Death to Stock Photography

2017 is a new era in the stock photography world.

There is a new standard for the quality and realness. Gone are the days of cheesy photos, poor compositions, terrible lighting, and narratives that were only fit for parody. The younger upstarts in the industry like Stocksy United are killing the old norms and replacing it with modern editorial work that can go straight into any magazine, fashion blog, website, or ad. Take a look at these stock photos and you’ll quickly see that these aren’t your dad’s stock photos.

stocksy united photo

The processing is on point, with tones straight out of modern cinema. The models are real, the stories present in the images make you want to be there, and the curation is perfection. Collections like this can inspire any photographer to give stock a try. There is no longer a reason to hide your stock career. These are images you can be proud to make, proud to sell, and proud to be seen in the world.

The top categories of stock are still relatively unchanged, with business, technology, medical, and food being most popular. The major change of the past few years is with buyers, they’re now looking for more diversity in the images. This is a great step forward and stock agencies like Stocksy have made great progress in offering much needed diversity in this industry.

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Nature Photography

Nature’s Magic

nature photo

Nature photography refers to a wide variety of photography taken in the open and dedicated to displaying natural elements such as landscapeswildlifeplants, even people who live in such areas and close-ups of natural scenes and textures. Nature photography tends to put a stronger importance on the visual value of the photo than other photography genres, such as that of photojournalism and documentary photography.

Nature photography also includes the fields of, and is sometimes considered an overarching category including wildlife photography, landscape photography and garden photography.

Nature photographs are used in scientific, travel and cultural magazines such as National Geographic Magazine, Audubon Magazine and National wildlife magazine to name a few. Other more exact magazines such as Outdoor Photographer and Nature’s Best Photography also often find use of nature photographers. Well known nature photographers include Frans LantingGalen RowellEliot Porter and Art Wolfe.

But keep in mind nature photography is not something that has no other significance except to look pretty. If nature photography is such that it is merely ornamental and does little except illustrate pretty pictures to put on a wall, then that is a huge disservice to both the public and nature. That reduces nature photography to simply utilization and spending. It is important that in the underlying messages in the pictures we present nature as worth more than that

This is by no means to imply that nature photography is not about pretty scenes and photos. Aesthetics is after all a huge part of any art and on the surface if the photos are not pretty and well done they cannot grab attention. But the thing that actually hampers this art is about reducing nature photography to only that, so that photos never engage viewers with the world and help them observe new perspectives on it. They don’t try and experience the bubble of life held within the photo in a way so as to think of the picture as anything more than just the print at hand. Such photos too often allow people to look at nature from a suitable psychological distance and do not grasp people and bring them nearer to nature. That one wants to protect it or be involved with it more is not a possibility then.

Nature photography like almost all art forms is constantly evolving. So it naturally follows that one must try their level best keep track with the latest developments, be it cameras, software or sometimes something as extreme as flying drones or other aerial support.

Nature photographers are, in many ways, the eyes of the public especially in highly inaccessible places. Most people are not going to go regularly into the natural areas that they frequent, so the photos can offer the general public a way of seeing these places. The main goal should be to help people see nature with new eyes so that they see balance and connection within nature, so that they better understand how we all fit into this world.

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