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About Essexps

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    Photography and Cricket. Also enjoy reading history and travel.


  • Alamy URL{28A2D383-F14B-408A-9F51-315E490A1F84}&name=Chris+Lawrence
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  • Joined Alamy
    28 Feb 2008
  1. The C word

    Hi I know it's still only August, but taking a break from processing to look at booking some further trips this year whilst fares still low and am thinking I would like to do a short Winter City and Christmas Market trip. Not done any of these before - what would be peoples recommendations for location? Quite fancy Vienna as I can get a flight from my local airport, London Southend. A quick and dirty search on all Alamy for %Christmas Market% shows the following results: Christmas Market - 36 searches. Cologne, Bath, Prague, Strasbourg and Vienna all on 10 searches. Berlin and Birmingham on 8 searches. Are there better alternatives for the time/fares for a December/January stock trip? Does snow make a difference to winter city photo sales? Chris
  2. Hi I changed over to M43 about 5 years ago for a variety of reasons and sold most of my FF gear except a couple of small primes which I hung on to. I'm prompted to ask about image preparation for FF sensors by a post in a recent M43 thread asking about visible dust spots. My abiding memory of shooting with a Nikon D700 was the amount of time I spent cleaning up dust spots especially on blue skies, even though I had the sensor cleaned regularly. I had several irritating QC fails when I missed one from large batches. Since changing over, I almost never have any dust spots to clean and now that Olympus bodies auto correct for fringing, I almost never have any CA to clean. This my my image prep very quick simple. At the time, I remember reading in several places the reason for the lack of visible dust spots was that M43 can be shot at smaller f numbers with ample depth of field and dust spots only a problem at higher f numbers - which you often need on FF to get sufficient depth of field to avoid SOLD fails on QC. I usually shoot around 5.6 with M43 and have been pushing that to F4 recently with the Olympus 12-40 and there is plenty of sharpness/depth of field to avoid SOLD fails. I rarely shot below F11 on the D700, often f16 on busy street scenes. Am contemplating a full frame camera again for some personal projects. If I took it out on local shoots for stock - can I expect to return to dust spotting and de-fringing on most images? Or was my FF technique below par in what was then my early days on Alamy and thus the cause of the time spent de-spotting and de- fringing? Chris
  3. Olympus M43

    Hi I've been using an EM5 for several years and can confirm that all the Olympus cameras you mention can provide good enough files to pass Alamy QA. On my PC, the search bar is in the top right of the forum page - a small grey box in the black bar. Chris
  4. At the moment I'm 10% down is Sales, but revenue is holding up. Like many, I'm hoping for a good end to the year and to match/equal last year - last year was the best ever for me in both volumes and sales
  5. New Professional Stock Photography Facebook

    Great idea, am an active/long time Alamy contributer and would like to join.
  6. Taking Stock

    Thanks for the interest. I started shooting with a Canon D40, but quickly moved to a Nikon D700. Most of my portfolio is shot with that, but recently added a Panasonic G5, which I'm quite impressed with.
  7. Taking Stock

    Having yesterday received advice of my 100th Sale since joining Alamy, I thought I'd post a few thought on the subject of Stock with Alamy (never submitted to another agency) This post isn't intended to be an 'Aren't I good' or 'Stock is a waste of time' post, just a brief record of how I got here. I'm sure that many contributors will have much more impressive sales records, so this is mainly aimed at non-professionals just starting out in Stock or thinking about starting and wondering what to expect and is it worth it. I joined Alamy in February 2008 - my initial submission failed (Dust), but 2nd attempt was OK. I was motivated to join by a UK magazine article by an Alamy contributor and wanted a fresh challenge, having started my photographic journey about 18 months earlier when I bought my first camera. I was looking for a challenge and competitions didn't appeal, so I thought I'd 'give Stock a go'. Initially, I thought I'd review whether it was worthwhile after a year, but quickly realised that wasn't long enough - Stock is a long term commitment. I pretty well review this annually now based on how I want to spend my leave/spare time and spare cash in the coming year. But, I've tried to be as professional in my kit and approach as my time will allow; after my day job, it's by far and away my biggest time commitment (ask my wife!). I had very few images suitable for stock when I joined, so I pretty much started from scratch. I made few submissions in my first year, but have submitted about 900 images a year since 2009 - pretty well all editorial travel from places that interest me - I rarely go anywhere just for Stock. I was lucky to have the encouragement of a sale within 6 months, but for 2-3 years sales were pretty slow. They've picked up a bit in the last 18 months, but more than 3 or 4 sales in a month is still a good month for me. I now try to get away for a few trips each year for the sole purpose of Stock and enjoy both the planning and execution. I've generally had too many problems with QA since the initial failure and haven't had any failed submissions for over a year. Whilst I think I can see improvement in my photography since I started, undoubtedly, the steepest learning curve has been keywording - if images aren't being seen then they won't be bought. Must get keywording right. Has it been worthwhile - 100 Sales in just over 5 years? My current view is that I still enjoy shooting Stock and plan to carry on for another year at least (already have a couple of trips planned). I saw a post a while ago (probably on the old forum) where someone described Stock as addictive, I tend to agree as I really miss it when I have to skip potential opportunities for adding Stock, so yes, it is has been worth it - for me.
  8. Mark I shoot with a a G5, I've had it since late last year. It's now that camera I take whenever I travel for a day or several days - its a real feather weight. I only have 2 lenses at the moment - the Panasonic 14-42 and 45-150 kit lenses. Not in the same class perhaps as my Nikon FF lenses, but they seem plenty good enough to pass QC. I've had about 400 images accepted since I started using it. I generally shoot RAW below 320iso outdooors and max of 800iso indoors (markets etc). The indoor shots I generally down sample to 24MB and as I say, no problems with QC to-date after some noise reduction in LR. I generally shoot a up to f8 outdoors as the smaller sensor helps with DoF andithe image stabilisation can be handy if no movement. Indoors, I've been shooting close to or at max aperture and the 14-42 is still sharp enough for QC (not tried the 45-150 indoors). I'm a travel shooter mainly and generally the Viewfinder OK for this (it's nearly as big as my Nikon D700). However, not so good for moving subjects and can be a little difficult in really contrasty conditions - I'd have a question mark if I were doing a lot of wildlife shooting. VF not bad enough to prevent picture taking, but not as good as a FF viewfinder. However, I reasoned that when the conditions are OK (which is most of the time), the Viewfinder is probably better than a small optical on a crop frame. Focus very quick on still subjects which covers most of my shooting, but I'd question it's ability with moving Wildlife. Hope this helps
  9. Percentage views

    Around 100% views per image overall and about about 115% per image on my main Pseudo for me. I too try to be thorough but focused on the main elements of the photo when keywording.
  10. Exotic Locations

    Go to the Valley of Fire for amazing natural sandstone formations and petroglyphs. Apparently there is a bar of the same name so if you have already done all the nature and just want downtown you can go there!!! I'm getting bit of a giggle over Las Vegas being "exotic". I grew up in Southern California and people who didn't have money for a big wedding would elope to Las Vegas. I guess the wedding chapels there are pretty exotic. A fun subject if you like to shoot people. I'm going to Alaska for the second time. Beautiful place with wonderful ANIMALS. Paulette Thanks, should be time for a couple of days out in the real world. Looks pretty close so may well get there.
  11. Exotic Locations

    I posted a comment yesterday about not having been to any exotic locations in April/May. That got me thinking, perhaps we need a thread for upcoming trips to exotic locations booked in the near future - Cheer us up / Tee us off depending upon our own travelling plans. I'll kick things off as I'm off to Las Vegas at the end of this month for a 2 week Family Holiday/Wedding. Not sure I need that many more images of LV as I went last year - but that's the problem with people not checking your Portfolio before they book their wedding. Didn't get time to get to Downtown LV much last year, so that's the primary target.
  12. Travel images - April / May

    May have missed a trick there, 'Leeches Removed' and 'Leech Removal' both get zero images on a search. May have to correct that, might become a popular service again.
  13. Travel images - April / May

    Yes, difficult to avoid the signs now even though it must be a pretty protected area. Oddly enough, they seem to sell so someone one must like them.
  14. Travel images - April / May

    Quiet month. No exotic destinations; generally poor weather. Sign of the Times: Lincoln - Steep Hill Knaresborough Marylebone, London
  15. Lightroom

    Might be worth noting here that LR5 (currently in Beta) doesn't run on Vista, which is a bit of a blow for me as I've resisted upgrading to date. Guess I'll have to bite the bullet next upgrade.