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Old Jul 23, 2004, 5:02 PM   #11
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Thanks everyone for the advice. I'll take a look at the books in particular.

I do know that some of these photos are not technically superb, and I'm not looking to hang any of these in a museum. I was very much thinking post cards, calendars, and small/cheap A4 wall hangings. I would not be expecting to charge more than USD10-15 for a framed print, and I would not be charging more than about USD1-2 for single use of a digital image for printing etc. since I'd have essentially no coststo cover. I'm not trying to make a living out of this. At best I'm trying to make this hobby pay for it self a little, so that I can justify the next camera or lens purchase.I'd also very much like some of my pictures to be seen more widely. Perhaps I should have said that more explicitly in the original post.

These are simply the pictures I deemed good enough to put up on my web page. I guess that's the first thing I've gotten out of this experience. A lot of people who've responded seem to be judging the work on the very worst of the pictures. Since others will do that I'll need to filter these better no matter how I display them. I already knew this but this experience has reinforced that.

I am a little disheartened that people think even the best of my images are mediocre at best, but I did ask for your honest opinions. While the compositions themselves can't be altered too much I can certainly correct certain technical flaws like straightening a horizon without too much trouble.

I'll let you all know how I get on trying to sell these but I'm much less willing to spend money to do it (which is probably a good thing), so I'll have to work out a way to do it that involves little or no initial outlay first.
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Old Jul 23, 2004, 6:22 PM   #12
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Please don't be disheartened too much. Frommy perspective, a print would have to be stunning (something that really stirred my emotions, etc.) before I would consider buying it.

As for the technical part, as Kalypso mentioned, some of the photos do look little hazy. However, this kind of thing is not to hard to improve on. Sometimes, all that's needed is a little Unsharp Mask.My digital darkroom skills are almost non-existant, so I'm probably not the right one to ask how to give your photos some "punch".

However, you may want to approach this as a way to improve your post processing skills with photo editors. You could always post messages asking "how would you improve this image". You may be surprised at the suggestions many may offer. Some of the forum members have far more skill at this than I will probably ever acquire.

Also, I have no idea what it would take to try and sell photos, so I'm only looking at this from a potential buyers perspective (and I'd be a pretty "tough sell" for anyones photos). Perhaps this is becauseI've spent a LOT of time looking a photos, and am not easily impressed.

If you have some time, look throughsome of the popular galleries at http://www.pbase.com , and you'll see some work fromvery talented photographers (that also have great "digital darkroom" skills).

You may be able to find a"niche market" for photos of a particular subject type, or something along those lines, that would make your workstand out more from others, too.

Look at it as a challenge.

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Old Jul 23, 2004, 11:27 PM   #13
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First off, I am happy you have a thick skin. Anyone who opens themselves up to comments had better have one, or they risk getting really hurt. You took our (fair, in my opinion, but strong worded) comments well. If you has said "I guess I suck" and gone off sulking I would have felt bad but at the same time felt that we did you a favor. Exposing you art is a very hard thing to do and you have to expect that some people won't like it and hope that others will. You have to be ready for someone to say that you aren't good. And you have to either say "yes I am!" and ignore them (at your peril) or say "Why?" and learn and get better.

You shot of the Sidney opera house (I think that is what it is) with the light purple sunset sky behind it might make a decent postcard. It has something really big going for it. It's of a major recognizable thing. That type of picture works well with tourist.

The other one that caught my eye is the third to last. The tree with the setting sun lighting it up. Is it a "Great" picture? No. But it stands out because its different. People can make pictures of the moon, and thousands and thousands of pictures of the Sidney opera house are taken every year. But this one shows some originality to me in that it uses light. Most great photographers will tell you that one of the biggest elements of photography is light.

You don't do nature photography by the looks of it, but I seriously recommend you look at this web site:

A good percentage of the people who post there are professionals. Go there, sigh up and look at the pictures. Many of them. Read what people say about them, how they can be improved. Now, for what you want to do, you don't have to be that good. But you have to be better and reading what they write about and looking at their pictures is a great way to get better. I've been going there for over a year (well, the first one. I'm not a member of the second, but I probably should be.) and it has helped my photography immensely.

Originally Posted by Sammy Yousef
These are simply the pictures I deemed good enough to put up on my web page. I guess that's the first thing I've gotten out of this experience. A lot of people who've responded seem to be judging the work on the very worst of the pictures. Since others will do that I'll need to filter these better no matter how I display them. I already knew this but this experience has reinforced that.
Now, I have one more point to make. If you really are going to ask someone "what do you think of my pictures? Are they good enough to sell?" Then show them your best. Don't show them what you have lying around. Unless you tell them otherwise, they will assume that they are the best you've got. Why would you ask them to evaluate just "ok" ones? And let me tell you, you only get one chance to make a first impression. One. And they will remember the first time if you ever get a chance for a second. If you went into a store and said "look at these post cards, I'll split the profits with you if I can put up a little display on your counter." They will look at the cards and say "yes or no" based on what you show them… I would not expect them to say "oh, those aren't bad, bring me back something better." You are either in or out.

Bear with me here. The humane society around where I live ran a campaign awhile back. They were trying to teach people to spade/neuter their cat. And if they don't, what to do when they their cat has kittens. One of the posters says "Don't give away the kittens for free. Charge for them, even if it's only a dollar. You'll be amazed what people will take for free that they wouldn't pay a dollar for." The same applies to your pictures. I have, on occasion, produced some very good nature shots. I have been told many times (here and elsewhere) that they are very good and that I should sell them. But there is a big leap between people liking your shots, even wanting copies for their office and getting them to pay.

Now, if you have a few pictures that you really think are your best… post them and show us. Tell us what you'd use them for (post cards? Small prints? And where you'd like to sell them) and we'll give you our opinion. (Even if they are particular ones on those pages.)

In case you're wondering, this is what I consider to be a really good photo. The first one I've been thinking of purchasing.
Or just check out this guy:
for some really good landscape work… but quite traditional.

I hope that helps. I'm in a similar bind. People have told me that I should sell my stuff. And I think about every now and then (for all the reasons you list except for having my work more widely see. I could care less about that.) It's a touch choice, and hard work. But it could be worth it. My boss is a semi-pro photographer with his own business… and I've talked to him about this. His advice, whatever you do… skip the postcard market. Dabble if you want, but it's a lot of work for very little return.

Ok, now it's time for bed.

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