Shooting stock photos – Lansing photo day

Had a good day trip with my sister to Lansing Michigan back in March, it was good to get away from the day job for a while.  Some reflections:

  • I googled “things to do in Lansing” for some ideas of places to go
  • Went with the flow when I ran into unexpected things like this river rat:
    river rat
  • Tried a wide range of different angles at some of the locations, and preferred the ones that included another site in the background, so you could get more of a sense of place, such as this shot of the Vietnam memorial with the capitol in the background:
    Lansing memorial with capitol
  • At the Lansing Lugnuts’ stadium also tried different angles until I found the one that I thought captured the feeling of the place best:
    Lansing lugnuts who
    Loved the sense of humor with Who’s on First… :)

You can see all the Lansing photos here

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Shooting Stock Photos – Detroit solo photo day

A couple week-ends ago I found myself with some free time on a nice sunny day, so I went into Detroit to take photographs, my small way to help out by providing positive images of Detroit for stock photo needs – I had a blast! Spent over an hour at Eastern Market, caught some new shots at the museum area, finally got a photo of the Motown museum, and even hit the Heidelberg project.  Wonderful to get away and get some shots!

Things that went well:

  • Did some advance planning re. locations so I focused on ones that were kinda close to each other and I could have a general order I wanted to go in.
  • Got lucky in having an Eastern Market truck parked in just the perfect position to capture it.

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  • Asked permission of vendors at Eastern Market, and hung out, taking the time for scenes to present themselves. Some said no, no worries, I respected that, but most of them were quite willing to let me take photographs.

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  • Put the next location on my GPS, but also was flexible if I saw something else I wanted to take a photo of on the way, like the museums area, had not planned on going back there but when I realized I was nearby I stopped in – Drives the GPS crazy when I go beyond the desired route, but that’s part of the fun. After I’m done it gets me back on track to my next stop.

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  • Always nice to have someone who wants to pose just for the fun of it, I always go along, why not?

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  • Trying new angles in old places, like the thinker in this Detroit Institute of Arts photo:

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  • Took photos of many people at the Motown museum in addition to getting my own shots.

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  • At Heidelberg project again waited for the scene to present itself, e.g. people walking past the house vs. the house by itself. Took a while to wait for people to walk past it, but much better photo:

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Now to clean them up and submit them to Shutterstock, and then the other websites.  To see all the Detroit photos that are on my Shutterstock portfolio, click here.

Best wishes on your photography adventures,

Susan

Shooting stock photos – Outside a UM football game

I didn’t write a blog entry at the time because I hadn’t submitted photos yet, but I had a really fun time in early Fall taking photos of fans outside the University of Michigan football stadium.  Here are a few:

UM football 1

UM football 2

UM football 3

 

Things that went well:

  • Found a great spot in the path of people walking to the stadium, behind a divider that split the crowd so they had to walk past me, and I could stand behind the divider and prop my arms on it, making for steadier photos.
  • Fans were posing for me as soon as they saw my camera, didn’t have to ask anyone to pose or anything, everyone was friendly, enjoying a great day. The advantages of the social media age…
  • I ran into a number of people I know, so I was able to take their photo and send it to them – I don’t submit photos of people I know to stock sites, don’t want to blur that line…

To keep in mind next time:

  • Submit the photos ASAP, shouldn’t have waited this long…
  • Watch for distractions such as porta-potty in background of some photos, distracting…

Fun crowd, fun time! You can see these and other photos I’ve taken outside the stadium here.

Milestone – Article based on stock travel photography in Iceland to be published in Digital Photography School!

So back in June I went to Iceland, had a wonderful time… I participated in the GREEN Energy Program then spent a few extra days driving around and taking photos of anything I wanted to, glorious time.  I didn’t write my usual tips article based on my experience for this blog because I proposed an article about stock travel photography to Digital Photography School‘s Tips and Tutorials section and it was accepted! I just learned that it will be published on the 20th of October. I’ll update this entry with a link to DPS when it comes out.  Update October 19th – you can find the article here.

So I saved the tips and my best photos for the DPS article, but here are a few other photos to give you a sense of what a lovely country Iceland is. Many of these photos were taken while on guided tours with Ardar, aka Addi, the best guide ever at South Iceland Adventures.

Got to see lots of waterfalls, such as Seljalandsfoss:

Hvolsvollur, ICELAND - JUN 15: Seljalandsfoss waterfall, shown here on June 15, 2015, was one of the stopping points in The Amazing Race 6 competition in 2014.

Hiked Sólheimajökull glacier:

SOLHEIMAJOKULSVEGUR, ICELAND - JUN 15: Sólheimajökull glacier, shown here on June 15, 2015, has retreated about a kilometer in the past decade.

Had a great time going on a puffin viewing hike at the Ingolfshofdi nature reserve: 

Atlantic puffin looking right, with straw in his beak, gray background

Got up close with an Icelandic horse:

Iceland 8 horse blond head

Had a great time at the Glacier Lagoon:

Iceland glacier lagoon


Beautiful country, lovely people…  You can also see some of my Iceland photos at my Shutterstock site.

October 24 update – Change featured image to a screenshot of the icon for the article at DPS. So cool to see it published and to have some readers stop by the blog and learn from past blog articles!

Photography equipment – Op/tech Utility Strap – Sling

I realized I wrote this up in the August end of month update, but I also wanted to give it its own entry so it’ll be easier for others to find it. If you end up getting a neck-ache from your camera strap after a long day of photography, I strongly encourage you to invest in a camera strap/sling. I’ve been debating it for a year or so and finally did it, and only thing I can say is I wish I’d done it sooner…

I bought an Op/Tech Utility Strap – Sling camera strap, on the advice of the folks at Central Camera in Chicago.  Here’s a photo from the Op/Tech website so you can see what I mean:

camera sling

It’s great to have the camera on the side as you walk around, and then you can move it up when you need it, glides smoothly. I used it on my recent stock photo day and didn’t feel anything on my neck after a long day – Highly recommend it!

Best wishes on YOUR photography adventures,

Susan

Shooting stock photos – solo photo day driving up north

Recently had a fun time driving up north to Mackinaw city. Long story but it was just a quick overnight trip, and leaving super early to spend an afternoon on Mackinac Island on my own didn’t appeal, so I figured I’d just take my time, start the drive mid-morning, and since I was on my own just take my time taking photos of whatever appealed.

For those of you not familiar with Michigan, that’s pretty much a straight shot up the middle of the “mitten” that is Michigan, going through Flint:

to Mackinaw

I wasn’t really sure what I would take photos of, but that was part of the excitement, see how the day developed. I started out spending a chunk of time just half an hour north or Ann Arbor at an outside mall taking logo photos of stores, a thing I do…  Then when I got to Flint, MI I realized I hadn’t been there in many many years, so I swung by and took some photos there:

Flint vehicle city

I did a quick search on “Things to do in Flint” and had it show me the map of the locations and just drove around, all the time in the world, lovely…  Of course had to also stop at the home of Halo Burgers:

Halo Burger

I took more shots at the University of Michigan Flint, and the Institute of Arts, and other museums.   After a couple hours I got going and soon enough saw the sign for the Civilian Conservation Corps museum. I have seen that sign many times and have thought of stopping, but I usually felt in a rush to get to Mackinaw City, so let it pass. Today was the day!  Very interesting history reading about the Michigan men who were employed in large part to grow pine trees to be used in reforestation projects throughout the state. This was the main building:

CCC museum

Glad I stopped by… Ended the day at a little cottage right on lake Huron, lovely view:

beach chairs copy

So, reflection. Overall a relaxing day, great to make the time for these unplanned unstructured photo trips…  What I did right:

  • Take the time to just see what the day brought, being open to the experience. The four hour trip ended up taking me over seven hours…
  • Did a quick “things to do in Flint” check to catch the major sites.
  • Take comfortable shoes, I did a lot more walking than I expected.

I’ll update this when I have cleaned up the photos and submitted them to Shutterstock, been trying to fit lots on my plate in August, and the school year is around the corner… Figured best to write this up even if they are not posted to Shutterstock yet…

Best wishes on your photography adventures,

Susan

Shooting stock photos – England

The first week in August I took my sons to England, had a good time, had fun taking photos. Unfortunately as I mentioned in my end of July update I had set the photos to too small for Shutterstock during another trip and didn’t notice it until halfway through the England trip, so only one day of photos has a shot at Shutterstock… Luckily for me lots of the fun is in the taking…

Didn’t have dedicated stock photo days since I was with family and for many reasons couldn’t go out on my own much, but did the best with the time I had. Managed a shot of Stonehenge with not too many people around:

Stonehenge

Then spent some time in Stratford, where we visited Shakespeare’s grave:

Shakespeare grave

On to Windsor castle:

Windsor castle

These will all be too small for Shutterstock, oh well…

Luckily I did figure this out the next to last day.  The last day we took the double-decker tour bus of London, which was going incredibly slowly because the horrendous traffic caused by an Underground strike. Silver lining for me ’cause I was able to take lots of photos that should work out very well since the bus wasn’t moving much…  Lots of logo shots will be coming from that one…

One favorites from the day is this one of Tower Bridge, taken during an accompanying boat trip down the Thames:

Tower bridge

Haven’t made time to process them and submit the larger ones to Shutterstock yet, I’ll update the blog with a link to the accepted photos when I do.

Let’s dispense with what I would do differently, that of course would be to not budge the photo size and always keep it on large…  What I did right:

  • Took lots of photos, wasn’t shy about pulling out the camera.
  • Looked for the little details. Although this one will be too small for Shutterstock, I was pleased with this “mind the gap” one I took at a train station:

Mind the Gap

  • Asked for some patience from my kids as I tried to get “the shot” in some places I would never get back to, like Shakespeare’s burial place. I try hard not to have the trip become “mama takes photos and the boys tag along,” but at the same time every once in a while…

Best wishes on your photography adventures,

Susan

October 24 update – Finally submitted some of the photos last week. You can see the ones Shutterstock accepted here.