Welcome to the blog! twcdm.blogspot.com is all about sharing tips, tricks and tutorials all having to do with photography, Photoshop and getting into the stock photo industry.

Travis Manley

My bio is here.
My Stock Photography portfolio is here.
My personal blog is here.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Photo of the Day

This is an example of how to use the existing light to get a good photo.

The breakdown: I took this shot on a bright sunny day because I was going for a summer yard work theme. Because it was so bright out I used a big 40" reflector on my left side (opposite the sun) to bounce some of that light back on the front of the mower.

I took this shot with the Canon 5d with the 24-105mm lens at 45mm, f5.6 and 160/sec ISO 100.

Please feel free to leave comments or questions.

Monday, March 30, 2009

POTD #1: Photo of the day

Thought I would start something new on the blog, so here it is. Photo of the day, im going to do my best to get one of these up at least 5 days a week.

Here is POTD (Photo of the day) #1

This is a shot of my wife Carra and son River at a park near our house on a little photo shoot for his seven month birthday.

The breakdown: The weather was a little overcast as are many days out here in the lovely Pacific Northwest, but im starting to find this works really well for outdoor shoots. When its a little cloudy the sun works as a giant softbox and provides great diffused light. I brought along my new Speedlite the 430EX and used it handheld off camera via a 3ft ETTL sync cable for a little extra light and so I could shoot at a faster shutterspeed without raising my ISO past 100.

I took this shot with the Canon 5d with the 24-105mm lens at 105mm, f8 and 160/sec.

Please feel free to leave comments or questions.

Great Photography Blog!

If you dont know who Chase Jarvis is your missing out. This guy is awesome, talk about taking it up a notch! Check him out here www.chasejarvis.com

Not only is Chase an excellent photographer his blog is a great resource for photographers. You can find it here blog.chasejarvis.com/blog/

This video in particular is very interesting.


Friday, March 27, 2009


Just signed up at twitter and have added it to my blog. Check it out on the right side of the page and down a little.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

New Links

I have just finished adding some links (found on the right side of the page and down a little) of all the places online where you can find my photos (that I know of).

Check it out

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

My Photo in Yaymicro.com blog

Yaymicro.com used one of my photos (of my son River) in a blog about what kind of images they are looking for. You can read it here.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Photos That Don't Sell

In a previous post I talked about what kind of photos you should upload and what sells, here is the flip side to that. Knowing what doesn't sell is just as important as knowing what does.

A lot of what is on this list is only on the list because there is so much of it out there already, not because they are low interest subjects.

*Disclaimer: I put this list together based on my own experience, just because something is on this list in no way means it wont sell.

Photos taken at the zoo - Taking photos at the zoo can be great practice, but unless you can make the shot look like it was taken in the wild these have low sales potential.

Flowers - Unless they are magazine quality with the name of the flower don't even bother.

Clouds - Everybody takes cloud photos. I actually take them to use later if I need to replace a dull gray sky in a landscape or something. Unless they are really good they are not worth the time to submit.

Sunsets/Sunrises - This is another one that there are nothing wrong with them, they just have to be really good to stand out against all the ones that are for sale already. Make sure those horizon lines are straight if you are going to submit them!

Snapshots - Snapshot is a broad term basically meaning unprofessional looking or unappealing. If it looks like a five year old could have taken it, its probably in this category.

Photos taken with on-camera flash - Using the flash that is built into your camera is probably the worst thing you can do to a photo. Do yourself a favor and get that flash off your camera! This should be required reading for all photographers www.strobist.blogspot.com

Photos with poor composition - Cropping or cutting off part of your subject. If your taking a portrait try to keep all of the models head in the frame. When someone buys your photo they can always crop it down, but they cant "uncrop" (think I just made up a word).

Under or overexposed photos - Try to avoid taking photos where there are blown out areas or the overall photo is too dark. Keep an eye on your light meter and histogram on your camera when shooting.

Copyright infringement - This can be really frustrating and I still have a hard time with it. Be careful of what you take photos of or what might be in the background of a photo you take. Don't take photos with visible logos or brand names, photos that you didn't take, photos with license plates or identifying marks on vehicles, photos with artwork in them that is not your own. The list goes on, and on, and on some more. iStockphoto.com has a useful wiki where you can get more info on things that are protected by copyright here.

Similar photos - Try not to submit too many similar photos. Giving buyers a variety is great, but try to make shots from a series different enough so it not just a model changing her expression slightly for 100+ photos (for example). Try to go for quality not quantity. Having 100 great unique photos in your portfolio is better than having 500 really similar not so great photos.

Photos with technical flaws - Blurriness, graininess, purple fringing etc. Be sure to check your photos at at least 100% before submitting.

Landscapes/nature photos - This is another one that if done right will most likely sell, but there are so many of this type of photo out there yours will have to be pretty awesome to get noticed.

As long as this list is I have only started to scratch the surface.

For the record I am guilty of submitting and selling photos of all these things. I'm not proud of it, but I have learned a lot by getting it wrong the first time. Also there are always exceptions to the rule. What I'm talking about here is really knowing what your doing and doing it wrong on purpose for artistic effect, not doing it wrong on accident.

Hope this helps!

As always

If you have any comments or questions please email me.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Dreamstime.com is the first stock photo site I started selling images at and are currently my second highest earner behind Shutterstock.com.

Dreamstime.com supports ftp uploads and submitting is fast and easy.

Photographers get 50-80% from each sale.

Need help keywording or just dont have the time? Dreamstime.com is one of the few stock photo sites that offer a keywording program for a small fee where you can submit your images or whole portfolio to the Keymasters and they will be professionally keyworded for you!

Sign up today!