Getty Images / iStock Unification Project

This is something that has been a long time coming… iStock, although still a separate entity has now been migrated to Getty servers and management. A couple of years ago a project to place iStock exclusive editorial content on Getty was announced, implemented and promptly withdrawn. In the meantime I was tormented by the fact that Adobe Stock was gaining a strong foot hold in the stock photography arena and as an iStock exclusive photographer I was prohibited from participating.

Deer-TrioFor a year I waited in vain for the implementation of the editorial photography promise from Getty. Finally I gave up on the idea and rescinded my exclusive crown and began uploading to Adobe. The Adobe approach to making stock imagery available directly from Photoshop and other products was just too tempting to pass by. I now have a good nucleus portfolio on Adobe, minus all the editorial content I had enthusiastically uploaded to iStock in preparation for the editorial migration to Getty. Dire reports of ridiculous commissions in the new unified Getty / iStock world were enough to cause me to take a pause in uploading there while I built up my Adobe portfolio.

Finally, the unification project is mostly complete. Statistics on image sales on the Getty servers are now available so that an informed decision can be made regarding my future there. Much to my surprise, iStock remains my biggest stock income producer. Careful analysis of individual commissions reveals that subscription sales are not all that much smaller than that of similar licenses on Adobe. My swkrullimaging port on iStock is by far my largest and way too many man hours of effort spanning an entire decade is too much to contemplate throwing away because I am unhappy with the commission rate. As always before, the bottom line outweighs any emotional distress resulting from an industry low commission percentage and poor communication and contributor relations. Consequently, I have begun uploading again and expect to surpass the 5,000 image mark this year.

A summary of additional portfolios, including swkrullimaging on Alamy and Pixels.com is simple, sales at those two places are dismal. Alamy is the most difficult of any agency I am participating in for getting images accepted and it is increasingly difficult to justify the time required on each image for a successful upload. Pixels.com is the easiest and a portfolio there comes with additional benefits, such as a comprehensive print capability on every image in my swkrullimaging portfolio. Many fine products including metal, acrylic, canvas and traditional framed prints plus apparel, household items and a plethora of gift items are available there for both my own images, and for portrait and wedding customers as well.

It is my hope that the long night following the economic crash of 2008 is finally over. Reports of improvement in the business climate are encouraging and give me hope that the long downturn in photographic sales is at the bottom with nowhere to go but up. Lol… I could be delusional, but I have begun to upload daily stock imagery to both iStock and Adobe while I reserve the very best for my Pixels.com stock port. For the first time in a long time I believe there is hope and reason for optimism for stock photographers.

Steve Krull is a prolific sports and nature photographer selling prints and stock images online as S.W. Krull Imaging at various sites and agencies. Click this link to view all the products and services offered by Steve Krull and S. W. Krull Imaging. Additional services include, wedding photography, portraiture and model portfolios, and event photography. Additional products include fine art stock imagery, prints and gift items

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Lowepro Flipside 300

My old Lowepro camera backpack has finally went on to camera bag heaven last year and in the meantime my gear has been scattered throughout a number of inappropriate locations. For my hikes I was just putting the camera in my regular hiking pack with the Canon F4L 70-200 zoom nicely tucked into the water bottle holder. Great solution until my pack banged on a rock and my beloved 70-200 required a $250.00 repair.

An expensive mistake I would say… Decided against a repeat performance so off to Mike’s Camera I went in search of a new pack. My old school Lowepro was extremely heavy even with no equipment in it, so I was quite happy to discover that the new models were much lighter and easier to manage. As I looked over many new models, trying to calculate cost / benefit of each, my eyes were continually drawn to the Lowepro Flipside 300.

Very light and reasonably priced, it looked like it had just the right amount of partitions for the equipment I would usually like to bring along on a short trek into the back country. It has a perfect space for my camera body attached to the 70-200 along with the lens hood and enough spaces for a wide angle and flash unit, as well as a nifty zippered pouch big enough for all the batteries and extra chips I could possibly need, perhaps even a few snacks for a longer trek. For hot days and long hikes, the pack even has a mesh side pouch suitable for lugging a water bottle. There is also a nice zippered flat compartment on the inside, perfect for maps and model releases. Another zippered side pouch has space for quick access to extra chips, batteries, pens and safe storage of car keys. Rounding out the features included with this pack is a perfect tripod or monopod fastener on the outside

The straps are comfortable and the pack has a waist belt plus an additional adjustable strap to hold the shoulder straps in place and secure against jostling and bouncing. I am looking forward to years of enjoyment with this superbly constructed addition to my equipment.

Steve Krull is a prolific sports and nature photographer selling prints and stock images online as S.W. Krull Imaging at various sites and agencies. Click this link to view all the products and services offered by Steve Krull and S. W. Krull Imaging. Additional services include, wedding photography, portraiture and model portfolios, and event photography. Additional products include fine art stock imagery, prints and gift items

Sangre de Cristo Mountains

Sangre de Cristo, meaning “Blood of Christ”, according to this article in Wikipedia. Here in Colorado it is also a rugged and magnificent mountain range, one that I have been meaning to photograph in winter with just the right light for a long time. I knew that recent snow storms and cold temperatures were creating just the right conditions so I have been on the alert for the perfect day. I have been scoping out the right time of day for a while and when I saw that we had fresh snow followed by a clear day in the weather forecast, I knew that today was going to be the day.

Sangre de Cristo Mountain Range on a bitterly cold Colorado winter morning.And quite a day it was. Unfortunately when I awoke I was dismayed to discover that it was three degrees below zero here in southern Colorado with a bit more snow last night than I was planning on. Three below with a -10 windchill made me want to just crawl back under the covers and go to sleep, but the little voice told me it was going to be a great day. Often the bitterly cold days following a snowstorm produce amazing scenery here in the high country. So… I walked the dogs and loaded up my gear. Also called my friend to find out if she was still down with our planned trip… and after a slight hesitation she replied, “sure, what time?”. That was it… Come hell or high water I was going, and after a slight detour to Walmart for supplies we were on our way.

Not much to see but valley between Divide and Gillette Flats, but as we cruised through the high mountain prairie I could see it was indeed going to be a great day πŸ™‚ A few more minutes and Tenderfoot Pass was in the rear view mirror and the mountain range came into view. And it was amazing to say the least… The bitter cold and snow had produced one of the most amazing scenes I have ever encountered in my 30 years in the mountains. Soon the overlook came into view and we pulled in… Solid ice on the pavement made stopping in time a challenge, but a few pumps of the brakes and I was out capturing the day’s income! And it was cold… the wind was blowing hard from the west and the temperature at 10,500 feet was not very accommodating either! The wind chill was probably -20 I imagine, but I was not going to let a minor detail like that keep me from getting these images!

However, there was one little item to cut the session short… I promised my friend we would make the .49 cent breakfast at Bronco Billy’s casino in Cripple… so 136 images later we were on our way into town… and 30 minutes ahead of the deadline for breakfast. So my friend decided it wasn’t too much of a risk to gamble $1, which she turned into $19 by the time we got the call for our reservation πŸ™‚ $2.25 later and we were both stuffed… with eggs, hash browns, pancakes and toast and jelly πŸ™‚

Next destination, the park west of the court house to walk the doggies… another damned cold endeavor, but fortunately the puppies got their jobs done in a hurry πŸ™‚ Then onto the house we are buying… to make sure it is still there of course πŸ™‚ Assuming nothing goes wrong… I will be calling Cripple Creek home in about a month πŸ™‚

There is one more nice overlook between Cripple and Victor which seemed like a worthwhile stop, as long as I was this far… While shooting from that spot I noticed that the mountains were a lot more clearly visible with sunglasses on. Too bad my camera doesn’t have sunglasses. Wait, it does! I shuffled through my camera bag of goodies and there it was, my awesome B&W circular polarizer (ABWCP). Now of course I had to go back to the original location and shoot some more with the filter on, which proved well worth the effort. The best image of the day was one shot with the polarizer. Reminds me of a senior picture session I did one time… after an entire morning of shooting in Botanic Gardens in Denver, on our way out I spotted a bench with some colorful flowers in the background. One more shot, and the last shot of the day proved to be the best one of all. Lol… I could have gone there first and taken one shot and gone home 😦

So far I only have one image completed, the one shown in the article. But soon there will be many more available for purchase as prints, gift items, apparel and stock licensing for commercial use. Please click the link to my Fine Art Website to view the images as I complete them.

Steve Krull is a prolific sports and nature photographer selling prints and stock images online as S.W. Krull Imaging at various sites and agencies. Click this link to view all the products and services offered by Steve Krull and S. W. Krull Imaging. Additional services include, wedding photography, portraiture and model portfolios, and event photography. Additional products include fine art stock imagery, prints and gift items

Spring 2017

Wow… been a long winter. Here on the north face of Pikes Peak there isn’t much to photograph during the dark winter months. Between the winter and spring travels of the sun on the other side of the equator, Pikes Peak sits in the frozen silence of a season without sunlight. Although fascinating to watch, the dull rocky peak in shade is not much to photograph.

Sangre De Cristo MountainsHowever, the signs of spring are in the air although you wouldn’t know it tonight as I sit here shivering while huddled in four layers at my keyboard! We have been getting quite a few warm sunny days, most of the leftover ice has melted and there is a hint of light on the icy mountain. Of course spring is the snowiest season in Colorado, but many beautiful days in between the storms ease the pain of the seemingly never ending Colorado snow.

Late winter finds me prepared for spring, sporting a new LoweproΒ  camera bag, a repaired and tuned Canon 70-200 F4l IS, Ice Trekkers replaced and my spirit and desire to get out and start shooting again restored πŸ™‚ In addition, I have finally converted my blog to “Premier” in order to begin earning some income from it… Hoping that the monetary incentive will spur me on to new adventures so that I will have something to write about.

Also it looks like I may be moving to Cripple Creek, an old west setting complete with nearby ghost towns, gold mines and saloons that I have been wanting to study and photograph for a long time. Following the death of “The Examiner”, where I was a content provider for outdoor sports articles, my writing has been a bit random. With the conversion to a Premium account I have acquired the domain name swkrullimaging.com, and I intend to devote this blog to all things photography. Politics I will leave to the pundits and political commentators. I am certain that they will be able to carry on splendidly without me, and avoiding that subject will undoubtedly do much for my mood and my spirit.

Although I have made a few trips house hunting to my intended new location recently, I have not been there for optimal lighting for photography. Tomorrow is going to be a perfect day and I intend to cruise down Highway 67 to Cripple at just the right time specifically to photograph the magnificent mountain range known as the Sangre De Cristo Range. The light should be perfect at right about 10:00 a.m. as it clears the high peaks of 10,500 foot Tenderfoot Pass and shines on the jagged snow capped 13,000 foot mountain range dividing the waters of the North American continent. An added benefit of the adventure will of course be 49 cent breakfast at the Bronco Billy’s Casino on Bennett Avenue πŸ™‚

Right now though, time to check my equipment, make sure batteries are charged, lenses clean and proper equipment packed. I am so looking forward to this! Hopefully tomorrow evening will bring a new blog post complete with pictures!

Steve Krull is a prolific sports and nature photographer selling prints and stock images online as S.W. Krull Imaging at various sites and agencies. Click this link to view all the products and services offered by Steve Krull and S. W. Krull Imaging. Additional services include, wedding photography, portraiture and model portfolios, and event photography. Additional products include fine art stock imagery, prints and gift items

Picturesque Morning Frost

As I drove home Thursday night in 15 degree weatherΒ  in a fog layer so dense that I could barely see to drive, I was pretty sure that the Pike National Forest surrounding my home would be clothed in a mantle of magnificent white in the morning. I knew it would be well worth my time to get up early and grab the camera for my morning hike on the north ridge of Ute Pass with the puppies.

frosty-forestAs I strode through the woods in the early morning solitude, the sun’s first light began to hit the tall pines and I could see that the day would not disappoint! The trees were covered in thick white frost, as if some unseen hand had sprayed them with that snow aerosol spray people use on their artwork. The fog from the night before was not quite as dense, but was still prevalent enough to add a mystical mood to the scene and the light shining through the mist was perfect for photography. Just enough to light the scene without blowing the highlights.

foggy-peakThe doggies were a bit impatient with my constant stops, but soon learned that today was going to be done differently than our usual romp through the woods. They were quite happy to find that we weren’t going to stop at the usual turnaround though! As we climbed higher I noticed that the fog was becoming thinner. My hope was that if we continued climbing towards the top of the ridge, I might be able to climb above the fog and see a magnificent fog layer at the base of 14,115 foot Pikes Peak.

mystical-peakMy instincts proved correct and as I made my way through the fog I noticed the very top of the mountain occasionally peeking through the mist. Then finally, the reward. I burst through the fog and got a clear view of the peak and a valley filled with mist. A truly magical scene! A scene that would lift my spirits after a winter of disappointment and injury. A scene befitting of the good news to come later, that a home on two acres in the woods had become available within the budget of my loan qualification. A scene befitting of new hope that 2017 would bring new adventures, ascents to new 14,000 foot Colorado Peaks… and a summer not quite as filled with hardship as were recent summers past… “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” Psalm 30:5

Steve Krull is a prolific sports and nature photographer selling prints and stock images online as S.W. Krull Imaging at various sites and agencies. Click this link to view all the products and services offered by Steve Krull and S. W. Krull Imaging. Additional services include, wedding photography, portraiture and model portfolios, and event photography. Additional products include fine art stock imagery, prints and gift items