As a photographer, I’m often asked about animal stock photos and the ways to get the best images. There are a few in-camera settings you should heed, along with some information about the lenses you should use.
First of all, make sure you take photos in RAW if using a DSLR. It allows you to tweak the image much easier in post production than if you take images in JPEG. JPEG can lose some color information, so RAW shows you the image exactly as you took it.
These will also be the largest photos you can take; this means you can offer more sizes of the images you’ve taken, making more money for you in the long run.
Next, be sure you’re using a lens that is appropriate for what you’re going. Some people might say, take along a zoom lens. I would agree if you’re taking images of birds, skittish animals, or animals in a zoo setting. If you’re taking insect images, however, a macro lens is going to suit your needs more appropriately. If you are taking images through glass or water, make sure you have the appropriate filter, called a polarizer, on your lens. This will help cut down the glare and make it possible to get a rich, clear image.
Make sure your images are sharp and easy to see. A fast shutter speed is often needed for animals, so if you’re shooting at night, make sure your camera is capable of producing images using a high ISO, so you can keep your shutter speed quick.
Animals come out at peculiar times, so you’ll want to carry your camera on you whenever you can. The best image is often not planned, but it will pop up at you when you least expect it to. Be sure to take plenty of images; some of the shots you thought were clear may be blurry when transfered to the computer. Likewise, some images you think are too dark or too bright may be perfect for post production.
You’ll likely have to adjust the images in the computer to make them ready for sale, so brush up on your Lightroom or Photoshop skills. You’ll want to adjust the histogram settings, sharpness, color balance, and contrast at the very least. A finished image is often saved according to the stock website’s instructions, and you may need to crop your photo to make it more appropriate for the client base you want to have buying your images.
Mainly, you’ll want to save your image in a large file, adjust it for appropriate sizing, color, and sharpness, and then be sure to tag it well to get it noticed on the site.
- License: Royalty Free or iStock source: http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-images-red-panda-image28642284
- License: Royalty Free or iStock source: http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photo-three-funny-alpacas-image28638485
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