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Ray

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Everything posted by Ray

  1. I am getting a suspiciously high number of these 'commercial electronic' and 'personal use' sales compared to last year and the amounts are ridiculously low. I don't know why, but I suspect buyers are not declaring correct usage. I have already caught one 'personal use' sale being used for commercial advertising. But it seems that does not help because even commercial rates are pretty low for websites.
  2. I've just stumbled across this discussion and find it fascinating and instructive. Great contributions from some of the most knowledgeable contributors on Alamy. I periodically re-assess my options and strategy in this market and it is clear there are a few successful paths that can be taken, each with their own caveats. Thanks for sharing your experience and knowledge.
  3. Don't worry - Alamy won't be losing out. They'll still be getting plenty of submissions from those of us who accept the rules and just get on with it. Alan Guys you are not really adding any new information to the conversation. I do accept the rules and have been living by them for two years and getting on with it. But, as I have already explained this time the rules have been applied differently to me and a friend of mine and I am rightfully wondering why. We both have good ratings and we were treated very differently. I was hoping there would be some collective wisdom here. But you seem to be more eager to have a go at me than show your experience and knowledge by being helpful. That's disappointing. The other point is I have been told by members services you can request a review of a pseudonym. So I went to the trouble of making a new one and put the best stuff I had in it and asked for a review. If they did it they didn't tell me either way. I have no way of knowing. Again I bring these things up hoping for some positive ideas.
  4. Hi John.. if I waited for every batch to clear QC before uploading more I wouldn't get much uploaded. I find I rarely get more than one QC a week. I try to keep it to around ten or twenty per upload. But if I upload several lots over a period of a week QC sees them as one batch and that can mean 40 -60 images being tossed away if something goes wrong. And usually the way things work is I go out and shoot and will have 50 or 60 images to upload from that day. I do not see the point in taking a month to notify contributors of a QC failure. It has to be done some time, why not right away? If they want to impose a waiting period after a failure it can be part of that email. Because I upload to different sites for different purposes I often process the shots in different ways to suit the purposes of each site. Sometimes, but thankfully not often, I screw up and accidentally send Alamy a watermarked image or one that has been heavily process for the art market. This latest failure was probably because I was tired after a 16 hour day and literally uploaded a test render instead of the final shot. I had actually picked that up when I was moving my files into an 'uploaded' folder but by then it was too late. I thought I'd just delete during keywording. If nothing else it kills my enthusiasm to upload to Alamy. I have stopped uploading before after I couldn't get any response when I requested one of my pseudos be assessed for creative status. I also responded to their email asking for more Australian images and they were less than helpful. I informed them that almost all of the top 100 shots of my city's river precinct were hopelessly out of date because of recent major redevelopments. But they are still there and all the new ones are buried. It's hard to maintain enthusiasm when we are just treated like a resource and nothing more.
  5. I have just had two fails in a row after relatively few problems in the past couple of years. On the rare occasions that has happened it was stupid errors on my behalf like forgetting to turn the watermark off while uploading to several different sites at the same time or I didn't upload the final version. That's my fault entirely and I am always keen to rectify a problem immediately. But the only way I found out was to email members services asking if there was a delay in QC. They told me the batch was failed but couldn't say why. And those QC delays are not unusual. I know they have an enormous amount of images to go through but I have seen people bragging on Twitter that their uploads are going through QC in a few hours while me and another contributor I know had been waiting more than two weeks. On that occasion it wasn't because the batch had failed or because my QC ranking was low. It was just some delay that no one could explain. Those batches eventually passed through. The problem I have with the system is that the rules are not fairly and consistently applied. If they do not notify me of a problem and I keep uploading (not knowing what has happened) everything automatically goes into the failed list. I find this appalling and unacceptable. After enquiring about delays again I just got an email reply telling me a batch had failed a few weeks ago and they said all 5 submissions are in the fail queue including the ones I just uploaded within the previous hour which couldn't have been looked at yet. A fellow contributor told me she had a batch fail earlier in the week and was notified within days, she re-uploaded the batch minus the failed item and they went straight through. All that within a week when I have been waiting for 3 weeks. This is what I mean by not applying rules fairly and consistently. If a batch has failed they should notify contributors immediately - even if it is a simple form email - so we don't waste our time uploading any further ones and further damage our QC rating. I wonder if they got a bad batch of copy paper would they would they throw all subsequent deliveries in the bin and not say why for a month? I have emailed members services but I just get the rules quoted back at me - the rules that apply to some and not others.
  6. Hi David,.. This is 2013 not 1940. We should be able to expect a very hyped new camera system will have enough lenses to cover the range. It is particulalry disappointing because the bodies have everything I want packed into a compact light and upgradeable body. It's the lack of lenses that let it down and even with the Metabones adapters the system is not up to scratch. I got out of the habit of manual focus back in the 70s so I prefer autofocus if my subject is moving or the situation is changing. These adapters don't offer that for Nikon. I don't need all the technology and compact light design if I am going to use it in a studio. I could use any old fashioned lump of a camera. These cameras will shine in places where their size and light weight are an advantage and it's there that we'll need a few fast lightweight lenses to cover the usual range.By the time Sony gets its act together I am sure someone else will have something comparable. And the reps told me there are no definite plans for the lenses, but apart from one f1.4 portrait lens we should expect f4 zooms and f2.8 primes because they'll be aiming for light compact design rather than fast glass. So it might be up to other lens manufacturers like Sigma to offer some fast glass. At the moment there is one lens available and two more will be on sale early next year. I think my disappointment was also heightened by the hype from the likes of Trey Ratcliff and his disciples who were all making loud noises about switching completely - declaring the DSLR dead. In fact he and Karen Hutton have posted pics from the cameras here http://www.stuckincustoms.com/2013/10/31/the-future-is-here-and-sony-delivers/ It's like being offered a Ferrari with one wheel and an adapter to fit other manufacturers rims. Ray
  7. David I went to the launch of the A7 and A7R ready to buy, but I was told the adapters for other manufacturers were 3rd party products and could only offer manual focus and manual aperture for Nikon, extremely slow autofocus for Canon (up to one second) and they admitted the Leica one had optical problems. The Sony adapter however did allow use of Sony DSLR lenses. It was a deal breaker for me. I went ready to be amazed but was totally disappointed. The A7 & A7R had only one lens available at launch with another four coming next year.. none faster than F2.8. So if you want a fast lens you have to use an adapter with those shortcomings and lenses from another system or manufacturer. That means this otherwise amazing mirrorless body is useless to me. I can't jump into it totally because there is only one lens and if I want to use any of my Nikon lenses they will be manual. I expect better than that in 2013 especially from a company like Sony. I want to be able to switch to manual when it suits me and use autofocus the rest of the time. This is not a cheap camera, and it boasts some cutting edge features so there shouldn't be any excuses. I really wanted to get into these cameras and the Sony system, but why would I if it doesn't fulfill my needs? I really think Sony offered the A7 & A7R cameras too early, because they feared the Df might be a mirrorless competitor,.. and of course Christmas is coming up. Corporate greed triumphs again! However the Df does interest me because of the sensor, so does the D600 or 610 as a lighter alternative to my D800 which remains my main camera. The problem is that the Df is way too expensive for what it offers and it is still using a mirror reflex optical viewfinder which adds size and weight. That means it is not as light or compact as the new Sony cameras. So, what do I do? I have been playing with the Fujifilm X system and even though it is a cropped sensor the images and lenses stack up better for my secondary needs than anything Sony is offering at the moment. The problem with Fujifilm bodies is that the ergonomics suck - they haven't had the benefit of decades of development and refinement. They too have adapters but my Nikon and Pentax lenses are manual when using them. In the end the camera and system you choose is the one that suits your needs and pocket the best. My problem is there are way too many choices and none of them measure up.
  8. Well done Mirco and Lynne. It is nice to hit those milestones. Congratulations and best of luck with sales.
  9. Congratulations Michael, that was the one I voted for - an iconic shot
  10. I sympathise Sheila. I would have made the same decision. You cannot be asked to agree to an unconditional sale without knowing the price. I think there are some very interesting views in this topic that raise related issues too. I am pretty new to stock photography but even I can see the industry is under extreme pressure because of an oversupply of images and I sometimes wonder how Alamy maintains sales in this super competitive market, but I hope they continue. I have a small number or images on Shutterstock & iStockphoto that I put there to test whether I could indeed make money out of microstock like the books, articles and DVDs all said. For agencies that almost gave away the images I was astonished to find that they were awfully fussy - a lot more so than Alamy. The images I do have on those sites sell regularly but I only make peanuts. I am told at least 6,000 images are needed to make an income from microstock - and many photographers who do have that many still carry out other work to make ends meet. So I don't see that as a good strategy, even for someone who is just trying to supplement their income. Getty has some of my images too, and despite only paying 20% commission still managed to pay me as much as Alamy in this year. But they insist on giving your images to them exclusively, and they are pretty fussy too, so they may not be the answer either. I tell you all of this because I too am perplexed about how things are heading and often wonder whether all the effort will ever pay off. These deals that Sheila describe are also concerning. As far as I can tell Alamy's job is to get the best possible price for us. They have a financial stake in each sale too. But Alamy can do deals that make sense to their business without considering whether it is fair on ours. Sweetening up a client with a good deal may help Alamy get more sales in the future, but the contributor(s) whose prices were sacrificed in that deal are not guaranteed to benefit from those clients in the future. As has already been pointed out, it's the suppliers who get squeezed in this global economy, but that squeezing can only go on for so long. Things have to change. I once worked for a television news service in which the cameramen (they were all men in those days) were disregarded and disrespected by the new Chief of Staff (fresh out of newspapers) who pointed at the tape/vision library and told reporters and producers that we had 25 years of video in there, just use that more. She misunderstood the 'new' bit in news service. Despite the millions of images already in stock libraries, agencies and clients need new images to make their profits and I doubt that they'll find enough people in future to supply those images just for the fun of it. Let's hope things turn around sooner rather than later.
  11. The very good reasons could be that Alamy don't know themselves what images are going to produce good turnover ? Yes, precisely. That is my point actually. Given the huge competition and low per image expected return it makes sense to take that into consideration when formulating a shooting strategy. and wouldn't is be nice for Alamy to pass that info on to us. The big micros have a list of the most popular and best selling images for the week / month / year. It would be really beneficial to everyone if that was available here . (another green arrow for you too - who is responsible for all these reds? why not just answer with an opposing point of view?)
  12. Just keep your old phone in your back pocket and then you'll know someone is always watching your back! :-)
  13. Mr Allsworth This is not so much a discussion about social media as a discussion about price sensitive strategies and giving your contributors a place to do that without having it broadcast around the world. I don't know any other organisation on earth that conducts its private business discussions in public (totally searchable) and hides its actual product from those same search engines. I think you not only have it back to front, but you have an agenda for doing so, because none of the arguments you have put forward hold any water at all in my view. It would be very simple to limit one section to contributors who you already are vetting. Can I suggest the minutes of Alamy's next executive meeting are made public too. That would be keeping with the company's claim it has nothing to hide. Regards Ray
  14. We couldn't possibly know if everyone is happy unless a poll of all of Alamy's contributors is undertaken. And unless anyone has asked 'most' contributors they couldn't possibly know for sure what those people are thinking either. It is entirely plausible that many have lost interest or become so disillusioned that they have given up. But it is also plausible that there are many contributors doing very well and are too busy shooting, editing, uploading and keywording their images to join our hypothetical discussion. As far as Alamy's responsibility to its clients is concerned I think I wouldn't be stretching reality to suggest that any such responsibility would come second to its primary duty of making a profit so it can pay its bills. To end this post I would like to quote Robin Williams' version of the saying mentioned earlier.. "you can please some of the people some of the time and ***k the rest off!" I think he was actually referring to politicians, but whatever works :-)
  15. Hi I've made a lightbox of my D800 images with Nikon lenses Here's the link http://www.alamy.com/lbx.asp?1165424 ( Ray Warren D800 ) cheers Ray
  16. Sorry to hear about the problems you've had with the Fujifilm X-E1, but it's fortuitous for me, because I was considering exactly the same move - sell my D700 (which isn't being used much) and get the X-E1 as a 2nd camera. I am very reluctant to let the D700 go because it is such an awesome camera and compliments the D800 in many ways. But two heavy bodies with battery grips and the bulky fast glass means I rarely take both anywhere. Did you consider the X-PRO1 (which I understand is a bit more robust) or the NEX7 (which Trey Ratcliff seems to love)? I'd be interested in anyone's experiences with them (in addition to those described above). Your blog post about choosing new lenses was very interesting. Maybe this DX zoom is worth your consideration with the rave reviews.http://www.slrlounge.com/new-sigma-18-35mm-f1-8-aces-dxomark-tests-beating-out-brand-zooms-and-zeiss-primes cheers
  17. I only started uploading late January too and 2/3 of it in last 3 months average for 1st 6 months 2013 = $72.60 including NU & NS
  18. My highest so far = 242.48 RF(may 2013) I'd have to wade through my statements from elsewhere but I see a similar imbalance as Long Journey is reporting, Gty and iStock are doing better than S'stock & Dreams for me. I only really started contributing here in late Jan with two thirds of my images uploaded in past 3 months so the numbers are hard to compare By the way I think this is a very useful discussion and it helps us all gauge the market to some degree
  19. We should be able to have discussions among contributors about matters that concern us without them being open to the public. With the lack of information provided about some sales, it is valuable to compare notes or get information from more experienced contributors and use that as an information reference for new members. It would benefit MS too because there'd be fewer enquiries about the sales that don't appear to fit the calculator or other schemes. I only joined this forum in April and have seen contributors openly talking about sales ever since. I can see the concerns expressed here and agree with them. I am surprised that these forums are not private.
  20. It doesn't take any more work and opens the possibility of a larger sale. Why not? Yup, as I said, I was playing the Devil's Advocate. I submit the maximum MP files that I can too. But the norm seems to be diminishing contributor royalties. Also in the equation is that at 300dpi, an 8.2MP image will be enough for a full bleed A4-ish magazine page. So 16MP or thereabouts will give you a full bleed double truck (A3-ish) in a magazine. Newspapers have bigger pages but print at 150-200 dpi so the sums are similar. I think that in spite of my Devil's Advocacy, my point is relevant and I do wonder if processing and uploading large, hi-res files is a waste of CPU processing cycles, bandwidth and time. Well I haven't sold many full size images but I do get searches with the FS option, so there are people looking at the file size. The only downside I see is that it takes a little longer to upload a large file, which is no big deal really. The thing is, I'd hate to miss a big sale (or any sale) because I didn't upload the biggest size I can. And you never know how the market will change in the future. Maybe there'll be a stronger demand for larger files. Maybe there won't, but I wouldn't want to have to upload them a second time. It is hard to know what to do in this industry with media outlets seemingly happy to take shitty phone pics if they can get them cheap or free, but I want to give myself every opportunity I can. If it doesn't pay off I know it wasn't because I didn't do everything I could to make it work. If I had all the answers I'd be sitting on a sunny beach somewhere planning my next photoshoot instead of slaving over Photoshop and Manage Images v2 :-)
  21. It doesn't take any more work and opens the possibility of a larger sale. Why not?
  22. Does it really go over 200mb (uncomp)? Aren't they around 108MB (36MP x 3, as a rule of thumb)? Sung Hi Sung yes that's a typo it should be 100mb ucompressed 7360 x 4912 x 3 = 108. Alamy says its limit is 200mb but I think it is actually 100mb. Their file checker utility I downloaded certainly trips out at 100mb and I have had trouble uploading full res files, they are rejected.
  23. I certainly hope that is the case Ken and I intend to quote you when I am over 60 (in fact I wish I could use that excuse now) I think Jeff is just having a bit of fun. It is easy to read a 'tone' or meaning in something that may not have been intended, especially when it is text. Your banter has been keeping me amused today as I edit and upload.
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