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Steve Valentia

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Everything posted by Steve Valentia

  1. I was reliably informed, by a drone school in Dublin, that there is no such thing as a "commercial license" in Ireland (as yet). The IAA requires you to register your drone(s) and then fly within certain "limitations" and boundaries, unless you have permission from them to go outside of those restrictions, for specific flights. In order to get permission to fly outside of the restrictions, you need to pass a flying course, and submit a flight log to the IAA. If you fly within the restrictions, then there are no blocks to selling those images. PDF download of IAA regulations PDF of IAA FAQ's (covers commercial flying)
  2. Thank you very much Patrick. The "trick" with the bird's-eye-view shot was to fly away from the ferry and wait for it to sail into the frame. Not as easy as it sounds (especially for a newbie pilot, like me). I agree with you that buying a cheap (maybe a £50) drone and learning to fly it without GPS or any other safety devices is a good idea. It's not what I did, and I literally, paid the price. I would say to @Betty LaRue that worrying about losing your drone is pointless if you want to fly one. Many of them crash and many get lost, it's a hazard of the hobby. That said, I heard of a photographer recently who lost a Canon 5D III, with a valuable lens and the tripod they were attached to, when the whole lot fell off a cliff. Gear breaks. Get over it and buy some more; is my philosophy.
  3. Since I started this thread, I have bought 2 drones, but only because I crashed the first one within 6 weeks. I reversed it into a cliff off the Island where I live, on the west coast of County Kerry and didn't even see it crash into the Atlantic, as I was too busy watching the screen. Lesson: Take someone with yo, carrying binoculars, to "spot" the drone and make sure you're not heading into obstacles (mine only had sensors at the front). I got a discount on the 2nd one, same model - DJI Phantom 4 Advanced - so decided to buy it and fly more carefully. It will take longer to recover the outlay, given the crash, but I am selling images now and passing QC regularly. When used carefully, the camera on the Phantom 4 Advanced has excellent image quality. Here are 2 images uploaded in the last couple of weeks, both of which have made it into the local and national Irish media.
  4. Thank you Alex, I'll be in touch shortly. Apart from a a few brief sentences on microstock, midstock and macrostock agencies needed right now, I may have a need for a longer interview with someone very familiar with the stock library business, for a section of the book. Perhaps I could put you down as a possible for that? Steve
  5. Thanks for that, I looked at the annual report suggested by M. Chapman, but couldn't get any relevant info from it, so I'll try again with your links. Actually my name tells you where I am (but you'd have to know Irish geography.) Valentia is an Island in South Kerry, Ireland.
  6. That's helpful, thank you. No word from the press office yet.
  7. Thanks for the replies. I should have looked a bit harder, and I can see they have a press contact email on the home page. I'll try there.
  8. Because I didn't know where to start. If you can suggest who I contact, I'd be grateful.
  9. I'm putting together a proposal for a book with a major UK publisher. I wanted to add some facts about stock library contributions in the sample chapter. Does anyone know where I might find some "stats" on Alamy and perhaps other big agencies. Does anyone know where I might find things like number of contributors, average sales figures, daily/weekly submissions etc in one place? Thanks for any suggestions. Steve
  10. Is it more annoying than having people tell you what you can do in your own part of the world in a free country?
  11. Thanks for that. Did you submit any still images from the P4 Pro to Alamy, and if so did they pass? if not, have you done any side by side comparisons of stills from both cameras?
  12. That's very helpful, thank you. I will check with member services, before I buy the drone, but it sounds as if I may be wasting my money. Much appreciated.
  13. Not in Ireland unless you fly commercially and outside of the restrictions, then you need Public Liability Insurance.
  14. Having made the OP, I'm now considering not buying the €3800 drone, but the Phantom 4 Pro, which in Ireland is €1600 (about £1300) for the basic set up. I'm not sure if they can be hired, but I had someone send me a .dng file from a cheaper model, the Phantom 3 (about €1000) and that looked almost Alamy passable with a bit of tweaking. I was called by a graphic designer this morning who wants me to do some exteriors of hotels and she was interested in the addition of a drone for that work, so it may be worth the investment, even at my laughably low €800 a day, rate. I'm still at the deciding stage though and may give it a week to consider my options.
  15. 1. Yes, fill in the form as Photographer and guardian or perhaps have your partner (if you have one) to fill in the Guardian part and sign it. 2. You need a form to cover each "shoot" (the same set of images taken in one "sitting" or within a specific time frame). This is covered on the form with "date and time of shoot" information. 3. (Same form question) See 2, above. 4. There's only the PDF version of the form. I hope that helps, Steve
  16. Hi Wim, no I hadn't, thank you for sharing. It makes very interesting reading, and I expected that the Zenmuse X5 would come out on top. The Inspire 1 Pro (which uses that lens) was my first consideration, but the €3800 price tag is a bit too steep. However, things got more interesting, for me, as I went deeper into the review and found a comparison chart between the lens on the Phantom 4 Pro and the Canon EOS 1D II, which had very close test results. I still own the 1Ds II and use it successfully for Alamy submissions on a regular basis. So, this was encouraging. I can also see that DXO compared the P4P lens to a Canon G7, and I'd be interested to know if anyone is passing QC with that camera, currently. For me, these are important "real world" tests, as the real arbiter here is QC. Betty LaRue Said... I have a son-in-law who flies drones. He builds his own. One thing I know. Unless you are adept at electronic games where you need to use both thumbs while visualize the scene on a connected tablet, the crashes and expenses of repairs will eat you up. He's very good at flying, but still is ordering parts constantly. The technology that enables drones to fly safely without crashing is developing all the time. The two drones that I am interested in have obstacle avoidance sensors all around and underneath them, intelligent flight mapping to allow them to follow a route and/or a moving object and the capacity to automatically return "home" when the battery is more than 1/3rd empty without hitting anything on the way back. They are basically, as fool-proof as they can get, and some actually do fly themselves. OK, they might crash, but I might trip and fall downstairs or reverse my car into a wall today. I'll try to take the same precautions to avoid this as much as I can, but at the same time, I will want to go downstairs and drive my car. I also want to fly a drone (I think). The sensor is, I believe the same 1" as in the Sony RX series cameras and they pass qc ok here. Can you let me know where you saw the information about the sensor, please. This is the sort of thing I was asking about in the OP and I'd like to confirm that it's actually the Sony RX sensor. Can't find the forum post (drone forum) where it was stated that they are the same sensors as RX series, but the website says "The onboard camera has been redesigned to use a 1-inch 20-megapixel CMOS sensor", which should be able to pass Alamy QC. The Phantom 3 1/2.3” CMOS which is 6.17 X 4.55mm as used in many cell phones, so no good here. The big factor here in the UK, besides the initial cost of the drone/gimbal/camera is the expense of the CAA training and testing which is required to get PfCO. Thanks for the sensor information. In terms of "licensing": In Ireland, you are required to register the drone with the IAA. However, there is no distinction between a hobbyist and commercial drone user; IF you stay within the IAA restrictions for flying it, which include: no more than 400m high, no more than 300m from the launch site, not over built up areas, not over more than 12 people and no take off or landing from private land without permission. Other than that, you CAN work commercially without further training and authorisation. Although with the approval (following training and a flight test) you can APPLY to fly outside of the restrictions - and you need to give 90 days notice, so it's not always commercially viable. There is no restriction on selling images that are taken while flying within the IAA limitations.
  17. That was interesting for me, but only because I live not too far away (I was actually in Ballydehob on Friday). But, your post is a bit like saying "this guy has a camera and takes great images that will pass Alamy". There's no mention of what drone(s) he uses, the camera, sensor size or anything else as far as I can see on the website.
  18. Hi Wim, no I hadn't, thank you for sharing. It makes very interesting reading, and I expected that the Zenmuse X5 would come out on top. The Inspire 1 Pro (which uses that lens) was my first consideration, but the €3800 price tag is a bit too steep. However, things got more interesting, for me, as I went deeper into the review and found a comparison chart between the lens on the Phantom 4 Pro and the Canon EOS 1D II, which had very close test results. I still own the 1Ds II and use it successfully for Alamy submissions on a regular basis. So, this was encouraging. I can also see that DXO compared the P4P lens to a Canon G7, and I'd be interested to know if anyone is passing QC with that camera, currently. For me, these are important "real world" tests, as the real arbiter here is QC. Betty LaRue Said... I have a son-in-law who flies drones. He builds his own. One thing I know. Unless you are adept at electronic games where you need to use both thumbs while visualize the scene on a connected tablet, the crashes and expenses of repairs will eat you up. He's very good at flying, but still is ordering parts constantly. The technology that enables drones to fly safely without crashing is developing all the time. The two drones that I am interested in have obstacle avoidance sensors all around and underneath them, intelligent flight mapping to allow them to follow a route and/or a moving object and the capacity to automatically return "home" when the battery is more than 1/3rd empty without hitting anything on the way back. They are basically, as fool-proof as they can get, and some actually do fly themselves. OK, they might crash, but I might trip and fall downstairs or reverse my car into a wall today. I'll try to take the same precautions to avoid this as much as I can, but at the same time, I will want to go downstairs and drive my car. I also want to fly a drone (I think). The sensor is, I believe the same 1" as in the Sony RX series cameras and they pass qc ok here. Can you let me know where you saw the information about the sensor, please. This is the sort of thing I was asking about in the OP and I'd like to confirm that it's actually the Sony RX sensor.
  19. Hi Wim, no I hadn't, thank you for sharing. It makes very interesting reading, and I expected that the Zenmuse X5 would come out on top. The Inspire 1 Pro (which uses that lens) was my first consideration, but the €3800 price tag is a bit too steep. However, things got more interesting, for me, as I went deeper into the review and found a comparison chart between the lens on the Phantom 4 Pro and the Canon EOS 1D II, which had very close test results. I still own the 1Ds II and use it successfully for Alamy submissions on a regular basis. So, this was encouraging. I can also see that DXO compared the P4P lens to a Canon G7, and I'd be interested to know if anyone is passing QC with that camera, currently. For me, these are important "real world" tests, as the real arbiter here is QC. Betty LaRue Said... I have a son-in-law who flies drones. He builds his own. One thing I know. Unless you are adept at electronic games where you need to use both thumbs while visualize the scene on a connected tablet, the crashes and expenses of repairs will eat you up. He's very good at flying, but still is ordering parts constantly. The technology that enables drones to fly safely without crashing is developing all the time. The two drones that I am interested in have obstacle avoidance sensors all around and underneath them, intelligent flight mapping to allow them to follow a route and/or a moving object and the capacity to automatically return "home" when the battery is more than 1/3rd empty without hitting anything on the way back. They are basically, as fool-proof as they can get, and some actually do fly themselves. OK, they might crash, but I might trip and fall downstairs or reverse my car into a wall today. I'll try to take the same precautions to avoid this as much as I can, but at the same time, I will want to go downstairs and drive my car. I also want to fly a drone (I think).
  20. Gen Said: Most people use Phantom 4 which is not suitable for Alamy. So sorry, I have no user experience, I was just trying to help. ************************** Thanks for the help Gen. Actually, I'm now looking at the Phantom 4 Pro, which has an improved 1 inch sensor, 20megapixels Raw, a mechanical shutter (f2.8 - f11) and 4K video. The problem is that I don't know how this translates to an edited image file in terms of noise etc. I'm tempted to try it out though, but may do a bit more digging first.
  21. I had seen it Gen (read it twice to be honest and the singular comment, which expresses a similar query to my own), but thanks for posting. It really doesn't say anything of any real value for me because the only lens it mentions is the one I referred to above. I'm sure there are others and I'm now looking at the Phantom 4 Pro, which has a different lens, but it may be enough. That's why I was asking for user experience to be honest.
  22. After 35 years in professional photography, I'm kicking myself that I didn't discover the sit-on-and-ride models of cameras now on the market. I could have saved myself a lot of hassle walking around the streets of the world when all I had to do was climb aboard my SLR. Thanks for the heads-up.
  23. You are to be congratulated. Alamy now has over 100 million images online (I'm old enough to be able to imagine this as a pile of 35mm transparencies and it would be bigger than several Volvo's stacked on top of each other, I guess.) To have 4 sales with only 615 images contributed is nothing short of miraculous. We probably need a new metaphor to describe your contribution in the greater scheme of things, as "a drop in the ocean" doesn't come close. My advice is to concentrate on building up your collection of images (at least try to put a 0 on the end of your total) and let Alamy get on with selling them, for now. You may not feel so cheated when you're selling 4 a week. Yes you could look at it in that way. I just reacted to the difference in price. I know what your concern was, but my advice is to get more images online and then the smaller sales will be compensated for by the bigger ones. My lowest so far is €4 and my biggest is €1100.
  24. You are to be congratulated. Alamy now has over 100 million images online (I'm old enough to be able to imagine this as a pile of 35mm transparencies and it would be bigger than several Volvo's stacked on top of each other, I guess.) To have 4 sales with only 615 images contributed is nothing short of miraculous. We probably need a new metaphor to describe your contribution in the greater scheme of things, as "a drop in the ocean" doesn't come close. My advice is to concentrate on building up your collection of images (at least try to put a 0 on the end of your total) and let Alamy get on with selling them, for now. You may not feel so cheated when you're selling 4 a week.
  25. My apologies if this has previously been discussed at length already. I'm in the market for a drone and at first considered the DJI Inspire 1 Pro, with X5 Zenmuse lens. However, at €3800, it would take me a lot of sales to recover the initial outlay and I'm wondering if it's going to be worth it, as I don't plan on doing much else with it. Is anyone using a drone with a less superior camera, perhaps the X3 Zenmuse, and getting through QC with it? I would welcome any actual-experience views on what drones and lenses you are using to get through QC, please. But, perhaps not "I hear such-and-such drone/lens is good and/or should pass because of it's specs", as it's too much of a risk to take financially with the outlay. Thanks for any concrete advice. Steve
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