Tuesday, October 14, 2008

An Aside: A Case Study in How NOT to Shoot

While visiting the threads on the Digital Photography School forum this morning, I found this great discussion on Crestock's archive of "Today's Worst Image." The Norway-based stock photography site doesn't just post these horrendous photos, but their critiques from the infamous Judge Ross explain in great, useful detail why the images were rejected. At the same time, take advantage of the "Today's Best Image" samples and the critiques given of those stellar images to get tips on how to get the job done right as well as insider clues to what stock agencies are looking for. Here is an example:

"The polar opposite of today's best, this photo succeeds in being both boring and lacking the quality we always look for. Washed out colors and a tedious composition has this coffee mug almost looking like it contains tea, and this is not working in anyone's favor. The colors are washed out and even if this photo had a one of a kind item in it, it would still fail to qualify for our collection."

"Obviously when you have an archive with several hundred thousand images you end up with quite a few duplicates; which works because a client might want certain details in their photo, or just variation in the selection they can make. The challenge lies on the photographers and their ability to think of new ways to take a new photo of an old subject. This twist is quite nice; you've got the silhouette working to a degree where this image almost looks like an illustration while still keeping some of the photo feel. The softness of the lines also works really well to set a nice soothing mood, and had me thinking of a delicious cup of warm coffee. Good job!"

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