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Posts posted by Marianne

  1. 5 hours ago, MizBrown said:


    I was in a community gardens group in Philadelphia and one of the other gardeners had a cold frame made of used windows over his bed, if I remember correctly, and had surviving greens of various kinds throughout the winter.  NYC is 90 miles north of that.  Should be able to grow cold hardy greens through most winters: kale (I had some Russian kale overwinter without protection there), turnip greens, some cabbages, bok choi, and possibly oriental radishes.  Completely year round at least as far north as Philly.  Fruiting crops like tomatoes and peppers, probably a few weeks extension, though there are some organic tricks like planting in compost over horse manure that give some warmth for a bit long.   Starting plants or protecting plants from late frost, yeah, but the real thing to do is use a cold frame for greens.   I used to raise a few bok choi plants in an unheated porch in rural Virginia, and have seen collards in the ground still green in December in Washington, DC.   Some plants can freeze and recover.


    Thanks so much for the info! We saved only one old window when we replaced ours to use as a frame - wish I'd saved more but I bet they are not too hard to find. I'm an hour north of NYC so it's a tad colder here but I bet those greens would stay for a while, at least into November. I was going to grow kale but with many rabbits around it seemed like it would be a lost cause, but it's one of my favorites! A cold frame would do double duty as a great way to protect greens from our resident rabbits in the warm months, provided I dug down and used some chicken wire in the ground and made the side walls tall enough that they couldn't jump over. 


    I picked a bunch of okra today and am going to try my hand at making gumbo. It's been fun to grow food and I'm inspired to do more next year. Took a ton of photos today as I harvested my few veggies and picked some flowers. Thanks again for the info. I knew there were many experienced gardeners here. I bet where you are now you can grow some amazing tropical plants year round!

  2. Editorial website, low $$

    I spent a single day (about 9 hours) on Nantucket 10 years ago and have earned more from that trip via stock sales than any other before or since.  I have another view of this lighthouse that has earned me a few $1,000 (between sales here and elsewhere), and is among my top 10 best stock photo sellers. I uploaded this one a few years ago when I took a second look at the shoot as I was transferring backups to a new hard drive, and it sold here for $250 not long after. It's sold again a couple of times since though for consecutively lower prices each time. 

    I miss summer vacations. And fall vacations...and $$$ sales...


    Sankaty Head Lighthouse Nantucket Massachusetts, built in 1850, sweeping view of the moors and sea in autumn fall Stock Photo

    • Like 3

  3. Lots of creativity! Thanks so much for including one of mine. 

    My vote brought the two top contenders closer - although there were so many good ones, as a cat lover I could not resist TeeCee's adorably creative entry.

    Hubby wanted me to vote for myself LOL - I explained that it's a British contest and unlike we hyper-competitive Yanks, it's just not done.  

    Many more flowers in the garden today but it's raining too much to take pix. Had some fresh garden tomatoes in our sandwiches - sublime - now I know why so many people grow their own. I want to build a cold frame like the beautiful one above so I can grow them year round. A neighbor up the street has a beautiful house built in the 1800s (that's ancient here in NY) with a huge greenhouse attached (they also have two ponds and a waterfall, and a tennis court). If it weren't for Covid, I'd really consider asking if I could keep my potted tomato plant there over the winter - wonder if it would keep growing? It's in a huge fabric planter, doing as well the several others planted in the ground. I looked at some bespoke greenhouses built by a British company advertising in the NY Times (they send their builders over here) - I think the tiny model started at around $50K - would be nice to be rich. I know there are much more affordable options out there but hadn't thought about the added expense of keeping it heated. So I realized that a cold frame to start the veggies early and keep plants alive later into the year is the most reasonable option. A project for next spring? How long does it extend the season on either end?

     Hope you all have a lovely last week of summer!


    • Like 1

  4. I don't have any photos of the English countryside, but I am expecting a couple of 2021 calendars from a client that often supplements their images with many from Alamy (although last year it seems they used Getty instead). They usually send out the calendars as they are published in August, but I'm guessing they are late this year due to Covid, and payment usually arrives late December, early January. Anyway, I'll check for Alamy contributors and report back if I find any. 

  5. 9 minutes ago, Shergar said:

     The August Challenge: Homegrown or Home brewed has now closed a big thank you to those that entered .

    I will list the final 8 in the morning so the voting can begin.




    I wrote too much but while you were typing - that's what I get for being chatty - will you please consider my final entry - I was waiting for it to process while I wrote and uploaded it just before 8 pm EDT. Thanks Duncan!

  6. In addition to growing food for the first time (other than herbs) I hoped to attract more butterflies to my garden this year. Most of my spirea bushes, a great source of butterflies and bumble bees, died off over the winter.  I cut back the ones that were surviving but they did not bloom this year. My bee balm is still only about a foot tall and the leaves are pocked with holes despite my best efforts to control the slugs using only organic methods (beer in tins level with the ground and ground egg shells surrounding the plants-which has worked in the past for other plants), my salvia (those little plants I started from seed over the winter) are 4 to 5 feet tall but the buds are all still green and my few calendula that flowered lasted a day or two, and the tomato flowers are past, various other heirloom seeds are still a few inches tall after months in the sun with tender care, so my only flowering plants at the moment, despite my herculean efforts, are my zinnias. They rewarded me today by attracting a gorgeous swallowtail butterfly - usually I get them near the end of their short lives with ragged tails but this one was perfect. So, here's my final homegrown photo just uploaded (glad we are on California time - it's still the 31st here in NY for 4 more hours but GMT always catches me short). So, here's my butterfly garden:




    • Like 1

  7. My first foray into vegetable gardening - Young tomato plants hardening off before planting in the garden - and Blue Salvia seedlings. And my 20-year-old Wellies (I've done some flower gardening in the past):



    I need to take and upload some more now that you can actually see the tomatoes. Stay tuned. 😎

    • Like 2

  8. On 22/07/2020 at 11:34, Betty LaRue said:

    What’s wrong with my back, needles can’t fix. Treatment from breast cancer damaged my immune system. Then the extreme stress of caring for my husband who had dementia, (who, during his hallucinations said if he had a gun he would kill me) and the fact I was only getting 5 hours of sleep a night for several years because of needing to be ever watchful, damaged my immune response further. The Candida everyone has in their bodies went rampant in mine, (Systemic Candida) attacking my whole respiratory system including throat and lungs. I could never rest when I was ill because my husband wouldn’t allow it, he’d bang on the door 5 minutes after I laid down and yell, “get up” so I was like a zombie. Then it attacked my spine and caused it to collapse sideways at the bottom 3 years ago. The only way to fix it is surgery.  
    But I don’t have any aversion to acupuncture, even if it did hurt I have a stiff upper lip, and it might help the pain. I still have Candida always lurking but it is mild now, and I can stop it from becoming severe easily when it blooms.
    I’m sorry you have to deal with that stuff, Marianne. Handling it isn’t for sissies, that’s for sure.
    On a good note, my Althea shrubs are beautifully blooming, I picked a handful of cherry tomatoes and two slicers this morning. And we had an inch of much-needed rain yesterday morning. I backed my car out and let the rain wash it! 😄


    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. 

  9. On 20/07/2020 at 19:29, Betty LaRue said:

    Ireland was always on my bucket list, Michael. From what I know, I have Irish and Scottish in my family tree. I’ve always wished to see Ireland over Italy and France.
    Another place I desired to go was the great pyramids of Egypt. But I don’t do well in hot climates, or places of unrest. Anything to do with the tombs, Pharaohs, and artifacts is fascinating.
    I’m close to being disabled now because of back issues. I can go shopping, but an hour is about it. On bad days, less. I came out of Home Depot after looking for a drill bit a few months ago. My car was about 30 yards away. Pain bad, causing my legs to not work well. I looked around to see if another person was around who could help me.  Nada. I thought I’d have to sit down in the middle of the parking lot, but gritted it out and shuffled to my car.  Traveling might not be possible for me now. Forget carrying luggage, I can’t. I would never, not in a million years, ask a traveling companion to push me around in a wheelchair.(Hmmm, maybe I can hire a pool boy. :lol:)  About all I can carry for any length of time is my camera in my hands. Not a camera bag.

    But hey! I get on the floor and do my physical therapy exercises every day, and I can get up without hanging onto anything! The exercises have strengthened my core. Even 10 years ago I couldn’t do that.

    If I elect to have surgery, it will involve rods and screws per my neurologist. A truly major surgery.  A whole year to recover. And whether I’d be better off is an unknown. Meanwhile, I can go places in my car, shoot out the window or get out and walk for short distances to photograph things. I make lemonade.
    And on a good day, I can stand long enough to make a pie!


    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. 

  10. 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!

  11. 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:
    • Upvote 1

  12. 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). 

  13. 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.

  14. 1 hour ago, John Mitchell said:


    Of course, more clients means more contributors, which in turn means more competition. But that's life in the big city.


    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. 

  15. 46 minutes ago, John Mitchell said:


    That is what I was thinking. There are probably customers who sympathize with SS contributors. Also, some buyers may not like the instability caused by all the friction. Then there is the matter of many contributors deactivating their accounts and reducing the number of images available. All this must be good for Alamy and hopefully us as well.


    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. 



  16. 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. 





    • Like 1

  17. 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:



    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. 

  18. 12 hours ago, John Mitchell said:


    Hmmm... Could this have something to do with goings-on at a certain big MS agency, I wonder. 🤔


    7 hours ago, Stokie said:


    Have I read this wrong, but doesn't it mean 14% more people buying images rather than 14% more contributors?




    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. 

  19. 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. 

    • Like 2
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