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About Graham

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  • Alamy URL{C82FFF61-C234-49FB-9082-CA5E8F6498D8}&name=Graham+Prentice
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  • Joined Alamy
    27 Apr 2008
  1. Income taxation on Hobby Income

    I am afraid that the various comments about setting off trading losses from one business against profits from another or other income are not correct (sideways set-off). This is what I also thought, until three years ago an HMRC brown envelope dropped through the letterbox. This is an extract from one of the letters sent by HMRC during the course of their investigation: What does this mean? It means in effect that if you do not expect to make a profit from one line of business in any particular year, you cannot carry across the loss to set against other sources of income. Put another way, if you are not going to be in profit within a year, then you cannot set off losses against other sources of income. This gives rise to the apparently bizarre conclusion that you cannot sideways set off a business loss unless that business is making a profit! In other words, it is almost never applicable. The lady I was dealing with at HMRC agreed with this summary. I asked her to give an example of how there could ever be an effective sideways set-off of one start-up business loss against other sources of income. After something of a struggle to think of an example, she hypothesised a business which looked like it was going to be profitable for most of the tax year, but suffered a last-minute calamity such as a fire which unexpectedly caused the business to make a loss for that year. I had never heard of this provision before, and the lady at HMRC agreed that it was not well-known. More importantly, my accountants (the private client department of one of the major international firms of accountants) had never heard of it before either, although I pointed out to them that it was their job to have done so. The upshot was having to repay the sideways set-off which I had claimed for several tax years, and a backdated interest change calculated at I think it was 8% (only governmental organisations can get away with charging something they label as interest which bears absolutely no relation to anything realistically available in the market - it was a fine in all but name). HMRC did not impose a penalty on top of the interest because they accepted that I had acted in good faith with no knowledge of what they admitted was an obscure provision, and my accountants dealt with the interest because they accepted they should have been aware of this. Nevertheless I was faced with an unwelcome back payment of tax as a result of the recalculation of several previous years' returns as well as a lot of hassle dealing with the investigation. I have no idea why I was picked up on this: I have never gone in for aggressive tax mitigation, my returns are dealt with by very reputable accountants, and we were not dealing with megabucks amounts of money. Nevertheless, it was picked up somehow. Sorry for the bad news. I am not an accountant nor a tax expert, I am simply reporting what happened to me on account of having dealt with my taxes in a way which several of the above posts have been advocating. What business is what and its/their respective extents is a matter of fact, not a matter of self-definition or obfuscation: if you have more than one business, not disclosing this to HMRC will not help you if you are investigated and have to justify your position. I now keep separate spreadsheets with a strict separation of each of my various sources of income and return them as separate businesses. Tax is a horrendously complex area with plenty of pitfalls for amateurs such as I, and I suggest that those of you who have accountants have a discussion with them before assuming that you can create losses from, in the present context, you photographic business and set them against other sources of income. Graham
  2. Images Sold in February (Max. 1 per day)

    Lovely picture. Maybe the expression was because he foresaw the fee which would be coming
  3. Live News Captions

    PM is very good for handling metadata. Just a word for those who do not follow Camera Bits' forums, version 6 will be coming out soon (whatever that means...): apparently the feature set is locked down, according to the developer. There is no date given for the release of the new version yet, and I am not sure about their upgrade policy (i.e. how long you have before the new version is released to claim a free upgrade), so if you are in no particular hurry it might be wise to use the trial version for the time being and then when that expires (if you decide to buy) make the decision whether to go for version 5 or wait until version 6 availability and upgrade policy has been announced. It is always annoying to buy a programme then find that you have bought just outside the free upgrade period for the next version. I am very keen to see what the database version looks like, but it has been touted since at least 2013, so I am not holding my breath on this one. The developers are very responsive in the forums and I have no doubt that is and when it sees the light of day, it will be good. Graham
  4. Have you found any Alamy images Feb 2018

    Extraordinary you recognised it as mine, given the heavy crop and change of background colour. Well done, and thank you! Graham
  5. Helloooo, anyone home?

    Probably a technical issue. I have a normal (not news) submission which is still “processing” rather than awaiting QC some 18 hours or more after upload. I am sure they will sort it out on Monday! Graham
  6. We are all used to using the RGB colour system, or even CMYK, but if you look at LAB mode in Photoshop, you will see the colour controls are similar to Lightroom's in their effect: L controls brightness/exposure, while the A and B channels correspond to the magenta/green and yellow/blue sliders you see in Lightroom. It's worth looking at a curve in Photoshop in LAB mode and playing with the three channels to see what can be achieved with these adjustments. So Lightroom gives you a bit of the best of both worlds: the equivalent of RGB and LAB adjustments without having to switch modes. Graham
  7. I have been trying out panoramas relatively recently and have uploaded a few. I do this mostly for fun, which is a good job since none has so far even been zoomed, let alone sold! They take quite a long time to create in the first place (I generally use Lightroom, and they tie up computer resources for ages while they are created) and then a long time to check and review, both because the resulting images are so large and because Lightroom becomes so sluggish: to be honest, my time would be much better spent processing normal individual images, although I will probably continue to do some for my own satisfaction. They can be so frustrating: yesterday I was working on a panoramic view of Phnom Pehn over the Mekong River which was 19 images wide, although with a fair degree of overlap between them. There was one image in the middle that was unaccountably too soft to be acceptable, and try as I may, I could not eliminate it and rely on the overlap from the adjacent mages, but of course I did not notice this until reviewing the final image, by when I had wasted a great deal of time. Graham
  8. Worst photoshop job ever!

    Surely it’s a joke. It is very similar to Mr Bean’s treatment of Whistler’s Mother in the first Mr Bean film a few years ago
  9. Sorry about the late response - I have been away. I have both the 70-300 L and the 100-400 II. Both are excellent lenses, and I find separate uses for each. The 70-300 L is more compact and lighter than the 100-400 II, which means that it finds its way into my camera bag whenever I go out. The 100-400 is a little too large and heavy for this - in particular, it is just a little too long to fit comfortably standing vertically in either of my camera bags. For safaris, wildlife etc., the extra reach of the 100-400 makes it my preferred zoom lens of the two. I do not have either the 70-200 f 2.8 or the 200-400 f4 with its built-in extender. Moreover, the 100-400 II will accept the Canon 1.4x and 2x converters, which do not fit the 70-300. It annoys me that Canon do not include a collar and foot in the 70 - 300 L package, whereas the 100 - 400 II does include this, which means that if I know I am going to be using a tripod, the 100 - 400 II comes with an inbuilt advantage. In summary, if I do not have to carry it around too much, my go-to telephoto zoom would be the 100-400 II. If I do have to carry it around and the use is more speculative, then the 70 - 300 L suits my needs very well. Graham
  10. Wow, thank you so much for doing this - very informative. My computer crashed (not IMatch's fault) and I had to do a complete image restore from last weekend's backup. I have a busy few weeks coming up so I have decided to put my evaluation on hold and resume again later in November. Hopefully having restored the computer to a state it was in before I installed IMatch, I will get my intended 30 days trial, but we shall see. Graham
  11. Yes, he did - essentially I am putting in a very large number of files but IMatch should be able to cope once ingested. Do you use it for your keywording? If you do and are willing to share your thoughts, I would be very interested to know what you think of it. Graham
  12. I too am disappointed about the lack of development of keywording in Lightroom. I have previously looked at Photo Mechanic, but while it is good for importing and rapid sorting, it is weaker on keywording across multiple files: it does not do what I need it to do for the time being so I have passed on it. The developer has been teasing a fully fledged DAM system for, literally, years, but there is still no sign of it appearing. If they could come up with something good now, this would be a really good time to be marketing it, but I am not going to be holding my breath and I have been wondering for several years now how real this will actually turn out to be. I have therefore decided to have a look at IMatch, which gets consistently good reports. I downloaded the trial yesterday, and made the mistake of trying to import all my RAW photos to see how it performs, instead of just a few. 24 hours later, it is still chugging through them (and currently the progress box says 26 hours and something remaining...). I am not interested in something that cannot handle all my photos (Lightroom can, for all its foibles) and I do not really regret throwing the whole lot at it, since if it cannot cope with a large volume of photos without grinding to a halt, that alone will mean it is not for me and I will not have to waste my time learning it. Maybe at this rate I will have something to play with by the weekend... The other issue is that it seems relatively expensive for what it does. If it does keywording really well, it might be with the additional cost, we shall see. Graham
  13. license #s & $$"s up 500+% in 2017 !!!

    My (relatively few) weekend licences have tended to be PU licences (and, moreover, the ones that seem likely to be genuinely for personal use). Graham
  14. Thank you. I just checked the image guidelines, and indeed it is no longer mentioned. I would still be interested to know why, conceptually, there is a sudden decease in file size as export size limits in Lightroom are gradually decreased. Graham
  15. Maybe this is slightly off-topic, but it relates to Lightroom export settings and I would be grateful if anyone more technically savvy than I can give an explanation. Alamy uploads are limited to 25MB in compressed size. This has not been too much of a problem to date, but now I have to be increasingly wary of keeping within this cap with images taken with my Canon 5DXIV, which has a resolution of about 30 megapixels. How each image compresses when exporting to JPEG varies from image to image: while the pixel size can be calculated from image dimensions, the compressed exported size cannot (I only shoot in RAW, and use my own pre-set in Lightroom to export in Adobe RGB colour space, at full size whenever possible). I use the invaluable Alamy SizeChecker to make sure that the exported files are not too big. In the batch on which I am presently working, 2 of the files would have failed for being over 25MB. The difference was trivial: they were about 25.7 MB. I therefore tried limiting the file size by various amounts, getting as close as possible to (but under) the 25MB cap: I was trying to include as much information as possible within the permissible limit. Working my way downwards, a limit of 26,500k in the Lightroom export dialogue box still produced a file size in excess of 25MB. But then reducing the limit to 26,000k worked - but instead of being slightly under 25MB, the exported file was only around 16MB. I would have expected that small changes in the export size limit would have produced correspondingly small changes in the exported file size, but this is not always the case. This is not a one-off occurrence of this phenomenon, I have noticed the same thing happening before. The currency of this thread prompted me to enquire whether anyone has any explanation for this behaviour. It does not matter: so long as the file size conforms to Alamy's limit, it is fine, and I cannot detect any sudden degradation in image quality (a 16MB JPEG is likely to contain plenty of information, all other things being equal), but I just find the issue puzzling. I wonder whether Alamy might re-consider its upper cap on file sizes. I am encountering this on a reasonably frequent basis with the Canon 5DIV, but there are already higher resolution cameras than this, and the trend towards higher megapixel counts, such as with the newly announced Nikon 850, is only going to exacerbate the issue. I would have thought that Alamy would have wanted the greatest possible quality: it seems a pity to have a very high resolution camera and then to have to limit upload size to meet what seems to be a fairly arbitrary upload size cap, with the consequent risk of some, maybe undetectably marginal, loss of quality. With over 100 million images and six figure daily uploads, presumably Alamy has plenty of server capacity and upload bandwidth to make the cap unnecessary. Graham