Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Stock Pictures, Video, and Vectors

I only recently figured out how popular stock sites have become. There are numerous sites out there that store high quality photographs, video clips, and vector images that they sell to commercial consumers. These could be anyone from schools making flyer's to large corporations, advertising companies, and film makers that need royalty free images and footage to use for their projects. I came across the whole concept while working on my latest project, Obrigado Brasil. I was thinking about using a clip of time lapsed clouds floating through the sky. My initial plan was to set up my camera by the window for a whole day then speed the clip up on my computer later. Time consuming, yes, but I find these things fun. Unfortunately with winter setting in here the weather situation is not ideal for this endeavor. So I started looking online for clips that I could download and use for transitions in my film. I could not believe that most of the stock photo websites out there are were charging between $100 and $300 for a 3 minute clip! And some of the clips were pretty amateur too.

I have a gallery section on my website where I have put up downloads for the Photoshop brushes that I have created and I have been planning to put up some stock images and video clips as well, but seeing how much they are charging I decided to see if I could get in on the action as well. There are loads of stock photo sites are there but after some perusing I decided to register with Shutterstock. They had a pretty inviting interface and I had recently seen a feature about them on BBC. Something about how they are driving ‘real’ photographers and their high prices out of business but making ‘amateur’ photographs so easily available. Anyways, I have just signed up have uploaded a few video clips already, just stuff like panoramic beach shots and scenic views. I know that is material I was looking for so why not put it out there. I have not got too many photographs that are fantastic but I will try and put a few up to see how they work as well. They are supposed to pay something like $0.25 per download. I am going to have the clips available in my gallery for FREE anyways so that’s not really the issue for me. However I know that some of the folks that visit this blog have real talent and might find this worth looking into. It will be fun coming up with some cool time lapse videos to post myself. I am thinking some crowded subway shots, cars going down the main street in front of my house, and maybe even a good sunset if I am fortunate enough to catch one.

Oh yeah, and for the folks in Asia, it might take a while for your registration to come through, something to do with payment in a risky zone or something. Plus they are going to ask you to upload a copy of your passport or driver’s license so have that scanned and ready. You should check out their post popular downloads to see if your photographs or vectors are good enough. From what I saw the bar is not too high. And its free to sign up so images that are just sitting on your HDD could be earning you bucks. Something else for you to check out today, a short feature on the evolution of the camera and photography. It is amazing to wonder what direction design would have taken had they stuck to the earlier models of the camera.

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