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Robert M Estall

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About Robert M Estall

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    Suffolk village


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  • Joined Alamy
    03 Jun 2005

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  1. When I lived in Hampstead and Oak Village (NW London) for 15 years I did keep shooting the same patches but it was always changing a bit and I became so close to the subject that I could notice the changes. There were always things I had not yet covered. I think I took almost a perverse pleasure in finding subjects I could walk to. I even went so far as to shoot things happening within range of my windows. By the time I was packing my bags to move out to Suffolk, Hampstead village had changed a whole lot. Unfortunately my current village isn't changing a lot, I suppose I could shoot the new eyesores being built but that just raises my blood pressure. The village is very picturesque but not as popular with picture buyers as near-by Lavenham or Kersey. I did bag a cover for Country Life of Kersey a few years ago and a spooky misty shot in our village churchyard which was generic. Must have sold one or two from Lavenham but thats about it. Suffolk is not popular with trippers which is just fine. But I would have thought Liverpool more rewarding in terms of re-shooting and once the spring has come and a bus pass extends your range a bit, you may find more things to shoot
  2. I used to spend a lot of my winters in ski resorts shooting for tour companies and remember those Moon Boots well. They were mostly an apres ski fashion thing. They looked nice and fluffy but were only really suitable for soft fresh snow. As soon as they encountered slush (which was going to be soon!) they turned soggy and horrid. The Sorel type boots could stomp through 3 or four inches of slush and puddles with ease. Not so pretty, I grant you, but mine have lasted over 50 years. They look more at home in a farmyard, but keep my feet happy.
  3. I fondly remember outback Australian bars which had refrigerated lager on tap. They almost unvaryingly had a wall of ice-cold or even freezing small glasses in glass-fronted displays behind the bar . The bartender would grab a small glass and fill it with 6 to 8 ounces of the amber nectar. You would pour this freezing beer down your parched throat which was pleasant but hardly tasted and repeat the procedure frequently. The main thing was to not let the brew anywhere near room or cellar temperature. Tea, iced or otherwise, was not on the menu. And Sheilas were not encouraged, that part I think has advanced a bit.
  4. I don't recognise the name Sorel Boots but I have a pair of Canadian boots I inherited from my Dad who had a pair of serious boots which had a robust rubber lower part, leather uppers about a foot high and a lining of at least 1/4 inch of felt . I just checked the labels and they have a big K , so not Sorel I guess. My misguided sister was going to throw them out but I rescued them and wore them back on the plane ( I was, as usual, flying hand baggage) We don't get a lot of snow here in Suffolk, but they still get a good few outings every winter and they will probably see me out. So, yes, proper gloves lots of layers and a good pair of boots! Wellies won't cut it.
  5. Why would anyone want US Medicare when National Health Service in the UK provides a free service? There can be a wait for some procedures but mostly it's a great system. True, short of funds in some olaces
  6. Oh, I'm guilty of grumpy reactions to too many things. I really don't get the extent of mobile phone uses and dependence. To so many, they do just about anything but make phone calls with them. They hardly ever answer their phone even if they do stumble into an area with reception. I did eventually learn most of the idiom, so stopped asking for thumb-tacks and succumbed to calling them drawing-pins. The terms near-side and off-side simply will not stick in my brain. Best I don't have a fender-bender, 'cause I would get it wrong. I do ask for petrol rather than gas but I think gas would be OK mostly these days. Half-wits falling back on data protection law in order to refuse to answer a question is really frustrating. Continual phone and computer scam attempts are tedious to put it mildly. BT is making a fortune out of providing premium rate phone numbers for scammers but seem not held culpable in any way. Banks! best not go there... AMAZON! how do they get away with it? Betting: in shop or on-line, basically, they need locking up. There has always been ways of laying a bet on, say, The Grand National, but we've gone miles past that. Bullxxxt surveys and feed-back requests; I can't just buy something it seems. I've only started, but I'll leave it at that.
  7. As ever, I think the answer is: Don't make a production out of your photography. The only times I got any grief were when I was using a big lens on a pro-looking camera. You were visiting Montreal and as far as I can see, you are not a resident of Canada. I very much think you were not committing any offence, and for certain no sane Canadian is going to pursue you overseas. Just don't claim you have any release and you should be OK The one area where you are very likely to get grief is shooting near a professional film location. The production company will have made a deal and paid a fee to the land-owner involving some exclusion and hired a few goons with security badges who will wing it to prevent any outside photography. Proclaiming you know your rights is unlikely to take you far!
  8. Both Linhof and Pentax had a crack at promoting the "ideal format" back in film days. Hasselblad and Rolleiflex stuck with square format which had quite a following. Personally, I think the 3/2 format often too long and preferred my Pentax 67 format but found the bulk of the camera a bit much. My clients really liked it but that was more to do with the size of the transparency I think. In most cases, they didn't need the extra reproduction quality, it was just that they could see the images more clearly without having to use a lupe. Those were all roll film examples so the results sat on a lightbox about 6 cm x 7.5 cm. Fuji (or was it Plaubel?) made a 6x8 which was a whopper of a camera. Studio use mostly. And of course there was a lot of studio and architectural work done on 4"x 5" Ansell Adams shot on 8"x 10" Most digital cameras have a big enough pixel count to crop some. Your portfolio has several cropped images and I see no problems with them I certainly don't think you will suffer client rejection by pulling in the sides a bit if you prefer the look. There was a time on Alamy when your images would appear a bit bigger if they were not so long & thin. There are certainly times when shooting buildings when you have to keep the camera level to avoid distortion and tidy things up by cropping afterwards. Photoshop helps but you'll still have to crop.
  9. This was willingly resolved but we are all photographed all the time and many images will sit on databases for many years. Think of all those protestors in Hong Kong wearing surgical masks or the silly/sinister masks on "anonymous" activists. Those are used to avoid facial recognition surveillance. That aspect is only going to get worse. A lot worse! Just walking down the street we are being recorded many times a day. "Oh, I don't find that flattering" really doesn't cut it! I have a sneaking admiration for those who have spray-painted the lenses on surveillance cameras, trouble is, it would be hard to do without being recorded. But, like Chris from Imageploter, I usually opt for the easy life approach.
  10. I've done a few sets of shots in UK supermarkets, but I don't make a meal out of it (sorry!) Camera in a dull non-camera bag in the trolly pre-set, see the shot, without any fuss pull out the camera, snag the shot, camera back in the bag. Never had any hassle. Jeff Greenberg was your man, that was one of his favourite subjects but he's gone off the radar of late. Still with Alamy but re-started his collection from scratch for some reason. Probably the 50% exclusive arrangement. Not worth asking why because I hardly ever understood his responses As has been said, markets are better and have much less branding so an easier ride. My camera is not in the Big-Boy category. And I'm a grey-haired codger! almost as invisible as a senior gal.
  11. Like Ed Rooney, I used to make many good sales with Tony Stone and sold a lot of stock from my archives directly to Publishers in the UK and abroad. I was just about able to win business although the trend was starting to move towards the bulk deals and favoured sources. Susan Griggs saw early that her style of agency was doomed and threw in the towel even though she was still selling well. She saw her chance and sold out. to an American agency. Many of her photographers didn't like the new set-up and de-camped. That was before Alamy was born but it wasn't long before things moved on. And prices started to fall. Then along came microstock! These days I find it difficult to muster enthusiasm to build my portfolio when returns are often so meagre. I can't just throw images willy-nilly into the pit in hopes of some return. I don't think we can really blame Alamy for the state of the industry and the tiny sales. Not everybody is a photographer but just about anybody can produce images. I would like to retrieve my enthusiasm but for the time being I'm not getting there. Perhaps Father Christmas will wave a wand! That would be nice.
  12. The quality from even a 35mm still is essentially a 1/2 frame and they are really poor compared to a 35mm full frame stills camera. A freeze frame from a 16mm is going to be awful! And then there is the copyright issue. Not worth pursuing unless you have something unique and historic. Documentary footage for schools doesn't sound the ticket
  13. For browsing loosely for artistic images, the old big agency catalogues worked better. You could just flick through them vaguely rather than describing what you might want. Like so many photographers, I used to do purely artistic images from time to time but I soon learned to keep them to myself in the days I was seeking commissions. I could perhaps slip one into the presentation just to demonstrate my artistic leanings but any more and I would endure the "art-farty-photography" (word-for-word) comment and rapid dismissal. I was never going to get any work that way. It's quite nice to see the Alamy search pages sprinkled with purely artistic images, but don't hold your breath in hope of sales. Clients who find a use for that kind of image have no idea they wanted them, they just stumble upon them, so I wouldn't sit up nights trying to reel them in with keywords.
  14. Hey Betty, I really don't enjoy shopping, to some extent that's a Mars/Venus difference thing. But I do cook the Turkey and claim the crown for the world's best stuffing balls . Some goes down by the breast to keep it moist. I keep a little package of gooseberries in the freezer from the garden which is magic in the stuffing. I once climbed down out of our huge ancient chimney in full Father Christmas gear which scared the crap out of our 3 year old son who was cowering with his grandparents down the far end of the room. It was a good gag but we only got away with it the once.
  15. As a rule artists do sign their work but don't make a declaration about copyright. I don't think even the Big commercial galleries point it out. If they all pointed their buyers towards the issue it would be good, but would you want to be the first to put your head above the parapet? It would be a good idea to add a clause about it on web sites. I think Jane has a close to 100% digital record of her works. I've helped her keep the files sizes down so her hard drive doesn't fill up. Perhaps a few of the tidlers have been overlooked. Strangely enough, the higher up the pecking you go, the less likely you are to assume ownership of works of art includes copyright
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