Wednesday, October 31, 2007

2nd Place Winner again!

Canon Powershot SD800 IS - 28mm - 1/400s - f/2.8

For the second time this year I won the second place at the Stockxpert monthly contest! This time the 2nd prize was $350 and being featured in their newsletter. The theme was "thankful", and the winning image was about a family thankful to spend their first vacation together. I submitted numerous shots of my wife, daughter and son as well.

Stockxpert has been doing extremely well for past 2 months. The growth in sales was really significant. Unfortunately they recently launched a new subscription service, comparable to the one offered by Shutterstock, and since then their website seem to have many issues.

I personally opted out of the subscription model because I don't believe that a microstock can be successful at doing both at the same time.

Let's hope that all the little glitches will be fixed soon and that sales will pick up again. Stockxpert is a microstock with a tremendous potential and I'd really like to see them continue to grow in the industry.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The RedBubble Phenomena

RedBubble is a refreshing web site were photographers are invited to present the best of their work. Anyone can then buy Framed Prints, Canvas Prints, Mounted Prints, Cards and Laminated Prints. The company is based in Australia and ship their product all around the world on top quality card/paper at a very reasonable price.

Featured Art on RedBubble

The concept behind RedBubble is quite simple and attractive: the photographer can upload the best of his portfolio for free and he decide to add any commission he'd like on top of RedBubble base price. Even though I did not have any sale yet the site is quite addictive and the quality of the pictures is really impressive. The community is great and there are some extremely talented photographers.

Featured Art on RedBubble

In a little bit more than 2 weeks my pictures have been featured already 3 times. I have more than 2,000 views and more than 70 people have added some of my pictures to their favorites.

What I like the most is the community, and all the comments/messages exchanged. It's a great feeling to see how much people can appreciate your work!

Featured Art on RedBubble

Monday, October 15, 2007

Most Popular Picture of the Week: On the Beach

Canon Powershot SD800 IS - 28mm - 1/400s - f/2.8

This picture is my currently most downloaded with Shutterstock. That was on the Kamaole Beach III right across our resort in Kihei, south west of Maui, the first day that we arrived. My son was really enjoying jumping in the waves...
I was using for the first time my new P&S camera: the Powershot SD800 from Canon has a super wide angle and an optical Image Stabilizer packed with some amazing features for a camera of that size, such as the DIGIC III processor and a face detector. This camera has also an excellent macro mode.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Maui Trip

Canon 20D - 17-40mm L - 17mm - 1/100s - f/4.0

I'm back! I've been really busy for past few months building a 700 pictures large stock library and I'm hopping to reach 1,000 by end of the year.

Recently I took my family to a 10 days break in Maui where I captured more than 2,500 images... Thanks god we are now in the digital era :) I kept about 1,500 shots and about 100 of them are good stock photo candidates. The few pictures I already uploaded to Shutterstock have been boosting my sales.

Maui is a wonderful place to spend vacation and take pictures. There are so many opportunities everywhere: flowers, tropical forest, waterfall, beaches, snorkeling, etc.

Highlights of our trip were:
Makena beach (south west) and Kaahanapali beach(north west):

Canon 20D - 17-40mm L - 17mm - 1/250s - f/7.1

Canon 20D - 17-40mm L - 17mm - 1/160s - f/10.0
Storm forming above Makena Beach

Maui's sugar cane train in Lahaina: it's a short ride that goes from Lahaina to Kaahanapali, great for kids, but don't expect to go in the middle of a sugar can field!

Canon 20D - 17-40mm L - 17mm - 1/1000s - f/5.0

Maui Ocean Center is a great place for family. We spend about 3 hours in this amazing place. This 5-acre facility houses the largest aquarium in Hawaii and features one of Hawaii's largest predators: the tiger shark. As you walk past the three dozen or so tanks and numerous exhibits, you'll slowly descend from the "beach" to the deepest part of the ocean, without ever getting wet. Start at the surge pool, where you'll see shallow-water marine life like spiny urchins and cauliflower coral, then move on to the reef tanks, turtle pool, "touch" pool (with starfish and urchins), and eagle-ray pool before reaching the star of the show: the 100-foot-long, 600,000-gallon main tank featuring tiger, gray, and white-tip sharks, as well as tuna, surgeonfish, triggerfish, and numerous other tropicals. A walkway goes right through the tank, so you'll be surrounded on three sides by marine creatures. A very cool place, and well worth the time.

Canon 20D - 17-40mm L - 17mm - 1/125s - f/5.0 - ISO 1600
Spotted Eagle Ray

Canon 20D - 17-40mm L - 17mm - 1/125s - f/4.0 - ISO 1600
Whitetip Reef Shark

Canon 20D - 17-40mm L - 17mm - 1/60s - f/4.0 - ISO 1600
My son amazed by the aquarium

All family had a very relaxing 10 days. September is a great time because it's off season and the weather is mostly dry. There are many other pictures opportunities, especially in the tropical forest. One day we hiked to the swinging bridges, a very cool adventure.

Canon 20D - 17-40mm L - 17mm - 1/100s - f/5.6
Family shot at sunset

Also Haleakalā or East Maui Volcano is a massive shield volcano that forms more than 75% of the Hawaiian Island of Maui. The crater is at more than 10,000 ft and from the summit you can look down into a massive depression some 11.25 km (7 mi) across, 3.2 km (2 mi) wide, and nearly 800 m (2,600 ft) deep. The surrounding walls are steep and the interior mostly barren-looking with a scattering of volcanic cones. It has been called the largest extinct volcanic crater in the world. Unfortunately we did not have time to go the volcano; the best time to get there is actually at sunrise, which means getting up around 3am (there is a 2 hour drive to reach the summit).

We stayed in a very nice 2 bedroom condo, Kamaole Sands that we rented directly from owner thanks to which is I think a much better way to rent a place like this one (you end up saving a lot of money and you know exactly which unit you'll be staying at).

Canon 20D - 17-40mm L - 17mm - 20s - f/4.0
Our resort at night