My first photographic love is landscape but this alone does not pay the bills. In order to generate income that will support my landscape work I do other forms of photography one of which is contribute to the news-feed of Alamy, a image stock agency representing and selling my stock photography.
Earlier this week I visited a couple of locations, the first in Derbyshire and the second in Nottinghamshire, Clumber Park to be exact. Leaving my hotel well before sunrise I got to a location in Clumber Park which I felt suited my visualisation of some images I wished to capture. An isolated Birch tree amongst heathland heathers. Added value came by way of a hard frost and the moon still in the sky.
Once I had identified my composition I took the image positioning the moon in the top right hand third of the image with the Birch tree filling the top centre. I would have probably positioned the tree in top right third had the moon not been visible. Filling the foreground was essential as was a good depth of field. Plenty of frosted heather for that purpose. I then set about making an exposure. As it was still before sunrise I did not need to filter the sky to even out the contrast range.
Setting an aperture of f16 and focusing about a thrid in to the frame I was able to assure myself I would have a good depth of field and essentially ensure that the immediate foreground was sharp. To achieve this my trusty tripod and remote release cable were essential. The light was such that it only required an exposure of 0.8 seconds.
By checking the camera histogram I knew I had a good range of contrast that would enable me to process a good image. I had a feeling about this one from the moment I composed the image.
Aware that the newspapers, especially the broadsheets, like weather related images I left soon after in order to get back home and upload the image in time for the following mornings editions.
After processing I uploaded 5 images which were immediately accepted by Alamy and released on to their news feed. I did notice quite a few other cold weather related images although I did feel mine was worthy.
Delighted to receive an e-mail the morning after from Alamy telling me that one of my images, the one I had a feeling about, had made a half page in The Independent. My only gripe being that The Independent did not give me credit and they managed to crop part of the image which detracted from my carefully composition.
What really satisfies me about this whole process is that I visualised a picture, captured it, had a hunch about it, drove 200 miles and got it uploaded in time. Good planning or good luck? Maybe a bit of both.
It is tremendouly satisfying to see ones image in print in a national newspaper and I would like to tell you that I can relax and enjoy my earnings but I can not, stock and news photography pays little these days, except of course if one was so lucky to capture a major event and be the first to make pictures available.
Anyway here is the picture I have been talking about. It is of course available to purchase through this web site.