Saturday, April 23, 2016

Anatomy of a Concept Stock Photo: Ideas

Light bulbs have been used to create a human brain that represents ideas, creativity and possibly even artificial intelligence.
This light bulb brain draws on the iconic symbol of ideas and creativity but gives it added power with the new twist of making it into a brain.

Iconic Symbols In A New Light
The tried and true symbols that have been embedded in our collective subconscious, despite their overuse and cliché stature, remain powerful tools in conceptual photography. The trick is to use those symbols in new and different ways. When you succeed at doing that you, in a way, get double or even triple your bang for the buck. You get that subconscious hit, you get the quick read from a familiar image, and then you get the appreciation and boost from using the symbol in a new incarnation.

Light Bulbs Creativity And Ideas
The light bulb brain image above is a great example of just such a reworked, iconic symbol. The light bulb is still the premier visual symbol of ideas and creativity. Even when we know it has been used to death, we still know what it means.  Create a new light bulb image that we haven’t seen before and it gains a new, even stronger power to attract our attention.

Light Bulbs Brains And Intelligence
The human brain is another iconic image representing intelligence, creativity and ideas. In the case of our light bulb brain the brain form reinforces the concepts of ideas and creativity, adds in intelligence and possibly other themes such as artificial intelligence. On the humorous side of things I can see this image as a bright idea! Sorry.

Old Concepts And Powerful Ideas
By using an old, hackneyed concept, the lowly light bulb, we are able to create a new powerful symbol that can represent a number of concepts. It is a quick read at small thumbnail sizes but still provides impact at larger sizes. It is a memorable image, versatile in how it can be used and flexible in terms of cropping.

Blend Images
I delivered the photo to Blend Images. With Blend it will be available at all the major distributors and when licensed directly through Blend I will get 50% of the revenue. I expect the image to do well.  And, because there is nothing to age the image I expect it to bring in revenue for a very long time.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Creativity And New Approaches In Stock Photography

Big data,streaming data, and communications technology are all illustrated with this colorful stock photo of streaking lights and binary numbers.
Big data, communications technology, and streaming data are all illustrated by this photo of streaking lights and binary numbers.

Consistent Styles, Creativity And Fun
One of the best things about stock photography, for me, is the opportunity and rewards of trying new things. While in the assignment world there is an ongoing need to build and maintain a consistent style, but with stock there are no such barriers to creativity and, well, fun!

More Demand, Less Competition
Luckily for me I enjoy the process of coming up with commercial images of all kinds, and part of my drive to experiment is the recognition that only by venturing out into new territory can I discover images that due to their unusual nature face a healthy amount of demand and less competition than more traditional imagery.

Big Data, Information Management And Needed Concepts
A few days a go I sat down and decide to create an image about needed concepts including big data, information management, and communications technology. I decided that I would use binary numbers to start with. I created a layer of ones and zeros and began to manipulate the layer using transform and warp tools. I used a hue and saturation layer to turn the binary numbers to blue because blue is highly associated with business.

Motion, Speed And Binary Numbers
I like the flow of the binary numbers. They were starting to give me a sense of motion and speed and definitely indicated streaming data. But I wanted a more dynamic feel as well. In my library of images I have a lot of light streaks created with long exposures and camera movement. I found one such capture with mutli-colored streaks that I could align with the initial binary numbers and that would add that extra dimension of drama. Another long-exposure light capture took on an intricate net-like appearance that I added in as a background.

Thumbnail Sizes and Cropping Options
One of the challenges of this image was creating it in a way that facilitated horizontal, square, and vertical crops. Mission accomplished! It can also be used to illustrate a lot of different concepts. Besides the above-mentioned ideas it can show bandwidth, wireless communications, and even cloud computing. This big data image is also a quick read at small thumbnail sizes on the Internet…an important aspect when one realizes that virtually all stock images are now purchased over the Internet and first seen as these small thumbnail sizes.

New Styles, New Approaches And Payoffs
Now I don’t know if this will be a successful stock image. It could take me a couple of years to find out. But I did enjoy the process of putting it together, and I do believe the image will produce revenue. But hey, I’ve wrong before…. Nonetheless, I know from experience that experimenting, coming up with new styles and approaches, over the long haul, definitely pays off.

Blend Images, Royalty Free And Revenue
I have submitted the stock photo to Blend Images as a Royalty Free image. My thinking is that because the image can be used for so many different concepts with such a wide audience that it’s revenue possibilities are greater as an RF image. A final point about the revenue potential of this communications image…by submitting it to Blend Images I get the advantage of very wide distribution and, in the case of a Blend direct sale, the added bonus of a 50% royalty split.