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Bill Brooks

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Everything posted by Bill Brooks

  1. This old map image concept was once about globalization and how we are all connected over the internet. I just added "covid-19"as a keyword. On the home front we have a 20 day supply of meds and food on hand. The Prime Minister of Canada and his wife are today in self isolation pending outcome of tests. https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-trudeau-in-self-isolation-as-wife-sophie-tested-for-new-coronavirus/
  2. Had some interest in Gaia this month, but image was a tight in crop on the flower world globe. So decided to put world in space leaving lots of room for type. Three versions collectively showing entire world, as Alamy is an international agency. AustralAsia version
  3. Last week in Toronto 25,000 people from all over the world met for a mining conference and trade show. When asked why they were there, in light of Covid-19, attendees said they could not afford to miss the Toronto conference. This week a conference attendee from a mining town 400 miles north of the nearest Covid-19 sufferer (Toronto) tested positive, and is in isolation. The photography show did everyone a favour.
  4. Matt you are right. Don't overthink it. Your great people picnic image came about, because you had fun making a lot of good pictures. Lots of good images helped you develop an eye for a great image. So when the chance at your great picnic picture came about, you probably reacted from your gut without a lot of thinking. Most of my thinking is done later when looking at the surviving good images from the shoot. What should I have done, at the shoot, to turn this good image into a great image?
  5. Martin. Don't feel down, you have started uploading good images that will sell as stock. There are three types of images, bad, good, and great I take lots of images. I delete the bad images. I upload the good images, and the occasional great image, to Alamy. Good stock images will sell, but great stock images will sell more often. When a client does a search they are presented with 100 images on the first page. Some of those 100 images are good, and some are great. The client will compare good images to great images. When the client makes a selection they may rent a good image, but they will more likely rent the great image. So photographers producing a larger number of great images will have higher sales, other things being equal. Producing great images is like excelling in any endeavor. Practice practice practice. If you set out to produce only great images it will lead to creative block and no images. Do not overthink it. Practice often enough by producing good images, and you will start producing great images. It is like playing the violin. With more great stock images, you will make even more stock sales.
  6. RF $$ Usage: Single company - multiple educational editorial use onlyUpgrade Note the upgrade charge for an RF image Caption: Scientific proof that Bigfoot roams the very remote corners of Rouge National Urban Park inside Toronto Ontario Canada. What started out as a joke, has now sold 3 times in 2020 alone. Plus a number of times before 2020.
  7. Photoshop combination of many stacked images, shot over a year ago, for extended depth of field . Something to Photoshop on a cold winter day.
  8. I hear about the growing number of free public domain images all of the time. The Smithsonian is not the only museum doing this. What is the sale value of a stock image curated from the public domain? https://petapixel.com/2020/02/25/the-smithsonian-just-released-2-8-million-images-into-the-public-domain/
  9. A thought provoking talk about good photography that we all do most of the time, and the great photography that we all do only sometimes. https://fstoppers.com/education/good-or-great-photo-opinion-self-righteous-sanctimonious-or-absolutely-correct-458290
  10. Or maybe a do it yourself circumcision handbook. Used in a 'Health & Safety' handbook, perhaps? 😮
  11. RF editorial $$ South Korea book. Caption: Log sawing contest at the Maple Syrup Festival in the early spring in Elmira Ontario Canada A bit of spring Canadiana eh, shot on assignment for Harlequin Magazine in the late 1970's. The same assignment also produced a series of good selling images of old time Maple Syrup collection by horse drawn cart.
  12. RF $$$ exclusive to Alamy, direct to client Alamy sale. Usage: Single company - multiple educational editorial use only Caption: January snow top of Mauna Kea from Hilo on the big island of Hawaii in the state of Hawaii USA Shot from my hotel room. Always get a room with a view. I think the caption and keywording slanted the image towards the educational market.
  13. I think the amount of diversity in the media reflects the diversity in a particular society. Toronto is a very diverse city and most TV commercials have a diverse cast of characters. This is not just a multi racial group of friends snacking on the product while watching a hockey game on TV. It extends to a black/white couple in bed joined by their sleepy multiracial child in the morning, to advertise a mattress. The above depictions are not fantasy, but are real life in the Toronto area. A popular TV show in Toronto is a cable television hockey broadcast with on air game commentary all in Punjabi. Punjabi is the most-spoken native language in Canada after English, French, Mandarin and Cantonese. There was a stock photo agency called BLEND specializing in diverse images, that was successful for about 10 years, but just closed down last year. So TONL is a good idea, but not a new idea. Personally my extended family has a sampling of every major racial group on the planet, and many combinations thereof. Makes for some interesting family dinners. This Canadian guy is the minister of immigration in in Canada's federal cabinet. An immigrant to Canada himself, with a interesting life story https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ahmed_Hussen
  14. How much did PA pay for Alamy and what are the terms and conditions to the deal? Is it good for photographers? We will know in a year. Preparing to sell a small company often takes 5 years. I do not think Alamy has been floundering, I think they have been tailoring Alamy to the needs of a potential buyer. Particularly in the last year or so. Just to add to the knowledge base. In 2019, while Alamy was implementing the future, and my collection went up by only a very small percentage, the number of my sales went up 25% and my revenue went up 25%. All of my images are RF or RF editorial, and I have all of my sales possibilities turned on. Including lower priced PU, NU, most international. I did collection maintenance. Culled over 2,000 of my less inspiring accepted images, updated and cleaned up my keywording. This was all in an attempt to have fewer bad views, but make more sales. I am not suggesting anyone do anything at this point, but I think we may have already caught a glimpse of the future. Image prices be damned. If the future with PA results in a higher monthly payout, I am all for it. Welcome PA, and thanks to James and Alamy staff for doing a great job, since 1998, in a difficult marketplace .
  15. I always refer these requests back to the agent because I am concerned that some clients are trying to deal direct with the photographer, in order to screw the agent out of their commission. If they are looking for a lower price and screwing the agent, why would they not screw you? Why would you want them as a client?
  16. RF $$ Corporate client. Marketing Package Use New superhighway being built in Ontario. A series of construction shots, taken that day, have been used several times. The shots were taken from a brand new bridge built to span the future highway. Aerial drone shot, without a drone, resulting in a higher quality 50 megapixel file using the Canon 5DS. Spent a morning driving up and down sideroads near the construction, looking for a bridge with a view. Shooting with cross lighting made things look dustier. This image was not zoomed, but sold anyway.
  17. RF $ Sweden, Editorial website, Bulk Discount, Flat Rate The big problem with this shot was the bugs. Big trees like this have thousands of ants, spiders, larvae, etc on them. So when we took the tree into the studio to build a 3 story light tent for the white background, the heat inside woke the bugs up. Bugs were crawling all over the place. Had to call in exterminators.
  18. RF $$$ Single company - multiple use editorial only Simulated satellite view of Canada done about 1994. Used a DEM (digital elevation model) spreadsheet from NASA for the relief. A world vector map file from Xerox Park for the water (ocean and lakes) outlines. A CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) file of river systems for the rivers. My guess using elevation and latitude for snow cover. On the colour version freehanded the vegetation. Combined all maps in photoshop to make a entire world map in blue tone and also a second map in full colour. I then wrapped those world maps around a sphere in a 3D program and flew a virtual camera around my world model taking snaps at appropriate places. Took 6 months of work, but was well worth it financially, until Google launched Google Maps in 2005. Map sales died off after Google maps in 2005, but I still sell one occasionally. So get there first until the party is over, then move on to something else enabled by new technology, all the while receiving residuals for the old stuff.
  19. My collection will probably be donated to a Canadian charity/museum etc. in order to get an income tax credit for my estate.
  20. Today I follow Alamy's advice, and keep stock production costs low by not taking overnight trips except on holidays, when I would travel anyway. But I consider myself retired. I became serious about stock in the late 1960s when stock prices were also low. I did two things. (1) Concentrated on future stock colour needs, when stock was still mainly a B&W business. At he same time picture books were transitioning from B&W to full colour due to advances in printing technology. (2) Built a stock collection by doing 10 picture books in colour between 1970 and 1982. The book publisher advanced money against future royalties. Advances that would cover my expenses for cross Canada shooting trips. When pitching a book idea to the publisher it was based on building stock. So my books had titles like "The Colour of British Columbia", "Seasons of Canada" "The Colour of Alberta", and the never to be forgotten "The Colour of New Brunswick". The books sold very well for years, a colour stock collection was built with all expenses covered, my stock photo sales started during the book shoot. So I took advantage of an editorial/advertising industry transition from B&W to colour. I had the book publisher finance the cost of making the colour stock collection, and pay royalties on the books as well. The unusually high interest charges of the late 1970's paid by publishers on printing and advance costs, put the end to the high profit picture book. Everyone was doing picture books but there was no money in it. By 1980 stock prices had risen enough that my cash flow from stock, and books in print, allowed me to transition to editorial/advertising stock full time. If I was just starting out today it would be different, but not impossible. I would first look for future photography needs due to changes in technology, and get someone else to pay the cost of acquisition.
  21. RF web use $ distributer sale. Concept illustration of James Lovelock’s Gaia hypothesis. Earth as a vast self-regulating living thing. Had a lot of satisfaction doing this. Also rotated the earth to give two other images, one with Asian world and another with Americas world.
  22. Do not allow shooting for stock to change your eye. Forget about stock when shooting. Make the very best images possible. Then upload your very best images to a stock photo site. You can overthink the sales aspect. Overthink it to the point it interferes with the quality of your photography. So stop thinking about sales. A great image will eventually find a buyer. Develop an eye for great photography, the rest will look after itself.
  23. Winter hikers in Rouge National Urban Park in Toronto. When shooting I overexposed by 2/3 stops over the camera meter reading to place the snow in the upper quarter tones. When shooting groups of people if they overlap with a sharp confusing background or overlap each other, their outlines become less readily readable. 3 people start to look like two people with 3 legs each or two heads. So I waited, and also changed shooting position, until people outlines separated visually. In Adobe Camera Raw I remapped the sensor information to add a cold blue cast to the mid-tones. Applied vignette slight over correction to lighten corners more than usual. Raised the luminance and saturation of the yellows only. Cloned out a few soft dark bare spots on the snowy road that looked like so many out of focus birds. Left the footprints in. Submitted 3 horizontals and 3 verticals, 2 of which had lots of sky/snow to give room for type top and bottom. Came back the next day for a second try, but the city ruined the location by plowing the road.
  24. RF $$ book use. Caption: Scientific proof that Bigfoot roams the very remote corners of Rouge National Urban Park inside Toronto Ontario Canada More information: Photographer available for interviews and consultations for outrageous price Made this shot for fun, after stumbling across the footprint in December 2012. The series keeps selling over and over for documentaries books etc. Never been asked to consult however.
  25. RF editorial $$ retail book. Toronto city hall. Lot of photoshopping in this image. Verticals corrected, and a network of fine overhead wires used to support Christmas lights removed. Worth it because it has sold multiple times, probably due to the seasonal and iconic nature of image. Taken in March because foreground is usually in shadow in December. Notice shadow creeping in on right hand side of Toronto sign even in March.
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