New Stock Images – An afternoon at Seririt food market

A year ago, I left the cold late February of my beloved Montreal to depart on a great adventure – I knew I had to be in LA in early March and Tokyo in mid May, but in between was wide open. My friend Adrian invited me to Bali, where he was staying for the Winter, and so I decided to fill the time gap by investing in a 10 weeks photo trip through South-east Asia. It started in Bali, then I hopped to Java, had a short stop in Kuala Lumpur, then spent some time in Vietnam, South Korea and landed in Tokyo. There are no words to convey how brilliant, eye opening, heart lightening and overall wonderful this experience has been. Oh and of course productive. Through my several encounters, many discovery trips and lucky finds, I came back home with close to 15000 images and clips to edit, or, in other words, add to my already heavy back catalog of images to submit. It’s now been 9 months since my return and I’ve managed to retouch and submit 820 images of this journey – which is about two fifth of what should be the final number of available photographs.

So time to present a few of these amazing series. Here’s one. While I stayed in Bali, we would enjoy the great food that Uni cooked for us and one day, wanting to know the source of these delights, she took us to the Seririt food market. In the smoldering heat and humidity, we discovered heaps of colorful food ingredients, various items of clothing and more than one luminously happy faces. Uni introduced us to many of the vendors who allowed us to take their photos while working. The food looked so fresh and good, vibrant colors, gorgeous spices and fruits. I don’t know exactly what it is with Asian food markets, but it makes the return to our cold, huge – dead in a way- supermarkets particularly difficult. Here’s a sample of these images. You can view this series either by itself on Photoshelter (with links to purchase on Istock) or amidst my other Indonesian images directly on Istock.

These are all unreleased, so only available for editorial use.

BaliMarket

A. © 2015 Nicolas McComber – Available for editorial RF licensing at Istock 

B. © 2015 Nicolas McComber – Available for editorial RF licensing at Istock 

C. © 2015 Nicolas McComber – Available for editorial RF licensing at Istock

D. © 2015 Nicolas McComber – Available for editorial RF licensing at Istock

Introducing new stock image gallery: Tokyo

Ok so first: I’m still very much active and hard at work uploading new work every day. Much less on this blog, I must admit, but amidst the numerous changes on the Istock website, and in my personal life, I have decided to focus on uploading and less on marketing. But here’s a new resolution: every Thursday I will update both my Photoshelter mirror site with new series and this blog to talk a bit about them.

This Spring, I made a long trip that filled me with tons of extraordinary moments, meaningful encounters, good times, spiritual awakenings and overall fantastic-way-beyond-anything-I-ever-imagined awesomeness.  (and about 16k files of great materiel to edit of course). Book-ended by two Getty Images-sponsored Istockalypses (Los Angeles in early March and Tokyo in mid May), this  adventure took me on a quick road trip through Central California, then on to a month in Indonesia (mostly in the Bali area but also briefly in Yogyakarta), then Kuala Lumpur, Hanoi and Halong bay (Vietnam), Seoul, a small Zen temple in Central Korea, Busan and Tokyo. So all of these will be on my slate for release in the next 4 months.

I concurrently work on older shoots in order to close chapters and, ahem, clear my main hard drives. So peppered through these Asian images, you will see more of Switzerland (almost done!) and then on to my two minilypses in Florida, some more of Hong Kong, final images from the cowboy and aliens event in Montana, extended availability of successful model shoots (such as my excursion with four models through London last Fall or my lone Black office worker walkabout in Montreal) and another batch of Istanbul photographs.

So without further ado, the first collection are images from the City of Tokyo. You can view the images pertaining to the city (mostly tourism) on my Photoshelter site (with links to purchases licenses on Istock, as always) or directly on Istock. The latter lightbox also includes the images shot with models, while the Photoshelter site is divided thematically, with model images in their own collection.

So Tokyo was the last stop of my 3 months trip. I did start to feel a sense of fatigue by then, but I still held on and visited this fantastic city, shooting streets, inspiring architecture, backgrounds and of course some great people. I was so full of immense gratitude by then – I guess that would be the thematic emotion of this whole adventure. Gratitude to be there, to live this and to be part of this amazing world in these fascinating times.

My guesthouse was in the Shinjuku area, so expect many images from there, and also from Asakusa, Odeiba and Shibuya as well as short detours to some of the city’s landmark buildings. Here are a few favorites:

More later.. Enjoy!

Introducing new Stock image galleries: Istanbul IStockalypse 2014 shoots part 1

Last Fall, I took part in my 4th official Istockalypse after Berlin, London and Hong Kong. This one took place in Istanbul, where I spent two weeks in late October. Upon coming back, amidst the stress of relocating, finding a place to live, move all my stuff and rediscover my inner strength, I pushed over 250 images of this event, more than I ever did on the previous ones. I participated in 2 walkabout shoots organized by Getty Images, 2 pitch shoots also sponsored by Getty Images, and 3 side shoots. I also photographed the city whenever I could, in all its historic grandeur: mosques, markets, commercial streets and skylines of piled up apartment buildings. So, yes, lots of images… And I have tons more to go through.

Here are three galleries I put together today on Photoshelter. As usual, links to buy the images on IStock are provided on each image’s page in bright orange. Go ahead and splurge.

The first one, Turkey: Istanbul, is mostly street photography , travel landmark images and panoramic skylines, with some food images thrown in for good measure. You’ll see such images as this one:

The second one, Lifestyles: Two female Turkish Friends shopping regroups images shot during my first walkabout. Here’s a highlight:

The third one, Lifestyles: Business team in Istanbul regroups images shot during the second walkabout, later that same day. Here’s a favorite:

Throwback Thursdays! Construction site stock image gallery

So it’s Thursday, my upkeep day where I work on my Photoshelter site, this blog, creating links, banners and lightboxes on Istock, etc. Oh and sometimes I squeeze in a few uploads as well. So first thing today was completing an update on the construction gallery on Photoshelter. Most of the images there were shot during the construction of what would be my home for barely a year and a half before I relocated as a single man. I used my family as models – and perhaps I should have brought other variants, but it all really happened rather fast so I did what I could at that time. ANd it was probably a good decision as the images have been quite successful so far, both on IStock and Getty Images. One sad thing about this collection though, is that I never shot the finished house and garden… because neither was finished at the time I left, and I kept saying next year… next year… well maybe I’ll go back this Summer and complete this. It is rather bittersweet to see this project, so replete with promises, through these images, and know how it evolved for me. One shot has the dogs looking at me from the construction site… whenever I see that image I am filled with joy. In any case, my friends, enjoy the moment. And then learn to let go and keep an open mind for the next thing.

This is the link to the Photoshelter Construction site gallery.

This is the link to the IStock Construction site gallery with these images.

As always, thank you for choosing my images.

Here are a few favorites:

Revamping my Photoshelter site

Ok, so I really slacked off on this one. Many apologies. One of my goals in 2014 was to get to 5000 images available on Istock, a feat that will be completed next week. Yay me! Send me many congratulations and pats on the back! But one of the things that happened to meet this goal was that I stopped using lightroom to sort out my keywords, a step that was taking way too time consuming and so easily bypassed by copying then altering keywords from similar images already uploaded with the brilliant Deepmeta tool for Istock contributors. And another is that I stopped updating my Photoshelter site which was also time consuming… and, I admit, boring as hell. And also, looking at google analytics, I found out that a lot of the traffic were people looking for porn, and not designers and ADs looking for the right photograph, which is what I had hoped for initially. So I took a break. Didn’t seem like a good investment in time nor money.

But then people left and right mentioned the site over the past year as their favorite place to look at my work. And just recently, IStock announced that they would be removing our linked banners and images from the photo close-up pages in the not too distant future. Ouch.  So… Yup, the Photoshelter  and similar personal mirroring sites, might end up being the only place left for a customer to view shoot-related images in one place easily. And so I have to do a revamp and upload the zounds of images I produced last year. Deep breath…

One of this I’ll do this time is completely separate the images by shooting themes, markets and models, to enable an easier fruitful experience for the customers. Links to Istock are provided in the information of each image, as always, if you view them at their own page. If you’re in the fancy animation section, you’ll have to copy paste the link in your browser manually because, somehow, Photoshelter never got to activate links in those spaces.

So today I did the work on a hundred images – all from the Orlando City Beautiful 4 event last February – split into these stock photography galleries (click on the text to view the gallery, and on the image to buy it on Istock):

Lifestyles: Two friends registering at hotel

Lifestyles: African American family’s Christmas

Lifestyles: Dad and kids dress up for St. Patrick’s day and Halloween

Lifestyles: African American Mother’s day gift exchange and portraits

Lifestyles: Children at the gym

 (sorry no images of this one: fail on all images from the Getty Watermark tool. Sigh.)

Lifestyles: At the movies

Lifestyles: Senior man’s birthday party

Lifestyles: Pregnant African American couple

Now, some of these collections have just a very few images. They were shot at the kind of event where we get only a few minutes with the models, and we have to think of a concept, set up the lights, direct and shoot at lightning speed, often resulting in short, but delightfully spontaneous, series. I love that kind of event. This one was fantastic, even though most of the images were uploaded at the worst possible time (ultra low Sig+ acceptance rate and a search engine that killed most new images on arrival) and as a result underperformed badly.  Perhaps the exposure on Photoshelter will give them new life. One can hope…

Introducing my London Istockalypse 2013 lightbox

Just a short break in posting my top 50 2013 best earners to introduce my personal lightbox featuring the images I captured while in London last October. To have an in depth account of my activities there, please read this post. I have some 60-odd already available on Istock with a lot more to come. Judging by the raw material, I should end up with about 150. Here is the banner to the lightbox – click on it and see what I have so far:

Nicolas McComber 2013 London Istockalypse lightbox
Nicolas McComber 2013 London Istockalypse lightbox

And here are some early favorites. Many of them failed to initially make the Deluxe (vetta / sig+) collections at Istock (bummer), but, hey, that just means you can get them at a lesser price. So go ahead, splurge!

Here are some skyline and building photos:

Stock Image: Sunset behind the London Shard
Stock Image: Sunset behind the London Shard

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Stock Image: Aerial view of the London Shard
Stock Image: Aerial view of the London Shard

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Stock Image: London Gherkin and older buildings
Stock Image: London Gherkin and older buildings

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And this very wide London UK aerial panoramic stock image:

Stock Image: Panoramic London UK view
Stock Image: Panoramic London UK 2013 view

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Here is a shot of fellow photographer and friend Lorraine Boogich:

Stock image: Pensive woman commuting by train
Stock image: Pensive woman commuting by train

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And here are a couple of staged shoots with the Getty models:

Stock Image: Hip young Englishman going to work in London UK
Stock Image: Hip young Englishman going to work in London UK

LogoBUYlogoISON Link to Getty Images

Stock Image: Adult woman having fun Autumn gardening
Stock Image: Adult woman having fun Autumn gardening

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Now that last one is also a test of sorts. Normally, I would never submit such an obviously Autumn-oriented photo in December since designers and art directors are working on Winter, Holidays and even Spring images by then. But there are many thinking that it doesn’t make a difference, and perhaps, since it’s an Istockalypse image and influential people are looking at them while they’re fresh, it’s better to just do them all now. So here it is. We’ll see how it goes.

I’m also putting them up, with some delay unfortunately, on my photoshelter site if you’d rather see them in a larger format.

My 2013 Top Earning Stock Images #49: Fashion designer explaining draping technique

Stock Image #44: Fashion designer explaining draping technique
Stock Image #44: Fashion designer explaining draping technique

LogoBUYlogoISON Link to Getty Images

Uploaded: April 2013
Collection: Sig+ / E+

A second one from the Berlin Istockalypse. This one was done in a tie factory, using actors/models in a variety of settings. I loved the interaction between these two models as I’d shot them earlier that day in the fabric section. We brought them to the larger sewing area, got a mannequin, some fabric and staged this in probably 3.5 minutes as I had less than 10 minutes left on my time. I didn’t have time to fiddle with the lighting and so shot at a very small aperture in ambient light, hence the reduced depth of field. I love working with pros, though. They just project that easy-going cheerful confidence on cue, which is extremely time saving. In regards to performance, well it’s another one of those low-selling files on IStock that made most of its money on Getty Images. It turns out there is a lot of these on this list. Hmmm.

You can view all of my Berlin Istockalypse photos in this photoshelter gallery with links to purchase on Istock.