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Mark

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Posts posted by Mark

  1. Not all photography has to be commercially optimized. Nor is it an either/or question. For me, shooting film (Tri-X) with a Leica MP and 35mm lens (both funded by alamy a few years ago) held easily in my palm, hearing that quiet "thunk" of the shutter, and the click of the winder is a joy. Or a roll of Velvia and a stroll in the blooming countryside, or exploring a candy-coloured American small-town centre. Just tried some Provia. Interesting pastel result to some street photos. As Sam Abell says, "compose and wait", as you say, "slow down". Watch observe, merge with your surroundings, then make (I mean "make" that shot…..see it developing, compose it, wait……wait….everything coming into alignment…make that photograph). Better still, I have started going out all day with one film loaded. One film, 36 chances, no second roll. Makes you stop and think even more. It works. My next book will be a collection of one-film mini-projects. Difficult to do with digital. It is so tempting to shoot just one more, or maybe ten just to be sure. No, that is too easy.

     

    Love it. Bad for stock these days. Film=Flintlock,  Digital=Gatling gun. Difficult to use a gatling like a flintlock. Not the same feeling.

     

     

    I meant PORTRA!

  2. Not all photography has to be commercially optimized. Nor is it an either/or question. For me, shooting film (Tri-X) with a Leica MP and 35mm lens (both funded by alamy a few years ago) held easily in my palm, hearing that quiet "thunk" of the shutter, and the click of the winder is a joy. Or a roll of Velvia and a stroll in the blooming countryside, or exploring a candy-coloured American small-town centre. Just tried some Provia. Interesting pastel result to some street photos. As Sam Abell says, "compose and wait", as you say, "slow down". Watch observe, merge with your surroundings, then make (I mean "make" that shot…..see it developing, compose it, wait……wait….everything coming into alignment…make that photograph). Better still, I have started going out all day with one film loaded. One film, 36 chances, no second roll. Makes you stop and think even more. It works. My next book will be a collection of one-film mini-projects. Difficult to do with digital. It is so tempting to shoot just one more, or maybe ten just to be sure. No, that is too easy.

     

    Love it. Bad for stock these days. Film=Flintlock,  Digital=Gatling gun. Difficult to use a gatling like a flintlock. Not the same feeling.

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  3.  

     

    I realise I have a very small portfolio but what I was originally driving at but did not make very clear is that I have sales of 20+ images/week from other agencies but apart from the 3 in July nothing from Alamy

     

    Don't want to be rude, but what do customers pay for the 20+ images/week you get from the other agencies???

    $40, $85, $180,00 like you can get here per image?

     

    Supporting microstock - lets be honest - which ruined the stock industry - and now complaining that your images don't sell at a traditional agency? It's a bit like burning your house down because you felt a little chilly and now complaining that you freeze your butt off all winter long sitting amongst the ruins. (all right, perhaps a weird comparison (English is not my native language) but hey, I guess you know what I mean ;))

     

    Cheers,

    Philippe

     

    Micro stock was invented for amateurs to sell their images for cheap, but it was so successful that the pro's wanted in on it. Dumping their best work on micros and the agencies raised the bar organically because they could reject not so good images now. Everybody had to up their game and started sending in high quality images, but the stock agencies never raised their pricing accordingly. Amateurs are blamed for ruining stock, while it was the pro's that started supplying high quality images to micro stock agencies. The pro's killed their own business.  Dont take it personal, its just a general comment.

     

     

    That's a strange twist to the story. It started off designers swapping images for free. It was opened up to photographers, selling only at low price so there was still very little cost for the designers who had ran out of photos to share for free. The price level was so low that it was totally off the radar for professionals. It took off with the amateurs and designers, and I remember very well the pro-bashing going on by the micro stockers. They will rule the world, and send the old farts off into oblivion. But, yes, during the creaming days, some professionals did really well until the dilution began. Also, let's not associate quality and creativity with amateur and professional. Both sides have good and bad examples. Amateurs can be very creative without the constraints of having to make a profit. This is a VERY interesting resource for digital businesses. A resource base that delivers creative images without a profit or high-fee expectation. I would argue this is the primary basis of stock these days. I think amateurs are a force not to be underestimated. By the way, it was the also the amateur radio enthusiast that pushed the development of radio communications. They had the interest to push boundaries without the commercial focus or risk.

     

    Professionals are not blamed for sampling the water. Amateurs are not blamed for starting the whole thing. Amateurs are a (new) resource waiting to be utilized. Many follow concepts presented to them that give them a buzz now and then. Amateurs can extract value in non-financial terms (recognition from the group, satisfaction when an image is used, fun, thrill of "own business" etc), and still keep submitting (what a supplier chain….they keep supplying even when making a financial loss, or at best, little or no profit!). It is the business people behind these systems that are to "blame" (not meant negatively, it makes sense to use the resources you have easy access to). However, of course the industry will shift over time. There are so many images now, so freely available, and so easily distributed, good license fees require very special images indeed, sold by entities who know what they are selling (do agencies sell images based on specific intrinsic value of every image, and set the price accordingly?….I have my own opinion on this one).

     

    The whole thing is shifting. Images are so "worthless" (or should I say "highly valuable" to businesses who can integrate them into their model) these days, we even see Calvendo and Getty partner up (sorry, in German) to give Calvendo members free access to Getty collections to make personal calendars for sale. Print on demand calendars. We are talking nano-license fees here all around. The images are a given (almost as free as the air we breath), now we move into user-generated products. It is clear that the concept is based on volume. But it is also the next step in utilizing consumers to do work for the business. Thousands and thousands of contributors and photographers all inputting into digital product manufacturing, earning very very little, but the businesses collecting a huge volume of small fees. The problem is that the single user (photographer, calendar maker etc) cannot produce enough volume to offset the low fees.

     

    To quote: Nach Ende der Testphase soll das Angebot, auf die Getty-Bilder zuzugreifen, allen CALVENDO-Usern zur Verfügung stehen, selbstverständlich kostenlos. > After the test phase, all Calvendo users will have free access to the Getty images.

     

    I don't think it is anyones fault. It is the nature of the world in which we live. There is more to come. Simply pumping images into a digital agency expecting legacy ("high") fees is a dream. Hope dies last. There needs to be more work done than that (each to work out his/her own strategy).

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  4. I had had some black and white film images rejected by QC, so I am interested in other's experiences with black and white film. There is no way to remove all of the dust spots. Are images getting through anyway? 

     

    I do quite a bit of black and white. A few end up on alamy. They go through without failures. Kodak Tmax 400, Nikon 4000 (turn off ICE, multiscan etc spot defects in photoshop). Key point is the negatives are clean and flat (my lab works very well in this respect). I blow off residual dust if  required.  I know some folks clean up the negatives first (perhaps if old negatives), but never had to do that. Clearly, if the negatives are splattered with dust spots, then failure is guaranteed. 

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  5. Nikon DF should be very hot with any photographer over 80 years old.

     

    Look at the age of the paid to comment photographers, who are featured in the technical marketing videos.

     

    I think Nikon is going the way of Hasselblad and Leica with their collector cameras.

     

    Fashion statement for old guys, but not for real photographers. I have an old battered 6X7 film camera on display in my office. Serves the same purpose, very cool.

     

    Here is some commentary on the DF from a respected source

     

    http://diglloyd.com/blog/2013/20131105_2-NikonDf-thoughts.html

     

    Bill Brooks

     

     

    That's a strange "respected" source. Who on earth needs that stuff he states is missing? As far as I can see, HE is describing an "old photographer's" camera. One that offsets the ageing process: 

     

    EVF (eyes gone bad)

    programable long exposures (can't see the illuminated watch any more)

    LCD (forgotten how to expose correctly...look...try again....damn...left the cap on) 

    Built-in flash (don't know what this is good for anyway, so I won't comment)

    Image stabilization? ("bit shaky these days, are we?")

    Compact, lightweight, fits in pocket (loss of muscle mass)

     

    As far as I can see the new Nikon "retro" is NOT for the oldies. Sonys, Canons et al seem to be the "old photographer" cameras with all those features included. "Make sharp photos well into your 90's with the new Canon 1D Mk90+" should be the marketing slogan. At least the Leicas can only be used by "real" (young?) photographers who can still make photographs without the senior-assistance features he describes (unless they are used as fashion statements with bestoke bleu leatherette, neatly cradled in camel-brown leather cases, and without the batteries installed, of course).

     

    :ph34r:

     

    (response not expected!)

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  6. The big item I miss so much about all the images I look at on alamy (or any other agency for that matter) is the story. There are great images of places, people, events, natural wonders, less-than-natural wonders, disasters, misery, happiness, whatever, but NONE have words attached to them that tell the full story. I try to read the "story" from the photos (some work better than others), but I turn away still feeling empty. Stories untold. Such great pictures reduced to illustrations in someone else's story. What about your stories?

     

    This is not a call for strory-telling. I am just sad that good editorial images here and elswhere are dumped into a bucket hoping someone will find a use for them. I have the same feeling on Flickr, 500px etc (which is why I have stopped looking.....buckets of mush). Whatever happened to the story-telling power of photography? The only good photo is the one that sells? I don't think so!

     

    Would love to see a place where some deeper background around good photos is captured and presented.

     

    What about you? Or is it just me with a skewed perspective?

  7. Funny really. A push for regular low payouts from alamy, additional charges added, then leave the payouts sitting at skrill to try to mitigate further damage.

     

    Even funnier, some who were pushing for lower payouts now threaten to leave alamy. Those who never complained left with the mess.

     

    Oh do I love this crowdsourcing...cheap-cheap-cheap-free-free-free-pay-pay-pay...move on...

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  8.  

     


     Take it or leave it....it's your choice.

    you forgot the "or change it" bit that is usually in that sentence  ;)

     

    Our low-earner friends managed to have it changed downwards didn't they? I am fully against this change, since it creates more transactions on lower license payouts, increasing total admin costs for alamy (who are likely to transfer this cost elsewhere, as we observe). With interest rates and inflation where they are today (some countries excepted!), a quick look at the numbers tells you that leaving the money at alamy for a few months (or even a year depending on country), and then no fee charged when paid out would be way better, particularly for low-$ payouts.

     

    GERMANY INFLATION RATE: 1.43%

    UNITED KINGDOM INFLATION RATE2.70%

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  9.  

    I'm an omnivore, but I eat two meatless meals for every one with meat . . . and I prefer fish. 

    Now this guy was a real omnivore:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michel_Lotito

     

    Probably would have done a G9 as a quick snack before breakfast.

     

     

    "Lotito died of natural causes on June 25, 2007, ten days after his 57th birthday"

     

    It's sort of "natural" to die of poisoning by consuming heavy metals, polyaromatic hydrocarbons, and all that other stuff that tends to make up aircraft, shopping carts, and bicycles.

  10.  

    AM674Y.jpg

    (photo not mine - click to see the full fat version)

     

    When I first came to Germany, my company put me up in a guesthouse for a few weeks while I was sorting out my new apartment. The first morning I came down to breakfast at the guesthouse, there was a bunch of farmers each diving into a Schweinehaxe (shoulder of pork) and a beer. I ordered the muesli and an orange juice.

     

    Thought Schweinehaxe was knuckle of pork.

     

    When I lived there they also used to have "Second Breakfast" which was an enormous gateau with a large beer.

     

    Pigged out last night so I will be skipping breakfast today - fat enough already!

     

    dov

     

     

    You are correct, It is a knuckle (but it looked like a shoulder!)

  11. AM674Y.jpg
    (photo not mine - click to see the full fat version)

     

    When I first came to Germany, my company put me up in a guesthouse for a few weeks while I was sorting out my new apartment. The first morning I came down to breakfast at the guesthouse, there was a bunch of farmers each diving into a Schweinehaxe (shoulder of pork) and a beer. I ordered the muesli and an orange juice.

  12. Good idea. 

     

    Why not start Selling and Wanted posts (like the Images Found posts), and see how mother Alamy responds to a bit of cash flow via the forum  :ph34r: (not sure if mom will like it, though!).

  13. My best investment when I started at alamy years ago (and now 20k + images moved through alamy), was this book. Not all the content is relevant (a good majority is), but certainly the sections on understanding colour space, histograms, image adjustments, colour correction, darkroom effects, using layers, montage etc. I see he has a book on Lightroom too, so I will order that since I moved over to Lightroom 4.

     

    More from this Author

  14. L1013353.jpg?format=300w

     

    I wonder if anyone knows what this is? It is about 20cm in diameter, inserted into the ground, has a set of solar cells on the top, and "rattles" (I can hear and feel the rattle) for about 5 seconds every 30 seconds or so. There are several of them distributed around the orchard. For the life of me, I can't find any reference to this device. There are no other devices, machines, recording stations etc anywhere close.

     

    Any ideas?

     

    Thanks!

    Mark

  15. If you know the definitions in German law, fair enough, but perhaps we need a German speaker, or even lawyer, to tell us how 'gewerblich' translates in law and why it is used in the judgment rather that 'kommerziel', for example.

    All I can deduce is that it means any non-private use.

    To repeat: There's no similar property right (eigentumsrecht)as such in English law. Here it would be a matter of trespass or contract. IMO.

     

    Mark,

     

    "Gewerbe" means "a business". This is also defined clearly in law. To put it in simple terms, a "Gewerbe" is a business that operates with the intent to make profit continually, and operates on the open market. Someone selling jam occasionally to friends is not a "Gewerbe", nor is a hobby that may have income, but does not generate profit, or there is no intent evident to operate a profitable business. In fact, a registered "Gewerbe" (business) may be deregistered by authorities (with all consequences) if profit is not generated after an certain period. Similarly, a private person fulfilling the requirements of a "Gewerbe" (profit, market, intent) but NOT registering the business operates illegally (as some "hobby" stock photographers with good income have found out!...German Tax Office is already onto this!). A "Gewerbe" is governed by special business laws "Gewerberecht". The governmental office "Gewerbeamt" administers all affairs related to the businesses. "Gewerblich" is used as the term because it relates the activities done (the selling of the photographs) to the operation of a "Gewerbe". "Gewerbe" is the legal term.

     

    The issue is related to the infringement of property (and possibly personal) rights, not to non-private use of photos. Owners can also restrict private use.

     

    For photographs inside any building in Germany it is best to get permission prior to making the photographs. Often it is not a problem, but for many historical landmarks and properties these days (whether a ticket to enter is needed or not), photos for "gerwerblich" use often need permission, otherwise property owners rights may be infringed. Neuschwanstein (the fairytale castle) has even been trying for years to ban photography made OUTSIDE from public ground. They continue to fail because photos from public ground are protected by the law "Panoramafreiheit"....free to photograph whatever you can see when standing on public ground (which is NOT applicable if you use a ladder, shoot from the window of the building opposite, stand on someones shoulders, or use a helium balloon to lift your camera etc....then you can be bitten again by the property owners).

     

    For a planned stock shoot, it is worth the upfront enquiry. With everyone a photographer these days, and photos distributed out of control (facebook, flickr, stock etc) property owners are becoming sensitive to photography.

  16. In Germany, there is no law that grants or protects rights to make photos (whether for private or commercial use) INSIDE property. There is no permission implied. There IS legal protection for property owners/administrators, especially in the form of protection of personal and property rights. Owners/administrators have the right to apply whatever restrictions they like. Further, religious buildings enjoy additional protection due to laws that protect the practice of religions within these buildings.

     

    There is NOT even a requirement for property owners to display photography restrictions in the form of signs, printed on tickets, etc (as stated by the court in the second example below). YOU are required to obtain explicit permission to make photos for commercial purposes INSIDE buildings and property since regulations for commercial photography may be in place. 

     

    Here are a couple of cases (sorry, full text in German, tested in court, photographers lost the cases, many others can be found):

     

    Palace Tegel: Private photography allowed. Photographer found guilty of infringement of property rights since he breached the regulation that only private photos permitted. He did not obtain permission to make commercial photos (were used for postcards and calendars). In this case, there was a sign indicating photography for private use was allowed (which was actually irrelevant for the ruling related to commercial photography... it was not about him ignoring the sign, but about failing to obtain permission, as the next case also confirms).

     

    Potsdam Palace: Photographer made stock photos and submitted them to an agency. Found NOT guilty of copyright infringement since the architect was died more than 70 years ago. Since the photographer did not obtain permission from the property owners, he did not HAVE permission to make commercial photos (there was a restriction in place). He was found guilty of property rights infringement. Note the court stated that it was NOT required that the restriction on commercial photography needs to be visible (sign, ticket etc! See red text below). Not knowing will not help. Further, the stock agency was also in trouble for distributing photos made "illegally". There was a very heavy fine and legal costs to carry.

     

    The cases above, and numerous others, confirm that there need not be a sign or other statement indicating commercial photography is not allowed. This is important, since many assume commercial photography is allowed if there is no visible statement of restrictions. In Germany, if you do not have a permit/permission for commercial photography INSIDE the property in your hand, you may be on thin ice. Best to enquire, and stay informed of the property owner's position on commercial photography. These days, most interesting properties have a website a contact email address! There are certainly many more photographers who get away with it (as we can see on alamy!) than those who end up in court. A risk decision.

     

     

    1. Das Urheberrecht war nicht verletzt, da die Urheber des Schlosses (Architekt, Baumeister) schon seit über 70 Jahren tot sind.
    2. Aber das Eigentumsrecht war verletzt. Denn die Parkanlage gehört der Stiftung und unterliegt damit ihrer Sachherrschaft. Und wenn das Betreten einer Anlage von der Zustimmung des Hausrechtsinhabers abhängig ist, sind gewerbliche Fotos nur mit dessen ausdrücklicher Erlaubnis zulässig. Das Gericht sagte, dass dazu nicht ein mal ein Hinweis ausgehängt werden muss!
    3. Der Fotograf hatte keine Fotoerlaubnis und ist damit Störer. Das Fotoportal haftet als Mitstörer, weil es sich die rechtswidrigen Fotos “zueigen” gemacht hat.
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  17. Quote: "Anybody wishing to shoot on any land belonging to the Canal & River Trust in England or Wales, no matter how big or small,"

     

    I would not assume anything (assumptions are a nice way to make life "easy"....just assume the issue does not apply in your case...  ;) ). Knowing is best, and you seem to be concerned about it. If the signs around Gas Street Basin and the statement above are reason for concern, just write to them and ask if you can take pics for stock licensing (photographs for profit/licensing/"sale"). 

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