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Make Money Selling Stock Photos

easy tips on selling micro stock photography

Stock Photography Community

Tip #10: Talking Equipment - Photoshop It!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

You can certainly photograph good microstock images without the use of digital manipulation. But why? Virtually every photo you see in a magazine or professional website has been enhanced in some way. And most graphic artists would not allow an image to be used in a publication without a little Photoshop work over. If you create a better image that has already been retouched with the color punched up, it will be more appealing to a buyer. (At least that's how my theory goes.)

If you have never used Adobe Photoshop before, it can appear intimidating. Using the software takes practice and experimenting, plus a good eye. You can start out with Photoshop Elements, a simpler version with basic tools, priced at around $100. For most photographers, this is enough to accomplish what they need to do.

Or you can spring for the latest version of Photoshop Suite. It's a big bundle of software with lots of fire power, bells and whistles. I learned all about Photoshop about ten years ago by reading The Photoshop Bible by Deke McClelland. It took several months to get through this giant tome, but well worth the valuable advice and self-education it provided. Deke writes a new book for each upgrade that Adobe releases.

I confess - I haven't upgraded my Photoshop in 7 or 8 years. Yes, I'm several versions behind, but the techniques I use are fairly standard and I haven't had a reason to constantly change my software every two years to keep up with Adobe.

Are you asking "What can I do with Photoshop to make a better photo?" Just take a look at the before and after photos in this posting. The photo on the left was OK, but the photo on the right has pazzas! Unwanted elements are removed, the background is dropped out allowing the still life to "float", contrast is increased, a drop shadow is added for more depth, and the highlights increased. Now it really pops!
Every image is different and can be taken in a multitude of directions using your creativity and Photoshop.

Take time and really look closely at other photos posted on your stock agency. Soon you'll get the idea of what images have been digitally enhanced. And you'll see images that could be improved with just a few creative Photoshop slight-of-hand tweaks.

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