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Posts posted by IanButty

  1. 23 hours ago, losdemas said:


    Strange world indeed!


    The Google search I did at the time links to this page: SALE 13 Sep 2018, which happens to be 2 days after the sale I had. So you are none the wiser, either, then?! Would be useful for DACS claims, but not to worry!

    I sometimes report my sales to my Academy Members that's the reason for the post - I then talk a little about creating the image.  I've just release the 'security' on that post so you can see it - it won't help much with finding out about the licence.  The only thing I can say is that the sale I got this week with the same licence info was for the same image!

  2. On 23/10/2018 at 00:40, losdemas said:

    Does anyone know who 'E-Feat Film Prodn Co' might be?


    I had a license for a 'Worldwide' TV usage last month naming this production company in the details, but a Google search using variations of this name produces nothing aside from a similar license by forum contributor, IanButty, which was posted to a password-protected area of his own site.  Ian hasn't posted here in a year, anyway, so not sure if he'll read this.  Anyone else know?



    Now here's a strange thing! 


    23 December 2020 - over two years since this thread was started.  I have just had a sale with this licence and I was just googling  to find out who "E-Feat Film Prodn Co" company might be and I found this thread - what a strange world - I don't even remember having had a sale with that licence before and I don't remember posting about it on my website either.

  3. Just now, spacecadet said:

    You can, but you shouldn't if they're not eligible. It's nothing to do with sales.

    In days gone by once you had set a licence type you couldn't change it via the interface.  The only way to change it was to delete the image and upload it again.


    Also looks like the images I thought were exclusive to Alamy no longer are.  They were set to have a licence of "RP" (Rights Protected) which meant the image was exclusive to Alamy.  It appears that at some point in the last 15 years (they were some of the very first images I submitted, set with that licence in error) the licence has been changed, scrapped and they aren't tagged as exclusive either!!

  4. With Jame's announcement about 50% commission for Alamy exclusive images, we all need to get our heads round how to manage this.  I'm creating this thread to deal with those technical questions.  I really don't want it to be a thread about the rights and wrongs of what has been announced.


    So here's some of my questions:


    Is there a way to bulk change images to being exclusive?


    Is setting an image as exclusive a 'once for all time' decision on the Alamy website (such as setting RM vs RF) - I'm more than happy to make my images exclusive (at least for a while) but at a later date I may decide that I'm better off switching to non-exclusive - can I switch images back?


    I know I have some images currently set to exclusive - how do I search Alamy to find out which of my images are exclusive and which are not?


    What really counts as 'Exculsive to Alamy'?  James mentioned we can still sell these images directly - what counts as a direct sale?  The grey area for me is "Photographers Direct" it's a site that puts people looking for images in contact with photographers who can supply images.  All sales are handled directly by the photographer and not by PD - do that still count as a direct sale?  (It may be academic for me as I haven't had a sale via a PD referral for years so I might just pull all the images off there anyhow to avoid any conflict)


    If you have your own questions about exclusivity why not add them to this thread so we have one place as a point of reference?  And if you have answers to any of my questions I'd be grateful.


  5. This may sound a strange one, but does anyone know if it is possible to change our own reference numbers (aka "Your Ref")?  I devised my current naming convention for my images back in 2003 to solve a particular problem I was having at the time.  Partly because I needed to obfuscate the date in the filenames and partly due to a limitation in the software I was using at the time.  15 years later my system still works but the need to hide the date and the software limitation has long since gone, and I am starting to think that a more friendly naming convention would be worth implementing in my workflow.  


    Renaming all my past images is relatively straightforward (thanks to Lightroom), but if I did so the numbers would no longer match the reference numbers in Alamy - which I suspect might prove to be an issue for me further down the line.  I don't think there is any way we can change our own reference number via AIM.  But does anyone know if Alamy has any system to allow contributors to do it - eg in years gone by keywords, captions etc could be updated in bulk via a spreadsheet?


  6. 5 hours ago, spacecadet said:

    I don't buy an artist whose work is inspired by sacred iconography getting the symbols of the Evangelists "mixed up". There's something we're missing.


    Those were my thoughts exactly, which was why I've asked the question.  To throw yet another variable into the mix, my wife is convinced that the creature top left is a ram / lamb - again another very strong Christian connection with that symbol.  Ram was my first thought too, but I now think that Lion is more likely.


    3 hours ago, Inchiquin said:

    OK, here's my take on it. I don't know much about early Christian history but from what I can see it was St Irenaeus who identified the four gospels we know today as the only valid ones. It was also he who associated the four creatures mentioned in Revelations with the evangelists. However, the creatures are listed in Revelations in the following order: lion, ox, man, eagle. I think what the artist has done here is to associate them with the gospels in the same order. In other words he is saying that Irenaeus's identification is not the only possible one.





    Alan, I think that may be the most likely explanation.  Especially as historically there have been some variances in the sequence in the past, although I have not found this sequence listed anywhere.


    Thanks all for you input - all I need to do now is work out what keywords to add and how best to describe it in the caption! ;-)




  7. While I was in Alta in Norway last week, I photographed this representation on the wall of the cathedral. At the time I thought it was the standard symbols of the four evangelists (Matthew, Mark, Luke & John), but it is only now I am back in the UK I have realised it isn't as simple as that. The four symbols are normally: Matthew: An Angel; Mark: A (winged) lion; Luke: a (winged) bull and John: an Eagle. I am trying to caption/keyword this for alamy submission. Anyone any idea what these symbols are (particularly the one for Luke) and how they relate to the four evangelists?  They look like a lamb, a bull, a clam and a pigeon!



    No automatic alt text available.


  8. 3 hours ago, Marianne said:

    Hi Ian:

    I sent a private message via another forum I'm on to someone I know at Adobe (a liaison with stock photographers) asking if he'd pass a link to your blog post on to the right people. He's probably at PhotoPlus Expo in NYC this week and if I get there I'll mention it to him. He's a good guy and from past experience has the best interests of photographers in mind, so hopefully at least it will get a look. That doesn't mean anything will happen but I figured it was worth bringing it up with someone who works there and whose job is dealing with stock photographers. I tweeted it too. 


    If we're sharing via social media - we'll get farther if we help each other with re-shares. I tweeted - it's where I have the most followers - but I was sick the past few weeks so my engagement is probably down - would appreciate some retweets from this crowd and will return the favor. I'm @campyphotos 


    Separate from the keywording suggestions - all of which were excellent - I was shocked that the mobile app - the new Lightroom CC  vs "Classic" LR - actually strips keywords - what a mess - no mobile support for keywording, which is really what they should be doing - and it grabbed a bunch of stuff from my hard drive - randomly it seemed but maybe they were photos that I had processed in PS mobile over the past month or so  - it was mostly stuff I'd shared on social media for recent gallery shows and some stuff I put on instagram - and pulled it all into new "albums" without asking me. That 20GB will fill up from simply opening the program. I was actually thinking about buying the 1 TB of backup but without keywords it'll just be one big mess. 

    Hi Marianne,

    Thanks for forwarding the link to your Adobe Contact.  I've retweeted your tweet, and also tweeted about the blog post again. @ianbutty is my twitter id, if anyone wants to find it and retweet.


    The whole Classic vs CC thing is a complete mess - and not just about keywords.  I really want to stick with LR but I find myself, now reading up about alternatives - just in case the worst happens and Classic get no or minimal development in the future. 

  9. 9 hours ago, Rick Lewis said:

    Very well thought out piece, Ian.  I guess we can add those suggestions to Adobe's "to do" list.  A better keywording system in Lr would be very nice indeed.


    If you know any way to get that list on Adboe's "to do list" then please do it.  I've been trying for ten years and had no success - thus my campaign to get people sharing this open letter on twitter and other social media platforms.  Let's make some noise out there!!

  10. 2 hours ago, Michael_Jacobs said:



    Well done!


    What do you mean by 

    1. We need an easy way to combine/merge keywords – yes it is possible at the moment but it is convoluted.



    8.Keyword sets should not be limited to 9 keywords each. It makes no sense. Allowing those sets to be of variable length would make a huge improvement to the speed in which we can keyword.

    I use Metadata presets

    Thank you Michael.


    Re combining keywords, At the moment if you end up with two duplicate keywords, the only way to combine them is as follows:

    a.  Filter on the keyword name,

    b.  Click the little arrow to the right of one of the keywords to show all the images assigned to it

    c.  Ctr-A to select all the images

    d.  Assign them to the other keyword

    e.  Delete the old/duplicate keyword

    It would be much nicer to just drag one on to the other - or select one and right click on the other and have an option saying "combine"


    As for keyword sets, these are the quick pick lists of keywords

    For example I have one that lists weather conditions - mine has "blue sky", sunny, rain, snow, windy, overcast, rainbow, frost, ice - but I'd like to have clouds, and stormy on that picklist but can't because it is limited to 9.  They could be a quick way of assigning your most used keywords but 9 is a silly limit to have.

  11. Is anyone else frustrated with the lack of development in Lightroom when it comes to keywording?  LR has been out for ten years and there has been next to no development in the area of keywording in that time.


    I have written an open letter to Adobe outlining just ten things that would make a huge difference to us as professional or stock photographers - you can read it here:



    I'd love to get this open letter in front of the powers that be at Adobe - if you agree why not tweet or share in social media tagging adobe and lightroom.  




    • Like 1
  12. 49 minutes ago, Aylish said:

    I am and am going to use twitter and pinterest to advertise my photos. 


    That's what I thought constituted to marketing photos.


    Hope this helps 





    As the OP of this thread I am really interested in understanding your thinking behind this.  It is never something I have considered doing myself.  As you know I started this thread because I am updating the training notes I have on stock photography.  I've been selling stock for 14 years and still wouldn't call my expert at it.  I'm always keen to learn new techniques and to pass on to others what I have learned.


    It would be really helpful for me (and others) to understand this strategy if you can give some data on how the strategy works.  As a trainer, I need facts so that I can explain it in the training I give to would-be stock photographers. 


    1. How have you got photo buyers following you on twitter? 

    2. Is there a minimum number of buyers following you needed to create the critical mass for this to work?  If so how many? 

    3. I'm a bit of newbie on pinterest, but again how are you attracting photo buyers (as opposed to other photographers etc) to look at your pins? 

    4. Do you have any empirical evidence that the strategy improves sales (either from your own experience or documented evidence from other sources)?

    5. How are you selecting which images to promote in this way?

    6. Even if you haven't seen an increase in sales, have you seen any increase in views & zooms in Alamy measures through using this sort of strategy.  If so, how much did your CTR improve?


    Thank you for you contribution and I look forward to learning more about this strategy,




    • Upvote 1
  13. Glad I found this thread.  I was starting to panic.  As of the end of last month I started the process of updating my keywords, captions and image data.  So I have been carefully monitoring the effect it had on views and zooms (looking at the views/zooms recorded under 'This Month') and for the first 10 days to 2 weeks it all looked as though it was having the desired effect.  Then it all appeared to go pear-shaped.  I was beginning to think the updates I had been doing weren't making any difference after all.  And that the improvements I was seeing in measures early in the month was just a blip.


    I hope they can fix this soon and without loss of data.  A 'hole' in the data won't help the analysis of my changes.

  14. 32 minutes ago, Matt Ashmore said:


    You can always just upload the new version(s), copy the tags and caption and then mark the old image(s) for deletion yourself anyway. You will of course have to wait 6 months for the old image to be removed. Last time I asked contributor services to change one of my images for a newer version, this is all they did anyway... there was no swapping of image IDs done.



    You have just reminded me of something from the old days when I first started with Alamy.  I *think* back in 2004/5 when I need to replace an image the advice was as follows:

    1. Upload the replacement image.  Once it is through QC,  note the ID (lets call it NEWID)

    2. View the image to be replaced note down its ID (let's call this OLDID) and make a note of keywords, captions and other metadata

    3. Caption and keyword the new image include the ID of the old image, OLDID, as one of the keywords and set the metadata as per the old image.

    4. Wait for the database to be updated (overnight) so that new image is now visible to buyers.

    5. Edit the old image and remove all keywords (tags), Set the the caption to be: "This image has been replaced with NEWID"

    6. Mark the old image for deletion.


    A couple of things to note about the process.

    Step 3 - Important to add the old ID as a tag to the new image so that anyone searching with the alamy ID for the image gets the new image coming up on the search results

    Step 5 - Removing all keywords from the old image will ensure that the new image not the old image turns up in searches.

    Step 5 - Setting the caption to a message to send buyers to the new image makes anyone who has the old image in a lightbox aware of the replacement.  

    Step 6 - Marking for deletion has to be the last step as (at the time) it wasn't possible edit captions and keywords after an image is marked for deletion.


    I think this process will still work today, but I'll give it a go and report back.



    • Upvote 1
  15. On 10/3/2017 at 09:50, George Munday said:

    I began submitting images to Alamy in 2006, and during those 11 years I've learned a lot about processing images through Photoshop. 



    I started in 2003 and I am in the process of revisiting my images from the first few years and in many cases I'm sitting here with head in hands going.  Why on earth did I process them like THAT!


    I'd like to replace a couple of hundred of mine, but I am sure that Alamy would not be happy with me sending them a list of replacements that long.  Perhaps if they could give us an indication of how many they would be willing to do, and how frequently.  (Eg.  2 images at time once a week, or 50 images in on go every 6 months) then we we can concentrate on replacing the ones that are in most need of it.



  16. 4 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

    Try this search term:


     Ggantija neolithic megalithic 5500 years old prehistoric temple complex site Gozo, Malta


    It produces 34 images. The first 20 without break are 'geogphotos' the remaining 14 are all 'geogphoto'


    All 34 pics have the same caption and keywords ( except for a few additional words added as appropriate at the end), uploaded at the same time into my default pseudo of 'geogphoto' then those chosen for 'geogphotos' changed at a later stage.


    When I do a more limited search  'Ggantija temple Gozo'  the first 20 of mine are all 'geogphotos' and the 14 'geogphoto' ones all come lower down.


    However, even the lower pseudo deliberately starved of 'algo-juice' come higher than you might expect and not right at the very bottom of the search order. So it could be that despite not getting any help it is benefitting from my overall rank??


    Not sure of the interpretation overall in relation to the OP.





    I studied physics at University.  One of the principals of physics is that the way to solve problems is to come up with a theory.  At this stage you don't have any evidence, it's just an idea.  Then... you look for ways to either disprove the theory or ways to confirm the theory.  If you can prove the theory fantastic.  Job done.  If you disprove the theory you come up with a new one and design a new set of tests, until you can either prove it or more often than not just run out of ways to disprove the theory.  If the later is what happens then you have the current best understanding as to what is happening.


    So applying this approach.  From what people are reporting, here and on other threads.  I have a theory.


    • Order in which the first image from a specific photographer appears on a search is calculated by the overall/average rank of the contributor.
    • What the first image is and the order of subsequent images from that photographers is calculated by the rank of the specific pseudonym.


    All I (we) need to do is come up with a test to prove or disprove it.


    Of course... even if I could prove or disprove it, it doesn't answer the question of whether I should consolidate my pseudonyms.  I guess as goegphotos said I might have to ask Member Services about that one.





  17. Just now, Betty LaRue said:

    They did away with that. So no worries.

    D'oh!  I'll stop storing that information in my Lightroom catalog then!




    PS.  Did they give any reason why they did away with it?  I know when they did away with "Is a cut out" it was because they could determine that by analyzing the image.  I doubt they could determine if an image was digitally altered the same way.


    PPS.  Now if they would just do way with people "1,2,3,4 and more" and replace with a simple yes/no then I'd be happy.

  18. Sorry folks, this is another of my what's changed since I was active posts.


    I've done a search of the forums and read a few interesting posts suggesting that pseudonyms are no longer independent of each other.  When I was active and submitting regularly the general thinking was that it was good practice to split the images into different pseudonyms because it meant that an unpopular pseudonym wouldn't drag down a popular one.  At the time I started creating a new pseudonym for each country of the world I had photographed, each region of the UK, and in the case of models one for each model I'd shot.  Since then I've travelled to many more countries and worked with many more models and my list of pseudonyms not runs to over 60!!


    The fact that I had so many pseudonyms didn't really bother me - 60 is just a number, and until I read the recent posts I believed it was a good idea to continue to keep them separate - let each collection fend for itself and in the gladiatorial arena that is Alamy Rank.   However now with the theory that the pseudonyms are somehow linked in the ranking algorithm,  I wondering if I ought to consolidate back down to smaller number.


    When I set up the pseudonyms it was round the time that we all used the BHZ keyword (and yes we called them keywords not tags in those days) to get an idea of relative ranking.  As things stand at the moment I have one pseudonym "Ian M Butterfield (concepts)" that ranks on page 5 out 30+ pages.  The rest are languishing between 1/2 and 2/3s down the listing.  Some of the newer pseudonyms don't have any images with a BHZ tag, so I don't know there they fit into the grand scheme of things.

    I can already think of one big reason for consolidating.  The Alamy measures info is VERY misleading with a lot of pseudonyms .  Because I have a relatively low number of images in each pseudonym (Average of just over 115 per pseudo)  it can give odd results.  If I look at the the CTR for "Ian M Butterfield (Canada)" over the period 1 Jan 17 - 28 Sep 17.  it has a CTR of 25.0 - wow! thought, until I delved deeper.  Over that whole 9 month period, there were only two searches resulting only 4 views and 1 zoom.  It might be a CTR of 25.0 but actually it was pretty rubbish performing pseudonym!


    So bottom line, what's the current thinking?  Is there much point in creating lots of pseudonyms anymore?  How many do people have and are people still using them to let different images live or die on their own merits?





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