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Duncan_Andison

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Posts posted by Duncan_Andison


  1. Hi All

    I am about to to take the big step and replace my old (2003) Windows XP computer with an iMac. I wanted to avoid the iMac screen because I had read that its very bright, very reflective and hard to calibrate. I had pretty much settled on the 21.5" iMac with the Asus PB278Q as a monitor. A bit of interweb searching showed me a few forum posts that said that external monitors do not work well on the thunderbolt iMac. My questions, then are

     

    1. Will the Asus PB278Q work via the thunderbolt port. My instinct says that it will and that the people who had troubles were trying an older monitor on a new Mac, but can anyone confirm this?

     

    2. How do you get on with the 27" iMac screen? Does anyone use it for photo work? Photo work is pretty much all I use my computer for - I don't play games, use it for streaming video (if you could see our broadband speed here in rural Quebec you would see why). Are the three complaints against the iMac screen (too bright, too shiny and hard to calibrate) real issues? If the iMac screen is good I could just get the 27" iMac and not bother with the second monitor.

     

    3. If I do decide to go down the 21.5" iMac + 27" monitor route, how is the Asus? Does anyone have any experience with it? What others can you recommend? It has to be 27" or more and I have a maximum of one thousand dollars to spend.

     

    Looking forward to some learned replies

     

    Cheers

     

    Col

     

     

    Can't comment on 1&3 but I can say for sure that I've had no problems using / calibrating my iMac screens using X-Rite i1 Pro. Prints always match what I see on the screen. I work in a room with a north facing window and the screen is facing away from it so I have no issues with reflections. On really bright days, I tend to close the curtains if I need optimum conditions.

     

    My Macbook Air screen on the other hand is not easily calibrated but I don't use it for processing shots etc.... just keywording and editing collections etc.

     

    edit..... or, you could wait around for one of these bad boys :-) The future Mac Pro


  2.  

    Looking to upgrade in the not to distant future because I am running Windows XP and Microsoft are withdrawing support in April next year for that OS. Have Windows 7 on my laptop but not 100% happy with it and no way am I going with Win 8.

     

    Could anyone tell me if it is a simple matter or not to transfer files from Windows to a Mac system. ie. Will they need to be reformatted at all to run on a Mac?

     

    Any other info greatfully received.

     

    Allan

     

    It depends what you mean by files. If you mean image files, raws an jpgs etc. Then they will transfer over fine, no problems at all. Actual applications..... no. Different way of running. Windows you install apps into the system but with a mac, you install an application into a sandbox environment..... it's like a contained / separate unit. To uninstall you drag it to the bin and it's gone. It doesn't leave dll files lying around etc.

     

    When I migrated over I connected both systems to the network and transferred my documents that were on the windows computer to a shared folder on the Mac. I also use a large NAS drive to store images etc and this can be seen, accessed by both systems.

     

    If you let mention any specific concerns or requirements, I'm sure either myself or some other Mac user can help out.

    Thank you Duncan you have answered my question abut files. Should have said I ment images and word, spreadsheet files etc.

     

    Thank you for the additional information too.

     

    I am sure there will be more questions, particularly when I actually have a Mac, which won't be for a little while yet having just blown some money on a new Fuji X-E1 system.

     

    I am short of screen size space and am currently working on a 22" screen. Could possibly go to a 24". Which screen size would you advise on a Mac system?

     

    Allan

    No problem. I use word and Excel on the Mac as well and provided you don't need to write any VBA scripts it works a treat. VBA on a mac is a fairly new development. I think it's Excel / Office 2011 for the Mac that I'm using on Mountain Lion.

     

    On a quick read up on Maverick, it seems like they will charge the same as the last OSX upgrade, about £14 to update...... you'll not find many Windows operating systems being sold at that price!

     

    Last time I downloaded the update over the App store it could be applied to both iMacs and the MacBook Air.... excellent value.


  3.  

    Looking to upgrade in the not to distant future because I am running Windows XP and Microsoft are withdrawing support in April next year for that OS. Have Windows 7 on my laptop but not 100% happy with it and no way am I going with Win 8.

     

    Could anyone tell me if it is a simple matter or not to transfer files from Windows to a Mac system. ie. Will they need to be reformatted at all to run on a Mac?

     

    Any other info greatfully received.

     

    Allan

     

    It depends what you mean by files. If you mean image files, raws an jpgs etc. Then they will transfer over fine, no problems at all. Actual applications..... no. Different way of running. Windows you install apps into the system but with a mac, you install an application into a sandbox environment..... it's like a contained / separate unit. To uninstall you drag it to the bin and it's gone. It doesn't leave dll files lying around etc.

     

    When I migrated over I connected both systems to the network and transferred my documents that were on the windows computer to a shared folder on the Mac. I also use a large NAS drive to store images etc and this can be seen, accessed by both systems.

     

    If you let mention any specific concerns or requirements, I'm sure either myself or some other Mac user can help out.

    • Upvote 1

  4. Maybe this one yes but you hava much more sensfull one.

     

    This you could maybe save with lonley man or single man. So something about lonliness or without relation....

     

    1+ head down, walking alone..... so lonely man, depression, loosing job, long and lonely path to recovery etc etc

     

    Red top attracts eye nicely and looks small and overwhelmed buy the woods...... he's so lonely, he can't see the woods for the trees  :D


  5.  

    I had regular sales, and they stopped dead.

     

    Here’s a thought: you may have had beginner’s luck, with a few quick sales, which raised your expectations too high.

     

    From 8,000+ pix here, I get an average of one sale every two days. But that’s the average: last week I had five sales in one day, breaking a barren spell of two weeks. These peaks and troughs seem pretty consistent with a medium-sized portfolio like mine. With 416 pix, the peaks and troughs will be much bigger, and, of course, the total number of sales will be fewer...

     

    Very true.... Up until very recently I only had about 1k images and I've been uploading like a demon here and elsewhere.... nothing here this month but zooms are now at 44 for the month and quite a few are on ref numbers so looking positive. 

     

    My separate micro port, is doing well and is helping fill in the troughs here rather nicely. One month I netted just over $300 from RM, the next nowt. But my port here has some time to go before producing larger figures on a consistent basis.

     

    As Jools also mentioned, you need to to keep at it like a rabid dog..... tunnel vision on only one thing, success! And that means repeating the following

     

    1. Research.

    2. Take photos.

    3. Process, keyword and upload.

     

    and repeat time and time again. I make a point of uploading at least 200-250 micro shots in a month and when working on purely on RM / Editorial, between 600-1000. I'm playing catch up so I have to motor otherwise I'll be old and grey before I succeed.....

     

    Also, expect a reduced income. Jeff's comments about expected income if starting out today were very useful in that I now have a target. I'm more than half way to 2014 figure of $3,000 net and that's after the first few months of nearly bog all. I now know the only way I'll fail is if I stop trying....... and that ain't going to happen while there is breath in me!


  6.  

     

    If you're quoting me, I said "several" not "most." And I see AP as very . . .  almost manual, since I set the ISO and f/stop and watch the shutter speed.

     

    Ed I've made a complet faux pas here. I meant to say Manual and not Auto for Pros. Duh moment.  :o

     

    Re the histogram. The problem with the histogram on camera is that it sometimes doesn't match the histogram later in LR.

     

    And with light meters. I just wonder how much better they are over the internal meters of todays digital cameras?

     

    No Ed, I wasn't quoting you 'cos (I know) you didn't say it!  :) The OP (Gervais) did - as he has just said ^^

     

    Thank for correcting, Gervais: much clearer now!

     

    Re: histogram - personally, I do refer to it briefly after most shots, just to give me an idea of if I have done something horribly wrong or mis-read a scene, (I'm not too good instinctively) but I don't study the darn thing.  Anyhow - please correct me if I'm wrong here - isn't the histogram on the camera back based on the jpg-created thumbnail and so not 100% reliable?

     

    I think you're right. The histogram is based on the jpg image. You can clip the highlights slightly and still have a lot of headroom to bring it back (in Raw). I look to shoot to the right of the histogram and the Fuji X Trans files are very forgiving and take a lot of shadow and highlight adjustment without adding noise.


  7. Great stuff. I've been working on a number of packages following trends with other agencies of late and due to move on to the zooms / views of Alamy. Interesting to see the steady increase in pages of search results each month, positive. 

     

    I took a look at the data specifically to my account. My initial findings suggested that it would be tricky to tie zooms to sales. I'm going to sit down a draw up a list of things that could be tracked using the data they provide.

     

    I've found the data collected for other agencies really useful for targeting subject matter and best agencies etc. Will follow / add to this thread over time!


  8. With respect Duncan my head is still above ground level - albeit sometimes only just !

     

    I would however implore you to have a look at what your micros have to offer - you may not supply them with your excellent mountain landscapes (and I did just have a look) but thousands of others will and are in fact already doing so. This surely damages your potential sales. Mr Managing Editor ain't going to allow his picture researchers to buy a reasonably priced shot of Mt Blanc when there are hundreds available in a micro library for a micro price - and believe me - that is the way it works - the researchers are restricted by the desk budget and questions are asked if a cheapo could have filled the space.....and that is the way it works - I know it won't go away

     

    True, all I can do is managed my own work, if others put landscapes on micros I can't control that. I stopped that very early on. That said, here you would get approx. $30 dollars for the cover of the popular mountain / walking mags.... $15 after commission. That is more than $10 less than an extended print licence at SS. I think you could say it is interesting / challenging times..... we just have to keep moving forward, never look back as the past is in the past.... it's been and gone.

     

    By the way, I don't think my wording was very good in my last post, I should of had a collective "We"  or even "I" when referring to burying ones head.... it was not intended to be a cheap jibe at you. My apologies if it came over as such.


  9. I refer you to the conversation with the Managing Editor of the biggest UK newspaper group when in a 'dealing/negotiating' mode with picture libraries/agencies - he said at the time that the suppliers were so willing to cut each other's throats that he would soon be getting his pictures for a penny a time.....

     

    Spoke to his successor recently and he assured me that things were still well on track - why pay a negotiated fee when the image is there for the taking in the micro agencies - they might not be the absolute best, but when reproduced at 150dpi (or 72 for online) what did it matter - cheap enough is good enough, and the savings were reflected in bonuses.

     

    The basic trouble with the micro model is that while sales to Mom & Pop websites and blogs for peanuts might be acceptable the bigger boys have got it spotted - and they are really sharp - see the sales where images can be used as often as they like in all titles of the group and in all forms, print and online for a single fee - there are very few standalone single publications - so freebies all round and a boost to the bonuses......

     

    No amount of analysis is going to alter the way that the market actually works, it may tell you what is happening - but then on the other hand my sales bottom line tells me that - and I can see why quite clearly......

     

    But burying your head and hoping it will go away won't help either. The problem stems from the invention of micros, now they are here it cannot be rolled back unless you can organise the entire world to stop supplying and remove existing images from them.

     

    The last thing I would do is supply images of mountain / editorial scenes to micros, not worth it.  That said, who knows what the future will hold. How many images are sold now at Alamy for $7 or less? Unfortunately, Alamy doesn't make up for the low price with high volume. What I'm saying is you could use your skills to produce different goods for a different market. For instance, there is little point selling a pair of Versace jeans at Primark, not cost effective. But you could produce a cheaper pair that gives a return at higher volume.

     

    As I've said before, this is not a black and white issue and the one thing we have to keep doing is making decisions, whats right for me is not right for everyone. 

    • Upvote 2

  10.  

     

     

    How did we photographers allow this to happen? 

     

    By embracing royalty free and then microstock. But that's only part of the story. The ease of production and distribution brought about by by the digital age changed everything by creating a culture of middlemen and eager suppliers. Now, even those of us who kept our RM flags flying high have been sucked into the downward spiral. The bell has tolled.

     

    When farm workers accepted the use of machinery it also started a massive change in the way we farmed. As with photographers, they had no choice really. Technology changes and develops and you either move with it or you're left behind.

     

    It seems that some think you either supply RM or Micro and to do both is wrong (not referring to you John). I think what is important is to recognise what Alamy sells (and does well) and what Micro sells (and does equally well) and to give them those images. No, they re not the same images either. 

     

    To my cost I ignored micro up until July this year and it was only when I completed an analysis package that showed trends and percentages that I seen between a constant 30-80% rise in royalties month on month from the 90 images I had with the micro agencies. Alamy was up and down and all over the place. What I now know is Alamy is a good source of income but at this point, not as consistent as others. As such, I've now changed the percentages of images produced each month for the two business models.

     

    I believe Micro will provide a stable income flow each month while Alamy will give it a good boost along with direct sales etc. I'm also seeing good sales from Corbis as well.

     

    What does this all mean?!?!? It means look around, change styles and find cheaper subject matter..... and, try to be creative and adapt. Most importantly, keep stats and analysis. SAS, the analytical programme I used to use has a strap line that is very apt, "The Power To Know". That's research and analysis..... don't guess, know!

     

    It sounds as if you've chosen a good trajectory for yourself, Duncan. Have to admit that statistics and analysis have never been my thing. I've always been a "hit or miss" sort of person, and it's probably too late to change my stripes now. It is encouraging to hear, though, that you've managed to plant your feet in both worlds -- micro and "traditional" -- and are making a go of it. My problem is that when I see publications that I used to sell images to for decent fees now using cheap shots from microstock agencies, I cringe. There are now so many images in microstock agencies that shouldn't have been placed there in the first place, that it is undermining traditional agencies. If photographers put their "snappy" micro images in one pot and editorial/commercial images in another (as I think you are suggesting) then the two models could perhaps coexist peacefully. It's probably too late for that now, however.

     

    Cheers,

     

    -John M

     

     

    You got it  :D


  11.  

    How did we photographers allow this to happen? 

     

    By embracing royalty free and then microstock. But that's only part of the story. The ease of production and distribution brought about by by the digital age changed everything by creating a culture of middlemen and eager suppliers. Now, even those of us who kept our RM flags flying high have been sucked into the downward spiral. The bell has tolled.

     

    When farm workers accepted the use of machinery it also started a massive change in the way we farmed. As with photographers, they had no choice really. Technology changes and develops and you either move with it or you're left behind.

     

    It seems that some think you either supply RM or Micro and to do both is wrong (not referring to you John). I think what is important is to recognise what Alamy sells (and does well) and what Micro sells (and does equally well) and to give them those images. No, they re not the same images either. 

     

    To my cost I ignored micro up until July this year and it was only when I completed an analysis package that showed trends and percentages that I seen between a constant 30-80% rise in royalties month on month from the 90 images I had with the micro agencies. Alamy was up and down and all over the place. What I now know is Alamy is a good source of income but at this point, not as consistent as others. As such, I've now changed the percentages of images produced each month for the two business models.

     

    I believe Micro will provide a stable income flow each month while Alamy will give it a good boost along with direct sales etc. I'm also seeing good sales from Corbis as well.

     

    What does this all mean?!?!? It means look around, change styles and find cheaper subject matter..... and, try to be creative and adapt. Most importantly, keep stats and analysis. SAS, the analytical programme I used to use has a strap line that is very apt, "The Power To Know". That's research and analysis..... don't guess, know!

    • Upvote 2

  12. 1+ ..... My 5dmkii has joined a queue of 11 on ebay  :D Thankfully only one finishes within 1 day of mine! Once it's sold, along with my remaining lenses, I'll pick up an X-E1 as a backup to my X Pro1. I'm thinking of getting the EF-X20 flash to go along side a yongnuo 560iii.

     

    The Fuji 55-200 is an amazing lens. If you get a chance, try out the 14mm.... best UWA i've used. Hopefully the 10-24 they are going to release will be similar quality!

     

     

    Duncan - you may already be aware but the EF-X20 flash has no standby mode plus the switch on time is (or seems like) several seconds. Haven't used it a lot yet but, so far, I've found it really frustrating. A shame, as I'm really enjoying the X-E1.

     

    Yeah, it would be nice if it started up a bit quicker.... I can get away with the lack of standby. I'm going to sell a Nissin 622 because of the standby on that, keeps switching off way to fast. I will however get a second Yongnuo 560III..... superb quality piece of kit for only £48. Anyone looking for a new flash should really take a look at it. Built in radio receiver, great display and excellent build quality. 


  13. A QC fail is a sure fire way to cripple a workflow of uploads. I'm totally lost just now serving a 28 wait.

    Think of it as extra time to take stock / studio photos and check them off before your next upload..... of 3000+ images :D

     

    What I mean by that is, does it make any difference if you upload 30 tomorrow or 300 next week or 3000 in a month or two time?!?! They will still end up in the same place! Just concentrate on getting the images, processing and keywording them ready for the time you can upload them! There are also other libraries to apply to, workflows to improve and photo shoots to research, plenty to keep us going! It will only cripple a workflow if you let it or..... think it!

    • Upvote 2

  14. "You're spot on about not doing PP on a laptop. I would just use a laptop to download the RAW images and save a second copy on a portable HD"

     

    Same here! Only use my laptop for keywording and research, but never for post-processing.

     

    Cheers,

    Philippe

     

     

    Same here. I use a MacBook air 11" for traveling, uploading images to a 1tb usb drive. From there I sort out which files I want, keyword and sometimes apply grads if I need to balance out land / sky. But, i never try to do anything with colour balance etc until I get it on a large monitor and fine tuning etc. 


  15.  

     

    Duncan. Just had a quick look at your work. Not sure if it's a concern or not but should you really have that credit card there with all the detail visible? Just wondering if someone could easily start charging your card!!!

     

    Naaa... they'll be lucky..... it's an old one  :D The back all faded and rubbed off so I had to get a replacement! But good point though!!

    I always alter the details on these sort of images just in case.

     

    Pearl

     

     

    Very good idea.... next time it might be an active card!! Will make a mental not to not do it again! Thanks

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