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Joseph Clemson

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Posts posted by Joseph Clemson

  1. The afternoon is wearing on and there has been no further word from Alamy on this situation. I am genuinely disappointed and dismayed.


    What has happened to a perhaps small number of esteemed contributors is bad enough in itself. What is worse is the potential for it to take place again, affecting possibly any contributor. It seems we are all vulnerable to sales being refunded at 50% and resold at 40%.


    Alamy, have you really nothing further to say?

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  2. I couldn't quite believe what I was reading here! It's so obviously an injustice to refund an old sale then immediately repost the sale on terms which then favour Alamy and disadvantage the contributor, that I couldn't believe Alamy would knowlingly do it. I've been confidently expecting that Alamy would make an appearance here to say, Our hands are up we made a boo boo and overlooked the fact that rectifying it it would leave contributors worse off. Sorry folks, we'll set things to rights with haste.


    That is what has happened and will happen, isn't  it Alamy? Surely? I've never had you down as an unethical company, for all the harshness of your recent business decisions.

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  3. 3 hours ago, Harry Harrison said:

    I see that you spoke of this here Mark, very interesting:




    I wonder if it holds true if the 'contributor' is an agency such as PA Images



    Thank you for pointing us back to Mark's original work. I couldn't find the initial discussion thread, through I had a vague memory it was Mark who had done the legwork.

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  4. 1 hour ago, M.Chapman said:


    There are actually some patent filings that give an insight into the (possible) way Alamy's algorithm works. 

    https://worldwide.espacenet.com/patent/search/family/034508882/publication/GB2424091A?q=Alamy search results

    Obviously there's no guarantee that's the way the current algorithm works. But there appear to be some similarities in behaviour.




    This is absolutly fascinating, Mark. Thank you for posting it. I had no idea that it might be possible to apply for a patent for such a generic operation as searching a database and applying a ranking order to the results. 


    The 2011 document describes in brief outline how picture metadata is used to select images from a database from search critera. The 2007 documents(s), 'Assignment of a display order to images selected by a search engine' seems to describe very much the way we have believed the search to operate, assinging each 'supplier with a handicap (presumably the  individual's search ranking based on CTR and other factors), assigns a score to each image to place it in the search results, then updating the supplier's handicap. 


    As MArk says, there is no way to be sure this represents their current methods, but it could still be the foundation. 


    The detail is obviously much more complex than the outlines set out in the published documents, but it is a fascinating insight into their thinking (if you find such things fascinating, that is 🙂).

  5. It's hard to feel motivated by lower sales, lower income and when your agency makes you feel unloved by cutting your income from whatever sales you do make.


    I have about two thousand images stretching back nearly three years waiting to be processed and uploaded to Alamy. I think they will have to wait a while as my motivation to work on video clips which are homed elsewhere  is just slightly greater. 

  6. 1 hour ago, Guido Paradisi said:

    Um, thanks for the answer but the code continues to be wrong for me ...: D.

    It doesn't matter, I'll see how to look for something with cherry and see if any inconsistencies come up ...

    Thank you again


    the new code returns the photo to me at this address https://www.alamy.com/colorful-architecture-of-douglas-douglas-isle-of-man-image220825987


    Good grief, I'm losing my mind.. it's pr7dbp. This one.


    It's time I went back to bed, I think. 🙃

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  7. 3 hours ago, Guido Paradisi said:



    Regarding your example, the number you reported to me is not in my photographs. I would like to go look and understand why I wrote or have been written so many keywords that are not relevant with the photo.



    Sorry Guido, that reference was a late -night bleary eyed typo. It should have read PR7DPB. 


    It's always difficult to know what keywords to include when some things are minor elements in the picture, or if something is implied in the picture but not explicit. I lean towards keywording literally as much as possible. I set up an experiment for myself three or four years ago where I created an extra pseudo which I strictly keyword as tightly as possible, trying to eliminate the possibility of false positives as much as I can. That pseudo now has an above average CTR and has produced proportionally three times as many zooms and sales as the psuedo I used when I first started here and which I keyworded much more liberally. As a result, tight keywording is now my modus operandi.

  8. What you are describing is an aspect of Alamy's search results which we know a little about because of research done by other contributors. 


    Your first image appear in position 3 of a search for Majella. This is quite good. The succeeding photos belonging to you then appear every 19 images in the search results. This pattern is imposed to prevent the top search results being dominated by one or two contributors. This pattern will continue as long as there are photographs from other contributors to fill the intervening spaces. You have 338 pictures of Majella, nearly one-sixth of all the pictures of Majella on Alamy. Once the algorithm is no longer able to distribute your photos among the pack, it will show all your remaining photos as a group - which is why you see such a great number at the end of the search.


    You can't change the pattern of search results. However, you can influence the order in which your photos will appear in a given search by making sure your keywords are strongly releated to the main subject of each photo. Remove any keywords which are peripheral to the subject. Set supertags appropriately - you may not even need 10 supertags for every photo. This will reduce the number of false positives your photos get in searches and, in time, the most relevant photos for any given search will move to the front.  I do notice that like many contributors here, you put in all the keywords you can think of for each image. Resist the temptation! Focus on the main subject. Ask yourself the question each time - if  a customer uses this search term and my picture appears, is it likely they will want to use my picture for that subject?  To highlight just one example, image PR7PDB has the keywords cherry, cooking, garden, table and vegetarian. It doesn't really illustrate any of those subjects and may produce false positives, impacting your place in search results over the long term.


    I know this is difficult when the keyword concerned is, like Majella, is relevant to some extent to nearly every picture you have in that set. There may be little you can do about that, but generally speaking, the advice to make your captions, keywords and supertags as tight and relevant as is possible will stand you in good stead.

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  9. My Alamy measures is now accessible. However, it's showing many more views over the weekend than I would normally expect but no zooms at all. As a result my current CTR has plunged compared to what it was last week. My guess is that they have been catching up with some of the views which had not been included in previous weeks when they also had strange behaviour on measures. 


    It would be nice if everything was sorted now and we can proceed with a degree of certainty from here on in.  

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  10. I have a trail camera which cost about £100. The video is full HD an the stills 4000 x 3000. In neither case would I contemplate submitting them as items for Alamy or a video agency, the quality is simply too poor, probably due to lens quality and high compression rates on the video. I don't know how much you would have to pay to get one which produced  decent quality.  

  11. 15 hours ago, John Mitchell said:

    The videos keep going round and round on the Alamy homepage. I wonder if it's bringing any results.




    Of course we have no way of knowing if any video sales have accrued to us as Alamy ascribes all the sales to the 'Pond5' contributor and Pond5 won't reveal to us which agency was the source of any Global Partner Programme sales we make there.  I've not seen any GPP sales through Pond5 in the last two months, it's fairly safe to assume Alamy hasn't sold any of mine ☹️.


    Overall, I haven't seen the Alamy video portfolio grow at all since I set up some benchmark searches at the beginning of August. I'm checking for changes most days and I'll report anything I find here.

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  12. Not sure where I saw it but there was a news story reported today that someone had bought in an OpenSea auction a supposed NFT of a Banksy work which seemed to originate on the artist's own website. The virtual currency used was real enough though, the money disappeared and the artwork/NFT was found to be imaginary.


    Not only are NFT's and virtual  currencies strange concepts to begin with, it seems you now have to negotiate a world where two things which only exist as binary data to begin with may well be unreal as well.


    I think I will stay well clear.

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  13. RM stills to Alamy is fine. RM footage is not accepted by Alamy directly, but may be possible through Pond5. Alamy have recently started acting as a distributor for Pond5 footage but there is no sure way of a Pond5 contributor selecting which of their clips will appear at Alamy. You will find discussion of the new developments in this thread and this thread.


    Actually, I've just thought that Pond5 footage is sold as RF and the Alamy licence for video is basically RF, so I don't know of a way of submitting footage to Alamy which is RM rather than RF.


    Futher clarification - one day I'll learn to read the question properly!. As long as the still image is not marked as exclusive to Alamy, there should be no issue at all. If you have marked the still images as exclusive to Alamy and posted the footage on aother agency I would advise that you seek clarification from Contributor Relations. 

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  14. It's normal for payments to take six weeks to clear from the invoice date. It's not unusual for some sales to take longer than this to clear, strtching into two or three months, sometimes longer. However, for a sale stretching back to March it may be worth querying it with Contributor Relations (contributors@Alamy.com). It's very likely they will say they are doing what they can to obtain payment from the client, after all, Alamy have an interest in being paid too.


    Unfortunately, a minority of sales never clear (client goes out of business or simply refuses to stump up) and these will eventually be reversed and your account balance be reduced accordingly.  In my experience such events are rare, though I'm sure some contributors here will be able to relate tales of it happening to them multiple times.

  15. UK based. I used my real name as when I signed up so many years ago, it never occured to me to do any other. I have one pseudo which is not based on my name but the name I trade uner (JYImages). If I were signing up nowadays I might well choose a name which does what Geogphotos suggests - whenever I search for my real name I end up looking at many, many photos releated to Clemson university whose football team have/had a player called Joseph .

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  16. Alamy no longer requires you to upload a copy of any moel or property release you have, it simply requires you to indicate that you do have a properly completed release available. In the event that they need to see a release they will contact you to request a copy. As long as you have the releases ready and are able to respond to their request there should be no problem.

  17. A couple of seaside pictures with a current affairs theme, and one atmospheric one.



    Honeycomb seawall defences at Blackpool south promenade



    Teenage boy pondering the distant windfarm stood on newly laid beach shingle at Llandudno, replacing the beach defences which washed away in storms of 2013-14.



    Sea anglers on their way home after a day of fishing on the beach at Formby, Merseyside




  18. 3 hours ago, Betty LaRue said:

    Check around in your My Alamy, and you’ll find information. When you sell an image, you won’t get paid until Alamy gets paid by the customer. That can be several months, sometimes longer. Once the customer pays, you must have a balance owed to you of $50 or more, then Alamy will pay you at the next first of the month.


    Why on earth is this post being given a red arrow? Betty is briefly explaining the reality of how Alamy deals with payments, in response to a question which is not even set out with clarity. Sometimes I despair.

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  19. 20 minutes ago, John Mitchell said:


    Uh-oh. We seem to have a tech language barrier. My Sony a6000 uses a proprietary (I assume) format called AVCHD, which Shotcut can open, so I'm using it for editing. A scroll thru the 'last footage sold' forum posts at P5 suggests that MOV is the most common format, if that means anything.


    Hello John, I'll say at the outset that I'm not familiar with AVCHD and I'm too tied up at the moment to research it properly. You can certainly open it in Shotcut or Resolve, but whether it is the best format to be editing it in I am by no means sure. 


    A brief lesson (look it up in more detail for a proper understanding): Video files come in some kind of container (.MOV, .AVI, .MP4 are examples), sometimes called a format. Within these containers the video itself is encoded/compressed according to the system employed by a CODEC (Coder/Decoder). Different codecs compress in diferent ways and are better suited to different purposes. Container filess such as .MOV may be used wth many different codecs. 


    Video captured by a camera wiill already be compressed by the codec specified by the manufacturer, balancing quality with memory space and playback quality. The is a little like a JPEG produced by the RAW data capture by a still image sensor, it is a lossy format and some degredation of the image occurs.  If you then edit that file while in its compressed format, the act of editing can introduce further degredation. The final act of exporting the file in yet another container/codec combination specified by the video agency can degrade it further (a little like editing and resaving a jpeg multiple times).


    The ideal, as I understand it, is to take your file from camera (which you may have little control over) and transcode it using a codec which will not degrade the image in the proces of editing - Prores and DNxHD are often recommended for this. Once all editing is complete it is necessary to transcode again using a container/codec combination which is acceptable to the agency. This usually balances file size (to reduce storage costs) with editability quaility for the purchasers.


    The key to unerstanding all this is to have some idea of the role of video container files and the assoicated codecs. There are lots of explanatory articles on the web, here is one which I think does a reasonble job of explaining the subject.

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  20. 4 hours ago, MDM said:


    I've got some coming up but not sure where I am going myself to be honest. I am still experiencing Long Covid and full day weddings are very arduous so I am thinking of how to work that (shorter packages?). I am also considering wedding video but I need to get a portfolio first. I hope I might get a chance to shoot some video at the upcoming weddings. 


    I did shoot a wedding as a favour for my favourite nephew. The editing took me weeks to do! Afterwards I looked into entering the wedding video segment to replace the declining stock photography. Once I realised the hassle of getting permissions, releases and additional fees for filming the 'performers' (officiant, organist, choir, hotel MC), the licence need to distribute copies of your video if it contains copyrighted music...  This is before I counted the potential hassle of messing up the shooting of someone's BIG day. Ideally too you need more than one camera/operator to give you alternative shots and a backup if a camera goes wrong (one did for me!) Getting good quality sound recordings from every participant. The list of things to be done seems never ending. I decided that at my time of life and in my state of mind, I needed a job shooting weddings like I neeed a hole in the head. 🙂

  21. 4 hours ago, MDM said:


    I might be misunderstanding the problem but can you not convert to something like MP4 and import that into DaVinci. You can then transcode it to ProRes in DaVinci. 


    Given that each act of transcoding may introduce degredation into a file that has already been natively stored in a lossy format (on tape or memory card) by the camera, the ideal would be to convert in one operation to a codec better suited to editing, i.e. DNxHD or ProRes, while maintining as much quality as possible. The final delivery is another transcode after editing to a delivery codec acceptable to the agency(ies) concerned. It's this first step of converting M2T files (of which I have a large collection) into DNxHD which I need to solve, so I can do a minimum amount of grading in Resolve to make these old clips (or some of them) saleable. 

  22. 35 minutes ago, Vincent Lowe said:


    Thanks for the insight Joseph.  You are probably correct about 'consumer level' - I don't think my brother uses it for anything remotely 'professional'.  


    For converting he's mentioned HandBrake (free, open source) - https://handbrake.fr/   Again, I've not used it myself.  The documentation says it will import DNxHD and ProRes files but I don't know about export options - https://handbrake.fr/docs/en/1.3.0/workflow/open-video-source.html


    Sadly, no joy on the DNxHD export. It says Handbrake is designed to tbe the last stage in a video workflow so they only export to delivery codecs,, not those designed for professional editing. Thanks for trying. I'm tied up on other projects this week (not least my Fantasy Football teams!) so I'll have to continue my search for a suitable convertor in the coming days.

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