by Gwyn Headley
We’ve just released Version 4.5 of the fotoLibra Submission Guidelines, which detail precisely the requirements we need from images uploaded to fotoLibra.
You can download the regular lo-res version from here, but if you would prefer the hi-res version and don’t object to a 2.4 MB file, download the fotoLibra Submission Guidelines HQ version here.
Whichever you choose, you’ll probably be fast asleep before you reach page 15, so as it’s quite useful to bear these thoughts in mind when you next pick up a camera I’ve reproduced that page here.
GWYN HEADLEY’S SHOTS OF REDEMPTION
•• The following tips from fotoLibra’s founder apply to the majority of photographic situations, but were written mainly with outdoor photography in mind. He makes no claim to be a photographer himself, but he does know what sells.
•• Portrait (vertical) images outsell landscape images by about 60:40.
•• Photograph people’s fronts, not their backs.
•• Most books and magazines are portrait in orientation, and buyers and designers often like to see large blank areas (sky, sea, fields) where headlines and copy can be dropped in.
•• Jigsaws demand the opposite; lots of colour, lots of detail, all in sharp focus.
•• If you see a wonderful photo opportunity, take it in both landscape and portrait formats.
•• Interesting skies are important.
•• If you can get back to the location, take it in spring, summer, autumn and winter, snow and sun, dawn and dusk, mist and fog, rain and shine, storm and stress.
•• Use a tripod wherever possible.
•• When using digital, always shoot in RAW and convert to JPEG later.
•• Make sure your horizons are level and your sea doesn’t slope.
•• For those who are trained in perspective control or are experienced with rising front cameras, converging verticals can be corrected in a photo manipulation program such as Adobe Photoshop or Irfanview.
•• If you have uploaded a large collection (over 200 images) covering a particular subject, please tell fotoLibra about it.
•• Make use of reflections in water, even in wet roads and pavements.
•• Look carefully around and beyond the subject of your photograph, especially at the edges of the frame, and check what’s intruding into your shot.
•• Take photographs in the early morning and late evening, not at noon.
•• When the light is flat with few shadows, photograph details which need low contrast, such as inscriptions, carvings, etc.
•• Please do not upload photographs of sunsets. They do not sell. Scenes shot during sunsets are fine, but not when the sunset is the subject of the image.
•• Exceptions prove the rule.
•• Every picture must tell a story.
•• Take your time.