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Rudy Umans

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Posts posted by Rudy Umans

  1. 3 hours ago, Steve Bower said:

    I appreciate Rudy's knowledge and comments and I'm sure others did as well.  Let's not spit hairs here.  The intent is to help each other, inexperienced and experienced. Lets keep this thread as free from all the normal forum bickering as we can.  I think that is something we all would appreciate.    

    There was a time that microstock actually contributed to the craft of photography for beginners and experienced contributors alike. Many contributors' photography actually improved thanks to microstock and Shutterstock was at the forefront of that phenomena for a long time. 

    Today It just makes me sad that it seems to be the complete opposite and microstock seems detrimental to the craft, which is a shame. Software and computer technology don't help either, but those are things that make the craft different, not worse.  Nevertheless, it would be sad if basic photoshop techniques are called advanced now.

    On the other hand, back in the mid 19th century the Arts and Crafts movement started as a counter balance of the Industrial revolution at the time. Today something similar, especially among college students, is going on concerning photography. A movement if you like,  that I am part of (at least, I like to think I am) and that apparently does not always rhymes with the train of thoughts of many current contributors. The Arts and Crafts movement still exists 175 years later. Stronger than ever actually. 

    anyway, others would call me just an old fa..t  lol.

    As I said when I revitalized this thread a few pages ago, microstock as we knew it, is coming to and end and I am hoping that at  least some will or remain to see  photography as an art and as a craft regardless.  That's why I post what I post in threads like this.

    It is great that concerned people like Steve start threads like this. As you might figure by now, I highly appreciate it. There is a lot more value in threads like this than initially meets the eye. So thank you Steve!

  2. 5 hours ago, Clupeidae said:

    Rudy could start his topic, Photo Examples of Good Rule or Technique Application, Help for the Advanced Contributor

    There was nothing advanced about my posts frankly.

    My 16 bit recommendation could prevent problems that would need to be corrected otherwise, which would become, in turn, a lot more advanced actually than going to: image>mode>16bit

    Correcting banding or halos for example is a lot more advanced than not getting them in the first place and images with banding or bad halos would be rejected here (yes, even for $0.10), so in that regards, my posts were very appropriate

    The only disadvantage could be that some plug-ins don't work in 16 bit. Other than that, not sure what the big deal is. It doesn't cost anything, it doesn't hurt and working in 16 bit has a lot of advantages.

    The same with the curve tool I mentioned. Basic tool that everybody should know.

  3. On 4/12/2021 at 9:05 AM, HodagMedia said:

    Oh my mistake, I thought it was a Microstock site and Microstock forum, for people who were trying to sell stock photos.

    "Photo Examples of Good Rule or Technique Application, Help for the New Contributor"



    I post something for everyone that comes here. If it doesn't apply to somebody, it might apply to somebody else.

    But since you seem to like to shut me down (as usual frankly and without even reading my posts), you have the chair Pete. 


    Sorry Steve, but I suddenly remember why I don't post that much anymore

  4. 2 hours ago, balajisrinivasan said:

    You're absolutely right. That is all I've done to my images for microstock in the last few months. Auto-adjustments, auto medium contrast curve, a bit of sharpness/NR and then export by downsizing res to 8 mp or less. Takes less than a minute per picture and for the money I make out of MS, anything more would be overwork.

    But it has also killed the joy of photography for me. Someday I'll quit microstock and go back to the older days of trying to make a great image just for the joy of it instead of hundreds of merely functional ones.

    That "some day" to create a great image just for the joy of it could be today!  Microstock as we knew it, is not coming back so today is as good as any other day to pick up where you left off before the microstock era.

    What might help to get your groove back is to have a theme. Just pick a theme like doorknobs or bridges or whatever you like

    The other thing you could do is what many other, especially young, people do is go to your favorite auction site and buy a film camera. You can get those for cheap and they give you a great sense of self in your photography.

  5. 55 minutes ago, Tim photo-video said:

    Please see experienced ones - how well exposed are my last shots from the photo?
    I was told all the time that my shots were not selling because of poor lighting. There are a number of reasons for this, but I'm wondering how things are with the latter?

    New photos

    Thanks in advance!

    The exposure is ok, The images are a little flat and could use some more contrast. You could use the curve tool for this. 

    the curve tool in photoshop - YouTube

  6. 4 hours ago, oleschwander said:

    Right. But I don’t think Rudy is talking (only) about microstock.

    I thought frankly none of us were. There was the impression that Steve started this thread for people who want to learn something that is worth more than $0.10

    If it was just about microstock, this thread might have been a lot shorter.

    Go to IMAGE >ADJUSTMENTS>AUTO and maybe some cropping and/or cloning and done

    Somebody would have replied with  Yes, but....., which would have been debated over 5 pages or so and that would have been it.

    Fortunately, this thread turned out into something more interesting and helpful for beginners, seasoned pros, and people in between.


  7. 2 hours ago, Wilm Ihlenfeld said:

    I would like to make one more addition.

    I could write a whole lot about this. But I realize at this point once again how difficult it is to pass on information sensibly when you can't write it in your native language and many technical terms are simply missing or they are difficult to translate. Sorry for that!

    Don't you worry about a thing! You are doing just fine. As a matter of fact, you're doing better than fine, you're doing great!  English is not my native language either. ( which is Niederlande)

    Since I live in Miami, FL for over 30 years now and I speak a little bit of German (Survival German and it has been a while I needed it, so don't get your hopes up, but still...) I might be able to help you if you need a technical term to be translated into English. Just PM or email me.


    btw, sometimes it is better not to get too technical. Sometimes it is better just to explain the basic principle and if somebody wants to learn more they have google, YouTube, and the library at their disposal.

  8. If I save an image as a Tiff file it is for editing purposes only and if I go through the trouble I want the biggest and best file possible, so no compression for me and since it is only a temporarily file, size doesn't matter.  Besides the JPEG, I save my RAW files and negatives for archival purposes. If you convert a RAW file, a sidecar is created that saves all the changes you made. Except in DNG where the original image file and the sidecar are incorporated into one with an overall smaller file size. So, if file size is a concern, DNG might be a viable option. The final JPEG plus the RAW file or film negative is enough for me.

    Frankly I have rarely problems with color transitions, banding, or noise, even if I just process in 8 bit jpeg, which is very rare. Maybe a cell phone picture. Like others, I like to get it right in the camera and if I have too, I use ND and GND filters. Sometimes a POL, but not very often (remember those? You put them in front of your lens) All the settings in my camera are set to zero or neutral and I make adjustments in the RAW converter. If further processing is needed, I mainly dodge and burn and some curve adjustments. I do these functions with luminosity masking. That's it.   Less is more! Everything else is more like an insurance.

    Besides for more processing power, I use 16 bit because many of my pictures are printed in books and commercial printers prefer 16 bit as well I understand. For the same reason, my black and whites (which is most nowadays) are saved in greyscale. (Important!)

    on a more personal note, especially now this whole stock thing is coming to an end, I like shooting film with medium format vintage cameras (Some are pre war) DSLR's have way too many buttons. My pinhole cameras have only 1 mechanical button and 1 knob . OK, I have 1 that has 2 knobs lol.  I touched my outdated 6D maybe once over the last six months. I scan my negatives, so if somebody has a question about scanning, fire away.

  9. 15 minutes ago, Wilm Ihlenfeld said:

    I would like to add the noise filter, Rudy.

    If too much saturation or dynamic is added to an 8 bit image, it can lead to bad gradients (for example blue gradients in the sky)  that are no longer clean, but get edges. If you convert the image to 16 bit, change dynamic or saturation and then add about 2% / max 3% noise after adding saturation or dynamics and then convert back to an 8 bit image, the gradients will look perfect in most cases.

    By the way, this also applies to the users of the images if they need them in CMYK mode. Because often the purchased RGB images look perfect, after the conversion to CMYK mode for offset printing, this is unfortunately often no longer the case.


    Great tip Wilm. Like I said, never too old to learn something!

  10. 37 minutes ago, Steve Bower said:


    Thanks for your lesson in Photoshop.  As I've alluded to many times, I'm far from a Photoshop expert.  I've stayed away from giving PS advise.  I'm glad someone is willing to fill this obvious omission.


    You're welcome and don't worry. there are enough people here on these forums that are proficient enough in PS to mess you up!  :)

    and very few people are Photoshop experts. I am certainly not. I know for the most part how to process images. Especially B/W. (My favorite technique are Luminosity Masks and my Photoshop UI doesn't look like a normal UI, but we save that for another day.) But I know people that are truly masters in creating composites  and surrealistic masterpieces where I go like, how in the world...... Just saying I guess we can be experts in bits and pieces

  11. Ok. Since this thread came up in another thread and this is an interesting thread, much more interesting than Artificial Intelligence (AI) is much more Artificial than Intelligent or something along those lines, let's pick this up again.

    AI rejections teach us nothing and this thread hopefully does. That's the beauty of photography and design, no matter how seasoned and established one might be, learning never stops. it's an ongoing process

    I actually read the whole thread sort of, all 15 pages, and a few things haven't come up yet or I missed them.

    The first one I want to touch did come up somewhere else I think.  I remember vaguely Pete and I talking about this.

    Anyway, it is why you should process your images in 16 bit and not in 8 bit. (go to image - mode)

    The difference is in the number of tonal values. An 8 bit RGB image has 16.7 million colors while a 16 bit image has 281 trillion colors. Now I don't know how many time 16.7 million goes into 281 trillion, but it is substantial. This means that a 16 bit image gives you a lot more leeway concerning processing. You can do more extreme things without pulling the image apart. If you process an 8 bit image a little bit too much, you can get banding in blue skies for instance because the tonal transitions are more limited and less smoothly in 8 bit than in 16bit. There is much more "room" to push and pull an image in 16 bit than in 8 bit. 

    The second thing is dodging and burning. Selectively Dodge the highlights, burn the shadows or anything in between. Dodging and burning controls the local contrast in an image and can give an otherwise flat and dull image more contrast and depth, you can create "layers" in an image. Emphasize certain areas, create inconspicuous virtual leading lines with light to get the viewer's attention without them even knowing about it. etc etc. 

    The third is the curve tool. Methinks the curve tool is the most powerful tool in Photoshop. Watch some youtube videos about that tool and you will find out there is not much that tool cannot do.

    So in short, if you want to go beyond the crop/straighten tool and some other basic tools to improve your photoshop skills quickly and effectively with a pretty much instant gratification, process in 16 bit, learn to dodge and burn, and learn the curve tool. Of course there are lots of other advanced tools and techniques that are important and helpful too, as discussed in this thread, but if you only want to learn 3 bit more advanced techniques, it should be these 3 in my opinion.

    Shoot in RAW, convert to and process in 16 bit Tiff, learn the crop tool, dodge and burn, and the curve tool and you should be good to go for the majority of your images

  12. When we signed up we agreed to be a research guinea pig from time to time and I am pretty sure this is one of those times.

    Although I do think that the rating has nothing to with the quality of the image itself, but more with the salability of the image for the intended market, I am wondering if only the owner of that account/portfolio can see that or if it's public.

    Nevertheless, if it's public, I will immediately delete all my pictures minus one.

  13. 32 minutes ago, Doug McLean said:

    A lot of what is in Karl Taylor's video would apply:


    It is for photos, but you would need to replace the flashes with strong continuous light if shooting video.

    Either way, it is very informative and helpful for any sort of studio work.

    Yes. Nice video and it makes my case for the versatility of monolight style lights and softboxes / light modifiers

  14. not a video expert either, but I do a lot of studio work with vintage (pre-WWII) cameras with no electronics. So I have no choice than to use Continuous lights

    I bought a kit from GVM. These are 80 watt and daylight balanced. The Godox equivalent is 60W and more is better in this case. (They have stepless dimmers) These light also get a lot get better reviews than the Godox ones

    For my Flash photography I use Godox Bare bulb speed lights, which are fantastic. (not for video obviously)

    Instead of using the umbrellas, I purchased another (very nice btw) softbox from Neewer, which is exactly the same as the GVM one for $35.00 or so and I bought a snoot for the 4th light. The lights are Bowens compatible, so plenty of options

    I have it for a while now and I love it.  I think they are a lot more versatile than panels, which are very limited for general use, light direction control, light modifiers,  etc.. and it comes with some backgrounds and stand, which also comes in handy and you can't beat the price




  15. 10 hours ago, Milo J said:

    Quantity of salt doesn't matter, you should know that by now. All about the quality of it. Has to be Himalayan Pink, mined by virgins and carried down the mountain by organically grass-fed alpacas, or there is no chance of selling any of it.

    Good thing there is an abundance of  alpacas and virgins in the Himalayans.......

    Anyway. all I know is I met my goal last year of 27, 368 with no salt at all, let alone that fancy smancy pink stuff, Who uses that in a fast food joint?

  16. 1 hour ago, chrisontour84 said:

    Hey there,

    hope you are well!

    I have gathered up a few portraits over the time and would like to sell them now, not here of course for 0,10$ per image though :)

    But I also do not want to be bound to just one website, so I am looking for non-exclusive Portrait stock sites which offers the best reward in terms of earnings.

    Do you have any recommendations for me?




    You are like going to a GM dealer to ask what Ford to buy because GM sucks

    I think you should ask your question on a more neutral site like MSG or something

  17. 11 hours ago, Milo J said:

    The forum has been extremely polite and ... well... quite bland .

    What do you mean "Bland"!! Obviously you have no idea what you are talking about! Learn how to cook and know how much salt to put on your own plate before you start accusing people for not putting any on theirs.!! And just so you know, according to Mihai (I think) you can only put max. 2.35 Mg. salt on your plate otherwise things might get too noisy! 



    How about that??  Still too bland? Not bland enough?

    Just another failed attempt trying to be funny. Sorry

  18. 2 hours ago, Mikko Palonkorpi said:

    I have/had plenty of images that are/were selling well and which were shot with first generation of Sony RX100 (it was made in Japan BTW and in my opinion lens was better/sharper than in my current RX100V). Short answer, it is enough for most subjects, but for portrait kind stuff etc. I would prefer better lens and proper camera body. I have Nikon D750 and its still great camera and not that expensive anymore. 

    Even though you are right about the D750 vs, the RX100, it is a little bit comparing apples with oranges unless you are able to put  your D750 complete with a 24-70 lens into your tight jeans pockets of course. 


  19. 1 hour ago, HodagMedia said:

    I never looked close at those. RX100 VII and I'll assume the RX100 II what a nice little super zoom, pocket camera. I've really liked newer Sony cameras for years now, but I'm already married to Canon. 😉


    I guess the main advantage of Sony's, incl. the RX100 series are the Zeiss lenses. Best lenses on the planet in my modest opinion. Some of their lens designs from over 110 years ago are still relevant today. Leica "R" lenses have the best bokeh in my experience, but they use the same Schott glass as Zeiss (Dr. Schott worked for Zeiss at the time)

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