Torture Chamber Stock Theme Walkthrough

Many of my shots that I submit to various agencies come from a 5-minute radius walk of where I live. Not only does this keep my costs down, but it saves me a considerable amount of time! In fact, the past few days I’ve been shooting time-lapses from outside of my balcony.

Anyway, in this short tutorial I’ll go through I shoot I did today at a basement! I’ll outline what was going on in my head and disclose all settings and lastly, where I’ll be submitting to and why.

Scary Dungeon = Photo Opportunity

On the basement of my apartment are rows upon rows of individually-locked storage rooms. I’ve been heading there a few times during the winter to pick up and drop stuff off and always kept a mental note to go back to do a fine artsy photo-shoot.

It was kinda cold and uncomfortable to head there during the winter, but with warmer weather today I decided to head downstairs and give it a go! I usually like to take Mondays off but I have to feed my photography obsession and pulling in a full day’s work…no rest for the wicked

68e57ab1-83d1-4f15-afa9-74558ea1ed60
Setting the scene

Who’s my audience and why?

Before I even pressed the first button I asked myself for which audience was I shooting for? Was I shooting for:

  • Microstock?;
  • Wall art prints?;
  • Book covers?
  • For fun (yea right lol).

I’ll reveal the answer at the end!

First Scene

I noticed some orange marks on the walls. Placing my tripod symmetrically down the stairs & corridor, I grabbed this shot. RAW version below:

first dungeon
RAW files always look blah! Look as it liven it up! 😀
Basement
After! Notice how I changed the hue of the orange paint to a more red-ish to mimic human blood muahah
Basement-2
Slightly off-centre version with plenty of copy space and contrast++ throughout

Down the corridor a kinda scary/freaky corner with locked doors. I cloned out all the logos on the padlocks, opting to leave the numbers on the doors to make it look more like a prison. Do you like it?

Basement-4
ISO 64, F10, 24 seconds

Second scene

I liked the look of that fluorescent light and focused on it. while giving it a really contrasty-look. It’s such a generic scene that could even be in a submarine, thus adding potential value. Here’s the before version:

Capture
This shot was more tricky since a normal exposure would have blown out the light, so I underexposed by 1.5 stops.
Basement-8
Some dodging and burning and voila!

Third and Last Scene

The last scene was focusing on the padlocks and doors.

Capture

Then my favourite from the padlock series:

Capture
ISO 50, F5, 30 seconds

Where will I be submitting these and why?

These will go to Arcangel Images, a boutique agency specialising in thriller/horror/suspense type book covers. You probably guessed it by my clever use of copy space and grain++ (at least in some images)! As for fake lens flares, not this time haha

I’ve been quite tough on them lately, since after three years I was getting frustrated at the lack of licenses. But it turns out this last week I had two! So this gave me some fresh motivation to work for them, in addition to such licenses being RM-exclusive and book covers…the royalties are certainly interesting.

512WPLIHF1L._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_
One of my images on a book cover, licensed by Arcangel Images

Conclusion

The shoot took me about 30 minutes, then one hour of post-processing. Arcangel will then do the keywording in-house.

I’m quite happy with the results and let’s see if they’ll sell. Perhaps most importantly is that I didn’t have to travel anywhere to get these shots. So may this be a lesson to you when considering stock photography options to shoot. Venice? Paris? How about your basement!

Until next time – Alex


About Alex

I’m an eccentric guy on a quest to visit all corners of the world and capture stock images. I’m determined not to waste my life away as a corporate drone and have devoted five years to making it as a travel photographer and freelance writer. I hope to inspire others before it’s too late.

I’m proud to have written a book about my adventures which includes tips on making it as a stock travel photographer – Brutally Honest Guide to Microstock Photography

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