Editors' Choice

Posted Wednesday, 12 January 2011 by Ellen Boughn in Ellen Boughn, Photography
Many of us are now in the second week of trying to keep our annual resolutions to lose weight, quit smoking or spend more time with family or less money on stuff. (Apparently if you can hold to any resolution until Valentine's Day, you'll increase your chances of success.)

A new year gives us a clean slate and an opportunity to aspire to be better at whatever it is we think needs improvement. To inspire you and to give you some ideas that might help you to increase your download numbers over last year, here are some more selections of favorite images from the Crestock editors. (See last week's post for the first selection of favorite images from Crestock editors.)

Laughing baby

© Brebca/Crestock

An editor chose this photo of a smiling baby because, "It is candid, genuine, nicely lit and has a perfect depth of field. There's a suggestion of an environment, but it's generic enough to appeal to users in many parts of the world.

The child is a great model, she looks engaged and genuinely happy, and the fact that you can see her first teeth is very strong conceptually. It shows a developmental milestone, and we get asked for examples of milestones all the time.

It's actually quite rare to find an image where this is communicated so naturally in a portrait. This is a great example of a suitable model and good lighting carrying a concept. This is an image that wouldn't have cost a lot to create, but it is very well executed."

I agree that this is a terrific image and it could be even more versatile if the top of the child's head wasn't cropped. Although the crop is pleasing as it adds emphasis to the face, many users prefer having the option to crop the images to their own liking.

Alcoholic drink

© Gravicapa/Crestock

An editor says, "This image is a great example of good prop styling and strong product lighting. The technical execution shows the difference between professional and amateur lighting. The glass has volume and no distracting reflections. The liquid is in mid-pour and is rich in color. The concept is strong since Scotch can represent luxury, relaxation, the finer things in life, masculinity, wealth, prestige, celebration, a toast etc. This is a very well-executed, conceptual still life image."

Protecting a plant

© erierika/Crestock

As concerns about issues with the environment remain in the forefront of the news and in many companies' marketing tools, images that can successfully illustrate the issues will continue to be prominent for years to come. This type of image is "evergreen", meaning that it will not quickly go out of date and become stale.

The editor who selected this image wrote, "I think this image shows a strong environmental concept that is often illustrated through digital rendering, but this one is successfully illustrated photographically as a still life. It has a light and airy feel to it, and the glass is well lit with no distracting reflections.

The prop styling is very good and there is a suggestion of an environment without it being distracting. This could be showing a bio-dome, it could be about the ozone layer, or protection of the environment. The composition allows room for copy by having the subject off-center. "Green" concepts are very popular and this is a creative and unique execution of that theme."

Zen stone

© OG_Vision/Crestock

Two editors chose this image for the Zen feeling it conveyed. They felt that it was graphic, simple, conceptually strong and generic. The monochromatic tone adds to its feeling of calmness.The concepts of restfulness, peace of mind, meditation and relaxation are often requested for use in marketing materials for spa vacations, local day spas and for resorts. They can show up in ads for a variety of products and tools that promote peace of mind like insurance, bath oils and even software.


© Olly15/Crestock

A Crestock editor wrote the following about the soccer image above, "...not your run of the mill soccer image. Incredibly dramatic. Makes a statement and as a consequence is definitely a good image for a poster. The photographer has composed the image to leave lots of room for type."

I agree with the editor that this sports image is a great one for a poster but add that it soars as a concept photo for many reasons. Think of the words that come to mind when you first take a look: power, strength, skill, and winner. The fact that the image is a composite doesn't deter from its validity as a stock photo because stock photos are often aspirational. Images such as this add drama to make a point.

Looking Down

© ajn/Crestock

The Crestock editor who selected the image above states, "The background is white, making the image perfectly isolated. The young man has a very clean and timeless look. The composition is appealing. This image could meet a variety of needs....he could be looking at anything."

Images that create a space for a user to place their own message, logo or image give the user maximum flexibility. Examples are photos of billboards where the signage has been replaced with white via Photoshop, models holding black cards or signs.

I hope these photos give you information that you will put to use as you plan your photo shoots for 2011. My resolution is to live in the moment...a good one for photographers too because an awareness of the moment causes you to stop and look around. If you do, you might see a photo that needs taking! Happy New Year – a little late.

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