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01/14/2004 12:45:11 PM · #1
Just an observation (perhaps unwelcome). I've noticed the winners of some past challenges (especially the NYR and Action Shot challenges) could easily have been plucked from any major stock photography book. In many ways, this is an indication of the skill and expertise of the winners. On the other hand, it begs for more thought or creativity (on the part of the voting community, particularly).
Are we, as a group, a tad gun-shy when it comes to the more "difficult" photographs in these challenges?
Thoughts...comments...
01/14/2004 12:46:38 PM · #2
Stock photos appeal to a larger audience. Therefore, stock photos are better used in a competition mode where the diversity of the voting audience is great.
01/14/2004 12:50:10 PM · #3
I'm surprised that stock photographs would hold such appeal to a community made up almost entirely of photographers.
01/14/2004 01:13:41 PM · #4
and how would you define stock photo?

Message edited by author 2004-01-14 13:14:27.
01/14/2004 01:14:41 PM · #5
I would have to say that my entry in the NYR challenge is the most "Stock Photo" shot in my portfolio and one of the most I've ever taken.

' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/175/thumb/53874.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/175/thumb/53874.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

On the other side, it is my highest placing photo yet at 7th.

What do these facts tell me about how to shoot for challenges yet to come? Do I try for more stock look and maybe feel like I'm fitting in or continue my normal ways and be a non-conformist?

I know that in voting, I try to give points for originality as well as technical skills. It's not unusual that a shot I scored high ends up low in the finals.

David

P.S. I'm certainly not offended by the "Stock" comment.
01/14/2004 01:17:18 PM · #6
I, for one, have no problems with technically good and well composed shots.
01/14/2004 01:19:37 PM · #7
Originally posted by lockjawdavis:

I'm surprised that stock photographs would hold such appeal to a community made up almost entirely of photographers.


It would depend on what your definition is of a photographer. Do you mean a photographer is someone that owns a camera? There are people who enter challenges who have owned their first ever camera for a day, and there are people who enter challenges who have had years and years of experience. There are point and shoot cameras and there are dSLR's. There are people voting who apparently dont even own a camera, are they photographers too? Do you need to own a camera to appreciate photography?
01/14/2004 01:20:06 PM · #8
someone please define stock.... So many people moan at stock images but none give a description of what they think one is.

I am with jacko on this one, clean - sharp - well composed and good enough to sell look nice.

01/14/2004 01:20:49 PM · #9
Originally posted by drgsoell:

...What do these facts tell me about how to shoot for challenges yet to come? Do I try for more stock look and maybe feel like I'm fitting in or continue my normal ways and be a non-conformist?


I pray for the non-conformist in you. Why - 'cause we have so much of one and so little of the other.
01/14/2004 01:23:01 PM · #10
Since joining the site at the end of November, I`ve noticed the phrase "stock photograph" on a number of occasions, without an explanation of what it actually means.
As it is nearly always used in a derogatory sense,I have assumed it referred to professional photos that follow a traditional but well worn concept and therefore are looked upon as boring.

Please excuse the ignorance but can anyone enlighten me?
Thanks,
Gordon
01/14/2004 01:31:23 PM · #11
Yes it's used in a derogatory way quite a lot on DPC. I have no idea why. I for one would love to be as good as the corbis/getty photographers.

What is a stock image?

A stock image might be a photograph or illustration, which is stored on a transparency or a digital image. The license to use that image is leased to a company (stock company) which will sub lease it to many, many other companies. The stock company sub license the image for a fee based on usage. A portion of the fee will go to the stock company, the remainder, less costs, will go to the creator.

Thus basically, a good image that could be sold is a stock image - it looks nice, advertising bods will want to use it, people may want to have it on their wall etc etc. The good images always win, nothing more than that.

In general, most people define stock images a good ones, and artistic photographs as crap. ;)

"oooh but that picture of my cat out of focus and over exposed is just sooo arty and none of you philistines get it" Ho ho ho.

Message edited by author 2004-01-14 13:32:00.
01/14/2004 01:32:25 PM · #12
Originally posted by jonpink:

someone please define stock.... So many people moan at stock images but none give a description of what they think one is.

I am with jacko on this one, clean - sharp - well composed and good enough to sell look nice.


A few past threads on what is and isnt stock and what DPC caters to etc.

Photography is not only stock photos
A disturbing trend

Normally a stock photograph is a good image, usually non-emotional and without a story behind it that can be used in numerous situations, normally for corporations or advertising or the like. Examples would be a person in a business suit carrying a briefcase that could be used for 100 different companies but still convey the same message. A picture of an apple on a white background that could be used for a supermarket to promote healthy eating, a literary program that could use it to promote schooling, or countless other possibilities.

I guess it can be offensive to some people if you call their stuff stock, but a compliment to others. I attempt artistic photographs (not an out of focus cat, though), and I prefer to view artistic photographs as well. That said I will and have done 'stock' photographs as they do often do better at DPC and it's good to get a validation of ability with a 7 and a ribbon every so often instead of the artistic 5 where you are left thinking your stuff is not good.

Message edited by author 2004-01-14 13:39:25.
01/14/2004 01:39:20 PM · #13
Mystery solved,

Thanks to all,
Gordon
01/14/2004 01:41:43 PM · #14
>>>Thus basically, a good image that could be sold is a stock image - it looks nice, advertising bods will want to use it, people may want to have it on their wall etc etc. The good images always win, nothing more than that.

In general, most people define stock images a good ones, and artistic photographs as crap. ;) <<<

This, I'm sure, is sarcasm. If not, then it's wrong. Most people in advertising go out of their way to avoid the stock image. The ad agency I work with has thousands of stock books we use mostly to cut up for "style boards" or for thumbnails when casting commercials (i.e. get a guy who looks sorta like this guy). The irony is, we NEVER hire these photographers. Ever.
Somebody, I'm sure, is hiring stock photographers but my guess is it isn't us "advertising bods."
01/14/2004 01:45:32 PM · #15
would you define the great Ansel Admas as a stock photographer? I doubt it, but his work is featured in every major stock image house. Avaliable to buy and shove on a milk carton as fast as you can say cheese.

So what differes from one of your ad images to one that can be brought from an image bank?

01/14/2004 02:08:36 PM · #16
Originally posted by lockjawdavis:

...then it's wrong...Most people in advertising ...it isn't us "advertising bods."


And of course "most people" are in advertising righ???
01/14/2004 02:17:53 PM · #17
Maybe a good analogy is that "Stock Photos" are Muzak while "Art Photos" are koRn.

The first is heard in more places while the second has a smaller, but more committed audience.
01/14/2004 02:21:32 PM · #18
You lost me there, TechnoShroom
Anyhow, I agree with the Muzak analogy to a degree. Although it's maybe too disparaging of stock photographers.

Message edited by author 2004-01-14 16:37:00.
01/14/2004 02:35:48 PM · #19
double post opp ;)

Message edited by author 2004-01-14 14:40:41.
01/14/2004 02:40:04 PM · #20
Again would you define the great Ansel Admas as a stock photographer? I doubt it, but his work is featured in every major stock image house. Avaliable to buy and shove on a milk carton as fast as you can say cheese.

Now you say of your "ad agency" 'The irony is, we NEVER hire these (stock) photographers. Ever.'

So what differes from one of your ad images to one that can be brought from an image bank?

Not being ranty, just very interested as a graphic designer. Also what agency you with?

JP
01/14/2004 03:00:50 PM · #21
I believe that most "Stock" shots ones that are good representation of a certain subject. There's a clear focus. Most advertising pictures are stock or shot as stock.

Message edited by author 2004-01-14 15:02:01.
01/14/2004 03:12:19 PM · #22
Yes, you can purchase Ansel Adams photographs from a stock image house (although to use it in an advertisement I believe you have to negotiate with his estate). You can most likely buy images from Bresson and Weegee from stock companies, as well. Clearly, the world of stock is an increasingly diverse and inclusive one.
That being said, the overwhelming majority of stock images are still faceless, sterile (albeit beautifully executed) shots that literally translate simple ideas. For instance, a pair of arms wrestling to connote "struggle."
I'm not saying it's bad, necessarily. It's simply not being used by any major ad agencies I know of. Pick up most any magazine from a news-stand and try to find these stock shots.
For the most part, they're simply not there.
01/14/2004 03:29:47 PM · #23
Originally posted by lockjawdavis:


It's simply not being used by any major ad agencies I know of. Pick up most any magazine from a news-stand and try to find these stock shots.
For the most part, they're simply not there.


That's pretty much a tautology though. Successful stock images, are by definition, devoid of any particular brand or ties to a particular product - advertising images are by definition the opposite...

01/14/2004 04:33:07 PM · #24
I agree. However, it appears even the familiar stock style of lighting, etc is out of favor with most art directors these days.
Interesting to get everybody's take on this subject nonetheless.

Message edited by author 2004-01-14 16:36:24.
01/14/2004 04:37:49 PM · #25
1) one issue is that alot of people on this site participate because they happened to buy a digital camera and stumble across this site. most of them don't have any formal training or any knowledge of the history of photography much less art history, so many of the so-called cliches are new to them. Yes, alot of people on here are novices to photography. So they wouldnt be as jaded in terms of what they're looking for.

2) i think people keep saying stock but they really mean a subset of stock called 'decor photography'. i.e. nice, PRETTY images, without a ton of emotional and intellectual depth. Again, it comes back to people on this site not necessarily being from a background where they're jaded to that, and looking for more challenging, unique and original visions.

This site isn't very ' art school'. Ironically, alot of people who become creative professionals are very art school and they might not find this site that interesting.

I guess that's why different stuff exists for different demographics :P
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