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Steve Valentia

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Posts posted by Steve Valentia


    Just tried another (single) image. Passed QC in approximately 20 seconds! So far, I've not had random wait times since I got 5 stars.


    14 minutes ago, CAROL SAUNDERS said:

    Am wondering, I have a lowly 3 stars and there's no greyed out 2 stars.  Assuming live news goes through straight away - confused.com😀


    I doubt there will be any greyed out stars. Previously, it was only ever 3 stars, then jumped to 5. Live News should go through immediately, otherwise, it would be yesterday's news. :)

  2. 18 minutes ago, Orange Elephant said:

    Not sure what you are doubting? I'm not casting aspersions on your imagery.


    I'm doubting that " f5.6 is right on the edge before diffraction" with that lens. But, you may be right. However, unless you've seen it, then I wouldn't worry about it. Don't believe everything you read in the photo press. (I say that as Associate Editor of a fairly well-known UK camera magazine. ;) )

  3. 1 hour ago, Orange Elephant said:

    Thanks for the info, nice shot Steve! You realise that on a 1" sensor, f5.6 is right on the edge before diffraction?


    With a maximum aperture of f2.8? I doubt it. Anyway, it's working for me - the 30-odd sales and 100% QC passess (and a 5* QC rating) would testify to that.

  4. 40 minutes ago, Orange Elephant said:


    Thanks. We have the same sensor size, but the Phantom has a mechanical shutter & slightly less pixels, making it a touch better in lower light.

    The mechanical shutter only has an advantage over the electronic shutter, if you want to use higher ISO settings - and I don't. Certainly not on a drone camera with a 1" sensor. Image quality has to be very carefully controlled for QC to pass a drone shot.


    I keep the ISO as low as possible (usually 100), and the shutter in the middle(ish), around f5.6. It's been argued that the DJI lenses have better image quality when set away from the extremities. I also avoid flying in low light, although I have done so, a few times (see below), but carefully. I also always shoot  in Raw.



  5. 32 minutes ago, Phil Preston said:

    Steve, guessing you have not seen this thread?




    Thanks Phil; no I hadn't seen it, although I did look for something in the QC thread before posting. I had a browse and there's no real explanation of what's changed, and it doesn't explain why I passed in minutes on a Sunday (there hasn't ever been QC at the weekend before). I wonder if the 5* rating (which was only 3* max previously, is connected. Or maybe QC is on holiday! 

  6. Sorry, for the late contribution, and most of what I wanted to say has been covered. But, I did spend a few minutes viewing your images, so I'll impose my two-cents-worth, if that's OK?

    I'm inclined to say that the issue is more likely to be in the "other half" of your photography - the post processing, rather than the photographing. There is a very strong green bias to the images on the first 3 pages - and it may extend to images beyond those, but I didn't look any further. This gives the shots a very unappealing look - and I know it's been mentioned already. You might want to check the camera settings and your post-processing workflow to avoid it. As mentioned, you often have very deep shadows and some images are under-exposed. QC must have been on a break when those came in.


    Also, the outdoor images, often have dull grey skies, which is also very unappealing to the eye. Blue skies with white (not over exposed) clouds, may be corny, but a very good photographer told me (around 1978) "don't scorn the corn", in relation to selling images. It still holds true. Make sure your shots are as appealing as possible to the viewer - show them what you would want to see!

    • Upvote 2

  7. 3 hours ago, Ed Rooney said:

    Marianne, I'm curious what you did about a property release for that lighthouse? 

     I suspect @Marianne didn't do anything about it. The Lighthouse below is (literally) 5 minutes drive from my house. I photograph it regularly, and it is a location for the workshops I offer, on a weekly basis, for individuals and groups. I have also been paid to teach there for the Great Irish Lighthouses organization who own it and I know all of the committee members who run it.

    They are delighted to have it appear (as it has) in magazines and books and they frequently share my  social media posts. They even gave away 100 postcards with my details on the back, and a photo of it on the front, at the hut where tourists pay to visit the lighthouse.


    I have never asked them to sign a PR and no one has ever told me it's not needed. I would assume that most other lighthouse owners, especially those that are a commercial venture (and many are), would be happy to see it published.


    The main point about any release, though, is that the purchaser of the image (not the photographer) is responsible for determining if it's needed. I just put "NO" next to 'Do you have a signed Property Release', and leave it to whoever is buying the image to decide if they need it signed. 


    • Upvote 1

  8. 1 hour ago, CrowingHen said:

    On a side note, do they look edited?  I just used my white box and the camera on manual to make the white part white.  If they look edited, it means it worked!  yeh. But maybe it looks too edited for stock photography?  Personally, I wish they had more of a cut-out look because they have too much shadow and I have to send it to the graphic designer to remove the shadow when we use it at work otherwise it won't fit with the already established picture theme.  I hope to learn how to do that in the new year.

    It's easy to get a cut-out look by increasing the exposure on the background. I hope you don't mind, but I did this on one of your images, in Lightroom, using the adjustment brush tool, with an increase of 2/3's of a stop on the exposure. This is a bit rough, as I spent (literally) only 2 minutes on it. But it shows what can be done.

    Be careful of the shadows under the objects, though. These are harder to take out. Try to get the soft-box immediately above the objects, rather than on an angle to them when shooting. Also, having all objects on the background (rather than above others), will help to reduce shadows.


    • Like 1

  9. 16 minutes ago, John Morrison said:

    I've heard contributors write that they upload so many similars because they just can't decide which of their pix are the best. Well, the edit/discard routine is a vital part of the photographic process (especially now, with digital, when it's as cheap to shoot 100 frames as it is to shoot 10), and there's really no excuse to upload loads of similars, simply because we can!


    My Lightroom routine starts with sorting the rubbish, often whittling down 100 images to 15 or less. Under/over exposed, camera shake, poor composition, high noise etc etc all get the big X. But, I still may be left with more than 5 that are all "good", and sufficiently varied. It's then that submission choices get tricky.

  10. Don't ask me! I've just given advice on not using too many similars, in another thread, and then checked my 'blue number', to find 6 or 7 of the same scene. Not, the same image, exactly, as most of them have changes of pose or angle or editing.

    When I get a good scene in front of me, I tend to "milk it", not knowing when to stop shooting. On the other hand, part of me thinks it's better to give the client what you want them to see, and not too much choice as they might not be able to decide at all. Help!


  11. Some very useful advice here, especially from @Betty LaRue whose response was an object-lesson in how to submit for various types of stock library.

    My own input is threefold:

    1) You need a lot more images than 170 (ish) before you should even worry about making sales (as others have said), and they should be as different as possible. To my mind, you have too many "similars" and this narrows down your actual collection to about 1/3rd the size.


    2) I would, personally, consider whether some of the edited images would work for the Alamy market. Who would use a black-and-white bobbin of cotton, for example. If you're sure of the answer keep it in. If not, submit images that suit the marketplace. 

    3) I interviewed the late Keith Morris, shortly before his sad passing, and he told me "people sell for Alamy. One person doing one thing sells very well." His massive sales figures proved that to be right.

    • Like 1

  12. 13 hours ago, Autumn Sky said:

    Just 1 sale, but major one:   $292 gross -- largest single amount I sold my pic anywhere.  Some west USA magazine: print, digital and electronic   Print run: up to 5 million.   Am actually quite curious who is the customer.    Might start believing I am doing something right.


    As it has Digital use, try a reverse image search, it may show up somewhere (eventually). My biggest single sale was nearly $500, and I had a few around $300 - $400 when I first started with Alamy, but that was a long time ago.

  13. 3 minutes ago, spacecadet said:

    I can't say I'm pleased it's not just me, but you know what I mean. Mine isn't down to loss of news access though.


    I'm not sure mine is either, to be honest. Probably just crap images! (No, I don't really believe that). I worry about Alamy. Just seen the Light-box for the IOM in October and they look like they've been selected by people with no understanding of photographic technique. Yep, sour grapes but I think I have a point.

    • Upvote 1

  14. Absolutely awful October, 1 sale for $14. My total sales, for 2019 are - so far - down on last year and the year before by about 65% and 55% respectively.

    I was contacted by another contributor (and a really good pro photographer), to ask about my experience, as he had sold only 1 or 2 images all year. He wondered if there had been changes to Alamy's Algorithm. I don't know about that, but I do know I'm disappointed.

    Last year I made 88 sales ($2500 revenue). This year, so far, I have made 30 sales ($875, my lowest since 2013). Alamy removed me from submitting to the news feed, saying that I had not made any news sales in 2018, when I had actually made about 30 sales as a result of contributing to Live News. But, my sales figures don't agree.


    After I made a complaint, I was allowed contribute "reportage" (immediate acceptance of the images), but not the news feed. it seems to have had a big affect on my overall sales, so far.

    • Like 1
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