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Duncan_Andison

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Posts posted by Duncan_Andison

  1. I use an Access database, but before that it was a spreadsheet, and I imported the data into Access tables. It works for me, but I do have a fair bit of VBA knowledge so there's lots of nice fun buttons to press and lists to view!

     

    Yeah, whether you use Access or Excel, good knowledge of Formula building and VBA is required. I learned out of necessity when the company I worked for didn't want to pay the licence fee for Access for some 3000 staff and only had Excel 97 :-) 

     

    I had to build an loan application decisioning system with god knows how many rules in it...... and of course store details of its 1/2 million accounts. Learning a bit of VBA is key really, if you do, you can make it do anything you want!

  2. Excel is a superb programme and is more than sufficient to track sales etc. That said, it is made a lot easier if you are used to using it. Separate files for each company pulling together all the stats in one summary file. 

     

    Most companies provide .csv files of data regarding sales, views & $'s. These form the basis of your analysis. From there you could use simple vLookups or, SumProduct Array formulas that add and subtract data subject to conditions set out in the formula.

     

    As I say, it helps massively if you are used to using it and is not easy to explain on a forum.... sorry.

     

    But, if you want to learn.... advanced Excel & VBA book will get you on the way!!

    • Upvote 1
  3. Currently dreaming of possessing one of these. I don't mind manual focus, and a crop factor focal length of 21mm on the NEX 6 would be fun, perhaps more fun than useful....

     

    Any arguments for/against?

     

    I think you'll find it a good lens for the Nex. 21mm FF focal length is really good, not to wide and excellent for architecture for creating exaggerated lines. Love the 14 for the Fuji.

     

    With the Nex you have good focus peaking so the manual side of things would be fine. Weight? should be ok, cradle the lens in hand... sorted.

     

    Did I mention that the 21mm FF focal length is great :-) 

  4.  

     

    I have dozens and dozens of copyright thefts - they copy and use a shot of mine sold by alamy initially - on the internet that alamy is not interested in persueing so go figure. They say it's all up to the photographer.

     

    Maybe... but if they have bought a licence, got it refunded, but have used and are still using the image, is that not fraud against Alamy?

     

    Alan

     

    Yes, of course it is - and theft from the photographer of course. However, Alamy do not pursue these cases because they figure that it's uneconomic - for them of course.  Alamy, like all picture libraries get their 'stock' for free so choose to write off 'shoplifting' up to a certain limit. If a real shopkeeper had a box of chocs stolen worth a few pounds they have lost out because they had to pay for that stock from a supplier in advance of selling it. Those images that are used but not paid for cost the photographer to produce but Alamy nothing, so they write them off. This, in turn further encourages more theft and non-payment. A downward spiral. Imagine a high street shop with a sign in the window saying "We don't prosecute shoplifters". 

     

     

    I wouldn't have a problem with Alamy writing their funds off that they consider to hard to chase but they should still pay the Photographer (unless the photographer agreed with Alamy).

     

    It would also be like the shopkeeper telling Caburys that they aren't going to pay them for the box of cream eggs they received from them as they were stolen while on display in the shop and they couldn't be bothered to report it to the police  :D. I could only imagine the response from Cadbury's solicitors  :P  

    • Upvote 3
  5. Again, returning to the actual topic raised by Colin, I would have thought that a month not subbing is not going to make a blind bit of difference to anyone's income, because Alamy returns are so low, even where ranks are fairly high, which didn't used to be the case (for a good rank).

     

    It would seem to me that the real problem here is not QC - which only inspects a limited number of problem areas.  The problem is that Alamy, because it doesn't actually challenge anyone and makes it all so easy-peasy, has become habit-forming for some, while the sales environment has gone from poor to catastrophic.

     

    The Alamy model is no longer based on photographer friendly policies - it's based on the ability to accumulate vast quantities of imagery without having to compete for it or otherwise do much, certainly not consider the impact on the individual contrib.  But why should they when contribs are so desperate to get their work in that they start suffering withdrawal symptoms after a QC lapse?

     

    The good news is that Alamy is no longer typical of the market.  Now that a lot of dead wood has been lost to the system, it's actually in quite good health out there.  Can be demanding - but that is no bad thing for anyone who wants to call themselves a professional..

     

    So Colin makes a good point.  Certainly my returns from work distributed to the major supplier mentioned (which also give work away tut-tut, but not distributed work) is making Alamy seem disfunctional.

     

    I remember feeling the same about some smallish agencies full of filling cabinets (and maybe shoeboxes) back in the early years of Alamy, when one talented contributor here was reporting a net annual RPI of over $60.

     

    How things change.

     

    Sums it up well. 

     

    I would say it has little to no impact as to whether I submit work know or later.... it just comes down to the way they "Treat" you. I'm trying to build a business while they seem to want to play kinder garden games (no, I'm not telling you, it's a secret, you can't play for a whole month). Ok, I'll find someone else to play, I mean WORK with!

    • Upvote 2
    • Downvote 1
  6.  

     

    We've considered a number of different approaches but the current one works best for the majority of photographers. 

     

    Three key points:

     

    2 - the system discourages those who fail to simply resubmit the rest of the batch without checking properly

     

    Alamy

     

     

    So after 28 days (or what ever) what do you expect most will do? Submit them all again at the first possibility?!? It's not like you can see which image out of which batch that has failed so you can correct the problem.... it could be a technical issue with some equipment that has then been allowed to go on for another 28 days. 

     

    As far as I'm concerned, what ever images are stuck in limbo have now gone elsewhere, some exclusive, so they will be deleted when the opportunity arises. 

     

     

    I have had one fail (for which there was no punishment) and the culprit was pointed out to me as well as why it failed.

     

    I thought this was always the way it happened.

     

    Jill

     

     

    Not always.... they seem to have some criteria as to when to apply a full on 28 day sin bin or not.

     

    2 YEARS AGO ( :) ) when it last happened, I had to wait 28 working days before being told it had failed and what the cause was! 

     

    Ed.... thanks.... The sharp finger is pointing but I will leave it to the imagination as to which direction it is pointing in  :D

    • Upvote 1
  7. We've considered a number of different approaches but the current one works best for the majority of photographers. 

     

    Three key points:

     

    2 - the system discourages those who fail to simply resubmit the rest of the batch without checking properly

     

    Alamy

     

    On the basis it was Sept 2012 when I last failed, do you really think that I don't check properly..... really?!? Or, perhaps, like many others that I may just of had a bad day... after all I am only photographer (human).

     

    Given a 2 year clean slate I can say for sure it does discourage from re-submitting straightaway. I presume that if someone in your office makes an occasional mistake, they're also not allowed to contribute any work to Alamy for 28 working days!

     

    Talk about using a sledgehammer to crack a nut. 

     

    So after 28 days (or what ever) what do you expect most will do? Submit them all again at the first possibility?!? It's not like you can see which image out of which batch that has failed so you can correct the problem.... it could be a technical issue with some equipment that has then been allowed to go on for another 28 days. 

     

    As far as I'm concerned, what ever images are stuck in limbo have now gone elsewhere, some exclusive, so they will be deleted when the opportunity arises. 

    • Upvote 3
  8.  

    ...

     

     

    A small number of contributors here have both a gift for working with people and an RSI inducing production rate, and get good returns (although not very good RPI). As I say: even page 1 BHZ is still pretty miserable as far as RPI goes.

    Which is why I am starting completely afresh and treating Alamy, and even photography, as just one of many possible routes. I am looking at ALL my skills, knowledge and contacts and thinking about how I can make a satisfactory income from something I enjoy or, even better, feel passionate about. It is more about creating a lifestyle than making money per se; after all money is only a means to an end. We often lose sight of why we are working.

     

     

    Well said. Just over a year ago I was made redundant, I was a Credit Risk Analyst which commands a good income but my roots are in art and design, I was an illustrator and only recently found the camera as an outlet (oil painting became time consuming with even less income :-). I've turned my back on that lifestyle to follow a dream, something I know I would regret if I never tried.  I know it will be hard work but I also know I won't be beaten. I've already won, I'm living my dream..... follow your heart and you'll get there, it just takes time and effort!!

    • Upvote 2
  9.  

     

     

     

    Alamy seems quite unmovable on the sin bin delay. Given that their QC procedure otherwise is very efficient and speedy, (my q.c. times are consistently on or below 24 hours), they must have concluded that this is their way of forcing up the overall technical quality of submissions and subsequently allowing them to speed up the whole process. Their policy and presumably carefully thought out, business plan of taking everything without editing also makes the process speedier.

     

    It is hard on those many here who's technical standards are impeccable, everyone makes the occasional error, particularly after a long day when the peepers may be pooped. (Given the state of my eyes they are permanently pooped)! However, it's Alamy's rules so we make our choices.

     

    <>

    My experience is that one is not being punished for such an occasional error or even errors.

     

     

    wim

    I dont know. It's been about 2 years since my last fail but it looks like I'm entering a month in the sin bin... unless their definition of occasional is different to mine :-)

    Is the error on a X-T1 image, or is the image from another camera?

     

    Allan

    Dont know... the batch had xpro1 and t1 shots... I'll find ouy in time i guess :-)

  10.  

     

    Alamy seems quite unmovable on the sin bin delay. Given that their QC procedure otherwise is very efficient and speedy, (my q.c. times are consistently on or below 24 hours), they must have concluded that this is their way of forcing up the overall technical quality of submissions and subsequently allowing them to speed up the whole process. Their policy and presumably carefully thought out, business plan of taking everything without editing also makes the process speedier.

     

    It is hard on those many here who's technical standards are impeccable, everyone makes the occasional error, particularly after a long day when the peepers may be pooped. (Given the state of my eyes they are permanently pooped)! However, it's Alamy's rules so we make our choices.

     

    <>

    My experience is that one is not being punished for such an occasional error or even errors.

     

     

    wim

    I dont know. It's been about 2 years since my last fail but it looks like I'm entering a month in the sin bin... unless their definition of occasional is different to mine :-)

  11.  

     

     

     

    Duncan_Andison

    I may have entered the Sin Bin for the first time in nearly 2 years (and about 5k images).... no problem to me, the approx. 200 images sat waiting are already with other agencies and selling :D

    I just move on to other projects (which there are plenty) and continue providing their competitors with fresh shots. In time I'll get around to uploading them here but I generally work a batch and upload it to all, work a batch then.... you get the idea. Going back and re-submitting work that has already gone to everyone else a month or so ago means I have to stop working on the new projects. That won't happen as one outlet shouldn't interfere with the creation of images for everyone else.

    At the end of the day, it's their party but they can't expect me to rush back and provide them with new images when they've opened the door again..... I'll be too busy partying on down the road :D

    Pretty much the same here, i have another supplier with over 13,000 of my images and selling very well every month, if Alamy was not so QC happy the same images would be here and hopefully my Alamy sales would be higher.

     

    Paul.

    I'm actually not big on submitting a lot of the same images to different agencies. You can easily end up competing with yourself these days. OTOH, there's some truth to that old adage about not putting all your eggs in one basket.

    That's the way i look at it. I dont want to be dependant on one agency, manage risk rather than avoiding it. That said, if i had to drop an agency to reduce the number of places i have my work, it is likely that Alamy would have to be the one as they are one of my lowest earners.

     

    I hear people mention they have tight quality checking, well, so do i (which is why i havent failed in 2 years) but i guess i am only human and i must have made a mistake. If you apply Alamy approach to speeding, the roads would be a lot quieter as people would lose their licence to drive rather than a 3 point caution.... might not be a bad thing :-) but i do feel it is a little heavy handed... no reward for maintaining good QC of a period of time when you are treated the same as someone who fails a lot?!?

    • Upvote 3
  12.  

     

    John Mitchell

     I now withhold more images than I used to and look for alternate outlets.

     

    +1,  i also would like to add more to Alamy in hope that sales might increase, unfortunately Alamy could be getting more than they need,  i sometimes wonder where the threshold is,  maybe 50 million,  then it might even be harder to get images on here.

     

    Paul.

     

     

    I may have entered the Sin Bin for the first time in nearly 2 years (and about 5k images).... no problem to me, the approx. 200 images sat waiting are already with other agencies and selling  :D

     

    I just move on to other projects (which there are plenty) and continue providing their competitors with fresh shots. In time I'll get around to uploading them here but I generally work a batch and upload it to all, work a batch then.... you get the idea. Going back and re-submitting work that has already gone to everyone else a month or so ago means I have to stop working on the new projects. That won't happen as one outlet shouldn't interfere with the creation of images for everyone else.

     

    At the end of the day, it's their party but they can't expect me to rush back and provide them with new images when they've opened the door again..... I'll be too busy partying on down the road  :D

    • Upvote 3
  13. Try this (assuming you're using a PC not a Mac)

     

    Open the image containing a photo of the Passport in the develop module of LR

     

    Right click on the image and select Export > X-Rite Presets > ColorChecker Passport

     

    A box should open asking for a DNG Profile name, enter something short you'll remember and then Click "Save"

     

    Lightroom (top left) should show "Processing Profile" and a progress bar. After a short while, a pop-up message should appear "ColorChecker Passport - Profile generated successfully"

     

    Close and reopen Lightroom

     

    Your new camera profile should now be available under the "Camera Calibration" tab of the develop module.

     

    2nd this. I too have just bought a Colorchecker Passport.... building some icc profiles for C1. Seems a really nice piece of kit!!

     

    Tried it with LR and using the Adobe DNG Profiler.... good results.

  14.  

     

    Duncan chase Clifton, Calumet are showing the 18-135mm as in stock this afternoon.

     

    I will do... I hope they aren't stringing me along now they have the18-55 as trade in. I'm beginning to wish I'd just sold the thing on Ebay like I normally do and bought the lens from the first shop to have them in stock. I'd already have it and not have the worry/flap around for finding an alternative for this job. I'll now better next time.... back to my usual Wex UK / Amazon outlets  :D

     

     

    I am sure they won't be.

     

     

    They got back to me and it's on it's way to me now..... should have it tomorrow..... just in time before I head off on Friday morning!! 

  15. Thank everybody for your replies, I think they might have convinced me and what with my birthday coming up in a month it seems like a good excuse to purchase one, I beleive the XT-1 has wi fi, has any one used this for transfering files to a laptop/ipad etc, the idea of the ooc jpegs being good apeals to me as well.

     

    I use the WIFI a lot for controlling, taking and review images when shooting in a studio. The WIFI can have it's quirks (first time connecting) but once afterwards it's solid and fast at transferring images over.

     

    When first used you need to pair the device with the camera, after that, you shouldn't need to do it again (unless you change from phone to ipad etc). There is no app for a laptop that I'm aware of, it would be nice if they developed this in the future.

     

    The android app is better than the Apple app. With apple you have to keep swapping wifi connection in apples settings each time you want to connect. With Android, once paired, you just press the WIFI button on the camera, give it a second, then press the connect button on the app and that's it.

     

    Shooting wise, you can control Speed, Aperture, ISO, Self Timer as well as a few other things that I don't use and can't remember  :)

    • Upvote 1
  16. All this talk about the X-T1 has now got me interested, I currently use a nikon D700, D600 and a D300s with some good nikon glass and are very pleased with the results and wont be getting rid of them as I feel they still have a place in my photography world..

    But a while ago I did purchase a sony rx100 for use when I didnt want to lug a dslr around, I know a lot of people use the Rx100 and are very pleased with them ( I have got quite a few images from the Rx 100 uploaded without any problems ) but for me, I am just not over happy with the images from the rx100 ( I know that it is not fair to compare the images from the rx to the d700 with the 24-70 2.8  lens ) but I find they are not even close.

     

    So I have been looking for something smaller but it must produce good quality images and have been looking at the nex 6 / 7 and the X-T1 at the moment the X-T1 seems to have the edge to me ( please feel free to let me know if you feel different, and why ) for those of you that have been using the X-T1 and nikon full frame cameras with good glass along side of each other how does the IQ of the X-T1 match up to the nikon in both good and not so good light.

     

    Last question, if I pull the plug and purchase the X-T1 is it worth buying it with the kit lens ( which I have been told is a reasonable lens ) I would be mainly using the camera for walking about and mainly at the wide end.. ( still got my nikon 70- 200...300 f4 and sigma 50-500 for longer reach stuff.

     

    Cheers for any replies, Steve.

     

    Can't comment on how Nikon compares to the X-T1 but I can say the quality of the so called kit lens is very good... unlike any other kit lens really. It has a solid feel to it, the IS works really well and is very sharp. I only traded mine in because I want the weather resistant 18-135 so I didn't have to swap between the 18-55 and the 55-200 in the wet when in the mountains!

     

    Wide angle wise the 10-24 is building a very good reputation, almost equal to that of the 14mm prime!

    • Upvote 1
  17. Duncan chase Clifton, Calumet are showing the 18-135mm as in stock this afternoon.

     

    I will do... I hope they aren't stringing me along now they have the18-55 as trade in. I'm beginning to wish I'd just sold the thing on Ebay like I normally do and bought the lens from the first shop to have them in stock. I'd already have it and not have the worry/flap around for finding an alternative for this job. I'll now better next time.... back to my usual Wex UK / Amazon outlets  :D

  18. I do enjoy playing with images and often it involves combining multiple shots together + styling to get what I want.... I'm also a cheapskate and use myself as a model to avoid additional costs  :D

     

    Here is one advantage of being able to control your camera via an Android app.... very useful when you can change speed, aperture, iso, focusing and alike from your phone... my wife is convinced I just spend my day ar**ing around, this series of images didn't help to dispel the myth  :unsure:

     

    E0ER0K.jpg

  19.  

     

    ahhh dam, I wish mine would hurry up!!! I don't think any have landed in the UK yet!

     

     

    Patience young man! The UK has had some, I was talking to Calumet and they had some stock last week, all spoken for by pre-orders. Just bought a new laptop so mine will have to wait till September :(

     

     

    Clifton Cameras are still waiting on their delivery.... hopefully it will be this week as I will have to re-think lens options for an event I'm covering the end of this week beginning of next!

  20. Checking in.  So far, I love the 18-135.  At the long end, it focuses amazingly close, almost like a macro.  I took some shots with it yesterday morning early in deep shade, and was able to fill the frame with a daisy and a zinnia.  I put it on auto everything and the ISO was 3200.  I posted these on the Fuji forum as is, no NR.  There is some noise in the background, but had I put the images through LR with some NR, you wouldn't have seen it.  The flowers showed great color and were sharp.  I only opened them in PS, adjusted exposure a bit, added Velvia filter, reduced size and posted.  That was mainly to show people how close you can focus with the lens.

     

    The day before, I went to the lake and took some shots of a sailboat marina, and various other type landscapes.  The lens performed perfectly.  I saw no distortion, anywhere.  One of the shots was fairly wide-angle with a building at the edge, and saw no leaning in.

     

    Last evening, I shot a few pieces of jewelry with it, and it worked great for that.  I can see this lens having a hard time leaving the camera unless I want to do portraits (56mm) or want wider angle (10-24).  The 18-135 will make such a perfect vacation lens!

     

    Oh, yeah, I forgot. Part of the lake shoot...there are bicycle trails everywhere and I got some nice sharp images of guys riding toward me.  The camera and lens handled that well.

     

    Betty

     

    ahhh dam, I wish mine would hurry up!!! I don't think any have landed in the UK yet!

  21. It's getting closer...

     

    I think what I need to persuade me to ditch my 5D2 are the following:

     

    1. Better low-light performance. Ideally I would like to be able to shoot at 1600 ISO with the same noise levels as I get at 400 with the 5D2.

     

    2. A good replacement for the 24-105 which takes about 95% of my shots.

     

    3. A replacement for my lovely little Sigma fisheye.

     

    I think as far as (2) is concerned the 18-135 would just about do the job. The extra couple of mm at the wider end would be useful but I doubt if it would be a serious drawback, and on the plus side, the longer range would mean I would no longer need a telephoto zoom as well.

     

    So, my questions for all you happy X-T1 users are: how does it perform at 1600 ISO? And has anyone used the Samyang/Rokinon fisheye and is it good enough for Alamy?

     

    Alan

     

    In all honesty, using 1600 doesn't even raise an eyebrow anymore. I have work here an elsewhere up to 3200 with the Fuji X-Pro and T1. These ones were taken at around 2000-2500 iso, handheld. I was just scouting out final locations ready for the sunset but the band of cloud obscured the it just at the last minute so I was rather thankful for these ones.

     

    I used to have the 5dmkii and I feel more comfortable pushing the ISO higher with the fuji.

     

    Allan, yeah there is. It's full manual of course. Here

  22. "Personally, I think the Nex 6 is a more forgiving camera than the 7." -- Duncan

     

    No question, Dunc. And the 6 is more user friendly with a more practical setup than the 7, the hot shoe for example.

     

    Did you walk the Trail from Cusco to Machu Picchu? My schedule didn't allow for that, so I took the train . . . which jumped the track. 

     

    No, we spent nearly 3 weeks in a mountain lodge at 3800m above Huaraz. We spent most of our time shuffling around from the lodge upto 5500 metres (weather permitting). The weather was very changeable which was a little unusual for that time of year... blue skies should have been the norm but instead we ended up with high winds and snow some days! Incredible people and amazing mountains. Even got used to the coca leaves in the end.... keeping the altitude sickness at bay was never ending for the 1st week! I would love to go back!

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