Wednesday, October 7, 2009

About my most viewed photos

This blog entry is about those photos that attract viewers only. Currently I have two really disappointing photos. One is my most viewed photo at all agencies where it has got accepted. And one is the photo with the highest number of views in the past two months. It seems like both of them present an interesting idea, and they both have really good keywords also. They even come up early in search results somehow (surprisingly because I thought search results are influenced by the number of image downloads). Finally they also look promising in icon sizes. But they still could not earn a single download. After all, I decided to present them here, and share some of my ideas why did these photos are not among my best earners as their view count would suggest.

The first one is my all time winner of the most viewed photo awards:
This photo is about an old sniper scope (and you can buy it at Fotolia, ShutterStock, StockXpert and DreamsTime). It was so heavily used it shows heavy wear. I believe this wear is not the main cause of the non buyers. This is one of my images with some distracting shadows that shows the deficiencies of my earliest isolation techniques. However I don't think this could be the full reason behind the small sales potential. In the same series of shots I have got really successful earners also, and they all share the shadow problems you can see above. For example the photo about the isolated gun is highly successful even though you can clearly see these problems on it. I guess the main problem with this photo that people has preconceptions. This scope was used only by real snipers. Meanwhile my photos about telescopes for hunters are the ones people want as sniper scopes if I am not mistaken. You can see a scope used exclusively for hunting on the right. The surprise that this photo has significantly less views but already has several sales (if you are still not convinced you can still buy the hunting scope on the right on these links: Fotolia, ShutterStock, StockXpert, Dreamstime). So it seems like people don't like the photos that does not match their preconceptions of an object.

The second shot is my most viewed photo in the past two months:

Red parfume bottle: buy at ShutterStock, Dreamstime, StockXpert

Oxeye daisy in a tin: buy at ShutterStock, Fotolia, Dreamstime, StockXpert, iStockPhoto
This photo is part of a less downloaded series (you can see some of its members on the sides of this paragraph). It presents an open perfume bottle and oxeye daisy decoration (you can purchase it from Fotolia, ShutterStock, Dreamstime, StockXpert). This photo is one of my favorites. The contrast between the sharp blossom and the slightly out of focus red perfume bottle beautifully presents the idea "gentle care". This shot however still did not catch up with downloads. I see three main problems here, first there is a quite sharp edge between the leaves and the white background. Secondly the leaves in the background might be distracting entirely. Finally the buyers want the bottle sharper than it is currently. This last reason came when I first seen the photo on the left sold on ShutterStock. However I don't think it is the strongest one, because the shallow depth of field might even help a little to emphasize the gentleness of the photo.

Feel free to comment if you can think of any further reason about why my viewers turning back before they would buy.

1 comment:

  1. Good to hear someone else pointing this out, ive been convinced for years that microstock images have to look good as thumbnails as well as close up. this always sounds like an odd thing to say but your examples show cleary that good thumbnails can look bad close up but it also works the other way round, something that makes a really interesting "wow" photo viewed full screen just looks "badly composed" when its viewed as thumbnail and gets very few views. I read a few years back (and my memory is vague on this) a story written by an istock reviewer saying something like "I can tell a lot of the rejects just by looking at the thumbnails as they load" makes you think.