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Archive for the ‘Microstock’ Category

Ownership and copyright
All submitted images must be wholly owned by the submitter.
Submissions must NOT contain any copyrighted material including paintings, other copyrighted photos, copyrighted logos, or any other artwork/sculptures/exhibits or audio which are copyrighted. If submitted material contains any of these or other types of copyrighted content, you must either submit releases from the copyright owners or you must mark the images as editorial.

Photographs of people
Any image of an identifiable person (even from behind) must be accompanied by a model release. Submissions must not contain violence, x-rated content, or any illegal content according.
Submissions depicting a minor must be accompanied by a model release that was signed by that minor’s parent or legal guardian.

Size
In contrast to the early purchases of stock images that were used primarily for printed media, nowadays many images are bought for online newsletters, websites, and blogs that do not require large image size. However, there is still need for inclusion of images in books and brochures, so it is best to submit images in larger size, i.e. 10MP or larger. Do not upsize the original images, since it results in reduction of image quality.
Typical sizes: 1920×2560 (6MP), 2800×4200 (12MP). Minimum size: 4MP

Resolution
Not important, if the size requirements are met. You can set it to 72, 240, or 300 dpi.

Colour Workspace
sRGB workspace is preferred. If you are processing your images in ProPhoto, convert them to sRGB prior to the upload.

Clean Image
This includes removal of any dust or oil spots, noise reduction, and cloning out obstructing wires, trash, or poles.

Composition / Cropping
If it is a landscape or street shot, use common guidelines, such as Rules Of Thirds, and whatever considerations you deem pleasing. If it is an isolated image of a tomato, you may as well place it in the middle of the picture.
If you start with a large image where the main subject doesn’t quite fill the frame, consider cropping the original image. This usually increases the apparent size of the main subject while removing unnecessary space. More importantly, this method makes the main subject larger in the thumbnails which are presented to the prospective buyers.
On the other hand, be careful not to crop the image too tightly and leave enough background on all sides to give more flexibility to the designers/graphics artists who will be using your image in their artwork.

Color contamination
This can result from excessive saturation, HDR treatment, or color fringing along the edges. Go easy on any HDR treatment, and examine edges and critical areas in your image for any stray color pixels or stripes. If needed, use defringing tools to remove any fringing around the edges.

Sharpening
DO NOT use any output sharpening.
If the images come out too soft from the camera, use gentle capture and localized creative sharpening to improve the apparent sharpness.
Sometimes you can improve the sharpness and salvage the image by reducing its size, i.e. from 18-24MP to 6-8MP, and then apply gentle sharpening. It’s better to have a medium-sized sharp image than a soft extra large image.
Always watch for the halos around the edges. You shouldn’t see any.

Again, in contrast to fine art prints, stock photos need to be simple and sharp. Generally, a large depth-of-field is more desirable than shallow depth-of-field, especially for landscape and nature pictures. When it comes to food or people photography, a shallow DOF can be used when appropriate, but in the beginning I would recommend to steer away from blurry techniques.

Tricks / Techniques
In contrast to fine art prints that often look best in subtle colours, stock images need to be vibrant. Apply saturation techniques in gentle and judicious ways, when you use saturation sliders or tools such as NIK Tonal Contrast, or Topaz Clarity to make the images pop out.

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