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About Phil

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    Central Texas


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  • Joined Alamy
    24 May 2006

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  1. Yes - for bigger Brands Instagram is a major marketing platform. No doubt why Disney ditched Yourshot, etc. I used IG on/off for a few years. But earlier this year decided it wasn't worth it as a small-time photographer. My IG feed was clogged with 1/3 being advertisements despite efforts to use IG's tools to manage them. The large Brands have/are flocking to IG but can devote large resources to it as a new-age marketing platform. It just eludes me how IG is useful to small photographers in any meaningful way. Facebook's re-direction/emphasis encouraged more use of FB Groups. After joining numerous appropriate FB Groups - FB instituted changes in how Sharing works with Groups. So FB has become less and less helpful as well. My take-away is both IG and FB are of little-no help in small time photographer quests to use these social media platforms for marketing their photography.
  2. Sorry for dredging this thread back up - but I've found this and some other related info somewhat enlightening. If I'm correctly interpreting posts in this thread it tells me that image captions carry more weight with Alamy's search engine than supertags and regular tags/keywords. OK. In rereading thru older stock image business info (not on Alamy) it was stated that the vast majority of those looking to license stock images go to public search engines to search for images instead of going to stock agencies (and their search engines) to search.. There was no hard info presented to validate the statement however. Wondering if Alamy has any way to track Alamy image search hits and/or license sales based on what search engine was used to find the image - external search like Google versus Alamy's own search engine? If they did would they disclose it? Google search indexes stock agencies images including Alamy. It's my understanding that Google search ignores keywords in image metadata. It does index image captions. Are Alamy's supertags/tags able to be indexed/searchable by Google and other external search engines? Perhaps if they're copied from the image metadata into Alamy's image tags data in AIM? If it's true that the vast majority of stock image searchers use an external search engine - and those external search engines ignore Alamy's image supertags/keywords - the implication would seem to be that an image caption takes on significantly more importance relative to supertags and keywords/tags for buyers searching for images to license on Alamy and other agencies..
  3. Indeed - all "zoos" are not the same. We visited the Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center in West Yellowstone, Montana last year. It's just outside the Yellowstone NP west entrance. A very nice rehab/educational center with the welfare of the animals a center piece. The visit rewarded me with images I would never be able to obtain otherwise. https://www.grizzlydiscoveryctr.org/about/ Their animals look to be very well taken care of. We visited in the morning and the wolves were calling to each other. Believe me - there is nothing like hearing the sound of wolves howling to each other from close up.
  4. I generally don't have any ethical problems with "zoos" (incl game farms/ranches/refuges/rehabs/etc) - as long as they are clean with the animal's welfare being of the highest priority. Zoos would seem to be a great place for wildlife and nature photography. It's amusing that some nature photo groups insist on full disclose of whether or not a critters image was taken in the wild or in a zoo/game-farm/controlled environment. As for zoos - it would be interesting to see data on what percentage of zoo creatures - especially higher order animals - are wild-caught versus captive bred/born and rehab'ers. I would suspect that in recent decades that many of zoo's large critters are captive bred/born. These will not likely have the necessary learned survival skills to be able to live "wild and free". Life in the wild can be brutally violent and end quickly without wild born and learned survival skills and even then life may be short. Many large predator species are zoo residents because they had come into conflict with humans or had injuries that made it improbable for them to survive in the wild. Animals may understand they are restrained - the result is the fence/enclosure pacing often seen - but to believe that animals have any concept of "freedom" or "captivity" is a form of anthropomorphism previously mentioned. They react to their environment.
  5. I believe that image degradation occurs to some degree every time an image is saved as .jpg - regardless if editing was done on the image or not. My understanding is every time a file is saved as .jpg it undergoes data "compression" by squeezing out image data as part of the JPG internal save algorithm - which doesn't know if the image was edited or not. Key is how much image degradation is tolerable. I saw jpg save tests demo'ed on same printed image at a regional US PPA convention yrs ago - and the pro photogs there could not detect image print degradation to naked eye until image was saved about 6 times. Obviously prints are different than pixel peeping at 100%+ As an aside - the darktable open source RAW converter/image editor manages images using a database but not a "catalogue" like LR. darktable has a non-destructive editing workflow using .XMP sidecar files along with its database.
  6. I've been kicking the tires on darktable (free open source) in an effort to see if I could use it at least semi-effectively if I ever had to stop using my MacOS Lightroom 6.1 perpetual license s/w. I've installed it on both an older MacOS iMac and a late model small Dell Win 10 PC. Seems to run fine on either system for basic editing, etc. darktable appears to be both a capable RAW converter and image editor. It has lots of image editing modules/tools including masking - but it doesn't do layers or stitch panoramas far as I can tell. If coming from LR the image editing workflow scheme is kinda different so takes some getting used to. Latest darktable 2.6.2 available for various Linux flavors, MacOS, MS Windows, etc.
  7. Not to start beating the dead horse again. But Adobe is seemingly firmly entrenched with their subscription business model for Lightroom/Photoshop. Then the on-going Microsoft Windows 10 drama with bloatware, updates, and security issues. Then there's the high initial/replacement/maintenance cost for Apple's closed hardware ecosystem. Given this.... Linux can be an alternative if in the future it's desired to break away from these systems. For those that have Linux experience for stock image processing what Linux RAW convertors and image processing/DAM applications fill the Lightroom/Photoshop roles on Linux? GIMP, darktable, RawTherapee come to mind but there may be others. Which of these or others are being used successfully for processing/managing stock images and portfolios? Can they truly replace LR/PS or are significantly lacking in certain features/capabilities? I've begun to dabble with darktable and even installed Linux Mint MATE 19.2 on a somewhat derelict laptop as a learning platform.
  8. Wild animals/birds etc. are genetically programmed to fear the human form and probably not what we might happen to be holding. Using your vehicle as a photo hide/blind is a common technique - as well as fixed or portable/popup hides/blinds. The moment your human shape is noticed puts the critters on high alert and likely to vacate the area.
  9. Both bison and elk can be problematic if their personal space is not respected. Last summer the Yellowstone elk made the news with some close encounters. The recent Yellowstone bison episode with the child was telling. The girl and her family were from US and part of a group of 50 or so who lingered within 5-10 ft of the bison for over 20 minutes. I guess he grew weary of the attention and decided to exit the scene. The little girl went airborne but luckily sustained no apparent serious injuries This all occurred either in ignorance or disregard and with no excuse of language barrier of the widely publicized information on how far to stay away from Yellowstone's critters.
  10. Apple's hardware and MacOS have sleek/slick designs its true. But that comes at a cost. Both in higher initial cost and if any service of that sleek hardware is needed. Apple's OS upgrades have obsoleted/crippled some older application software including Adobe's. My wife and I have had 3 iMacs in last 8-9 years. Both of hers were newer than mine but both hers ate their hard drives prematurely. The most recent about a month ago. Apple put lower quality hard drives in those sleek chassis. iMac cases are difficult to take apart for service due to the integrated display panel. Removal and reinstallation can be done at home with special tools and parts but it's not something I'd suggest for most. My iMac runs MacOS 10.11 and it crashes for no obvious reasons doing simple tasks and requires rebooting fairly often. Whereas my 2 Windoz 10 systems are trouble free. Solid as a rock - never crashes and no hardware failures in many years. When our iMacs are done there will not likely be anymore Apple computers here. Well - my wife might insist on one but I'm done.
  11. IMO - probably not - my impression is Pro is more business/enterprise oriented. The extra $$ maybe better used for a bit more RAM or storage. But a little searching with Google will show the differences then you can decide if right for you.
  12. Yep - this is the question you should ask. Not whether Linux or Windows. Define the applications you need and let that determine what operating system they require. Choosing a computer operating system before the applications you need/want to run is letting the tail wag the dog. The simple fact is Windows has by far the widest and deepest selection of application choices available. The world is awash in choices of Windows PC hardware systems from the big makers (Dell, HP, etc) to smaller custom builders. If you don't go overboard with tons of RAM, multiple big SSD and/or hard drives, high-end gaming graphics cards, huge 4/5K displays, etc. you can get a new Windows 10 system at reasonable cost that will edit images just fine.
  13. Finally got around to setting mine up recently: https://www.alamy.com/portfolio/philip-duff
  14. Network Attached Storage (NAS) by Synology with mirrored drives plugged into our wireless router. Backs up both my ethernet attached iMac and wife's wifi attached iMac using Time Machine.
  15. Chuck - Point taken. There certainly will be instances when chasing an unreported usage/infringer is productive. However, my dismay is based on the issue of why chasing unreported usages/sales/infringements should be needed and commonplace. Why is the problem as pervasive as it appears to be? Why should it be on the image suppliers shoulders to find many of Alamy's sales and revenue leaks? Granted there's always a few that slip thru. But based on the frequency of reported instances here in Alamy's contributor forums by a few and then extrapolate that to all Alamy's many thousands of contributors - the problem must be substantial. If it is - then there's a substantial leakage of lost revenue for both Alamy and it's contributors. This is 2019 not 1959. There surely is technology and business systems to deal with the needed download-tracking/sales/invoicing/accounts receivable that should be able to reduce this revenue loss instead of suppliers being compelled to onesie-twosie track the leakage down themselves.
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