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Posts posted by Duncan_Andison

  1. Hi Duncan!  the only way you are ever going to get a price justifying the usage or whatever, nowadays is what I posted in the other forum ( you know the one)  is when a creative buyer scouts around for a client, might be exclusive-rights, copyright sales as the buyer I had looking for a pic to use in a world-wide logo-type.


    Why?  simply because they have no option but to pay, no matter the cost, the pic must simply be exclusive, period. Also when you have ad-agency creatives, art-directors buying etc, money is seldom an object.


    A pal of mine, AD at O&M is right now looking for a stone statue of an old man draped in snow and is prepared to pay 5K for it. How about that???  he could most probably find that in any old agency BUT he wants the copyright, etc.


    In August I did a Land-rover shoot, latest Defender ( 15 year old client), the budget for the shoot was mega big, around, 50K, models, props, this, that and only a day shoot. This they don't mind paying for, same client I told a few month's earlier to use a stock-agency just for fill-out pics in an annual for a meager, $.70 per shot. He thought that was too expensive, HA!


    There is no way you can win, prices have just been slashed too much and going down and agencies are finding all sorts of ways to save payouts to contributors ( not alamy ) but the micros, one of the leading ones are pushing down higher royalty-members in the search-engine, another one is pushing subs-packages instead of credit-sales.


    Talk about some day, this will all backfire on them and we wake up on a Monday morning just to find they've gone out of business.


    all the best Duncan.


    Good to hear from you Chris! Yeah, no agency is ever going to compete with client based work :-) Emailed ya by the way!


    The day we find an agency that can be trusted 100% will be the day hell freezes over (sorry Alamy). They all have too many agendas, shareholders and investors etc who want more and more of the pie!


    In fairness, most have been doing really well of late and that includes Alamy..... cheers Alamy, credit where credits due!!

  2. You make the assumption that buyers in Alamy's main editorial markets have the time to go search every micro to see if they can get it cheaper. Well even if they did have the time (they generally don't), they might well be in a scheme or have discount access that doesn't make micro any cheaper. Also their time is money, so the cheap alternative maybe isn't all that cheap when you factor in ALL their costs.


    Alamy made the decision some time back to allow this to happen, it was a positive decision. Don't forget that Alamy were (still are?) members of the biggest indie microstock forum. They knew exactly what the score was. Indeed, ever noticed how they have often used microstockers as examples in their PR/blogs.


    Agree. The cost of imagery now is often cheaper than the time it takes to look for it in the first place (if you waste time looking everywhere).


    Secondly, Joe Blogs image finder is not entirely bothered if it costs a little  more here when the majority of what they do need is here. It isn't worth buying a subs / credit packages with numerous different agencies as it offsets minimal savings elsewhere. Besides, it's often not their money but it is their time and they have to meet their bosses deadlines!

    • Upvote 1
  3. NAS (personal cloud) is the way to go. If you can afford it get RAID duplexed disks.




    1x 4/5 bay NAS setup as RAID 1. You will have two disks for storage and the other two back them up. This protects agains disk failure. This will be the main storage system.

    1x 4/5 bay NAS as RAID 5. Use this to backup the above RAID NAS ideally with different disks to the main system. This protects against hardware failure and major disk failures due to manufacture faults. RAID 5 is slower but will give you more space and as it's only used as backup and won't to store additional data, does't really matter. You could backup two main system NAS drives in affect.


    Store copies of all images asJpgs on external solid state storage something like SSD drives, bluray disks etc. They have no mechanical parts to fail and can be stored in a separate location in a small fire proof safe if necessary. Protects against theft and fire at the main location. SSD's are great, getting a lot cheaper and very small.


    Back to the original question: Why sell RM?


    I assume that everyone here wants to maximize their long-term income from their images. If you believe RM does that better than RF can you please explain how?

    You have the answer in your question ;)

    RM will bring the long-term income ... because it's RM.


    Anna is buying your image as RF and she uses it everywhere she wants, forever. Pays you once and never come's back for the same image. You can multiply it for xxxx clients.

    Maria is buying the image as RM specific license and she uses it once in detailed way. If she wants to use it again next year or next project, she must comes back and pay again... You can multiply the scheme for xxxx clients.


    Let's say in both cases the number of clients who buy your file is limited to the same number... Can you see the difference in long-term income now?



    Anna see's you image as RM, she may need to use it more than once. It is a common subject and there are plenty of images of a similar subject matter. Your RM or someone else's RF... the RF wins as it has the flexibility of reuse as many times as she wants.


    Anna see's you image as RM, she may need to use it more than once. It's a hard to find subject matter and there isn't really a suitable image elsewhere that matches her requirements. Your RM wins and you protect it from over use and get an extra licence laster on down the line.


    Use both systems to your own advantage.... Otherwise, RM could also mean NO income  ;)  :D

    • Upvote 2


    Sorry, indeed my mistake. I only did look at the first few pages of your port which are almost all RF and thus gave me that wrong impression.

    I certainly didn't mean to be derogatory. I DON'T look down on RF, it's just not my cup of tea, I'm just sick and tired of people (and I don't mean you) who give the impression that RF is the way to go and preferably elsewhere.


    Robert always implies that commercial RFs are the way to make money (elsewhere) and the rest is just for amateurs. THAT's derogatory! Sure, commercial photography will bring in more bucks than editorial, but not everybody is interested in this kind of shooting. There's more in life than money. But implying that editorial RM is just for amateurs trying to save enough for buying a new lens from time to time is absolute bullshit. 






    No worries, I thought that was the case :D .


    Most know I do a lot of RF elsewhere and I enjoy that, it pays the bills and I have fun doing it but, Alamy is still an important part of my future business plan, I may not have submitted much over the last year (if you're reading, Sorry Alamy  ;) ) but that will change soon as I do love getting out from the studio capturing images for them. I wouldn't want to sacrifice one for the other as you say, the money just allows us to do the things we love. All I need is 48 hour day to fit everything in  :D

    • Upvote 2
  6. I believe each of us have different experience and expectations, as different images and style (different client at the end). In my photo sell experience I've noticed that it's better to sell RM (like Philippe's). Others will do better with selling RF. Why fight for the rights? ;)


    Dbooksta (and all other newbies), test your ground, try both and make your conclusions after two years (one is nothing in macro sales).


    Exactly. There is no hard and fast rules. The images you take / create will dictate the licence you use as will cost of capturing the image. Don't set expensive imagery as RF if it isn't going to sell in high numbers. There are so many variables involved and unfortunately, there is a lot to learn with very few right / wrong yes/no answers.

    • Upvote 2


    I only used RF on pictures that are not special at all and are probably found in many portfolios (i.e. flowers, trees, ...). 

    I believe that RF can be purchased and then re-sold, without me getting any further royalties - so I will use RF only on images where I do not care.


    Anything else is RM - specially where I do not have property and model releases (which I rarely have or can provide) - but these need to be RM anyways. 


    It doesn't matter what anyone believes, it's facts that matter. The fact, for instance, that most RF license agreements specifically forbid reselling, or enabling reselling to take place illicitly.


    The crucial thing about RF is that it facilitates commercial sales, but also that it is increasingly the license of choice for serious editorial buyers.  It is now where the money is.  If photography is your hobby, then Alamy's version of RM (RM lite) is fine.  You'll earn enough to buy some equipment, maybe pay for a couple of holidays.  But anyone professionally involved in stock photography, with the exception of press togs perhaps, has to consider RF as the license of choice, and selling through a number of agencies, with RM reserved for personal work, or work aimed at the top end of the market.


    See Duncan's post above - that's the reality



    Stock is my ONLY income and I ONLY sell RM (and when I look in the mirror in the morning, I don't look too undernourished)

    All the full-time pros I know personally, all sell ONLY RM and - as you know - many do here as well.


    "See Duncan's post above - that's the reality"

    See Duncan's port: it's all typical RF material and NOT the kind of pictures the vast majority submits here, at Alamy.








    I don't often disagree with you but, nearly 4,800 of my 7,600 are RM and probably only 2k are typical RF stuff that doesn't sell well here (but does still sell).


    I have a feeling you just skipped the first couple of pages without looking deeper into my port. I think it would be wise to amend that statement as it does sound derogatory but is also inaccurate.


    I have a standalone port of 4,500 RF images that are elsewhere as I don't believe they would sell very well here. They make nearly 7 times the income that 7,600 images make here. I'd need to make many $k's p/month here to replace it. But that is my point, we aren't supporting football teams here, we can support both sides and make plenty of money from both.


    Edit. P.S. I did give you the greenie as I don't believe you meant anything bad by it. Sort of know what you are saying i.e. here at Alamy RM is king but it just sounds a little like you are applying it to everywhere when reality says RM is only one part of the system.





    So how can they tell between a LR export from RAW and a LR export from jpeg- surely the software flag will be the same.


    My understanding from the comments below the story is that the EXIF gives the game away. But I don't know if it's possible to edit that. 





    Yeah it's possible. Whenever I buy a new camera that isn't on C1's list, I change the camera details in Raw files with an exif editor so I can process them (provided its the same make of camera, fuji pro - x-t1). Some apps allow you to do bulk routines for this if you have large volumes.



    But of course if anyone does that and Reuters find out, or identify the changes in other ways they are in deep doo-doo! If you are selling work through a channel like Reuters can you really afford that risk of seriously upsetting them? And do you have the time to mess about with converting raw and editing EXIF on news images?


    I know I wouldn't.



    Just to point out, I was only confirming it was possible and not that I would be bothered to do it (I'm not with Reuters so it has no impact on me). It's still a faff altering exif data on mass even though it's possible.


    Personally, I'd just set the camera to Raw + Jpg. Hell, on the Fuji you can set bracketing to create your three favourite jpg styles at the same time. Or, select the Raw in camera and tell it to create a jpg from it. These would all be easier than trying to process Raws out of camera and then trying to cover it up!



    So how can they tell between a LR export from RAW and a LR export from jpeg- surely the software flag will be the same.


    My understanding from the comments below the story is that the EXIF gives the game away. But I don't know if it's possible to edit that. 





    Yeah it's possible. Whenever I buy a new camera that isn't on C1's list, I change the camera details in Raw files with an exif editor so I can process them (provided its the same make of camera, fuji pro - x-t1). Some apps allow you to do bulk routines for this if you have large volumes.


    Is this genuine? 





    if yes, then is Alamy likely to be following suit, particularly in the news uploads?


    I see little difference, except a possible drop in quality...you can `process' in jpeg too.

    No one submits RAW images to Alamy anyway.



    I'm sure the article is referring to .jpgs produced from Raw Files. They will now only accept .jpgs produced by the camera directly with minimal adjustment

  11. It's up to you if you want to loose control over your work (RF) or keep it (RM).


    I started years ago with RF only, because all friends did RF and I had no idea what I loose with this choice. After all these years of experience I've learnt that all I need is RM, and this is my goal to produce RM only.

    About pricing, it's not that RM is cheaper. Some RM orders can give you xxxx $ for only one usage! Consider also that many clients don't want to use RF images in their projects to not meet the same picture everywhere... That's why they are ready to pay more for RM.


    RF loosing control? Yes, you don't have the control as RM BUT, there are images that don't require that level of control. Shoot for the market your aiming for and choose the licence type accordingly.


    I see a lot of black and white approaches but the reality is, there's a fair bit of grey in between. RM is barely 10% of my overall income, there's no way I'd want to chuck away several thousand $'s a month by discounting RF. At the same time, I want the option to put the right imagery as RM. I really don't get this "One Size Fits All" approach. It sometimes feels like it's a football game and you have to support one side or the other.

    • Upvote 2
  12. It's not just a case of what's the best Licence format, it's what's the best format for the image.


    Some images I would only ever use RM for, hard to get / unique imagery. However, for something that is very easy to get a hold of or replicate, then I often use RF (provided I have MR & PR). 


    The type of images you're supplying should dictate the type of licence to use. For instance, I produce a lot of images for micro market that are low to near zero cost to produce in high volumes (apart from time on the computer). I would never put these up as RM. An image taken at the top of a 6000m peak, no chance at all it would be anything other than RM. Horses for courses.


    What you will now be gathering is that it isn't a simple yes/no answer. You have to assess each image you produce and more over, think about how the image will be used before you pull the trigger. We shouldn't sell images we take, we take images that will sell. It all takes time, practice and experience.


    In terms of sale price, this month (as with others) an RF sale has been a three figure sale while some RM have only been two. Swings and roundabouts

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    It could be that it's simply because there are no ref # on the default page anymore. I hope this does not mean we just have lost all those clients that used ref # to select images. Some have found the button for pre-9 Oct  page lay out: a quick look through AoA set with 09 Oct as starting date will show quite a bit of ref # still being searched.



    Wim, in my OP, I'd already stated that searches by reference number were still showing in AoA (but often with additional search terms). I don't think that the disappearance from My Measures has anything to do with customer behaviour.



    With the greatest respect, you really aren't commenting on exactly what I said.


    EDIT: Discussion on minimum sample sizes / the true validity of statistical validity / causal reductionism / generalisation etc etc etc deleted  . . . suddenly can't be bothered, although I think Wim has some interesting observations on what may be happening.



    Dusty Dingo, I'm fully aware of statistical significance and have, on this forum, often pointed out the error of individual contributors looking for trends or patterns in very small numbers.


    While you're correct that the statistical validity of sample size of contributors could be queried, that's actually irrelevant. The important figure is the volume of data available for analysis. To take an extreme example, there are around 38,000 contributors on Alamy but if I had 20% of all the images, then any data I alone produced would have statistical significance.


    In my particular case, we're talking about thousands of events occurring over a period of years compared to zero events over a comparative sample period of 40 days. With around 80,000 views per month, my own figures are a reasonable sample size. The fact that this is only my data doesn't make it any less significant, except in the highly unlikely event that my account has been chosen for special treatment - hence the need for verification by only a handful of other contributors.



    Ian D



    Correct. Before turning photographer I was a Risk Analyst used to using SAS to build statistical programmes to carry out analysis. The volume of lines of data is the critical part and not the number of sub categories you can divide it by (i.e. contributor, day,month and year etc). The number of contributors is important if you are looking to confirm the trend between contributors, but this can only work if the contributor themselves have sufficient lines of data.


    If a contributor has sufficient data you could easily carry out some simple checks. For instance,


    1. Does it happen at all. This would be a simple Y/N answer and once added to the line of data, you can create a table show how many days, weeks or months each year it happens. The results can be used to calculate other statistics.

    2. Volume of times it happens each day. As above, can be used to produce weekly, monthly and annual results.

    3. How often it happens / is likely to happen. Divide the number of times it happens out of X amount of searches over a previous years data (rolling 12 months) to work out a long term average to compare it to a current week / month etc or to work out the likelihood of it happening.

    4. Hell, If you're using SAS you could easily work out how many times it happens to a particular Keyword in order to try and reveal the types of customer carrying out this type of search. Or, whether it's being carried out at a certain time of the month etc etc.


    Personally, I would say once you have over 10k searches a month you should be able to make some reasonable conclusions and 80k would be more than enough to split the data into Days /Weeks as well as months when working out the probability of the event taking place. Especially when we all have at least 12 months past data to compare the current week / month too.


    However, this would be grossly overkill to start afresh for something that collectively I think has already been confirmed by a number of people with high vol of searches each month.

  14. "Besides, most major players are exclusive"  Phillippe


    Actually, under the new Gateway agreement, you have three options for every image you upload: exclusive, co-exclusive (you can also sell images yourself) and non-exclusive.  Photographer share is: 37.5%, 35%, 30%.


    Many wildlife, nature and documentary photographers submit there in order to get access to lucrative commercial markets.  Of courser, nobody walks in.  You have to have work they think they can sell, particularly in those markets.  Unfortunately, the editorial market there, as everywhere, is at rock bottom. 


    Unfortunately since my editor left / retired, the 1-2k sales have also gone awol. The new one just doesn't seem to give a one! Obviously had all this persons photographers dumped on him as well as his existing ones. Service has gone down hill rapidly.

  15. So if a photographer has the same photo on both Corbis and Alamy.

    if it sells, where would the photographs get the highest selling price !

    If it's alamy why would you leave photos on corbis ?


    Corbis commission is lower than Alamy so you'd be better off with the image being with Alamy only if the direct sales at Corbis did not make up for it. Of late, I'd say they don't (or rarely do) and my future editorial will be heading to Alamy first.


    I uploaded one a few months back that I deliberately added grain to. It was obvious and all over the image. It was an image where I used a nik filter. It failed.

    That one sparked a conversation about creativity not being accepted well. Alamy has accepted some of my creative images, just not the grainy one that had an all-over nostalgic old-photo effect.

    It makes me a bit leery not knowing where the line is, or the fact the line moves from time to time. I think sometimes it depends on the person doing the QC. One QCer may be a hard-liner, another may have creative bones of his/her own and sees the merit and intent in those images.



    Betty, not commenting on your image in any way I must stress, but I have seen some examples of filter-added grain that looked truly atrocious . . . not as bad as faux-HDR or Elvis-on-black-velvet mind you, but . . . :) , which leads me to suspect the variability in opinions of what is acceptable is much, much greater within the photographic community (and by association I assume within the Alamy contributor community) than it is within the ranks of Alamy QC folk.






    I tend to agree, although  the Nik filters are very good and can look great if used well.


    When it comes to grain, it's too easy for it to be failed here so I would only submit them to agencies that embrace that level of creativity and don't ban you for a month if they decide it's not to their taste. They also tend to have a space to add comments so you can say, "This has added grain & colour balance effects" so the reviewer is aware it isn't a fault but a creative decision. Maybe with all the tweaks Alamy are doing they could include something like this?


    I don't believe anyone should be sidelined for 30 days for trying to be creative, even if Alamy don't want the image. After all, it isn't a technical fault that you've failed to pick up, it's a creative decision to add something that they personally don't like. It's hard to ban someone for 30 days for doing something that you don't like but others do. That's like banning someone for having a different opinion to you. It's subjective. If they don't want it, don't accept it but don't sideline contributors for non-technical fault issues. It is a test for quality/technical competence after all.


    That said, if you see a load of uneven grain and the image has a high ISO, that's a different matter. That would be a technical issue. I would imagine most people though apply filters to their better images. Most of mine tend to be ISO100 - 400. So Alamy should be able to see that the level of grain doesn't match the ISO.


    As for downsizing. Only to tighten an image slightly, reduce 7900 to 7000. I mainly use the extra pixels to crop if need be or keep it as is for extra $ potential.

    • Upvote 1

    Just upgrade to El Capitan now that Cintiq & C1 are both working well on it and it seems to be a lot better (more responsive) than Yosemite, especially WiFi internet connections.


    Thanks for the update Duncan.





    You're welcome. It feels like a new laptop after the upgrade.... after the previous two I was a little cautious, email and wifi problems were terrible on the last two but everything works great. I also came out with an extra 30-40gb of free space.... bonus!


    Another thing I've noticed, Macbook Pros with the dual graphics cards are not running as hot and the fans are kicking in far less. I've got an app that tracks core temperature at the top of the screen  and it seems that it's running at about 10C less when under normal stress. Before, it was very easy to trigger the fans to come on as core temps pushed over 55- 60c. So, it would seem they have worked on the efficiency of the code a lot which it turn, reduces the stress on the machine

  18. Doesn't matter how you achieve a cut out, pen path or otherwise. Getting it as right as possible in camera just saves time.


    Main thing, if possible, is to offer as clean a cutout as possible and a nice drop shadow.  Lots of examples from graphic designers in back of recent award section of GDUSA.  People might want to read the bit about trends in what clients are actually using....rise of mutiple channel use etc.


    Agree, set up correct lighting on subject + white background and all you have to do in PS is adjust levels slightly to ensure a pure white background while retaining drop shadow below the subject. Speeds things up no end!

    • Upvote 2
  19. If you had to shoot everything all the time with a single prime, what focal length would you choose? 




    If I could only have one prime lens I guess it would be the Sony FE 55mm f/1.8 (FF). Close call with the 50-140 f/2.8 on the Fuji though (1.5 crop) if zooms were allowed

  20. Adobe have released a fix in the form of a Photoshop plugin for the scrubby zoom problem (and a few other minor problems). Although it says PSCC2015, it works for me with CS6


    See the following description of known problems and available solution https://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/kb/photoshop-and-el-capitan-mac-os-10-11.html


    Cheers. I think I will wait a while longer until they have a full fix. Still waiting on Wacom anyway.

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