Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A Cannibal Cow And A Rights Managed Image

In this funny cow picture a Holstein dairy cow stands behind a barbecue with fork in hand while in the background two of his bovine friends graze in the pasture. 
 This is not an easy image to use, probably won't generate frequent sales, and as such is better suited to a Rights Managed licensing model.
Cannibal Cows
A cannibal cow? This humorous Holstein could be saying “It’s an acquired taste…”, or “Chicken or Fish?”. Whatever the caption, I just love the image (of course, it could be that I am just too “close” to the image to get an accurate take on it). It did take me two days of Photoshop to complete, which is a lot longer than I am used to. Cows are hard!

A Rights Managed Image
This is one of those images that has been on my mind to do for some time…like about two years. It isn’t one that I have an easy time figuring out who could use it and for what. I do feel confident that creative art directors and designers will find a way to use it. But again, it probably isn’t going to be the kind of image that generates a lot of sales, and with a lot of production involved, I will be submitting this as a Rights Managed image.

Shooting The Components
As for shooting the components, I originally photographed the Holstein dairy cow for a humorous greeting card image.  I no longer remember when or why I shot the grass. The sky I shot in New Mexico for my archives, the grill fork I manufactured from a carving fork I had in my prop collection and the barbecue normally sits in my side yard at home but got a good cleaning for this shoot.

Cropping Formats, Copy Space And Extra Cows
In an attempt to make the image as easy to use as possible for potential users I composed it to work with any cropping format and included plenty of copy space. I felt like placing the two cows in the background added a sense of depth and a little complexity. The risk is that someone might want to use the image without them. I tried to place the cows where they could be cropped out for a vertical use of the image, say for a magazine cover.  I also had mixed emotions about the cloudy sky. The clouds make it more difficult to read any type that might be placed over the image, but every sky I tried without clouds just lacked pizzazz.

Digital Composites, Change, And Breathing
By the way, as much as I like this image, it may yet change. One of the good things, and the bad things, about digital composites is that you can keep changing them forever. As a matter of fact, I have found that anybody I ask about my images can almost always find something to change…that old “yes but…” thing. So if I get enough negative feedback I may modify it again. With that in mind I wont rush to get the image in to an agency…I’ll give it a little time to “breathe”, which is actually a good policy in general.


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