Stock Image Specifications
All the stock images use the same rights-managed standard PhotoShelter pricing structure. I reserve fine art uses, such as for retail prints/posters/calendars and art cards for myself, so those options are not available from the automatic stock licensing menu. In a few cases other options have also been deleted when exclusive rights have been granted, so that is why some rights are not listed. In rare cases I have licensed images, even exclusively, for mass-printed posters, but I have found that standard market royalty rates are not worthwhile.
Automatic payments through PayPal are limited to $10,000 per transaction for members of PayPal and $4,000 per transaction for non-members. Please contact me if you are licensing an image for large amounts. I am deeply disturbed that PayPal, along with VISA and Mastercard, have blocked payments to Wikileaks, an essential whistleblowing news organization that has not even been charged with a crime. I am looking for an alternative.
I use different versions of some of the same images for both stock and prints categories. In searches where you may find more than one version of the same image, the ones with file names with .jpg suffixes files are thumbnails for prints, and .tif names are stock files. The art print files have the keyword "print". You can search just for stock tulip images, for example, by using the minus sign, "tulip -print". Conversely, you can exclude stock tulip files from search results by using "tulip & print". Full search tips are shown on the search page. I really intended for people to browse by category more than to search, and there is no elegant way yet I have thought of to quickly show which are in which categories well.
My images are real transmissive x-ray photos, meaning the rays go through the whole subject to make an image. The final images have often been combined from different exposures and colorized digitally. Object edges are usually traced to enable creation of pure white or black backgrounds. This allows for easier combining of elements (“multiply” filter). The stock files available here are saved flat, without layers or paths.
X-ray photography by its nature produces a softer look than photography that captures just a surface. I use specialized x-ray equipment to get optimal detail and sharpness. Plants particularly require a unit that can expose with the low-energy Grenz rays, and even then their less-dense delicate parts will have low contrast. I work meticulously to digitally enhance contrast while trying to avoid pixellation. I do all my own editing. Though I am often fighting for more contrast, to get top results for things with larger density ranges I may make multiple exposures and put them together digitally (analagous to HDR in more traditional photography).
Images of large subjects, such as the complete 'Electra' waterlily, were created from numerous exposures. Transmissive x-ray beams cannot be focused by a lens to image onto a small area: the film or digital plate must cover the area of the object's shadow if one were to place a visible light at the x-ray source. This means that very good very large files can be created for large items. I have limited the uncompressed stock file sizes to 60MB but for many images I have larger versions. I use a Mac but I have saved in IBM byte order to be more easily compatible. Except for in the early years, I have always used TIFF format and not jpg. I use RGB colorspace (or grayscale) and LZW compression, which is lossless, and makes most files considerably smaller because they have perfectly uniform backgrounds. I avoid using interpolation to make larger files and that is why there are galleries for both large and small shells.
I try to be true to the natural forms of the subjects in my digital editing. I often add color. For the seashells particularly I have added dramatic non-natural coloring, but also provided pure versions without color. While I have taken creative liberties with coloring my images, I have always been conservative in identifications, preferring not to list a particular plant or animal species name unless I am confident it is correct.
A radiograph of a seashell is essentially the same whether exposed from one side or the opposite side since the rays go through the whole object. Interestingly, people usually interpret shell radiographs to have been taken with the operculum side towards them rather than away. Since most shells are dextral (“right-handed”) rather than sinistral they often think an image is backwards and needs to be flopped, when it really has no correct orientation since it could be a view from either end of an axis. I am actually left-handed, but not sinister.