Is it Stock? Moab, Clownfish and Aquaculture

I haven’t submitted any images in over a month.  That’s bad news in microstock.  The faster you submit, the faster your portfolio grows and the faster you reach your payouts.  Regular submissions are especially important with agencies like Shutterstock, which give higher ranking to new submissions.  So, I made a point this weekend of preparing 10 new images for submission to the usual agencies.  I’m posting them here and will update this post as they are approved or rejected by the various agencies.

First are a few landscapes from Moab Utah.   I was up there to present at the annual meeting of the Desert Fishes Council.   I was able to play hooky for a morning and go for a hike.  Photographing was challenging, as it was extremely windy, cold, and overcast.  I didn’t have the luxury of waiting for the golden moments of lighting so I had to make the best of the available conditions.  Given the limitations, I’m satisfied with the results.  We will see if the reviewers are.  Landscapes can be challenging to get approved due to the glut of good images from many of these locations.

Next is a shot of water flowing out of a filter in an aquaculture research greenhouse. I wasn’t planning on shooting any stock that day – this was a test shot while I tried to figure out how to work with the lighting in the greenhouse for a series I want to do on aquaculture techniques.  This is definitely a “what the heck, let’s throw it in and see what happens” shot.  I’m curious to see the rejection comments especially.  I think the composition is cluttered, the main subject is unclear, and I would definitely have scrubbed the tank and removed the 2 black hoses from view in a proper setup.  We shall see.

The final 2 are underwater shots of a rose bulb anemone Entacmaea quadricolor.  In the close up of the tentacles, I like the light, but I have a feeling it will mainly be rejected.  There are only 2 tips of the tentacles that are in sharp focus.  For me, that gives a nice point of emphasis and a somewhat alien feel to the shot, but reviewers seem to like more depth of field in their shots.  The image of the maroon clownfish, Premnas biaculeatus peering over his eggs is another tossup.  I like the way the tentacles frame his face, emphasizing the eye, but I’m not sure that an “artistic” rendering is the right way to go for microstock.  Reviewers seem to like more literal images.  I have another similar image I will submit later that is more of a portrait of the full clownfish head poking out of the anemone.

Are these stock?  It will be interesting to find out.  I don’t feel any of these are particularly strong candidates to become stock superstars.  Only 2, the footsteps in sand and the aquaculture shot really express a concept.  The others are literal representations of what was before me.  But pretty pictures do sometimes sell surprisingly well.

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