Archive for April, 2009

Shots of Redemption

April 3rd, 2009

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.

•• 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.

Gwyn Headley

by Gwyn Headley

Managing Director

We’ve just added a new tab to the fotoLibra members’ Control Centre which helps photographers organise and assess their responses to Jacqui Norman’s Picture Calls. This is what it does:

• supplies the complete original Picture Call brief
• shows a sample line of images submitted to the Picture Call
• shows which images the member has submitted to the Picture Call
• allows members to add images directly to the Picture Call from their Portfolios
• allows members to remove images or swap them from one Picture Call to another
• shows all the images offered for each Picture Call so members can see what’s needed and what’s not

We think it’s a major improvement on the old system, and offers far more transparency which we were unable to provide until we created this interface. And from what we’ve heard so far, all our members agree with us. After the screen shots come a few sample comments. I know I’ve been accused (by Jacqui) of running a Dear Leader-style ‘democracy’, but I can honestly say the reactions have been 100% favourable.

Hold on to your seats, because there’s more to come!

Jacqui and all at fotoLibra — impressed. Superbly done! A great visual concept — I love it. —Keith Erskine

The new Picture Call tab — I think it is superb. —Philippa Wood

Yep, love the Picture Call tab. Very clever to split out all my entries above all the rest and incorporating the brief makes it entirely user friendly. Well done. —Phil Dickson

I liked the additions to the site — well done. —Peter Vallance

The new Picture Call tab looks and feels excellent. —Nick Jenkins

The new Picture Call tab is great. This was a great addition to the fotoLibra web site. Thanks for a great site that helps us market our work. —Jim Walker