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Everything posted by Mike@Meonshore

  1. Whilst I'm now a Nikon shooter, I have owned much of this kit on Canon, and have in my time had all of them on Nikon. It really depends on your budget. The 50mm is a cheap option, sharp on the 1.8-1.2 versions and realistically under controlled studio conditions and assuming you are not shooting at wider than f1.8 then you'll see little difference between the £80 version and the £1000 version. Bokeh on the f1.4 and f1.2 is smoother due to an increased number of aperture blades. Contrast straight out of camera is better on the f1.2L but given you are in studio conditions and will post-produce not critical. I wouldn't recommend the 90mm TSE as it is too close to your 100mm macro. The 45mm might well be an option. Again more expensive than most of the 50mm primes you can very occasionally pick these up 2nd hand. The TSE can be used as a standard prime by locking it down in a central position, and is normally a very sharp lens, but the benefit you will additionally gain is being able to tilt and shift. Critically placing the plane of focus in the image different to that you get with a standard lens. Very useful to get larger depth of field at a wider aperture (less risk of loss of sharpness due to diffraction), or to creatively highlight the hero aspect of the shot. All TSE lenses are manual focus though..... and tilt/shifting hand-held is a challenging skill. Tripod usage only takes a short while to get used to, but as is typical much harder to become expert at making best use of the technique in your images. You could also get your 24-105 checked for sharpness, and serviced to reduce the issue of zoom creep which you really shouldn't get on this lens - it might indicate worn parts. Certainly Penny De Los Santos is a big fan of the 24-105 for her food images.
  2. What you actually need is the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court (IPEC) https://www.justice.gov.uk/downloads/courts/patents-court/intellectual-property-enterprise-court-guide.pdf Set up specifically to handle claims of this nature. Small claims court in the UK didn't have specialist IP/copyright experience and is more for pursuing unpaid bills and reparation for poorly executed work etc... There is a small claims track with limited costs. The guide is pretty good, and as Dov stated in his post - no legal representation required.
  3. No problem. I guess it depends what you need from the system. If you need to hold licence details, durations, exclusivity details etc then it isn't ideal but for that I think you'd need a more specific stock photo management solution. The alternative if you are on a Mac is Daylite which I stopped using when I took on Light Blue. You can customise that completely yourself (or pay someone to do it) to absolutely meet your specific needs.
  4. Matt, I use Light Blue. Co-written by a photographer, and with a lot of input form other photographers it is probably more aligned to wedding and portrait shooters although easily services commercial photography, and fine art sales to end consumers. Under continued development and with good support. Hope that helps...
  5. Happy New Year everyone. Here is to a productive, rewarding, and more importantly healthy 2015.
  6. I had this happen a few years back, I went from Cheque to BACS but they had recorded my account details incorrectly and it got paid in a the sweep up tranche in late Jan/Feb, after I checked in with them and corrected it. Might be worth popping an email in, although as we are very close to Christmas it might be worth trying again from 5th Jan. If you successfully claimed then you will get paid. If you didn't hit submit then you'll have to wait until next year now as the money will already have been allocated. You should have an email confirmation from them if your claim was received.
  7. Phillipe, Hopefully by now you'll realise from losdemas' post that this has nothing to do with the number of images you hold in the library. Nor is it explicitly linked to the number of images sold. The categories and bands are critical in determining your payout, and as Regen states the amount per band fluctuates each year depending on the amount of the total pot, expenses of DACS, and most importantly the number of claimants. With each qualifying claimant receiving a minimum of £25 you can easily see that a huge influx of claimants with only 1-2 sales is going to significantly reduce the pot for those in the higher bands. You say that this is business, rather than benefit, but it is business you have not taken the time to understand, and have handed off the responsibility for to a 3rd party. Just as you can't complain if one of your stock images is licenced for $6.14 you can't complain about what you are given by DACS (and then reduced by commission from Alamy). The payback amount comprises of fees gained based on secondary reproduction of already licenced works through photocopying in libraries and other means but calculated at a very high level. It is entirely possible that none of your images were reproduced as part of the payback pot. You have to treat it as a Christmas time bonus - Payback could cease at any point - irrespective of any number of sales you make or have made in the past.
  8. Mine was in on the 4th as well, though that is of course old news now ! Down 10% - was in the same bands as last year. Either a smaller pot, or the impact of all the additional claims.
  9. It has to be standardising keyword entry with IPTC fields. Far easier for us to keyword once in Photo-mechanic or Adobe products PRIOR to upload. Pend or truncate those images with keywords greater than maximum field length.
  10. As with a credit/by-line in a magazine instead of a fee for one of your images - a photograph of a plate of food is pretty useless in terms of publicity unless accompanying an article about the restaurant or the chef.... You might have bought the food but what you are paying for is to eat it. Just like if you pay to go an see Michael Macintyre at one of his shows you pay to go and watch not ruin the show for everyone else by chatting at him while he is doing his routine... (recent UK news story) The restaurant is private land, and the staff have a responsibility to preserve the atmosphere for the other diners. They/he might be concerned you are photographing the arrangement of the food to copy it (much like some stores prevent window displays being photographed, or artists their paintings. That might not be as relevant for a bowl of soup as it is a signature dish - but then you have to set a policy and stick to it. As to the OP - I'd set mine at RM. Less of a difference now than their used to be - but with RM I'm in control of the image (or at least know where it might have been used) and have less restrictions should I choose to sell it myself of via another agency than I would had it gone out RF.
  11. To your original post about crowd funding if you have the balls to put it out there then why not - you can't really lose if all you are doing is asking people to pay for your kit with nothing in return. You'd certainly struggle in any football under DataCo restrictions to be able to use those images at all yourself - so a book or prints isn't an option from it. If you can raise the £3500-4500 for a reasonable condition 400mm f2.8L IS then why not. I think you might be waiting a long time. On the subject of sports photography in general and football in particular then I'd caution your optimism. The market is going one way. Large agencies like Getty, PA and ActionImages (Reuters) who have subscription deals with the paper - yes speed of delivery matters but so does the commercial outlay of using a non-subscription image in preference to one already "paid for". Additionally, and certainly for larger profile leagues, and matches, those guys will either have a runner taking cards and processing images, or direct wifi/ethernet connection back to a picture editor. It is nigh on impossible to beat them to the screen of the papers and technology will drive them even further in-front of the freelancer or smaller agency photographer. Far better to be working lower league with less competition, and yet still a need to publish images from the matches. It might be fun now - but sit in the pouring rain, or the freezing cold, with your £6-10k investment earning you very little per match and the glamour will soon wear off. Especially if you could have done some weather pics for Alamy in the morning, filed them, and are watching the match on Sky Sports 1, with a beer in your hand. FWIW I'm shooting for an agency shooting Premiership and Championship matches, and I'm into my second season of that. My 400mm was a trade up from a 300mm + funds from my business. The 300mm was a lens funded from weddings, portraits and commercial work (weddings excepted still and always likely to be the main income in my business). If I was only shooting football for the agency I'd struggle to justify it - fortunately I shoot some other sports which pay on usage, and some commissioned corporate sports work which satisfied my personal business plan. Keith is 100% right. Sports photography is possibly the genre with the most significant investment required and you need to have thought it through completely as to how you make it pay - otherwise you are like every other sports loving hobbyist who fancies a crack at photographing something they like to watch. Sorry if that sounds harsh but it is reality.
  12. There seems to be a wee underground trade in equipment going between photogs, heard there was a 400 2.8 going for a grand. That's quite a saving. Great wildlife lens too. Keep my ears open when I have the cash earned the right way I think I doubt that is underground trade - you'll probably find that the 400 2.8 in question is a first generation, non-IS version with a fair amount of use. IS is less of an issue in sports as you'll typically be using it on a monopod and aiming for shutter speeds of 1/800th or higher - certainly for football (appreciate motorsport freezing action you might be higher) - but the real problem with that generation of lens is that it is no longer supported by Canon and you'll struggle to have it repaired if anything were to break. It might be a steal and last for another 10 years, but it might be a grand flushed if it were to break down in any mechanically or optically.
  13. From the P1 Superstock series an AquaX jet bike during one of the races. Panned at about 1/80th with a 400mm.
  14. Paul a moot point - and it may of course have been deliberate but your "models" are holding the Union Flag upside down. Used to indicate "distress" - hence why it may have been intended or indadvertedly appropriate ;-) It is also "lese Majeste" (which means: insulting the Crown), and is theoretically still a crime in the UK.
  15. Yes I use cloud storage from Apple and Dropbox (for transfers to clients). But I have no nude selfies stored on them (I have no nude selfies....) I wouldn't put unencrypted personal information on them, but I'm happy to use them to move basic documents around and use Dropbox for image delivery for clients. I'm inclined to believe that the hacker was targeting celebs, and not just randomly hacking cloud storage.
  16. Then you need to follow the very straightforward claiming process on the DACS website, or hand it over to Alamy. No where does it say that sending DACS an email is how you make a claim. Here is the relevant page (there is a big button on it marked APPLY NOW) http://www.dacs.org.uk/for-artists/payback
  17. If that is the case and the Getty contract specifically refers to DACS Payback then I obviously made too much of an assumptive leap and would apologise.
  18. Guys you need to get this straight in your heads. You are not being paid for an additional usage, you are being paid a small slice of the money collected by DACS from organisations which photocopy, scan or otherwise duplicate material (e.g. an entire page or article from a magazine). You may or may not have had any of your images used in this fashion but in order to divide up the money "fairly" you get more of the pot if you have a larger potential for your images to have been used. Getty won't know about it, and therefore can't collect it as a specific image usage - that is what DACS is there for. Alamy have found a way to potentially make some more revenue by helping you claim based on what they know about your sales but if you sell from multiple agencies or directly only you will know the true extent.
  19. DACS covers all UK for Payback so any qualifying usage from any agency in the UK and direct. I keep a record of my sales through all of my agencies, and my direct sales. If you don't then you'll have to go around the loop with the others as well and then claim it yourself because Alamy are only going to claim on your behalf for what they have sold
  20. In answer to your question it is a single fixed amount. The amount is based upon 2 factors: 1) The "bucket" you sit in based on the number of publications and then images across the different media 2) How many people overall claim agains the total pot of money DACS has received this year As the pot is fixed if 2x the number of people claim this year (and the minimum payout for ANY qualifying person is £25) then you could only see 40% of last years amount for a similar volume of images. I would expect Alamy to take 50% of your total amount.
  21. Linda I can't help but think that if you were not following 4400 people/organisations then you might find it a little less vast and maybe less rambling and mucky. Maybe now is a good time to pare that list down a bit ? Or use a tool like Hootsuite to control and coordinate what you look for, see and indeed pass out. Alternatively...... Alex's suggestions are perfect, and indeed I do the first of these so I get the tweets sent to my phone. It doesn't cost me anything, but allows me to see the news items, and picture needs as soon as they are mentioned, and not in with everything else, nor do I have to search for them. You don't have to tweet, or follow anyone more than Alamy if you want to take advantage of the requests - keep your head down and indeed with the sms notification not even log on to Twitter more than once. It is about using the powerful but simple features of the tool and not getting sucked onto the hype, following everyone and everything, or feeling you need to tweet about your breakfast.
  22. Yes they are. Makes sense if you know what you are doing, and able to process it yourself, to keep it that way.
  23. Whilst I'm shooting myself in the bank balance here (the finite amount of money gets divided up by the number of claimants)..... DACS collects an amount of money from institutions and individuals who may have duplicated or otherwise used printed materials from books or magazines, and TV. These printed materials might have been published in 2013 or 1960 it matters not. Same for TV/Film. There is no need to prove yours might have been used, just that you have material in circulation that *might* have been. Note: Newspapers don't count, not does non-UK usage (although there is something about the NL in there). 1) The single claim is a cumulative number of images you have sold across books, magazines, and TV/Film EVER. Since that gives the amount you have in circulation that *might* have been copied/reused. 2) I keep a running record of sales of books and magazines (no TV yet - close but no cigar sadly) each year and then just add the increment to next years claim. Your first claim is always the most complicated, after that it really is a 5 minute job. 3) You are in buckets of different volumes which generate the payment level, you hope that one year you move up a bucket and so on - if you do you need to provide a new ISBN/ISSN number to "prove" that you have sold something recently or that your Alamy statement back this up in lieu of actual details. This year I'm in the same bucket as last year. 4) It really is quite simple and relatively easy (in fact easier than it used to be) to claim - I'd hate to lose 50% for such a small amount of effort. As a UK citizen I haven't had the complexity but I'm sure it isn't much harder and you only lose 20% not 50%.
  24. It does indeed sound like you are a super fan. I shoot premiership & championship football, and yes you try to be able to identify players without numbers/names, the managers, and know which way they run when they celebrate a goal. It is both being a pro and making you more effective at both capturing and captioning images. I'm also a huge Arsenal fan with over 35 years of support. BUT when I'm shooting professionally I'm also acting professionally - I follow the guidelines and restrictions of the club, press officer and stewards and even if I'm at The Emirates I'm concentrating 100% on my job and I'd never interact with the players. As Keith says it not only puts me, and my agency in a potentially difficult situation, but also every other pro photographer and the agencies they represent there. Now if I'm there as a fan supporting Arsenal, and without a camera (ground and DataCo rules) then I'm singing with everyone else, and if the chance of a hi-five, or an autograph came up I'd be grabbing it with both arms. But for me there is a line you don't cross as a pro photographer at football and I get Keith's point completely with respect to it at the Hay Festival as well.
  25. Nothing in sales this month - but best month for zooms all year. Here is hoping August, or maybe September, delivers on those...
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