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Income Source and Payout

People around the world are seeking ways to earn an extra income. Some people are looking for fulltime earners, while others seek residual m...

Income Requirements and Payout Information


Your wealth depends on your health; if you are free of chronic disease or terminal illnesses you will create wealth with savings from your medical bills.

Around the world there are many people seeking to find trusted residual or even full time income sources online. Equally as important as knowing how to generate an income, are knowledge of what is required, and how you will be paid.

Two popular earning methods are self-publishing books and joining the community of photographers, and artists that upload photos, art, and videos to Stock platforms. In general all stock-photo platforms look for the same requirements which are as follows:

  1. The file uploaded must be your personal work and you must own the copyrights.
  2. Good composition
  3. Good focus
  4. Good Lighting
  5. Adequate exposure
  6. Free of Grain/noise
  7. Free of chromatic noise/color noise 
  8. Free of chromatic aberration/color fringing
  9. Pay attention to white balance
  10. Check perspective
  11. Clean off all copyright information such as business names, trademarks, logos, etc for files submitted for commercial license. 
  12. Do not over-process photographs.
  13. Do not add special effects
  14. Limit or avoid uploading in black and white
  15. Model release for all models (commercial purpose)
  16. Property release for all properties (commercial purpose)
  17. Maximum and minimum file size and resolution varies
  18. JPG/JPEG format is standard for all the platforms I know, However, there are some that also accept other formats..
  19. Learn how to take beautiful photographs.
  20. Have aesthetic or commercial appeal 
  21. You need to take into consideration the limitation of your camera
  22. For best results, use relevant camera
  23. Focus on the best way to maximize your image value

Your images are reviewed and may swing either ways – rejected, or accepted. While corrections can be done on some rejected files, there are others, such as those out of focus that you just will have to discard, and move on.

These companies are open to international business; however their payout method may not be convenient and compatible for you, because of country, or currency. Therefore it is important that you make sure the payment method used is compatible for transferring money to your country. For any of these methods you choose to generate an income there are some basics you need to bear in mind.

You are not the only one, and not among the first few, but have joined thousands of people in the community you select. Hence, volume, persistency and time is required for you to be found, recognized, and move up to the top. Unique images move faster. Good quality images move faster; even then time, is required. Therefore, if you are serious, you will need to upload at least one image per day every day; more images add to volume. Another point to keep in mind especially if you are an amateur, it is better not to confine yourself to one company, but to leave yourself open to other options. Also if you are considering to upload to multiple platforms, build your portfolios, one at a time.

 

A photo of an eye.

Alamy Stock Photos


How To Do Quality Checks?

After capturing your subjects for upload, you will need to perform post processing before uploading. For this you will require the aid of a photo editor such as Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom. With the photo editor you may need to correct white balance and exposure as well as to remove noise, (both color, and luminance), and color fringes. In addition you will need to check to see if your image is too blue (cool), too yellow (warm), or too red. To make some of these corrections, in order to clearly see what you are doing, you may need to zoom to between 25 and 100%. The entire subject of your photo should be sharp at 100%. Sharpness is important to facilitate cropping. Some photo defects, such as color fringing and noise, might require zooming to between 100 and 200% for inspection.

 

Where Do You Look?

Noise/grain image of the stamen of a crinum latifolium flower.
To identify noise/grain it is easier in dark places, in the blue of the sky, or on skin tone. Luminance (noise/gran) is grey grainy speckles or dots that you see. Color noise is speckles of various colors. Color fringes are colors of blue, purple, pink and so on that you see at the edges of your subject. The edges of your subject(s) must be sharp, and distinctive. To have sharp images, proper lighting, steady camera, and in some cases (such as shooting a plant on a windy day) high shutter speed, and adequate depth of field are required. Also you will need to look for halo around the edges of your subjects. This is not desirable on a high quality photograph.

   

Good Composition

Your subject must be clearly identifiable. Viewers must be able to say what is the subject of your photo. Therefore your framing should be of such that it leads the viewers eyes to the subject, or in a particular direction. For stock, framing your subjects close seem to be more appealing. With the exception of requirement for texture, or background, this may be due to the need to crop to fit into specific subjects, or to highlight certain mood. It is however important that your subject is not cropped too closely. Customers want flexibility for labeling images, having empty space, to incorporate a little of the environ, and to crop how they wish.

Welcome from Photography Foundations: Composition by Ben Long

Good Focus

Focus is important. It creates boundaries, and or definition for each segment of your image. Focus allows your work to stand out, and provide clarity. For stock imagery it facilitates easy cropping. It is important to note that blurring your image with the intent for its use as background is not encouraged since it limits the ability for multiple licenses. Customers want to have the flexibility to add whatsoever features they wish. A number of things can affect proper focusing of your image; a few are:
  • Aperture setting: Set the aperture at appropriate stops to facilitate depth of field. The stop you choose depend on the depth you wish to capture. There is not a set limit that fits all. Higher number stops will give you more depth of field, while lower numbers give shallow depth of field. If you are shooting for stock it is best to make sure your depth is enough to get sharp edges. Rather than focusing on blurred background, stock photographers should place emphasis on sharp edges. A customer do not want a subject that will take hours to crop from its background.
  • Camera shake: Make sure your camera is steady. Best practice is to use a tripod. However, many times this is not practical. Steady shots can be achieved when shooting without a tripod if you observe the following:
  1. Set your camera to compensate for camera shake.
  2. Stand firm, and anchor your upper arm to elbow at your sides.
  3. Press and hold the shutter button half-way down for a few seconds before pressing all the way down for the shot. 
  4. Keep still for the duration of the shot and allow a second or two to pass after the shot before moving.
  5. Sometimes you may find it necessary to anchor your body to an object firmly fixed to the ground especially while doing outdoor shoots on windy days.
  • Shutter speed: If moving objects are included set a fast shutter speed. 
  • Lights and indicators: Make use of indicator features of your camera - light indicator, and/or beeps when the focus is right.
It is important to note that setting your camera to auto does not guarantee 100% acceptable results. It is better to learn how to work with the manual settings of your camera. In most cases you get better results.

Good Lighting

A branch of the albizia lebbeck tree with dried pods, and a few leaves is taken against the background of cloudy sky. Photos was taken with camera flash.
 Taken With Camera Flash

Lighting is very important when taking photographs. Your camera actually takes light. It takes light as it bounces off the subject(s), thus creating an image. Poor lighting will result in poor quality images that may be poorly focused, and with much more grain/noise than pictures that are properly lit. This is not saying do no take photographs between dusk to dawn. I am hear saying make sure your subjects are adequately lit. That can be achieved with the use of artificial lights when natural light is limited.

While lighting is important, extra care has to be taken to avoid over exposure, or too much light. Too much light will cause details to be lost. So how do you control lighting on a sunny day? This is done by adjusting the exposure of your camera accordingly, and also if at all possible focus on the brightly lit area of the subject. If you are in a low light area shooting a subject that is brightly lit from the background (example indoor shooting a subject at the window) you may need to add light (fill-light) on the inside that is bright enough to compensate for the very bright backlighting, or use a white surface to reflect the light on the shadow side of the subject (across from the window). Otherwise you may need to utilize exposure compensation, and flash compensation features. These may require some practice before you are able to master their use.

Ripe slices and whole tomatoes in white plate on a wooden surface was taken indoor using camera flash.
 Taken Indoor With Camera Flash 
Flash can cause harsh artificial appearance of your images. However, if properly used as fill light, rather than main light it can produce images with evenly lit and pleasing appearance. Flash should never be used as your main lighting. For example the use of flash as a fill light might be appropriate if you are shooting a subject (for example a fruit up in a tree) outdoor in the middle of the day against the backdrop of brightly lit sky; whereby without a fill light the forefront of the subject in the photo would be dark. Being too close to the subject however, will produce the same effect as it would using flash as main light source. While light is important for shooting it is important that you avoid shooting directly in the sun. This can be dangerous to property and person. Shooting too closely to the sun's light source will also cause sun flare that might not be acceptable for stock photography.

Another way to achieve good exposure and a fairly good lighting balance is to utilize multiple light sources or the use of white or silver objects to serve as reflectors for bouncing stray lights back onto the shadowy side of subjects while shooting. In the case of using multiple lights, which is most applicable indoor, is to have a main bright light source and other light(s) at strategic point with intensity so adjusted to create a balanced filter that will add lighting to shadowy areas. This will avoid the appearance of harsh shadows in your photo frame, while achieving even, and pleasingly lit subject.

Exposure

It is very important that you learn all about your camera's settings. One advantage of doing so is to learn how to take consistent adequately exposed photos. The importance of adequate lighting is already featured. However having right lighting, and poor exposure (too much or too little) is equally as devastating to the outcome of your image. A grid-like guide visible inside the view finder and on the display of DSLR cameras serves as a useful tool when managing exposure. To one side of the center is negative exposure, while to the other is positive (For some cameras, right or left depends on the orientation the user chooses. I choose left for negative and right for positive).

To achieve proper exposure, you may need to adjust, aperture (F stops), shutter speed, and ISO, along with lighting available. When making these adjustments keep this in mind: 
  • While smaller number aperture setting will allow more exposure, it creates shallow depth of field.
  • The higher you adjust ISO, the more noise you introduce. However some cameras carry settings to reduce noise at high ISO, and also you need to know the limit of your camera.
  • You can always introduce exposure compensation or flash compensation when needed.
Photos taken at half or one stop positive seem to be more acceptable. Besides, each devise and software has a mind of its own. Your photo editor might just choose to reduce exposure on every image it opens. 

The importance of understanding exposure from Photography Foundations: Exposure (part 1) by Ben Long

White Balance

Setting appropriate white balance is important. This will determine the final outcome of your images -they being too cool (blue cast) or too warm (yellow or red cast). There are occassions that you will need to customize white balance setting. Some cameras carries preset white balance for different scenes (for example, food, shade, cloudy and so on). While these are cool to use, for the purpose of consistency, you might find it better to customize white balance setting for shots out of the norm using the preset feature of your camera. 

Even though the white balance settings of your camera is correct, when editing, you will need to zoom in to check carefully. Look to see if your photo looks slightly blue (blue cast, too cool), or slightly yellow (yellow cast, too warm), pink, red or if whites are white (normal).The appearance of your images must be as close as possible to the real subject.

Perspective

We sometimes like to take photos of very tall or long buildings. However, the resulting images might be narrowed at the top, or lean towards one side. There are other instances of images, especially closeups that are skewed inwards or outwards. The narrowing towards the outer end of a framing, example towards the top of a building, occurs mainly when the camera is tilted upwards or downwards. These are not generally suitable for stock, since they may not attract maximum potential sales. Using a photo editor such as Adobe Photoshop or its Camera Raw plug-in to perform relevant lens and perspective corrections before uploading may be a better idea to attract more potential buyers.

Halo, Color Fringing and Chromatic Noise

During editing, be on the lookout for abnormal colors such as chromatic noise, and chromatic aberration (color fringing). At 100% zoom, chromatic aberration, can be seen most times concentrating mainly on highlighted edges. These colors are mainly blue, or purple, but may be multi-colored also. Fast prime lens are said to be more prone to some color fringing. At the same magnification, in the body of the image, especially in the shades, look out for spots of, or streaks of colors (chromatic noise/color noise). These should be corrected, and smoothed out using your editor. Another issue you might note, is halo of no specific color, but looking like a second edge around your image. This is abnormal and not acceptable in the finished product for stock. 

                                                                                             

 Continues


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