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Everything posted by Marianne

  1. A sunstar last autumn - guess I"d call this earth air and fire, at a park near my home in NY: Earth Air and Water in Nevada's Valley of Fire: Air and Fire - A composite of long exposure fireworks taken at the Kensico Dam in Thornwood, NY -
  2. So very sorry for all you've been through Betty - acupuncture helps with immune system issues too - it could ease the pain pre-surgery - and those needles look scary but they don't hurt - I usually fall asleep during my treatments.
  3. So sorry to hear that Betty. Have you tried acupuncture? I'd give it a try before surgery. I lost the use of my right arm due to a herniated disk and had others causing pain - the doctor said I had a week before it would become permanent. they said they'd need to put in a cadaver disK. I couldn't face it, tried acupuncture instead and It really saved me. It acts up from time to time but a few treatments get me back to normal. I usually combine it with chiropractic - a gentle non-cracking type called network care. If you haven't tried it acupuncture do it - those needles look scary but they don't hurt.
  4. For all you gardeners out there - my mint doesn't seem to be doing too well - getting brown and yellow leaves in the pot and in the ground. Everything else is exploding growth-wise and bright healthy green. We've had plenty of rain so I haven't had to water in a week, but the ground and the soil in the pots is draining well, so I don't think they are overwatered. they are in full sun and it's been 90 degrees out. Water every day despite rain the day before? I read that I should water every 2 to 3 days if it doesn't rain. Thoughts? I pulled out the weeds you can see in the plants I was potting. The herbs and citronella were the only ones not grown from seed because I could not find any seeds even way back in March!
  5. Lots of great pix! Love the cat, birds, and rainbow especially! My husband found us this beautiful spot to hike, socially distanced, with masks, doing our part to keep the NY curve down. I only had my iPhone along, promising him I'd walk rather than shoot, but thankfully there's S. It's about 40 minutes north of us, a trail on the old West Point Foundry. We're thinking when all calms down we may move upstate a bit, though still close enough to get into the city: Love the panorama app on the iPhone Wineberries, an invasive plant similar to raspberries and blackberries, that apparently some gardeners love because they fruit twice a year and do well in all kinds of soil and conditions - including growing profusely in the shade if our walk was any indication. I really like the iPhone 11, both for sharpness and in low light. I feel like it's a great backup camera. My baby tomato plants. They've grown so fast, the other day hubby remarked they were the size of toddlers. They'll be grammar school sized by the weekend if they keep it up. I gave a few plants to our new neighbor who is trying his hand at gardening. Had to include a view with my Wellies (did I spell that right?): An potting herbs:
  6. Great challenge so many fun images, it took me a while to choose. Was feeling kinda wiped out from a long day and seeing one of mine in the running made my day - thanks so much! (And despite being a brash American I did not vote for myself - I've been in this British forum too long so I know better).
  7. I love the Nik filters but don't plan to upgrade. I bought some of them (Color Effex, Vivenza, Silver Effex) years ago and got the rest when Google bought them out. They haven't worked in PS for me for a while but work well in LR, and the additions DxO have added don't seem worth it to me at the moment. I checked out the new stuff on their site and it didn't really excite me. I still use the Nik filters a lot - Silver Effex, Color Effex and Analog 2 - but I'm trying not to add more stuff to my workflow, keeping as much in LR as I can, and if I upgrade I know I'll feel like I need to use them all the time. LR fixes perspective quite well for me and I tend to use my 20mm Nikon lens on my Sony a lot, and if I keep it level most photos don't need fixing, so I'm going to pass for now.
  8. I'm a freelancer in my "day job" so believe me I can relate.
  9. I remember when places like Alamy and others had 8 million images and I was amazed that people found and licensed my images. Now there are over 205 million and I have more sales than when I started, but the competition grows all the time. My biggest concern right now is that my views are down by about 35%, but with the pandemic and my portfolio being mostly travel, it's not surprising. Who knows what the future will bring.
  10. Ironically by reading and responding to this discussion I realized that since my images at ss are no longer available there, it means that many of my photos are now only available here. I had added many from Alamy to ss at the end of 2019, since I was seeing shrinking sales here along with much lower prices, but a resurgence of growth there. Turns out it was bad timing on my part, though the move was a good earning one for me, so maybe not. Anyway, now that things have changed, I think I may make many exclusive to Alamy and see how that works out. The response to falling sales can be giving up, or it can be finding new ways to increase sales. I continued to upload heavily in 2019 and early 2020. Finding a way to earn more from the sales I make here seems like a good additional strategy. I'm encouraged that Alamy's client base is suddenly growing. Europe is ahead of the US in terms of beginning to recover from the Covid crisis, so it makes sense that clients may be growing at a photo agency across the pond, especially as one of their competitors here in NY is experiencing "friction," as you say. I'd think that ss's move might also be seen as an admission that things aren't going so well, and that might discourage clients from committing to long-term contracts, though for larger companies it's not a big outlay. But for smaller companies in the current uncertain economic environment, it may well be significant. Designers and other small business customers are also more likely to identify with the plight of those shafted by the latest move. Glad I didn't tell the person considering going totally exclusive that he was "crazy," though I stand by my advice that I would not put all my eggs in one basket. I have images that are doing well on other sites, earning as much or more than I think they would here so I'm not making changes to those, but I have others that have been licensed here before or which are as likely to be licensed here as elsewhere that I may as well mark exclusive. I can always revisit my decision in six month when I assess how things have gone for 2020. And since Covid may still be an issue in December, I may just give it more time than that.
  11. Here is an interview with Masanori Sako, head of Olympus Global Marketing, from March 2020, just a few months ago (translated from the French to English) in which he discusses new products launching in 2020, their new manufacturing in Vietnam, and their commitment to micro 4/3 - it would seem that their commitment to keeping the OMD models and Zuiko lenses viable may be accomplished with this latest sale. It would have been crazy for them to set up a new manufacturing plant for the newest M1 and M5 cameras so close to the sale if it wasn't in aid of keeping their OMD line going with that sale, so hopefully this bodes well for the future of the brand. Micro 4/3 offers something that full frame does not, and I hope the new owners keep the business going. https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=auto&tl=en&u=https%3A%2F%2Fphototrend.fr%2F2020%2F03%2Finterview-olympus-masanori-sako-japon-2020%2F
  12. Yes, that's what Olympus says on its website: https://www.olympus-global.com/news/2020/nr01695.html Not finding much else out there but the announcement came today so not surprising. Hopefully we'll hear more soon. Won't know until 2021 I guess how it will work out.
  13. Olympus has just announced they are leaving the camera equipment business completely. They are selling to a Japanese investment group. No way to know what this will mean for sure, but given how investment groups destroyed G I'm sad to hear this news. My very first SLR, a gift from my dad when I was a junior in college back in the late 1970s, was an Olympus OM-1, which my daughter used when she took photography in college. In fact, I still use the collection of lenses I got for that camera on my OMD E-1 and on my Sony mirrorless. To my surprise, even after buying my Sony full frame, I still use my Oly a lot, and before Covid hit I was planning to buy a travel zoom for that wonderful light little mirrorless for a trip to Europe which we have put off indefinitely. I hope that this doesn't mean the new owners will pare down the business so much in an attempt to appeal to consumers, but if they are focusing on the OMD and Zuiko brands, perhaps those of us who love our Oly's will be lucky and it will mean that they'll focus on pros and their higher end cameras and lenses. Panasonic is now working with Leica more and seems to have turned away from micro 4/3 and while micro 4/3 may not be the highest resolution, it is a perfect compromise for those of us who want high quality super light camera equipment. Here's the link: https://www.theverge.com/2020/6/24/21301460/olympus-selling-camera-division-jip-vaio It's from an investment site, my hubby just sent it to me. I'm going to see what other info is out there and will add new links when I find additional info.
  14. A lot of former ss contributors have said they are encouraging their clients to license images elsewhere. Many people don't care how a company treats their workers/suppliers, but many do, so the uptick in new clients Alamy is seeing could indeed be a result of the goings-on at that big MS agency. I agree with John's assessment. Since my zooms have finally risen this month, I hope that means a few of those new clients are looking and that they choose my work. This current drought has lasted too long.
  15. My average views are less than two-thirds of usual volume, but zooms are good. Last year at this time I thought I was headed for a BYE by a huge margin since my revenue by the end of June 2019 was a hairsbreadth below all of 2018, then the doldrums hit and I had sales but for such low $ for the rest of the year that I ended up pretty much even in 2018 and 2019. I grew my portfolio and anticipated good things but it was a bust. I suppose things could as easily change for the better although with a portfolio heavy on travel it could be a while. I'm grappling with whether photography is viable anymore or at least for the next year, but I love it and don't want to give up something I had hoped to stay active in even after retirement age, which I'm edging ever closer to. I don't expect stock to be a source of significant revenue as I had initially envisioned back some years ago, but I felt it would be a good way to keep active into my 70's and beyond. I've been shooting stock since 2008 and can't imagine what it would be like to retrain myself to go on a trip and shot solely for my own enjoyment LOL. Given the current extraordinary times, it is hard to really extrapolate what the rest of the year will bring. Covid numbers are continuing to go down here in New York State, but so much of the country has a curve that is growing, so it's impossible to guess how things will shake out. I'm very fortunate that my husband is in an essential business and that while he is completely on commission he's ahead of last year and has a boss who is happy to let him work from home since I'm at heightened risk. I have 1/3rd of an acre, and a 100 square foot new plot of land on which I'm growing veggies and flowers, so while I wish my Alamy sales hadn't disappeared, we have food shelter and income, not to mention health insurance, good doctors, and neighbors who wear face masks, more than many of my fellow humans these days. Alamy has always been feast or famine for me, so I'll wait it out and eventually things will take a turn for the better.
  16. Worst year ever here for me. Nothing since February.
  17. New York Times Sunday June 21, 2020: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/20/at-home/coronavirus-share-your-backyard-pool.html?action=click&block=more_in_recirc&impression_id=599336929&index=3&name=STYLN_more_in_reopening&pgtype=Article&region=footer&variant=2_variant Cavan Images, Alamy WMN5XW Good to see NYT using an Alamy image instead of ss, and this image is also available on Offset, ss's higher end brand. EDIT - kudos to Michael just saw he already saw this
  18. I went for nearly 2 months without zooms, and in the past couple of days they shot up to their highest point in a year, including a run today on images I originally made in response to the economic downturn in 2008 - ironic that the bad economy that killed my zooms is now helping them. With the effects of the pandemic, it's not surprising things are bad. You're not alone seeing the effects.
  19. I contribute to two other RM agencies but until about mid-2019 Alamy did much better for my RM images than they did (small European boutique agencies with a 50% split, but 50% of very little isn't worth it), so I have a some RM images here that are exclusive, but due to Alamy's poor returns on personal use licenses, compared to the $200+ I generally receive per sale on POD sItes, I prefer to have some of my RF images that sell well on my POD sites on a micro (not ss) which, while sale prices are low, does not cannibalize my POD sales, which earn me several times what I make on Alamy yearly. I'm sure I'm losing sales here as a result, but I make a lot more POD sales, so it's not worth the risk. With so few outlets for RM work, it's a tough choice but more of my work is RF so I have options. Having options is important to me. I worry about having all my eggs in one basket, and so that's another reason going completely exclusive would never work for me. However, now that ss has pulled a fast one, I will probably add many more of my editorial RF images here and make them exclusive. As an American, I found splitting my editorial images between Alamy and ss gave me a much better return (usu better on ss, actually, but I've had some $250-450 editorial sales here which beat anything I'd make on ss). American travel images sell well for me here, but general news and soft news do (I should say, did) better elsewhere. Now Alamy is my best option for editorial, other than direct licensing, which is permitted by the "exclusivity" clause. Alamy generally treats us pretty well and they are great to deal with. The other A is also quite supportive of their contributors, and sales there are growing well, but I rarely make more than 99 cents for a download, my best single download there this year was $20, for a photo of a brick wall. They sell a lot more backgrounds and traditionally stocky type stuff, the kind of images I rarely sell here but if your work is more travel, landscape and editorial, then going exclusive here might make sense for you. Some things to consider. Good luck!
  20. Nice photos. Especially the wildlife images. Nothing really to add to what the others said except to say welcome to the forum & to Alamy & good luck!
  21. I spent all day Sunday and Monday working on my garden. Such gorgeous weather. It was great to work so hard outside.
  22. I thought you didn't want politics in the forum. What has this guy to do with ss? I think politics permeates most aspects of our lives, but I fail to see the connection here, just random liberal baiting? 😎 PS if you get a red arrow, it's not from me. I'd rather speak my mind than hide behind a button. (Just sayin' cause I know you're gonna get them). No, I'm not gonna take the bait, but you know how to fish don't you?
  23. I've always felt conflicted about microstock, though I suppose by the forum's standards I'm seen as a supporter, since I started at both Alamy & ss in 2008. I like to think that my 100 or so image experiment there and on two other micros (now up to about 500 after many years) have not contributed to photography prices' downfall, but I guess they all add up so I'm guilty, in part. However, I think that the ease of digital photography, and the wider public's seeming inability to tell a bad photograph from a good one, or their lack of caring, and the concept that intellectual property, especially if it's on the internet, should be free, has done more to destroy value. The decline of print journalism and the even more marked decline of print advertising, which pays for most of that journalism, has had a much more marked impact. There are more images than ever uploaded, shared, and purchased by buyers today than ever, so it is no surprise that most, but not all, buyers look at price first. Until the past year, I kept my two portfolios separate, with maybe an overlap of about 25-30 images, and put my best work on Alamy from the time I started in 2008 for fear that I'd lose out on higher value sales if my portfolios were the same as well as my reluctance to license via the micros. The real value that microstock had for me, however, coming to the profession late in life without a degree in photography, was that multiple sales a day from an initial portfolio of 80 images taught me what buyers were looking for, something my meager sales on Alamy when I started did not. But I always championed Alamy over the micros, despite my lopsided sales experience, and my willingness to supply images to the micros. My micro portfolios were mostly backgrounds and concepts, with a handful of travel and editorial. They all sold well and more than 70% of my micro images that are over a year old have sold at least once, many 100s (some >1000 times). A set of simple backgrounds I shot the first day I got my lensbaby in 2012 paid for the price of the lens within a month or so. In fairness, so did a photo I took on Cape Cod that sold here - it paid for a 4-day trip (meals and gas - I stayed with a friend) within a month or so after retuning from the trip. (I can argue both sides, it's the recovering lawyer in me). Eight years later, those 10 lensbaby images still earn me over $100 a year on one or two of those sites. None of my Alamy images have earned me over $1,000 each, but several of my microstock images have. With a portfolio 1/8th to 1/4 the size on each of the top 3 micros, most years I made more on each microsite than I made here and ss always beat every one by a mile, so I get the lure, seeing that map with worldwide sales and watching it trounce the higher priced competitors had its appeal. But I appreciate the downside. But it is not just photography that has suffered, which is why I think that while microstock may be a factor, it may also be a symptom of the greater market softening, and not actually the cause, though probably a little of both. Here's why I say that. Photo assignment work has been my bread and butter, along with some direct stock photo sales and writing. And fees for all three stayed at the same level for many years, while costs to run my business, not to mention the general cost of living, went up. Then, sales here dropped precipitously despite my adding more images. Editorial clients also dropped their rates, claiming drops in advertising, subscriptions, etc. (The ones who hadn't gone out of business - over two dozen of my former clients no longer exist). Anyway, as far as ss is concerned, I've disabled my portfolio, forever if they don't reverse course and I intend to delete it if they stick with the 15% commission. I'm not holding my breathe. If I can get 99 cents on Adobe, or $15 here, I'm not going to take 10 cents from ss, but frankly the real issue is that editorial assignment work is barely worth the rates offered anymore. Five years ago if you told me I'd even consider 99 cents or $15 worth uploading for I'd have laughed. When I started making significantly more on FAA than on stock sites, I felt like things had gone haywire. (April was an awesome month when people got their stimulus checks, now that's dried up too - ah, the consumer society). That seems to be the only place where I net around $250 per sale anymore. National magazines are still paying about $200-300 for a quarter page image (stock not assignment), the same prices they were paying back in 2010 when I made my first direct license sales. It's barely sustainable. But at nearly 62, what to do? A lot of soul searching and exploring other markets. Maybe, like Alexandre, I'll go back to practicing law...😎
  24. Green bucket: Green bike rack in Baltimore, Maryland: Green bamboo photo illustration:
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