This site has moved to another blog called, ABOUT PHOTOGRAPHY. There will me no further posts to this site. The new site will continue so show my regular shooting progress, but will also contain other topics on photography, such as hands-on equipment and software reviews, historical information on photography, and much more.

When it was set up, the DAILY STOCK SHOT PROJECT was supposed to be a one year project. Last year I extended the project another year due to the popularity of the site, but now it is time to move on.

If you wish to continue following, please visit my new blog at ABOUT PHOTOGRAPHY and save it as a new link.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

This was a fun photo to take.  A single Nikon SB-900 flash was placed to the right and behind the match.  I wanted the flash to light both the match and the smoke.  A silver reflector card kicked in some fill light from the left.  An assistant lit the match with a lighter and I timed the shot to go off as soon as the flame spread sideways because I wanted a horizontal image with interesting patterns in the smoke filling up the frame.  This is the result after twenty attempts. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

I did a number of conceptual still life photos in the studio today.  This one of a feather was lit with both daylight and tungsten.  Color was balanced for the tungsten falling on the feather.  This rendered the feather pure white, while the daylight hitting the background went blue.  Everything in the photo is pure white.  The color differentiation was achieved by mis-matching the light sources.  I use this technique a lot, even -- to a lesser degree -- in the photo of the pennies below.
This macro shot of two old pennies was taken with the Nikon 85mm tilt-shift lens fitted with a close-up filter.  The lens was tilted fully forward and the aperture set for f/40 to achieve maximum depth-of-field and detail.

Monday, November 28, 2011

These images were shot on Agfa Scala, a black & white transparency film that is no longer made.  The film was very sharp, had an very wide tonal gradationation, and showed very little grain.

I shot the photos with a Leica IIIg camera and scanned the transparencies on an Epson V750 Pro scanner.

Although Scala film gives a rich black & white tonality, as in the top photo of the 1951 Nash automobile, I did add a warmer, platinum-type tone to the bottom two images in post-processing.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Over holiday weekends I enjoy getting away from my commercial work to spend some time with my collection of old cameras. The photo above of the Empire State Building and the one below of the lamp post were both taken on film with the Leica I that is pictured above in the masthead for this blog, and also shown at the bottom of this post. Scanning the negative in color mode gave a sepia tint to the images.
Sun light was streaming in from the right and I knew it would flare dramatically with the older, uncoated lens.  When shooting film where you do not have the instant gratification of reviewing shots, you just have to hope things work out the way you plan.
This is the camera I used for the photos above and the oldest 35mm camera I have, a 1930's Leica I, Model A with a fixed 50mm Elmar collapsible lens and accessory rangefinder.  I had this camera restored to complete working order and still use it for photography.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving holiday in the United States is turkey day.  This series shows the progress of cooking and serving our Thanksgiving turkey from beginning to end.  All of these images will end up in stock.  In the meantime...Yum!

This is Andrea's plate.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

I set out to create a very conceptual shot to be used for education.  The lone students chair with books lit strongly from the side so that it cast a hard shadow against the studio floor.  A wide angle lens lent a feeling of space to the shot.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

These images were done in the studio for an art-stock project I am working towards.  For this series I came in really close with the Nikon 105mm macro lens stopped down for deep focus.
All were lit by window light on an overcast day.  A silver card reflector added the fill and gloss from the right side.
The flowers were spritzed with water from a spray bottle.  These images were shot in the studio where I have total control, but even when photographing in the woods I carry a bottle of water that I can use to moisten the foliage.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

After using the drill in the studio I noticed it on the table and took this stock shot with the Nikon D3x.

Monday, November 21, 2011

To kick things off at the beginning of the second year of this project here are three images of autumn leaves, each taken for a different project.  This image is a background shot of red maple leaves I found in Battery Park in NYC, brought home and photographed by filtered window light.
This photo of a single leaf was done for an art portfolio I am doing on autumn leaves.  I used Photoshop to apply the monochrome effect.

I am working on a book called "Looking Down" showing abstract views of mostly city sidewalks as you look straight down at them.  This one is of an autumn leaf on a sidewalk grate.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The posts below are from the "Daily Stock Shot Project".  This was a one-year project that ended mid-November of 2011.   Here is the original introductory text from that project:

For over 30 years I've been teaching photographers how to take marketable stock shots. I decided that it is time for me to impose a discipline upon myself. This blog is the result. The plan is that I will take one stock photo a day for a year and post them to this blog. I won't include anything from my normal, planned stock shoots. The shots here will be grab shots from things I am exposed to daily. I may take a photo while on one of my normal shoots, but the shot will only be happenstance, not anything that I planned in advance as part of the shoot.

The idea here is to see if someone can derive stock income by taking the concepts and principles I have subscribed to for years and applying them to everyday, grab-shot opportunities. This is a low-budget to no-budget project -- opportunistic shooting only.

To see how well it works, I will actually market the images through various stock agencies and towards the end of the project I will begin posting the earnings results.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

GOAL ACHIEVED...365 DAYS OF CONTINUOUS STOCK PHOTOS!   Today's post completes the project I set out to do one year ago -- taking at least one new stock shot a day, with each shot being out of my normal workflow so that none of them would even exist were it not for this project.  I'm happy to say that I did not miss a single day of posting, even with my travel schedule.

Let's look at the results.

There were 671 photos taken directly for this blog.  This does not include the many ancillary images that were produced as a result.  The big question everyone has been asking me is what return was realized as a result of the project.  It is a little complex figuring that out with complete accuracy because it takes 4 to 6 months from when an image is shot until its first sale can occur.  That means that the photos taken since June are just now coming into the market place.  Nonetheless, I did some calculations based on three months of recent income from blog shots that are available, and interpolating them out can calculate with some accuracy what the final annual outcome will be for the entire project.

Drum roll please! 

It is safe to say that the images from this project will generate upwards of $25,600 per year based on what they have earned in the past three months.  Keep in mind that this is found money since none of these images would ever have been produced were it not for this project.  This is considerably lower than my normal return per stock image, and primarily due to the nature of the images done for the project, many of which are simple still life and grab shots.  Even with that in mind, I have to say that I am pleased with the results. 

What's next?

I have to admit that this project has been a lot of fun and I don't want to give it up.  It has kept me thinking about photography day in and day out in ways that I have found to be very productive.  Soooo...I am going to take one week off to regroup and make some changes to the blog site.  I will return again Monday, November 21st, with modifications to the plan that I will announce at that time.

In the meantime, thank all of you have visited the site and especially those of you who have sent emails of encouragement.

To celebrate the end of this project, I decided to do a variation on the first photo I took for it one year ago.  So I went out, picked up a cup of coffee, a bagel with cream cheese, and photographed them in the same situation as the first photo of this blog.  I included one of my all time favorite cameras, a Leica M4 that I had retro-fitted with an M6 viewfinder.

From the first blog post on November 14, 2010

Saturday, November 12, 2011

This is one of the favorite autumn leaf shots I did this fall, just a simple leaf resting on piece of lace lit by the light of the setting sun from the window in the behind.  Photographed wide open for a very shallow depth of field on the Nikon D3x. 

Friday, November 11, 2011

This is another take on autumn leaves.  Today I went for bolder graphics, many intended as background uses.  This image was shot with available, filtered window light and fill provided by two silver reflectors from the left.
This image and the one below were both backlit from a tungsten light with some light filled back in from the front.
All photos were taken with a Nikon D3x and Nikon macros at f/11 or f/16 aperture to obtain super sharp detail and deep color saturation.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

A conceptual image addressing the current crisis with the Euro.  Shot with the Nikon D3s and 85mm tilt-shift lens.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Right after we make the change to daylight savings time the sun sets a little before 5:00PM and the lights in the office buildings are still on so the city looks its best in a night shot.  This time I did it with the Nikon 10.5mm fisheye lens on the Nikon D7000.  Exposure was f/5.6 at 1.3 seconds and ISO of 100.
This is the same view but with the Nikon 24-70mm zoom set to a 24mm focal length.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

This is another image put together in Photoshop using a close-up of credit card numbers, a drawn map of the world, and an abstract close-up of a television screen for the diagonal lines. The photo addresses a concept of world credit, or debt.

Monday, November 7, 2011

This abstract is a combination of a photo I did of raindrops on a window plus a background of a wall, and a large planet-like ball shape manufactured completely in Photoshop. 

Sunday, November 6, 2011

While walking past Gramercy Park in NYC I found these colorful autumn leaves that had blown onto the sidewalk and brought them home to photograph.

I began shooting with the Nikon D7000 and 40mm macro but switched to the D700 and 60mm macro because I knew the image quality would be higher.  The photos were taken with an aperture around f/10 to obtain a deep focus in the softly filtered window light.

A silver cardboard reflector kicked some direct sunlight onto the leaf for a more dramatic, sculptural effect.  I will probably continue shooting autumn variations while the colorful leaves remain available.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Today in Grand Central Station I noticed how the American flag integrated with the interior architectural space.  I did a series of photos to show this relationship.  All photographs were taken with the Nikon D7000 at ISO 1260 or 1600, using the Nikon 16-85mm zoom along with the Sigma 8-16mm wide angle zoom for dramatic effect.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Variations on a theme:

We began by taking the single image of the model sitting on the studio floor holding balloons when we decided to see how many variations we could take in a short period of time.  We had to keep it "short" because we had a long script of images to cover with this model and adding other images would mean eliminating other scenes.

Here are a few of the images from the take.  There were 24 final variations, all done withing 20 minutes.  While the model was being changed from her studio clothes to her outdoor outfit, we were taking shots of just the balloons.  The photos against the sky were taken from the roof of the studio.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

We photograph autumn every year for stock, often using colorful leaves.  After doing it for so long it is challenging to come up with a different interpretation.  This year we decided to use leaves that were not "perfect" in their color, shape, or condition.  This is the first crop of images.  We will do more as the season continues.

Both photos were taken in the studio with filtered window light and the Nikon D3x to provide a very sharp look.  Top image was done using the Nikon 60mm macro lens at f/8, and the bottom image with the Nikon 24-70mm zoom at f/11.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

This photograph of human chromosomes was done with a Nikon SKe trinocular microscope I restored and upgraded with modern Nikon microscope optics.  Overall magnification of this image is approximately 750x .  I find the  Nikon D7000 to be a good camera to use on this setup.  The 1.5x magnification of an APS sensor adds extra amplification.  In addition all Nikon professional cameras have a very convenient mirror lock setting -- something that is absolutely essential when shooting through a microscope.