So last Thursday I submitted my first application to one of those photography microstock companies, iStockphoto. I passed the written test easily, but they wanted three sample images to look over before being accepted. I hadn’t really gone through my hundreds (thousands?) of images yet to ID photos that might be “stock-like.” So I found what I could on such short notice and submitted a photo of an old stone “pioneer” shed at my parents’ home, built back in the 1880’s – which isn’t that long ago for some areas, but considering there weren’t even any settlers in Utah until around 1850, it’s pretty old, a shot of some bark of a peach tree (also in Utah, very near the shed), and some field lights at the ginormous “All American” field park in Las Vegas.
Old Shed in Utah:
Utah Peach Tree Bark:
And finally – the oh so exciting field lights!
Needless to say, I did NOT get accepted with such lame photos. Actually they’re OK, but probably a bit too simplistic for what they were looking for (?). They liked the shed, but it was a bit busy, and I probably should have just cropped it in much closer to the antiques sign to bring out the stone texture and maybe just include one of the rusty things on one side or the other instead of taking a shot of the whole shed.
Other feedback was more general: that these were too “snap-shot” and did not fill a need within their “need list” of photos. This evening I sent in three more shots that I think are much better than the above, but I leave that for the next post – when I find out what the reviewers have to say.
One thing I did notice while taking a long hard look at several of my photos was that a lot, and I mean A LOT of them were “soft-focus” or even plainly out of focus when I zoomed in to “100%” size in Lightroom. Come to find out the camera that I’m using, a Nikon D7000 is somewhat notorious for having a pretty severe “back focus” problem. That’s where the camera’s autofocus focuses on one thing, but when the image is actually taken by the sensor the actual focus is somewhat behind the auto-focus target. Very aggravating to say the least, especially when you’re trying to get accepted into the photo selling biz!
In a future post, I’ll discuss what I did to fix the back focus problem, and also how I found the “sweet spot” f-stops for each of my lenses. It’s pretty simple, but I want to convert the huge NEF/RAW files over to jpegs so I can embed them in the blog for easy reference. Until then, have an amazing March – Spring is almost here!