Microstock Photo Rewards and Rejections

I’ve submitted many photos to microstock sites (sites that sell stock photos) and have had many rejections. All my rejected photos are perfectly good – even excellent.  However, the microstock sites have their specific criteria, and they are very, very picky.  Rejections are either for the noise of various kinds or content.

I’ve developed a technique that works to clean up the photos for submission that I will share with you in an upcoming post.  As for the content, now that’s a different story, and you have to learn what these sites want before shooting and uploading.  The microstock sites themselves will have content guides to help you.

With all the difficulty and prospects of rejection, why bother with microstock sites?

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Photo: Sea Turtle

Sea Turtle | A sea turtle near Tintamarre Island in the Caribbean Sea. | http://lars-lentz.pixels.com/featured/sea-turtle-lars-lentz.html

Sea Turtle | A sea turtle near Tintamarre Island in the Caribbean Sea. | http://lars-lentz.pixels.com/featured/sea-turtle-lars-lentz.html

Swimming with sea turtles is an incredible experience. We went to Tintamarre Island near the island of Saint Martin in the Caribbean where there is a sanctuary and they are protected. They were right there swimming down to feed off the bottom and back up again every 20 minutes or so for air. We snorkeled over and next to them and for a half hour were able to watch them feeding.

I photographed this one as he was getting ready to descend again. I snorkeled right over him and shot downward. It is not easy and sometimes not possible at all to see a camera screen underwater while wearing a mask and snorkel. I had no artificial light and relied on the bright sunlight to illuminate the turtle in the water. I tried flash and it was not an option because it would illuminate the bubbles and particles in the water, obscuring the image. I was able to make out the screen of my camera when the light hit it just right and I took the shot at that moment.

I cleaned up the photo in post-processing. I removed many bubbles in the water around the turtle that detracted from it. I also sharpened the image selectively, allowing the sunlight to soften portions of the turtle and the background.

It was difficult to keep from smiling the whole time I was swimming with these sea turtles. Smiling would have broken the seal between my mask and face and allowed it to fill with water. But I was smiling inside the whole time I was there and now even afterward whenever I see this photo. I hope it brings a smile to your face as well.

Below is a map of the exact location where I took this photo. It is an interactive map and you can zoom in/out, scroll, and move around to see more. You can even see the tour company I used for the excursion by clicking on the red push-pin:

 

This is the equipment I used to take this photo:

Camera: Olympus Tough TG-4
Lens: 4.4-17.8 (25-100 mm 35 mm equiv.) (f/2.0 – 4.9)
Filter: none

Settings: 1/1000 s at f/3.5, ISO 100, 6.4 mm, 0 EV, Underwater Mode, Pattern Metering.

 

I post-processed this photo using my process, and here are before and after images of the photo, showing the transformation from camera to finished product:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

I was fortunate to be able to take a video while swimming with the sea turtles. You can watch it below or on Vimeo. I was snorkeling while pointing the camera downward from the surface to film these magnificent creatures:

 

If you liked this photo, and the story behind it, you can see more if it and others in my gallery. Just click on the photo below to go there now:

Sea Turtle | A sea turtle near Tintamarre Island in the Caribbean Sea. | http://lars-lentz.pixels.com/featured/sea-turtle-lars-lentz.html

Sea Turtle | A sea turtle near Tintamarre Island in the Caribbean Sea. | http://lars-lentz.pixels.com/featured/sea-turtle-lars-lentz.html

Thank you for reading what I wrote — I hope you enjoyed it!
If you want to stay in touch and see more like this, then click here.


MY RECENT TWEETS

Google Nik Color Efex Pro Settings for Excellent Landscape and Nature Photos

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The Nik Collection by Google has a program called Color Efex Pro and it can be your secret weapon to getting outstanding landscape and nature photos. All you need is the right recipe. Here I will give you a glimpse into what I use and some of the optional filters that really make a difference. At the bottom of the post is a link to my recipe.

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Add Text to Photos Using On1 Photo and Powerpoint

Hawaii Beach | North Beach on Oahu in Hawaii. | http://www.larslentzphotography.com |

Photo with Text Added

Sometimes a photo needs a bit of text added to it. Here’s how I like to add text to photos using On1 Photo and Microsoft Powerpoint. Continue reading

Meaningless Labels on Photographers

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I’ve been reading a lot of camera and lens reviews lately, and they all label the users as one thing or another: Pro, Semi-Pro, Enthusiast, Novice, Casual User, Hobbyist, Amateur. I’m here to tell you; that’s all a bunch of nonsense. I stop reading when I see them labeling me or my equipment as one of these. I think you should too. Here’s why: Continue reading

DSLR Camera Bag Recommendation

If you shoot with a DSLR camera, I highly recommend a Ruggard Triumph 45 bag. I use mine daily. It has room for my DSLR Camera with the lens on it, and two additional lenses.

This padded backpack protects my gear while having an indispensable side pouch that I can unzip and pull out my camera at any time. It keeps me ready to shoot at all times.

Source: Ruggard

Taking Great Fall Photos

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Fall Photography

Fall can be an incredible time of the year for photography. With vibrant fall colors of orange, red, yellow, brown, and green, these are the ingredients for some stunning photos. There are a few steps you can take to maximize your photo’s potential and get even better shots. Continue reading

Favorite DxO Optics Pro Film Pack Film Emulations

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Film Emulations

DxO Optics Pro and the Film Pack module have an incredible ability to emulate different films to near perfection. Here are some of my favorite films that are easily emulated by their software.

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Review: Comparing Circular Polarizing Filters – Hoya HRT CIR-PL UV vs. Singh-Ray LB Warming CP

Hoya HRT CIR-PL UV filter

Hoya HRT CIR-PL UV filter

Singh-Ray LB Warming Circular Polarizing filter

Singh-Ray LB Warming Circular Polarizing filter

Comparing Circular Polarizers

I have two circular polarizing filters in my camera bag that seem to perform about the same…but do they? I did a simple test with my camera to find out. Here’s how they compare:

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Why Center-Weighted Average is the Right Metering Mode 85% of the Time

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metering modes

I Think That “Center-Weighted Average” Metering is Best (Usually)

As you can see from the image above, most cameras have at least three metering modes (the region where the camera measures light to calculate the exposure.) Some have four or more. For years, I only used “center-weighted average” because it was how I was taught, and it worked well. Well, it still works the best. After trying the other types of metering and thinking about it a bit, I think I know why.

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The On1 Perfect Effects Preset for Great Night Photos of the Milky Way with the Ground Visible

Onone

My On1 Perfect Effects Filter Stack

To make my nighttime Milky Way photos the best they can possibly be, I use OnOne (On1) Perfect Photo Suite and their Perfect Effects filters. I want Milky Way images that are vibrant and unique. On1 Perfect Effects allows me to get that great look in my nighttime photos. Here’s one set of filters that I use…

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The On1 Perfect Effects Preset for Great Landscape Photos

Onone

My On1 Perfect Effects Filter Stack

To make my landscape and nature photos the best they can possibly be, I use OnOne (On1) Perfect Photo Suite and their Perfect Effects filters. I want images that are vibrant, sharp, clean and unique. On1 Perfect Effects allows me to get that great look in my photos. Here’s one set of filters that I use…

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When to Use a UV Protective Filter on Your Lens

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… Because a Protective Filter Can Be Your Friend … or Enemy

There are only a few times when I want to use a protective filter on my camera lens, and here’s why:

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My Lightroom, DxO Optics Pro, Piccure, Nik, and On1 Photo Workflow

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DXOTagline_Logo_RGB_color_lg

piccure+_logo_newPICCURE+

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Onone

Working with Lightroom, DxO Optics Pro, Piccure, Nik, and On1 Photo

My workflow is quite simple and streamlined when working with these excellent image processing programs. Like the logos stacked above, this is the order that I use each of them.

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