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About IanDavidson

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  • Joined Alamy
    10 Nov 2015

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  1. Ranking, views, zooms

    Kelv, Betty is spot on. This forum is full of great advice like hers. I have just under 5,000 images but my zooms and sales are low because I shoot 85% hard news for Alamy Live News so have a very specific buyer sub set compared with stock - but I can earn good money from a photo that is used. I am not a brilliant technical photographer like many here ( I will keep learning!) but news photography requires a slightly different approach. The advice that I have picked up as per Betty is quality, quantity and variety. A common question is "what sells" and the answer is almost everything! I am sometimes amazed at photos I sell. One key, as Betty has indicated, is to think about what the buyers might want rather than what you like. There appears to be two types of shooter in stock on here. One is the fireman approach, Shooting a lot of photos across a wide range. The other, just as successful, is the sniper who shoots a much smaller number and whose portfolio is in the low thousands, but they are very selective, prune out their portfolios frequently and are very focussed. Keyword and captioning are also key. I spend more time keywording and captioning then re keywording and captioning than I do taking photos - although in my case this is because hard news photos change context over time so have to be re keyworded. Zooms and sales, unless you are in the top 20% of contributors who get 80% of sales can be very erratic, - feast and famine so do not become disheartened by long periods of drought. The other thing that I have found useful is to look at the portfolio of those who are successful (and if you follow these forums it became obvious - togs like Reg Snapper). This is not to copy them but to look at quality and viewpoint from those who have worked out what the buyers want and how to supply them. I also look closely at their key words and captions so I can improve on my approach. I find all this a fascinating learning journey . Good luck....
  2. Taking shots of a BBC film production.

    Sorry to make several contributions on this topic - but it is one I am frequently involved in. I take news photos in Trafalgar Square occasionally and in Parliament Square at least weekly. The powers to stop this are in statute but I have not seen them used. The Royal Parks are a bit different. I have taken news photos in Royal Parks but I am aware that some photographers have been stopped by Parks Police. An interesting area is the rear of Downing Street which is technically in a Royal Park and some of my Downing Street photographer colleagues have been stopped taking photos and some have got the very expensive Royal Parks Photographic permit to allow them to do this.
  3. Taking shots of a BBC film production.

    In terms of the police the College of Policing includes this in their guidance: Reporting from a scene Reporting or filming from the scene of an incident is part of the media’s role and they should not be prevented from doing so from a public place. Police have no power or moral responsibility to stop the filming or photographing of incidents or police personnel. It is for the media to determine what is published or broadcast, not the police. Once an image has been recorded, the police have no power to seize equipment, or delete or confiscate images or footage without a court order. Where police have designated a cordoned area, the media must respect it in the same way as the public, unless a media facility within a cordoned area has been authorised by police. The best possible vantage point for media should be considered, providing it does not compromise operational needs. I have only once been threatened under the Prevention of Terrorism Act for taking photographs (of David Cameron) and that was years ago. I made a complaint and got a sort of apology from a senior officer ("I would not have dealt with the situation in the way the officer did had I been at that scene")
  4. New contract clause 4.11.

    So I am photographing a football game, take a picture of a goal and cannot name the person scoring.....
  5. Taking shots of a BBC film production.

    I have found problems with photographing TV filming. On one occasion a few months ago they sent a runner to stand in front of me so I could not get shots and it became a rather amusing cat and mouse game as to who could move faster......
  6. Images Sold in March (Max. 1 per day

    My photo in The Daily Telegraph online edition
  7. Have you found any Alamy images in March 2018?

    My photo in The Dail Telegraph online edition
  8. Good taste and photojournlism

    I had another interesting ethics question last night. A serious road traffic accident caused the closure of a major road. Sadly, it turned out this morning that a pedestrian was killed and a driver has been arrested for causing death by dangerous driving. In the end I decided not to send the photos to Live News - but not on an ethics ground but simply because they are unlikely to sell. But, should I have taken the photos in the first place? I was given a hard time by a police officer who clearly disproved of me being there. He even told me I should not publish the photos until a statement had been issued by the police. - Which is of course not true. I take the view that if the photographs are in the public interest they should be taken, with appropriate restraint. The same issues arose over pictures of the Grenfell Tower. i guess it is really up to each photographer and the particular situation.
  9. New GDPR legislation

    I doubt if you would get a lawyer to comment at this stage on the impact on photography. It will take a number of legal cases before the interpretation of the GDPR in relation to photography becomes clear. Currently journalists and news photographers have a specific exemption under the Data Protection Act (Section 32 of the top of my head) from DP provisions. This specific exemption is not contained within the GDPR – but it is likely to have application until the UK Government publishes specific enabling legislation – which is unlikely anytime soon given Brexit. It should not be forgotten that freedom of the press in enshrined in the Human Rights regulations and in most recent court cases there has been a careful balancing of the rights of the individual against the rights of freedom of the press. The issue of stock photography is a different issue and I would expect this to be an even more difficult area. This is particularly the case for the photography of children where it appears that the regulations say that children under 16 (or perhaps 13) cannot give consent to having their photography taken. On a similar theme, implied consent, may, in some photographic situations, not be enough. Interesting times. Having said the above I am aware of only a very small number of cases where photographs and photography have had specific issues over data protection. Of course the caveat with this statement is the subject of super injections where we do not know if photography/photographers have been subject to injections as revealing the existence of these injections is contempt of court. A few years ago I was served with an order under an Act of Parliament and it was a criminal act to reveal that I have been served with that order. I see the GDPR photographic issues as a fairly low probability– although perhaps with a high impact…. In fairness the judicial system, at least in the UK, has been good in keeping a balance between legitimate journalism and individual rights.
  10. Music festival photography

    I know it it a bit early in the year to raise this but... I have just been granted press accreditation for a summer music festival. This is the first time that I have covered the full festival. (I did get some photos in The Telegraph etc last year for a news story from the same event). I want to submit the pictures via the entertainment section of Live News. Does anyone have any advice on number of pictures etc. I want to avoid the news pictures being moved by a news editor to stock then failing QC. I am planning on a couple of pictures of each headline act and some crowd reaction shots. Any thoughts appreciated
  11. I made a rookie error today

    You should only get a ten day upload freeze if you have one star on your dashboard. To be fair to Alamy, they get thousands of photos uploaded weekly and that is why the process is as automated as it can be. I too have suffered from live news images being moved to stock by an editor's decision. It failed QC so I got a ban. Their house, their rules. Having said that I did ask for a ban to be suspended as I was covering a major news event and they, exceptionally agreed and issued me with "words of advice" as the police would say. I take the view if I want to use their not inconsiderable sales infrastructure I have to follow their rules and judgements.
  12. Post your positive results in 2018 here! :)

    My first sale of 2018, to the Sun.... https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/5411340/boris-johnson-nhs-quit-resign-theresa-may/
  13. London Fashion Week

    Thanks for the comments; as you suggested, I thought I would give it another try. Just preparing the kit.... https://www.iandavidsonphotography.com/london-fashion-week-2017-ss18
  14. Adobe Photoshop and Banknotes

    I did apply to the Bank of England for “permission” to photograph bank notes for stock. My advice would be “Do not bother”. The process took a long time and when the images were finally agreed, meeting their requirements, their usage time limits made the images useless for stock. They clearly have no idea about the stock images market and, given the large number of micro stock UK currency images, most people do not go through the process.
  15. Cold in Downing Street

    It has been so cold in Downing Street, London, this week that the photographers have taken to running up and down the press pen to keep warm, and some of us are at an age where that is not a good idea!