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In The Stocks.
June 14, 2008 4:15 AM   Subscribe

'Today I reviewed (again) the guy who takes pictures of his tools ... every single screwdriver in his tool box'... a day in the life of a microstock photograph reviewer.
posted by fearfulsymmetry (26 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
That's hilarious. Really good writing too (at lest IMO)
posted by delmoi at 4:36 AM on June 14, 2008


er... at least I mean.
posted by delmoi at 4:41 AM on June 14, 2008


Hilarious.

I didn't really know about microstock photography. It doesn't seem like it would be financially viable, either for the photographers or the companies that have to pay people like the author to spend all day reviewing the 99% of crap. Do people make money this way?
posted by game warden to the events rhino at 4:42 AM on June 14, 2008


Really? I thought her complaints were at least as boring as the job she's employed to do. Of course it's mind numbingly dull. And so is her lengthy complaint. For someone who whinges about having to slog through endless banal minutia, she should have summed it up a lot quicker.
posted by beelzbubba at 4:57 AM on June 14, 2008 [3 favorites]


Now he's run out of things to shoot ... because everything else in the house belongs to his wife. Right? Except that grill out in the backyard! Hell yeah, so he goes out there and shoots the barbeque grill!

Solipsistically delicious!
posted by Kinbote at 4:59 AM on June 14, 2008


"Do people make money this way?"
posted by game warden to the events rhino


I do. Between iStockphoto and Getty Images, I make a big chunk of my income.
You couldn't pay me a million bucks to inspect images though... I wouldn't want to look at all those images either.
posted by blaneyphoto at 5:15 AM on June 14, 2008


Could be worse. She could have to review the guy who takes pictures of his tool.
posted by subgear at 5:20 AM on June 14, 2008 [2 favorites]


That individual has the wrong job... how miserable he/she is each and every day.... a suicide waiting to happen, all over some photo of a kid with a runny nose!
posted by HuronBob at 5:20 AM on June 14, 2008


Okay, I HATE myself for doing this, but:

Metafilter: Ugly, ugly naked people in the weirdest poses, underexposed, noisy, just awful!
posted by lattiboy at 5:46 AM on June 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


At first this was amusing, but it's the kind of amusing that can only go on for so long. Then it becomes tedious. Then painful. Then I want revenge.

Ciao all, off to go photograph my tools.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 6:23 AM on June 14, 2008 [2 favorites]


She does go on. It's pretty funny, and gives insight to a world I never really though about, after a while it's just the same comment but with a different item inserted.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 6:51 AM on June 14, 2008


> Do people make money this way?

For the websites, the barrier to entry is low. The technology's cheap and easy to implement. The well-made sites have a lot more effort invested in them, and the efforts needed to make pictures findable and presentable shouldn't be trivialized. These sites are also keep most of the sales; iStockphoto, for example, pays 20% non-exclusive rights for photos priced as low as $1; the photographer will have to sell a lot before he can buy a pizza with his work.

Low-res microstock is sold internationally and priced low enough to be affordable in any part of the world reachable by the Internet. In first-world countries designers can afford to buy images for their comps instead of using painfully low-res watermarked freebies, which makes their own design presentations to their clients easier to sell. Everybody wins as long as the microstock photographer wasn't deferring paying work to take these shots.

Most of the photographers are making pin money. I think the smarter ones expect this; they're reselling work they retained rights to: stuff clients rejected, practice shots with new equipment, or vacation photos. It means a slow trickle of income that continues whether the photog's working or not. If they're lucky, a few shots get popular, which leads to promotion by the stock company, which can mean decent money for the nonprolific. Some photographers win the lotto; their pictures and photosets become ubiquitous, and they make amazing amounts of money.

There are professional stock photographers making good money off stock. It doesn't sound like easy work to me. But most of the microstock I've seen is produced by earnest amateurs or professionals with downtime.
posted by ardgedee at 6:59 AM on June 14, 2008 [3 favorites]


A bee stung my mouth! Yeah! Because you took a job eating bees!
posted by 0xFCAF at 7:37 AM on June 14, 2008 [3 favorites]


See now, this is one of the unheralded advantages of old-fashioned film photography: back in the day, a person would get a fancy camera, and nobody would ever see their first 10,000 images of their journeyman work as they learned the craft. It takes active effort to develop a roll, contact-proof it, choose one to enlarge, print it up, and stick it up for strangers to see. The tech acted as an aesthetic filter.

Whereas in digital, any crappy image is exactly as easy to share with the world as any beautiful image.
posted by AsYouKnow Bob at 7:48 AM on June 14, 2008


I came in here looking for the pictures of screwdrivers, link please?
posted by StickyCarpet at 7:48 AM on June 14, 2008


I know nothing about photography, can someone tell me what noisy means?
posted by Belle O'Cosity at 7:48 AM on June 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


can someone tell me what noisy means?

Badly exposed digital images will have random pixels ("noise") of random color distributed through the image.
posted by AsYouKnow Bob at 7:51 AM on June 14, 2008


Thanks AsYouKnow Bob, that, uh clears things up. As to your earlier statement about film photography, that really goes for all "publishing" on the internet. Lots of noise, not much useful content.
posted by Belle O'Cosity at 8:13 AM on June 14, 2008


This post is useless without pictures.
posted by Balisong at 9:36 AM on June 14, 2008 [2 favorites]


I've made a couple hundred bucks on istockphoto. I'm taking the photos anyway, so why not subsidize my gear a little?
posted by nev at 10:24 AM on June 14, 2008


Just rip of Flickr, no-one will notice...
posted by Artw at 2:11 PM on June 14, 2008


Almost any digital picture in low light will be noisy unless you adjust for that.
posted by rokusan at 2:39 PM on June 14, 2008


...by raising the light levels.
posted by bz at 3:37 PM on June 14, 2008


Heh. Yeah, it's tough.
posted by rokusan at 5:42 PM on June 14, 2008


Where are the screwdrivers?
posted by BillsR100 at 8:25 AM on June 15, 2008


Is this where I can submit photos of my cat? I have some great photos of my cat.

Thing is, I realize that a big part of the reason I think they are good pictures is that they are photos I took of my cat. I like me, I like my cat, thus I like the photos. I don't expect everyone else in the world to suddenly gasp in awe at my amazing cat photo and call me the new Ansel Adams.

Also, stealing from Flickr? That's why I only dump low-res images there, and slap a CC noncommercial / attribution / share-alike license on them. I have had people ask me about use of some images - one I took in Jamaica actually made it onto a coffee label for a small roaster. Rather than asking for money, I just had them send me some coffee.
posted by caution live frogs at 6:20 AM on June 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


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