Sunday, June 14, 2015

Quick and Easy Ways to Improve Your Digital Photographs: Photoshop Tips from Geri Murphy, Part 4

This the final episode of Geri Murphy's Photoshop tutorial that she sent to me recently.  It is a summary of what she discussed in the past three parts.


Here is Geri's contact information in case anyone reading these tutorials would like to contact her for information on her trips, private tutorials, etc.

Geri Murphy:
http://www.gerimurphy.net/
gerimurphyimages@earthlink.net




Hi Norb -

Here is the order that I usually tackle the chore of Photoshopping images.  I normally do these steps in order... Then I don't find myself second guessing whether or not I did a step.  Because then you start double sharpening (bad) and doing steps over and over by going back and forth.  If that happens, or you don't like the results, you have TWO options.... UNDO and FADE (whatever the tool). 

I only recently found out that the FADE tool is available for everything you do that is "AUTO"  For example,  Auto color, you can fade it...  Auto sharpening, you can fade it.  Even the HEALING BRUSH can be "FADED"  Amazing control.

Anyway, the steps are:
1)  Convert from RAW to JPG (in BRIDGE)
2)  AUTO TONE
3)  HEALING BRUSH OR STAMPER
4)  SHARPEN - start at 2, 2 and 100% then slide the % bar higher
5)  SATURATION - Use the sliders SATURATION or increase HUE as needed.
6)  SAVE, SAVE, SAVE... I usually add the letter "E" to the name creating a new file so I have the Original untouched and I know for sure which one was "Edited".

Of course there are many, many other tools, but if you master just these few you will go a long way.  I do not use Layers.  Takes too much time and for what I do, I just don't need it.  This makes it simple.

TIP:  The center wheel in the middle of your mouse is very useful when using the healing brush.  Pushing the wheel up or down, ENLARGES or DECREASES the size of the photo.  When you are doing something delicate, blow it up so you can see it easily.  It's fast and it is at your fingertip.

AUTO TONE - Sometimes the Auto Tone does not change the photo at all.  But when it does, it is usually dramatic.  If you are shooting at a high ISO (600 and up) it does not work well.  You will get a lot of magenta.  This happens also when the animal is far away.  The closer you are to the animal and the more shallow you are, the better.  But when the animal is far away, Auto Tone usually just darkens the photo a little bit.  So, think Close & Shallow for the best results with Auto Tone. 

Also, sometimes Auto Tone is good topside.  I shot a dolphin leaping out of the water once and did not have a polarizer.  Using the Auto Tone was magic... It looked like I used a polarizer.  Some times it helps with skin tones, but as I said before, decreasing SATURATION will take the red out of skin tones.  Awesome tool - I use it on almost every single photo of H&S of people.

Here are the fives steps I used on your photo.  There was a lot of 'dust' or spots in the photo, but I took my time to make it perfect.  After I made it perfect, I increased the size by more than 200% and found all kinds of spots that I did not see when the photo was at normal size.  While some people can't figure out why the photos I work on are so perfect, it is because I take the extra step of really cleaning up the photo.  The results speak for themselves. 

Here are the photos in sequence.

1)  RAW to JPG (using BRIDGE)




2)  USE AUTO TONE (use fade if too strong)



3)  USE HEALING BRUSH AND STAMPER




4)  SHARPENED 120% - & HUE 7%



5)  FINAL SHOT - ADD PHOTO CREDIT




...After you Sharpen, you need to go back and do some more healing brush work (most times).  What happens is that you also sharpen any dust spots in the photo.  And sometimes they pop up after the sharpening tool.


...Once you have mastered these tools, the others will be simple and they will grow as you try different things.

Quick and Easy Ways to Improve Your Digital Photographs: Photoshop Tips from Geri Murphy, Part 3

This is part 3 of Geri Murphy's Photoshop tutorial:


Here is Geri's contact information in case anyone reading these tutorials would like to contact her for information on her trips, private tutorials, etc.

Geri Murphy:
http://www.gerimurphy.net/
email: gerimurphyimages@earthlink dot net



from Geri to Norb:

I cannot open the RAW (RW2) file either in Photoshop.  You are using a Lumix camera and they have their version of Raw.  I went on line and discovered that you can open the .RW2 files in BRIDGE which comes with Photoshop.  So that solves that problem.  When you go BRIDGE you can see all the raw files and by simply clicking on the photo, it will open it in RAW PHOTOSHOP.  Then you just go to "OPEN IMAGE" which converts the photo to a JPEG in Photoshop. 


Then you hit EDIT - AUTO TONE.  OK.  When you see the photo changed by Auto Tone, you will often say, wow, that looks better, but it is a little too much tone.  So, go to EDIT (pull down menu) and click on "FADE AUTO TONE".  You will have a slider to move the tone down from 0-100%  I found with this photo, 65% is about right.  Just move the slider and stop wherever you see it looks best on your screen.  Now it pops but not too much so it looks over done.  This is a much better way to do it than fooling around with tiffs, sliders with red,blue,green, tints, white balance, etc.  Think of Auto Tone as a Polarizing Filter for underwater.  It is one step (2 if you use the slider) and your done.


Next Step is the clean up with the healing brush & stamper.  We did that yesterday.


Today, if you have done all of the above (go back and do it that way for practice) we move to the final steps.  Almost done.


You have to SHARPEN the image.  Go up to FILTER (at the top) and pull down MENU.  Go down to SHARPEN and then click on UNSHARP MASK.  Click on it.  You have 3 sliding numbers.  The bottom one is Threshold.  I usually set that for 2 (levels) the next is Radius: set that for 2 (pixels) and then slide the AMOUNT to about 120%.  That is what I used for this photo.  You will see the preview and you can move the % of sharpening to any amount you need.  Just don't OVERSHARPEN.  Like anything, too much can ruin it. 


One LAST thing I did to this photo is to increase the "HUE" because I thought it looked a little too light.

It did not change the photo a lot and you may not want to do it, but I am giving you all the stuff I did so here it is.

Go up to IMAGE.  Go to ADJUSTMENTS.... Go to HUE/SATURATION.


Again we have sliders.  I moved the HUE slider to about 7%.  Play around with those controls.  They are important for other stuff.  Many, many times people have too much red in the skin tones of their faces.  I almost always have to go to the SATURATION slider and decrease the amount of saturation.  By moving the slider to the left and looking at the Preview you can see the redness leave from their face.  Otherwise they look like they have Radiation Poisoning and not flattering to them.  Don't go too far or their face will turn yellow and green.  Just move the slider a little bit at a time and watch your preview picture to see the results. 







Finally you get to put in your photo credit.  I assume you know how to do that. (?)
....
....I am self taught and while I keep buying tutorials, they remain unopened.  When I get stuck on something I want to do, I will look it up on line for info and tips.  That is how I found out how to open your particular camera Raw settings.


Geri

Quick and Easy Ways to Improve Your Digital Photographs: Photoshop Tips from Geri Murphy, Part 2


This is part 2 of Geri Murphy's Photoshop Tutorial.


Here is Geri's contact information in case anyone reading these tutorials would like to contact her for information on her trips, private tutorials, etc.

Geri Murphy:
http://www.gerimurphy.net/
gerimurphyimages@earthlink.net



Geri to Norb:

We have gone from 1)  RAW to JPG to   2)  AUTO TONE 

Next Lesson - 3)  Spot Healing Brush and Stamping Tool

You are going to make your photo look like this....







This Step will take you about 1/2-hour.  So turn on the TV while you do this to combat boredom.

Go to the Toolbox on the Left Hand Side.  You will see a little icon that looks like a Band-Aid.  Right Click on it to be sure you have chosen SPOT HEALING BRUSH.  Click on it. 

You will see a circle  that represents where your cursor or mouse is.  You want to put the little circle on top of a piece of "debris" (junk in the water) and click it.  The little circle takes pixels on the outside of the circle and transplants them on the inside, thus covering up the "spot".  You want the circle to be slightly larger than the junk size.  To make the circle bigger, right click the circle.  You will see a slider that allows you make the circle (healing brush) larger or smaller.  You change the size many times throughout the process.  If your circle is too big and too close to another color, it will pick up the other color too.  You see, it is cloning the area around it, into the area that you want fix.  So, it is best to have your healing brush just slightly larger than the junk size. 

This picture has a lot of flashback so be prepared to spend some time on it.  It is good practice for the next photo, and the next.  When the healing brush does not work, because it is too close to another color, you can use the clone stamp tool.  If you don't know how to use that tool, let me know.  To get this photo perfect, I used the clone stamp about 15% of the time.

Questions?  If yes, let me know.  If no, we will move to the final steps.  It is a beautiful photo, so it is worth the effort. 

Geri

Quick and Easy Ways to Improve Your Digital Photographs: Photoshop Tips from Geri Murphy, Part 1

I recently went on a liveaboard trip to Mexico's Revillagigedos Islands (known to most divers as "Socorro").  I highly recommend the liveaboard -- the new Belle Amie, brought to you by the folks who own and operate the well-known and well-respected Nautilus Explorer liveaboard --and the destination. 

I met longtime underwater photographer Geri Murphy on the boat.  I've seen Geri's work for years and years, since the days when I was starting out as an underwater photographer.  Geri's photographs graced over 1000 Skin Diver Magazine covers, so she really knows what she is doing as an underwater photographer. 

Geri is producing a book on the trip, which consisted of a bunch of friends of Ernie Brooks II, who is an acknowledged master of black-and-white work underwater.  For the book, Geri graciously took a couple of my images for this book project, and processed the images so that they looked better.

I have never learned how to post-process my images well (I always say that I already spend way too much time in front of the computer to want to spend more time Photoshopping my images).  I was so impressed with how Geri had improved my images that I asked her to give me suggestions on how she performs her post-processing magic.  Geri was kind enough to send me very long, detailed instructions on how she processed my images in Photoshop.  With her permission, I share her (edited) tutorials here.  Any mistakes and typos are mine; but the ideas and writing are Geri's!

Here is Geri's contact information in case anyone reading these tutorials would like to contact her for information on her trips, private tutorials, etc.

Geri Murphy:
http://www.gerimurphy.net/
gerimurphyimages@earthlink.net



Norb to Geri:
HI Geri:

The images look so much better now that you processed them.  I think that they look great, and your photo of me is also fine. 

I was worried that the manta ray in the Cabo Pearce shot was not quite sharp.  You've really brought out the manta in terms of sharpness.  I also tried some color correction to bring out the clarion angel's orange color. 

I wonder if you can give me some tips on what you did to post-process this image.  I use Aperture and only do global corrections like levels, saturation, etc.  I don't go to the trouble to do layers and that sort of thing.  I just adjust sliders.  My results never come out that well.  Can I ask what some of the steps were that you did to process this image?  As always, if you don't have the time, no need to reply.  I need to sit down and do some Photoshop tutorials one of these days, and unfortunately will have to switch to Lightroom. 

Thanks Geri!
Best, Norb




Here's the initial image.  It is flat, there is a lot of backscatter, and the orange clarion angelfish don't look that orange.

Original image of manta ray with Clarion angelfish.  The image does not "pop" as I had hoped.  The colors are too muted, I wish that the orange color of the angelfish would pop out more, and there is a lot of debris and backscatter in the water. 









Geri to Norb:



I feel your pain.  It has gotten so complicated.  I do not have Aperture, I use Windows with Photoshop.  ...

I have a great system that I can turn flat, fair photos into stunners.  I only use a few tools.... resulting in fast results.  I do not know why everyone does not use these 4 or 5 simple tools, but they don't. 

Below are three photos.... the Original jpeg you sent is step one.... and the after photo.  I used a single tool in Photoshop to get this result. 

Step One - Open the photo - If you want the maximum resolution, just open the file in RAW and then go straight to "OPEN IMAGE" in the lower right hand corner of the raw window.  Do not move any of the sliders.... just OPEN IMAGE.  When you click on that, the photo will open in Photoshop as a JPEG.  This is the photo....

The next step is the best one.... Simply go up to the tool bar in Photoshop and Click On the pull down Menu of IMAGE (to the right of Edit) and then click on "AUTO TONE" 

WALAA!!  S-U-P-R-I-S-E !!!!





Tomorrow, I will take you from here to finish the photo-shopping of this photo into this:






Thursday, June 11, 2015

Why I Won't Donate Any Funds to Marine Conservation Organizations in the Future


Here's a typical interaction with a marine conservation organization. 

I have a great company that has sponsored my work for many years now. They agreed to donate $500 to a marine environmental organization that I suggest. I contact this organization, S* (not the real name), since I have heard from friends and colleagues that they are doing good work. Stopping the shark finning trade is one of the few marine conservation issues that can actually be accomplished within our lifetimes. I also ask: “My hope is that you already have a process in place to recognize and publicize contributions to your organization.”

The director is pleased to hear from me, and he states:
Hello, Norb. Thank you very much for this. It's very much appreciated and will be put to good use. We do have a page on our website where we can put a mention and a description of you and P* (not the real name). “

He also states:
“As I mentioned to Norbert, we'll be adding an acknowledgement to our supporters page on our website for this gift. Also, please expect a more official 'thank you' in the mail, shortly.”

In the end, however, NONE of what S* promised ever happened. They took my sponsor's $500 donation, but said essentially "sorry, but no mention for you since your donation is such a pittance." No one ever received a “thank you” in the mail either. As far as I know, no mention of my sponsor's donation was ever made -- as was originally promised. 

Here's what the director of S* wrote -- after initially stating that they have a website page for mentions!:
“We haven't before acknowledged donations publicly on our website, but we do so for large corporate sponsorships, currently in the several thousands of dollars or more, and for foundation grants. Corporate sponsorships are not pure donations in that for a large sum of donation, they usually do expect something back in return in the form of recognition. The level of that benefit is negotiated. What you have seen on our sponsorship page is one way that we have agreed to acknowledge these large sponsorships. “

My sponsor graciously accepted all the above with no rancor. But this situation has bothered me enough that today, three years later, I have decided to post it with all names anonymous.

So, as I've found often happens with marine conservation organizations – they are happy to accept donations, but then they renege on their promises.


Here are the email communications.  S* is the marine conservation organization.  P* is my sponsor.  P* donated $500 to S* at my behest.  


On Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at 10:50 AM, Norbert Wu Productions Office wrote:
Dear S*:

I am a friend of D...., who suggested that I contact you. He
says good things about you!

I am an underwater photographer. One of my sponsors is the company
P* (not the real name).

I am donating the use of my images and testimonials about P*'s products
for their PR efforts, and in exchange, P* has agreed to contribute the
amount of $500 to S* or other worthy nonprofit organization.

I suggested S* since I know you guys are doing good work, and
because I know some of the folks involved. Stopping the shark finning
trade is one of the few marine conservation issues that can actually be
accomplished within our lifetimes.

I'd like to ask if S* would be willing and able to issue a
press release and other PR material that publicizes this contribution
and the names of the contributors, who would be P*,
Inc. and myself. My hope is that you already have a process in place to
recognize and publicize contributions to your organization.

Thanks and I look forward to your reply.

--
Best,
Norb
------------------------------
Norbert Wu Productions
Pacific Grove, CA 93950
USA



From:S* director
Date: Wed, May 23, 2012 at 8:03 AM
Subject: Re: contribution to Shark Savers
To:
Cc: D..

Hello, Norb. Thank you very much for this. It's very much appreciated and will be put to good use. We do have a page on our website where we can put a mention and a description of you and PSI. It would be difficult to create a press release for this, but I think the public acknowledgement that we can create will be appropriate. 

Thank you again for causing this donation.

Executive Director, S*


From: Executive Director, S*
Date: Fri, May 25, 2012 at 7:20 AM
Subject: Re: Lowepro profile of Norb Wu
To: ...
Thank you, very much, David and Norbert. This donation is greatly appreciated. As I mentioned to Norbert, we'll be adding an acknowledgement to our supporters page on our website for this gift. Also, please expect a more official 'thank you' in the mail, shortly.

With best regards,

Executive Director, S*


On Thursday, May 31, 2012 at 5:55 PM, P* wrote:

Hi, Executive Director, S*,

The link below will get you to the logo artwork
for use with the Norbert photo/text or however you wish to present it.


Here is a short blurb for you if
appropriate .....

P* provides exceptionally high-purity cleaning
products
for cleaning digital camera sensors, lenses, filters and more. The
only products
for sensor cleaning recommended by camera manufacturers and trusted world-
wide by real pros, like Norbert Wu.

P*


On 5/31/12 3:41 PM, S* wrote:
Thanks. I hope you all understand that I'm going to need to find a way
to present this in a way that is fair to our major sponsors. That
existing page only has sponsors in the $5,000 to $100,000 range, with
almost all of them above $25,000, So, I don't want to get anybody's
expectations raised. I will, however, try to do justice to your support.
We really do appreciate it.

Thanks for understanding.

Executive Director, S*




On Friday, June 1, 2012 at 10:54 AM, Norbert Wu Productions Office wrote:
Dear Executive Director, S*:

Can you please explain what is going on here?

First you state:

Thank you, very much, P* and Norbert. This donation is greatly
appreciated. As I mentioned to Norbert, we'll be adding an
acknowledgement to our supporters page on our website for this gift.
Also, please expect a more official 'thank you' in the mail,
shortly.

Now, out of the blue, you are saying:

> Thanks. I hope you all understand that I'm going to need to find a way
> to present this in a way that is fair to our major sponsors. That
> existing page only has sponsors in the $5,000 to $100,000 range, with
> almost all of them above $25,000, So, I don't want to get anybody's
> expectations raised. I will, however, try to do justice to your support.
>

I'd appreciate clarification. Are you saying that you can no longer put
P*'s name on your website as a donor, contrary to your original
statement?

All I see is that P* has sent you a logo and a possible blurb for you
to use, and that you are now saying, "sorry, but no mention for you
since your donation is such a pittance."

If that's the case, then my feeling is that you should refund P*
donation immediately, and I'll work with them to find an organization
that might find the funds more useful.

I hope that I am misinterpreting the emails here. Perhaps you could
provide a link to your "supporters" page as I do not see it on your
website.

Sincerely,
Norb
------------------------------
Norbert Wu Productions
Pacific Grove, CA 93950
USA




---------- Forwarded message ----------
From:S*
Date: Fri, Jun 1, 2012 at 2:24 PM
Subject: Re: P* LOGOS and web changes
To: …

Hello, everyone. I know that Friday afternoons are not the best time for email discussions. As you have both corresponded with me separately, I thought I would send this email to both of you in order to make sure we are all having the same conversation.

Here is what I sent to Norbert in response to his email earlier today:
First of all, I want to repeat that we do sincerely appreciate this donation--we are equally appreciative of a donation at any level. We recognize that some donations of $25 represent a bigger sacrifice to someone than a $25,000 donation might be to another person.

This misunderstanding concerns how we acknowledge donations and which ones we publicly acknowledge.  Basic donations are considered a gift to us to support our programs. The only tangible benefit to a donor for most donations is the tax write off (in the US). We are required by law to send a letter of acknowledgement acting as a receipt for donations over $250, but we choose to send either letters or emails for all donations, even if they are just $1 because they do mean so much to us.

We haven't before acknowledged donations publicly on our website, but we do so for large corporate sponsorships, currently in the several thousands of dollars or more, and for foundation grants. Corporate sponsorships are not pure donations in that for a large sum of donation, they usually do expect something back in return in the form of recognition. The level of that benefit is negotiated. What you have seen on our sponsorship page is one way that we have agreed to acknowledge these large sponsorships. 

When I agreed to publicly acknowledge your and P* gift, I only readily agreed to do that because you asked for it and I sensed in your email that you had already said something about that to P*. I planned to find a new way to do that short of what we do for major sponsorships. In fact, what I thought of doing was to begin to provide a list of names for donors who wanted to be listed. 

It was only when I received a logo and an ad-like blurb for P*, something that I had not intended to provide, that I realized there was a misunderstanding that needed further explanation. In retrospect, I recognize that this misunderstanding arose because I didn't explain all of this when you sent your first email. I wish I had. While I hadn't promised a sponsorship-level recognition, I also didn't specify what we could actually do. Because of this, I will redesign the page so as to accommodate your request. I'll be delineating donors from high to lower in some fashion, and the degree of recognition will be more pronounced for the larger donors. We will include the P* logo within this new tier with a link back to their site. I can do the same for you.

Will this be satisfactory?
After receiving the above, Norbert has suggested that it may be better to return the P* donation. I do not feel that I have misrepresented anything to you, and am trying to accommodate you--and that  includes willingness to return the donation if that is what you wish, P*.  Alternatively, I can have the page modified with your acknowledgement sometime next week. The acknowledgement will be smaller than and will follow the major sponsors, but can include your logo, link, and the blurb and it can remain up through the end of the year. I'm sure it will do justice to you and the donation. Please just let me know if that will work for you or if you'd prefer the donation returned.

I am sure you are as surprised as I am that that there can be so much miscommunication over something seemingly so simple. But communication by email is not always a smooth ride.

I hope you both have a great weekend.

Michael



On 6/1/12 2:43 PM, P* wrote:
Dear S*,

I am not sure where the misunderstanding occurred, but no matter. I, for
some reason,
thought to send you the logo and blurb, most likely because that was
what I saw on your site, and I do not recall
(did not go back and check) seeing any donation size, category of
gifting, etc. to help clue me in as to what got posted
for a company "sponsor".

I have no issue therefore in S* simply keeping the money and using it
for their good works, IF that is okay with you,
Norbert. Our original purpose was to support Norbert in a way he desired
in return for his continued support of P*
and its products.

Regardless, let's keep it simple - I am happy leaving the donation as
is, and listing Norbert's quote and a photo on our site, as was, I
believe, the original agreement. I hate to think too much time and
anguish has been spent on this. I totally appreciate Norbert's
concern and his willingness to speak up on our behalf - THANK-YOU !
S*, no need to re-arrange your site over this.

I hope everyone is okay with this. If not, we can continue the
discussion next week. I am returning from the Turks & Caicos
(EXCELLENT shark diving, by the way) on Tuesday so will be
mostly/offline and or going crazy for a day or two afterwards.

Have a great weekend everyone, and thanx for all your efforts !

P*





Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Amazon Knows What Cameras You Have...How to Adjust Settings

I recently switched cameras from Nikon and Canon to a Panasonic Micro Four Thirds camera.  I've been looking at lenses for this new system on Amazon.  

Amazon has a section in their web pages when I am looking at lenses, which says things like, "No, this lens won't fit your Nikon D800 body."  I tried for hours to remove the old camera bodies that Amazon had associated with me.  

I finally posted the below to Amazon's photography forum (which was itself incredibly hard to find):
HI -- I am a professional photographer. I've purchased several camera bodies from Amazon in the past, and they show up when I am looking at lenses. I've recently changed from Nikon and Canon cameras to Panasonic GH4, and I'd like to delete/remove those old cameras from my account. These old cameras show up when I am looking at lenses and there's a box that says "No, this lens won't fit your D800 body" and that sort of thing. I've finally learned how to add a camera body that I have not purchased through Amazon but still can't figure out how to delete a body. Thanks.  

I very quickly received a helpful reply from a forum member, and I post this for others needing such help.  He wrote: 
Log in

Your Recommendations

Improve your recommendations

scroll through all the cruft (sic) and mark "do not use for ..." on the desired items.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Being a Published Photographer in Today's World


I have a Google Alert set so I am alerted whenever my name appears on the web.  For me, it's more than a vanity thing.  It lets me see where my photographs are being published these days.  I wish that Google Alerts worked more consistently -- this is the first alert I've received in several months, and I've read that many other folks have had the same experience.  When it is working, however, it's pretty cool.

Here's the link to the website that published one of my photos today:

http://www.foxnews.com/travel/2015/06/05/best-places-to-go-diving-with-sharks/


This is all fine.  If you look closely, however, you will notice that the credit line for the photo reads like this:
Norbert Wu / Minden Pictures / Corbis

What does this mean?  It means that I took the photograph and I am correctly credited as the photographer.  However, this website found my image through Corbis' website.  Corbis is a stock photo agency that has its own collection of images that it licenses to clients.  In turn, Corbis obtained this image from one of my primary stock photo agencies, the very good and well-known Minden Pictures. 

What does this mean to professional photographers?  In the old days, photo researchers would call my office and ask me to submit images for a project, say a Microsoft Encarta CD encyclopedia project.  They'd choose some images (I submitted duplicate transparencies) and my office would bill the Microsoft Encarta folks.  We'd get 100% of the resulting fee (let's say $400).

Now, however, photo researchers go immediately to the big players in the stock photo industry.  My office rarely gets calls from clients like foxnews.com.  Instead, foxnews.com looks for shark images on the Corbis website, finds what they want, and they pay perhaps $100 per image (and that is probably far more than what they actually pay -- this is just an example).  So Corbis takes a 50% cut from the sale for use of the image.  The remaining $50, or 50%, is then split between my original agency, Minden Pictures, and me.  I end up with $25, or 25% of the original sale.

Professional wildlife photographers have seen their income drop over the years, from hundreds of $400 sales per year to a few $25 sales per year.  That could be the difference between an income of $100,000 per year to $6250 per year, assuming 250 licenses of images.  Be nice to your local wildlife photographer.   He or she is hurting.