Preparing images – Focus

It’s been quite an eye opener, the different requirements for the various photo selling sites, and there are numerous “How to” guides littered around the internet. This isn’t one of them, this is an anecdotal rambling about part of what I have learned as I started out.

First take some images that you are really proud of, that you think are the best you can take, considering where you are on your photography journey, and the equipment you have available. Don’t worry too much about having the right camera, tripod, lenses etc. These things will help, but they’re expensive and you can gather things like that as you find you have a need for them.

Take your images with the highest resolution you can, get a nice large file – several mb size is best. Most of mine start out over 10mb.

The first thing I do is to check if it’s an image I like, and is worth the time to work on to prepare for submission. I skim through using the Photos app on windows 10 which gives a nice viewer where I can zoom in and have a good look at each image. I delete loads at this stage.

Is it in focus?

Examine your chosen image in detail using something like photoshop – there are plenty of image manipulation softwares out there, some are free, some cost, but you will need to use something.

Look at your picture at 100% – yes, it’ll be so zoomed in you can only see a small fraction, but you need to go over it with a fine tooth comb, so to speak. Check that every detail in the main subject, or main area, is in crisp, sharp, focus. If it’s not, the image will be rejected. Pick a different image, or take more pictures. But trust me, some look beautifully sharp until you zoom in to 100%, then you can see the blur.

That rose, looks lovely at low resolution, looks great in print on a greeting card, but zoom in to the original image and the petals are fuzzy. This is not one to blow up to hang on the wall.

Yellow lilies with water drops

Whereas, these lilies (which have been passed as good for shutterstock, are beautifully crisp even at 100%.

So, first check your images are in focus throughout the subject area, and I’ll ramble on about other things to check and look for, another day!

All done, for this year.

Well, that’s that for another year. The final assignment is handed in and there’s no more editing, nothing more to be done. It’s either good enough, or it isn’t. (this is the moment when I suddenly realise I should have said something in the report, or could have said things better… It’s always the way the mind works.)

But it’s done, handed in, and out of my hands now, which means I can turn my mind to other things. Like which images to include in the next round of greeting cards!

Possible images can be seen in the gallery below, and I will consider other suggestions as well. You know, if you want trees, or a beach, or hot air balloons, or something. If it’s something I can get to, and if I can get a good shot, then I’ll consider it. No promises, but I’ll consider the suggestion.

What I’d like you to do is have a look at the gallery and let me know which images you would like to see as greeting cards. I want to pick a maximum of 10 and to be able to offer packs as well as single cards. Your input would be greatly appreciated!

Reflection in a Cat’s eye

I love this photograph of my cat, which is why I decided to include it in the initial range of greetings cards. I was adjusting and testing some settings on the camera, and she wanted to get in on the action. I did manage to narrowly avoid having her nose print on the lens!

But look at her left eye.

close up eye

See? A reflection of my hands and camera, captured in the pupil of my cat’s eye.

Greeting cards – new ideas

After a lovely day out last week, I have a few images that I think might make striking greeting cards to add to the range, but I’d love some input from you.

I’ve added the images to an album on my facebook page, and to a gallery on this website too. All you have to do is either like the images you would like to see included, or comment on the gallery – links to both are below.

Facebook album

Website Gallery

At the end of each month I’ll check the likes and comments and add up the votes and then decide how many new cards to add.

Greeting cards

This past week has seen a new idea begin to take shape. It all started last Christmas, when I was given a camera, my first DSLR – Thanks Dad! The beauty of digital is that you can take literally thousands of pictures, and then delete them all when they’re completely rubbish. But now and then, once in a while, there’s an image that sings, that stands out, and you fall in love with it.

First I set out to take a picture of a gull, in flight. They are magnificent hanging in the wind, wings outstretched. They’re almost boring sitting on the ground, hunched against the weather. I managed to capture some lovely images, and friends and acquaintances commented that one or two could be good enough to be commercial. Further opportunities came about, and I found myself planning trips out to capture particular images – usually wildlife, or nature in some form.

Wings up

I printed a handful, made them into cards and sent them to friends or family as birthday cards. The response was good.

Then, as part of the digital media course I am studying, we had to create an online shop. So, I thought, I have my books, and I’ve added some of Mum’s hand crafted items, why not have some of the pictures as cards as well?

The first few arrived a few days ago and I’ve been adding them a few at a time. There aren’t many of each print, and I think I’ll keep it that way for now. If you’re interested, check out the “Greeting cards” link on the left side of the page.

Thank you for visiting! Why not check out the Greeting Card Ideas images in the Galleries? Dismiss

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