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Phil Robinson

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Posts posted by Phil Robinson

  1. I have just found the following unfortunate mistake following the sad announcement of Elena Baltacha's death:




    Her obituary accompanied by a picture of Maria Kirilenko. It turns out it is from a match in which they were both playing, so both in the keywords. 

    Unfortunate result of a combination of unnecessary keywords and a very lazy picture editor.

    • Upvote 1


    Then again, considering the tip example, how about skipping machine translation altogether? If I want German buyers then it could be my responsibility to include Brücke as well as bridge.


    I agree. I've never been in favour of it. I have never been one of those people who expects the whole world to speak English, but in this case sticking to the English language would, I think, loose fewer sales than the mayhem caused by machine mistranslation.

    I also include foreign place names in keywords - Venezia, Praha, Milano - and I know they have been used in searches. I think it's impractical to do it for all potential search terms.


    People who contributed to the short-lived Photoshelter library will remember the time-consuming and arduous process of keywording which included, for each keyword you entered, selecting the relevant meaning of that word. It took ages, it drove most contributors to drink, but that is the only way keyword translation could work. Unfortunately.

    • Upvote 1

  3. Machine / computer translation from English for single words is impossible.

    Imagine you have 'tip' as one of your keywords. How can a computer know how to translate it? Is it the point of something, a rubbish dump, a piece of good advice, the end of a snooker cue, money left for a waiter? Those meanings all have completely different words in German (and other languages).

    If you do a search for "Trinkgeld" on the German site (a 'tip' left for a waiter, a gratuity) you get all the same results as if you'd searched for 'tip' - pointy pencils, icebergs, orange-tip butterflies, white-tipped sharks, rubbish dumps - which have absolutely no relevance to someone looking for money added on to a bill (and 'bill' could be an invoice, a banknote, a duck's beak...). A German with a good knowledge of English might work out what's happened, but to others it would be a complete nonsense.

    Computer translation does not work. If every word in every language had only one meaning, and every concept had only one word, it might.

    • Upvote 2

  4. It's an interesting article but I'm not sure it's aimed at Alamy contributors. 'Editing' can be done for an exhibition, a book, a National Geographic article, an agency with its own editors - or Alamy.

    Each one is different.

    When I select work for my £80 Thames and Hudson retrospective volume, I certainly won't be choosing pictures of seashells, chocolate bars, traffic signs, lumps of rock, logs on a train, fake pound coins, computer screen shots, a half-eaten meal, a bowl of lemons, or indeed anything else I've sold on Alamy recently.


    QC Conundrum.  Any clues anyone?    I now have a 100% failure rate since February (4 out of 4), with a likely 5th, languishing since 21st.   Serves him right, you'll say.  Useless beginner, should learn his trade.  


    OK, so let's look at the plus side.  Been earning money from stock since the early 1970s, Alamy since 2001, told I'm in the "top 500" of Alamy sellers, which puts me in about the top 2%.   March sales $1211 gross, April to date $1353 gross.  But now in danger of having my "account terminated for 6 months", as the agreement says, for inability to pass QC.


    So what's happened?   Well, the problems started when I bought a new Canon 7D.   Until then I'd got some 8,000 images through with barely a quibble.   When the 7D started showing up the reds, I sent it back to Canon for calibration.   Still the reds came creeping in.   And got worse.  Now the QC microscope is so focussed I can't see where the fault lies.   All they say is "Image soft...soft...soft".   So I went back to my tried and trusted 5D, which has NEVER had a failiure.   Again no good.  Once you have a criminal record, there's no way out.


    So it looks like adios, folks.   Seems a pity as it's people like me who keep Alamy in business.


    Rolf Richardson

    I know this might sound sarcastic but it is meant seriously. Do you need you eyes tested? My last QC failure came the week before I got my first reading glasses - I haven't had one since.


    (what on earth is nbsp???)

  6. I've used Blurb too - not for a while as the prices seem to have rocketed. I seem to remember having one sale but I doubt I'll ever reach the payout limit. I used to do prints of my favourite images to keep and found doing a Blurb book worked out cheaper. So, I have quite a nice small library of my work but I wouldn't call it a good business move.


    Considering the price of much bigger books in the shops full of Cartier-Bresson classics, I can't see people paying Blurb prices very often.

  7. Interesting that someone started this thread so early in the month.




    I thought I'd try and post something positive early on to see if anyone else joined in. Still going quite well, including a tennis pic from last year, so I've almost paid for the train fare to Eastbourne.

    Another thing I've noticed is that most of my recent sales are from quite new material - stuff taken in the last year or so, whereas in the past I did best from older reliable bestsellers.

    John and Martin seem to be finding the opposite.



    Does CTR and the BHZ game count?  I don't think so, at least not in my case at present.


    Allan (again)


    I don't think that the BHZ game counts, no. 


    I don't think it 'counts' for anything, as such. It is a useful, if rather vague, indicator of where you stand. You are, after all, only comparing yourself to others who join in the game. I'm not sure the Chucks and the Jeffs play along.


    It's especially useful to those with more than one pseudo. I use several and comparing their respective performances can be very enlightening (page one / p4 / p5 / p16)

  9. There are some short words that the Alamy search engine doesn't pick up on, and I can sort of see why, but it is producing some unfortunate results / lack of results for some customer searches.


    In the last week or so there have been searches for "you are here city map" and "You Tube logo". Fairly easy in both cases to see what they wanted.


    Unfortunately, the search engine doesn't seem to register "you". Or "are". Or, indeed, "here". The search brings up 14,630 images - the same as just "city map" and I had to go through five pages before I found what I think they were looking for.


    The search for "You Tube logo" gets 790 results, with several YouTube images, but the same number come up under just "tube logo". A search for "You Tube" brings 92,120, mostly of the London Underground and experiments in laboratories.


    I am wondering whether the benefits of ignoring these small words are perhaps being outweighed by the drawbacks?



    ("We Are The World" returns 2,506,557 results, including some very nice swallowtail butterflies)

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