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About riccarbi

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    Forum regular

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Cremona, Italy
  • Interests
    architecture, art, food


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  • Joined Alamy
    31 Mar 2014

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  1. Be positive. After a week with serious fever and cough and no way to make her drink and eat enough, my 93-year-old mum is no longing having fever since yesterday morning. Thanks to my sister, a neurologist who came from Genoa to assist her and my barely useful help (I am an architect, though I'd been a voluntary paramedic in my youth), she is alive and well. She clearly got the COVID-19, all doctors agree with it, though there was no way to test her, since they can only test people who is serious respiratory distress and happily she had not been so (the NHS did about 5,000 tests in Lombardy only, yesterday, but only to people with pneumonia). Therefore, if a 93-old bad-tempered lady can survive the virus, everybody can. This virus is not invincible.
  2. Teniamo duro Stefano, ci puoi scommettere! Back in topic, as I said, I had to cancel a travel to Amsterdam to do an extensive coverage of the city's architecture I have planned months ago. I don't want to take photos of the current situation here in my hometown, which is the very centre of the virus outbreak in Italy, first because I deem it unethical, second because it is dangerous. We have been all instructed to stay home, period. I go out just to buy food and medicines. Obviously, in my photo niches, which are travels, art and architecture, the current pandemy will have a big impact, definitely. Who are currenly planning their vacation abroad, now? No vacations=no travel articles= no travel photos. Yet, photography is a negligible source of income for me.But, I am an architect, and the construction industry has completely stalled here. I am also having problems to deliver a project to Ireland as scheduled, because parcel couriers in Lombardy are stopping their services too.
  3. Young people ARE NOT COVID-19 proof, there is an 18-year-old boy in intensive care treatment here in Cremona and many others in their 20s are in assisted ventilation for coronavirus-related life-threatening bilater pneumonia. Nobody is immune and everybody should be responsible and unselfish, particularly now; say this to your younger relatives and friends, please.
  4. Here in Cremona, Italy, we have all been put in quarantine together with 16 million other people in Northern Italy, we can't exit from our area, but we can still go to work and all shops are open. Yet, schools are closed, together with museums, gyms, theaters, and so on. What is suprising is how quick this infection spreads, despite the many precautions we are all taking; there are 294 cases today in the city (with a population of 70,000), they were 122 two days ago. My 93-year-old mother is currenly at home since Sunday with couch and fever; happily I and my sister, who is a physician, can assist her full-time; obviously wearing chirurgical mask, disposable gloves and white coats. It emerged that one of the most dangerous behaviours is to congregate in small and crowdy places, such as bars, cinemas, trains, and the like. Anyway people here try to live as usual, when possible and taking all prescribed precautions. This too shall pass...
  5. Yes "al fresco" is Italian slang (a bit old-fashioned) for "in prison"; yet, you can also use it as in English to say "in the open air", especially in Summer; "andiamo a mangiare al fresco" means "let's go eat in the open air"(usually under a porch or a pergola). Back in topic, I usually don't care much about getting the green label. Yet, sometimes it remembers me that I could/should add some more keywords, especially synomyms, AE/BE spelling variants, and the like.
  6. About the virus, I am, unfortunately, writing from the front. The city I live in - Cremona, Northern Italy - is in the so-called "yellow zone", namely that bordering the towns that are currently quarantined, and we have over 200 people seriously infected on treatment in our hospital's ICU. Schools, sports arenas, exhibition centres, museums, cinemas and theaters are all closed indefinitely. Even if I don't personally know anyone who has been infected and I have no symptoms, I had to cancel a prepaid three-day photo travel to Amsterdam this week, because I didn't know if and when, once there, I would be allowed to come back home. The problem is that the infection is very contagious and about 10% of the people infected need intensive care and artificial ventilation, thus putting the National Health Service under extreme stress. The economic impact is also quite serious, not only for the travel industry but also for small businesses, shops, and manifacturing companies. Hope it'll end soon.
  7. Is that on us photographers? Yes and no. To upload the millionth picture of the Eiffel Tower means that that picture will never be sold ; it will just contribute to Alamy's becoming progressively clogged by millions of pictures nobody will ever see and, consequently, buy. Similarly, if I upload the photo of my livingroom, nobody will ever buy it, because nobody gives a damn about my livingroom (except me and, possibly, my mum) even if there is only a single picture of it. Yet, there is another case. Your pictures about Croatian elections are of an interest and potentially saleable, of course, but probably only in Croatia and a few other countries. I have many intresting photos of small Italian historical towns, yet I always sell almost exclusively those I made in Venice, Milan, and Rome, and mostly to UK clients. That's why I insist that Alamy should keep on becoming more international and attract customers from as many countries as possible. A humble suggestion could be, for example, to let international contributors to keyword their image also in their native language (in a separate box) and then automatically generate a human-translated version of Alamy in that specific language.
  8. Since Alamy can't be aware of what local copyright regulations forbid or permit in every single country in the world, they usually apply the UK law, and primarily the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 which, at article 62, allows taking photos of buildings and sculptures "situated in a public place or in premises open to the public" but doesn't permit the same for graphic works (as defined by art.4), including murals, even if they are exposed permanently in open spaces and/or on a building facade.
  9. No doubt, despite all its pros and cons and the price drop we all have been experiencing for the last years, Alamy is the only stock photo service around that pays a fair percentage, as well as a quite commendable attention, to its contributors. That's why I've never signed with other agencies, despite some of them repeatedly asked me to do that. Now, I'm really hoping Alamy will play more internationally. I liked the "old" Alamy, but I always found it a bit too much UK-oriented. I'm pretty sure the stock photo market is going to be an even more global business in the near future. That's why I think Alamy's biggest asset is not its 160M-picture collection, but its incredibly diverse international group of passionate contributors.
  10. I am aware that to define concepts such as "quality" and "saleability" could be quite difficult and, possibly, futile. Furthermore, many, like you and me, have sold photos that "I would have never thought I could really sell". Again, no "quality-team" can really tell what photos will be sold and what will be not. What I'm talking about is some sort of "self-restraint" attitude by us contributors. To have 10K photos on Alamy, you know only 3K of which are really unique, instead than only having the best ones, leads to a marginally higher number of sales, I suspect. Yet, the contributor has spent a lot of time downloading, developing, converting, keywording, and uploading a so large number of pictures. Maybe just to sell a couple of those 7K "extra photos" in one month for ten bucks overall. Is it really worth the effort?
  11. Don't despair, Alex. I was quite depressed as well, until I've had six sales this week. I guess (hope?) that there are many January sales that will not be reported before late Feb/early March.
  12. This is an important point, something that deserves to be discussed further. I'm pretty sure that a "sustainable growth" strategy for both Alamy and us, as contributors, might be to reduce the number of photographs available on Alamy and, at the same time, improve their "median" artistic and technical quality, at least for not-breaking-news subjects. I always try to do not upload ten pictures of same subject from ten slightly different points of view, as well as pictures that lack good composition, exposure, and so on. Yet, I'm aware that not all images I uploaded in the last years are equally good and saleable; I shoud remove from my port all those photos I honestly deem worse than my acceptable average. At the same time, I think that 160M pictures on Alamy are too many. This pushes server costs upwards, makes progressively difficult for customers to find a good image quickly, and depresses prices down to MS levels.
  13. I (barely) understand that refunds can be accepted when made by major publishers with which Alamy has a long and reliable record of sales. That said, I already wrote that, by and large, I don't understand refunds altogether. Customers should be allowed to download a watermarked full-res picture without recording it as a sale and, at a second time, they'd be free to buy the un-watermarked photo or not; if they'll buy it, that'll be an un-refundable sale, period. Yet, that's not the real problem. The problem is that I really can't see any reason why a PU sale by a casual customer could be refunded. You can't allow a John Doe to download on his hardisk a full-res picture under the promise that he will eventually pay some peanuts and, afterwards, allow him to "return" it back without paying a single penny. That's an unfair and, honestly, a very suspicious behaviour which, happily, I've never experienced with Alamy, to date.
  14. From what I see in his port, Simon is an excellent architecture photographer. There are not many of them on Alamy, honestly.
  15. It sells well because he's making them an offera they cannott reffuss...
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