Posted Wed Mar 27, 2013 8:08PM
I have submitted 3 more in the hopes of them getting accepted, but as usual they were rejected... Here's what the note says:
At this time we regret to inform you that we did not feel the overall composition of your photography or subject matter is at the minimum level of standard for iStockphoto. Please take some time to review training materials, resources and articles provided through iStockphoto. The photographs provided in your application should be diverse in subject matter, technical ability and should be your best work. Think conceptual, creative and most important think Stock photography. Try to avoid the average eye level push the button perspective of a common subject.
From my perspective, the compositions of each shot works well, they were not snapshots and were actually thought out images. I am struggling to see what is actually wrong with each image, the explanation from iStock is so generic and doesn't help at all.
What are your guys thoughts?
Fresh roasted coffee beans
Here I wanted to shoot something a bit different than coffee beans on a brown sack, the morning light helped with the colours as well.
Auckland City reflections
I was fortunate enough to be at the right place at the right time, I have never seen a shot of Auckland like this before.
Growers inspecting their lettuce crop
This was an older shot of from ground perspective with a couple of guys OOF in the background, has nice copy space etc.
(Edited on 2013-03-28 06:21:14 by kelvinjay)
Posted Thu Mar 28, 2013 3:53AM
Some word from me:
Coffee beans - Light is fine. Composition is weak: Subject is centered. Design of the cup is distracting, leading the attention away from the beans. The dark knobbed area at the bottom of the image is also interesting, but not really helpfull to the composition. When doing such shots ask yourself - what is my foreground, whats the subject, whats the background. That will add depth/context to your image and propably lead you to a good image.
City is fine.
Lettuce - YOU know the guys were inspecting their crop. I see two persons standing there doing NOTHING. There's absolutely no connection between the persons and the lettuce. This image doesn't work at all.
Hope that helped.
Posted Thu Mar 28, 2013 5:52AM
I agree with Thomas. Your "people shot" needs to be about people actually seen to be doing something, not some seemingly random people standing around in a field of lettuce. The photograph needs to speak for itself. If it needs explanation it has failed.
People could be picking lettuce for instance, but make sure they are the subject. Large in the frame, in focus, and about them.
The coffee shot is weak for the reasons given. I don't really think the lighting is that good either, the shadows are distracting. The patterned cup and the shadow from it are distracting in the background, the reflection of the pattern is again distracting on the rim of the plate, as is the foreground. It's too busy, and not enough about the coffee. Coffee has been done to death as well.
Sorry to see you didn't get in this time. I'd suggest that when you can resubmit, you post the images here first for some advice.
Posted Thu Mar 28, 2013 8:49AM
Auckland City reflections
Too much Noise Reduction. Prominent color banding.
Posted Thu Mar 28, 2013 1:05PM
Coffee beans: I agree with Thomas regarding composition & distracting elements, but disagree on the lighting. This would be a lighting rejection if submitted to the collection. There are too many distracting hard highlights and shadows cutting through this, and awkward mixed temperature highlights on the beans. And I would underline the importance of staying away from distinctively decorated props such as this cup & plate. It limits the usability (& thus saleability) to designers as it's distracting and likely to clash with whatever design they need to drop the image into, and in some cases may get you into copyright rejections as well.
The city scene isn't bad. I don't see evidence of noise reduction, there is noise in the sky and the buildings look clean, I think it's just the blurring of the moving water (which is fine and normal). The minor artifacting in the sky isn't out of the ordinary and wouldn't even image on press. Really, this file should be accepted if submitted to the collection. Your application was certainly brought down by the weakness of the other two shots.
The lettuce field...I agree with Dave & Thomas that this is conceptually weak. Anytime one has to pause and wonder, is this about the lettuce, or about the people? (or pause and wonder anything at all) that is fatal to a commercial stock photo. Instant unambiguous message is crucial. This image would actually be much stronger if the people had been cloned right out. There is something unconvincing about the bokeh...did you do some artificial blurring on this? Photoshop manipulation needs to be so well done as to be imperceptible.
Overall, even though we found a number of weaknesses with your images, you seem to be on the right track. Now it's just a question of details. Good luck, keep at it, and consider creating a thread here with your next round prior to submitting them, and we can warn you off of problematic images...
Posted Thu Mar 28, 2013 1:49PM
Thanks everyone! Much appreciated.
Do you think these shots are more likely?
Posted Thu Mar 28, 2013 2:37PM
Milky way - nice shot, but not one I'd use for an application here.
City - Cityscape looks OK, but the star (?) light trails are distracting.
Coffee - not immediately obvious what this is. Shallow DOF for no real reason, that is it doesn't highlight anything in particular, and too much. More needs to be in focus IMO.
I haven't really checked any of these for technical problems incidentally.
You're overthinking this I reckon. You need just three well composed and technically good images.
As has been suggested many times before. One of people doing something. A still life that tells a simple story of some sort. And a landscape.
Posted Fri Mar 29, 2013 11:29AM
None of these on Flickr are available to us at full size so we can't really comment on any quality issues...there may be problems here that we can't see.
Overall, I agree with Dave's assessment & suggestions. I would add that the lighting on the coffee beans is troublesome, with the very yellow direct sunlight mixed with the very blue light from the sky, plus somewhat awkward shadows & highlights here and there. Even at this reduced size there also seems to be some quality issues.
Posted Tue Apr 2, 2013 7:31PM
Ok cool, thanks for the feedback
the first 2 of those flickr ones are viewable at full size, just click on the image - then click view all sizes on the top right. The reason I posted the coffee beans is because it seemed a very very popular photo - 2,200 views in 24 hours, so from that I reckon it would sell very well.
I do however struggle to get people shots, the one's I do have would be impossible to get release forms:
Would this one need a release form?
If I could upload 3 landscapes/cityscapes/seascapes I would be fine, that's mostly what I shoot.
Posted Wed Apr 3, 2013 6:40AM
You don't need a release for application shots AFAIK, although you would if you wanted to upload to your PF after. Application shots don't automatically go into the collection once you have been accepted.
I quite like the shot of the girl in the fountain, but she doesn't look that sharp on Flickr. The other one is another cityscape with incidental people.
I don't think you'll get anywhere trying to upload three similar subjects. I'd try to make them completely different.
I also think that you're trying to use what you have already as application shots. These days you're going to have to move out of your comfort zone to get in here. If it was me applying now, I would shoot just for the application.
I know this isn't what you really want to hear incidentally, but you've had a few tries at getting in now I believe? You really need to change tactics if you want this.
You'll also get better feedback here if you take the trouble to put a direct link to the images you want critique on. Many of us prefer not to view images in a browser window, and this business of clicking here and there to find the full size and DL link is a pain.
Posted Wed Apr 3, 2013 11:15AM
Yeah, I wouldn't use either of these. Both feel grabshot-ish. Even though Dave is correct that releases are not required, grabshots are not likely to impress...your people shot should be something in which you and the model(s) were collaborating. Both of these feel unplanned and un-thought-out, which is exacerbated by compositional flaws such as:
Girl in fountain: distracting items in the background intersecting with the girl, random irrelevant people in the background, large distracting bright area in the upper right which is better lit than the subject, etc. Plus the image is full of copyrighted elements, again, technically not inspected for at the application stage, but certainly more impressive for the Inspector if you come in with images which are in full compliance with our standards (and this shot is not even potentially editorial because it's only two children without their parents).
Night scene: a whole lot of uninteresting & irrelevant concrete in the lower right, some uninteresting dock stuff on left edge, this would have been much stronger if you were closer to eliminate the irrelevant elements and fill the frame with the water/boat/skyline scene. The models are not very well engaged...they're not looking at each other but they're not looking off at the same thing either.
Keep at it! Take to heart Dave's advice ^ above. Keep posting here...even if sometimes it isn't what you want to hear.
Posted Wed Apr 3, 2013 1:58PM
All noted and thanks Donald and Difydave. Now that I don't need a release form that will make things a whole lot easier!
Posted Thu Jun 6, 2013 3:23PM
Without posting a new topic, would just like to say after a few applications, I have now been accepted as a contributor yay for me haha!
Posted Thu Jun 6, 2013 3:27PM
Congrats! Good luck with your uploads.
Posted Thu Jun 6, 2013 3:29PM
Posted By mmackinven:
Without posting a new topic, would just like to say after a few applications, I have now been accepted as a contributor :D yay for me haha!
Glad to hear it! Welcome and enjoy!
Posted Thu Jun 6, 2013 5:05PM
Persistence pays off in the end. Welcome aboard!
Posted Fri Jun 7, 2013 3:52AM
Well done! Good luck for the future!