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Steve Valentia

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Posts posted by Steve Valentia

  1. 7 minutes ago, funkyworm said:

    Or... if you have to get up early to take the dog for a walk anyway and you can get some shots of the sun rising on the shore with some human interest... it costs little effort... and you had a nice walk.


    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.

  2. 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.





  3. 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.



  4.  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. 

  5. 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.





  6. 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.

  7. 18 minutes ago, wiskerke said:

    There is some sort of workaround: you can drag tags on top of each other and after the limit has been reached, they vanish. Which leaves you with the last tag to delete by clicking the x.

    Or try clicking the x if you use a tablet and pen - like many photographers do, but not many UX designers. They seem to use their fingers on an iPad, which is the other way that has been suggested that sort of works.

    If someone knows/has found/finds a better workaround, please tell us.


    The third way is to use the spreadsheet. With 4000 images probably your best bet. Ask Member Services Contributor Relations



    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. :)


  8. 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?


  9. 9 minutes ago, mickfly said:

    Great pictures Steve.
    What are the rules and restrictions like in Eire?
    In the UK and other places, it is illegal to sell images taken with a drone unless you have the CAA licence,  the cost of which put me off using a drone for commercial use.


    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)


  10. 16 minutes ago, Patrick Cooper said:

    Quads like the Phantoms may be extremely sophisticated with regards to their autonomous capabilities but like all multirotors, they're not 100% reliable. Things can fail on occasion - like the built-in GPS. 


    By the way, great photos, Steve. I especially like the last one with the birds eye view. 


    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.

  11. 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.






  12. 19 minutes ago, Brasilnut said:


    I've compiled such lists, both for Midstock and Microstock:





    Contact me directly and we can chat.



    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?



  13. 7 hours ago, wiskerke said:

    Have you tried downloading some Annual Reports from stock photo agencies?

    If you google list of stock photo agencies, you get lists of various length and quality.

    Even Wikipedia has a page on stock photo agencies - who would have thought?  ;-)

    Combine any name and Annual Report in Google and see if they have a recent one


    not sure where you are based US? UK? IRL? - your visible profile doesn't reveal.

    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.

  14. 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.



  15. The new model is certainly a very, very big step ahead from the previous one, certainly much better and almost acceptable for footage in good lighting conditions.

    I did upload a few selected images taken with the previous model to Alamy, they all got accepted, but I only dared to submit the very best ones.



    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?

  16. I primarily shoot aerial photos and I can tell you this. Alamy is essentially not accepting photos from the Zenmuse X5. I've submitted photos taken with the stock DJI 15 mm lens as well as photos shot with an m.zuiko 17 mm and 60 mm. The photos always come back rejected with the explanation of "digital camera not suitable for alamy". Its been a bit frustrating. Especially because I contacted contributor relations to ask for clarification on drone photos they were accepting and they replied saying "We don’t review cameras, we make our decision by looking at the images we’ve seen from them". An answer that seems to contradict the rejection explanations I get. 


    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.

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