Photograph of Mushroom on a Forest

I have taken a lot of photos over the years, many while travelling. A few years back I was going through them and realised there are a lot of photos that may be useful as stock images. It seemed like a good idea to start collating photos and posting them on stock photo sites.

It didn’t happen exactly like that and hasn’t happened yet. It has been a learning process. I have learned a lot from photos not being accepted, from posts to metadata and everything in-between.


Image post-processing using Darktable.

I start by importing a collection from a recent photography session (SD Card). In the lighttable tab, I will quickly go through all photos and mark photos to delete, add 3 stars of the occasional 5 stars to reduce the collection to quality pics. I mark unwanted photos to delete and only keep photos that are above 4mp.

Apply a style

I have looked at a lot of the styles on dstyle.net but found making your own styles is best. They can be made dependant on the and applied to groups of images that are similar and applied to all quickly. If I have photographed with a new camera or using a different perspective, new environment with or without actors, I might create a new Style.

Photo Metatags and Geotags

As I adjust individual photos I will add metadata and tags, and occasionally geotag those with known locations. It is ideal to have your tags organised into categories, it makes for quick tagging of images.

Photo Exposure and Tones

In the darkroom tab, I use focus peaking and overexposure indications in a colour assessed condition (white border). I use the exposure setting to adjust any overexposure indications and even out the image. Tone Curve and removing highlights will reduce overexposure areas.

Lens Corrections

Use lens Correction to fix the image to the lens type, when the Lens is available in Darktable, see issues below.

Lens Correction is not available for one of my Lenses. I have a Samsung NX200 with a 50-200mm lens that is not in Darktable and such the Lensfun list of Lenses. There are tutorials for calibrating my Lens which is something I should get done.

Image Ratios and Rule of Thirds

I rotate and crop images keeping concepts such as the rule of thirds and image ratios in mind. I generally use a golden cut or panoramic ratio.

Panoramic photos sometimes get a slight bit of perspective correction and use the get structure analysis and automatic fit on the correct axis to orientate the image, other landscape portrait images just get a simple rotation.

Vibrant Images and Feature Elements

Haze removal is another way to bring out the elements of an image and makes it more vibrant. If the image is already clean with no haze, it may do a bit much.

Colour Zones make it possible to increase the vibrancy of a particular colour. Can be used to reduce far mountain blue shifting or increase water or other elements’ vibrancy.

To directly affect a part of the image use a mask, then try to use a parametric mask to fine-tune the edges.


My Shutterstock Portfolio

I have around 20 photos accepted by Shutterstock and another hundred in the process of submitting. I have also started using Getty Images/iStock, Dreamstime, Adobe Stock and Stocksy to upload stock images. I enjoy photography and plan on continuing photo submissions.

https://www.shutterstock.com/g/Matthew+Harmer?rid=2709454