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Steve Valentia

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Posts posted by Steve Valentia


  1. R39FJ3.jpg@Nick Hatton

     

    Nick Hatton makes a very valid point about shots of buildings and other objects at night. Don't shoot them at NIGHT. Twilight gives more detail in the object and less contrast overall.

     

    For night sky shots, use the 500 rule. Divide the shortest focal length of the lens (if it's a zoom) or just the focal length (if it's a prime) by 500. This gives you the maximum shutter speed to use. Set this in manual, and the aperture to wide open (at the most, one stop down). Then change the ISO until the exposure is correct (or close enough to adjust in LR or PS.) 

     

    For star trails (see above), do the same, but take multiple images. I use an intervalometer to shoot as many consecutive images as possible. I recommend shooting for at least 2 hours, if not longer. This one took 675 images. They are then "stacked" to form the light trails. I use a software called Star Stax. 

     

     


  2. 23 minutes ago, Starsphinx said:

    UK voters were asked to decide - UK voters decided Leave - it is happening, it will happen.  Oh and it will not be the total horror nightmare being made out.

     

    Tell that to the money brokers who are deciding how much my pension (hard-earned over 40 years) is currently worth, when converted from Sterling to Euro (I now live in Ireland).  It's been dropping like a stone since Brexit was announced and the cack-handed handling of the leave is making it almost not worth having.

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  3. 48 minutes ago, Skyscraperfan said:

    By the was, what is with the DACS payment? Will it also go down to 40%? Some of you said that we can earn more, if we get in contact with DACS directly. Does that really work, if we do not know what happens with our images?

     

    Yes it really works. I've bypassed Alamy with DACS for the last 6 years. You need to give an estimate of your published sales (books, newspapers, magazines) which can be done from your Alamy sales history. You also have to give specific ISBN numbers of publications and book titles, but not ALL of them. So, this may be possible from reading threads here like "Images sold this month", or from your own research or your own non-Alamy sales. It's worth the effort.


  4. On the issue of marking images as "exclusive" (for those that are lagging behind on this, as I was), I've just got this 2nd email from Contributor services. The first one was extremely unhelpful, and this is the response to my "you have to be kidding me" reply.

     

    We are planning on implementing a couple of new features that will make this task easier for you, one of which is a filter in AIM that will let you see images that aren’t marked exclusive. This will be released before the contract goes live, so you’ll be able to mark any that aren’t exclusive then.

     


  5. 31 minutes ago, Ollie said:

    I don't understand why so many are rushing to designate their images as exclusive to Alamy before we have seen the new contract language.  That will be announced in January and will not take effect for 45 days thereafter.  Until then the current contract applies, i.e., we get 50% of sales proceeds for all images, exclusive or non-exclusive, except where sub-agents are involved.

     

    I have 4 reasons for doing it right away.

    1. I had some spare time on my hands right now (the lull before Christmas - less emails and hands-on work (magazine articles done, etc).

    2. Leaving it until next year may mean I get caught up with teaching, assignments and stock shooting.

    3. I'm old and close to senile (which actually only literally means being over 65), so it could slip my mind if I wait too long.

    4. ...I can't remember what the 4th reason is.

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  6. 5 hours ago, Starsphinx said:

    So a few weeks back Alamy poked a wasps nest by announcing a 20% cut in commission.  Yesterday it reacted by announcing it will keep 50/50 for exclusive images.  When the first announcment was made lots of good practical suggestions nothing to do with the commission were made - and I rather fear many if not all of these have been lost from view with the news about exclusivity.  I think this is a bad thing.

     

     

    First of all...I think we need to be clear and have a consensus on what actually happened a few weeks back, otherwise any momentum we might have as contributors could be eroded. I've seen lots of disagreement about the commission "cut" for example on Youtube, with some participants not even able to agree on the meaning of the word "cut". Some used it to mean "commission" or "share" while others used it to mean "reduction".

     

    My view is that Alamy did not announce a 20% cut in commission. They announced a 10% reduction of the 50% commission being paid to contributors. The mathematicians here may argue that 10% of the 50% being received is a 20% cut, but to my simple brain it's not a 20% cut in commission. That was 10%, from 50% to 40%.

     

    Anyway...

    Changes I would like to see in the contract, are twofold:

     

    1) A good start would be to let us see precisely where our images are being published.

    2) Tied to this, I would like the right to show this to DACS without having to cough up 50% (or maybe even 60%) of an income to which Alamy don't even have a legitimate claim. As it is now, I claim DACS without involving Alamy at all. However, I know that my claim would be bigger if I could cite all of my publications (including the Alamy driven ones) and not just the ones I find myself. 

     

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  7. 23 minutes ago, Doc said:

    They should make a new tab in the Search Engine specifically labelled "Alamy Exclusive" to make it easier for buyers to look for images they know are not available elsewhere

     

    3. We as contributors must not game the system by labelling our images as exclusive when they are not, and Alamy needs to put in a mechanism to police this or the system will fall apart rapidly.

     

    They made their own bed and they should lie in it. Personally, I think Alamy owe its loyal contributors (and that's not necessarily everyone) more than a "gamed" system. A good start would be to let us see where our images are being published. Tied to this, the right to show this to DACS without having to cough up 50% (or maybe even 40%) of an income to which Alamy don't even have a legitimate claim.

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  8. 15 minutes ago, spacecadet said:

    That's too bad. You could ask again.

    If you do it yourself you can do it by year.When doing it on batches, if you watch out for a blue dot in the "exclusive" box it means you've missed some.

     

     

    Thanks, as I said, I asked about 2 hours ago; to do it again would be bordering on pushy and I'm too polite for that. ;) I'm doing it by year (one year has over 2000 images in it). I've discovered that AIM will only change 500 images max at a time.

     

    So, a tip for others, is to watch the total selected image number tot up, on the top LH side of the page. If it get over 500, deselect some of the submission in the LH column, until you have less than 500 images.

     

    I'm currently up to 2007. 5 years to go!

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    36 minutes ago, spacecadet said:

    Email received on October 3rd. I can't be the only one who got it. Of course then it didn't much matter, but I did it anyway. Now I only need to do it myself for new subs.

     
     

     

    I got it. I replied to it. Nothing happened. I've been with Alamy since 2004 and totally loyal (not that it's done me much good). Not only am I struggling to re-keyword thousands of images that had more than 50 key words (prior to the new AIM) and many of those had totally useless ones - owing to me being stupid enough to employ a key wording service recommended by Alamy, some years ago - I now have to take time to tick the "exclusive" box on 7000 images.

     

    I'm doing the exclusive box batching by year. When I right-click all of the individual boxes on the left, I'm then given several batches of images, each batch needs to have a "select all passed" box checked before I can click and save the check box. I have, on average, 100 of these per year (which totals around 1400 check boxes plus the same number of left hand boxes - those can be done with a shift click, but not the check boxes. I'm currently up to 2015. This could be a long day.
     


  10. For those who suggested ( @spacecadet ) or thought that Contributor Services may be able to help with checking the "exclusive to Alamy" box, especially for large numbers of images; here's the reply I got to my request this morning:

    You can mark your images as exclusive by ticking the 'only available on Alamy' box under the 'optional' tab in the image manager.  You can do this in batches by selecting multiple submissions in the left hand column using the 'shift' key and then ticking 'select all passed'.

     

     


  11. 1 minute ago, chris_rabe said:

    If you were exclusive here, you were silly not to mark your images as such.

     

    I find some of your comments lacking in pre-thought. Some of us have been here before the new AIM, and the old one did not allow for images to be marked as exclusive.

    So, there's "silly" (as in your comment) and there's "we had no choice".

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  12. 1 hour ago, spacecadet said:

    Well, I'd expected to have to ask MS to do it, as I thought you could only select in batches of 500, but I ticked "newest 500 passed", ticked "only available on Alamy" and it seems to have flagged all 9000-odd. If it's a bug it's a handy one. Perhaps it was anticipated.

    I suspect there will be something to sign as well. Suits me, but then being de facto exclusive already I would say that, wouldn't I?

     

    Didn't work for me. Only the first 500 were selected. This could be as much of a pain as re-key-wording a few thousand images from a while back that were over-key worded by a "service" in India I paid to do it (Mal Paso, as Clint Eastwood might say).  Any suggestion on how to do it without the help of a bug would be great. I wish I'd been a bit more diligent initially - almost all of my 7K+ images are not elsewhere.  


  13. If your market is truly "niche", then there is scope for you to become your own agent and cut out the middle man. Build up your portfolio - with quality images, and a good number of them. Then (and I suggest you do the photography first) research your niche markets. I've gone into more details about this another thread, but there are publications and organizations out there that are geared for this sort of work. Find your markets and target them directly.


  14. 7 minutes ago, Colin Woods said:

    It bothers me because it may hinder the buyer. I have a photo of my wife reading a guide book in Paris. There is only one person really who is the subject of the photo, the others far off in the street are just incidental. So if I put that there are 5+ people in the photo then the buyer looking for a photo of someone alone in Paris will not see my photo. Equally a buyer looking for a photo of a group of people in Paris will not be interested in my photo with one person and a dozen far off people. This is why I would like to see a way of distinguishing between subject and incidental people. 

     

    Sorry, but that's not very logical. 1) Buyers will see the photo before they see the "optional information" (how many people are in it, officially. 2) Putting "woman alone" in the keywords, will help them will find it. 3) if there are other people in the image with your wife; she's not really alone. 


  15. 16 hours ago, Starsphinx said:

    I totally agree.  Let's say you get a model - with a signed release and everything - on a catwalk at a show with dozens of blurred pink blobs as bokeh  background.  You still have to list it as editorial with 5+ people no releases for all.  Which totally misses the point.

     

    I'm not sure that it does miss the point; or why it's a problem stating how many people (rendered as pinkish blobs or perfectly sharp) you have in your image.

     

    If the buy uses the WOP (without People) code to search for an image, then I would doubt they'd be happy with even pinkish humanoid-shaped blobs in the background, so showing you have people of any description would avoid erroneous views or zooms, which could reduce your ranking.

     

    If you show that there are people in the image, but they may not be the main subject (e.g. pigeon shots), they may or may not prove to be a problem for the buyer. Who knows how buyers think. I can't even fathom why Alamy themselves promote some of the images on the website and in blogs! But, at least you'll be alerting the buyer to potential copyright issues - and it's for them (not you) to decide if that will render the image unusable.

     

    Personally, I just add up the out-of-focus faces and stray hands and feet at the edges of the frame (which also count as "people"); and tell myself that even after all this time; I could be a better photographer. :)


  16. I am experiencing a number of Processing Errors, with submission to the Live News feed. I had one today (10 minutes ago) and another in the early hours of this morning, both the same set of images, via AIM, on my desktop – it has never failed previously in several years. I have also had some when using a mobile app in the last month.

    I'm using (as always) the IPTC "Headline" and "Caption" metadata fields with the "Alamy Plus" metadata set in Lighroom, on the desktop. For the mobile uploads the Lightroom apps does not have the "headline" field and I used the "title" one, which I understand works. Any suggestions as to why this is happening, are welcome.


  17. 2 hours ago, Steve F said:

    I take all these nice pictures of Iceland and the one of my hotel lobby sells lol!

     

     

    That's been happening to me for over 30 years. Send an editor 5 of your most outstanding images, plus a "filler" for the half-dozen, and they'll print the filler! It's just one of those unfathomable laws of publishing.

     

    On the obverse side of that coin, as someone (for the last 7 years) involved in a well-known UK camera magazine; I've known page layouts of amazing images by a single photographer to be responded to with a request to change them for other, very mediocre shots. Go figure.

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