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Posts posted by wiskerke

  1. 59 minutes ago, M.Chapman said:


    That's interesting - I'd never noticed that - because I only looked at the placement of my own images (Duh!!). I wonder if checking ones image spacing is another way (besides BHZ) of assessing rank?





    In principle yes, but it's unclear how much is one's own rank and how much is the rank of the image. So much is clear: sales are a very important factor. Duh again! 😁

    However very new contributors with very few images sometimes overtake all, images and contributors. That must be because very early on that image or the contributor had sales or maybe even just zooms. Because again and again Alamy has reassured us there's no such thing as a secret sauce. Meaning human intervention to favor someone.



    • Upvote 1

  2. 6 hours ago, M.Chapman said:

    2) Ever spotted the "rule of 19"? If a number of my images meet the same search criterion they will typically (but not always) appear in the search results as a chain of images with a spacing of 19. I assume this is caused by Alamy's "diversity algorithm" that spreads images from the same contributor so they don't appear as a block in search results. The spacing of 19 seems to apply to my images irrespective of whether the matching keywords are in tags or supertags or captions, although those with the best match appear earliest in the chain, and previously zoomed images tend to appear first. The position of the first image seems to be determined by rank, previous zooms and weighting applied to matching tags, supertags and caption. 


    If you check on contributors that sell many images a month, you'll see that their images are much closer together than those 19.

    It works the other way around also: if you spot many images on the first rows by one or two contributors, you know they are really high sellers. Like really high. Like selling in a month what I sell in a year.



    • Thanks 1
    • Upvote 2

  3. 31 minutes ago, alexandersr said:

    Ok, that fine, because some here in Venezuela is selling a Sony RX100 in $ 200, i don't know if it's a good deal.


    That's about the going rate for a mk1 on Ebay as well.


    I prefer the mk2 or higher because they have a flip out back screen and wifi. (I had never thought wifi is such fun.) Mk1 also has no way of connecting a remote.

    Everything on the later models is a bit faster each time because of a better processor. Between each model most of the steps are really small though. Apart from the obvious changes in lenses. Only mk2 has a flash shoe. From mk3 on there's a pop-up viewfinder.

    If you need video the differences are a bit bigger between models.


    Here is a comparison between all the RX100 models.




    (I have the mk1; 2; 5 and 6 - I use the 5 and 6 a lot. More than my A7R2 at the moment.)

  4. 6 hours ago, Ed Rooney said:

    What you are attempting, Allan, is hard to do. If I were to have an assignment like that, I would insist on using bounce or defused flash. Otherwise, you'll be getting a lot of failed frames.


    Yep, hence the 24fps. Failed frames cost nothing. Except when you don't throw them away and have to store them. But even then. Last week I bought a second 10Tb hdd for 316 euros.



  5. 2 crops with simple defects:

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/8p5vtjk3vhrlaby/crop-ruined city 005.jpg

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/ssdy68a5eh8sb5q/crop-ruins 7k.jpg

    (Sorry don't know why dropbox insists on showing them this big - they're normal at download though.)


    I think the problem that QC has with these images is that at thumbnail size they suggest to be photorealistic.

    Anything that looks a certain way in thumbnail, but turns out to be totally different when opened at 100% by the client gets a rejection.

    So in general if you use parts of bitmaps, they should have the correct size at the definitive end size. So if you start with a 10x10 pixels piece of bitmap, but the end size is a 7000x4000 pixels, your initial 10x10 don't look so good. It's called uprezzing and yes you can, but only with very good files, like RAW files and then only to a certain size, say to a 14x14 pixels. It's not such a big deal with moving images, but still images are being scrutinized throughout the industry at 100%.

    So check your initial jigsaw puzzle bitmap parts, see which one got uprezzed the most, say 400% and then decrease the pixel size until you're at 100% again. Now see how big your end file is.

    My guess is about screen size at 4k.

    Do you have a Retina screen? Use at least 200% as a final control.



  6. 3 hours ago, Ed Rooney said:

    Image stabilization is our digital tripod.


    I have something called essential tremor (familiar tremor). It's not from aging. I've had this slight tremor all my life. To compansate, I follow a serious handholding method. If at all possible, the camera is over the bulk of my body, meaning I don't hold it out in front of me. So I use the viewfinder and not the back screen. 


    Interesting. I do the opposite: I hold it like you would handle an old Rolleiflex, cradled in my hands and my hands or wrists held against my body. Not too firm though, because tension induces movement as we know from shooting. I use my thumb on the release button. My left thumb is in the same position on the left on top of the viewfinder which I never use. 1/2s is well possible in this position. The back screen is tilted towards me and usually the electronic level is visible. Plus always the one thirds lines.

    This position is stable enough to allow looking up without changing much the way the camera is pointing, say up to 35mm.

    If you hold the camera lower than your belly button, it will look very odd to onlookers if they do not spot the camera though 🙋‍♂️👮‍♂️👩‍⚖️ - 😁.


    My tremor is usually because of the lack of food or sugar. But any excitement or physical exercise will cause even more unsteadiness. It's a wonder I do manage to get any sharp image at all. Those image stabilization thingies are pure magic! 👴😁

    Using the 24fps on the MkV and MkVI reveals how many images are actually blurred and how little are pin sharp in a second. So I use that a function a lot now. It does eat hard disk space though.


    Btw I only use full AUTO or A. On A I usually use exposure bracketing.




  7. You didn't say what the subject was nor the use.

    Does the subject move? At what speed? What light levels? Is the subject stationary? - could include models posing.

    Are the images going to be printed? Published on Facebook? Alamy? Billboard? You get the idea.

    So this is very general:

    Play around/practice at home at the expected light levels and see at what shutter speeds your images are sharp enough.

    And what level of graininess is acceptable for the purpose.

    Not RAW but very useful is the handheld twilight scene mode. High speed continuous drive and RAW will do the same, but then you will have to do the editing by hand: delete all less than sharp images from the burst and stack/median the rest in Photoshop.

    After practicing at home, do a test run at the actual venue.



    • Upvote 1

  8. 14 minutes ago, alexandersr said:

    I live in Caracas, Venezuela. Caracas is in top list of most dangerous cities in the world. If difficult go around with a big DSLR camera, in the Caracas city. I thing, if it's possible use compact cameras with some quality suitable for Alamy parameters. I saw in $200 a Sony RX100, i don't know if that camera works for Alamy Quality?


    All will be answered here: https://discussion.alamy.com/search/?q=rx100 , if you have a day or two to spare.

    Short answer: yes if your photography and editing skills are good enough and don't expect it to be a dslr.



  9. 2 hours ago, Allan Bell said:


    I believe the thread was "Weather or not".


    You will find it HERE.




    Well spotted!

    It seems short term memory is the first to go. 😂

    ITMA? Aha.


    I've checked my sales since that thread and all 25 images taken outdoors have blue skies or otherwise brilliant weather. So no new examples of bad weather with good light.

    These are 19 of those sales:

    The White House Washington DC. Equestrian statue of Andrew Jackson in Lafayette Square and the North Portico - Stock Image  Christmas. The White House w Christmas trees and the equestrian statue of Andrew Jackson in Lafayette Park, Washington - Stock Image  Amsterdam De Oude Kerk, The Old Church with Oudekerksbrug (Old Church Bridge) and Oudezijds Voorburgwal Canal. - Stock Image  Amsterdam Magere Brug, Skinny Bridge, on the Amstel River and Hermitage Museum at dusk night evening in summer Parked - Stock Image  The Ambassade Hotel on the Amsterdam Herengracht Canal in winter with seasonal Christmas lights. - Stock Image Amsterdam Reguliersdwars Reguliersdwarsstraat outdoor bars rainbow flag in the traditional heart of the gay LGBT - Stock Image  McDonalds restaurant on the corner of Gran Via and Calle de la Montera in Madrid Spain Europe. - Stock Image  Dutch Windmills in Green Heart of Holland: Molenviergang Aarlanderveen. 3 of the flight of 4 wind mills keeping - Stock Image  Lake Habeeb in Rocky Gap State Park near Cumberland Maryland. Totally quiet the day after Labor Day weekend. - Stock Image  Fallingwater or Kaufmann Residence aka Falling Water is a house by architect Frank Lloyd Wright. - Stock Image  Birds on a wire. Yellow street lamp against a dark blue sky. - Stock Image  TAFE Marcus Clark Building; Medina Hotel; Central Railway Station and Bus Station on Railway Square in Sydney, NSW, - Stock Image  Potomac Mills Outlet Center in Woodbridge Virginia near Washington DC US USA. Side entrance, newly redesigned. - Stock Image  Washington DC, the white marble fountain in Dupont Circle. The statue symbolizes The Sea and is carrying a ship. - Stock Image  Buenos Aires, Torre de la Nación. Modern office building of national newspaper in Catalinas at dusk. - Stock Image  The Hirshhorn Museum on the National Mall in Washington DC - Stock Image  Bixby Bridge Pacific Coast Highway Big Sur California. Bixby Creek Canyon Bridge with coastal fog mist rolling in - Stock Image  New York historic view. Lower Manhattan at sunset with the Twin Towers of the NYC NY WTC in the background. - Stock Image  Edinburgh Skyline from Canton Hill with Edinburgh Castle and the Old Town at sunset in summer. - Stock Image    


    It's clear that light does play a big role. Whether that is in my images or in the taste of the buyers I'm not sure. It could also be color or just content, and mine was on the first or second row for their search.


    That content has something to do with it, could be deduced from these two:

    Gettysburg Eternal Light Peace Memorial on the Gettysburg Battlefield at sunset looking west. Gettysburg National Military Park. - Stock Image

    The one from the previous thread which has sold 5 x

    and this one from the same outing:

    Worm fence or snake fence a split rail fence on Civil War Battlefield at Oak Hill, Oak Ridge, Gettysburg National Military Park - Stock Image

    which sits on 5th row @10/row @100/page for small thumbnails; or 8th row for large thumbnails.

    And has not sold once.

    I like it better though, but clients think otherwise. Or they just don't see it because it's too far down on the page. (There are 11,929 images for Gettysburg.)

    Could be content: ah yes that's a monument with some interesting light as a bonus. That's God's hand or Jacob's ladder or a Sun Harp (depending on where you live and which language you speak). What's the other - just a fence? Huh? (Fences played a role on that battlefield and they looked like this.)

    My image is #2 for Gettysburg fence. However nobody ever searches for that. Ever.



    • Like 1

  10. Chuck, could this be your screen?



    Dell 2407WFP-HC


    Maybe it's nearing the end of it's life.


    This advice is not bad. Check out his pages about color management too.

    If you can live with sRGB his budget option looks good. But as he says, you must calibrate it.

    I noticed that over here the Eizo CS2420 went down in price and is now EURO 620, But in the US it has gone up quite a bit and is now around $960 at B&H. Cheapest I could find was through Amazon for $759.  But the average at Amazon was around $870. Could this be the current trade wars at work? Could also be because I cannot tell Amazon to show me prices without shipping (to The Netherlands). It used to be the prices in the US were in dollars what they were over here in euros. (We have higher sales tax, which is included in all prices on the consumer level.)


    What I don't understand is why some of your images are perfect, but others tend to have those darker shadows and are sometimes just too dark overall. Could be changing ambient light also. Like sunshine in the room vs no light at all. The Kaepernick portraits are good and the close-ups of Condi and Kerry look good too. But the overviews of that one are a tad on the dark side.



  11. 8 minutes ago, Chuck Nacke said:

    My workflow is pretty simple, shoot Nikon NEF or RAW, Lightroom (LR) to balance and output as 16bit aRGB TIFF to Photoshop (PS) then caption

    and keywork and then save to 8bit aRGB JPEG for upload to Alamy.  At every stage I pay attention to the Histogram, set to 0-255,  My screen, Adobe

    software and desktop are all set to work in aRGB color.  I will say that I tend to prefer my Histogram to be to the darker side, closer to the 0's (black)

    then the 255's (white).


    For the last two years I've been using a DELL Ultra Sharpe monitor and I have never been happy with it.  Before the DELL I had a very high-end NEC

    monitor and I loved it.


    Would appreciate any experienced Alamy contributor having a look at the URL below and letting me know if the images they are viewing are too dark or contrasty?







    How high have you set the light output of the UltraSharp?


    BTW there's quite a bit difference between the UltraSharps.  Newer ones have led lights, but older ones have CCFL backlights.

    Older color calibrators can struggle to get the settings right for Led backlights.

    I have two ancient U2010 ones that have the same LG panels inside as some macs from that time and they were really good for the money. Much easier to the eye than their Apple counterparts too because of the non-glare finish. However now I have two Eizo's I can see and feel the difference: they are less stressful for the eyes, because they are so evenly lit (uniformity in display-speak). The Dells much less so. Color wise there's not a huge difference. And the Eizo's are also non-glare.

    The main difference is the color depth which with the Eizo's is now real 10-bit thanks to a serious Nvidia Quadro P4000 graphics card. So no more banding in blue skies or B/W images.


    Back to your images. I find the shadows a bit dark and the overall feel a bit on the gloomy side.

    A good test is generally to try AUTO in ACR or LR. It's not always perfect of course. However I tried it on the downloaded zoom of your WA1544 and AUTO in ACR generally did with it what I would do with it.

    One of many HyArts artist Shanties at Hyannis Harbor, Hyannis, MA, USA - Stock Image



    So if you were on a Mac I would suspect your monitor brightness is too high, because that's usually the case with mac displays. (People want their movies to be bright.)


    My Eizo monitors are at 100 cd/m2. Let me fire up the print station to see at what levels the Dells are set. They are now also set at 100 cd/m2. Previously they were at 115 cd/m2 because the studio is quite well lit, while the station with the Eizo's is in a much darker space to the side.

    The Dell U2410 monitors were 400 cd/m2 out of the box according to the specs. That may well be a lot lower after 10 years and the colors have shifted also. (Which is why one uses a calibration device.)




  12. 4 hours ago, VbFolly said:

    Just noticed Kumar (aka Doc Kumar) is on the list twice - maybe he's won 6 times?


    They are 2 different Kumars:

    Kumar Sriskandan - https://discussion.alamy.com/profile/221-doc/

    P Kumar - https://discussion.alamy.com/profile/3144-kumar/


    I hope my attribution of the wins were to the right one though.


    OK let's check that:


    October - You Wear It Well - Doc Kumar- C1A3X0


    January - Friendship and Friends - Kumar - DCE46T

    August - Digital Manipulation - Kumar - AGNMC6


    August - Travel Magazine - cover - Doc Kumar - EHA78Y

    April - Little - Bryan - CTYX0F - Doc Kumar - S05W69 (tie)


    February - The Unusual / The Weird / The Lucky Shot - Doc Kumar - AW4G2R






  13. Which brings us to a list of winners so far. Please check your name/nick/pseudo to see if it's correct.


    Colin Woods 8

    Arterra, Philippe 5
    Michael Ventura 5
    Wiskerke 5

    Doc Kumar 4
    NYCat 4
    Olivier Parent 4
    Russell Watkins 4

    Alan Beastall 2
    AVPics 2
    Bryan 2
    Julie Edwards 2
    Kumar 2
    MariaJ 2
    Shpg 2
    Steve Hyde 2

    Ace 1
    Andy Melbourne 1
    Baarney  1
    Chris E 1
    David Davies 1
    dustydingo 1
    Ed Endicott 1
    fotoDogue 1
    Graham Morely 1
    gvallee 1
    imageplotter 1
    John Mitchell 1
    kmerr 1
    LSP 1
    Lynne 1
    Malcolm Park 1
    MDM 1
    Mickfly 1
    Ognyan Yosifov 1
    Pazmander 1
    Phil Crean 1
    Pretty Pictures 1
    RedSnapper 1
    reeray 1
    Regis 1
    Sheila Smart 1
    Simon Evans 1
    Sprocket 1
    Stu 1
    TeeCee 1
    Tim Gainey 1
    Tom Travis 1





  14. 3 hours ago, Colin Woods said:

    26 Jan 2013 - I was close. Tim Gainey set the theme " A Magical Moment" so he won Autumn. The winner of Magical Moment was Pretty Pictures with an unknown image as the photo does not appear and there is no reference in the description. Maybe it was not an Alamy image. So someone can now explain to me how I can remember that but not my mum's birthday.


    Well spotted!


    As for mum's birthday, that's a tough one.

    Has she ever forgotten yours? Probably not. Women seldom forget such important things as birthdays.

    Men otoh never know what day it is or when their friends (male) have their birthdays. Or so the internet says.

    One of the links when I asked googled this problem was called Joyriding In Autismland. Go figure.



  15. Because it is raining here (with a balmy 15C) and the Wayback Machine (well anything) is a tempting diversion of book keeping, here's some more.


    So we ended the list with



    April - In the Air


    - Which was the first on the New Forum but had started on the Old Forum.

    - Because the All new Alamy Forum was announced on the old forum by Alamy on April 22.


    Further on the Old forum:


    March - Minimalism
    February - Forgotten
    January - Alone



    December -  Togetherness
    November - A Magical Moment
    October - Autumn

      - which was probably the first:

    Because there is this thread started by Arterra Monthly challenges - This is NOT a camera club! with a last post by Munty on Monday, October 08, 2012 4:21 PM. The rest was not archived, so that's all we know can find online.

    And there are no previous posts with the word Challenge or otherwise hinting at something like that.


    Does anybody remember who won those first two?

    November - A Magical Moment

    October - Autumn

    With what images? Why could the winner of November not been found in December? Or was it just not in time, which happens sometimes and has happened recently.

    And with what images did reeray and dustydingo win those December -  Togetherness and January - Alone challenges?


    February - Forgotten - was won by Baarney with CWH6C5,

    March - Minimalism -  by Stu with CYK71X.


    The section of the old forum Let's talk about pics (where the Challenges have been taken place) had been started with this announcement by Alamy on Tuesday, August 28, 2012:

    You will notice that we have changed the Alamy Forum so it is now has three categories;
    1. "Alamy Quality control and technical queries" -this will be devoted to understanding QC, reasons for failure, allowing failed images to be posted up so an independent view can be given. Plus this topic will be for questions related to photography, cameras and software inc Photoshop and scanning etc.
    2. "Ask the Forum" - anyone with a question related to Alamy or the Stock Industry can ask it here and hopefully get an answer from a well informed fellow photographer.
    3. "Let's talk about pics" - Purely to talk about and share images, portfolio critique, inspire and general positivity.



  16. 1 minute ago, Colin Woods said:

    Anyone else a bit terrified that the challenge has been going for more than 6 years? If you had asked me I would have said 3, maybe 4. In the same way that I was horrified to realise that Janet Jackson's bare breast "controversy" at the Superbowl was over 15 years ago. Gulp!


    You have kids, right? 😂



  17. 20 hours ago, sb photos said:


    Strong language on political protest placards is on the increase. If I believe a photo including a placard displaying language similar to F***k Boris was a strong image in its own right, I upload. I have included in reportage captions similar to 'Protestor holding banner using strong language' or 'extremely critical of xyz' rather than quote the placard. Do they sell, yes, one recently used in a Vice magazine article. 


    I have once submitted images of the London world naked bicycle ride. I noticed one photographer's images in the Live News feed had warnings about nudity. I thought this unnecessary as the caption stated prominently 'World Naked Bicycle Ride' which makes it obvious.


    Maybe check AoA for those swear words or nudity; nude and naked as a keyword.


    Hmmm maybe do it myself.

    Not many searches for nudity in the rolling year: 19.

    Including this one:

    https://www.gettyimages.com/photos/lavender fields france provence?excludenudity

    But 7 pages (@100) for nude and 7 for naked as well.

    No results for strong language and only 1 search for swear words. A couple for swear or swearing (as in using swear words). Interesting.



  18. 19 hours ago, Thyrsis said:

    That's great thanks Wim, and David. I was going to go back and find them all until I realised there were about 80 of them!! 


    Thank you! You're welcome. I didn't do them in one go. Just updated them when I had to set a challenge myself.


    Somehow missing from that list are the only ones from the old forum I could find:


    Old forum:

    A Magical Moment


    There must have been more. If anyone remembers one or is able to find some more, please post them here.

    Maybe a nice project for a long cold wet winter's night? Trawling through the wayback machine? 😉






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