Wednesday, April 13, 2011

All about stock photography


Off late a lot of my friends have been asking me to tell them how do I make money online and one of the favorite ways of mine which I tell them is about stock photography. I am writing this article for my friends and for the benefit of creative people who might be interested.

So What is this "Stock photography" ?

It refers to a collection of photos that are available online  for use to designers and individuals for free or a nominal fee to be used in their design projects and presentations. It can be the picture of a ball, a chair or even the sky that people can download and use. Its like I am writing an articles on chocolates, so instead of googling and posting an image of a chocolate, I download a stock photo of a chocolate and use it . Stock photos are licensed for such kind of use. Some sites offer them free while others offer them for a small fee which goes as royalties to the photographer .

Here are a few links to stock photo sites:

Who can be a stock photographer ?

Absolutely anyone who is interested in photography and knows how to operate a digicamera and can shoot decently good photos :)  I am a stockphotographer myself ( i think) and I don't even have a camera myself and I borrow the "point and shoot" camera  from my friends.

you must ofcourse know a little about noise and exposure which determine the quality of your photos. when you submit your photos to those sites you might get rejections but you'll learn from  it so no worries.

A decent camera and a photoeditor tool like photoshop or similar software to fine tune your photos if needed.

What type of photos can I include in my stock?

It depends on the website where you upload. The subject of your photography can be anything, from safety pins to mountains, pencil sketches to illustrations for example allows only photos while allows uploading vector images, illustrations, flash animations, videos, 3D animations etc. Its all upto your creative talents.

How much will I earn per photo?

It depends on the size of the photo the user downloads. You will always upload the largest and highest quality photo that you have. The website will automatically generate different sizes for your photograph. If a user downloads a very small version of your image you will probably earn 0.5 $ and if download the Original size you will earn  10$ for every download. The rates vary form site to site. When you reach a minimum earnings total like 50$ or 100$, you will be allowed to transfer it to your bank/paypal account.

Check out the screenshot below of my account in "dreamstime", with my total earnings on the top right corner and the detailed earning for each image shown below.

Keywording your photos?

Keywording your photos or also known as labelling your photos with IPTC tags. This is a very important part in managing your stock photos. Basically its just embedding certain keywords that describe your photos . 

The above photo for example can have the following keywords:

interior design, white, clean, 3D, rich, living room, concept, bunglow, space,black and white etc.

The more number of keywords, the better, because these would be the words that a user will search for to find your photo.

Every time you upload an image you will be asked to fill in the keywords manually. This can get a little tedious when you plan to upload your photo on multiple  sites. Instead you can Keyword the image at first and then upload.  Just right click and check for properties of any image/photo and you;ll find the option to add keywords. Else you can also use Photoshop software to add keywords to image properties. Now when you upload your photo to the stock website, the site automatically detects the keywords/descriptions attached to the image and shows you. That'll save a lot of your time.

Cautions ;

Rejections: If your images are rejected , they will mostly be done so with an explanation for the rejection. Most of the times you can just correct the image and upload a better one and it gets approved. In any case be prepared for rejections and learn from every fedback to improvise with every photo you take.

Logos:  Be careful to avoid taking photos with any brand names/logos . You are not supposed to do that. Else try to remove such signs from your photo and then upload.

Plagiarism: Yoou cannot just doanload some photo from the internet and do minor modifications and upload it as your own. That'd be illegal and you'll be in trouble.

Its better if you go through the terms and conditions of one of thes sites or go through their guidelines ones.

Managing your multiple stock photo accounts?

The more number of sites you post your photos to, the more wil be the money you'll earn. What I  do to manage my stock photos is , I keep a track of them in an Excel sheet, and I track my image uploads like this:

Photo1 ---> Website 1---> Website 2---> Website 3 ---> etc

This way I know which all sites I have uploaded my works to.

So to get you started you can register yourself at dreamstime by clicking on the photo below :
Royalty Free Images
P.S. Don't forget to check out my SXC portfolio below. This is where I started to learn :

I'd love your comments and feedbacks. Let me know if you have any questions.

Cheers !

Monday, September 21, 2009

Shortcuts in windows

Almost everybody knows the use of the key 'F5' for refresh. Then you must go ahead and know the rest of the family of Windows Shortcut keys. Read on...

Windows system key combinations

  • F1: Help
  • CTRL+ESC: Open Start menu
  • ALT+TAB: Switch between open programs
  • ALT+F4: Quit program
  • SHIFT+DELETE: Delete item permanently
  • Windows Logo+L: Lock the computer (without using CTRL+ALT+DELETE)

Windows program key combinations

  • CTRL+C: Copy
  • CTRL+X: Cut
  • CTRL+V: Paste
  • CTRL+Z: Undo
  • CTRL+B: Bold
  • CTRL+U: Underline
  • CTRL+I: Italic

Mouse click/keyboard modifier combinations for shell objects

  • SHIFT+right click: Displays a shortcut menu containing alternative commands
  • SHIFT+double click: Runs the alternate default command (the second item on the menu)
  • ALT+double click: Displays properties
  • SHIFT+DELETE: Deletes an item immediately without placing it in the Recycle Bin

General keyboard-only commands

  • F1: Starts Windows Help
  • F10: Activates menu bar options
  • SHIFT+F10 Opens a shortcut menu for the selected item (this is the same as right-clicking an object
  • CTRL+ESC: Opens the Start menu (use the ARROW keys to select an item)
  • CTRL+ESC or ESC: Selects the Start button (press TAB to select the taskbar, or press SHIFT+F10 for a context menu)
  • CTRL+SHIFT+ESC: Opens Windows Task Manager
  • ALT+DOWN ARROW: Opens a drop-down list box
  • ALT+TAB: Switch to another running program (hold down the ALT key and then press the TAB key to view the task-switching window)
  • SHIFT: Press and hold down the SHIFT key while you insert a CD-ROM to bypass the automatic-run feature
  • ALT+SPACE: Displays the main window's System menu (from the System menu, you can restore, move, resize, minimize, maximize, or close the window)
  • ALT+- (ALT+hyphen): Displays the Multiple Document Interface (MDI) child window'sSystem menu (from the MDI child window's System menu, you can restore, move, resize, minimize, maximize, or close the child window)
  • CTRL+TAB: Switch to the next child window of a Multiple Document Interface (MDI) program
  • ALT+underlined letter in menu: Opens the menu
  • ALT+F4: Closes the current window
  • CTRL+F4: Closes the current Multiple Document Interface (MDI) window
  • ALT+F6: Switch between multiple windows in the same program (for example, when the Notepad Find dialog box is displayed, ALT+F6 switches between the Find dialog box and the main Notepad window)

Shell objects and general folder/Windows Explorer shortcuts

For a selected object:
  • F2: Rename object
  • F3: Find all files
  • CTRL+X: Cut
  • CTRL+C: Copy
  • CTRL+V: Paste
  • SHIFT+DELETE: Delete selection immediately, without moving the item to the Recycle Bin
  • ALT+ENTER: Open the properties for the selected object

To copy a file

Press and hold down the CTRL key while you drag the file to another folder.

To create a shortcut

Press and hold down CTRL+SHIFT while you drag a file to the desktop or a folder.

General folder/shortcut control

  • F4: Selects the Go To A Different Folder box and moves down the entries in the box (if the toolbar is active in Windows Explorer)
  • F5: Refreshes the current window.
  • F6: Moves among panes in Windows Explorer
  • CTRL+G: Opens the Go To Folder tool (in Windows 95 Windows Explorer only)
  • CTRL+Z: Undo the last command
  • CTRL+A: Select all the items in the current window
  • BACKSPACE: Switch to the parent folder
  • SHIFT+click+Close button: For folders, close the current folder plus all parent folders

Windows Explorer tree control

  • Numeric Keypad *: Expands everything under the current selection
  • Numeric Keypad +: Expands the current selection
  • Numeric Keypad -: Collapses the current selection.
  • RIGHT ARROW: Expands the current selection if it is not expanded, otherwise goes to the first child
  • LEFT ARROW: Collapses the current selection if it is expanded, otherwise goes to the parent

Properties control

  • CTRL+TAB/CTRL+SHIFT+TAB: Move through the property tabs

Accessibility shortcuts

  • Press SHIFT five times: Toggles StickyKeys on and off
  • Press down and hold the right SHIFT key for eight seconds: Toggles FilterKeys on and off
  • Press down and hold the NUM LOCK key for five seconds: Toggles ToggleKeys on and off
  • Left ALT+left SHIFT+NUM LOCK: Toggles MouseKeys on and off
  • Left ALT+left SHIFT+PRINT SCREEN: Toggles high contrast on and off

Microsoft Natural Keyboard keys

  • Windows Logo: Start menu
  • Windows Logo+R: Run dialog box
  • Windows Logo+M: Minimize all
  • SHIFT+Windows Logo+M: Undo minimize all
  • Windows Logo+F1: Help
  • Windows Logo+E: Windows Explorer
  • Windows Logo+F: Find files or folders
  • Windows Logo+D: Minimizes all open windows and displays the desktop
  • CTRL+Windows Logo+F: Find computer
  • CTRL+Windows Logo+TAB: Moves focus from Start, to the Quick Launch toolbar, to the system tray (use RIGHT ARROW or LEFT ARROW to move focus to items on the Quick Launch toolbar and the system tray)
  • Windows Logo+TAB: Cycle through taskbar buttons
  • Windows Logo+Break: System Properties dialog box
  • Application key: Displays a shortcut menu for the selected item

Microsoft Natural Keyboard with IntelliType software installed

  • Windows Logo+L: Log off Windows
  • Windows Logo+P: Starts Print Manager
  • Windows Logo+C: Opens Control Panel
  • Windows Logo+V: Starts Clipboard
  • Windows Logo+K: Opens Keyboard Properties dialog box
  • Windows Logo+I: Opens Mouse Properties dialog box
  • Windows Logo+A: Starts Accessibility Options (if installed)
  • Windows Logo+SPACEBAR: Displays the list of Microsoft IntelliType shortcut keys
  • Windows Logo+S: Toggles CAPS LOCK on and off

Dialog box keyboard commands

  • TAB: Move to the next control in the dialog box
  • SHIFT+TAB: Move to the previous control in the dialog box
  • SPACEBAR: If the current control is a button, this clicks the button. If the current control is a check box, this toggles the check box. If the current control is an option, this selects the option.
  • ENTER: Equivalent to clicking the selected button (the button with the outline)
  • ESC: Equivalent to clicking the Cancel button
  • ALT+underlined letter in dialog box item: Move to the corresponding item
Sure it was worth knowing. Try sticking to one part get used to it and then go for the next bunch of shortcuts. remember u need to practice these shortcuts to get used to it. There is no Shortcut to that ;)

Cheers !