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About Katie

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  • Joined Alamy
    05 Jul 2017
  1. For the girls, just hold down shift when you right-click on the image. It'll override Alamy's script on most platforms and give you the normal menu. Works for me on Windows.
  2. Publishers are also getting more savvy to other ways to get images, so paying for a stock photo isn't always necessary. Some examples: 1. One wiki-based site imports all of the free images from Flickr and so on, and probably receives just as many uploads as Alamy too, creating an untidy but nonetheless free-to-use stock library that nobody has to pay for - and they have offices around the world working to encourage more people to contribute for free, so it's only going to grow. A lot of the biggest publishers don't that source much yet, but I expect it's only a matter of time. 2. Images are being sourced from social media more than ever, and journalists/photo editors have become really adept at finding good images and getting permission to use them. The BBC also increasingly seem to use images from Twitter. 3. Fields like music photography are now flooded with hobbyists who'll give away their images, or hopefuls thinking it'll help further their professional career, even sometimes pitching them for free to publications. This has resulted in fields like that being killed off as a profession. 4. A number of publications seem to now just use a Google Maps image to demonstrate a location or a street, which will inevitably affect sales of street type photography. 5. Phone cameras are improving and are perfectly adequate for web use in a lot of cases. Coupled with social media, this makes it much easier to just pass up on professional images. 6. Even at accredited events, such as some sport, you'll often find "amateurs" competing with professionals, using their DSLR kit to take photos that they'll then put online. A lot of these people send them to the local paper as their hobby, because they enjoy getting the image used, which means the paper doesn't have to pay for an image. For example, one recent tennis event had 3 or 4 spectator photographers with decent kit virtually on some sort of day out, sat together in the front row of the matches, while the pros worked around them. 7. Some events are increasingly supplying free images for coverage of their event. For example, Reading and Leeds music festivals have a repository of free-to-use images for coverage of the festivals, so publications can either pay one of the agency photographers, send their own, or use the ones from the festival. The event photographers often get better access and better vantage points, too: In the Reading and Leeds example, they might get to shoot over the crowd or from the side of stage, not just from the pit. 8. Some publications now seem to embed or screenshot a tweet or Instagram post rather than paying for an image. It seems to be a grey area in the law, as everyone does it. Take the image of Kylian Mbappe kissing the World Cup here, for example: The BBC won't be paying the photographer for that, because it's a Twitter screenshot, but undoubtedly a professional had to produce the image. (He was probably paid by somebody along the way, but the reproduction is still lost revenue.)
  3. Those picture needs tweets are just scheduled posts (note how they go out when nobody is in the office, for example) from a generic list. A lot of photographers respond by emailing Alamy, thinking they're helping out with some sort of commission, but really it's just social content to engage contributors, most likely based on past searches or even just gaps Alamy have noticed. If anyone really needed that image imminently they'd have found it elsewhere or compromised and used something else.
  4. I think this is already the case. How often do you see a news image sourced from Alamy that isn't: 1) The weather, or related to the weather; 2) A "Photo of the Day" type news image; 3) Basically stock. I guess that, as this is what Alamy sells, it makes sense for Alamy to allow everyone to submit, but if they wanted to be taken seriously as a hard news agency they'd have to make changes.
  5. There's definitely an opening in the market for a good software for this for Android, but I find Press IPTC is good - although I've resorted to using a laptop and Photo Mechanic now. A mobile version of Photo Mechanic or an Android version of Shuttersnitch would be best.
  6. The problem is that all of the learning curve routes for new news photographers are disappearing. No longer can you become a junior photographer with a local paper and learn the ropes, because they're laying off just about everybody. That might not seem like a problem to some but in 20 years it's going to be interesting where new hard news photographers come from, with the declining revenues (so harder to get equipment) and the average age of the news photographers I see now (suggesting most will have retired by then) making it seem like there could well be a talent shortage. Agencies would do well to hone and train up new talent for that reason, as it's only the big agencies that are going to survive.
  7. You can caption and upload via your phone using: iOS: Shuttersnitch Android: Press IPTC or MoPhoto Photo Mechanic is popular on a laptop but if you're going via a laptop you could use Lightroom, although that's slower. It depends on the urgency of your news. If it's something that needs to be out in minutes, or even within a minute, camera to FTP via mobile is a good option. If it's a general photograph of an ongoing issue, you maybe have time to edit a bit and use your usual workflow.
  8. A few thoughts of my own on shooting news as a loosely experienced, but still relatively green news photographer: It's definitely not easy to find news events worth covering. Some fields (sport, music) are, because they're well advertised (fixture lists, concert listings) and completely public, and obviously some absolutely massive events (Royal wedding) are impossible to miss. Beyond that, though? It's tough to come across stuff. Facebook event listings can help sometimes, but more often than not it's just a stream of club nights. Not much ever pops up via newspaper What's On listings anymore, either, or at least nothing that'll sell beyond weather and Photo of the Day type articles. It's possible to completely miss a political event or interesting person speaking nearby, for example, because it won't be advertised in advance. Photo agencies tend to subscribe to specialist services collating upcoming events of interest, complete with the PR contacts to reach out to for access, but they're expensive to get onto and you'd often need agency support to get accreditation anyway. Press mailing lists can help, too, if you can get on to them. Some seem to rely on their contacts or know the right people, and others just hang around the right places in London and wait for politicians or celebrities to appear. After that, there's those that will just shoot the weather, which at least does better than a lot of news stuff would anyway at Alamy, such is the nature of the agency. The easiest type of news to shoot beyond the weather is to react to current events. So yesterday, for example, going out where you are and looking for chaos or signs relating to the Visa system meltdown, or any heavy congestion at train stations served by Northern Rail, things that might be stock at any other time but can be submitted as live news due to the current angle. (That said, some publications are going down the route of using solely Twitter for this stuff now, because it's free and often available faster... See this article, which led on BBC News yesterday and features zero images from an agency.) But as a whole, shooting hard news has never seemed especially easy to get into...
  9. Personally I'd brighten the one on the left to the level of the right, and then reduce the whites and/or highlights so that the glare/excess exposure is gone on the front of the boat and buildings. As they are, I prefer the one on the left. Bear in mind that not all viewers of this thread have their brightness set the same.
  10. Following on from a post in another thread: I'm still learning the CTR system, which is giving me a lot of questions. For example, whether it's worth removing perfectly decent keywords due to false positives, or whether it's worth uploading images at all if I don't think they'll often be used when they show up, or whether I should upload more than one or two photos of a subject or cull images after they're no longer live news because of the huge negative impact that a single misplaced search could give me if that means 10 views without a zoom. It seems complicated. So, I'm wondering what the experienced contributor's thoughts are on CTR. Do you pay much attention to it? Do you notice an impact on your sales when it goes up or down? Do you delete images that aren't getting zoomed, or is quantity and ignoring CTR the answer?
  11. The difference here seems to be that CTR is a factor. In lots of agencies, especially dedicated news agencies, the most recent matching images are returned first, so you can keyword quite liberally because it won't harm you if it's irrelevant (although I doubt it does the reputation of the agency much good, if they're frustrating to search the database of, and often the photo desk will cull your keywords entirely if you've obviously overdone it, and some don't have keywords at all). Here, though, CTR and irrelevant results actively harm you, making your images less prominent if people don't click on them often. It probably doesn't harm the people with specialist collections, those doing lots of flowers and species for example, because any search for those subjects is always going be on-topic, but if you're shooting more generic stuff or news I can't imagine it's easy to keep a good CTR up. I'm struggling with it myself on my images, trying to weigh adding realistic keywords against the possibility of dragging my CTR down with unwanted results. The interesting thing about it all is that Alamy simultaneously punishes people for having too many bad keywords, while also featuring an arbitrary discoverability rating that encourages overkeywording. Some subjects are easy to genuinely reach 50 keywords on, but I suspect some people are trying to get "good discoverability" at the expense of their CTR, when discoverability isn't a factor in search prominence at all. I'd be interested in what sort of CTR the really prolific news and event type uploaders have. Surely they get lots and lots of false positives from keywording and from the words of the longer captions, but they still seem to sell. I guess maybe CTR matters less in certain subject areas, and it obviously doesn't affect live news either, but I guess that if you're shooting subjects that are heavily represented (or concepts, or generic type images) then CTR is your most important asset.
  12. Nothing, but then I'm new and have no collection or archive here to speak of, so I didn't really expect anything.
  13. Taken on 17 May, so it'll have been for the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia.
  14. I guess it's probably to make it harder to steal the watermarked images, although some of the people that do that (like meme makers) are savvy enough to know you can just get it from inspecting the page, you can never completely hide the url. The other possibility is that it's to make it easier to do it on mobile devices, as I'd assume more and more clients are buying images from mobile. It does have the side effect of making things more inconvenient for photographers, too. It'd be nice to be able to view the bigger zoom/bigger version in AIM to offset this.
  15. This seems to be a change they've just made today, presumably to deter hotlinking/unauthorised use, although it has the side effect of making it very difficult to post images here. It can still be done by referencing the page code.
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