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Wolf Moon

Posted by
Don Smith (California, United States) on 2 February 2010 in Landscape & Rural.


Spring Big Sur Photo Workshop - March 29 - April 1, 2010 (Sold Out - Waiting List Only)
Northern Arizona: Grand Canyon, Upper Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, and Sedona Photo Workshop - May 3-7, 2010 (Sold Out - Waiting List Only)
Redwoods and Mendocino Coast Photo Workshop - June 15-18, 2010 (space available)
Kauai, Hawaii Photo Workshop - July 12-16, 2010 (space available)
Big Sur Photo Workshop Summer August, 17-20, 2010 (space available)
Arches/Canyonlands Photo Workshop November 3-7, 2010 (space available)
New Article on my Website: Balancing Images in Post Processing

Books Available for Purchase on my Website:
Refined Vision: 50 Lessons Designed to Improve Your Digital Landscape Photography (e-book and printed versions - 160 pages)
The Photographer's Guide to the Big Sur Coast (e-book version - 102 pages)
On the Edge (printed version - softcover and hardcover - 120 pages)

I'm often asked what type of images sell best for stock. To tell you the truth - I wish I knew! I am fortunately at a time in my career (after 30 years) where I photograph what moves me (and not what fits an editor's needs, unless I am on a paid assignment). This might sound a bit snobbish, but it is not intended to. It simply means that for over a quarter century, I have been photographing images to pay the bills, and generally that equates to photographing what an editor wants.

When I signed a contract with Getty Images three years ago to sell my landscape imagery (I already had my sports images listed with them), it was with the intent that it would be my images, not what they say they wanted. Fortunately, the formula seems to be successful (at least to the extent that stock sales overall are not what they used to be). The cover image of my recent book, Refined Vision: 50 Lessons Designed to Improve Your Digital Landscape Photography (see link above) is without a doubt my biggest selling stock image to date. Closely on its heels is this image of a Wolf Moon (because of the moon's spherical rotation, this full moon was 32,000 miles closer to earth than a regular full moon accounting for its larger than normal size).

I had pre-scouted this location the evening before and actually shot this image at a looser crop than it appears here. During editing, it kept coming back to me that this image indeed looked better at this crop, but it meant a rez-up from its original size (in retrospect, I wish I would have photographed this with an 800mm lens). There is quite a bit of digital noise, but because of the uniqueness of the image, buyers don't seem to mind.

This image recently sold for a book cover for quite a good sum of money. It routinely appears on my monthly sales reports (full moon images sell quite well overall).

I have been told by various Getty editors that if I could include people in my images, they would have more appeal to buyers. I've been thinking about that lately, but as of yet, have left the human form out of my landscapes.

This image has recently been turned into my logo. A good friend of mine, Jackie Young, handled the work and did an outstanding job. If any of you have a similar need, let me know, and I will put you in touch with her.

Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III 3/10 second F/9.0 ISO 200 400 mm

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