June and July are proving to be busy and productive months for me, having just completed an Iberian loop (over two legs).
I visited some truly spectacular places, including UNESCO World Heritage Sites, with highlights being:
- San Sebastian
Post-Processing 2nd Batch
Prior to starting on my second leg I was under pressure to process a substantial batch of 1650 images and 75 videos. After two weeks I just about managed to finish in time!
As always, Robert Harding took my best of the best on an exclusive basis after rejecting some 85% of my submissions. I really don’t mind the rejections as I trust the accepted images will eventually yield higher royalties than if I were to place them on micros.
Here’s my latest images from the Iberian adventures at RH:
What are Premium Travel Stock Images?
I don’t like the word “rejection”, I prefer “feedback”, as it’s a way to learn more about which types of images are most likely to be consistent sellers by the ones RH do select. After contributing regularly to RH for the past 18 months, I have spotted the following patterns of images that are accepted into their premium collection:
- Shot in colour: Thus avoid the temptation to go monochrome for stock;
- High/low perspectives: Make an effort to shoot from either very low or very high perspectives. Also as you can see from the second and third images, experiment with using ultra wide angles in architecture;
- Sunny pics only: Bad luck if you live in the UK. RH only accepts sunny pics, so if the weather isn’t good stick to shooting indoors;
- Vibrant and Contrasty: Selective vibrancy and contrasty images do well. Helps if it’s sunny as per above tip;
- Long exposures: These work really well especially when capturing movement of people in street shots or night shots when I would otherwise use high ISO and large aperture;
- Iconic places: What you see is what you get as the places need to be clearly identifiable;
- Clone people out or leave them: This is the advice I received from Fraser Hall, RH’s Photo Editor. Either take the time to get rid of all people and logos to make the image commercial or leave them as they are…don’t just blur them;
- Copy space: Add lots of room around the main subject. This is particularly important for commercial images since an editor may want to add text or even make a collage with other images;
- Good captions: Research the place and do your best to describe the scene accurately and interestingly. In many ways being a photographer is similar to being a journalist. I have received caption rejections by RH in the past.
Although these are my RH experiences these certainly apply to all your travel stock photography submission to take your game to the next level. You’re welcome! 🙂
Second leg updates!
On my second leg (France to Portugal), I was equally as busy managing to capture (only) 1000 images and 84 videos. This time round, I decided to invest more time in producing footage relative to photos and quite happy with the results.
I’m putting myself under less pressure this time as I don’t have any major trips planned for the near future. Therefore, I’ll devote more time/effort to processing this batch to the best possible standard. If something is worth doing it’s worth doing well!
More Focus on Footage!
Photography is still my main focus and income, but I have to admit that I’m really enjoying putting together these timelapses. I’m particularly proud of the following three timelapses (the free-flowing sangria was having positive effects):
The above was captured in Peniscola on the beautiful Mediterranean coast. If you’re a big fan of Game of Thrones, interestingly some scenes of Meeren were filmed at this medieval hill fort town. Here’s a scene from the show captured there:
Real time footage
Although I’ve turned into a crazy timelapse fanatic, I do capture real-time video, such as the following which I believe has a nice generic zen feel that may be used widely:
Panning fail in Cordoba
I’ve tried my hand at panning some spots but having serious problems as my tripod isn’t the type to do this time technique. Having resorted to do it manually, you can see the results aren’t great. The solution is try purchase a new tripod head to create a smoother effect. Here’s my less-than-pro attempt capturing one of Cordoba’s beautiful Arabic-style courtyards:
Speeding up the learning curve
I’m fortunate that I’m surrounded by footage experts to help speed up my learning curve. I’ve been chatting regularly with Theocharis Charitonidis, a video editor in Greek Broadcast TV for 25 years. He started with stock footage in the last two years almost, with videos at Shutterstock/Pond5/Storyblocks. Here’s a link to his YouTube channel:
Ah I see you were in Milan, too bad I was traveling…we meet up next time!
Collaboration with Guilherme Siebert – Creative Income
I’ve been following fellow-Brazilian, Guilherme’s awesome new (3-month old) YouTube channel called Creative Income, where he discusses all things stock footage. I highly recommend you check it out – link here.
Last week, we recorded a relaxed conversation about the differences between shooting stock photos and footage, including lots of talk on potential earnings, here’s the link:
That’s it for these updates and now I’m back to post-processing – speak soon! Enjoy your summer holidays!
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
Check out my new photo review service, where I’ll help take your images to the next level and get them sold regularly!
Thank you Alex! I am still in Lisbon travelling and working! Good think the city offers many panoramic views, great for photos and videos! About footage, whene hour tripod is not high enough to go above a castle fortification I find it more useful to use a gorillapod. If you can’t still be proficient in panning, stick to still video for now. It is a slow learning curve, but I see you are building your way up to stock motion! And always remember to set stabilizer to off if any, or video focus will always hunt back and forth! Me, I am sure happy to follow your photo advices! One last thong about video: dont’t just go for stills that have nothing more to offer than a photo would do. Clients want action and action brings a greater return!
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