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Duncan_Andison

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Posts posted by Duncan_Andison


  1. 4 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

     

    Only if there are sufficient incentives to do so and to cover costs. 

     

    Haha... yeah, exactly. I try to work on a "zero cost to shoot" policy. Of course, I've invested in various pieces of software for motion/stills graphics etc but once they've been paid for, time is my main expense. A few props here and there and that's it. I would never pay to go to XYZ to just to take photos for stock. Takes too long to recoup costs before making a profit.

     


  2. Just now, M.Chapman said:

     

    I think we're sort of on the same page then... A key difference between a credit rating and Alamy Rank is that a Credit rating agency is presumably only interested in ensuring an accurate rating of "credit worthiness". They have no interest in improving the credit worthiness of members of the public.

     

    Alamy Rank also needs to accurately rate the "quality or value" of a contributor. But it is in Alamy's interests encourage their contributors to improve their rating. Hence I believe it's in their interest to disclose what factors affect a contributor's Alamy Rank. 

     

    Mark.

     

    Exactly, but that should be by submitting better quality images with better quality keyboarding etc rather than trying to workout % of this multiplied by this/ that and the other over time with a weighting of XYZ subject to client needs.

     

    As photographers, we should focus on the product and how we keyword it. 

    • Upvote 1

  3. 13 minutes ago, Skyscraperfan said:

    Doesn't the "Click Through Rate" already do quite a good job in that regard?

    The CTR punishes keyword spamming for example. If you use keywords that do not really describe the image, your image will appear in the results, but people will not click on it. The same happens with low quality photos. Avoiding duplicates also increases your CTR.

    My CTR usually is more than twice as high as the Alamy average. So it seems I might do something right.

     

    I'd imagine CTR will be one of the variables in a search. As to what the weighting of that variable, only Alamy will know.

     

    This is the thing. A lot of the variables in a search algorithm will be a numerical value. Image views - what % of images views of this image result in sales.... what % of the sales were editorial/commercial.... is the client an editorial / commercial client..... and so on and so on. To help get the right image in front of the client there will be many of these types of questions being asked that will result in the right image landing in front of the right client.... or at least, that is the goal. If contributors know the variables then they can influence the results rather than relying on the images previous performance / history as well as the clients buying patterns determining the final position.

     

    Every contributor wants to be at the top of the search so there has to be way to determine the position of each image and this will inevitably be based on image performance and client needs/history... a scorecard will use a selection of variables that will do this form them.

     


  4. 10 minutes ago, M.Chapman said:

     

    I think you may have just contradicted yourself? Exactly, if Alamy want good behaviour, they have more publicly encourage it. The trick is having a ranking system without loopholes in it.

     

    Mark

     

    No. The problem you're facing / confusing is the difference between search scorecard and search policy. Two entirely separate things. The scorecard will rank images based on their performance, history, age and other AI learning variables. Policy would be.... images need to be the correct size, right cameras, color space, must be keyword and have all required releases etc

     

    Contributors need to know the policy but not the scorecard. Good behaviour will be following policy and it is not expected for contributors to understand or, need to learn all variables in a scorecard design.

    • Like 1
    • Downvote 1

  5. Just now, M.Chapman said:

     

    I strongly disagree. If the algorithm is correctly designed the only "gaming" that will be possible will be to the Contributors and Alamy's advantage. The current mess doesn't help Alamy meet it's objectives. Where's the benefit in "random" behaviour?

     

    Mark

     

    Hi Mark. I used to work as a Credit Scoring Analyst for12 years before going full time photographer, designing scoring systems and applications. It's industry practice not to reveal this data as people will game the system... human nature. If you tell people what you want to hear, well, that's all your going to hear.

    • Upvote 2
    • Downvote 1

  6. 3 minutes ago, M.Chapman said:

     

    I'd like to see Alamy publicise the Alamy Rank algorithm to encourage the contributor behaviour they need (i.e. maximise revenue per image in their portfolio)

     

    IMHO Alamy Rank should be based on

    • a modified version of CTR% (which includes downloads and lightbox additions as well as zooms)
    • and revenue (or unit sales) over the previous 6 months, divided by the number of images in a contributor's portfolio

    If Alamy disclosed this part of the algorithm (in detail, for example 50% of your rank is based on.... etc.), and then made it clear how Alamy Rank affects your position in search results. This would encourage contributors to; 

    • actively trim their portfolios to remove any "dross" and duplicates
    • tightly keyword to improve CTR
    • avoid uploading duplicates

    At the moment the way Alamy Rank works is kept secret (for commercial reasons) and any info is largely "hearsay" on the forum. IMHO Alamy need to be more upfront.

     

    Oh, and while Alamy are at it, remove the counter-productive "discoverability" index from AIM.

     

    Mark

     

     

    This will never happen, and rightly so. Once you publish how images are ranked it will result in gaming of the system. People will tinker, correctly or otherwise, images so they fit what is being looked for in the search. This results in each image having more or less the same rank and no there'll be no way to define which image should be at the top. 

     

    For a search Algorithm, scorecard to work it has to be undisclosed and only then will it be affective. If you tell 100 people to choose a random number between 1-100 and that one of these numbers will be picked out for a prize, you'll get a randomised mix. If you tell them the winning number is likely to be between 1-5 then there won't be many selecting anything else other than those numbers. You'll either be splitting the winnings between the 100 or fighting over them. 

    • Upvote 2

  7. 10 minutes ago, John Mitchell said:

     

    Hate to say it, but I think that Alamy might just grasping at straws with the 50% for exclusivity idea. They have opened a Pandora's box and are now looking for an easy way to close it. Hopefully Alamy is now thinking through all the possible complications. There's no simple way out of this mess now.

     

    Agree 100%..... sort of confirms they just took it for granted that they could take money off contributors and that they'd just roll over.

    • Upvote 2

  8. 10 minutes ago, MilesbeforeIsleep said:

    Yes.  But it's my impression that the majority of the largest and most important contributors (at least as represented in this forum) are already de facto exclusive, even though they may not have "checked the box".   If The majority of the best images are made exclusive, Alamy would have to promote and sell them. 

     

    And if there is a market for exclusives, then those are the ones they have to sell.   Of course, if there is little or no market, as some say, it won't work out quite as well, though one has to assume that the best images will still sell.

     

     

     

    Maybe some but I know there are quite a few that submit to other editorial agencies. It will come down to how much Alamy makes for them. Given the squeeze on fees and Alamy's willingness to cut commissions it would be a brave individual to place all your stock eggs in this particular basket. Alamy would have to come up with a good package and that, may or may not, offset anything they may make from those left at 40%..... if they're the smaller group in terms of image volumes. Especially as it will be the 40%'ers that will be funding Alamy's bright ideas.

    • Upvote 2

  9. 7 minutes ago, MilesbeforeIsleep said:

    Indeed, though since they can sell any image for any price, there certainly needs to be a lot of detail in the published 'plan'.

     

    What would be most important, imho, is that you guys with substantial high quality catalogs and histories of making them money participate in the exclusive scheme--assuming your port is already de facto exclusive.   There needs to be a strong incentive for Alamy not to push the 50% images below the 40% ones in the algorithm. 

     

    That is another risk and there is no way to know or, guarantee it won't happen. No agency publishes the variables used to determine search position as this would leave them open to people gaming the system.


  10. With exclusivity you're tied to the way the one agency works and what they offer you. If they decided to change what is on offer, you are in no position to react quickly to protect your income. Basically, it would take months to build up work with other agencies again in order to get to the point you were at before the next 20% cut. Load the gun, spin the barrel and hope for the best is not the way I like to manage risk.

     

    Now, if you're not reliant on the money (not main income) then exclusivity can work as it saves time and might boost your earnings..... provided the fees aren't slashed further. However, it feels like a delivery driver with one van, no breakdown cover and no income protection insurance..... just hoping each day his van keeps going but at the same time knowing at some point you're going to be saddled with a sizeable bill just to keep it going.

     

    Edit.

    Personally, over the last year I've been trying to spread the risk and become less reliant on one/two agencies. All it takes is for an unfavourable change to the search algorithm and, well, you're stuffed.

    • Upvote 2

  11. 12 hours ago, John Mitchell said:

    After sending an e-mail to James last night, I have already received a response from him, probably the same one most contributors got.

     

    As others have said, it sounds as if Alamy is considering 50% for exclusive (on a per image basis, selling direct OK but not thru other agencies) and 40% for non-exclusive. 

     

    Guess this isn't exactly breaking news but thought I'd post an update.

     

    Personally, Alamy would be the last place I'd allow total exclusivity. They're too liberal with low licence fees at low sales volumes. They'd need a monumental increase in sales to even consider exclusivity and even then, given the way they've treated photographers earnings this time, I wouldn't trust them as far as I could throw them now. It's just a question of time before they pull the same stunt again. As mentioned elsewhere, damage done.

    • Upvote 11

  12. 43 minutes ago, JeffGreenberg said:

     

     

    Brilliant.  Plan to do similar Feb 19.

    You restricted three of four possible choices?

    Which choice did you leave unrestricted & why?

    I want to leave highest price possibilities unrestricted,

    which I assume are commercial uses...?

    It will cause big big drop in $$ since most my

    licenses are editorial...

    If too many others DON'T take action of some sort,

    those holding out may have to decide how long...

    It will be revealing if someone monitors who is NOT

    restricting their images & NOT fighting 40/60...

     

    Where do you apply these restrictions? and can it be done to your entire port in one go?!? Cheers


  13. 30 minutes ago, Jansos said:

    I've only been contributing for a few years but must admit that I am very disappointed in this draconian measure. A 20% cut is massive and will impact hugely (perhaps the logic was that it is better to do it all at once rather than 10% now and a further 10% in two years time? Get the pain over with in one go?).  However, I don't think it can reasonably be justified as purely a consequence of market/Brexit uncertainties.  It is a shame that it has been dressed-up as such! If it is, in part, due to market uncertainty over Brexit it should be explained that it is time limited and can be reversed if worse case scenarios do not materialise. The depressing logic behind the cut is that there will be further reductions in the future, if the economic situation demands. A very bleak prospect of a continuing downward spiral, and one that does nothing to maintain contributor loyalty to Alamy. If Alamy loses its contributor base then it shoots itself in the foot and further 'economies' are then more likely.

     

    I agree. If Alamy go ahead with this cut then it's obvious Alamy views our commission as their Rainy Day money. Nice easy money for them. And saying it shouldn't happen again means nothing given they said that the last time. The trust has gone and I'm not sure they can recover it.

     

    The prospect of further reductions from an untrustworthy agency, lower licence fees with low sales volume certainly means I will be looking to place work elsewhere now. T

    • Upvote 4

  14. 1 hour ago, andremichel said:

    The rather stagnant revenue growth figures point to a company just hanging on.

     

    Surely these figures point to a collapsing market for the average tog. You needed an unrealistic 1000% increase in your port just to make a tiny gain. 

     

     

    Not necessarily. Most agencies weight images by a number of factors when a client searches a particular search term and one of the main variables is image age. In other words, you are looking at a 10 years span but realistically, searches will give priority of images with within a 2-3 year age span then dropping off after that subject to how popular the image has been. You will get some images appearing from way back but this is also likely part of the search design. Libraries like to keep fresh content coming to the fore so, images with no views/sales are brought forward (in smaller numbers) for a 2nd chance.

     

    Anyway, the top and bottom of it is, when a client searches for an image, you images is not competing with the full 155m, it's competing with images of the same keyword and each image is then ranked based on a predetermined set of variables. The age variable often pushes a lot of these images of the back of the search leaving newer and more popular at the front with a mix of older stuff as well.

     

    At least, this is how I hope Alamy work it


  15. Both. Laptop while shooting in a studio, tethered, and for when I'm not in the office. In the office I use a Mac Pro with a 27 2k monitor and a 27 QHD Cintiq.

     

    The most important one for me is the 27 2k monitor as this gives the right pixel density to check image sharpness. The laptop (retina) is too high a pixel density to be able to tell if an image is sharp and the Cintiq is more about drawing than reviewing.


  16. 6 hours ago, geogphotos said:

    Going to all that trouble of finding ISBN and ISSN numbers ended up being time wasted.

     

    Only £11.28 from books

    Only £2.82 from mags

     

    We have been well and truly stitched up! :(

     

    Mine went up this year... due to go to the max on books etc but I nearly chocked at the $0.96 for magazines & $0 for the books I found and logged. They included quite a few text books etc. I just don't see it being worth the effort (the additional ISBN bit). I could spend that time taking more photos and make significantly more!

    • Upvote 1

  17. 39 minutes ago, hsessions said:

     

    So I am back with an update.  I now have the A7III with a Tamron 28-75mm f2.8.  I just got very lucky to get either or both we have a shortage here in Canada.  I decided on the Tamron for better low light shooting, and it has not disapointed.  I decided to go with the A7III because as some have said Sony has been at it longer than Nikon; not disrespecting Nikon in anyway but as hard as they try I am sure there will be something that might need to be fixed/improved as this is their first attempt, so did not want to risk it.  Also did not want to use adapters and use the same big heavy lenses I have on a small body.  

     

    wim, they didn't have any pink ones!

     

    Took some test shots in good light and very low light, just blown away; so happy with IQ just want to point it at everything and shoot anything all the time, just incredible.  There is a second lens I'll be adding but will report back later on that, when I actually have it.  Also at some point further along in the future I will be looking at adding a second body (maybe), another small one APSC sensor, to get the most out of the lenses I'll have.  I say maybe because for the first time I feel kind of freed from all that kit.  Sometimes more is not better, I was so tangled up in cameras and lenses, that I think it was just stifling any creativity I had.  Was too busy trying to decide which body lens combo to grab for a shot while enviously looking at tourists who were getting all the shots with their mobile phones and tiny point and shoots, and for a split second would think I bet he or she is going to get a better comp and shot of that, than I will.  I started to feel ridiculous with all that gear. 

     

    Thanks everyone who contributed to this thread, I hope to be shooting a lot more and better now.

     

    Helen

     

    I'm sure you'll enjoy it.

     

    Take a look at this guys website http://www.markgaler.com/camera-custom-settings there are a few interesting videos about  setting up a A7iii / A7riii / A9 cameras. A lot of the ones for the A7riii are just as relevant for the A7iii as the menu choices are very similar. There is a lot the camera can do and he's good at explaining it.

    • Upvote 1

  18. 1 hour ago, funkyworm said:

    Mine arrived on my account today.

     

    Down on previous years.

     

    But still welcome... about the same amount disappeared from my account today for my medical insurance own risk.

     

    I've just spoken to them as I hadn't received that email advising it was due soon. They've confirmed they're being issued and we should start seeing payments arriving over the next week.

    • Upvote 1
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