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About Marianne

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    New York


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  • Joined Alamy
    25 May 2010

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  1. Agree with what everyone here has told you - from the fact that "discoverability" is just asking for keyword spamming and IMHO should be removed, or at least should only take into account whether you've added 10 "supertags," that the keyword tool can help you discover relevant words you may have missed, but do not be tempted to chose 50 if your image doesn't warrant it, and especially Joseph's comment that you learn so much from keywording. I'm an info junkie and love researching my images. Some days I wish I'd majored in botany but I've gotten quite the education about the natural world, travel far away and close to home, and all kinds of interesting facts.
  2. I just saw that 11 of your photos are in Live News, so perhaps they edited down the number you sent? They told me that 10 images was usually a good number when I asked recently, and perhaps that explains the response. Live News is the one place where they do edit what goes on the site. I've uploaded and had many more accepted at times, but I think 10 is a good rule of thumb, with a few more if you have a lot of variety. The time difference works against us here in the US as far as News is concerned, which is why I sometimes use my iPhone for the quick upload, but I'd suggest that you contact local media when you know that you're shooting an event. I've licensed breaking news that way and given what you shoot, you probably have too. Sometimes your photos are better than what their regular stringers or staffers might shoot and a good editor will often pay for the better image to help get eyes on the story.
  3. I'm surprised at the response you received. I've been with Live News since they started in 2010 and like you I am in the US. Here's my experience, which should explain my surprise: Although Alamy has never licensed an image as breaking news, many have been licensed subsequently, including years after the fact. Some of my images were certainly news that might appeal to a wide audience - e.g. political figures such as Bill and Hillary Clinton - I live in the same home town they do in the NY suburbs, so even our local Memorial Day Parade has been news when they were marching while in office and during the campaign, the NYC Marathon, Hurricane Sandy, and some major snowstorms - but many were local and some were unlikely to appeal to papers in the UK. I have covered the Parade of Sail in New London, CT for the 2012 bicentennial of the War of 1812 and a few local Fourth of July small town parades in Connecticut (and in both cases being on the wrong side of the pond in more ways than one has not kept Live News from accepting those images). I've also sent along photos of people milling about close to your neck of the woods in the Columbus, OH airport when summer flights were cancelled due to thunderstorms, and lots of suburban weather shots across the US, including one of boats in the harbor in CT that was just licensed to an Albany NY paper years later (thanks to Lisa for finding it in the "Have you found Any Alamy Images March 2019?" thread). I've done a lot of snow and sunset weather shots, and people at various beaches (including lakes in Upstate NY even I never heard of) and many have often sold after the fact. The only time I got a rejection was when I used a filter on a Live News photo uploaded via S, and they took everything else in the bunch, and sent me a message explaining filters were not allowed for any news photos, even via S. (I upload via regular Alamy Live News as well as via the S app, depending upon whether I use a regular camera or my iPhone). The Live News folks have always been very helpful. One time while in Baltimore, MD, a bunch of my images were uploaded without any caption info showing (some glitch I believe) and the news desk called me. I was back out shooting by then and they took dictation of a headline and fixed all the photos for me. Another time I took shots of boats in the harbor in suburban Mamaroneck, NY and realized I misnamed the park and they corrected the headlines for me when I emailed them. And they helped me get press passes a few times (including that War of 1812 Bicentennial). The latest of these was this past November, so it's not as if the policy has changed over the years (other than 24 hrs to upload rather than the old 48). All of the occasions you mention sound as though they should have been accepted as Live News and I'm at a loss to explain the response you received. I have been told that they send the photos to various US news desks. It could be that someone new made a mistake. With another agency I once received a response that did not seem right so I wrote again, explaining my surprise and received an apology and an answer in line with my expectations, as well as an explanation that the initial response came from someone new on the job. So, I'd email explaining your surprise and dismay and ask for a more detailed explanation from one of the supervising editors.
  4. Thanks again! Me too - it's the first one I've had reported. I was reading the article and never heard of Wainscott NY, though I've lived here over half a century - turns out it's a hamlet in East Hampton, which makes sense since the Hamptons and all of Long Island have some of the best beaches anywhere. Looking at home prices I'm not surprised that California, your home state, is still the most expensive. I spent my junior year at Pomona College and even though I was used to the relatively high home prices in suburban Westchester County in NY, I was shocked by how expensive homes in California were by comparison. I remember a friend's grandmother had a tiny two-bedroom cottage on Balboa Island that was worth more than actual mansions were going for in NY.
  5. Thanks Lisa. I knew the location of this image (a small town not far from the Rhode Island border) was not the most expensive town in Connecticut -but was surprised it was Darien rather than Greenwich, CT, although both are beautiful towns, and both are NYC suburbs. Anyhow, thanks for finding my photo.
  6. Chuck, I'm always willing to listen to your advice. You've been at this a long time. We may not always see eye to eye, but I'm an open minded person and I am always eager to learn. As Michael says, the retina screens are unique. I'm quite used to them as my current 2018 MacBook Pro is my second one. I had a 13" MackBook Pro before this one, great for travel but definitely very small for checking image sharpness even at 200%, though I often used it on the road and never a fail here as a result. I mostly use my old 27" iMac to check sharpness and for detailed editing, but using the laptop is easier on my back and with the smaller screen, checking at 100% instead of 200% is definitely a help, since I can see more of the photo. Also, at 200% I'm never sure if any noise I see or CA, etc. is really as bad as I think it is. I had a bunch of beautiful blue hour photos of lighthouses with all sorts of junk in the sky which was filled with beautiful colorful clouds - at first I thought there was awful dust and specks on my lens or in the camera, but it was only on some photos. I finally realized that shooting hand held at 1/20th of a second had made swarms of tiny bugs show up as lines, which were in different positions in different photos. I spent three hours cleaning up one photo at 200% and still wasn't sure if it was okay, but at 100% at "low res" the issue is barely even noticeable and can be resolved by downsizing the 42MP files, a shame but I can't devote three hours to each one. I love my new Sony but sometimes all that super high definition is more than I want! Imagine bugs 100+ yards away high up in the sky showing up in a photograph!
  7. Thanks! I had checked LR before and didn't see the option. After reading your response, I realized I had clicked "get Info" on the outer folder which looks just like the icon. So, glad to see the option is available in both programs.
  8. I'm afraid they are rather dull. They need to be brighter and they need more "pop" which means they also could use some contrast, and maybe a little clarity, a levels adjustment, and maybe dehaze. What settings are you using in your camera for the light meter? If you are exposing for the entire photo, the camera will be picking up those white winter skies, thinking there is much more light than you imagine on a dull winter day. You should spot meter for the buildings. Read your camera's manual about exposure. I would guess that is where you went wrong. You might also need to hit +1 to get a lighter photo. Do you bracket your shots? Try bracketing and see the difference. You can only learn by doing. Go out and take some bracketed shots and that will help you learn how to set your camera's light meter in different situations. If you are using automatic settings, then learn about shooting using aperture or speed priority (which I'd guess you use when shooting sports, but aperture is usually preferable for landscapes and architecture). Since we can't connect via the forum anymore, if you want to follow me back on twitter (@campyphotos - I followed you some days ago) then send me a PM, I'll give you my email and maybe you can send me a couple of the RAW files, tell me what your settings are, and I can do a quick edit, and give you a sense of how much punch they need. I wouldn't normally take this on, but I'd like to help you out. However, you really need to learn to get it right in the camera. Image ID: RRW2FE (snow) and Image ID: RNCA7E would be good choices. I've been shooting for many years now and I can still end up with a shot that needs the shadows raised or even an entire exposure adjustment, but most shots should look good when you shoot them. Learn to check the shots . How is the screen on your camera set? Maybe it's too light giving you a false sense of how the shot looks. That's why learning how to read a histogram is essential for you. Honestly, I rarely glance at mine because I learned to set exposure and aperture on a Yashica rangefinder camera with film in the late 1970's as a high school senior. It was my dad's old camera and the light meter did not work. I read all I could about exposure and looked at the info on the different films I was using, and set my aperture and speed accordingly. I mostly shoot in manual mode to this day because I studied and learned to get my exposure right. Prints don't lie. And film was expensive for a 17-year-old, since I went through a lot of it. Today, you have a histogram and you can see what you've shot, but don't let the fact that you can correct so much in Lightroom or Photoshop make you forget that getting it right in the camera is always the best practice. Concentrate on learning your craft rather than uploading hundreds of photos for a month and you'll be surprised at how much better you feel about your work. Maybe an experienced friend from those club competitions can sit down with you and go over the images on their computer to help you see the difference between what you are uploading and how they should look. What computer are you using that you can't calibrate the screen? Laptop screens are tough to calibrate, but your colors look okay. The laptop should still give you a sense of how the photos look even if it's not perfect. I can't imagine trying to check them out on a flat screen tv although it's a great way to show clients images and it gets them to buy more. (If you've got a Retina Screen see the new topic I just started). Seriously though, go out and shoot and learn to make photos that pop, then start up loading again. Spring weather should be coming soon, it's a great time to learn. Good luck!
  9. Yep but there are many blogs that say it stand for "Insertion Order" and others from 2013 and later say it stands for input/output and makes tech sites sound techier while others, which are probably correct, like you, note that note it is a hot choice for startups for all these reasons but that it it in fact the British Indian Ocean Territory but a good choice since the .io domain is unrestricted to country: https://blog.101domain.com/marketing-strategy/meaning-io-domain Anyway, I like Cyberduck - it works well. I used to use the FTP via my Photoshelter site and this is easier and works better. I think I had problems when I first set up Filezilla for Alamy - this was back in around 2011, so I've just stuck with Cyberduck because it works.
  10. So glad I discovered this. I've been told by many in the forum to check my photos for sharpness at 200% on a Retina Display screen and have been doing so for some years now on my MacBook Pro when I am out and not able to use my iMac which has a regular screen, since the Retina Display screen makes everything appear so sharp. No more! I was toodling around on Adobe's site and came across this method for making the display on your Retina Screen emulate a regular screen in Photoshop, which means I get a better sense of how sharp an image really is, whether I may want to downsize slightly, and what any noise may actually look like. It also makes me more comfortable that I haven't oversharpeded my RAW photos when I view them this way. I thought this might be helpful for others who rely on their laptops while traveling. I still use 200% to check for dust. http://blogs.adobe.com/jkost/2013/01/viewing-photoshop-cs6-in-low-resolution-on-a-retina-display.html Read the first paragraph - the rest tells you how to download the correct version, etc if you have problems. I'm sure most of you are familiar with Julianne Kost, but for any photo newbies or those who just want to keep up with what's new in Photoshop and Lightroom and keep improving their skills, I highly recommend Julianne Kost's blogs and tutorials. I've taken classes with her at PhotoExpo and read her stuff/watch her videos a lot. Great way to learn & keep my skills sharp. There is so much you can do in Photoshop and Lightroom, that there is always something new to learn. If you have other tips for checking sharpness, feel free to add them to this discussion.
  11. I also recommend Filezilla as well as Cyberduck for a MAC. I use Filezilla for some of my clients but have Cyberduck set up for Alamy. I should use it more often, especially with larger files. Cyberduck is here: https://cyberduck.io/download/ (Although they have changed their domain to an insertion order (io), you can download the software for free from that page or make a donation or find it in the Mac app store)
  12. Since we have gotten off topic here, I'll try to offer Estelle some advice regarding the underexposed images. Set your monitor brightness at the midpoint. I don't know what equipment you have and it has been over a decade since I've used a PC, but on a MAC there is that little light icon and you should slide it so that it is right in the middle. That will give you a good idea of how your photos will look in terms of exposure. I would also say that you need to learn to trust the histogram - and if you have a well-exposed photo that has a nice spread from light to dark, tweak your monitor's brightness settings until the photo looks correct. Read as much as you can online or in photography books about the basics and see if there are any classes in your area that you can attend. Here in the US we have community colleges (two-year institutions). Although I have a graduate degree, adults are able to sign up for classes there and that is how I learned Photoshop, studio lighting, and other helpful things taking classes over the years, especially when I started out. I was lucky enough to have worked in Manhattan for years as an attorney and needing a creative outlet took classes at ICP, the International Center for Photography in the 1980's, many years ago. I didn't start shooting professionally until I was in my 40's, which is when .I took classes locally, One of my professors at the local community college also taught there, but there are often good photographers who teach classes no matter where you live. High schools here also often have continuing education classes again that any adult can take. Perhaps you have something similar where you live? (the UK I'm guessing). I still take classes time to time, mostly to get my creative juices flowing. If your health limits you so that you don't think you can guarantee you'll be able to show up every week for a class and health or finances limit your ability to take an intensive week-long or full weekend class, the other options that are usually offered, perhaps one of the pros in your area can help. Maybe you can work with them as an assistant, make some money helping them out and learn as you go - or perhaps if you say you can't show up reliably enough, you can do some assistant work in exchange for them teaching you proper exposure and processing. Or perhaps one will look at your portfolio with you and show you how to fix the issues with your photos. I worked as a photographer's assistant 3 days a week back in the mid-2000's in the suburbs while I was shooting assignments (after taking some of the classes mentioned), for $28/hour. I'd see assistant jobs in Manhattan, where salaries tend to be significantly higher, for only $12/hour, which seemed ludicrously low to me, so like others here, I'd advise you to make sure you are paid what you are worth, and beware of who is telling you what the "going rate" is. If you are being paid to shoot by the club and then being paid additionally by individuals purchasing the photos, your actual hourly wage may be higher, but it still seems very low. I started out charging $90/hour-$750/day many years ago to shoot and $25/hour additional for processing (since I was just learning Photoshop) and charge around $250/hour now, which includes only the shoot itself and subsequent minor adjustments to images, with additional fees for major edits & of course additional fees for prints or web images or albums (I don't do weddings, just the occasional party, and shoots for local small businesses). For flat fee work, I figure my hourly rate x how many prints they want, and estimate how long it will take, then add a daily shoot rate, with a cushion, to arrive at a fee. I also do some low-paying work shooting for local magazines @ $50-$100 per photo, which is really more for advertising since it can help me get work and may give me images for stock. All of these fees are quite low, IMHO, but fees for photography have remained stagnant for some years now in my area, and health issues including the fear of not being able to show up due to chronic illnesses that can flare up, have kept me from doing more than the occasional job, so I can relate to your concerns. If I was shooting weddings or shooting more often, I'd be charging at least twice as much. I turn down people seeking cheaper options; some small businesses have come back to me, realizing you get what you pay for. Other people who really can't afford my rates, often say they wish they could afford me. I paid a young talented photographer significantly more than my usual rate for my daughter's wedding out in the midwest last year, and there were many who charged less than half her rate, but I don't see the point in paying for mediocre work, although I know many people who put price ahead of product. So, work on improving your craft and then don't be afraid to charge what you're worth. Since we have gotten so off topic here, I thought of starting another thread on what to charge for assignment work, but this seems to have gone in that direction. Back to the OP's original question. Personally, I think a willingness (or perhaps resignation) to accept lower per license prices for stock images in exchange for an overall higher RPI, is a different thing than an unwillingness to work for less than you are worth. As a young lawyer in Manhattan, my firm charged $250/hr for my work in the 1980's - and here I am charging that decades later for my photography, but society values the two skills differently, and I made the decision to do what I love, but that doesn't mean I'll just give my work away. I look at a shoot that I do for stock (mostly travel) and see how long it takes me to earn back the costs and start making a profit on it, and try to figure out the best way to make the highest RPI. If it is a shoot in a destination that I know will sell a lot, putting those photos on a site with a lower return per license but a higher return per image probably is the way to go, if I want to make a profit from that trip. If it is a still life shoot I've done at home with a concept that will sell, again, getting the highest return per image makes the most sense. If, however, I've gotten shots that I foresee selling as fine art, then my decision is different. If it is a travel shot, it might go on here as RM and it might not be uploaded as stock at all. Prosaic images aren't commodities, but I have learned that treating them as something precious really will hurt my bottom line. This is a business after all. I do not intend to be a starving artist. There are also some benefits to the micro model. I have one image that I took in 2009 that, honestly, I oversaturated, trying to give it a "stock" look and I kind of hate it now, but when I search for a particular high end destination, that photo is on the web on everything from travel sites, B&B's, nursing homes, realtor's, and even in some magazines and newspapers. It has earned me a significant sum, while others from that same destination, normally processed, have made high end travel books and sold as fine art, but it took several of those unquestionably better photos to earn as much as the "stock-y" one. I am much prouder of the better images, but that one hyper-saturated photo paid for the 4-day trip, including a stay at a lovely B&B. Its ubiquity also means that many of my photos from that destination tend to come up in a google search, and it still sells often even a decade later. Ultimately, we all need to do what works for us and what we feel comfortable with. There are people on here who said they won't sell equipment they don't use for a fraction of what it cost them on principal. I sold most of my Nikon equipment early last year, some for close to what it cost me and some for a fraction of what I paid, and bought a new Sony A7rii and some lenses. If the Nikon mirrorless cameras came out sooner, I might have kept all of it, but honestly I'm not sorry for my decision. I wish I'd upgraded to a better camera sooner, but it took me time to get to the point where I could let go of the concept of sunk costs. The photos on my hard drive are there, I shot them and have processed many (maybe not the same as sunk costs, but similar since the trips cost me money and there is the value of my time). So, if the best market for some of those images is not here licensing for $250 a pop as it might have been 5-10 years ago, then I need to put them somewhere where they will earn me less or perhaps, less per "sale" but much more overall, or they can sit on my hard drive taking up space and earring me nothing because I refuse to license them for less per "sale" than I believe they are worth. Uploading to Alamy does not insure, after all, that they won't be licensed for a few dollars. Four of my last five sales were for $6.99-$15, netting me $3.49-$7.50, and the fifth earned me $30, thanks to the new commission, about what I'd earn for a normal "extended" license on a micro site, and there is not enough volume for those small prices to add up. Looking at the images sold thread this month has been very discouraging, and convinced me that spreading my backlog of images across both this site and others is the way to go.
  13. Sigma just announced new Sony zooms: https://www.fullexposure.photography/sigma-e-mount-lenses-sony/ EDIT: I posted too soon - it looked like there were zooms from my search and then I started reading - just two prime art lenses for now with 7 more (primes) to come and rumors of zooms in the works...
  14. You're welcome. Glad it was better than just saying "good job." Thanks for asking me to look again with a critical eye. It gives you a sense of who the other folks a=on the forum are when we really look at large parts of their portfolios - a fuller picture than just these discussions. Enjoyed getting a little more sense of who you are.
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