Monday, 28 May 2007

Turn of the Card

My latest venture is designing templates for Business cards. It is a good way of using and promoting my stock photographs.

The important part of the card is the customers details so the design should have an area to contain these. There is a bit of flexibility in their placing and the image should always enhance and not detract from them. The illustration above places the text to the left although it is also possible to move the leaf and make another template with the text on the right. The range of subjects used should reflect the customers requirements so a bit of research is worthwhile.

Once I have completed the design I upload it to where they will be used by their customers for personal and business cards. You can checkout their Blog here

The design above and my other designs can be seen at

Friday, 13 April 2007

Please do not cross to Albania you are certain to be arrested

That was the message on the boat we hired for the day. The crossing would have been easy from Corfu as there is only a narrow strip of water separating the two countries.
We had no intention of doing that because it was much more pleasurable to cruise the bays along the Coast of Corfu. Every taverna seems to have a jetty and someone to help guide you in and tie up the boat.
It is nice out at sea and there is plenty to see and photograph. Moving out from the coast gives wide angle views without a wide angle and moving in allows a different perspective to the many villas and houses along the coast. It is not too difficult to find a quiet beach to pull up on and catch some sun or go looking for shots in the rockier parts of the shore

Sunday, 25 March 2007

The Simplest Things

Always carry a camera because photographs of the simplest things sell. This picture is good example.
While shopping for food on holiday in Italy. I saw the display of cured meat in a butchers' chilled cabinet at a market. It has sold many times over ( the picture that is ). Pictures of doors, windows and other localised little details also seem to be quite popular. They are often to be seen in brochures and travel websites.

Wednesday, 28 February 2007

Happy Birthday

Picture the scene. Venice on the morning of my 50th Birthday. St Marks square, golden autumnal sunlight with a bit of moisture in the air. One of the most photographed views on the planet looking out to the Chiesa di San Giorgio Maggiore with a raft of berthed gondolas in the foreground. Much Photographed but to me this one was just that bit special.

Wednesday, 21 February 2007

Getting Higher

Everything takes on a different perspective when viewed from above. Vertigo inducing views from churches and steeples yield patchwork patterns of roofs and streets below. The sheer size of a large city is often only appreciated from above, the London Eye more than lives up to its name and the good thing is that no climbing is involved.

I often make use of high vantage points when photographing places. Usually it is possible to catch details unseen by the people below. Barcelona's Sagrada Familia is a prime example of this. The intricate tiled artwork of the towers is best appreciated from close up, stone pigeons compete with real ones for space as the city stretches away in all directions below. The towers are linked by walkways at various levels so it is possible to take in a wide expanse of Barcelona. It is well worth the effort.

Monday, 29 January 2007

Tuscany Revisited

It doesn't seem like four years since we had our holiday in Tuscany. It is fresh in my mind today because I relive it regularly thanks to the world of Microstock Photography. Many of my best photographs come from this holiday deep in Chianti country. I regularly find stock suitable pictures in my digital camera archives and I haven't even scanned the film shots yet.

This photograph is one of my best sellers. It was taken during the hottest part of the day when most people were out of the sun. It was difficult to balance the strong contrast at that time of the day and I leaned toward detail in the shadows rather than in the brightly lit street. I think that gives it a lighter feel and you get a sense of the blistering heat. The lady in the distance gives the picture some depth.

Tuscany is one of the most photogenic place I've been to. There is a golden quality to the light that complements the rolling hills and old towns of the region. Although it is a popular tourist destination it is not too difficult to find snapshots of life and tradition.

Saturday, 27 January 2007

Microstock Photography

Microstock has changed the way that many photographers work. There is a growing need for smaller, lower cost images for webpages and blogs. Traditional stock agencies are too expensive for this market hence the rise in microstock sites. It has opened up the business so that anyone can sell their work in an expanding and changing market. It is very easy for someone to submit pictures and get them accepted, sales will invariably follow if they are 'stockworthy'.

Microstock agencies work with royalty free licenses which means that the photographer can upload and sell pictures repeatedly at one or more sites. The income per download can be anything between 10 cents and a few dollars. Some agencies allow you to set your own prices but a degree of care can be needed here. Repeated sales can accumulate quite nicely for a popular picture. Any money earned can be collected using online payments such as Paypal or similar which makes it easy for photographers outside the dollar zone.

There are a number of agencies out there in this market and some are more successful than others. The main agencies undoubtedly generate more income than the smaller ones but there are a number of newer sites which have refreshingly different business models and are enthusiastically supported by their photographers. There are links on my webpage to the sites that I use regularly.

Beware of any sites that want you to pay to upload. The good sites make their money by commissions from sales so will be working toward that goal. There have been one or two dodgy sites operating so it is wise to check out some of the forum activity before uploading.