Thursday, September 1, 2016

Why image quality matters

In my humble opinion, the above is an attractive image, a shot of Deinanthe bifida x caerulescens, a woodland perennial hybrid. It clearly shows the individual anthers and other parts of the flower structure.  For web use you don't need anything better.  And that's the way it was used to sell the plant via the Daily Telegraph (UK newspaper) garden shop,  It could almost be a square crop of a macro close up shot.

But it's not.  It's a crop of a far larger image.  This one:

The designer has used various different crops of this image to sell the product.  Fine by me - it's generated a very reasonable sale price.  But it does illustrate the purpose of stock photography. Which is to produce images capable of being used in a variety of different ways.  In this case, heavily cropped but without compromising on quality.

Which is why Alamy and other stock agencies insist on high technical quality standards.  So that their customers can take images, focus perhaps on a small area, and still have enough latitude to produce good enough quality for their needs.

As photographers we cannot afford to be too precious about our images.  What we can do is produce images that fit the likely clients needs.  However much cropping or manipulation they may use.

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