2015 What happened so far with my photography

Well, I just go on photographing whatever I like. Taking pictures whenever I have the feel for it and posting them to the stock sites when appropriate. It has to be fun as I have already enough daily “sh. jobs” to do.
So 2015 was quit slow for stock photography but nevertheless I reached some mile stones.
My total sales reached 2000 downloads beginning of June.
Later in june I reached 1000 picture downloads on Shutterstock with a portfolio of +300 pictures Portfolio Shutterstock
My portfolio on Alamy reached 900 pictures Alamy 7horses and I hope to reach 1000 soon.
Whatever brings the future, I just keep on taking pictures along the way.

Another interesting thing that happened in the stock landscape was the sell of Fotolia to Adobe.
In the past I was a bit ambiguous about Fotolia as they showed very low respect for their suppliers, the photographers. Let’s hope since Adobe bought Fotolia they will realise a large part of their customers are now also their suppliers. First signs are positive with the launch of adobe stock
My adobe port exposure gets quit bigger now. We will see.
Whatever others may think of stock photography, for me till now, it was a great way to learn taking pictures. For those new enthusiastics however, don’t expect to earn a lot of money with it.
Anyway, who cares, it’s just a hobby.

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Free pictures for Download

Here some of my (watermarked) pictures free for download. You can use them as screen background.
The pictures are 1600 pixels at the longest site.
These pictures are for personal use only and watermark should not be removed.

You can find links to the full sized pictures without watermark and with various license options on my site.

breakwaters on the beachin the evening sun  in Domburg Holland Curcuma flowers on black background

Sunflowers in France Traditional boats in port of Sanary-sur-Mer , Var, France

Wild apple blossom Ghent historical centre by night

colorful seashells on the beach in winter sun Nature resort Bourgoyen in Ghent, Belgium

Japanese maple tree  (Acer palmatum) on black Rural scene with the Leye river in Astene, Flanders, Belgium

Nieuwpoort Landrellec, sunset at the beach in Brittany

Ghent historical centre at Christmass Historical centre of Ghent in the evening

Paris view from Pont Alexandre III Landrellec, sunset at the beach in Brittany

Wild mushrooms chestnuts and pumpkin on black Beach in le lavandou  var cote d'azur provence, France

Beach cabines in Domburg, Netherland

Nature explained in 6 pictures

The meaning of an ostrich life

Take 1 – A walk in the park

Nature explained in 6 pictures

Take 2 – Here she comes now

The meaning of the ostrich life

Take 3 – Now, if she ever comes now

take 3

Take 4 – Ah oh, it looks so good

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Take 5 – Ah oh, she’s made out of wood

Keep it cool

Take 6 – Just look and see now

Thoes she really going out with him?

She ever, ever, ever comes n-n-n-now…

(Text by Velvet Underground)

A weekend at the seaside in Domburg, Holland

End of June my wife and me celebrated our wedding anniversary. At this occasion we went for a weekend to the seaside together with our two daughters. We rented a caravan in Domburg a cosy small town on the peninsula Walcheren at the Norh Sea in Holland just across the Belgian border.

This area is known by hobby bikers as one of the most biking friendly areas with biking paths along the seaside and inland. Biking isn’t difficult there since everything is flat, no hills to climb but somtimes there can be some hard wind.

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During our visit there was a yearly tournament horseback ring riding. A rider on a horse has to catch a ring with a lance. They start with a large ring and this becomes smaller and smaller. The horses are beautifully decorated.

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There was also a traditional market. People dressed in traditional clothes made candies on a traditional way, did the laundering the old fashioned way and gave demonstrations in weaving baskets.
In the center of Domburg there are also much cosy pubs with sunny terraces where you can drink and eat.

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Domburg has a large beach with colourful beach cabins. The wooden breakwaters are covered with seaweed.

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When you want to drink or eat something you can sit on the large terrace of a Beach Hut. You can find these Huts all along the coast of the Netherlands. The terraces are well protected from the wind and you can enjoy the beautiful sunset with a delicious sangria or beer.

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Latest news from the front

Since my last post there was quite a bit happening on the photographing front.

First of all, after a long hesitation I replaced my D7000 by a D7100. First I was tending towards a D610 full frame but in the end I stayed with the DX range and bought a new D7100. The difference in controls and handling with the D7000 isn’t big so I knew my way around from the start. Biggest reason for the switch was the better auto focussing system.
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Also some more news on the sales front.
Yesterday I’ve finally reached 100 sales on dreamstime.
This was the picture that was downloaded as number 100.

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Last week I also joined a new agency GL Stock images. I sent in 10 pictures for applying and was accepted. Now I’m in the process of uploading a part of my portfolio. Click logo to follow my progress
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Main reason to join them was the fair trade for contributors they promise, so I’m glad to support them.
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Begin May we visited the Bourgoyen. This is a nature reserve next to city of Ghent. It’s amazing wet land just next to the traffic and buildings of the city and a real resting spot for migrating birds. It is also the home of a colony of Cormorants. Every year they are building their nest in the same trees and when the chicks are there it’s a weird spectacle to watch from a close distance.

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You can make some nice walks in the reserve and most places are really beautiful

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Like every spring we spent a weekend at the seaside in the north of France. The “Nord pas de Calais” coast is located the closest to the UK border you can get. It is also known as “site des 2 caps” You have the cliffs and the two highest points are called “Cap Gris Nez” and “Cap Blanc Nez”. Every year several people try to swim from the mainland at Cap Gris Nez, to Dover in England at the other side of the canal, or the other way around. This place is nice for hiking and enjoying the wild nature of the sea and cliffs.

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New milestone reached. 1000 pictures sold.

Today was very strange. This noon during break I checked my pictures downloaded on the stocksites and I was amazed to see I sold more than 5 pictures in the morning. Normally my average is 1.5 pictures a day. Than I realized I had to check my all times total and indeed the thousand pictures sold milestone was passed. I have to say this is my best day ever, and I dare to suspect my friends to have downloaded them as a late April fool joke, as I never sold that many pictures in one day.

Anyway here are the pictures downloaded today

On Fotolia
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On Shutterstock
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On 123RF
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And on depositphoto (where I stopped uploading some time ago)
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So 8 pictures on one day, it can’t get better.

Dreamstime makes inserting pictures in your blog post a lot easier

Just received an email from dreamstime about a new WordPress plugin they made available that makes it a lot easier for wordpress users to insert pictures from their database. If you already have a dreamstime account blogging will become more fun and for others it’s worth to try it out. Here is the link to their announcement
New WordPress plugin from Dreamstime

When you’ve installed the plugin you will see a new button on the “Edit Post” window in wordpress as you can see on this print screen
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When pressing the button you’ll be able to use a search function
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And finally download the selected picture
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That’s all, simple and genius.

Getty gives away your pictures for free

Just started to delete my pictures on Istock or I’ll be screwed too.

Here some more info

and on CNN

Getty is accusing everybody of being a thief.
Just not sure who are the real robbers Getty?

Shutterstock is ways ahead my best agency. Not only because they sell most of my images but mostly because they tell me which pictures are crap and educate me to take better pictures.

They react as real photography professionals

One day later…

The weather is very good here in Belgium.
Had a lot of ideas to compose some new pictures but I really can’t pick up my camera now.
It’s a shame that all these shark companies are profiting of our works without contributing anything themselves.
I go on strike for a while.

Just want to make it clear, although I’m using this picture the embedded way I also bought it from Istock the normal way (with the converted credits I earned before closing my account)

My big toe tells me using this embedded picture is bad because Gettty controls it. Sooner or later they will replace or delete it although I bought the picture legally from Istock. I’ll come back when anything happens.

Some more interesting stuff about using their player. It’s seems to be a great opportunity to get invited to Washington

More about it by Sean (The famous photographer)

Stock Photography – where are the pictures used ? Tearsheets

During a reunion with former colleagues I was telling them about my photography hobby and especially stock photography where I had the possibility to show my work potentially to the entire planet. Nobody got a clue of stock photography till I asked them where they taught all these pictures they daily see on the internet come from ?

In the “before internet” age there weren’t many possibilities for hobbyist photographers like me to showcase their work. You could sent your work to local newspapers and magazines and hope for publication , you could attend to local competitions or maybe even organize a little exhibition in the local pub. When your work got published in a magazine or newspaper you could tear the sheets with the pictures out of them to collect them in a portfolio.

The internet changed this completely. Now you can sent your pictures to flickr, google, facebook, … or build your own site to make the entire world your public. The major problem however is attracting viewers to watch your pictures.

Then came stock photography. There are millions of sites on the internet and they all need pictures to help them tell their story. Soon there were companies that saw this huge potential market and started building picture collections using that same internet to attract suppliers and buyers. Companies like Istock/Getty, Shutterstock have build picture libraries of more than 30.000.000 pictures by now and several 100.000 pictures are added weekly. So for a hobbyist photographer like me it’s an easy way to sell my pictures, be it for a very small amount, to the entire world.

The “tearsheets” of before are now replaced by print screens of websites using my pictures. Here are some examples.

This picture of a rose was taken last summer in my garden. It is sold several times by now.

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A print screen of a french site selling plants using my picture.
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A picture taken during summer holiday of the cathedral in Périgueux sold dozen of times to travel and blog sites.

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One of my best sellers, a panama hat. Even found on a site in India

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Denim trousers on a fashion site in a language I do not understand.

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Petanque, on several sites, one of them being a naturist resort

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An a warning sign on the cover of a naturist ebook
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The Belgian ardennes on a Polish site
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Haflingers in Holland
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One of my pictures in your kitchen ?
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Want to go on a cruise ?
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One of my first pictures. Three times spotted is same Romanian newspaper.
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The intercom at the door of one of my neighbours found from Polen to Israel.
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My wive adjusting the heating
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Another picture from Domburg beach
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And from the Dordogne
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A silver mike from an investment blog to a karoake bar in Chicago
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And more denim trousers in Belgian colors
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If you spot one of my images on a website I appreciate it to receive a print screen.

Thank you,

Dirk

2014 a slow start for my stock photography.

The first month of 2014 started a bit slow for my photo hobby. The weather was boring with mostly a grey sky, no sun , no snow. Not a good time to take the best pictures. Fortunately I had the opportunity to visit our Belgium coast two times. Athough the weather was disappointing I managed to take some pictures. On the beach of De Haan where we did an afternoon walk along the shore, the winter sun peaked through the clouds and some of the pictures I took at that occasion where good enough to sent to the stock agencies. Some were accepted and others are still waiting.

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And here are two taken during a visit of Nieuwpoort on a cold winter day
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Sales were quiet ok. During January 46 pictures were downloaded which is in line with 2013 where 503 pictures were downloaded in total.
I stopped uploading new files to 123rf because sales are very slow and I started uploading to Istockphoto where I have around 80 pictures in my portfolio by now. You can find them here
Other news was that Shutterstock started to accept “illustrative” editorial pictures. If you want to submit pictures there you can find some more info at their site
Till now I always submitted my editorial pictures to Alamy but I have send a few photos to shutterstock and already had one small sale.
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Feel free to browse the rest of my pictures submitted recently and don’t forget to have some fun.

Time to refuel.

The twilight of 2013 is near, the harbour is reached. Time to have some really good sleep and a refuel. 2014 is perhaps coming to soon but we’ll be there.

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Ile Madame, Charente Maritime, the forgotten pictures.

1892-minipicIn the cumbersome process of uploading my pictures and adding the links where they are available to build my new site, I suddenly realized some of the pictures I took last summer during holidays were missing. I started browsing my different portfolios like Redbubble and Alamy but indeed no pictures to find. Fortunately memory came back, I could still see myself working on the pictures taken during our walk around the isle “Ile Madame” in the Charente Maritime, at the atlantic coast of France. Probably I just skipped them at later time due to other shoots that came around, but now thanks to my “never delete the raws” backup I can retrieve my shots.

That particular day we were doing a hike around the isle “Ile Madame”. This dwarf isle is reachable from the shore of Port-des-Barques during low tide. You can visit it easily by foot. A walk around the island takes about 2 hours so plenty of time to return to the mainland before flood comes in. On the isle itself there is only a farm, a restaurant an a camp site but plenty of nature and nice views on the mainland. In ancient times Ile Madame was the home of monks and you can find a lot of tales when googling for it (they were all slaughtered). For sissies you can even reach it by car and park on the parking lot (don’t go to far from your car).

The island and the whole region was flooded by the storm Xynthia on 28 February 2010. This storm made at least 45 victims in the regions Vendée and Charente Maritime. This region was already recovering from the previous hurricane of 27 December 1999 when most of the oyster farming was destroyed. When we visited Port-des-Barques that summer of 2010 most of the “carrelets” the traditional fishermen huts were destroyed.
Port  des Barques

During our visit in 2013 we were very happy to see that the people of the region are up against struggling to the violent Atlantic ocean and rebuild most of the famous fisherman huts “les carrelets” that are a true landmark for the Charente Maritime region. I’m very happy indeed to have been able to restore these picures to my portfolio.

Remember. Never delete the raw files.

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My Venture in Stock Photography

Late 2011 I discovered stock photography and I started uploading to my first stock agencies. My intention was to have some feedback on how “good or bad” my pictures were. The first two sites where my work was accepted, were Dreamstime and Fotolia. I tried quiet some other sites like depositphotos, photodune, veer, bigstockphoto and some more but by now I stopped uploading to them. The remaining sites besides FT and DT are Shutterstock, Alamy and 123rf. 123rf had a good start before they cut royalties but now sales are poor and royalties are minimum. I’ll probably stop uploading there after I reach my next payout. Shutterstock is by far my biggest earner. Alamy is a special case, sales are very slow but they specialize in editorial content so this is a good place to send “unreleased” content as “right managed”.

Here you can see my portfolio on the different agencies.

 
 

My yearly downloads went from 50 in 2011, 314 in 2012 to 475 end november 2013

Although my portfolio on Shutterstock counts only 170 pictures I reached 324 downloads there. On Fotolia (where I deleted a lot of pictures when they cut royalties for slow earners) I reached 226 downloads but with very low royalties. This explains why with only 74 downloads on Dreamstime I earned more royalties then with Fotolia. Istockphoto is missing in this list. I just subscribed there and after being accepted I uploaded my first 13 pictures last week. Now I’m waiting for their approval before uploading more.

Strobist: Phottix Easy-up octabox folding 110cm / 43″

Many of my stock photos are taken inside. Since I don’t have a fancy studio I use  our living room as studio most of the time. This situation can only be sustained if you can build up and break down quiet easily your set. For this reason I’m using off camera speedlights. I’m using my pop-up flash to trigger my SB700 and Yongnou 560II. Together with some stands with  swivels, umbrella’s and a reflector you have a complete set. Up till today I was mainly using a shoot through or a bouncing umbrella but for shooting objects on a black background this can be challenging as there is always a lot of spill light.

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Today I received my new octabox which is as easy to transport and set up as an umbrella.  I ordered the Phottix Easy-up octabox pliable 110cm / 43″ and the package came with the “umbrella”, the white front panel and a honeycomb together with a bag.

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I replaced the umbrella on my stand by the “umbrella-softbox” in just a couple of seconds.

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Before I added the front panel I gave my speed light a 180° turn so the sensor was facing front because I wanted to trigger it in slave mode. (Of course I could have used my radio triggers instead)

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After some test shots I added the honeycomb

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Can’t wait to take my next stock photos with this.

Dirk

 

A good start

While I’m posting my portfolio starting with the oldest pictures I came across this seascape picture taken on the beach of Domburg in Holland with my first dslr camera the Nikon D5000. That day I took a lot of pictures of these waves rolling through the wooden poles using a very old tripod with one taped/broken leg.
It is very interesting to see one of these pictures became one of my best-sellers.

 

Breakwater on the beach in Domburg, Holland

Breakwater on the beach in Domburg, Holland

Setup of my brand new Symbiostock site

Site under construction

This is my first symbiostocksite, in the coming weeks I will upload my photos and customize the site.

Before coming to this I did a small test on a local wamp server and finally I decide to give it a try an applied for a new domain name and hosting platform. Hope you will enjoy my work.

It is not my intention to sell images through this site (living in Europe there is the VAT problem when selling directly) but I want to show my portfolio and show where the pictures are available.