Thursday, May 17, 2018

Cheetah Speed: When FAST isn't fast enough!

A rocket-powered cheetah stock photo...when fast isn't fast enough!
The ultimate speed stock photo...a rocket powered cheetah...when fast isn't fast enough!

A Stock Photo Illustrating Speed
The concept of speed is an important need in the world of stock photography and you can never have too many such images. Speed images are needed for advertising and promoting everything from fast networks and Internet connections to delivery and transportation services. For my latest effort at creating a stock image illustrating the idea of speed I decided to start with a cheetah and give it a bit of a boost.

I believe that one of the best ways to create successful stock imagery is to start with an iconic symbol and give it a new twist. When you are talking about speed the iconic symbol is that of a cheetah. Factoid: Cheetahs can hit 70 mph! That is fast! In this case I chose to add wheels and a rocket to make an already fast cat even faster.

Cheetahs, Starting Blocks, and Motorcycles
In the past I have created speed stock photos featuring a cheetah in the starting blocks, a cheetah sprinting through an office, and a cheetah riding a motorcycle. But really, a rocket-powered cheetah has to be faster than any of those…right?

Cheetahs, Rockets and Skateboards
I started with a standing cheetah image, a desert shot (photographed at burning man…everyone should go once), a sky shot, a road photographed near my Marin County home and a skateboard and rope photographed in my studio.  A piece of ducting, painted red, also shot in my studio, became the raw material for the rocket. And finally, a burst of flame, from a lighter held in front of a can of spray paint (I am NOT recommending such reckless behavior), provided the flames for the above-mentioned rocket.

Enhancing The Impression of Speed
It was a relatively simple matter to strip out and combine the various elements in Photoshop. I added forward lean to the cheetah to make the image feel a little more dynamic…and added blur to the foreground to enhance the impression of speed. The image was composed to allow for vertical and square cropping as well as the native horizontal format…and to provide ample copy space for headlines and text. I also added just a touch of a smile to the cheetah…smiles are contagious and I want the viewer to leave with one! One other detail…I have the front wheels of the skateboard just lifting off the ground…that cat is literally taking off!

A Rocket Powered Cheetah
The finished image of a rocket-powered cheetah is a blend between comic book and photorealism. When I finished it and sat back to ponder it the words “When fast isn’t fast enough…” came to mind…a perfect headline for a humorous stock photo illustrating the concept of speed! 

Cheetah Speed...A Rights Managed Image
Choosing whether to put this image into a Rights Managed or Royalty Free pricing model was not easy. Ultimately I feel that with the amount of photography and post work going into the image it should be Rights Managed...and so it is. This image definitely leaves me with a smile…and I am hoping it leaves you with one as well!

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Two Elephants Riding A Motorcycle

Two elephants zoom down the road in a humorous elephant stock photo.
This funny elephant stock photo is sure to capture a viewer's attention...the primary task of any stock image!


Great Elephant Stock Photos
The very first thing a great stock photo has to do is grab a viewer’s attention. This image of two elephants riding a motorcycle certainly does that! The artist vision and attention to detail that Stephanie D. Roeser put into this image results in a realism that almost has one thinking OMG…were there really two elephants on a motorcycle?  Throw in the right headline and you are sure to get your message across to the intended audience.

Anthropomorphic Elephants
In our collection we have over 100 anthropomorphic elephant stock photos ranging from an elephant on a bathroom scale to elephants perfecting the flying trapeze!  If you are looking for a funny elephant picture to hang on your wall, to advertise your product or service, or for any number of other reasons, check out what we have to offer.

Elephants As Symbols
Elephants make great stock images because of many of reasons. First, people love elephants and have an emotional reaction to them. We think of them as noble, emotional, strong, and, of course, with great memories. They are great a symbolizing the large and powerful. They also, of course, have a strong political symbology here in the United States.

Elephant Assignments
If you don’t see the elephant image you want in our collection just shoot us an email (john at johnlund dot com)…we create elephant images on assignment as well. If you can dream it up the odds are that we can turn it into a photographic reality!

Friday, April 13, 2018

Evil eyes in computer circuitry: A stock photo about the dangers of Artificial Intelligence, hackers, and malware.

A pair of evil eyes peer out from inside complex computer circuitry in a stock photo about the dangers of artificial intelligence, hackers and cybercrime.
Evil eyes in computer circuitry...a humorous stock photo about the dark side of artificial intelligence and online threats such as hackers, cybercriminals and malware.

Artificial intelligence run amok, spyware, malware and hackers are all ideas that are creatively shown in this stock photo of a pair of evil looking eyes staring at us from within a complex network of computer circuitry. This one image can address so many dangers and threats that exist in cloud computing, the Internet, and networks on a global basis, and do so with compelling humor. Pretty cool!

Computer Circuitry And Evil Eyes
The computer circuitry is an iconic indicator of all things computer including computers, servers, networks and the Internet.  The eyes in this image have the inverted arch of a severe from or an evil intent…a graphic that has only been intensified in all of us through cartoons that we have all experienced throughout our lives.

Threats And Imagination
The “monster” like aspect of these eyes are enhanced by the fact that some of the computer traces that overlapped the whites of the eyes are red…as if the eyes had the red veins that are a further indicator that all is not well. The eyes are all we see within the circuits leaving our imagination to flesh out the details of the threat that is eyeing us. Depending on the headline and text that accompany this image that threat could be Artificial Intelligence turned against mankind, spyware, malware, or the hackers and cybercriminals themselves.

Square, Vertical And Horizontal Formats
Like most good stock photos the image has been carefully crafted to allow for cropping to square, vertical or horizontal formats…and in this case the image also is easy to crop for banner ads as well. It is a quick read even at thumbnail sizes with a clear message of evil intent.

Stock Photos Easy To Use
Because the image can be used so often in so many ways, from online ads to newsletters to print advertising to social media and blogs, I made it an RF image and placed with Getty Images.  How an image is distributed is perhaps more important than the image itself…if nobody sees it nobody licenses it!

Dangers, Challenges And Rewards Of Networks And AI
As we grow ever more dependent on computers, networks, and artificial intelligence, the need for visuals (read stock photograph) that deal with such developments, will increase exponentially. I don’t think you can go wrong at this point in creating stock that addresses the dangers, problems, challenges, and rewards of both networks and artificial intelligence.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Funny Elephant Floating From A Yellow Balloon Stock Photo

The unexpected and fun...an elephant floats through the sky from a yellow balloon.
A funny elephant hanging from a yellow balloon is a popular and effective stock photo...see below to find out why!

Improbable and Unexpected Elephants
One of the earliest of our improbable and unexpected elephant photos is this stock image of a happy elephant hanging on to a yellow balloon with his trunk as he floats serenely through a summer sky. A number of factors work together to make this a successful stock photo.

The Unexpected
If you want to create a stock image that sells a good place to start is with the unexpected. In a time where we are bombarded with images to an almost unbelievable degree the unexpected can still stop us and have us take that all-important second look. An elephant…floating in the sky? That is unexpected.

Having Fun And A Positive State of Mind
People enjoy seeing other people having fun (or at least most of us do). It has been well established that positive images outsell negative ones. In this case the elephant is wearing a happy smile…and the viewer can’t help but feel a bit happier seeing that smile…though the whole process happens subconsciously. Too, yellow of the balloon is a happy color…and the sky reminds us of a carefree summer day. The entire image works together to put us in a positive state of mind.

Sympathetic Subjects
The choice of the elephant itself as the subject is also important. People naturally gravitate to elephants and elephants are known for a number of positive traits. They are seen as loyal, noble, with excellent memories and strong emotional bonds to their fellow elephants. We are all in awe of their size, power and strength. On the whole, elephants are one of the most positively viewed of all animals.

Contrasts
Another quality that can help produce a top selling stock photo is that of contrast. In this case the contrast is between the lightness of a balloon and the size and weight of the elephant.  That is a contrast that is both fun to view and useful for a lot of advertising and editorial messages.

Copy Space And Cropping Options
This elephant stock shot has been crafted to facilitate easy cropping to square, vertical or horizontal formats and always with ample copy space for the addition of headlines and text. Making the image easy to use for art directors, photo editors and graphic designers is always an important consideration.

Hard To Duplicate Images
Finally, to end up with a truly worthwhile stock image it never hurts to create an image that is both unique and hard to duplicate. To duplicate this image requires some appropriate, and hard to get, elephant photography. We photographed this elephant with soft directional light (using a huge silk to flag the sun) in order to facilitate the considerable Photoshop work needed to achieve the appropriate look and body position. The Photoshop work itself also makes the image more difficult to copy as not many people are willing to put an entire day into creating one image for the speculative venture of stock photography! To create this image, with the quality we achieved, requires and elephant shoot, an appropriate sky, a balloon shoot, and hours and hours of Photoshop work. Not a task for everyone.

Advertisements, Editorials and Greeting Cards
This funny elephant stock photo has been used for greeting cards, advertisements, and editorials and has certainly been well worth the effort in producing it. Perhaps even more importantly, it has brought a smile to thousands of people…and who can put a price on that!

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Pros And Cons Of Cloud Computing Stock Photo

A single cloud is isolated, half in white and half in black, in Yin Yang effect on a black and white background in a stock photo about the pros and cons of cloud computing.
The Pros And Cons of cloud computing...a versatile and effective stock photo about online computing.

Cloud Computing…A Hot Topic
Cloud computing has become a hot topic in the business world, and any company or consultant who wants to gain exposure for their cloud computing products and/or services will need visually compelling content whether that content is for a magazine ad, social media post, or website.  A review of the pros and cons for cloud computing is a great way to introduce the benefits of online computing and the particular positives (and negatives) of individual products and services that relate to online computing, networks, and Internet enterprises.

Pros And Cons
It was with the above in mind that I decided to create a simple a graphic image that would be an obvious “cloud computing” image and, in this case, also an obvious “pro” and “con” image.  The undertaking was actually pretty simple, though a bit painstaking. The “painstaking” part was creating a single cloud that would represent cloud computing. I used several shots of clouds stripping out cloud parts and assembling them in Photoshop. After that it was easy enough to past the cloud onto a black background. I then selected half of the image and inversed it. Presto…a cloud computing “positives” and “negatives” stock photo.

Yin, Yang And Balance
As an added plus the image also brings to mind the idea of Yin and Yang and balance. I also believe that people who view the image will have that Ying/Yang idea pop into their minds and thereby have a subliminal and positive force working on them.

Unlimited Cropping And Copy Space
The image, by being on a simple white/black background offers unlimited cropping options and ample copy space. Copy and headlines can be reversed out of the black, or printed black on the white areas.  I think it would be fun to see a headline that stretches across the top, reversed out of the black AND printed in black over the white.

Because I think the image can be used often and by many, I uploaded it to the stock agency (Getty Images in this case), as a Royalty Free (for those of you not familiar with the term…that does NOT mean free) image.  

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Virtual Reality Business Stock Photo


 Virtual Reality In Business
Virtual reality in business is the concept in this stock photo of a woman rising up a vortex of light trails while wearing VR headgear.
I recently read how NFL teams are using VR (virtual reality) to train their players. It triggered a thought in me…there are so many applications for VR in the business world (and I count the NFL as a business) that now is the time to create some Virtual Reality stock photos aimed at a business audience.

VR Goggles and Stock Photos
I picked up a pair of VR goggles at a local thrift store for $3.95. The next time I hired some models I included my VR ideas in the shoot. I wanted to create an image that could symbolize the ability of Virtual Reality to offer training, business opportunities and, in essence, a new freedom.

Emphasizing The Business Aspects of VR
I photographed the model wearing the headgear and jumping with her arms upraised to give the impression of flight. It was my belief that by having the model flying it would add drama and emphasize the revolutionary aspects of virtual reality. For a background I chose an abstract composite of various cities (including Hong Kong, Buenos Aires, New York and San Francisco). By having a backdrop of a metropolitan environment I felt the business aspect of the image would be emphasized.

Colorful Light Trails and the Future
By adding a colorful light trail image I could add some eye appeal and further the futuristic aspect of the image. I used blue light trails, captured with a long exposure of city lights at night, because blue is the color of business.  I manipulated the light trail image to take on an artistic spiral, a conduit to new opportunities, and within which the model is flying.

Virtual Reality, Success and Freedom

The image is composed to facilitate easy cropping to any format, and the background is dark enough to reverse out headlines and type. The image speaks of Virtual Reality, possibilities, holograms, success, freedom and the future…and probably a few more too…never underestimate how a fellow creative might use your images!

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Angry Jury And A Guilty Verdict Stock Photo


Stock photo of an angry jury showing their guilty verdict by gestures and facial expressions.
An angry jury is all about concepts around verdicts, guilt, innocence and judgement.


A Jury, in the jury box, is demonstrating their intent for a guilty verdict by making over the top gestures and facial expressions such as thumbs down and imitating nooses with their ties. Their expressions are angry and the outcome is obvious.

Humor, Familiarity, Products, And Services
The strengths of this image lie in it’s humor, its familiarity, and its obvious concepts. The image is about judgment whether that judgment is about products, services, or even political issues. In this case the judgment is obviously a negative one…that an advertiser can use to malign the competition or show how their product can alleviate or eliminate unfavorable opinions.

Verdict, Guilty And Innocent
Juries are something we are all familiar with from being called for jury duty to the numerous television shows that deal with the legal world. There are some great and emotional words that go along with the image such as “guilty”, “verdict”, and “innocent”.

Flexible Cropping And Copy Space
The image can work as a vertical crop, though by cropping out some of the jury members, and offers ample copy space for headlines and body copy.  It can actually apply to a huge number of situations depending on the creativity of those using the image.

Creating A Jury Box
As I didn’t have access to an actual jury box, I created the box by adding highlight and shadow to wood paneling I photographed in a high-end corporate office. I photographed each model separately…and in a variety of positions. I created several versions, and ultimately will no doubt add further variations over time. 

Angry, Bored, Shocked and Virtual Reality Juries

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Right now I have the angry jury, the bored/sleeping jury, the shocked jury, and the jury using VR (virtual reality) headgear. In fact, after completing this series of jury shots I immediately followed up with an animal jury of cats and dogs. Maybe down the road I will do a robot jury…kids would be good as well. Lots of opportunity here...maybe I should get back to work!

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