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IOTW: Railway Tracks at Sunset February 4, 2009

Posted by Team SnapVillage in image of the week, snapvillage.
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Railway Tracks at Sunset

Image: 43-00608312

Title: Railway tracks at sunset

Contributor: Stephen Strathdee

One school of thought in the stock photography world is that it’s often a good idea to keep your images aimed at a more general audience rather than a very specific one. This image is a good example of that philosophy. The trick is to find a balance between a striking image and something that can be vague enough to be useful in a variety of contexts. Easier said than done, but Stephen Strathdee pulls it off nicely in this composite shot titled, “Railway Tracks at Sunset.”

Travels, transportation, riding into the sunset, emptiness, isolation, vastness, are just a few of the ideas that this image could convey. Really there is no telling how many different ways this image could be used; we’ll let the buyers figure that out.

Some skillful but unobtrusive manipulation adds to the general aesthetic, proving once again that sometimes less is more or at least more useful.

– Dustin

Image Reviewer


IOTW: Hip vector art January 27, 2009

Posted by Team SnapVillage in image of the week, snapvillage.
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Floral designs with songbirds / beaubelle

Image: 43-00095686

Title: Floral designs with songbirds

Contributor: beaubelle

If you haven’t noticed, the aviary trend has been going on strong for a while now. Birds are popping up all over in illustrations, textiles, stationary and home decor.

The birds in this particular design are a nice compliment to the flowers, adding a bit of contrast but still keeping it a cohesive design. The mix of solid shapes, gradient and line drawings create depth and give the whole piece a refreshing splash of color. As if it wasn’t great enough- the whole illustration is laid out in a giant swoop, which brings your eyes around the whole piece.

And plus, who doesn’t love a cheery vector illustration?

If you want to jump on the trend and spice your design up to give it some hip flair, you can visit these sites to learn how to create your very own vector image:

Instructables – How to create groovy vector art

– Shelby

Image Reviewer

IOTW: Quality nostalgia January 21, 2009

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Family Baking


Family Baking

Alexander Shalamov

Childhood memories waft off the screen along with the smell of homemade cookies. In a world of pre-made cookie dough in the grocery isle, traditions like baking cookies together just isn’t the same. This image by Alexander Shalamov is image of the week because it reminds us of family togetherness.

We like the composition in this image and how the focus is on the hands as they are cutting the cookies out. It’s tells a story and prompts the viewer to feel nostalgic or just warm and fuzzy. The lighting is nice and warm looks natural. There is an authenticity to this shot that stands out. It feels like you just stumbled across a mom and her child really baking in their kitchen. Consider these authentic moments when shooting for stock. When an image feels too staged, it gets cold and is hard for the viewer to connect with.

Enjoy your holiday indulgences and keep your camera shooting!

– Shannon

Image Reviewer

Image of the Week: December 5th, 2008 December 5, 2008

Posted by Team SnapVillage in image of the week, snapvillage.
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Hi –

We’ve heard from many that have missed our “Image of the Day” blog feature. Sadly we’ve been busy, and our blog has indeed been looking lonely lately.  We’re back and we’re changing things up a bit this time ’round. We’ll be switching to a weekly format – and while I’ll continue to chime in, we’ll also be featuring posts from SnapVillage reviewers and other team members.

Kicking things off – this IOTW (Image of the Week) post comes from Maggie, one of our lead image reviewers. 


   – Brian



Image: 43-00621761
  “Loose Green Tea”
Contributor: Elenathewise

 Great shots like this one by Elena the Wise beg the question, “What makes a great food shot?” As an image reviewer, one sees many examples of food photography so I thought it might be helpful to share some hints for successful food shots. Here’s why Elena’s image works well:

  • Nice lighting: The shot is well lit with no unsightly areas of shadow or blown out highlights.
  • White balance: The lighting helps keep the white balance accurate. Food shots with greenish or yellowish color casts from improper white balance are usually pretty unappetizing.
  • Interesting props: The use of the porcelain spoon vs. a regular teaspoon adds interest and a splash of color. The spoon’s decorative blue border contrasts nicely against the pink of the petals in the tea.
  • Great composition: Getting close-up and shooting the spoon from slightly above rather than from the side really lets the tea stand out as the main subject. The use of selective focus draws the eye to the subject.

Nice work, Elena!  If you’d like to learn more about how to make your food shots look fabulous, check out these resources:

Introduction to food photography:

Food photography gear:

 Equipment on a budget:


Bon appetite!


– Maggie