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Everything posted by Marianne

  1. The war against the press, in fact against everyone's freedom of speech in this country, and against people having actual facts upon which they can then base their opinions, is frightening. That, coupled with how much data corporations and the government collect on all of us, I think even George Orwell would be truly frightened.
  2. Not a clue but why buy someone's old and maybe not so well maintained camera when you can get the one you have cared for fixed? I was assuming the OP was weighing the benefit of fixing what he has vs. buying new. My point was that replacing a shutter isn't a big deal. But getting a newer model used from a reputable seller is another option.
  3. There should be a way for contributors to report inaccurate captions. Then, obviously someone on the Alamy team would have to check if the report is correct and determine if it's an honest mistake or if the contributors with the spam or inaccurate keywords is a repeat offender. Might require too much work on Alamy's part but I know of at least one other agency that has a partially automated system. They tell you an image has been flagged and you reply. When I started out I mistakenly tagged a building in Scotland, and after correcting my mistake it's gone on to be licensed countless times. Keywording takes knowledge and lots of research, and the forum here can help. I just know that I've had people approach me through my website for images of certain small towns on the east coast and twice now they've mentioned how hard it was to find those images, hence I've put many on Alamy as exclusive as well as licensing them directly via Photoshelter. I've also seen those images licensed here and, although properly captioned by me, have had newspapers across the country misidentify the town using a shot that could have been taken anywhere in the state. That's the other problem, rushed editors who settle for anything, as newspaper staffs dwindle and their staffs are no longer trained. l took a few classes toward a master's in journalism back in 1980, then got a job as a newspaper reporter and photographer. A year later I concluded that my efforts were better spent getting a law degree. Even then a journalism degree seemed like a luxury that would not pay for itself in the long run, and that's when tuition, room, and board were about $8,000 -10,000 a year at a private university - today it would be $40-60,000. Who has that kind of luxury when journalism jobs are dwindling and the US press is constantly under attack? Bloggers with no credentials are shooting photos with their iPhones, as are reporters from well-known publications, while professional photographers are jockeying with them to get a pro shot. It's a mess...
  4. Please do. I read the blog and it is really helpful to get things from an agency's perspective. A video by you would be quite welcome. Will you be traveling to PhotoPlus Expo in NY in the fall?
  5. I think I mentioned that back in the day when non-exclusives could have a certain number in the Signature collection, I made more money there with fewer than 100 images than anywhere else, because those Signature images sold often and for higher prices. They then changed their model and lost a ton of people, and now everyone's number are way down. Premium works. Especially if people don't want to search through 100 million images. You need to put your best work on the other micros in order to be invited to join their Premium collections, so a dilemma for those of us who want their best work on Alamy. It's insane that so few stock libraries have sales teams. Alamy's personal touch and unique library are selling points that they should continue to take advantage of and I'm sure they are doing their best, maybe expanding that sales team and going for those premium clients is a way to keep prices up, at least for that portion of the collection not mirrored on the micros - or even if images are similar to what's available elsewhere, that personal touch could keep clients coming back. And maybe that horse has left the stable. I used to shoot for dozens of local NY metro area publications, both commercial work for their advertisers and editorial assignments, but now most of them no longer exist. The few that remain put more images online, and print a much thinner magazine, and they pay about half of what they did back in 2006. One large multi-magazine client started bartering instead of paying and I stopped working with them. As advertising dries up, there are fewer assignments for commercial work, magazine revenues, which rely on advertisers, are drying up, and they manage to find people happy to work for free to get their work seen. In fact, I know of one publication where photographers have actually offered to pay them to get their work on the cover! It's not just Alamy that has dropped their prices. The profession has been suffering for years. Technology lets us license our work around the world - my first license here was to Moscow - and it made it easier for people like me who only started shooting locally for publications part time in 2006 (and who learned that stock photography existed in 2008), to get in the game. I worked for a photographer who shot for big agencies like Jupiter Images. She and I would work with editors on her shoots - one of them even offered to review my portfolio - I was nervous and working hard to put together a good one - and then they got bought out by G. Wish I had gotten in the game sooner - I worked with editors on my magazine and newspaper assignments and learned a lot, but in those days prices for stock photos on Alamy used in books and national magazines were often a tad more than I'd get for a cover shoot, so stock still seemed like the best place to place my images. And I could shoot things I loved and license them. It seemed too good to be true... Yes, I used to think that stock was a great way to generate a portion of my income, and I love shooting and have a backlog of work on my hard drives, so I'm still in the game. I also still get a thrill when I'm in a bookstore (a rarity in itself) and find my work in use in a book, in a puzzle, or on a calendar cover. But I hate it when that work has been licensed for far less than it used to be, and feel satisfaction when I know that Alamy or I have gotten a decent price for it. I'm not sure how to remedy the situation of falling revenues, and I know that I only see a things from my limited perspective, hence a video from James A @Alamy would be more than welcome. All I can think to do is to work harder and faster, grow my portfolio, and try to work with clients who still value my work.
  6. I had the same problem with my Nikon D700, just after the warranty ended. It happened while I was shooting kids jumping horses, suddenly the shutter would jam or the continuous shooting would stop working (and this was before I had a backup camera, but I still managed some really nice shots). Back in late 2009 or 2010. Anyway, Nikon fixed it for me at no charge ( it was a few weeks out of warranty). And they even rushed the repairs for me. Stellar service. I went on to take at least another 60K or so shots with it over nearly a decade (and got a backup camera). I sold the camera last year when I got a Sony mirrorless, and it was still in great condition. Never had a problem with the shutter again. So, I'd say if all else is good it is probably much cheaper to replace the shutter than to plunk down thousands on a new camera. I only sold it because my back, neck and shoulders couldn't handle the weight anymore. Call Canon and see what it will cost. It was a quick fix on my Nikon, they just replaced the shutter.
  7. I had a blogspot blog and then switched to Wordpress.org when Photoshelter no longer linked to blogspot, paid for the whole kit and caboodle, name, professional templates, etc for 5 years and assumed it would motivate me. I got many more hits on my defunct blogspot blog that had not been updated than I got on my Wordpress blog which I hyped on occasion to my FB and 7,000 twitter followers, so when it came time to renew, I didn't. In fact, all the old posts I wrote that attracted more hits on blogspot were also transferred to Wordpress (there was some sort of app for that), so I concluded that the blogspot blog showed up higher in searches than the newer Wordpress blog.Thinking I may take up the blogspot one again, but not really getting that much out of it. But free is better, IMHO. I also found blogspot easier to use than Wordpress. I tried different themes on Wordpress and they got layered on top of each other and made a mess of the code. Just my experience, and I didn't post all that regularly, but my posts were mostly travel stories with photos, or reprints of articles I'd written (and the original articles also showed up higher in searches than my blog). Anyway, good luck. I used to follow and really enjoyed your old blog.
  8. Last and only time I met with the Alamy team was in Brooklyn back in 2010. It was super helpful and my sales increased nicely afterwards. I was still a newbie then and it helped al lot. With all the changes 10 years later, it would be great if Alamy set up another NYC meet. I did chat with folks at the PhotoPlus Expo a few years back, but the Brooklyn meeting was a presentation by Alamy's NYC and UK teams, as well as by Alamy customers. Super helpful. Had a zoom today on on one of my RM exclusive to Alamy images. There were 3,300 hits (it was a generic term one-word search) with 12 zooms, so I don't know if it will result in a sale - there were lots of more specific searches the week before that returned other images I took that day but not the one that was zoomed. But hopefully RM isn't dead. I assume that if a customer only wanted RF they'd omit the RM stuff. I uploaded all the images from that shoot - 10 of them - as RM exclusive as a test and fingers crossed they'll sell. It's funny, it was a small out of the way military museum in Connecticut with indoor and even better outdoor exhibits, so I figured that it was unusual enough that if people were searching for it, they might not find much, but the searches where it has come up are all for the same generic item, the locale is unimportant. Just happy I decided on exclusive for this batch. Also nice that people looking for generic terms are searching here and it looks like they tried a lot of ways to find it.
  9. Sheldon @dustydingo, Glad your trip was a success and that you managed to stay warm. Tallinn was beautiful in the summer when I was there, back in 2011, and I'd agree I'm sure it's lovely year round. Nice photos from your trip so far. Too bad you didn't get some snow - tougher for travel but so lovely for winter photos. And a treat for you coming from Australia I'd imagine. It was brutally hot when I was there in August, and being from New York our temps can get below 0 degrees Fahrenheit and above 100 in summer. I was quite impressed by your knowledge of flowers. Very thorough captions.
  10. Wool hiking socks. They wick away sweat and are great in both warm weather and cold. Darn Tough, LL Bean, Smartwool, all make them. Too late now you're probably back from your trip, but they are the best in future. Winter hiking boots that are waterproof. Thin gloves with a tech finger on the index finger and thumb under a pair of warm fingerless gloves, preferably with a foldover mitten. I got an awesome pair in Iceland for a frigid 5AM summer hike. Warm hat. My ears, toes and fingers get cold easily so I always make sure they are protected in the cold. Thin long underwear - either silk - packs easily and fits under normal sized clothing - or one of the super thin high tech fabrics. They also dry fast so you can rinse them out at night. Cashmere sweater - warmest wool you can buy and very thin for its warmth, so easy to pack. And wool breathes so you don't sweat. Sweat is your enemy in cold weather. I also like to have something with a hood. Bet Estonia was lovely at Christmas.
  11. There are many sites where you can buy and sell second-hand fashion, and it's getting trendier to do so in response to the wasteful practice of "fast fashion," i.e. incredibly cheap clothing letting people have the latest styles for so little. but cheap clothing from the likes of Old Navy, H&M, Target and the like probably accounts for a lot more than what these sites are selling. Maybe it's because I went to Catholic school in a working class neighborhood as a small child, but we were always encouraged to donate clothing to those less fortunate. I have never thrown out an article of clothing in my life (except for moth-eaten sweaters). If it's not in good enough shape for someone else to wear (I'm easy on my clothes and have some favorites still in good shape after a couple of decades), then I'll tear it up and use it for a rag. That's not to say I'm not guilty of having closets filled to the brim with stuff I don't need, but as I've been trying to live more simply and pare down over the past few years, I've started to realize the joy of a less than full closet, being able to see all that I have in front of me, but even my charitable giving and re-use, and belated attempt to simplify won't "green-wash" the waste of money and resources I'm responsible for with decades of clothes-buying. There's nothing like looking around an attic full of 20 years of stuff to make you realize how much useless junk you've bought. But rather than throw up my hands, all I can do is try to do better in future, and that's the attitude we have to take about everything concerning the environment. Ironically, I've read that charitable giving of donations of clothing to Africa has hurt the indigenous clothing market - what a shame. Another irony, the whole "recycling" program in the US was underwritten by the bottling and plastics industries to make Americans feel less guilty about all that throw away plastic, and the best we've ever done is to have 10% of our plastic, glass and cans recycled! When I think of all the time and effort I spent bringing my items to our old town's recycling center decades ago before we had recycling pick up - and how much of what I thought was recycled that probably has built a small landfill on its own. Let's hope saner heads prevail in America in 2020 and we get back on board with the Paris Accord and taking responsibility for some of the damage we've done. I've always been environmentally conscious, from the time I was a young teen in the 1970's and I've probably wreaked havoc on the earth despite my efforts to do the right thing. No wonder the world is such a mess, when even those of us who try to avoid harming the environment do so much damage. But my wardrobe has done more harm than my photography. Irony. Unlike the rest of nature, we humans need clothes.
  12. Just what I thought. You should be in great shape. Wish I could have bought a 500GB SSD and put in a 1TB HHD
  13. If the intentions of these packs is to help Alamy compete on price, I'm doubtful it has been/will be successful. While beneficial in getting payment upfront, thereby helping with Alamy's sad collections track record, the packs seem unlikely to spur much additional licensing since (a) the discounts aren't that great, (b) it is only for 2-10 packs, a very limited amount and (c) while it might help attract some small novice buyers, the RM license is just as likely to confuse and scare them away. The result: lower prices without the substantialI volume that lower-priced sites achieve for their photographers to make up the shortfall. The recent commission change is evidence that this experiment has failed. I understand that Alamy is in a tough position as the bottom keeps falling out of the stock imaging market, but as micros try to counter this by creating premium brands to be licensed alongside their bargain basement priced images, Alamy, rather than taking advantage of their unique content, is betraying those who have eschewed the micros for Alamy's promise of higher prices by dumping our work at these much lower price points. In fact, the print use (magazines/books) in the small pack seems to be about half of the amount certain micros charge for a similar use. (I say similar because micros are RF, but their print use is really a hybrid since it is generally limited to one imprint, so their "RF" is not truly RF). Alamy needs to compete on the basis that it has something unique to offer buyers - those hard to find images. I've gotten decent prices on my own from my Photoshelter website from clients looking for out of the way places. Alamy has that kind of unique travel content and, as Chuck mentioned with his unique stuff, they have other unique images as well. They need to differentiate between general stock and hard to find images. I would assume that an algorithm can tease out unique searches (i.e. terms that are rarely used). They should consider how to capitalize on them. They used to offer help in searching (maybe they still do?) and this is another place where they can perhaps entice higher end clients. Again, from my limited experience, I know that when my images were put in the "Creative" collection here, my sales increased. I don't think this was a coincidence. When Getty/iStock used to let you chose a certain number of images to be offered at a higher price in a pseudo premium type collection, those images of mine sold much more often. In those days 100 images on iStock made me a good return. They then dropped the program and lowered prices, resulting in an increasingly dire financial situation for photographers and the agency. Similarly, lowering prices does not seem to have helped Alamy's bottom line despite an exponential growth in its portfolio. I remember years ago I had a friend who worked in marketing at a Fortune 500 company. When one of their products wasn't selling as well as expected, they raised the price. He explained that if something sells less often, you have to charge more for it, not less. Perhaps Alamy should hire some old-fashioned marketing gurus. Not social media types, money-crunching marketing types.
  14. My second iMac back in 2012 was a fusion drive - 256GB SSD and 1 TB HDD and it is still going strong. Both my laptops are pure SSD - if Macbooks could be updated I'd have kept my old 13" retina drive with a 500GB SSD and just added more RAM to take advantage of the updates to LR/PS and to process my huge Sony files. Now I have a 2TB SSD 15" retina Macbook with 32GB RAM which I hope to keep running for years. It is blisteringly fast and lighter than my old 13" Macbook. I opted for such a large drive because resting my laptop on my lap is easier on my back, so I wanted to avoid the need to attach a secondary drive unless I'm backing up my files, and you can't get a fusion drive on the new Macbooks, but really the 256GB with the 1TB HDD is a decent solution. However, I would second the suggestion that you try to get 500GB if it's within your budget. If you use LR and keep your full size previews for 30 days or longer, even your catalog can grow at an alarming rate. As long as you run your apps and your LR catalog off the SSD, you'll be able to take advantage of the faster processing speeds you'll get with the SSD, and since PCs are far more customizable than MACs you should be able to set it up nicely with a second internal HDD to house your photos. I wish I wasn't so committed to Apple as being able to customize a machine is always better. Good luck. You'll love the speed difference that an SSD makes. I've hated using my husband's PC laptop for years - but when he upgraded to an SSD I stopped grumbling so much. It is really a game-changer.
  15. I love how these little cameras make us invisible Betty.
  16. I have a few places that I visit a lot and love to photograph all year round. Those near my home are large nature preserves, so my images tend to be fairly varied. I shoot a lot with all four seasons, and during the day as well as at twilight, and with all different lenses and different cameras, soo the shoots tend to be much more varied than images I've taken in small towns, cities or of landmark buildings. When I travel, I generally track my sales from each trip to see how long a trip takes to pay for itself. For locations that are within a day's car travel, I have gone back to some of my favorite haunts and shot them again and again over the years, both because I make better photos now than when I started, and also to get another time of year or time of day, and just to add more diversity to my shoots from those popular locations. This approach worked out well for me when I took new trips between 2012-2018, revisiting places I'd shot back in 2006-2010. Both new and old photos continue to get licensed and most land on pages 1-3 for broad location searches. I never intended to delete the originals taken back in 2006 and 2007 (before I'd ever heard of stock photography) nor those taken when I was still new to stock in 2009-2010, since, if they hadn't sold way back when, I'd probably not have gone back specifically to shoot so many more times. I think returning again and again is a great way to learn patience and technique as a photographer, and waiting for the light gives you a chance to really see a place rather than simply breezing through as a tourist or hiker. It also has helped me to be freer about what I discard and what I keep, and it has helped me to start shooting way less, as I did back in the film days. I also still work with some calendar companies directly, and while they have used images that I gave them as far back as 2012 in their 2020 calendars, the more new work I give them, the better my returns tend to be. Sales for me this month are hopping everywhere but here. Best January in a long time (elsewhere). Hopefully my Alamy portfolio will join the rest soon as we hit tomorrow's half-way point.
  17. Shooting my the water all the time on the east coast of the US and along riverbanks, I would say it is definitely in the reed family. Reeds are a perennial grass. Here are some from the US just to compare, so you can see the flower/seed/heads (I guess that's what you'd call the puffy tops) are so similar. Also reeds from different areas of the world have become invasive species elsewhere. More specifics should come from someone along the coast in Europe. This was taken in a saltwater marsh in New England along the coast last August. This was taken in a freshwater wetland in New York, far from the coast, in autumn. These are both common reeds. You can see how the fluffy tops of yours are similar. Your leaves however seem longer and bendy, while the leaves in all those I've photographed here in the US stand straight up. I'd bet it is a species in the Phragmites (reed) family.
  18. Congrats on your first sale! Glad the advice others gave you here was so helpful. The folks on this forum are a good bunch.
  19. I'm curious about what other features these cataloging apps add that LR doesn't? LR lets you search by keyword, year, month or even day of shoot, camera used, lens used, file name, and it also lets you make collections with virtual copies so you don't need to make unnecessary duplicates of files.
  20. I don't know that I'd keep Wichita and other location keywords as that could hurt your CTR. I'd add blackboard, what I still call it, writing, heart shape, note, love note. What sweet messages! And a lovely reminder for you of the holidays.
  21. Thanks! I never thought to add the backup locations of my files in my catalog - what a great idea! Easy enough to add as a keyword to the files.
  22. It's so much less expensive now to get the subscription to LR/PS than it was to upgrade with the older versions, at least if you use PS as well as LR, and for all that you can do in LR these days, it is certainly quite a bargain. I pay more for streaming TV services (and I only have basic Netflix and Amazon), so I have to agree that the subscription price for something work-related is a no-brainer. The organizational portion of LR has also improved, IMHO, and I've been using it since V1.0. The only downside on keywording is the alphabetization, which, with Alamy's supertags, really isn't a problem uploading here. I think that, in that regard, the "supertag" interface is brilliant. Ironically, Adobe's own site makes you re-order your keywords when you upload directly from their LR interface (or any other way). It's been brought up to Adobe countless times, but is not going to be changed. Alphabetization does help you avoid duplicate keywords, something I often end up with if I keyword in Bridge or PS, but I don't understand why they can't eliminate duplicates for you and leave them in the order you've inputted them. I have keyword presets, and do all my basic importing when I upload my images from my SD card. Then I tweak them as I'm culling and processing. I spent about an hour the other day uploading (with keywords) and then culling a vacation shoot from 600+ RAW files down to 170 images* - I haven't figured out how to just import the ones I want, but it's easy enough to hit x on my keyboard for those I wish to delete as I'm reviewing a shoot, then when I'm done I sort by pick. All the x files (pun intended 😎) are at the end and I can highlight them all hitting shift, then delete all at once. This year I qualified for a free subscription by having 300+ new images accepted at their eponymous site, but I have been really happy switching to the subscription and love having the latest upgrades immediately rather than pondering if it's time to pay a substantial amount to upgrade. Since ~2006, I'd upgraded every other version of PS, but upgraded LR each time. Love the way they work together, and my old Nik filters still work in LR too, though with all LR does on it's own, I rarely use them anymore. I've used the free version of Capture One with my Sony. It does a beautiful job with RAW files, but it is slower than LR and useless IMHO for organizing. If you've got the LR/PS subscription, then stick with LR Classic. Easiest way to keep your images organized. And with the Sync feature you can take files you've organized in another program and just make them into a catalog. *I somehow ended up having bracketing turned on for an entire day (maybe because I had used the handheld twilight setting the night before and when I switched back to RAW it kept bracketing on ? ) I got three of everything (actually 6 of everything since I was also shooting jpegs, but they go into a separate folder and usually get deleted, though it would be easier if I didn't have to upload them first).
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