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MichaelD

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Everything posted by MichaelD

  1. I like the new manager except I have a problem. I use a Mac (OS10.8) and firefox. I started using the image manager to improve my discoverabilty by doing one at a time. Then I got brave and tried to select a group of similar images. I held down the command key and clicked away. The next thing I knew the image manager panel on the right disappeared down below the images. Now when I select an image I have to scroll down to the image manage panel on the right side. Can anyone help me get back to the original format where the panel is adjacent to the images like in the instructions?
  2. Not sure if this applies to this thread but I'm having a problem. After seeing the new Image manager and finding out I have lots of images with lo discoverability I decided to edit them to get their level to green. I was working with three images at a time (similar keywords.tags, etc.). I used the command key and started to click on the images I wanted to edit at the same time. The next thing I knew the image manager bar on the right dropped down below the level of the images. When I started the manger window was as it is in the video and instructions. Now I can't get it back up adjacent to the images. Does anyone have any ideas? I use a Mac (OS 10.8) and Firefox browser. thanks.
  3. Okay last year I downloaded my sales report and submitted it to DAC'S and received my payment. This I followed the same method but when I try to download my sales report for 2014 it gives me an error statement. Has anyone else run into this problem? I have contacted tech services but just wondering if anyone had a solution. txs.
  4. Is anyone else having a problem with Alamy measures? It hasn't updated for a couple days now. Is this related to the technical problems they are having with their search engine/
  5. Not sure if the graph for most members shows the downward trend from 2012. From my first year everything is up until 2013 then the graph moves sharply downward. If I took the trend line from my first year to 2012 I should be much higher in 2013 and 2014. I suspect the total pie is not growing at the same rate as the increase in members/images and it's getting divided into smaller slices each year.
  6. Great sale! But keep your fingers crossed. I had a couple of those sales earlier this year (both over $1000). I was overjoyed. Then a week later they were reversed/credited and resold for about 20% of their original sale price. Good Lick and I hope for everyone's sake that the sale stands as is.
  7. Moving images around to various agencies isn't necessarily the answer. Maybe a few shots, but I doubt most of your FotoLibra shots will fair any better on Alamy either. Not because some of them are not good, but because of the vast number of shots already in the library. Since you don't obviously make a living from stock photography I would pick a specialty that you really like and are good at. Shoot the heck out of it. Tightly edit your work. Be heartless. Then submit to specialty agencies that carry that sort of work. Another route is to set up shop on a site like Photoshelter and sell your own best work. Research buyers that could use your work and point them to the site with your images. And above all temper your expectations. Don't expect to make big bucks, but rather a modest income to say keep your equipment updated or a few extra $$ for a holiday. Shooting stock for a living is a very serious business that requires a ton of time, equipment and frustration. Too often contributors have that "get rich" glint in their eyes when they submit to Alamy and are disappointed.
  8. Ray you seem to have a grip on the situation. I too have contributed to the problem and I am starting to trim my collection. But the problem is that most contributors wouldn't know a salable image if it hit them in the face. I'm sure the serious full-time shooters do but even they (myself included0 have uploaded stuff that shouldn't be there. The emphasis on the number of images runs deep in the mindset of Alamy and most of the contributors. I can see those "if I can only increase the size of my collection" gears turning at all levels within the system. Heck I'm not immune either. If staff or contributors aren't going to voluntarily cut images from the library then at least let's partition them into separate tiers. Then we can deal with each tier separately. The important thing is to get more salable images returned on any given search so buyers won't get pissed off. I think the present creative system is an attempt to do that, but it needs further work. I think if we divide most of the images in the library into tiers it will force contributors to trim their collections and submit more tightly edited future submissions. I think it will be self-policing. The staff can use the same criteria that they present use for creative images. At the same time we need to truly enforce ALL the rules for new submissions. We can't continue to rubber stamp submissions based strickly on having no digital flaws. We must start to rank submissions on their saleability/creativity as they are submitted. Ranking entire submissions not individual images will promote better tighter submissions. The tier system could start immediately. But there are tons of other ideas floating around and maybe Alamy should give a few of them more serious thought.
  9. I may paint a grim picture, but I base that picture on the present system/situation. If we implement a few positive changes to the system then we'll get a much different picture. How about a program to educate buyers to use more tags when searching, implement/refine new search methods (like annotated phrases, singles/plurals, American/British spelling, etc.) that indirectly force all contributors to improve their keywording, reduce similars by stringently enforcing submissions, implement a program to entice contributors to purge their non-productive/similar images (perhaps anyone trimming their collection by 10% within six months will get a higher rank or a higher percentage split for a year), implement some form of edit/scrutiny on the initial submission of new contributors (maybe place new contributors on probation for one year to see if they can cut it), improve the contributor instructions/information to reasonably prepare new contributors for what's in store (tamp down expectations, talk about ROI versus collection size, etc. and tamp down on the sales hype), more help for contributors with keywording (like the limited time offer of free keywording), etc. I'm sure there are other positive ideas floating around that would help to change our direction. The future is about working smarter not harder. Presently the professional togs are working twice as hard for half the $$ because the whole system is out of whack. We need to get the entire system, buyers, contributors and the agency all working in the same direction. Let's not worry so much about image pricing and commision because that train has already left the station. Instead, worry about the growth of the library. 100 million images is just around the corner and buyers will face 150,000 image search results (since we can't expect buyers to make ten-word searches no amount of keywording will help). At some point the present system will crash. It's not a matter of if, but when. I still feel that all of us can make the necessary changes so the system works better for all of us. With the results I'm getting from my other agencies, I firmly believe that reducing the growth of the library is the key to a better future for ALL of us. I'm sure that a very small percentage of images account for most Alamy sales. Keeping 15 or 20 million extra images on file just in case isn't helping the company, the buyers or the contributors. With that in mind (and my rank) I recently trimmed about 200 images from my collection. I hope to trim another 1000 by October and an additional 1000 before the end of the year. If every contributor trimmed images that have never sold or been clicked on in the last two years we could probably reduce the library by 5 million images. And by tightly editing what we submit and deleting non-productive images we will not only raise our rank, we'll help reduce the growth of the library. So yes I may paint a grim picture today, but I am optimistic that all parties will eventually help change our direction.
  10. I must differ with those posters that believe it's mostly about shooting salable images and great keywording. At edited agencies this is definitely the case, but at Alamy ranking is just as or even more important. Let's use one example. A fairly new shooter with an average rank goes to Peru and shoots some fantastic Machu Picchu images. I mean really outstanding images. He/she uploads 50 to Alamy and is given a median ranking (or slightly better). Now a search for Machu Picchu gives you about 7500 images or 60 pages at 120 images per page. That means with a median or better ranking the images will start to show up say on page 30 or even page 20 (for a better than average ranking). Now how many of those outstanding images will a buyer actually see? How many buyers go to page 20 of a search? Now the same search on Getty or Corbis returns less than 2000 or about 15 pages at 120 per page. If those outstanding images were in any of those agencies what are the chances that a buyer would see them? Better or worse? Now look at the searches in "All Of Alamy" and note the sophistication of most searches. Most use three or less words. Of course if buyers started using five or six word searches then keywording may overcome the ranking and those with most of the words used in the search will gravitate to the higher pages. Allow more sophisticated searches like annotated phrases and the keywording becomes even more significant. But that's just not presently the case. There is no doubt that having accurate and good keywords will eventually more you up the ranks, but how many years will it take? How many reranks? And each year another 4 million images get uploaded. By the time that poor Machu Picchu shooter improves his/her rank there will be 15,000 images in the search. So let's not talk only about keywording, business ethic, or saleability less we forget about the elephant in the corner. Of course stock should be treated like a business, but that applies to ALL aspects of stock including agency practices. It's easy for someone that has been with Alamy for 10 or 15 years to point to great keywording and salable images, but for anyone joining Alamy in the last five years it's more about quantity and variety. I see some great shots by newbie contributors (that have posted here) that I'm afraid will never see the light of day. That's too bad because the present system doesn't effectively reward shooters, new or old, that do treat stock as a business and do shoot salable images and have great keywording. Despite doing all the right stuff they are still victims of the rank. Perhaps Alamy has recognized this already by putting things in place like creative selections, RF ratios, etc., that will move these shooters up the ranking. But unless Alamy does some major kind of editing/selection the really enthusiastic new shooters and some of the old veterans will eventually migrate to greener pastures.
  11. First off there is a big difference between a "quailty" image and technical quality. Alamy accepts images purely on digital merit (no dust spots, sharp, etc.) without regard to image's creative quality or saleability. I typically average 50-60 sales per mouth at each of my various edited agencies with about 3000-4000 images per agency. I don't average that at Alamy with three times the images. Of course I'm not in the Novel or newspaper schemes either and that will impact the count. Becasue Alamy is not an edited agency it must use all sorts of ranking algorims and techniques (like creative, RF ratios) to bring more saleable or creative images up to the front pages. When I search a specific topic on Getty, my images appear in the first few pages in a typical search return of 3000 - 4000 images and MOST of the images on those first few pages are highly saleable. Not so on Alamy. With the same search terms I'm on page five or higher (same number of images per page) with a search return of 20,000-30,000. And there's no way you can consider most of the images on those first five pages highly saleable. The keywording for my images in both agencies is very similar, but my edited agencies allow for various annotated searches. So it would seem that having properly keyworded and highly saleable images may not necessarily mean a similar level of success. I feel that buyers never get to see many outstanding images that are too far down the list. Even with a median rank you'll still be on page 50 with a search return of 10,000 (very common on Alamy). Few buyers ever get that far into a search. Therefore given Alamy's huge (and growing) volumn of images, its ranking algorisms, ratios and present search capabilities, I feel it's way tougher to get my Alamy sales (both quantity and $$$) up to the level of my edited agency sales with the same amount of images. I'm thinking I'll need maybe five or six times the quantity. I do think if you're in the Novel and newspaper schemes and have 3000 properly keyworded and saleable images you will make regular sales (how many depends on what you shoot). But it's all in the definition of regular. My definition of "regular" sales is based on my edited agency sales. My goal is to try and move my Alamy sales up to the level of my edited agency sales. Under the present conditions that means I'll need to upload way more images.
  12. "ASMP has never seen a statute or a legal case that requires a release for property." And I haven't had a speeding ticket in the last ten years and I break the speed limit almost everytime I'm in my car. Go figure. Perhaps you should have quoted the entire paragraph from ASMP. "We know of no case that has ever settled those kinds of questions. ASMP advises that property releases be acquired whenever possible because we don’t want to see you be the test case." The questions ASMP is referring to regard the statues of "Association" and "Conversion". In countries like the US and Canada where sueing is a God given right, these are issues that can arise very quickly. There have been a number of cases in Canada of photographers being sued successfully under these two statues. Now until the rise of all these small micro agencies and such, the main players always required MRs and PRs for RF images (and still do). So the chance of there being an issue has been low. However, today there are millions of RF images out there without MRs and PRs. That doesn't make it illegal, that only means that photographers haven't been caught yet. But it's just a matter of time. Of course the original post was regarding model releases and ASMP is very clear about the need for a model release for commercial use. And just because they don't actually cite examples of photographers being sued, believe me, hundreds have. And still I see countless RF images without MRs. Go figure. When any of us break the speed limit we know the inherent risks. It is not just illegal when we're caught, but it's illegal as soon as the sign is posted. I think we all view the fine as petty. I wonder if the fines for breaking the speed limit were in the range of some of the settlements for unlawful use if we would stop breaking the speed limit. What if the fine for speeding was $5000, would we slow down? I know I would. Sooner than later, with all the unreleased RF out there today, ASMP will have its test case. The question is, who wants to be first???
  13. For RF images that can be used commercially, you require a model release for all people, parts of people, microscopic people, without exception. This is not just an overzealous Alamy rule it is the recognized industry standard rule for commercial usage. Every major agency requires the same releases that Alamy is asking for. In fact, you will also need a property release for every piece of property in the picture. Just becasue some agencies are bending the rules doesn't mean it's okay for them to do it. It just means they haven't been sued for millions of dollars yet. The agencies that sell RF without model releases cover their ass by placing the onus completely on the photogarpher. So if they're sued they simply pass along the photographers info to the lawyers. However, in the US there have been plenty of cases where the agency was also sued and had to pay. It's a simple rule, you CAN'T LEGALLY use any person or property in an image for commercial purposes without releases. Does that mean it isn't done? No there are tons of micro stock agencies in breach of this law and Alamy has hundreds of RF images without any sort of release. Let's put it this way, just becasue you're not caught if you break the speed limit doesn't make it legal. Eventually you will get caught and have to pay. I know a few US photographers that have had to pay tens of thosuands of dollars in law suits. Maybe you should ask them if you need a release or not. In fact, in the province of Quebec, Canada it is even illegal to use a people image editorially without a release. Go figure. Look the industry has a fallback option for any image without releases. It's called RM. Why take the chance. My rule is "if you have to ask list it as RM".
  14. Is posting something on the forum the only way to see what's in my profile?
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