Sci & Tech

Iranian Image Database Launched

Auto & Tech Desk
Iranian Image  Database Launched
Iranian Image  Database Launched

Finding high-resolution photos with Iranian cultural themes is no longer time-consuming and troublesome, thanks to a new website called Rangitar.

Meaning "more colorful" in the Persian language, Rangitar–mounted by Iranian accelerator Avatech–offers a platform whereby photographers can upload photos for users to purchase in local currency.

The Financial Tribune spoke with Bahareh Sobati, the 28-year-old innovator behind Rangitar, to see how it all started.

Sobati, an animator and graphic designer who has studied software engineering, has been pursuing her passion for animation for eight years. In the course of her work, she always felt something was missing: an outlet to showcase and give access to Iranian digital products, including pictures, motion graphics and icons.

Referring to foreign websites, such as Corbis or Shutterstock, was not an option either, as online purchase was blocked by western sanctions on Iran over its nuclear energy program.

To remedy the problem, Sobati decided to set up a website that would benefit artists, designers and consumers.

By providing pictures with Iranian themes (such as Norouz), Sobati believes Rangitar can help expedite the process of multimedia projects.

  The Accelerator

Aside from photos, Sobati first intended to include a range of products on her website, including motion graphics and icons. Avatech has helped the project roll with a clear step-by-step approach. "Conducting a field study helped the team realize that of all digital media products, photos are in highest demand. That is why we decided to start with images," the young business owner said.  

  The Artists

Those who choose a career in the arts do not always make as much money as they deserve, and photographers are no exception.  According to Sobati, Rangitar can be a source of revenue and a launchpad for aspiring artists.

"The website provides photographers—professional and amateurs alike—an opportunity for gaining traction," she said.

"Anybody can log in to Rangitar and upload photos that will be reviewed by a team before they are accepted. Photos can be taken on any type of camera—DSLR, Point and Shoot, or even Smartphones."

Sobati stressed that what's important is that photos submitted must be of high resolution and feature Iranian themes. The business plan is commission based, "depending on how many times a photo is sold, 70% of the overall sales will go to the photographer and the rest to Rangitar".   


  The Clients

The website will present three purchase plans: First, clients may purchase a single photo in three different sizes: the higher the resolution, the more money customers will pay.

Second, customers can buy credit, and the more they purchase, the more money they will be saving in the long run.

Finally, customers can place a theme-based order, e.g. food. Photographers will then be asked to provide their food-themed photos in a given period of time.

The client will eventually pay for whatever number of photos they choose. They can also pay an extra sum, if they wish to buy the copyright.  The service will benefit all businesses that rely on digital products, including publications, advertising agencies and graphic design groups.  

  The Road Ahead

According to Sobati, copyright is rather vague in Iran, which is why winning trust has been especially challenging.

"We have introduced a system to report cases of copyright infringement. If that does not help, the photos will be watermarked in the next step. If the previous two measures do not prove effective, the case might finally be taken to court," she said.

More than 10 photographers are currently working with Rangitar and the team is focusing on completing the photo categories.  Once their database is complete, the team will start advertising on a larger scale in the near future. Rangitar aims to use search engine optimization, direct marketing and social marketing to advertise its services.

In four months, with the help of Avatech, the team will have acquired a license from the Ministry of Culture that regulates content, as well as an official authorization for e-sales from Iran's Electronic Commerce Development Center.

In about a year, the team hopes to expand services to include animations and expand the database to feature more Iranian themes.

The future prospect seems quite bright for Rangitar, as it is the first of its kind in Iran.