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Posts posted by Mark

  1. Alamy may not be so much  looking for existing contributors to be more creative but to tap into new contributors who do not come with the mindset or baggage of experienced photographers. The "creativity" then comes from a new viewpoint uninhibited by technical issues or expectations of what photography is about.


    Very well put!


    Even a glance through this forum shows the (over-) emphasis on technical topics, and very little interest for content (the reason why buyers license images in the first place!). If the iPhone helps to renew the paradigm, then power to it! However, I'm sure the technologists will show up sooner or later, chasing technology developments, and feeling inadequate when the next version of iPhone is released!  B)

  2. Blog states:


    Creative or Editorial?

    Stockimo is for users to ‘Cash in on their creativity’ we want cool, creative photos, shot with the more conceptual requirements of design and advertising in mind. However we will also shortly be adding a feature where users can submit News pictures via the app. So if your images are more Editorial in nature you may want to hold off for that feature.

  3. Just ordered a 5s.




    1. if anything like early alamy (early 2000's), maximum benefits (read "earnings") come at the beginning of a hype, not when the crowd recognizes there is a hype. If the Stockimo approach takes off, it will benefit the early adopters first (and most).

    2. It regenerates my interest in stock (standard route is getting less attractive....has served me well, but these days, returns per blood, sweat, and tears are falling).

    3. Opens new opportunities (carry-everywhere, shoot spontaneous, or less accessible stuff often missed unless I happen to have my rangefinder in my back pocket...unlikely).

    4. Something new. Won't reject it unless I have proven to myself, despite intensive attempts to make it work, that it cannot be made to work. Innocent until proven guilty.



    If I can upload an image taken with an iPhone and it's of acceptable quality, why can't I now upload (and have accepted) a scan from an old Olympus Trip 35 at a similar quality?


    I truly don't understand the difference . . .




    Perhaps Alamy want to create a curated collection of contempory, up to date and unusual images. Maybe they don't want it filled up with non QC compliant images from everyone's back catalogue going back to the dawn of digital photography and earlier!



    Perhaps . . . okay, so I'll not use a backlog of Olympus Trip pics, but I'll go out and take some "contemporary, up to date and unusual images" with my Olympus and scan and submit them (if I can find it) . . . now what's the difference?






    You and I can't submit our film and digital images via the smartphone channel. We can't submit at the same speed, volume, or effort. Perhaps we don't have our cameras at hand when we see the urinal explode at the local restaurant.......whatever. Unless you and I have our cameras everywhere, I mean EVERYWHERE, in all (or at least most) life situations, then the smartphones may open up different opportunities.


    Fact is, many people who are not photographers have smart phones. They have these phones in situations where they are unlikely to have a camera. That means more opportunity.


    I have small cameras (Leica Ms). But I can't carry these everywhere either (but more places than my old Canons). I can carry my phone almost everywhere.

    • Upvote 2
  5. If I can upload an image taken with an iPhone and it's of acceptable quality, why can't I now upload (and have accepted) a scan from an old Olympus Trip 35 at a similar quality?


    I truly don't understand the difference . . .





    In my view, the development is not about cameras, or stock, or licenses, or fees. I think it's about markets, speed, and access to new suppliers. The pictures created with smartphones are different to those created by people using Olympus Trip 35s or Canon 5Ds, or to those made by "photographers". Smartphone pics are about real life, provided by people who are "in life" (rather than by those "photographing" life). This is visual "life-sharing", and that is something very different. Smartphone pictures that are extremely easy and fast to source in any situation, there are no (almost) technology barriers, and content is likely to be very different to stock created by "photographers". There are also MANY more potential suppliers, and these suppliers don't have to be "photographers" (in the older sense...have interest, have equipment etc). 


    I see this as the next step that connects us all, not just photographers, to the world of picture sharing in professional media.




    ps. I don't have a smartphone, but I am tempted, not for income expectations, but to try out some TOTALLY new approaches I would not do with my film or digital cameras. Somehow, the development is becoming interesting.

    • Upvote 3
    • Downvote 1
  6. John,


    I like your idea, but I think your idea is not a qc question but a significant strategic question. Limiting images on submission means contributors need to think much more about content and which images are more likely to sell. This creates and "edited collection" of sorts. It makes contributors think much more about content and the quality they are submitting. The ultimate feedback are the sales made.


    While I like almay's relaxed policy, I do think it is too relaxed today as far as volume is concerned. A little tightening up on the contributor side may be a good thing. How the alamy collection would change over time would be interesting to observe.



    • Upvote 2
  7. Most of my pics (and those sent to alamy in my new account) are 35mm slides these days. I just love film.


    Nikon 4000 + Vuescan + Mac. I leave off any fancy noise/dust removal features (use Photoshop). The lab where I have them developed is VERY clean. Usually, I have no more than five spots, if that, to remove. No scratches, no stains, often as fast as tidying up a digital image. 


    One thing is the DOF of the scanner. If the slide is curved, then you are not going to get a sharp scan across the slide. I have my slides mounted at the lab. They are usually flat. The occasional one has been curved, so I scan a few times with different focus points, then use layers to pull in the sharp bits of each scan. Don't have to do this often (thank goodness).


    I don't downsize. I don't find the scans soft at all, nor does QC.

    • Upvote 1




    >I must agree that if I were still doing commercial assignments I would not want to show up with a little Mickey Mouse camera. The Romans (not the ancients, the ones I lived among) call it bella figura . . . you have to look good, look like you're a pro. 



    Would that include a Leica M? Surely it depends on the assignment - even a big DSLR would look out of place if you were shooting large sets for major ad campaign in a studio?




    I would expect the frame lines and composition could be challenging in the studio (unless space is left for cropping). What you see is NOT what you get.

  9. Ignore the file size on disk. Image size counts, as already stated.


    Colour mode = RGB (red, green, blue). Following applies regarding image sizes, as apposed to file sizes (close approximation):


    6MP camera delivers an RGB image file consisting of: 6MB red + 6MB green + 6MB blue = 18MB image size <--- this number is what counts, NOT the file size on disk. Will fail on image size since smaller than 24MB.


    8MP camera delivers an RGB image file consisting of: 8MB red + 8MB green + 8MB blue = 24MB (on the edge, may just fail on image size if slightly less than 24MB)


    10MP camera delivers an RGB image file consisting of: 10MB red + 10MB green + 10MB blue = 30MB (OK)


    20MP camera delivers an RGB image file consisting of: 20MB red + 20MB green + 20MB blue = 60MB (OK)




    Therefore, if your camera has 8 (better 9) Megapixels or larger, you don't need to upsize any images (unless you crop them too much, then they may be too small).



    Put simple:


    IF camera pixels 9MP or larger, THEN upload JPEG files without enlarging (ignore file size on disk).

    • Upvote 2
  10. Here an additional view using MEDIAN rather than average. The MEDIAN being the value having an equal number of values above and below. It is not distorted by unusually high or low exceptional sales. It is just an additional data point that is useful to understand a trend.


    eg: 5, 6, 8, 10, 15, 25, 265

    10 is the median (middle number, three above, three below). Average here would be 47.7 (distorted by one large number, 265), but 47.7 is a far way from the majority numbers in the distribution. So median is interesting to know too.


    From a total of about 10,000 images over 3 accounts since 2005, MEDIAN GROSS SALES FEES and (average gross fees in () ). I use GROSS since this is what customers are paying, enabling comparison to other outlets:

           Median (Average)

    2005: $139 ($174)

    2006: $ 107 ($180)

    2007: $162 ($237)

    2008: $75 ($102) <--------!!! What happened in 2008 - start of downward trend?

    2009: $87 ($108)

    2010: $69 ($95)

    2011: $75 ($84)

    2012: $76 ($91)

    2013: $45 ($75)  < nasty (NET looks worse)! 


    Every year has shown exceptional sales, both high and low, however,since 2007/8 the range has shifted down significantly. Also, there is a clear squeeze on the fee distribution (median is falling, as are fees above and below the median). Not in NS nor in NU. Distributor sales are small (can be ignored).

    • Upvote 2
  11. Mirco,


    contractually, your images remain on sale for 6 months if all you do is "delete" (or ask alamy to "delete"). You need to terminate your alamy contract to be released from the alamy contract with 45 days notice. Your images will then be removed from sale after 45 days (rights granted to customers remain effective, so you need to be careful of contracts with your exclusive agency).


    see Termination


    20.1 You may terminate this contract:

    • 20.1.1 on 45 days prior notice to Alamy at any time;
    • 20.3 On termination Alamy shall;
      • 20.3.1 delete from its Website each Image provided by you in respect of a terminated contract;
      • 20.3.2 continue to account to you in respect of Licences granted before termination;
      • 20.3.3 not return to you any data, of whatever kind, relating to an Image or an Image itself.
    • 20.4 The termination shall not prejudice any licences then existing or any negotiations which Alamy has properly entered into with any third party prior to the date of termination or the grant of Licences for Images already downloaded by a Customer prior to termination.


    Good luck!


  12. Thanks Andrew,


    indeed there could be problems, of course, but the scenario I am thinking of would not generate such problems (I just need to determine if there is potential for any legal friction simply due to bandwidth……the bandwidth "theft" caused by me would be minuscule, but you never know!).

  13. Thanks Mark,


    I don't believe it IS a crime, but there is a lot of discussion around it (and use of the terms "crime" and "illegal"), the main argument being I (and perhaps 10,000 other people who embed images hosted on one site) am using THEIR bandwidth to display images on MY site. Add it all up, and a website can be pulled down.


    I think it is an urban myth (example), but just wondering if any facts out there.




  14. I wonder if anyone has any facts here (as opposed to principles and assumptions). I am trying to determine if "bandwidth theft" is a real crime in the face of the law. I am NOT thinking about any copyright issues here, just the bandwidth required to pull and display (on my site) an embedded image residing on a site not owned by me.


    I have read so many statements about "bandwidth theft", reasoning behind it (high load on the server etc), but all statements seem to be assumptions, with no legal facts behind them.


    Any facts and references much appreciated.





    ps I have a good reason for this question (I know I could simply upload the image, but that is not the point here).


    Example: my image pulled from the alamy site embedded here on the forum site (or on my site)……logo could be an issue, but let's assume the logo is not present for the sake of discussion):




  15. Wobbly Newcomer (like many others) may be a victim of a very widespread phenomenon. That is the apparent ease at which anyone can become a success these days. After all, we can read a lot about success stories in many areas (some true, many overstated to uphold an image), including stock (Alamy tells them in the blog, too). We will not read failure stories from failed businesses and artists with such frequency. The failure graveyard is full of hopefuls who were blinded by the success stories. Also, most businesses fail, whatever the industry. Most artists fail. Sometimes, it is worth a stroll through the failure graveyard to reset expectations. 


    One thing is for sure. If all folks need to do is buy a camera, read instructions, push shutter, upload, then have images on sale, it is highly unlikely the majority will be successful. Anything so easy is not a formula for success. Just "being on alamy" means nothing.


    I hope Wobbly strolled the failure graveyard, and read the engravings on the tombstones before deciding to upload.

    • Upvote 3

    3) Get Close – this is not just the old advice for movie-makers rehashed, ‘if it hasn’t worked you were not close enough’. It’s also a bit of visual psychology. Closer viewpoints connect to the viewer better than distant telephoto shots even if the subject has the same scale in the shot. I do not mean use an ultrawide lens and shoot from inches away, simply don’t rely on your 70-200mm for everyday shooting. Your images will lose immediacy. Henri Cartier-Bresson understood this well.


    Since I stopped taking those obligatory travel-marketing sunsets, I no longer use a telephoto lens. I smile when newbies say they are shooting candids with a long lens from a darkened doorway. People pictures require the shooter to make a double exposure: he/she must expose themselves to make an exposure of the subject. 


    ​Cartier-Bresson's greatest talent was anticipating the moment. 


    I've taken till today to reply to this reply. 

    I looked a bit into Henri Cartier-Bresson and I was blown away. It led me down a really slippy road and now I'm thinking of buying my first film camera. There's a magic to film shots. A mystery, and drama that I sincerely believe has been lost in digital. I want to know what that is like. I'm now in the hunt for a Canon AE-1 Program 35mm SLR. 



    Good for you. Film is not the same as digital pushed through a make-it-look-like-film software. It may get close, but it never gets there (how can it? I know it's faked, you know it's faked, just as skill is being replaced by camera technology!). Film is different. It's not just the look, it is also how you get there. A joy to view (Xmas pressie!) is this book from Erwitt. A large book where you really see how the character of colour film meets skill to create a wonderful collection of photographs. Of course, from a commercial point of view, digital is way ahead. But commerce is not everything is it?


    On the topic of digital being way ahead, (the point about camera technology), the consequence of digital technology just hit the photographer profession in Austria. The Austrian high court just ruled that "Professional Photographer" status (a registered profession which did require formal training, proof of skills etc) is no longer a recognized/regulated profession. The court's ruling (sorry only in German) is based on the development of digital technology which has eliminated the need for special skills to make photographs. Anyone can now be a "Professional Photographer". No skills needed. 

  17. I think that the last paragraph in that piece is the most pertinent and in a way contradicts what he (Antonio Olmos) said in the first paragraph.


    Para1: "There have never been so many photographs taken, but photography is dying"

    Last para: "I'll survive in this profession because I have skills...just because you've got an Instagram app on your phone you aren't a great photographer."


    Or another way to put it: "the easier the technology becomes, the more poor photographers are exposed" :) ….. However, the same applies to great photographers.


    Surely the technology is secondary.

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