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Steve Valentia

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Everything posted by Steve Valentia

  1. When I read the OP I thought that the issue would be about the captioning and tags on the image. They are probably some of the worst I have seen. But if they are typical of others around, then I can sleep more easily about my own.
  2. I reported an issue to the news editors, at the weekend, that at least one contributor, A stock agency, is using a future date stamp on their news images. When I noticed it, at least two images that arrived on the feed had a date of 5th December 2018. This meant that those images stayed at the top of the feed. I haven't looked in the last few days to see if they are still there, but it is something to watch out for as it detracts from all the correctly dated images arriving.
  3. At least half the sales I make are from images that do not appear in my zoom list. I do think, though, that since I started making more regular contributions, after a long hiatus, both my zooms and sales have picked up to the point where I'm disappointed if I don't see a sale every 2 or 3 days. In my "down time" I was lucky to see a sale every month. Last year, I broke my all-time record for sales in a year. This year, I have 7 sales to go to break that record and 6 months to do it in. Not sure at all if there a connection, but as J Paul Getty said..."the harder I work, the luckier I get!"
  4. Thanks Paul. This is a complex question, and the answer varies depending on which country you fly the drone in. It is usually more to do with whether you can fly the drone for commercial purposes, rather than sell the photographs from it. In the US and UK, you will need a commercial drone license to fly a drone for "work" (that is; you fly expecting a fee for your services), which usually involves undertaking a course. In Ireland - where I live - all drones should be registered with the IAA, but there is no such thing as a "professional" or "commercial" drone pilot. However, there are restrictions on how and where you can fly the drone. If you want to fly outside of those restrictions (this may be necessary to undertake commercial work) you will need permission from the IAA, who may grant you a license for that flight; and you have to attend a course to be in a position to apply for the license. Oddly, in the US (not sure about the UK), it is legal to sell images or video taken with a drone used initially for hobby purposes and not for commercial use, after the fact. So, if you fly the drone for fun and then someone wants to buy a photo you took with it, you're not breaking the law.
  5. Really? Where did that figure come from? There are far too many variables to pin stock success down to 800 images for regular sales. 10 000 images of an undesirable subject, or of a desirable one badly photographed still wouldn't be enough.
  6. This was my first Alamy sale, made in September 2005, 6 months after I joined. I'm not sure of how many images I had contributed at the time, but I reckon it was less than 300. It's a RF sale that made $248. It shows a barrow stuck in manure. Not a bad analogy for my photography career at present.
  7. I thought I'd try (God forgive me), a microstock firm last year, for the first time in a very long photography career. So far 60 sales, netting $18.76. 3 Alamy sales in May 2018 so far, netting $200. I am also very close to breaking my all time record for sales in a year, and there's more than half of the year to go! You have around 900 images for sale, which, in the grand Alamy scheme of things, is smaller than half a drop of water in several large oceans. My advice is try harder and spend even more time on it than you have so far, and you may (may) get a sale or two.
  8. First drone image to sell and a 3 figure sale from one of 15 weather news sales this month - from the same shoot (mix of camera and drone).
  9. Thanks for the reply Wim, it was actually your suggestion about the tablet and pen that got me to buy one, but I'm just admiring it unplugged most of the time as I found it less effective than the mouse. Probably because I'm not used to it. I have over 6000 images with Alamy, contributed since 2004, and hundreds of thousands of others scattered across numerous external hard drives. It would take far longer to find the Alamy images to re-upload them than to work slowly on the re-keywording as I am now. I did get a spreadsheet, but again not being familiar with it slowed me down. I found that I had to keep comparing the uploaded images with the image ID on the spreadsheet to know which one I was keywording. I've tried the dragging method and this has some effect. Occasionally though I get error messages about having too many supertags! I wish!
  10. Forget "here comes the sun..." snow's the way to go! As mentioned, my first ever weather news submission (of snow), about a month ago, nabbed 15 sales (with a range of fees from $120 to $10) and I'm hopeful of more from them. Unless I'm frozen out of the running.
  11. I just wondered if my comments were helpful, as I saw that you responded to a joke about the Scottish weather, made shortly before my own original post. I agree with you that the parameters seem illogical, and the decision on whether (or weather) you get an image rejected or not, may be bordering on arbitrary. I would say though (as per my previous post), that there could be a psychological association between weather and nature, and this may account for the animal images you cited being accepted. I'm not saying that is right, I'm just suggesting that the news feed editors may have deemed it more likely to "fit" than the image you submitted. Like most things, being successful in stock photography is knowing how to play the game.
  12. I know one of the people you mentioned in my capacity as associate editor of a UK camera magazine and I realize that he does well with weather news images, sunsets especially. I’m now based in Ireland, and so my outlets are limited for weather shots, although The Sun (ironically) has an Irish edition, and I sold 15 weather images to it last week, from the same shoot. My point was that I think weather is being interpreted too broadly and that may account for some news rejections. I made the same point above, with some helpful suggestions to the OP but as of now my reply has not received a response.
  13. I've been a press-card-carrying (NUJ) photographer since 1981. Until recently (see my post above) I have shied away from "weather news" images on Alamy, because, in my view, the parameters are far too wide and open to abuse. My view is that the sun rising (with or without human interest) is not news - it's the old press photographer's equivalent of "dog bites man", actually. The sun will always rise. If you can get a shot of it not rising, you'll make a fortune.
  14. Thanks Martin I don't have a color-managed laptop, but I do have a colour calibrated 27 inch monitor attached to a very powerful desktop computer. My problem is they are in Ireland and I will be in London and want to get some news images back to Alamy, within an hour or so of shooting. If you look at what @RedSnapper writes about his huge Alamy success, you'll see that a phone and an FTP app is a major part of it. If Keith sees this, I'd be interested in his views (I'm the Stephen from Cameracraft magazine, Keith). I took another few images today and uploaded them to Alamy (not news) all via the phone and Safari. They were probably 1/3rd of a stop under exposed, but not anything like the one last night. I think your suggestion about the phone reprocessing the image is bang on.
  15. I was responding to your comment "I'll try my luck", which could suggest that you're not bona fide, as genuine students would be accepted. From subsequent posts, I can see you're not a photography student, so as others have suggested, your luck may not be in.
  16. I made what I consider to be a major mistake of using a key-wording service, based in India, some years ago and before the upgrade to the current Alamy Image Manager. This resulted in each of the 3000 or so images, I had at the time, being flooded with dozens of useless keywords. I believe that this has greatly affected my ranking and sales. Since the upgrade and the current requirement for no more than 50 tags, I have been working solidly through the older images, from around 2004, to try and delete all the redundant keywords. But, this is incredibly time consuming, trying to delete one word at a time, and finding the small x in the corner of the tag with my mouse. I have tried a tablet and pen (I bought one especially for the job) but it is actually less effective than the mouse. Despite contacting member services and pleading with them, it seems that a multiple delete function is no longer being considered - although my first reply suggested it was. Apparently it was trialed and some users found they deleted the wrong words. I'm getting desperate now, as I can barely change 150 images in a full day and as I'm approaching older age, I may want to go outside into the sunshine occasionally. Can I ask that Alamy please reconsider implementing this function, or as an alternative ask ME to trial it? I am sure I would find some positive things to say about it. Stephen
  17. They might not if they read this forum; you seem to be suggesting you're not actually a student?
  18. I have been reluctant to submit weather images, because of the vague nature of the possible subjects. However, following a rare snowfall where I live, I have recently made 15 sales from one 20 minute shoot. Encouraged by this, I made a submission of 12 images yesterday which you will see on the news feed under Irish weather and a related shot is the subject of another post. From your description of the photograph you took, I would also find it difficult to class it as a weather shot. My view is that you really have to be able to 'show' the weather in the photograph and not assume the viewer will accept that it is cold, or wet or sunny or whatever. The images you described that were accepted are perhaps ones that people can relate to, and in someway 'feel' a sense of the conditions. They can possibly psychologically relate to the weather - and nature and the weather are closely connected in some people's minds; hence another reason for your image rejection (as you didn't make that connection as others did. That's just my view and I may be pushing it somewhat, but my advice is that you try to show the weather in your photograph in either an explicit or implied way.
  19. I've been experimenting with using an FTP app and the Lightroom CC app on my iPhone, for Alamy news uploads. This is mainly because I will be shooting away from home at a few major events over the next few weeks. I'm using FTP Manager and after an hour or so, managed to take a test photo (a weather news image), upload it to my iPhone 6 and FTP it from there to Alamy News. However, although I'm no stranger to Lightroom there seems to be a problem with the uploaded images, mainly that they are under exposed by at least 1 or 1 1/2 stops. I have been using the (now) "Classic" version since the Beta of v.1 and I teach it regularly, so that shouldn't be the issue and the images look perfectly exposed on my phone screen. I'm just wondering if there is something I'm missing, as to why the screen image is much darker and flatter than it looks once it reaches Alamy. All constructive suggestions are welcome. Steve
  20. I'm getting it very regularly; it's no longer funny. I even got it while trying to log in to reply to this thread. I'm on Windows 10 and Firefox v57.
  21. I have now been in touch with Shelley at Customer relations, and she is organizing a spreadsheet to be pulled up for me, which I can then use to change my keywords, send it back and then changes can be applied at Alamy's end. She also told me that they are looking into the possibility of adding the option for multiple deletes of keywords, but there is no time frame for this, as yet. I'm also going to buy a fairly inexpensive tablet and pen as suggested by @wiskerke to see if that speeds up things in the meantime. Thanks again for the help.
  22. Thank you very much Wim. I tried dragging the tags and that is faster than deleting them singly. I don't use a tablet or a pen (maybe I should invest in one for my PC). I don't know about the spreadsheet or how to use it, but I'll contact Contributor relations as you suggested.
  23. Thanks Joseph and MDM, I've been doing what Jospeph suggested already, but it's still painfully slow. I've tweeted Alamy content and hopefully they'll consider an update to the AIM in the future.
  24. Apologies if the answer to this question is found buried in the catacombs of the forum... I'm revamping keywords to around 4000 images (contributed prior to the new AIM) and it's proving very tedious, as many of them require a large number of keywords to be be deleted. Can anyone advise if it's possible to delete more than 1 keyword at time please?
  25. It's difficult (and in my case, virtually impossible) to predict what buyers want - unless they tell you, and then it's near impossible to predict how they want to see it, unless they are stood with you at the shoot.
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