RPD for the last six months of 2020 was well over 1.20. I assumed that the large payouts would continue but for the most part that hasn't happened in 2021. I
  6. Pete, You figured it out. In Olympus terms "focus bracketing" only refocuses the lens after taking each shot based upon your settings indicating the number of photos the camera was to take as well as amount the focus was to change after each shot. You then have to load the images on your computer and process in some form of focus stacking program. "Focus Stacking" (again in Olympus terms) does all the above and combines the images using the cameras computing power and programing into the final focus stacked image. Like you, most people won't be buying a new camera system to gain
  7. Whiteaster and Rudy, Thanks! You guys have been a great help to me over the years and have helped make this forum far more than a place of argument and insult. Keep up the good work! Now back to the macro discussion.
  8. Whiteaster, While I'm not sure Panasonic does their focus stacking the same as Olympus, If you have any questions regarding the process, I'll be more than happy to help if I can.
  9. Whiteaster, As far as quality is concerned, I am very satisfied with the results. I often go back in and clean up some of the "ghosting" in the final image but I suspect this may be necessary on those images that were made by refocusing the camera rather than using a slider. I may have shown these previously but attached are some low resolution copies of some of my focus stacked images from my portfolio. As I mentioned in my original post, these images were made using the focus bracketing feature, not the in camera focus stacking. You be the judge as to the quality. They make
  10. While I hate to divulge my photographic secrets, most of the Olympus cameras (definitely all of their pro models) have what they refer to as "focus bracketing" where the camera adjusts the focus based upon setting you make in the camera for the number of shots and the focus interval (how much the focus is changed). I then load these images (usually 16 or more) into Photoshop which stacks these images to make the final focus stacked image. This has worked fairly well but I often have to go back and make some adjustments in the final image due to "ghosting" on some part of the image. Whi
  11. While there is some questions about the future of Olympus Cameras due to the purchase of the Olympus' camera division by JIP, the EM 1 mark II sells for just under $1,000.00 and a 24-90 (equiv.) pro lens is right at $550.00. This Pro level camera and lens provides far more features than any of the cameras mentioned in this article. I have been using Olympus cameras for the last four years (after selling my full frame Canon 5D II) and I would never consider using anything else. In my opinion they are the best cameras I have ever owned especially for my genre, Nature and Travel. One m
  12. Karen, I appreciate your response to my post. I've been doing this (photography and stock photography) for quite some time and enjoy helping new contributors when I can. It's nice to see that there are some (new contributors) that will acknowledge that effort with a response. Thank you!
  13. Steve C. I agree with everything you said. I worked for a large corporation for nearly 34 years and saw this kind of thing repeated over and over. With each change in CEO (they don't last very long) they attempt to correct the errors of the past making different administrative errors instead, until they too are fired when the company and the stock price begin to tank. The company moves on to the next ego maniac that thinks he knows it all and the process starts all over again. All decisions are made based upon the bottom line with no concern for integrity or doing what is right.
  14. Karen, To answer your question, "do you find inconsistencies in acceptance and rejections"? Absolutely!!! The reviews are now done by Artificial Intelligence as stated by SS's CEO and it is obvious that the system is not very intelligent. Reduce the resolution of your images and resubmit them at least once. If you choose to submit images with substantial bokeh I would suggest you include some reference to "shallow depth of field" in your title. This may help but there is no guarantee it will get these kind of images through the review process. Artistic imagery is not real
  15. William, As many have already stated (to include SS's new CEO) reviews are now done by artificial intelligence and as you have learned, there is no consistency at all. More than once I have submitted focus stacked images that were rejected for focus. They were in focus (everything in focus) but the "artificial reviewer" was unable to determine that, as it was not what it had been "taught" to expect. The same kind of thing happens when unexpected grain appears (i.e. sand, snake scales) in an image. The "reviewer" assumes it is grain and you get a noise rejection. The focus standar
  16. Hendy, If I'm not mistaken, this ("Rejected, because motion blur") is part of the rejection description for an image that is "out of focus". As far as an image with motion blur, you're probably going to have a problem getting these images past the review process. If you do submit one, make sure you include in the title "intentional blur" or something to that effect. This might help but nothing can guarantee that your image will get past the Artificial Intelligence process which Shutterstock uses for reviews. In my opinion, the problem is not that the image was created through a "
  17. Mugu99 Welcome! What kind of help are you looking for? I don't see any uploaded images so a critique is not possible, If you are looking for general info, I would suggest you read the current post as well as past threads in this section (Introductions and New Contributors Questions) as there is some good information here.
  18. John, First off, I would suggest you go out earlier when the wind is usually much calmer. Secondly, I would suggest you use flash when shooting macro and by flash I mean a separate flash unit not your pop-up on camera flash. Third suggestion, Use f/16, no higher (i.e. f/22 or f/32). Number four, always focus on the eye of the insect. The lens is by far more important than the camera body but the lower end bodies may create more noise than a pro or prosumer body. You might also find that using a longer macro lens (i.e. 90mm or 100mm) will allow you to get a close up image without
  19. I'm not sure what you are talking about, however, if the number of megabytes of the image is lower after the background change that might be normal if the new background is less cluttered. If the pixel count (I.e. 5184 X 3888) is reduced slightly that is probably the fact that the background had a smaller dimension than the original. If the size is dramatically different, I would assume you are doing something, other than just changing the background. Check all of your settings. We probably need more info than what you have provided to be of any real help.
  20. NohSense, I think you'll find that the majority of contributors would be in total agreement with you, however, the offenders think they gain some benefit from keyword spamming (and they probably do). The real problem lies with Shutterstock. They have rules against it (spamming) but SS makes no (or little) effort to enforce those rules. There is no real way for contributors to communicate with management and even if there was, it appears that they have no desire to listen. The Bottom Line is the only thing that drives decisions since they went "Public". As a buyer, you have more
  21. Expert jnk, I think the first thing you need to know, is that if you plan on shooting flowers you're in for a lot of competition. Everyone shoots flowers and they have to be something special if they're going to sell. Yours' are good but I wouldn't call them "Expert". The next tip is that stock sites were set up so that companies, and individuals could obtain images that would help them sell their product, place or idea. They aren't generally looking for just pretty pictures. There are other demands for stock photos but the majority are sold for some kind of promotion. IF your
  22. Evgeniia, Just to clarify, is your lack of enjoyment in photography the result of your tendency to over analyze an image (due to your knowledge of photography) or the "dishonesty" seen in the unbelievable images produced today in Photoshop? I suffer from a little of both. However, I still can admire a well composed image that has been effectively post processed to enhance the positive aspects of the image. Admittedly, micro stock photography does not cater to this type of image. It, like a lot of things today, suffers from a lack of "truthfulness", something that seems to permeat
  23. lonndubh, Pete, was a little more blunt than I might like but he's right, I started this thread nearly two years ago to help new contributors. When and if I come across something that might help new photographers, I resurrect it. I would like to limit the comments to those topics that might be of interest or help to contributors that need a little help. Thanks for anything you might add that will assist them.
  24. clivewa, I didn't know about the lens issue with infrared images. I thought the conversion was the first and only "problem" you had to deal with. That's definitely the kind of thing we contributors would like to know. Thanks for sharing your expertise.
  25. Rudy and Pete, I still haven't been able to find the Golden Spiral as an Overlay. It must be my ancient version of Photoshop. Thanks anyhow. Rudy, I have a much higher opinion of you than that!
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