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Bill Brooks

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Everything posted by Bill Brooks

  1. Ian You tell a story with your news and stock images but it tends to be one off, with not a lot of credit to yourself. Why not tell an extended story through a picture book? Shooting the book will generate stock images. Shooting stock images can generate a book. Publishing the book through a publisher will generate book royalties. For instance how about life in an english village? With photo sections on the pub, the history, the architecture, the gardens, the arts and crafts, the scenery, local characters, etc. If you do not feel confident in writing the text, get a father of the nation well known type of writer to write the text. His or her name will sell the book, and be well worth the cut in your royalties. If your English village book is successful, the publisher will want a follow up, so set your next book in a Scottish village. Make it a series, "Life in (insert name of country here)" by Ian Davidson. Your name will be on the cover of the book so do it well. It will generate royalties, spinoffs, and reputation, that shooting exclusively news and stock will not. In a ten year period during the 1970's I did 11 picture books by 3 different publishers. It is important that you match the book to the publisher. Each book sold an average of 30,000 copies for which I received roughly $1.20 per copy. My expenses to shoot each book averaged $5,000, publisher advanced against future royalties. To put that kind of money in perspective, my wife and I purchased a mid sized 3 bedroom suburban house in Toronto for $33,000 in 1972. Then there were spinoffs. A sale of 5,000 copies to a government body to give as gifts only to VIPs, and not compete with bookstore sales. A high end boxed calendar for several years. A cheap copy of a book in return for mail in coupons from a breakfast cereal. Public Lending Right payments of between $1,000 to $2,000 per annum for 35 years. After the third book I became better known and started to receive photo shooting assignments from book publishers, consulting deals with book printers, universities etc. I was left with a large stock photo file. The list goes on. There are books that government bodies, private corporations, interest groups, rich individuals, want published, but do not want their names on the book. They will help with financing, finding a publisher, promotion etc. So think of a story you would like to tell, shoot some images, put together a book dummy, and put your book idea out there. Talk it up with publishers and interest groups. But find a publisher, do not self publish. I know of at least two photojournalists who have done this successfully. One had semi retired for health reasons, one had childcare responsibilities. Bill
  2. Try putting a life in your wilderness images, either a person or an animal. It will really enhance sales. Here is my wife on a day hike on Parker Ridge. No long hikes with a Pentax 6X7 outfit. A marmot at the Peyto Lake parking lot.
  3. Thanks Johnnie5. Good idea, I am going to give it a shot on the next rainy day. I think in portrait orientation I will crop the background as is, to portrait, and then make the face a bit smaller on that cropped background. But maybe not. I will do both size as face and smaller face and see how it works. Maybe I should squeeze the face a bit on the horizontal axis. It would make it look a bit strange, which is good. I have the original photoshop file in my archive, with all the layers, so it should be easy.
  4. Here is a museum shot that sold for the anxiety inducing $ amount, but 7 days later also sold for $$. So this month it sold twice for an average price of $$. All I care about is the average price at the end of the month, so nothing to see here. I am happy for, and not offended by, the $ sale. The background was a boring neutral grey and the subject tended to get lost. I quickly selected the background and dropped in a dark blue colour in photoshop to make the subject pop from the background. Took about 10 minutes in photoshop. To paraphrase our beloved Chuck Nacke, make better images and make more money. Could not agree more.
  5. I think Chuck may have a point. In order to provide a learning experience to members of the forum it would help if the complainer posted the image to the forum, as part of their post. This way we could all come to some conclusions if a low price for the image in question is a good deal or a bad deal.
  6. I mainly use a short wrist strap. When you are wallowing around in the water, or in a canoe, or playing action man in the surf, the camera swinging from a neck strap can become a guided missile aimed at your head. You could also get strangled. With wrist strap, if you need the camera hand, just let go of the camera and it will dangle from your wrist. If you need the camera, flick your wrist and the camera should come around into holding position. Check the "o" ring between the camera and the interchangeable lens. It should be clean, flexible, and undamaged. Get some lubricant for the ring from a dive shop and use once a year. Make sure you are using the waterproof version of the lens. Not all lenses that will fit the camera are waterproof. In the ocean immerse the camera in a bucket of fresh water between dives. Do not hold camera under a faucet. Too much water pressure. Use and enjoy.
  7. There was an Alamy statement to the effect of: You are the photographer Alamy does not tell you what to shoot. In other words as photographers we have a responsibility to know what to shoot in order to make sales. A photographer that is constantly surprised at what sells and is unwilling to edit their portfolio, is spending thousands of dollars to play a kind of lottery. An expensive lottery in which they have a one in 2,000 chance of winning $50. That photographer is going down the rabbit hole of being unwilling to improve their portfolio and their subsequent shooting, in favour of quantity over quality. That photographer should know by now that this does not work. Go into any small neighbourhood store in Ontario and you will see old people who badly need dental work, spending hundreds of $ a month on the Ontario lottery. Sad that a lottery is their only hope.
  8. Nikon AW 14 megapixel 1 inch sensor underwater camera only good to 49 feet underwater. Only used it around water, not underwater, for stuff like this. Like being inside a washing machine full of sandy water. Over and over until you are washed ashore. Takes a licking and keeps on ticking.
  9. Scientific proof that that face that often appears to me in the water, is not a figment of my imagination.
  10. Nice images, you have a good eye and a sense of composition. You are sometimes shooting very tight, and close in, to the point that sometimes your main subject touches the edge of the image. This can lead to cropping problems for the client. So leave a bit of room around your subject. Move the subject a bit away from the edge of the frame. One art director described it as "room to breath".
  11. Agree Rick. 2000 pixels would be more than adequate for the stated use. Situation is really disappointing for me as well.
  12. My situation is make 2 files of the same image for my archive. A 50 megapixel DNG raw file processed in ACR. Then output a 16 bit 50 megapixel TIFF ProPhotoRGB from the DNG and further tweak that TIFF in Photoshop. Save both images to the archive. It is my understanding that ACR and Lightroom use ProPhotoRGB internally, when you are adjusting the image. That is why you can save a true ProPhotoRGB image. With a ProPhotoRGB 16 bit 50 megapixel TIFF I can spin off any file at any quality level to meet the needs of any client. This ability to spin off and meet any clients quality needs is very important now and in the future. For financial security make a file only one time to the best of your technical ability, and then spin off many times. I once worked with a writer who at a time when writers could not make a living in Canada became a multi millionaire from doing excellent work and then spinning it off. First he wrote the book, then he spun off an illustrated book version, then he did the one hour national TV show, then he did a 1/2 hour TV series each show a chapter from the book, Then he did an 1/2 hour TV interview series of individuals he had met when doing the original book. Do excellent work once then spin it off.
  13. I notice that the sale of a NU image is often followed quickly or preceded by a $$ sale of the same image. I have had 3 (6) such sales just last week. I wonder if the NU and $$ sales are connected? When I did photo research I would sometimes ask photographers to split the total agreed price between two invoices, as the money had to come from two different accounts. So if you do not sign up for NU, do you forego any related $$ sale?
  14. I am using ProPhotoRGB colour space because it has the most colour of any of the spaces. I started out with ColormatchRGB in 1992 and switched to AdobeRGB in 1998 when it became available. I have since switched to ProPhotoRGB. sRGB was developed for the web where smaller files are more necessary and different viewers are looking at different monitors cellphones etc that colourwise are all over the map. sRGB is ideal for shooting news, where small files for fast uploads are necessary and the media, either monitor of newsprint, cannot handle the extra colours available in aRGB anyway. Studio advertising shots at the other end of the spectrum can benefit from ProPhotoRGB. In an RGB file detail can come from two sources. One is from differences in lumination (black to white). The other source is from subtle differences in colour. sRGB may combine subtle differences in aRGB colour into one colour when you convert it to sRGB, and therefore you loose detail that may be in a aRGB file. If the file starts out as an sRGB then the subtle colour detail will not be there in the first place. Things like subtle similar colour mottling on a butterflies wings, or the way colours blend on clothing, shades of green in a leaf. A quick test on a high end colour balanced monitor is output a aRGB TIFF from RAW. Open the aRGB Tiff in photoshop. While you are looking at the aRGB Tiff, convert it in photoshop to sRGB. The change will be apparent if you are looking at the image when it changes. Close the image without saving it. Now reload the original aRGB TIFF and convert it to sRGB but when you convert it, close your eyes so you do not see the change happening. The sRGB TIFF will look the same as your memory of the aRGB TIFF. It is that small a difference for most files . Now open the aRGB Tiff in photoshop, convert it to sRGB Tiff and again notice the change. Save the sRGB Tiff. Now convert the changed and saved sRGB TIFF back to aRGB TIFF in photoshop with your eyes open as it changes. You will not notice any change this time because when you saved the sRGB TIFF you lost the extra aRGB TIFF color information. So upgrading a sRGB file to aRGB file will not add any new colour information. The upgraded aRGB file is just an sRGB file in aRGB clothing. It is an imposter. A sheep in wolf's clothing.
  15. RF $$$ exclusive to Alamy 50% commission. Side trail through rainforest at rest stop on the road to Hana Maui Hawaii. I try to photograph forest scenes with cross lighting or backlighting. Makes translucent leaves seem to glow.
  16. I like Captcha. Wait until a robot hacks your captcha free account and redirects your monthly Alamy money to hackers in Tajikistan. What will you say then? Oh oh my money disappeared because James West dresses poorly. Easy to get it first time, as long as you are not excessively orderly and fussy (supposedly owing to conflict over toilet-training in infancy). Damn I had to go through Captcha twice in order to post this.
  17. I convert my (camera make) RAW files to DNG RAW files. Both files are RAW. I discard the (camera maker) RAW file. I do not embed the (camera maker) RAW in the DNG RAW because it increases the the file size of the DNG RAW. I archive a processed DNG RAW file, and a final TIFF version made in photoshop of the same file. I often use both ACR/Lightroom to do initial RAW processing, output the TIFF, that I then tweak in Photoshop. Alamy JPG output using photoshop from the final TIFF. I have SONY RAW, Nikon RAW, and Canon RAW files to contend with, so it brings more order to things. I use Adobe software to process the DNG RAW file. DNG RAW was developed and promoted by Adobe as a way to bring order, so it is more future proof universal than the (camera maker) RAW files. Camera makers can go out of business, change the structure of their RAW files on a whim, or to force you to use their software. For instance sometime around 2004 Nikon encrypted the white balance metadata in their RAW files. It was seen as a way to force photographers away from Adobe products towards the inferior Nikon software. Uproar followed, and Nikon backed off. Last straw with Nikon for me, and I purchased a Canon I do not think the DNG RAW file proves ownership, and more than the (camera maker) RAW file proves ownership. They both contain the same metadata. It is just ordered differently within the file.
  18. But your flag waves nicer and prouder than 19,000 of the 20,000 Bill
  19. I like your style. Different than most, so it will stand out from the competition in the Alamy search.
  20. 2.48 TB of Image archive data on a 6 TB hard drive backed up using SuperDuper to a second 4 TB hard drive, both attached to desktop IMAC. Every 4.2 gig of image data also backed up to a DVD that I keep offsite. So I have two copies of entire image archives on 2 Hard Drives onsite, and one copy of entire image archive using DVDs offsite. Computer entire SSD drive used for applications and work in progress backed up to a partition on third Hard Drive using Time Machine. Also back up entire SSD drive to second partition on same third hard drive using SuperDuper occasionally. This is not offsite because I can recover most of it if we have a fire. Hard drives will always fail over time, SSD drives will loose their mojo, fires happen, so spreading your backups over multiple drives onsite, and DVD offsite critical. I do not use the Cloud. Use Bridge to browse the 30,738 image files on the 6 TB hard drive by keyword. Very useful to make sure I am not getting into a rut photographically, new keywording, making prints, etc. The archive is alive and very useful, not encased in amber.
  21. I agree very strongly with Joseph re model releases for non professional models
  22. My main camera is a 50 megapixel 5Ds. I used to shoot with a MK 5D2. I also use a sony MX100 for walkabout work, so not married to 50 megapixels. 5DR tends toward moire, 5Ds less so. Sensor is better in 5Ds over 5D2 so I was able to move from ISO 100 in the 5D2, to ISO 400 in the 5Ds for highest quality setting. Lot less tripod work. I love the, in viewfinder, level in 5Ds. In very high iso able to downsize to eliminate noisy shadows and still have 24 megapixel image. 50 megapixels is a real test of a lens, so you may find your 5D2 lenses wanting. I use WA/Normal Zeiss primes and 70-200 F4 Canon zoom. 50 megapixels is very easy to crop and still maintain 22.5 megapixels. So if you do not have the time to take both a vertical and horizontal then crop, as these two images from one horizontal shot .
  23. RF mid$$ exclusive to Alamy. I have had some sales success by grouping related images into only one image, as here. This keeps individual related images from getting scattered in the search and loosing the story telling impact. High and Low tide in the Bay of Fundy shot years ago for my New Brunswick book.
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