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Everything posted by imageplotter

  1. I care zilch what the old male Alamy forum anoraks have to say: It's degrading, it's sexist and it has absolutely no place in 2020 photo journalism or news photography. It's disgusting to see people being proud of getting print with these shitty shots. If you can't see what's wrong with them, then you cannot see what is wrong with the British newspaper landscape and has been for decades. Needless to say that many other countries have moved on from the women in bikini shots a long time ago, but Britain is stuck in this degrading excuse for 'news' images when all it really is, is to provide a cheap way for old bald blokes to get off on images of semi naked women. Well done, togs, hope you're proud of yourselves. Pathetic. I feel sorry for photographers who chase the mostly low value online (and occasional higher value print) sales to tabloids by sitting somewhere, preferably with a 600m, pointing their cams at women's arses and feeling that's totally fine because there is 'demand' for it and there has always been 'demand' for it and that it's just harmless fun. You're creating a demand, you are part of the problem. And you're proud of it. Again - I feel sorry for the lot of you. The decline of the Brit newspaper industry is making even some of the former broadsheets desperate enough to fill their pages with the lowest common denominator - sex sells, as 'they' say. and 'they' are happy to continue down that line. The only comforting thought is that most of those 'news' papers will be gone not too far in the future, a few are already simply propped up by ownership funds to serve as political platforms and little else. The rest will follow. You may need to find other things to snap on the beach then. I will not re-visit this threat.
  2. I still have more than $500 net sales uncleared between October and Feb. That October one particularly annoys me. The only reaction I had from Alamy so far was an acknowledgement of my email and the usual 'sales can take a while to be cleared'. It's been 8 months and counting.
  3. Hobbyist 2-days a week "photographers" who can barely crop a decent image repeatedly going out in central London spreading a virus because they fancy themselves important are the real danger. Shame on all of them. Hope the lives of others were worth the tiny amount you'll earn from that sh*t. Rant over. Don't care what you think. It's wrong on every level.
  4. It depends on your port. A lot of the traditional 'stocky' stock side I should think still does well. Unlucky for me that apart from the news images, there are lots of travel pics in mine. They're normally doing ok, but obviously not now, and the travel sector is likely to be down for more than just this year. Taken a real hit for me. Happy to accept that, nobody's fault. As for the cleared balance...not so good. Tried to contact alamy, but only had the generic ' Temporarily, we’re unlikely to be able to answer your email due to a reduction in team size', which isn't very helpful. 29th now, so that cleared balance is it for this month I presume. Won't be rushing to work on the port after this. Especially not when I see how much effort I often put in the edits, and how much, shall we say, 'less carefully edited' stuff is rushed through in bulk via the news feed by certain togs and, even more so, certain agencies. That's very depressing to see and just tells me nobody is after quality, it's just a numbers game now. Not my cuppa.
  5. I've still got an uncleared sale from October. Gross value $191.32, a news usage. Quite a few uncleared from Jan and Feb. One uncleared Feb sale at gross value $300.
  6. The sales are still doing ok, though pretty low (lots of ever decreasing low value sales for online editorial pics), but the balance clearance is not. My current cleared balance is so pathetic that I'm no longer motivated to submit pics, even though thousands are still sitting on my hard drives. I'm a full time photographer and almost all of my client work has been cancelled since late February. Some of the larger clients have kindly already re-booked for late autumn/winter which is lovely, but many don't know if they can commit to dates yet. So in theory, I have a lot of time to shoot and edit stock (I'm not really doing any news at the moment as I don't consider much of what is being distributed as 'key worker' worthy and do not want to contribute to the spread of this virus). In practice, clearance is so low that it is absolutely not worth even using the equipment risking more wear and tear daily, paying for fast upload speed internet, paying my photographer's insurances, etc. The nearly 25k Alamy images are sitting there idly or are being sold for peanuts. It makes more financial sense to ride it out doing non-photography paying work which pays well, and return to decent-pay client photography work as and when I can later in the year, sadly. In terms of the pricing trend, let's face it this will not reverse, it's bargain basement and only really makes sense as a little hobby on the side to supplement travel plans etc.
  7. Yes, I also still have quite a lot of uncleared sales from January onwards. That in itself is not unusual, but in combination with the almost non existent pay out this month, it worries me deeply. I look forward to getting some background on that announced thread. (hopefully)
  8. Ian, I think he just spotted those trainers with the hole in them and thought they looked suspicious! πŸ˜€ I guess I've just discover what is possibly the only advantage of being a female in this business (and there are many, many disadvantages in a 90%+ male environment). Despite running around those same Westminster haunts most days with 2 camera bodies dangling off me, I've not been questioned by Police (yet) and only really have to show the NUJ card at the Downing Street gates (where the officers are always faultlessly friendly and professional). I probably just look too innocent. Common misconception.
  9. Absolutely agree. And a lot of harm can be done with false allegations, as we all know. But it's never a good idea to create these worshipped, larger-than-life figures. Just imho.
  10. Yes I do that, too. My comment was more regarding direct sales on the news side.
  11. Journalism is about the full picture. And it serves as a timely reminder not to put anyone on a pedestal, as tempting as that may be in these dark times.
  12. Agree. They're effectively buying market share in editorial/stock.
  13. Yep. Agree on all of the above. This doesn't surprise me though, to be honest, it looked like the business was being beefed up and prepared for a sale for some time now. Direct sales may well be the way forward. I've already further reduced the amount of time I spend doing news in favour of other photography work, which was a financial necessity for me. The news bit is so small and likely not or not very profitable, I'm not optimistic that they'd want to keep running it. I'll wait and see for a while, not looking forward to potentially having to make a large number of stock pics non-exclusive and do loads of work on them to sell elsewhere. But if needs must... I hope they'll keep the stock brand at least, my worst fear would be for the library to gradually be dumped into a microstock environment.
  14. Geographically, it will always remain 'in Europe'. Unless the island suddenly drifts off and docks on to Iceland, Greenland or Newfoundland (get your coats and mittens out, folks), or drifts a bit further and joins Florida (they may turn us into an exclusive gated golf resort called England-al-Lago), or it drifts even further and docks on to the coast of Venezuela (they may turn us into a Corbyn-al-Lago work camp). But a quick look at any map tells me that Ireland may act as a bit of a bumper to any 'drifting of'. πŸ˜‹
  15. Ditto. Image numbers up, sales volume up, revenue slowed considerably. I've adjusted accordingly. Neither stock nor news have ever been a dominant part of my overall photo business or revenue, but they were a reliable add-on, and enjoyable for some time. They no longer are, other types of photography are more profitable, enjoyable and more rewarding overall. They may carry more risks (dealing with clients directly is not always fun) I suppose that's how it goes, the trend is hard to ignore unless you put your blinkers on and pretend it's not happening. Shame, really. But life goes on. Elsewhere.
  16. Yes, as I mentioned before. Although it should be said that images (either by in-house togs, or in this case provided directly via the 'artists') are nearly always provided like that, by either the organisers, or organising PR company. That is certainly the case with most exhibitions at all of London's major museums, the same practice is also common for i.e. theatre and dance productions, major concerts, PR events etc. There are then, in addition, still press photocalls and previews where video media, agency staff and freelancers get the chance to take their own shots and file to news agencies or direct to the papers, but with context (the odd shot without may sneak in when you simply can't fit in an assistant, but it's rare and NEVER a whole set), plus, as I said, the caption would have each individual work mentioned. And they do find buyers, because they are often better or more interesting than the in-house pics. But I don't think WLPOTH did a photocall (as I mentioned, there are almost no images from any official photocalls from previous years to be found on alamy or its competitors). Some of the official photocalls are getting more and more difficult in any case, with some organisers setting ridiculous pre-conditions and contracts to be signed by all press togs as to where you can and can't file the images, and for what period of time. Often an own-goal for them, but that's another story altogether....
  17. Yes, but it's also important to stress that what we might 'want' to see as context isn't as relevant as what is required for copyright reasons or specified by the exhibititor. If they were taken at a photocall, then the PR company/exhibiting venue/artist's rep will often specify additional requirements (sometimes draconian, sometimes reasonable). Just having a black frame around a photo (which is even more tricky than a painting/other art work, as the photo can be lifted and illegally sold on as if it was a copyrighted original, rather than just an image of the work) would not be enough, and in some of these images, there is just a black frame. I don't know if there was a photocall for this one, I didn't attend it, but I suspect there wasn't - the low number of images available of that annual exhibition overall (not just on alamy) would suggest that there possibly wasn't one, especially given how heavily guarded the images are for preserving sales of NHM merchandise (books, postcards) of the exhibition and potentially the NHM in-house press pics sent out of the wider exhibition hall etc. And, as others pointed out, if these images were not from a press photocall but a regular exhibition visit, then NHM appear to not allow photography at all. (I tend to visit each year, and have certainly never taken any 'snaps' of the pics, not even with context. Can't remember what it states at the entrance but assume 'no photography' is right). The only images I have found in the press, upon brief search, are direct copies of the photos, accredited to each of the original photographers (artists) and likely sent out officially. I.e the Guardian has an online gallery of some of these from the 2019 exhibition. I didn't see any images by e.g. the PA, G***, AFP or any of the usual suspect wires who would usually be present at a press photocall alongside togs filing to alamy.
  18. No, it's not legit, imho. If those NHM pics were from a press photocall (possible, since they are dated 16th Oct) then they should still contain enough context, ie. assistant or visitors visible. (see for example, press pics of the Sony Photo Exibition images, which do have people in the images) Many of these images don't have much context, and don't even contain the name of artist (the actual wildlife photographer who created the image shown) nor the name of the picture in the caption, which would be in there if they had been genuine press images. I.e. this one http://tiny.cc/0gl0ez If you look through Alamy, you'll see that there are almost no WPOTH images in stock, for good reasons. Those few that are, are there as proper images, so may well have been placed there by the copyright holders.
  19. My capacity for 'sharing the joy' is very limited when my bottom line is hit. Strange, that.
  20. Ah, yes. Go Alamy. And to motivate us all, we'll give our directors a lovely massive pay rise, and you a lovely little cut in rates.
  21. I'm still waiting for 18 sales from May to clear, several of them live news sales. The reponse I received to my query was the usual standard email 'We're aware...'
  22. I find it a little strange that 87% of FFT's spend go to SBL. It wouldn't be my cause of choice to donate to, given my loss of income (not so good for my own urinary tract, to be honest). As you mention, the last research paper appears to have been published 2014. The research quoted for clinical trials and other research areas of focus (i.e. cancer immunotherapy) all seem more than a few years old. That doesn't reflect so well, imho.
  23. Yes, they probably should. Do the contributing agencies care? Nope. Do Alamy care? Not sure. I suspect these tons of images, particular those from the Chinese agencies, often pretty shots and fitting Alamy's 'stock and a bit of soft news weather decorative prettiness on the side' concept down to the tee. Taken in via news to further bolster stock numbers, nothing else. Just my view.
  24. It's best to store the tripod somewhere before going up the Shard, you won't be able to use it up there. If it's a travel tripod and fits in the cam bag, they usually let it through the airport style scanner in the bag, but not for use up there. Bring a black backing or better wear a black long-sleeve t-shirt, works a treat with the reflections there, which can be really bad depending on what your fellow visitors wear, stripes are particularly annoying. I used to go up there a lot for a few years with one of their annual passes but eventually got annoyed by the crowds at sunset. (black shirt also works well on the London Eye). For a reasonably undisturbed shot of the walkie talkie from the Shard, you can...umm...take it from the loos up there. No, I'm not kidding. The only place up there where you get one of the windows+view to yourself (although they can be dusty). Another nice, free semi-aerial view is from the Tate Modern Blavatnik Building viewing platform. Tate security are also not keen on tripods or lots of camera gear, but 1 bag with two bodies/lenses tucked in usually goes through ok. It can get crowded. Used to have good sunset views also, but the recent architectural marvels on its western side are now largely blocking that. The Sky Garden is lovely, if you're just one person you can often get in with a little wait without the pre-booked free tickets (which seem to book a long way in advance), but it's not guaranteed and at busy times they may tell you to come back and try again a few hours later if you haven't booked. The good thing is that un-ticketed, you can stay as long as you like (unless they have an event). It has reflections as well, but they're less tricky than the Shard's (depending on time of day/light). Plenty of tall buildings in the City and elsewhere also have fab views (friends who work in office towers blocks in handy), particularly the roof terrace bars, too many to list but there are plenty of listings online and on a warm summer's eve, most don't mind you taking a few shots if you consume a cocktail or three. Hyde Park Hilton's bar and resto also has lovely view, ditto places like Duck and Waffle ...but they all come with a hefty price tag of drinks/meal. Have a great day in London on Saturday. BTW. Trooping the Colour, EID Festival Trafalgar Square and the Naked Bike Ride are all on (and more)! πŸ™‚ PS. Re London Eye - on a Saturday the queues are very long. Also, whichever time you go, if it's a sunny day, you'll be shooting directly into the sun on either the left or right side. And your fellow passengers can be a pain, many tourists are ruthless when it comes to sticking their selfie sticks absolutely everywhere and not moving an inch.
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