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Posts posted by DHill

  1. +1

    Might well 



    When Alamy had its recent cull of National Trust pictures, amongst mine deleted were several taken in Winkworth Arboretum.  There is a public footpath which runs right through the arboretum, from which it is perfectly legal to take photographs free from any claimed National Trust restrictions: access is available to anyone, as of right, not subject to National Trust terms.  The footpath is well signposted and follows some of the main paths in the arboretum, giving access to some of the best views.  Some of my deleted pictures were taken from the footpath.  I went to Winkworth again on Monday: I tend to go there a couple of times a year because it is near to where I live.  I had not previously noted which pictures were taken from the footpath, but this time I did make a note for those I took a couple of days ago, for future reference if needed.  Given the128 character limit in the Caption field, I do not want to waste these by inserting "taken from public footpath", but perhaps I will try including this in the Description field, to see if this does any good.


    To Alamy's credit, they did reinstate some of my pictures of Winchester City Mill when I sent them proof that the photographs could only have been taken from outside National Trust property.


    The National Trust has shot itself in the foot with its greed on this issue.  My wife and I used to have very positive feelings towards the National Trust, to the extent that National Trust was one of two equal residuary legatees under our wills (i.e. if the specific legacies all fail, then the residuary legatees inherit our estates).  We are a small family, with only two presently surviving named beneficiaries under our wills.  They are, statistically, likely to outlive us and if this happens, then of course neither residuary legatee would get anything, but it is not impossible that they will not: for example, last autumn the entire family was in the same aeroplanes on safari (some of the smaller ones of which in particular seemed to be death traps waiting to happen!).  I am fortunate to have had a successful career and our estates will, by most standards, be substantial.  Such is my distaste for the National Trust's policies on photography that we have changed our wills to remove National Trust as a residuary legatee.  They might well not have received anything anyway, but had they done so, the amounts would have dwarfed anything they could ever have made out of their photography policy.  Their greed, their loss.



    I hope you've made the Trust aware of your decisions, Graham? It would be interesting to hear their response.







    Might well be worth writing to them to ensure they're aware of how their policy is annoying their members. 


    And/or perhaps one of us should write an article for one of the photographic magazines about this issue!


    Just checked out the features of the Smile compared to their ColorMunki Display (which I have, just over £100).


    The main issue I noticed is the lack of advanced mode (with the software included). ColorMunki Smile offers Easy Mode only but ColorMunki Display gives Easy & Advanced. The advanced allows you to set the screen brightness & white point i.e. D55 or D65 etc. Advanced allows you to check for screen flare and gives you ambient light monitor as well. The main thing I like is having control over the brightness and colour point and also being able to tell it to colour match another monitor, handy when using a system with 2 or monitors.


    If you don't need or want the additional controls, I'd imagine easy mode in ColorMunki Smile will be the same as ColorMunki Display.


    That's interesting. Given that the ColorMunki display has access to the advanced mode, I wonder what the difference is between the X-Rite ColorMunki Display (£139 on Amazon) and the X-Rite i1 Display Pro (£199 on Amazon) is? The hardware looks very similar.


    A quick Google confirms what I remember from researching this some time ago - it's mostly the software (the makers say the X-Rite i1 is faster, but another site says this is down to the software). DisplayCAL + Argyle CMS work with both - so you can probably get just as good results out of the cheaper hardware if you go down that path. I believe you can try DisplayCAL etc for free, so it might be worth giving it a go. 


    Links to what I found on Google: 





    Hope that helps! 


    • Upvote 2

  3. For anyone on a budget and with the time and inclination to do a bit of research, some software well worth trying is Argyll CMS together with DisplayCAL, which are both open source (donationware) . This enables quite a bit of control even with hardware for which the accompanying software offers less control. I have used it with ColorMunki Display; I think it also works with the Smile, but you'd have to do some research on that. 


    Likewise, there are various reviews explaining how to use it, such as this one: https://www.pointsinfocus.com/learning/digital-darkroom/displaycal-and-argyll-cms-quick-start-guide/


    There is definitely a learning curve to using it, but that learning certainly helps in getting an insight into what's going on with colour management - call it professional development ;-) And once you've used it a couple of times, it becomes pretty simple. 


    Hope this helps,


    • Upvote 1


    Alamy disapprove of junk keywords and I was ticked off for suggesting it, so ;).

    I add the old number to the keywords of the replacement.



    I didn't realise they disapproved. What else can we do? ...




    I just use a full stop (period for those more familiar with the US-influenced version of the language). 


    I don't think that's an Alamy-approved tactic either, but it looks neater than nonsense words.

  5. I've used two external GPS units over the years - one by Solmeta and one by Opteka (who now seem to call themselves Viltrox). Build quality wasn't great and both failed within a short time. Nowadays I use a mobile phone app. I've tried a few; I've now settled on GPSLogger (for Android) because that has a very efficient workflow - it can be set to automatically upload to a Dropbox folder, from which GPS data can easily be attached to image metadata in Lightroom. 


    I've also tried the approach of using Google Maps after the fact, without a GPS tracklog, but find that very time consuming. The mobile phone method is slightly less efficient than the external GPS unit (perhaps take 5 mins or less per trip), but in my experience is more robust - and is cheaper if you already have a suitable phone.





    As to the "grey crowned crane,"  you are correct that it is not a "hooded crane."  However, I believe it is either the West African Crowned Crane or the East African Crowned Crane.  As I recall, the East African Crowned Crane is more black and the West African Crowned Crane is more grey so, at this time, I am inclined to the belief that it is the West African Crowned Crane.  However, I want to look into that further before changing the labeling and keywording so I don't end up having to do corrections to the corrections. 



    Best Regards to All.


    John Tresnicky

    Austin Texas      


    Hi John,


    The East African crane (Balearica regulorum gibbericeps) is a sub-species of the Grey crowned crane (Balearica regulorum). 


    As I recall, the East African Crowned Crane is more black and the West African Crowned Crane is more grey so, at this time, I am inclined to the belief that it is the West African Crowned Crane.


    It's the opposite, the East African crane is grayer than the Western African crowned crane (better known as the Black crowned crane). Yours is definitely one of the two sub-species of Grey crowned crane (East African crane / B. r. gibbericeps or the South African crowned crane / B. r. regulorum)


    The Western African crowned crane has:

    • very dark grey - almost black - neck
    • cheeks have a white upper half and a reddish lower half
    • red throat pouch is very small but usually absent
    • eyes are very light grey

    I see none of that in your picture. See comparison here.





    I have to say, Philippe, it's good to see a post that so clearly demonstrates how useful a thorough knowledge of your subject is for stock photography. Or alternatively, the importance of taking the time to do proper research. 


    May you be a role model to new contributors ;-) 



    • Upvote 1

  7. That's really interesting wim. I must see if I can get the software from the X-Rite website and see if I can get it working. I don't need it now but it might be worth a few cents if I can get the software.


    EDIT:  The software doesn't work because it is not licensed. I will contact X-Rite next week to see if it's possible to obtain the software and how much it would cost.

    Perhaps try the DisplayCAL software with Argyll CMS - all open source and free + optional donation. This can drive a wide range of hardware calibration/profiling devices, and often adds functions not supported by the software that comes with the hardware. I use it with the ColorMunki Display - it gives far more options than the ColorMunki software and also seems to produce a better result. 


    Download and full instructions here: http://displaycal.net/


    • Upvote 1

  8. ... so I pay £6.80 (I think it is) a month at the moment... which is about the price of two or three pints of beer in an English pub ...

    Or close to one unit of that rapidly-devaluing currency we all  (kind of) get paid here, the AlamyLicenceFee ;-)


    I have long thought of photography purchases in terms of how many licences of my images have to be sold to cover the cost.  

    • Upvote 1


    When I have the time and memory available, I shoot both. The out of camera JPGs *often* look particularly good and I have a hard time matching Sony's excellent out of camera JPG's with RAW post processing in LR. Of course having the RAW files you have the added insurance in case there's a substantial over or under exposure, or need for the finest quality- even if you don't end up using them.


    Recently I've learned of another advantage of having the JPGs. If you also shoot stock video of the same scene (which I'm trying to do now) the video will match the JPGs. I'm hoping to offer packages that include video and stills of the same subject with the same look.


    I don't know about Sony - this may not be available - but if you want to get raw images matching the in-camera JPEGs for Nikons and Canons, then choose the Camera Standard profile under Camera Calibration: Profiles in Lightroom and similar in ACR.


    Very good point, MDM. And if it isn't available, just invest in a ColorChecker Passport, create a profile and add it into your import preset. I find that produces even better colour than the camera profiles built into Lightroom. It's really easy to do - the instructions make it really simple. And great if you have more than one camera, for matching the colour between them. 

    • Upvote 1

  10. OK so we have Personal Use. Why not do a deal with a picture framing printing company and incorporate it into Alamy and then advertise it. Most people want a picture to hang on the wall if it is for Personall use. You get a fee for the image and  a  cut of the printing. Do'n't Getty do this?

    In principle, an excellent idea - but in practice, if the model of that big g-agency whose name we shouldn't mention is followed, we might be better off financially with the status quo! 

    • Upvote 1

  11. I think Chuck means that the buyer will have enough info to decide for themselves how they can use the image - please correct me if I'm wrong, Chuck! 


    I've said this before, but it looks like it's worth repeating - my biggest sale (over $4k) was with an image showing unreleased people and with a well-known brand name in the background. The advertising agency cut out the bit they wanted and put it on their own background such that no releases were needed. It was then used for an advertising campaign by one of the largest UK banks. If I'd used an 'editorial only' button, I'd presumably be over $4k poorer now.  

    • Upvote 1

  12. Dusty - you could well be right, but it could also be that at least some of the searches for 'book covers' alone were from people looking for pictures of books covers. What I do know is that in my early days on Alamy I did add possible categories of use to the keywords, and my monitoring of it suggested that it was counter productive - more often than not those keywords caused my images to come up in irrelevant searches. 


    On the other hand, book covers tend to be (relatively) high value sales, so maybe it's worth doing ... 



    ... Dusty is right: Indeed almost all searches for book cover on AoA are for actual books, albeit sometimes generic ones.



    I thought that was my point ;-) 

  13. Should I add the "book cover" keyword to some of my images? Will it be useful to clients?

    My guess is that if you do you'll come up in lots of searches for 'book'. AoA suggests that most searches including 'book cover' also have the name of a book, or category of books - as if they're looking for pictures of books, rather than pictures to go on book covers ;-)

    • Upvote 1

  14. Bo Xie: I'll give you a clue. I have had a four figure (net) sale, but it was a few years ago and I'm not sure whether they still happen at Alamy. There's little point telling you which image because I think that was very much a one off. But having seen what the client did with it, I think the best advice is the same as for any stock shooting - submit images that show a single subject/concept clearly and unambiguously.

    • Upvote 1

  15. Cryptoprocta: I thought my comment was likely to be controversial! I too was a teacher, and I probably should have clarified that I wasn't thinking of normal lessons - despite teachers' propensity to subsidise their own jobs by buying books, supplies etc off their own bat - but rather such things as teachers (and others - perhaps university lecturers more than teachers) presenting at conferences, etc. I've done that kind of thing, and it's usually on the teacher's own initiative and without payment. I also didn't mention the elephant in the room all this - which is that microstock is even cheaper!


    A further idea - if the terms and conditions of these low value sales had some kind of deterrent - eg. the user agrees to pay a penalty fee of $500  or triple the calculator price, whichever is higher, if they use the image for anything other than the purpose for which it was licensed - wouldn't that be good! It shouldn't put off legitimate buyers and could lead to big fees if a reverse image search discovers unauthorised uses. Of course, it's up to Alamy to choose whether that's a good idea or not ;-)  

  16. I beginning to come round to the idea that these fees are probably quite reasonable in certain circumstances - eg a teacher or university lecturer using their own money to purchase images for a lesson, for example. 


    However, a banker with a marketing budget behind him/her using images for a sales presentation could afford to spend a lot more. Charging these minimal fees for this would, I expect, be leaving money on the table.  

  17. My four-figure Alamy sale was an unreleased image with people, real estate property and a famous brand name. The client - a UK advertising agency producing a campaign for an international bank - obviously knew what they were doing because they removed photoshopped the image quite radically and removed anything that would cause an issue. 


    If I'd put editorial only restrictions on it, I'd be several thousand dollars poorer now ;-)

  18. Ha ha - believe me, DD, I would change my workflow in an instance if it improved productivity overall, but for now I find it more efficient to keyword in Lightroom - there are efficiencies from keywording all images together, not just those destined for Alamy, and it means even for Alamy photos that keywords are there in the image for any non-Alamy use. With a good set-up of hierarchical keywords in Lightroom, entering them there can be very quick and efficient - I can get through hundreds of images in an hour. 


    Jill: what software allows you to enter keywords in your own order, rather than alphabetical? 


    Anyway, to summarise, I think having multi-level key words has advantages, and all I've done is made a suggestion for improvement in Manage Images to cater for a wider range of use cases, that won't affect those why type in directly or prefer copy/paste. 

    • Upvote 1

  19. Quite, but what about others: would you think that contributors in the foreseeable future will use their phones exclusively for keywording or that it should be a possible option?

    Maybe in the form of a sort of Stockimo for the general collection?




    Keywording on a phone sounds like an excellent idea ... it's the perfect activity to do while waiting for a train, standing in a queue, sitting on the toilet ;-) 


    By the way, dragging/dropping/selecting etc may not be necessary for those who type directly into Manage Images, but those of us who keyword in, say, Lightroom have to do something about the fact that all their keywords end up in Comprehensive ... 


    We're in business. It's all about enhancing productivity - or getting the maximum bang for your time ;-)

    • Upvote 1

  20. The original idea for Stockimo was that it was photos from an iPhone only, they did do a cull a year or so ago, of non iPhone images, but it's pretty obvious some are using cameras with a higher spec. Maybe someone at Alamy can confirm this is still the case or not?

    Hmm ... I thought the original idea was to represent mobile phone photography, not photography from one particular brand of mobile phone. I believe that Alamy have said it's OK to transfer from an non-Apple mobile phone to another device that runs the Stockimo app, and upload from there ... haven't they? 

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