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About IanDavidson

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  • Joined Alamy
    10 Nov 2015

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  1. Mauritius holiday – stock photo opportunities

    Thanks for your responses. Mauritius is something of a luxury destination. However, we are visiting my wife’s family at Christmas. I will check out Google images, thanks for the advice. I intend to fully enjoy the holiday... However, Mauritius has some stunning scenery and is a loverly holiday destination so it would be amiss of me not to get the cameras out. Thanks again for the advice.
  2. Email about accreditation. What does this mean?

    Adrian, without more context it is difficult to answer your question. Are you applying to provide people at the event with photos or for news/stock? It is not uncommon to get these emails. In fact some event organisers do not reply at all. I had a major national event last year where I was invited to apply for accreditation only to get an email after an application for accreditation to be told the event was full up. I got accredation for London Fashion Week, but a lot of shows have Photographer access by invitation only. You end up making large numbers of applications and often thr PR company will only reply if successful, or, perhaps worse, your accreditation arrives the day before the show when you have already scheduled shoots. In my mind there are two issues, first photographers are lower in the PR/media pecking order now due to vbloggers, camera phones etc and second many event organisers do not know how to manage media. I covered a big national event this week. I had to chase for accreditation and on arrival there was no facilities, information or even space. I lost a celebrity visit photo opp there as there was no media information. (A cleaner knew, but not me...) It iappears to me we just have to be persistent but at the same time go with the flow and accept that on occasion it is not going to work for us and move on to the next event.
  3. Ballroom dancing

    Thank you for your comments. I will be using a 70-200mm F2.8 and a prime 50mm F1.8 Interestingly, I was just looking at the DxO OpticsPro 11 Elite which is highly rated for noise removal but seems to be quite expensive as I already rent Lightroom and Photoshop. I know that ballroom photos do not appear to sell well by undertaking an image search inside AIM. I know this is not conclusive but it is indicative. I thought given how popular Strictly is and in general the popularity of ballroom there would be a market - but, not for the first time, I appear to be wrong. I will give the event photography issue a try to see if that works. Thanks again
  4. Ballroom dancing

    There is an international Latin and Ballroom dancing competition near where I live. I have had agreement from the organisers to take photographs. I have never undertaken dance photography before. I have a couple of questions. Having checked on Alamy these type of images do not seem to sell well, if at all, so the first question: is it worth my time (although I am assuming the experience will be worth it). Second, the lighting in the hall is poor and flash is not allowed. My camera (a Nikon D5) is good at low light but some noise is inevitable; does this mean that I will not be able to use them for stock in any case?
  5. Mauritius holiday – stock photo opportunities

    Bill Thanks, I will take your comments on board when planning my photo trips
  6. Sales floor?

    An interesting discussion. I suggest there is a further question as to at what point of falling sales and faster falling prices is the decision made to give up?
  7. Seeking Opinions on New / Different Camera

    I think the issue of challenges is on the increase. As suggested I try to look confident and professional, I am lucky that I have a UK National Press card which helps. Sometimes I have to remind private security and council officials that it is not, generally illegal to take photos on public property _ and that includes children. (Although I am aware of the sensitivity). I have a Nikon D5 with a 70”200mm lens so a touch noticeable....
  8. Unauthorized use of Alamy Photos

    I use Pixsy. The pricing seems similar. I have the same issues over timing and that many organisations that steal my images are in places such as China where copyright appears unenforceable. I was amazed at the number of my images being used without payment. Flickr seems to be a key source for individuals to use to steal images. Geoff is right. It is a big gamble, are you going to make the upfront costs back from recovery?
  9. Comments about your equipment from strangers

    This has got to be my strangest one.... on the Tube after LFW and these two very drunk l adies really wanted me to take their photos
  10. Verboten or Tricky Subject Matter

    Geoff, there are two potential answers to this, I think. The first is that (and am no lawyer). By entering the Royal Parks you are agreeing to their terms and conditions so there maybe a form of contract (offer, acceptance, valuable consideration). This can also be applied to St Katherine's Dock -you are granted a licence to be on their land that does no include commercial photography. Again, potential breach of contract. second issue for me is I have a national press card. That can ve revoked and should I lose that it would be very difficult to undertake news photography in London. So, while unlikely, the Parks Police could object to my card if I break the rules. A not completely unrelated issue. I was granted press accreditation to a high security event. Then (my mistake) I took photos of an anti war event and asked to be put on their mailing list for future events. Three days later my Press accreditation for the high security event was revoked. Sometimes freedom of of the press is somewhat constrained...
  11. Verboten or Tricky Subject Matter

    This has been commented on in other posts, but... There are an increasing number of places in London that appear to be public property but are not. Examples include behind the Tower Hotel, (St Katharine's Dock) around City Hall/HMS Belfast and large areas around St Paul's. Getting a DSLR out will result in private security approaching you and telling you not to take photos. There are also limitations in Trafalgar Square and Parliament Square; although the enforcement is patchy. Paternoster Square near St Paul's Cathedral is another example. Commercial photography is not allowed in any of the Royal Parks without an expensive permit. Likewise Windsor Great Park (I do not know the details but I have professional colleagues who have had to purchase permits) I understand there may be others in West London, but I tend to stick to the City/Central London for my shoots. As a mostly news photographer this is a troubling state of affairs. Permits tend to be prohibitively expensive for freelance photographers so it is is the likes of PA, Reuters etc who will pay out for these permits and thus gain a monopoly over some news stories.
  12. I am going to Mauritius towards the end of the year to visit my Mother-in-law. We are staying at a tourist hotel - at Domaine de Bel Ombre. It has a nature reserve nearby (although limited wildlife) and is on the beach. I am taking my full photography kit, (except studio strobes!). Has anyone advice on stock photography in such a location? I have visited Mauritius many times and am aware of the stunning scenery – particularly beaches but want to take pictures that stand a chance of being sold. I am not much of a landscape photographer but plan to work on my technique before I go. I am a Nikon shooter with a D5 and a couple of D750’s. As my wife is Mauritian I will take the opportunity to do some Mauritian lifestyle shots as well.
  13. Lack of "punch" in camera processed JPGs

    Geoff, at the risk of going off topic, I thought you made a valuable point. Sadly, there is no market for local news story photographs. My local paper has one contract photographer for most of Essex and I get frequent complaints from local organisations about the lack of coverage. I cover local events more as a service than the chance to make sales. Even then I only submit stories that may have a national resonance such as drug use or speeding/road safety. Fortunately, I live near London and have access to Downing Street so my news photography gets (some) sales. Another news agency I contribute to refuses to carry local news at all unless celebrity based.
  14. Lack of "punch" in camera processed JPGs

    Geoff it sounds like you have as fast a work stream as is possible. I do not like editing in camera as, for me, the screen is too small. I could try on an iPad, but I need to check if the pictures are full size and in RAW. I have also also had a bit of an issue where the newsroom has said a news picture should be stock, put it in to stock which resulted in a QC fail as the photos were not optimised for stock. I am well aware "Alamy's platform Alamy's rules" and have I live with their decisions. However, it has made me more cautious about live news submission. As an example, over last weekend there was large scale evidence of nitrous oside use in Brentwood. (Over fifty containers in local car park and more in nearby streets.). I took photos, but was concerned this was not newsworthy enough so submitted a small number in to stock - which passed QC. the news team at Alamy are very good, I work with another agency that sends me on assignment then will not use the photos as there were not enough people at the demo, or looked at two different demonstrations and decided they were the same demo, despite my headline and caption. Another agency asked for my photos, told me they had no sales only for me to find them in use in two national newspapers. This news lark is hard. However, may I suggest you do not give up on it. I have sold "news" images a year or two years after the event.... I am not yet a good enough technical photographer to do high value/volume stock but I do have a good eye for news photographer, so I have been told. Horses for courses I guess.
  15. Lack of "punch" in camera processed JPGs

    Geoff Just a note on the issue of the quality of news images. I do a lot of news shooting alongside other photographers. It is normal practice to upload RAWs to a laptop (normally a mac) edit them and send them up via MIFI or similar. As a rough rule of thumb, it takes about ten minutes to upload to laptop, edit and send to newsrooms. I have also seen an increasing trend for photographer's DSLR's to send pictures direct to newsrooms as they are taken. I can only assume that the newsroom then carries out any edits. I have stood next to photographers using this method; seen them take the shot and within seconds the pictures are on a newspaper website. It is difficult to compete in terms of speed with this approach. With a D5 you can populate the IPTC fields in camera which makes this process much easier - you can even add voice memos/notes and I know some photographers send these up to the newsroom to speed up the process. Like you I have issues with laptop screens showing a "correct" image and I use the histogram a lot. I am still not as fast as the other pro's in editing but I am picking up tips from others so getting faster. I have one photographer I see around a lot that submits to four or five agencies and he can shoot, edit and send while I am still waiting for Lightroom to open!!