Jump to content

Robert M Estall

  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Posts posted by Robert M Estall

  1. Most months I am waiting patiently to get off the mark and need a week or more for the first to drop in. To-days the 4th and a shot from Norfolk thumped in with a very pleasant $495 which I did for my first book way back in 1972. As has been often said; This is indeed a waiting game! Best not to give too much away as the site is very accessible and to be honest, there's nothing all that remarkable about my shot. There are a couple of similars from other contributors.


    Book Duration: 25 years. Amount of Uses for Secure Electronic: Unlimited. Amount of Uses for Non Secure Electronic: Unlimited

    • Like 2
    • Upvote 2
  2. I painfully recall making presentations to picture researchers and editors fresh out of art college. I had some nice attractive well shot transparencies to show. They viewed politely and made nice murmerings,then came the total put-down: Arty-farty photography. Crushed! But they were right, I had not demonstrated any ability to follow a brief, so I wasn't getting any commissions. So to get on track I had to stop flogging that aspect and show I could produce the goods before I got any work. It was a hard lesson. Years later in the travel brochure sector, I found myself doing a lot of re-shoots where other photographers had brought back unsatisfactory work. I was never advised of that but it soon became apparent. They had not followed the brief, and I was in the position of being reliable Bob. Not what I wanted, but I did get a lot of work and eventually was able to charge pretty well what I wanted (within reason) because I was a safe pair of hands. Put in a few flourishes here and there to keep myself sane . Some of those were so far off piste that they were diverted to stock. Speaking of off-piste, I was reasonable on a pair of skies when most of the competition weren't so I got a lot of work in the winter-sports market. I sometimes dwell on the idea of how much I would have welcomed Photoshop back then when I was tasked with shooting hotels which weren't quite finished.


    Never liked news photography, got pushed around by too many aggressive togs, and news editors were not the nicest bunch as a rule.  


    Back when Macleans Mag was every other week I did several jobs in the UK in the days of shipping film but when they went weekly things moved a bit towards hard news and there just wasn't time to ship transparencies. That would be less of a problem in this digital age. Oh, and the new editor was not a fan of anything British Not everybody in Canada is an Anglophile.

    • Upvote 1
  3. Once you discover how easily these home espresso machines make superb coffee you'll chuck all those instant jars away. The ones which use pods are a waste of time and money. As to flat whites, Lattes and most of current offerings, I really don't get it. Cappuccino qualifies as coffee, most of the rest don't. Why we call watered down Espresso AMERICANO I have no idea. In Italy they give you a glass of water alongside your espresso just in case you are thirsty. I'm pleasantly surprised how so many little cafes in the UK have a decent Espresso machine and will give a proper coffee. Mostly they are proper Gaggia machines though there are a few alternatives out there.

  4. Lots of people have preferences for non prescription painkillers. I've never understood how anyone would shell out for branded painkillers when the generic own-brand option which will be exactly the same thing at a fraction of the cost. This is one of those areas where  "you get what you pay for" doesn't work out. Fool & money soon parted fits better. Ibuprofen can be more effective than paracetamol for some but reduces the effect of high blood pressure treatments which many of us elder folk are on. Codeine might help you sleep but I wouldn't want to take that for a month. I can take it  without getting knocked out for a day or two and it doesn't result in constipation which can be a side effect. If I take paracetamol for more than a couple of days  I start getting low level headaches which is counter-productive. So yeh, do without if you can. Easy to say...

    We're planning to take the dog for a seaside walk tomorrow as there seems to be a good chance of some sun. Being half Lab, she loves going in for a swim but it's a bit cold for that.

  5. Yeh, there were times when a few of the images were linked and there was hardly any room for dialogue. I suppose the three dots takes up a little less space as well, but I don't really see much advantage. It wasn't broke so why fix?

    What did unsettle was the system demanded I log in with ID and password. I did that meticulously and it said I was wrong. Checked it and was 100% sure I had it right. It then blocked me and reported via email that someone in Pebmarsh Essex had been trying to access my account. It all went away the next day. I don't know anyone in Pebmarsh (photographers or otherwise) but it's not that far away. Strange!

  6. I'm not sure I agree with that list except for the "get it free" option. That's been going on for a long time; as a travel photographer I was long frustrated by the publishers who started their search at British Tourist Association and bent the truth in order to quality for free photos. Researchers did not go to individual photographers collections unless they were mates, long preferring to source from an agency where they could press for bulk rates. Bulk rates might start at two! I became a very small agency so that myself and a very few friends could compete for a few bulk-buy hunters. That meant organising a proper archive which was a good thing.That worked well for a couple of decades before Microstock changed the whole scene. The commissioned area has long been in the realm of commercial concerns needing photographs of their specific products or services. Thankfully, I have never been offered the "good publicity for you" deal. I must give off vibes from a great distance!

  7. America is American-centric. They buy images of America or as America sees the world. That is an exaggerated simplification, but if you are hoping to sell images to USA, you won't go far wrong with that as a selling strategy. Keep note of the locations Americans pick for film locations in the UK. You could count them with two hands, no need to roll up your socks and start counting your toes. Sorry if I offend, but it's almost true. Out here in East Anglia they remember US bomber bases from WWII and that's about it. Oh, and Cambridge. Here in Sudbury, we have four silk mills, who would want to know that? Perhaps the Obamas knew, they bought some silk from Vanners who seem to be going broke. Pity about that, but the other three seem OK

    • Upvote 1
  8. Just as examples, I have three sales showing so far this month:

    AXAHFF  Aerial St Lawrence Seaway circa 1985

    BBAHA2  Excel centre London  circa 2010

    AMY0UP  Dover Castle  circa 1990


    the two older ones are scans from slides The aerial might well put you in hot water these days as we were just doing a sightseeing flight over an international border and above an installation which should be fairly high up any security list these days. note these are A & B prefixes so they've been on Alamy some time.

  9. Yes The Kingston Whig Standard was the one. As a lad I delivered a round of about 50 by bike, collected the moneys which I think was 35 cents a week, so I knew my 35x times tables. We rolled up our many coins and cashed in on Saturday mornings 'round the back of the downtown office. It was only as a contributor that I entered from the front. They stopped the lads collecting the money years later and now I think it is a free-sheet just relying on the advertising for revenue. Here in the UK quite a few big titles are free-sheets now; the most obvious being The London Evening Standard which published it's first edition in the morning. Out here in East Anglia we have several local newspapers which seem to be doing OK. They even employ a few photographers. Just a few!

  10. Back in the early 60s I used to sell the odd few soft news photos to my local paper in Kingston Ontario. The fee was always 5 bucks. They gave me grief for being a bit slow off the mark. Even way back then I thought for just 5 bucks, I should be quick off the mark? Would you believe, almost 60 years later the offer would probably be less? And I had to process the film, make prints and hump them 'round to the paper. How did I make that work? I was living  at home and mom provided. Provided nicely!

    • Like 1
  11. We have to face the fact that We are putting our stock out through a portal/agency which is now owned by a mixed group of newspapers. They can use Alamy to market their own material although I struggle to see that as a great match, but that's down to them. It's pretty obvious they won't be impressed by having even a modest chunk refusing them access. Newspapers have long found it convenient to do their own reporting of use and arrange how and when they might pay. As a professional photographer for a long time my approach has never been a good fit with the newspaper sector but we scrape along. If you really really don't want to play, I guess you'll have to think about taking your ball off and finding another park to play in. Good luck with that, none of the alternatives look very good.

    • Upvote 2
  12. "I have a bath once a year - whether I need it or not!"🙃


    The charming image of the family sharing bath water in a tin bath in front of a coal fire in the sitting room is getting to be a dim memory. Well not a memory for me, but a hundred years ago it was a reality for more than a few. In our comfortable Suffolk house, we had the central heating system upgraded a couple of weeks ago and quickly ran out of hot water.  For a few days things got pretty basic. If that's all we have to moan about, things must be OK. The wine rack looks healthy, we have good local shops and enough loo roll to reasonably last the coming month of lockdown. Now all we need is for some level of sensibility to return in the course of tonight's poll across the pond and we can all look forward  to long wintery evenings as we try to deal with what this pandemic is throwing at us. No snow for a while thanks!

  13. Most current cameras fall into the hand naturally to shoot horizontals and pay little attention to how they are going to work moving to the vertical shooting. A lot of that and photographers would soon be in need of physiotherapy. I once had a neat Fuji roll film camera which produced a vertical 4.5 x 6cm image when held in what appeared to be the natural horizontal shooting position. I liked it but didn't use it as much as I meant to. It got 15 shots from a standard 120 roll and 30 from a 220 roll. I never met any other photographer who embraced 220 film. It just made so much sense in so many ways.

  14. In film days before photoshop, the answer was often simple. Shoot a vertical (called portrait for no convincing reason) and crop off the bottom 20%. I even had a special pack of cardboard mounts  which achieved the effect for the archive. Eventually we settled on the A4 shape which was a little longer than 8x10 and fitted the more likely printed format. In the US they clung onto 8x10 and foolscap (or "legal") There was also "quarto"  We don't really need all those terms these days

  15. That's the one. That could easily be one of mine. There was an obvious vantage point  so we would tend to take similar shots. Hauling a Speed Graphic kit into the woods sounds unnecessary but clients rule. My visit would have been about the same time as Bill's. Early 70s. I think I had about a fifteen minute hike in from an access road. I was alone with the site and it was a really good experience. There were a few other sites I managed to paddle a canoe to in Ontario. I had my Dad with me on most of them. We liked paddling canoes together.


     I can recall several other sites like the Pooh Sticks bridge in the UK where, thankfully, the visitor centre  approach has not yet taken hold. I do remember a visiting American with a couple of children who did ask "Where's the Theme Park?" Good grief! You park in the car park which was free last time I visited, you walk for fifteen minutes down a good path in the forest collecting a couple of suitable sticks, you get to a bridge over a small stream, you chuck the sticks over the side and see which one comes out the other side of the bridge first. Pooh Sticks! Disney does now own the rights to the characters, I don't want to think about it.

  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.