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Bill Brooks

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Everything posted by Bill Brooks

  1. 20 year old digital illustration by me. RF 50% Alamy exclusive $$$. Moved over to Alamy from another stock agency who had stopped paying photographer royalties due to financial difficulties. Stopped paying, but kept selling, until I terminated the contract. GO ALAMY GO
  2. Absolutely stunning images. Not a duplicate or a dud in the bunch. Why not try more vertical landscape shots? You are on the location anyway. Leave the top 25% of the image as simple sky. That way you leave room for the name of the magazine cover, book cover, advertisement or poster at the top of the page. Room for type. You might consider doing another version with a person or animal in the middle distance, just to give some scale to the landscape. Do you have a hiking companion? Get them to walk into your image. When budget permits you might consider a higher resolution camera. The subject matter demands high resolution. However there can be weight problems with the higher resolution cameras or too much gear. So if it keeps you from walking, forget I said that. Amazing images.
  3. A shot of a background pattern, photographed close to home on my morning walk one cold January day. For commercial use on a website RF $$
  4. Fantastic digital illustration. I think Alamy would benefit from having as much of your work on the system as possible. You bring up a very real problem with photographic digital illustration. I am nowhere near your high level, but I sometimes ftp a combination of straight photographs, lightly retouched photographs of real places, photographic digital illustration, and obvious digital illustration, all of them FTP to _stock. After acceptance I designate photographic digital illustration and obvious digital illustration as "illustration" in the Alamy Image Manager. However this is after submission. I am always concerned that Alamy QC will mistake a photographic digital illustration for a photograph and disqualify it for obvious retouching. If it is a photographic digital illustration, in many cases, obvious retouching does not really matter. Sometimes obvious retouching enhances the image. To date my fallback position has been to not Alamy submit any photographic digital illustration that show digital retouching. A loss for the Alamy library. A solution to this problem, would be to have the ability to divide our submissions accordingly, and ftp them to either _stock or to a new address _illustration. Alamy could then apply the proper QC to the illustrations.
  5. Bookazines are on the magazine rack, but do not date themselves. Everyone is now doing them I picked one up of beautiful images of Canada recently. Hundreds of images about 2/3 microstock and 1/3 Alamy. Alamy charged full book prices for my images, that were in the publication. Go Alamy Go.
  6. Agree with Wim. It's in your head so measuring will do no good. I have my Adobe Bridge and Photoshop background set to gray as well as my Mac Desktop. Images that appear on the Alamy pages are against white and tend to look darker until you click on an already zoomed image and get an enlarged image on a gray background. Then it looks as I sent it in. I assume my images will be viewed on a white background either printed page or a white web page so I process them slightly lighter than a perfect histogram. I try for slightly more shadow detail as image shadows will appear darker against a white background. Works with perception of color against color as well. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2757726/
  7. The chunkiness in the sky may be within QC tolerances but that does not mean it is good. The image has a saturated blue sky. This means it has less information than a not so saturated blue sky. The lack of information in saturated colours, where colours are not graduated but make big jumps, makes the saturated sky look chunky. Why does a saturated sky have less information than a less saturated sky and is prone to chunkiness, or abrupt changes in colour and brightness? The digital file is a combination of RGB channels. Red Green Blue channels. Each channel can vary from 0 to 255 to give us, in combination at each pixel, all the colours of the rainbow. A not so saturated blue sky, but still a blue sky, might have values of Red between 10 and 70, Green between 100 and 200, Blue between 180 and 254. These values in an unsaturated blue sky will combine to create many values of blue and many values of brightness, so the sky will have considerable variation in its blues and brightness, and not look chunky. Looking at the saturated blue sky part of your image: The Red channel may have a value of 0. No Red. This means the Red is completely without variance. If the values were from 0 to 50 it would have some red variance The Green channel may have a value that varies between 100 and 150. This provides some variance so you can see slightly different blues when the Green channel is combined with the Blue and Red channel. The Blue channel has a value of 255 only. This means it is maximum blue so there is no blue variance. In your sky the only variance is in the Green channel. This means that your variance information is in one channel only, not in all 3. The Green channel cannot make up for the variance lost in the RED and Blue channel. This makes the sky part of the image look chunky. Saturated skies happen. A solution is to add a low level of noise to the image. Level 1.5 in photoshop. This noise will add enough variance in all 3 channels to suppress the chunkiness in the sky. The jpg file format then compresses the information resulting in more chunkiness. To compress information it throws out small variances. So it may decide a variance of between 125 and 126 in the Green channel is insignificant. Two adjacent pixels no longer vary, they become the same colour. However it is significant in this image because all the variance information is only in the Green channel. Chunky disaster.!! When I have a saturated blue sky image I add a bit of noise in photoshop, before I output the JPG. Noise is usually the enemy, but sometimes it is your friend. Any saturated colour, a saturated red shirt for instance, can have the same chunkiness. This is one argument for shooting RAW and not shooting JPG when shooting stock. As others have said, Alamy JPG compression is also adding to the chunkiness. Do not get too discouraged by technical details, as your Blinking Eye has a great eye for the image. Your images are great. Technical can be learned, having a great eye is not so easy.
  8. I used to DAMP clean, not wet clean my sensors. Now I find no need to DAMP clean. I only DRY clean. My method is to locate the dust using an inspection device (see below) and then try to clean with a DRY pad with only one or two light sweeps. If this does not work then DAMP clean, Not WET clean. Use a minimum of cleaning solution. One light cross sweep with the DAMP pad. Wait 10 seconds for the solution to work. Then two light sweeps with the DRY pad. DO NO SCRUB or you will scratch the sensor cover glass. Use a pad that is the proper size for your sensor. If you still have spots then repeat the DAMP clean again, without any additional cleaning solution on the pad. Use this inspection device to check your sensor. It is invaluable. It will make scratches, stains, dust spots, blackflies jump out at you. You cannot do a proper cleaning without it. It will pick up very small dust spots that do not even appear in the digital file. It is valuable even if you only ever dry clean with a blower device. https://visibledust.com/products/quasar-r-5x-sensor-loupe-magnifier-with-dark-adaptation-technology/ I have not had to DAMP clean my sensor since I upgraded to a 5D2 with its inbuilt cleaning function. I inspect to find any dust, then a dry sweep if there is any dust, run camera sensor shaking function, inspect again, dry sweep again if necessary. I have never had to do the dry sweep more than twice.
  9. Thanks Paulette: It made me feel dizzy at the time. 3 hours of staring at fast moving water gave me motion sickness and vertigo. Fortunately there was a chest high fence at the edge of the dam which kept me from falling forward into the torrent, about 15 feet below. Motion sickness around moving water is something to keep in mind, as many water locations do not have a fence. The fish weigh up to 50 pounds and fly, mostly out of control, at a high rate of speed. Years ago I was standing 5 feet back from the edge of a river and was still hit from behind by a flying salmon traveling at high speed. The impact knocked off my feet, but luckily away from the river. What the hell moment, when you are looking the other way through a viewfinder.
  10. Fall again, and the Lake Ontario salmon are on their upstream run to spawn. This year I turned off the autofocus, stopped down to F11, and raised my ISO. I set the exposure on normal so the white water was grey and the fish were underexposed. I corrected the underexposure in software. The idea was to create a deep, in focus area, while retaining a high shutter speed. Then wait until the salmon leapt through the preset, in focus, area. Here is a conventional tele shot. Here is a view from above with a normal lens
  11. I already allow both personal use and novel use so I cannot answer the question. However whenever I see a high rez image sold for personal use or novel use it gives me pause, and I review my decision. I feel that anything bigger than 1500 pixels on the long side for personal use has to be suspicious. I also am concerned that a personal or novel use high rez file could leak out into the wild west of the internet. If the file was only 1500 pixels this would not be as great a concern. If someone wants to make a large personal use wall decor $600 print for their castle, then they should be paying a much higher price to get the digital file with increased resolution.
  12. Before subscription I used to update Photoshop on a yearly basis. The cost of subscription is roughly the same as the cost of the yearly update. The subscription model has no initial first time purchase cost, that was $1000 in my case. So the subscription model is cheaper if you want to keep Adobe software up to date. However the subscription model has resulted in much better Adobe product because the subscription model has converted the software thieves into subscribers. Because the subscription model has cut back on piracy of its products, Adobe is in a much better financial position with the subscription model. It has invested the extra money in improving the product. So the subscription model is a win for me, better product at no extra cost. If you do not want to subscribe, then your old Adobe products will still work for the foreseeable future. However there will come a time when, because of changes to the OS, Adobe will stop supporting the old product. My old copy of photoshop is still on my hard drive and works the way it did many years ago. However that is the point. The subscription, always new photoshop makes more use of artificial intelligence, and is vastly superior.
  13. RF editorial only.$$$ A 50% Alamy sale directly to a French client for full page in a French language book, print and/or e-book. No sharing commission with a stinking international French subagent. GO ALAMY GO. The takeover of valuable farmland by suburban sprawl is a constant environmental soft news complaint in Ontario, so I have amassed a collection of images on that subject. I am now looking for a tractor plowing a field in the space occupied by the hay bales in this image. When I stumble across that better scene, I will be ready.
  14. Going through my surreal period here. The more I worked on this Artificial Intelligence image the more it resembled an african mask. Which was unexpected, but a good thing. Apologies to Magritte. But my image is different. Magritte's birds have a sharp edge.
  15. RF editorial only newspaper $ Oh well at least it is a sale that, in addition to my CTR, may raise my images in the search order.
  16. I always ask myself if this person in the image was part of my extended family, knowing what I know about possible sensitive use, would I make the image a stock image?
  17. RF web and social media use $$ 50% commission, Alamy direct sale to a French speaking client. My photoshop surrealistic images selling. Build it and they will come.
  18. Not sure of your definition of abstract John. Here is a very small sampling of my past sales that might qualify as abstract. Prices are all over the map.
  19. Edo Select a subject that is at hand, and which you are interested in, and photographically explore it deeply. Not just the surface, but explore the subject deeply over a year or so I suffer from the same subject matter malaise. I am going to start doing more surrealism in photoshop. Move over Rene Magritte. First attempts will depend heavily on Magritte, but hopefully I will be able to go my own way with later images. https://www.google.ca/search?q=Rene+Magritte&lr=&hl=en&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjYrL2vmtHkAhVCqZ4KHfX5AtUQ_AUIESgB&biw=1751&bih=1248&dpr=2 I have also considered 36 views of the CN tower. The CN tower dominates the Toronto skyline and seems to be always in view from anywhere in the city. If printmaker Hokusai can do it with 36 views of Mount Fuji in 1830 so can I . https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thirty-six_Views_of_Mount_Fuji
  20. I think Alamy is showing abstracts so they can expand their client base and retain present clients. Good for Alamy. A photo editor needs totem poles for one project and abstracts for the next project. If they need an abstract should they go somewhere else for their abstract, and maybe never return to Alamy when they need a totem pole? If Alamy meets all of the editor's needs, Alamy becomes a one stop shop for the editor. We all benefit.
  21. RF editorial Alamy exclusive 50% $$ magazines and books. Green roof on the podium of Toronto City Hall. One of a series of 9 year old shots that have done well. An example of getting in early for soft news, for which there is an ongoing interest.
  22. It reminds me of the GREAT BRA STRAP DEBATE. When Madonna started to wear her underwear on the outside, some pioneering fashionistas started to show their bra straps. Editors at some stock photo agencies refused to accept images, otherwise normal, but showing bra straps. However 2 years later bra straps were on those same agencies want lists. Today I see older women and men with tattoos in the most amazing places. Tattoo time has come, and may have peaked. Photographer friend of mine did a photo story on people who had surgically altered their naughty bits, not just breasts and bums. Altered in order to make their naughty bits more interesting. Surgically altered naughty bits, and not just breasts and bums, next big trend. You heard it here. Get out the model releases.
  23. You are photographers. If you do not like zoos, then take images like these. Your power is in your camera. Use it
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