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Duncan_Andison

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Posts posted by Duncan_Andison


  1. I discontinued Novel Use last April after having a $1.00 gross sale to the Telegraph. The image was full page on their Web site, a really vivid reproduction. I suppose many newbies, and there are very very many newbies, would feel that was the beginning of something good. But it made me want to set fire to my collection and my equipment. Since April my sales are up, my prices are up and my rank is better. Getting screwed is not a good career choice. If I wanted to contribute to a micro agency I'd have done so. 

     

    +1 nothing else to add to that!

    • Upvote 3

  2. Duncan, I admire your ambition and analytical skills immensely - would not know where to start. However, I find a chat with my accountant during a social meeting in a local pub, comparing this year with last year gives me a good pointer as to where things are going wrong - it does not help with trends which I find are just that - ever changing factors - but it is much more convivial.....

     

    :) I was a credit risk analyst for 12 years analysing mortgage portfolio trends in order to determine key risks and areas of improvement. While the skills are useful here the photography is far more interesting  :D


  3. For analytical purposes comparing one month is not really that useful, unless the analysis is how well you do for that month each and every year. It's too small a sample and can be significantly effected by peaks and troughs for that year.

     

    For instance, last month was terrible for me but this month has been extremely good. The net result if you add the two months together is a steady increase.

     

    If analysis is carried out across the full year you will not only be able to confirm if the year overall is poor but also spot trends in purchasing. 

     

    I'm in the process of building an analysis package that takes the data from each agency to create a database of all searches, zooms and purchases as well as recording the type of image sold. This will help me to spot patterns over time in volumes and types of images sold. In turn, this will help plan what I will shoot going forward and where to place particular types of imagery.


  4. Hi All,

     

    I seem to have reached a crossroads with stock photography.

     

    In fairness I only have 1500 pics on here, but also have 9,500 pics with another agency, fotoLibra. I would reasonably expect to sell up to maybe 5 per month across the two but come nowhere near that. One sale every two months would be good! :)  I have been at it for as many years as Alamy have.

     

    My crossroads dilemma is that if I just pack it in and walk away I will never sell, but if I carry on slugging it out I don't sell anyway!

     

    Does anyone else feel they have reached their crossroads too? And, if so, have you had any positive thoughts about it?

     

    I am enquiring with some specialist agencies (thanks to forum members who have suggested some on here).

     

    I wonder if any/all of the following are my issues but general feedback seems to indicate no:

     

    Poor keywording

    Uninteresting content

    Unimaginative content

    Too big a pool/too small a fish

     

    Those who know me outside of stock will know I have run a fairly successful photography business for the last 11 years, so what am I doing wrong in stockland?

     

     

    I love taking stock shots but if there is such a low return I seriously need to re-evaluate if this will ever make a contributing income stream to the Jenkins family vaults.

     

    nj

     

    Hi Nick.... I know my Pure landscape work does not sell as stock very often, even when I misguidedly placed them with micros. Since then I have change a few things to increase sales and to allow me to continue taking the shots I love.

     

    1. Added people to my landscapes while out and about in the hills, seems to sell well in outdoor magazines, got the cover of Lakeland Walker for July / Aug. Images with people in the distance look nice printed as well

     

    2. Decided not to go out quite as much.... by that I mean work on studio shots / concepts. I have split this between RM and RF. The RF is aimed at covering the micro market while still uploaded here to pick up any potential customers who do not have accounts with the larger subscription micros. Low prices but high volume of downloads. This seems to produce good returns with limited time spent on it, lower volume of images required to make a return. I have less than a 100 images with micros but they consistently return $80 a month, sometimes quite a bit more. It also doesn't take to long to do as I don't have to travel anywhere and is done in between trips. I want to increase this side to balance more with my RM portfolio. Eggs split between two baskets.

     

    3. When I do go out / on holiday etc, I spend more time on the everyday items rather than purely looking for that one big shot. I look for images that could illustrate a story/article. Food cooking on a stove while camping, filtering water  

     

    I find I can still go looking for the great wall print shots as I did before but now I fill in the time in between with a mixture of the three things above. I have found #2 more enjoyable than I expected  :D and doesn't interfere with my mountain activities.... which is important to me! 

    • Upvote 3

  5.  

    Cheers.... the first sale was three figures, at the beginning of the month and over the last week two additional searches on the reference number for that file. It might be a popular file I guess but wasn't sure if a search on the reference number after a sale on that file might mean a refund maybe is on it's way  :) .

     

    Au contraire, files zoomed by ref number very often come through as sales a month or two down the line. In general, it's actually a good omen.

     

    Though as wim added, it will often be a $7.34 newspaper sale... better than a refund??? Well, slightly.

     

    -Jason

    cheers.... i'm not in the newspaper scheme so it maybe more than the $7.34  :)


  6. It never hurts to check images that have been zoomed with Google Images.

    Don't expect huge sums though: in my case it's usually a British newspaper.

    ;-)

     

    wim

    Cheers.... the first sale was three figures, at the beginning of the month and over the last week two additional searches on the reference number for that file. It might be a popular file I guess but wasn't sure if a search on the reference number after a sale on that file might mean a refund maybe is on it's way  :) . I'm not in the Newspaper scheme.


  7. I use Nikons as my work horses but I ALWAYS carry an X Pro 1 with 18-35 & 55-200. I can't recommend it highly enough. I've found that I can carry it around comfortably in a small bag all day long, people don't take much notice whilst I'm shooting, the build quality is very good and the IQ is outstanding.  I think if I was buying into the system now, I might buy the XE1 and save a few quid though as I rarely use the OVF. 

     

    +1 another very happy  X Pro1 user. 


  8. There was a lot of , er, healthy debate , on the old forum about the need for camera insurance....

     

    This link may be of interest...

     

    http://petapixel.com/2013/06/25/how-to-protect-yourself-against-camera-gear-theft-as-a-photographer/

     

    km

     

    Cheers... good stuff. Just renewed my insurance with glover and howe.... but I would rather not have to use it so any preventative measures are good to know! Bookmarked it for future reference!


  9.  

     

    Pobably best to stay in Miraflores area or one closeby. Lima is fine although unlike asia I don't walk around with the camera showing. I pull it out of a nondescript bag when I'm ready to take a photo. Apart from that expect the garua  (cloud) in Lima almost 24/7 at this time of year.

     

    Thanks.... That's exactly where we have booked our  Casa Andina Private Collection. I'll be taking my X Pro1 as well as the Sony RX100. I'll probably use the Xpro with a 35mm and keep it out of sight and mainly use the RX100 when walking around.

    I stayed at the Casa Andina PC when I was in Lima in 2010. It's excellent accommodation in a good area. There was a great cafe downstairs with free wi-fi :-). One thing to be aware of, unless the 'rules' have changed recently, is that Peru customs cannot understand why you would need more than one camera, and if you're subject to their russian roulette system of who to check...they expect a 'refundable' deposit of 20% of your gear's value. You can read more about my experience with Peru Customs here

    Excellent..... thanks for this. I'll make sure my wife is carrying the sony camera and I'll keep the xpro and lenses. Very useful info...... cheers


  10. ...and suddenly, overnight, I have 12 zooms.  More than I've had in the last year.  Something is strange indeed.

     

    This morning I had an additional 2 zooms compared to the day before but when I searched on yesterdays date only to see what had been searched/viewed etc, they didn't show..... they've appeared by magic!

     

    Zooms have been quite consistent so far this month, 1-3 a day, no big batches of them. CTR on my main pseudonyms is 1.1% & 0.76% with the others around the Alamy average.


  11. Pobably best to stay in Miraflores area or one closeby. Lima is fine although unlike asia I don't walk around with the camera showing. I pull it out of a nondescript bag when I'm ready to take a photo. Apart from that expect the garua  (cloud) in Lima almost 24/7 at this time of year.

     

    Thanks.... That's exactly where we have booked our hotel, Casa Andina Private Collection. I'll be taking my X Pro1 as well as the Sony RX100. I'll probably use the Xpro with a 35mm and keep it out of sight and mainly use the RX100 when walking around.


  12.  

     

    This might be the reason that zooms are up without corresponding increases in sales.

    It is not a general trend that zooms are up. There has been a drop in CTR over all of Alamy since the changes. My own zooms have dropped considerably.

    My zooms are definitely on the way up but I have also increased my port significantly over the last couple of months. Getting about 10 zooms per 1000 images a month at the moment (not sure if that's normal or not). That said, I would rather see sales!


  13. I'll have four days there before moving up to Huaraz in the the Peruvian Andes for 2 weeks and another day in Lima on the way back.

     

    Anything to watch out for such as problem areas, cultural no nos, things to avoid, things you must see etc.

     

    While the main event will be the mountaineering in the Andes at 5-6,500 metres, I will of course want to make the most of my time there..... including airports etc!

     

    Cheers


  14. All those with a Fuji X Pro1 and X-E1 will want to upgrade firmware.

     

    Version 2.05 is available and it allows autofocus selection on the FN button now and adds a second FN button (down arrow selection). This improves the handling of the camera a lot. It also adds options for the use of the two new lenses announced that don't have an aperture ring on the lens. Download from Here.

     

    They have also announced an improved firmware release for the 23rd July version 3. Focus peaking will be added, improved manual focus checking as well as an improved autofocus algorithm to speed up auto focus. Big changes. Lens firmware will also be updated on the 23rd.

     

    Ful Review

     

    • Upvote 1

  15. Within the last year, according to 'All of Alamy' stats:

     

    "Landscape" as an individual search term was searched for 45 times.

    "Car" as an individual search term was searched for 467 times.

     

    That's a ten-fold demand for something you can find outside your front door.

     

    Stock is not art, it's not even regular "photography". It's about the production of images that are useful to sell things, or in the case of editorial, to illustrate a point of view or concept. By all means shoot misty landscapes and arty scenes, but don't expect to make many sales.

     

    J

     

    1+ I've made more from an image of a pair of muddy walking boots on a white background than I have from sunset landscape shots! But that's what I enjoy, it's about making the ordinary look good and useable. I just ask myself now, how would/could I use the image if I was a publisher. If I struggle to think of a way then it's probably not worth it. 


  16. Not good.... nothing this month so far. I've rolling zooms of about 28 so I hope they are all just waiting to convert  :D

     

    Now, if only I had the same ration of income here as I do with my microstock stuff. 70 Files with SS and more often than not I get a dollar per file each month. Maybe I should spend more time on shooting stuff for them  :rolleyes: The $28 downloads are nice

    • Upvote 1

  17. I've probably been banging on the wrong doors lately that's all. It's easier to shoot 'editorial' type stuff and hope for the best, that to pay real attention. I guess it goes back to having the time. You only get out what you put in and all that. 

     

    I get about 800-1000 views a month, and maybe 2-3 zooms. It's actually laughable, but what do I expect from a library of 'quick snaps' while out walking... 

     

    There is no truer critique than a hundred views/zooms and no sales - That's my quote lol 

     

    Quick walks can be good money earners. Think of all the magazines and walking holiday brochures etc. When I go out climbing, scrambling or walking I normally jog on a head or hang back to capture either my wife or other people scrambling over rocks etc with nice backdrops etc. They can be used to illustrate walks and places very nicely.


  18. I started off purely as a landscape photographer but ended up doing all sorts, outdoor activity stuff through to taking a picture of a pile of coins or one of myself driving a car at night..... anything. I like to have fun with the camera but now I try to find subject matter that will sell better. It doesn't mean I don't take sunsets on the tops of mountains, I still do it often but I try to add people in at times or enough of the surrounding landscape that will illustrate where I was and what it was like.... The feeling of being in the middle of nowhere with amazing views and having it all to yourself. That's often what my customers clients want to see. Something that might inspire them to do it...... as long as it's not the same time I'm up there..... they are all mine you know  :D

     

    Here's a new one from this month. Summit of Robinson in Buttermere.

     

    D9CF03.jpg

    • Upvote 1

  19. My first sale.... only last year  :D  I wish I had started a lot sooner.

     

    Started submitting slowly in June 2012, and picked up pace since Feb this year (added 2000+ images since then). 18 Sales to date.

     

    Country: Worldwide
    Usage: Magazine, editorial print and digital use, repeat use within a single issue
    Industry sector: Media, design & publishing
    Start: 23 August 2012
    End: 23 August 2017 $ 30.51

     

    CR3NXT.jpg


  20. I'm also a X-E1 user and jumped at the Capture One 7 Express special offer, which happened to coincide with the end of my 60 day free trial period. That said, I shoot jpeg+RAW and only use the RAW on an 'as required' basis - no sense in practice bleeding when the jpegs are of such high quality.

     

    Very true. The OOC Jpgs are superb. They have a lovely feel to them. If I am taking stock / work photos I often just use raw as it fits with my workflow, especially landscape stuff when I want to get as much detail as possible. That said, for personel / home stuff I use jpgs as I know the colours and detail will look great and there will be no requirement to print at 20x30inch.

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