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About Graham

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  • Joined Alamy
    27 Apr 2008

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  1. Alamy are not unreasonable about this. I am an occasional Live News contributor and I know I have sold at least one the next day as a direct consequence (as a result of the vigilance of some kind soul in one of the "Have you found any images in..." thread). Yesterday evening I was coming home over London Bridge and by chance came across a protest by minicab drivers against Sadiq Khan and the imposition of the congestion change on minicabs. I always have a camera with me and I enthusiastically snapped 100 or so pictures of what was going on, and headed for my train home with great anticipation, planning to upload some to Live News. It takes me nearly 2 hours to get home, and as I was uploading the pictures to my computer, I checked my emails - what a day to find the notification from Alamy that Live News uploads were no longer possible! A quick call to Alamy resulted in the suggestion that I email Live News with a sample picture, which I did. They came back shortly afterwards and temporarily restored my Live News upload capability, as a result of which I was able to upload 19 images. The images were up about 4 hours after they were taken. I will be looking later today to see whether any of them made the newspapers. So far as I can see, there were no other Live News uploads covering the same subject yesterday (although there have been similar previous protests, which may mean that newspapers are less inclined to cover a repeat event). Come what may, Alamy were certainly not dogmatic about this and found a way to help when there was an immediate and genuine Live News type event. Graham
  2. My Alamy has not worked on Safari my iPad for a few days. It displays the framework of the page but no graph or other details, including access to other reports. I thought this was due to slow connections while travelling but it has persisted since my return home.
  3. On a very slow connection while travelling, this stopped me getting in at all. If the connection is too slow, there is an error message along the lines of “recaptcha timed out”. It makes access impossible in these circumstances. Of course, if the connection is too slow for captcha to work, it is going to take a very long time to get any meaningful information from Alamy, but the security should not defeat access entirely on slow connections.
  4. Don't agree at all. Gross is relevant in business turnover terms. You can get net from sales reports anyway. And if it were changed, it would be difficult to compare to earlier years.
  5. Ridiculously slow. First three attempts I simply closed my browser down after waiting an inordinate amount of time for the first image to upload. Now I have left them alone to get on with it, gone to make a cup of tea, and they are crawling along at a snail's pace. Seems to make no difference which browser you use. This is happening too often, its unprofessional - Alamy needs to get its act together.
  6. Since the "Location" filed in the AIM Optional tab no longer works (and has never been searchable as far as I know), or at least is not connected to a map or auto-complete following the change to Google maps, can its link to Discoverability be disabled? An image does not show as fully "Optimized" unless something is entered into this field. This now seems to be an exercise in futility, and it would be good if the link between Location content and Discoverability could be deleted so that the Location field can just be left empty without impacting on Discoverability. I am not even sure why it is being retained at all if it does not work, is not searchable and appears no longer to do nothing useful. I like to check that my images are Optimized as far as possible. If they show as not fully Optimized, there should be a good reason and incentive to change it (e.g. remembering to put in the full quota of supertags), not just putting something (anything!) in a field that no longer has any relevance to anything. Graham
  7. Likewise, several uploads from Friday and later still sat there in the queue. At least I got my Wolf Moon up yesterday via Live News (along with what seems to be hundreds of others!)
  8. For what it is worth, I think this is a positive response by Alamy to the criticisms raised. Bearing in mind that the number of people commenting in these forums is likely to be a very small proportion indeed of Alamy's total contributor base, I think it is positive that they have been prepared to listen and act, even if not in a way that entirely pleases everybody. Graham
  9. I am finding that, recently, if I am using my laptop in AIM, and I use a 2 finger scroll on my touchpad to scroll a page up or down, then when I stop scrolling the pointer immediately turns into a drag selection. Pressing Esc does not release it and I have to click in a space between images to release it and get back to a non-dragging pointer. The consequence of this is usually an unintended selection of images which have been thus accidentally dragged over, which accordingly have to be deselected before I can do anything else. This is a very irritating waste of time. I have adjusted the sensitivity of my Synaptics touchpad, but this makes difference. I am using Windows 10 and IE 11. Has anyone else experienced this unwanted behaviour? It always used to be the case that if I stopped scrolling, the cursor was released in the usual way and there was no unintended dragging/selection. This seems to be a recent change. I have not experienced it with any other application, Internet based or otherwise, so I think it is an Alamy issue as far as I can tell. Another thing I am finding annoying is the message that pops up every time you hit the Save button in AIM. It simply gets in the way and the message seems to me to be quite unnecessary (that changes may take up to 48 hours to appear - there is nothing you can do about it anyway, so why keep telling us?). In any event it does not bear repeating every single time the Save button is clicked. Do we really need this as a pop-up at all? If someone at Alamy really does think we do, could they not at least automatically disable it once it has displayed once, or (even better) provide a "do not show this message ever again" option? Graham
  10. It’s nothing to do with that type of issue. There is a good case for those who joined earlier should be kept on the terms applicable when they joined, while newcomers make the decision to sign up (or not) on the terms currently on offer. That at is what happens with Stockimo (an Alamy company). Early bird contributors who signed up before 31 December 2014 are on one commission rate, those who signed up later on another (lower rate). In fact, there are three tiers of commission rates on Stockimo: the best rates are reserved for those who are members of both platforms, Alamy and Stockimo. I see no inherent problem or unfairness in maintaining terms for existing contibutors but revising terms for those who choose to join after a change has been announced. Graham
  11. Hate the things. My particular gripe is the one where you have to keep on clicking until there are no more (e.g.) cars or buses. My record for trying to get into an Alamy captcha is 21 clicks, by which time I had lost the will to live. I wish they would come up with a cookie or something that has the effect of limiting captchas to no more than, say, one per day for any particular site: I have had to endure multiple captchas when I have logged into Alamy several times even within a relatively short time, which increases the frustrations.
  12. The Lightroom default is zero for luminance noise reduction! Although the default is +25 for colour noise, that is less commonly the issue. Lightroom does not automatically adjust noise reduction by reference to the ISO of the image. You need to check the luminance noise reduction for every image. If you want a reminder to check noise, create a preset. It is very easy. Set a luminance noise reduction figure to something that you might want to use, say +20. Press the large + next to Presets in the left panel. Uncheck everything in the box you will be presented with, except the luminance noise box. Give the preset a meaningful name (e.g. Luminance noise + 20) and this will create a preset with this value that does nothing else. You will then see a reminder (if you look at your presets) and you can adjust the setting to whatever you want later. You can even use this, or another preset with your preferred default settings, as a preset to be applied during import, so that you never forget to apply it. Or you can set up multiple presets with different values if this is how you prefer to look at things. This is more or less what I do. I have a single preset with basic settings that I am always likely to use as a starting point, which I apply on import, then I have a series of presets for particular tasks numbered 1 to 8 which I usually apply sequentially to most images, each of which I have assigned to buttons P1 to P8 on the excellent Loupedeck+, which makes it very quick and simple to apply all of them or such of them as I want for a particular image. Hope this helps.
  13. While I have uploaded many high and very high ISO images, I would not upload this. I recently had my first QC failure in several years for noise - it was barely noticeable in a shadow area of a well lit outdoor image at 100 ISO (and easily correctable for re-upload). With the present image, however, the noise is immediately noticeable throughout the image, even in the mid tone to highlight areas, including the faces. Noise is most noticeable in dark areas, and if you can see noise in the lighter tones, the photo is unlikely to have had sufficient noise reduction. I am surprised that an image at ISO 500 should be this noisy (unless it was underexposed and the exposure has had to be increased) which makes me wonder whether any noise reduction has been applied at all?
  14. Not a recent problem, but old images pre-the revamped AIM always have the wrong date if the full date was not originally entered. Under the old system, it was acceptable to insert just the year. Then when the new AIM was introduced, it seems that if there was not already a full date, it automatically completed the date taken as 1 January [year]. Totally silly auto-completion: I now have thousands of images purportedly taken in January, whenever they were actually taken. Why it could not have just accepted the previous year-only field I have no idea, although completing a searchable field with erroneous data the user did not enter seems a totally bizarre decision by someone. Certainly life is far too short to go back to all my old images, check when they were actually taken and then put in the correct date. Graham
  15. I have had every iteration of the 5D, from the original to the Mark IV. Each has (as one would expect) been an improvement on its predecessor. I have no interest in video, only stills. The things I like about the 5DIV are: resolution - 30MP or thereabouts is a pretty sweet spot compromise between file size and resolution. GPS - coupled with Lightroom, you can check exactly where you were when the photo was taken. Even better would be if it also recorded your orientation - looking at distant mountains, it is not very helpful to know where you took the photo from if you do not know the direction the camera was pointing: maybe in the next version? Not always very accurate: I spent half a day in a hide not moving more than 6 inches, yet GPS covered a radius of several hundred metres. Dust resistance: I am neurotic about sensor dust, and this is the best sensor I have had for resisting dust spots. High ISO performance: very good, but not up to the standards of my 1DX mark II. Dual pixel autofocus: very good, but again not quite up to the 1DX Mark II. The things I like less are: not very fast frame rate. Need the 1DX II for wildlife action. Not an issue for everyday use. reliability. I am on my third body (camera's, not my reincarnation!). Once it failed while I was in India at the beginning of the trip - not great. The current body has also had its entire guts replaced twice. I must have been unlucky - none of the previous 3 iterations of the 5D had given me any problems at all. Just coming up to the first anniversary of its last failure, so holding breath, crossing fingers etc. As to lenses, my walkabout lens is generally the 24-105 f/4 L Mark I. I am on my second copy, the first one having eventually failed, been repaired, then began to malfunction again. Generally it is a pretty adequate lens, but a bit soft at the long end, and it is really shown up if I use the 16-35 f/4L as an alternative. Someone asked about high ISO and shadow recovery. It is definitely good for that. I have (rarely!) even had images at around ISO 25,000 pass QC here, although they needed quite a lot of work on them first and I held my breath until the pass notification arrived! With good technique, it is a very capable camera when it comes to lifting shadows. Hope these comments help. Graham PS: the good ISO performance can induce complacence. Last week I had my first QC failure in over 4 years. It was for noise in shadow areas of a well lit subject, taken with the 5D IV at ISO 100!
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