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About Marianne

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    New York
  • Interests
    photography (that's #1), travel (also tied for #1), yoga, hiking, biking, art, politics, visiting museums - art, history quirky - love them all


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    25 May 2010

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  1. Glad the DVD player isn't blinking. 😎 @Brian Yarvin had a good suggestion about books. A quick google search brought up this list of recent Photoshop/Lightroom books, most of which are probably available at your local library. I learned Photoshop about 12 years ago so I haven't read any of these myself, but I highly recommend anything by Scott Kelby - I have read several of his books and articles, and his writing is easily understood. I've taken some one-day seminars with him as well. He knows his stuff but never talks down to you. There are helpful descriptions of each book. https://bookauthority.org/books/new-adobe-photoshop-books You can also look online for free videos on the Adobe site. Julianne Kost (who I've also taken classes with) writes frequently about LR especially, but I'd first search the site for beginner videos. Also, if you find a recent book by Martin Evening, his books are quite comprehensive. I've written a couple of articles about Lightroom myself. Though aimed at beginners, they assume that you understand basics such as file format and mostly discuss new features added in the past couple of years. So, I won't bother with those links. Be sure that if you do buy or take out a book/watch videos, that you are dealing with the latest version of PS Elements (basically, Photoshop lite) or the latest version of PS/LR since a lot has changed. I'm about to delve into the latest updates just released this week. To help you learn the lingo, search for "file formats" and "file size" on Adobe's site or on Google to get a sense of what you're talking about in terms of size. And lastly, if you continue scanning, recognize that TIFF is a lossless format, so that you can use ZIP compression to make your files significantly smaller and not need so much hard drive space. Also, you will not want to scan to jpeg because it is a lossy method and every time you save a jpeg file, it degrades slightly. Output to jpeg is the last step once you have done any work needed (retouching and metadata), Google these terms and you will understand what we are talking about. It's really not Greek once you familiarize yourself with the terms. Google "why you should shoot RAW" and you'll understand why using your camera to shoot jpegs is a real waste. Nikon used to offer weekend classes on using your camera and processing your files. Check with them or with the place where you bought your camera to see what's available. Even if you bought it online, they may be able to direct you. The place you rented the lens from (smart move BTW - you must be getting advice from some knowledgable photographer friend), they might be able to help too. Where do you live? Contributors nearby might have some suggestions. I'd also search the Alamy Forum for "similars" as it might help you with editing. Good luck! You will be so happy once you learn even the basics.
  2. πŸ’€ They used to be the place to aim for, now I'm sorry that I even have a handful of images there (from another agency). I was given the opportunity to upload more, but I didn't because I didn't want to earn pennies - less than even the lowest microstock subscription rates. My portfolio is becoming more heavily RF, even though I certainly prefer RM, simply because it gives me more opportunities to spread similar images to other sites, although I have also set aside some RM photos as "Alamy only," but I worry that I'm leaving money on the table not just uploading them to several sites at once. It is really a dilemma. I'm glad that I opted for more accessible photography rather than spending a fortune hiring models and stylists and trying to produce big budget images - I worked with food and prop stylists as a photo assistant and even without models the cost of some of these productions was only worthwhile because places like the now-defunct Jupiter Images got high prices for them, and we had a dedicated editor who we worked with - from shoot ideas to brainstorming. When Getty took them over the game changed. They assigned a Connecticut photographer an editor in Ireland who never responded to requests. I can only imagine what some of the commercial work on Getty must have cost to produce. A lot easier to earn a ROI on a D700 than on a $30,000 digital back, studio equipment, etc. Ironically, most of the micros now have a more expensive Premium brand, but Getty can't seem to figure out where they end and iStock starts, licensing top files at micro prices. Even their bargain basement brand iStock used to let you designate a certain number of files at higher prices once you hit certain targets. Those higher priced files of mine always sold much more often than the rest (because people want those "premium" files), but Getty seems to keep dropping their prices. Maybe Alamy can spend some of the money they've saved with the new commission structure and find a way to market our RM images. I'll put on my rose colored glass and make a wish.
  3. I used an Epson scanner to scan medium format transparencies for a photographer I worked for and there was a lot of cleaning up to do despite excellent prep. I then tried to to scan some of my 35mm negatives and couldn't get anywhere near the resolution stated. I used a Nikon negative scanner when I was taking a class and that was much better. Flatbed scanners really aren't worthwhile for 35mm negatives. Somewhat better with the handful of 35mm slides I had but nothing that would pass QC.
  4. Does your DVD Player blink 12:00? No, then you are not too old to learn! If you have a speck of dust on any of your scans, or on any of the jpegs that you are taking directly with your D810, then you will not be able to fix them without some sort of image editing program. Eventually, you will start to get QC failures, and you'll be out of luck. Photoshop Elements is less than $100. A Nikon D810, body only (i.e. without a lens) is around $1,500. You said you've spent years scanning those files. So why won't you purchase software that lets you do what you want, make those huge tiffs into tiny little jpegs to upload? You asked how to do it and we've told you. There is also a free program called GIMP, but, despite being computer savvy, I found the installation process for that one o be a bit daunting. (and it may be because I'm on a MAC, I needed to set up some sort of interface so it would work). I wanted to use it as an alternative to Illustrator, since I just have the Adobe CC Photo bundle (Photoshop and Lightroom), which BTW, with tax, costs less than $12/month. With Adobe, you download it from the internet, click on the icon and it installs itself. You don't need help. Given that you are clearly taking expensive vacations and bought yourselves a high end camera despite being amateurs, I'm not sure why you are resistant to spending another $100 for software that will do the trick. Go to the Library and take out a book on Photoshop Elements, spend a week of your retirement and learn it. You will thank us. Honestly! I think that people are frustrated because you are asking for help but refusing to listen to the most basic suggestions. If you are on a MAC you can open a tiff file in Photos (formerly iPhoto) and then save it as a jpeg. I only use it to Export photos of my grandson, much prefer all the bells and whistles on PS and LR, but it opens RAW and TIFF files. Another idea - how are you viewing your images now from your camera? Are you using some sort of Nikon software? I used the old Nikon Capture but that was ages ago, not sure what they have now but it should let you open a TIFF and then save it as a jpeg. I'm a senior citizen by the way and find the best way to stay young is to keep learning, When I was in college I used a computer exactly once, in a geology class, we had to punch holes in some cards and the computer took up an entire room. I worked as a reporter for a year after college and we reporters used electric typewriters. And I'm 20 years younger than some of the folks on this forum, so don't say you're too old to learn computers I get that computer phobia thing but you have had decades to get over it. Honestly, as a lawyer I was a whiz at computer research but I relied on my secretary for basic work processing because it seemed so complex. Then I decided, as a middle aged mom, that I better learn how to use a computer for more than email and research. I learned Photoshop a few years after I bought my first computer, not long after I learned MS DOS and then Word (which had intimidated me, honestly, I get it). But guess what, the basics of PS and LR were surprisingly easy. You can do amazing things with both programs, but you can also just use it for the basics. Most important, if you are going to license stock photos, you will need to learn how to edit your photos. And you should be shooting RAW - you have this fancy camera that is capable of so much and you are using it like an iPhone! Why not just buy the D3100 if you're going to shoot jpegs? Or a simple point and shoot? You could have each bought your own camera for what you spent on the D810. I'm not trying to be mean here, but it is so frustrating to have dilettantes come on here, ask questions, and then say nope, don't need that I'll just use $2-3k worth of camera equipment and superb lenses (you must have had a nice pricey zoom for those bear images) to shoot jpegs and refuse to learn the basic tools needed to be a weekend stock shooter. If you want a more hands on approach, take a Photoshop class at adult ed at your local high school - you will probably even get a student discount on the software as a result! Otherwise, head to the library, get a book on PS Elements, and learn it. If you are operating a D810 and a scanner, you can learn PS Elements - at least enough to insure that the hours you spent scanning all that film won't go to waste. Scanned transparencies are likely to be dusty, you will need to clean them up even if you used digital ICE tech to do a first pass. How do you clean dust spots? In PS or LR.
  5. Such great news Ed - so happy for you! πŸŽ‰πŸŽˆπŸ—πŸ“«πŸŒˆβ­οΈ For your πŸ›’ list: πŸ”¨πŸ³πŸΊπŸ·πŸ₯£πŸ½πŸ§‚πŸͺβ°πŸ”§ βœ‚οΈŽ This is what I'd buy first: 🍸 Most important for those soggy UK winters: β˜‚οΈ
  6. @SteveValentia Never had anyplace expect a property release, even for those I've photographed that were not owned by the US Government (the US Coast Guard is still in charge of all lighthouses that are still an active aid to navigation) . Love your lighthouse photo. The only lighthouse near me is on the Hudson River, no longer in use but it is getting a facelift soon by a non-profit that now owns it. It is technically behind a (broken) fence, but the park ranger nearby told me that there was a big enough hole to go through the first time I visited. They give tours one Sunday a month in warm weather. So, without even thinking, I just uploaded 21 photos of 3 different lighthouses I took last fall. Visited one of them early in the day, then came back for blue hour/sunset. Different angles and crops. A lot of cropping options with my Sony. I used a wide angle lens and then played around. Probably should have uploaded fewer, but I think I can delete some before they go on sale. Took a lot of verticals and horizontals, as well as a few square format, which show up nicely in searches. Also, I find the light at sunset can change so drastically that 3-5 shots might not cover all options. The lighthouses aren't in New England so at least they shouldn't show up in searches for "England." Of course, the Huron Harbor lighthouse, which is confusingly on Lake Erie, might show up in "Lake Huron" searches. Oh well. . . actually, I just searched "Huron Harbor Lighthouse" and out of a few pages, only one photo is actually of that lighthouse. Not a pretty one, but I got it as the sun was going down, so that helps. Uploaded fewer than 5 of those.
  7. When I shoot for magazines, occasionally they'll pick, even for the cover, an image that I wasn't sure whether or not to send along, so, I'll try to give a good representation of a scene - from various viewpoints, wide angle, vertical, close details, but in terms of real similars, usually 3-5. I do go back different days, seasons, even years later. And the photos always look so different, I don't usually feel the need to delete old ones. Occasionally I've experimented with different processing - I'm amazed at how different a seascape will look depending upon which color profile I choose - from that deep nautical blue to a more aqua-blue slightly vintage color feel. Buyers are skimming so many photos so fast that it can't hurt for them to see the color scheme they are seeking, even if they could process it that way themselves. But I've been trying to spend less time in LR both by shooting fewer images to save hours of culling time, and by processing less, though I really love all the choices. There's a lighthouse I photographed in Maine back in 2009 just after taking a class at Maine Media. I had an hour there before heading south to meet a friend. I think I have about 15 different views here and all but one angle has sold at some point, at least 4 of them for $$$,. I was on the fence about 2 of the 4 that sold for $$$, so perhaps they are the exception that proves the rule?
  8. For me, the only metrics that are important are RPI (return per image) and "How much did I earn this year?" The number of zooms I need to get a sale is even more useless than the total number of sales I get each month when the amount earned per sale can vary from a couple oof hundred dollars to amounts measured in cents. If I get 3 sales for $150-$450 each they are worth far more than 15 sales at $1-7 each, though the latter would be 5x as many sales. I might as well compare how many sales I get a day on the micros to how many sales I get a month here - apples to oranges. Revenue is the only metric that makes sense. That's the graph that I switch to when I log on. As I think I mentioned in at least one other thread, my zooms have gone up this year, # of sales is way down, but revenue is up, despite a couple of truly bad months. But I'll play along. I had 54 zooms this past year. My ratio is 4.15. Most of my sales were never zoomed, and despite a decent number of zooms, they don't seem to be predictive, although I do search those images on tineye and google since I sometimes find unreported sales that way. I had 18 zooms in the past two months, some where mine was the only image zoomed. That should translate into 4 sales based on my "average." I'll be very happy if it does, but I'm not hopeful that it is predictive. Though I'll be thrilled if I'm proved wrong! 😎
  9. Yes, I've had sales for vague searches with thousands of other photos showing up - so you need to include those terms or your photos may never be found. I can get a couple hundred wasted views for "England" from images tagged "New England" but it's a common enough search from which I've had sales, so have to take the good with the bad. Despite so many views, I think my sales numbers are pretty good by Alamy standards for the size of my portfolio, if anywhere from one in 53 to one in 83 of my photos sell, that's a decent percentage, but I sometimes think perhaps I should just upload many more images from the same locations anyway. It's nice to get a CTR spike when a bunch of images are zoomed. What is discouraging however is when I'll have various images that are the only zooms, and never see a sale from them. Makes you wonder why zooms count so much in rank, but my photos mostly show up well, so I guess it all works out.
  10. Yes, this can really be helpful. I used to study this a lot with the micros since it also meant I had 1000s of sales to look at and could see which keywords worked best. I think that really helped me to refine my keywording. I still have lots of images at Alamy that have more keywords than necessary, especially from the old three-part AIM, but it is not worth the time to revise them.
  11. I think these kinds of pronouncements can be very discouraging and also misleading. At least, in my experience, this metric isn't helpful at all. Here's why: I've had over 14,000 views since January with only 1,100 images. People with over 4,000 images are reporting fewer views than that. Perhaps this is why my views/sale ratio is quite high. I don't know, but I don't think it means my keywording is bad, nor that I am wasting buyer's time. I think it shows that I'm uploading images that buyers can use and keywording them properly. My number of sales dropped to a little over 1 per 1,000 images per month this year, to 13 sales or one sale for every 82 images over the year. For the past two years, my average was one sale for every 52 images, per year. I think that sales per image is a much more valuable metric.But, even that can be misleading, because despite a drop in sales, I earned as much in the first 6 months of this year as I did in all of 2018, when my sales per image was much higher. Allan said the average is one sale a month per 3,000 images, so one sale for every 250 images. If this is the case, then my sales numbers are above the Alamy average. I know that my CTR is above average, particularly in my primary pseudo where it varies from 0.8 to 2.0 this year, so, in comparing my results via these other metrics, my portfolio is performing fine, despite the fact that my views/sales ratio is extremely high (above 1500). I shoot travel and tend to go back and shoot in the same locations, so I may have a large number of views for a particular location, giving buyers a nice selection to choose from. For the most part, I don't have a lot of similars, and have a tightly edited collection. I could easily have 10s of thousands of images online if I didn't edit tightly (and if I did more bulk processing), but I usually pick the best 8-12 out of every 300 images I shoot. That doesn't mean they are all winners by any means, and I'm blown away by people with 2,000-5,000 images who sell many times more images than I do. The point is, metrics can be misinterpreted, so it's easy to make pronouncements that don't really hold up. BTW, what is your views/sales ratio? You didn't say. How about sales per image? I have no doubt it's better than mine, but I'm curious.
  12. I have used Nikon, Olympus and Sony cameras and the white balance varies greatly, and it also varies by lens - Nikon, Zuiko, Sony/Zeiss, Sigma, Rokinon - so I don't worry if my Hoya, B+W, Zeiss, and/or Nikon filters will affect the colors. I always play with them in post - either to find a color that seems most like what I saw - or most pleasing if I'm going for a manipulated look. It also varies if I decide to use Nik filters when I'm processing, or Capture One, or LR/PS/Adobe RAW - and all the different color options now available as presets in LR. Gray cards are very helpful in setting a good WB if I'm shooting portraits, but outdoors for landscape and travel I tend to use either daylight or WB auto and use the eye dropper tool later as a starting place when I'm processing. After an initial batch process, I tend to mostly process one photo at a time. Ironically, some of my best selling travel and landscape images have been ones where I've thrown off the white balance to give them a more super-saturated look, not my favorite look but one that seems to be popular. I much prefer a more natural look, and generally try to tweak my WB to render what I've seen. For me, as I mentioned before, with wind, salt and sand on a beach, I wouldn't think of using a lens without some sort of protection. But my wide assortment of lenses and cameras means I'm not going to get consistency across every shot, but I don't see any reason why I'd need to. I try to tweak the look and WB to the scene - and sometimes I will take a single scene and process the photos differently to produce more than one "look," the great joy of digital photography. I remember traveling across Europe as a senior in college during my 5-week winter break, after my first semester of photography class. I took along all different films and had to think each morning about what I wanted to load into my camera. Ilford B+W, Kodak Ektachrome, Seattle Film Works Color (very washed out and pastel), Kodak color or PanX for daytime B+W or TriX for late afternoon, evening or indoors - now I can emulate most of those films after the fact, giving me such creative freedom.
  13. Really a shame! Hope you get more access. Can Alamy Live News help you out?
  14. I shoot at the beach a lot. I have all kinds of filters - ND, Polarizers - and some UV and some just glass protective. These days, I buy only high quality ones. In fact, I was disappointed that I couldn't seem to get a sharp image with my 200mm Olympus lens from my film days (circa 1979) on my mirrorless camera. Then I thought to take off the UV filter - what a revelation. Night and day. Worth the money to buy high end filters for what I shoot. I'm very careful with my equipment but I've seen some of the older ones get scratched up over time. Sand, wind and salt water are not a lens' friend. Occasionally, I won't use one on some lenses that have deep lens hoods but it always makes me nervous. I remember a job where I had to shoot glass doors with a client's logo on them - very reflective glass doors. The polarizer was a life saver. They can really come in handy indoors sometimes. I had stopped using mine as much for a while figuring I could enhance blue skies in post, and it meant a lot more work in post. I was actually thinking about buying one of those didymium glass filters to enhance fall colors, but our leaves are mostly going from green to brown this year. Anyone use one? Worth it? But I think you are focusing more on the protection issue. For what I do, it just makes sense. But they can get to be pricey when your lens has a large front element. I finally stopped buying one for every lens and now just buy them for the different filter sizes. if I'm out with two lenses that have the same filter size, I'll put the UV on one and the polarizer on the other and just switch them as needed.
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