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!

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Social Media Success In The Palm Of Your Hand

 Social Media Success In The Palm Of Your Hand Stock Photo
Social media success...in the palm of your hand...and a whole lot more!

Social media success is the key concept behind this stock photo featuring a complex orb of light trails within which are a series of social media portraits and all of which are hovering over the palm of an outstretched hand. Indeed, this is social networking in the palm of your hand…literally!

Light Trails, Portraits And Conceptual Stock Photos
Social Media has become such a vital and important part of our lives that it has become a significant subject for illustrating via stock photography.  The needs are many and far-reaching in nature…from individuals using cell phones to highly conceptual stock photos such as this combination of light trails, a hand, and a series of portraits.

Mastery of Social Networking
In this image I wanted to convey a mastery of social media, more specifically, social networking. The light trails, captured by shooting city lights at night with a long exposure and camera movement, are a metaphor for networks, data transmission and connections. Putting a series of portraits of individuals within the complex net of light trails indicates that the network is a social network. And, as mentioned above, by having that composite “float” over a hand we are implying mastery and control of the networking experience…and adding the human element bring some worth to an otherwise high tech looking image.  I used a white background to make the image upbeat, a quick read, and open to cropping (and adding background) to a variety of ways with ample copy space.

Connections, Technology, and Big Data
This image has a chance to do well in terms of licensing, in part, because it can illustrate so many concepts. It can be about connections, community, big data, technology and the future. But it can also be an image illustrating a distributed workforce, digital assistants and global teamwork. The key to what direction the image points one to is in whatever headline and body copy is added by the art directors and graphic designers that use the image.

Multiple, Disparate Images

Will the image sell well? One can only hope…but I always hedge my bets by using the models for a given shoot for multiple, and usually disparate, images. Often I find myself using imagery of models shot up to twenty years ago! The models in this image were actually photographed over a period of seven years. The light trails were shot last year and the hand specifically for this image. Okay…off to create another stock shot!

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Dog CATCHES car!


 Dogs catches car without exit strategy (stock photo)
A bulldog, jaws clamped firmly on a speeding car's bumper, realizes he has not exit strategy as he hurtles down the street.

Who hasn’t wondered what goes through a dog’s mind when he chases a car? What does he plan on doing if he catches it? There is a metaphor here…have an exit strategy! The bulldog in this image has his jaws firmly clamped on a car bumper as his body trails out behind the fast moving vehicle.

Funny Dog Stock Photos
I created this funny dog photo for use as a stock photo and possible greeting card use. Dogs, heck, pets in general, can be great subjects for stock photography because so many people naturally gravitate towards them. If you can create concept imagery from animals you have a paw up on the road to success!

Speed, Determination And Success
As I mentioned above, a great concept for this stock shot is having an exit strategy, but other concepts include speed, determination and even success. The image draws on our common experiences (seeing dogs chase cars) to create a sense of familiarity with the image…even though I am pretty sure none of us has ever actually seen a photo of a dog that has actually caught a car. Another thing this image has going for it is plenty of copy space for headlines and text. The image was also composed to allow for vertical or horizontal cropping from the square format.

“Aha” Moments And Endorphins
I have a theory that when people see an image and have that “aha” moment of understanding the concept, they get a shot of endorphins…and are much more likely to license the image (if they need it) or share it (if they don’t). All theory of course, but either way, fun to believe…and this is an image all about fun!

Animal Concept Stock
I photographed the young bulldog in my studio…and combined two images of him to get the desired body position. The road scene was shot near my studio in Marin County, California. The car was photographed separately in a parking lot (Jaguar XKS). The car was originally silver, but I felt a little color would help the image. Red seemed too dominant so I settled on blue. Voila…a unique and funny animal concept stock photo that hopefully will have plenty of “aha” moments.













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