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I now have a gallery were you can buy prints!

Early Morning Dew

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Early morning dog walk

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Misty morning in Brockhill, Redditch

Lickey Hills

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Instagram Feed by @ThomasJupe

Frosty Parklands

At the moment we are experiencing some pretty chilly weather here in the uk and so I wasn’t too surprised when I received an email from one of the stock libraries I contribute content to requesting more weather pictures. Grabbing some nice warm clothes and my gear I set out to top up my portfolio. While I was out shooting the stock images I shot some more images for my fine art portfolio.

 

To visit the frost images I shot for stock follow the link to my images on Alamy

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How to add pictures to a post in the Alamy forum

There seems to be a few people that are struggling to add photos to the forum. I hope they find this helpful!

When you hit the ‘post a reply’ button you get the following screen:

 

If you press the add picture button. Up pops the following HTML:

 

It can be quite confusing what to do with this so I hope I can make it easy! All you need to do (see below) is pop in the image address, for example, open your alamy image and right click on it. Select ‘copy image address’

Nb. I know this is safari (Mac) based but hopefully someone can add a comment for internet explorer.

Once this is copied to your clipboard all you need to do is paste it in-between the code brackets.

 

If I write TEXT above and below the code:

And then hit preview you can see how it will appear in your post:

I hope someone finds this post useful! You can add any image on the web this way by copying the image address or url, even from your own website or portfolio.

 

Never the right time, gear, light or place but never say no!

One of the things I have some across as a travelling photographer is that as soon as people find out your a photographer they would love it if you could just take some photos of this and that.

My reaction to this has always been to cringe, my mind racing to the gear I don’t have, the poor light or a million other excuses. This is all part of why people need a professional photographer to take their images for them and why we always get better results.

 

This precise scenario arose recently with a friend wanting some images of the great food produced by their kitchens to promote their restaurant. Food photography is well known as quite a difficult area of photography to get right.

The gear I had was just my SLR and flash gun.  Not the ideal setup and with the images to be shot in the kitchens themselves, during a busy food service just before the food went out to the diners, the pressure was going to be on!

Overall I was really pleased with the images I produced, especially as I had no time for prep and considering that in a normal commercial arrangement I would have insisted on completely different conditions for the shoot.

 

 

 

 

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A quick Snap!

Sometimes the best joke is the worst one …

Freshwater Crocodile, NT

Alamy QC Workflow from camera to upload

Over the last couple of weeks I have been uploading the images that I have been shooting over the last few months of my travels around Australia to the Alamy Stock Library.

I thought that in this post I could share my workflow from loading the images from my camera to my computer and all the way through to the upload to Alamy. This includes the process to edit the images so that they are ready for Alamy’s stringent quality control.

Most of my photographs are shot with my Canon 5d Mk2 shooting using its RAW format. To process the images I use my MacBook Pro with Aperture 3 and to do the final edit the images Photoshop CS3.

First of all I need to get the images from the camera to my computer, at the same time I add my IPTC Metadata and keywords. To do this I connect the camera via USB cable to my Mac and open Aperture. When Aperture loads I select the import option on the top left of the application. This opens up the import interface and I can select all the photos I wish to import.  When the images are selected I can then use the import settings menu on the right hand side. I have set up my Aperture so that all my Australia Images have their own library and each shoot has its own project. This import will go in as a new project. I enter all the information including the caption and keywords, which will correspond with Alamy’s caption and keywords.  Having pressed the import button it is generally time to hit the button on the kettle and make a brew whilst Aperture imports and processes all its thumbs and the metadata.

The next stage whittles down the images until I have the images ready to export. To do this I use Aperture’s star rating.  My first sweep through the images is the first star sweep. All images that I want to keep get one star. On my first sweep I am only looking at getting rid of only obvious no goers, ie. out of focus, poor exposures or accidental exposures. (of course I never normally have any of these!) The second sweep through the images I do in full screen mode and I only two star the images I definitely want to send to Alamy.

Alamy Workflow from Camera to Upload

Third star sweep leaves only the images I want to send to client, or in this case Alamy.

The third sweep through is for editing.  All the two star images are checked so the exposures are aesthetically correct, cropped and the white balance is spot on.  At this stage it is also a good idea to have another look at your keywords and add any others you wish to add to individual images. I then export the images as Jpegs at original size to a folder on my desktop. Its now time to do an in-depth edit with Photoshop.

Exporting from Aperture, Jpeg original size, Don’t forget to add a custom file name, I always add the master file name also for future reference.

When the files have opened in Photoshop the first thing I do is check the levels. When the levels box opens I use the histogram and pull in the edges so that the sliders are in to where the histogram shows data. If there is a significant change to the image I then use curves to make it aesthetically correct.  The next thing I sort is the image size.

Finder always shows a compressed image size. Make sure you check the true file size in photoshop.

In finder some of my cropped images show up as 16mb on disk which is below Alamy’s 17MB minimum for upscaling but this is a compressed size.  To get the true size go to image size in photoshop and it will tell you the true image size. Alamy’s minimum file size is 24MB but you can upscale a 17MB file up to 24MB. Normally my camera punches in at around 60MB with an image size of 5700×4000.  Alamy thinks that the bigger the better and are happy to accept files as big as your camera can make and if I were sending in the images on DVD I would probably send in the images at full res but as I upload my images I reduce the image size to 4000×2667 which gives me a file size of 30.5MB which uploads a lot quicker!

Change the image size in photoshop to make you image just above Alamy’s 24mb minimum file size.

 

 

All is not complete though and the next stage is crucial – you have to inspect your image now closely for any imperfections.  Zoom all the way in to 100% and scroll across the entire image carefully looking for any imperfections. Some people find it easier to increase the contrast in the image for this step to make the imperfections show up clearer but I rarely do so.  Imperfections normally come from dust on the lens or sensor or alternatively from digital noise, I then check that the colour profile is still set to RGB colour save and close the file. I then get online and upload the file to Alamy.

ALWAYS zoom in to 100% and check you image for any imperfections which may occur anywhere on your image

To see my Australian Stock Images on Alamy visit my Alamy Homepage.

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