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DHill

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Everything posted by DHill

  1. I was recently thinking the same thing, but got disuaded from a laptop with an IPS screen: http://discussion.alamy.com/index.php?/topic/4572-how-important-is-an-ips-screen-on-a-laptop/?hl=%2Blaptop+%2Bscreen I guess it's a matter of how much you need to edit in the field or whether you can wait until you can either connect an external screen or edit on a desktop - and whether the need to edit using the laptop screen justifies the (considerable) extra cost. I ended up with an MSI GE40. The price difference between that and anything comparable with an IPS screen was enough to buy a pretty decent lens.
  2. Just try to get as much RAM as possible - my not-so-old i5 Asus with 4GB RAM got bogged down with just LR and a few browser tabs for research open.
  3. It's a mystery. But it's great that a private individual feels that it's worth spending money on an image rather than just using something they've found 'on the internet'. That has to be good news ;-)
  4. Could be almost anything. Christmas or birthday card? What does the image show?
  5. Could it be related to the change in how images are displayed? Perhaps people aren't looking at as many pages now. And/or perhaps at or around the same time there was a change in the algorithm that decides the order in which to display images.
  6. A low 3 sales for $60 net (just over $150 gross). I count net as that's what (helps to) pay the bills. With three quarters gone this year, I'm on track for the same number of sales as last year but significantly less revenue (gross heading for just over 60% of last year's, if this year's trend continues). What's missing from my sales are the $150+ round number textbook sales, which gave me hope last year. I do hope they come back in the final quarter of the year!
  7. I'm another who's only had good results with the 35mm you mention. Sharp across the frame, as good as any 50mm that I've used in that respect. It does have more CA than most primes, but I've always found it easily correctable. Probably the best designed-for-DX lens I've used. I was using it on a D7000 - I can't say how it performs with a higher resolution sensor, but certainly better than, say, the 16-85 Nikkor, supposedly the best of the variable aperture zooms, which was beginning to lose it on the D7000.
  8. Thanks, I have that for the PC (excellent value IMO) but just wanted a quick and easy app for the Mac - I'll still be using the PC for the office work, Mr Gates did get some things right!! Basically I just need to be able to read/write to excel but not do much else. Libre Office (which seems to be some kind of successor to Open Office) will do that just fine, at no cost. If you use some of the newer formatting options (colour, etc) in Excel itself, there may be some warning messages when you save changes but that doesn't cause problems. I use Libre Office on my laptop all the time to edit files created with Excel on my desktop.
  9. Thanks, MDM, Allan, Jill and Robert, for confirming that I'm probably on the right track. But ... are there any contrary views out there? I'm edging towards paying the extra for that MSI machine over the Toshiba for the SSD in addition to the HDD, the higher screen resolution and the generally better performance (though it's hard to know how much different that really is). I completely agree that a good monitor for the main computer, for editing, is essential. At one point, my monitor was worth more than my (main, desktop) computer. Robert - at the risk of diverging from the topic - you weren't hinting at my Alamy portfolio, were you? I do get the impression that vibrant images sell better as long as it's not overdone, but, hmm, perhaps I am overdoing it??
  10. I was wondering what people's experience is with IPS vs non-IPS screens with laptops ... I'm currently researching a new laptop. It will not be my main computer; it will only be used on aeroplanes, trains, in hotels, at relatives' houses etc, so budget is finite, which means compromises. Top contender at the moment (MSI GE40) has nice specs but not great reviews about the screen - it doesn't cover all of the sRGB colour space, never mind Adobe RGB - but that seems common in laptops in this price range. But I won't be doing much Alamy editing - perhaps checking for sharpness and selecting. The main photo editing is likely to be old scanned family photos. I would imagine that lack of colour gamut can be compensated for to some extent by keeping an eye on the histogram to ensure clipping is avoided ... My biggest annoyance with laptops is that they bog down very quickly - just a few browser tabs open is enough to make my current laptop (i5, 4GB RAM) slow down way beyond the frustration level - so I want to put some money into decent performance. Any thoughts on this? Is limited gamut and non-IPS a deal breaker for a secondary computer? Or do people cope quite well with this limitation? Another mad thought is to save several hundred dollars on even the MSI machine and just go with a Toshiba L50 and upgrade it to 16GB: standard i5 processor, but only 1366x768 screen which might be annoying.
  11. From memory, it wasn't that great in the reviews - the 18-105 that superseded was apparently better. One thing to be aware of is that it was sold with cameras with much lower resolution than the D7000. I'd be looking carefully at resolution in the corners - that's where things tend to be weakest and unlike things like distortion and CA, can't be corrected for in post-production. Be aware also that if heavy distortion correction is needed, that will result in cropping, which may be an issue if you like the widest angles. Good places for lens reviews are slrgear.com, www.photozone.de, www.bythom.com and dxomark.com. Reading those should help a lot.
  12. In the last three years I've flown with British Airways, Qantas, Malaysian, Emirates, Vietnam Airlines, Finnair and JAL without even a hint of problem with the following in hand luggage: D800, 14-24 f2.8, 24-70 f2.8, 70-200 f4, a couple of primes, a laptop, flash, cables, power supply for laptop and accessories - and sometimes a small mirrorless. Heavy stuff, but there'd be a gap in the system if any of that was left behind. However, earlier this year I flew with Jetstar Australia long haul (Australia to Japan) and my hand luggage was weighed, for the first time ever. Fortunately my wife was with me and she was able to take the camera plus 24-70, and we were let on board. However, if I'd been travelling alone, there would have been a problem. They seem a risky airline for photographers. However, perhaps those who have switched over to the smaller mirrorless systems may be at an advantage here. Edit: add Air Asia X, Air Asia Malaysia and Air Asia Thailand to the list of photographer-friendly airlines. They were surprisingly good!
  13. Paulette and Tarsier - I've received a tax statement from DACS each time they've withheld tax from my payments, and that's without asking. If I remember correctly, it comes a month or two after the payment is made. I can't answer whether the claiming procedure is as easy in the USA as it is in Australia, but I do know that the tax treaty arrangements apply between Australia and both the UK and the USA, so there's a good chance they apply between the USA and UK, too. Here, you just complete an extra box on your tax return labelled 'foreign income tax offsets' - and of course have to have the paperwork to back it up in the event of an audit. And you have to remember to include the tax paid as part of your total gross income, too.
  14. The easy way to deal with withholding tax in Australia is just to declare it on your tax return. As long as the country in which it was withheld has a comprehensive tax treaty with Australia - and the UK has - the money just comes off your Australian tax bill or added to your refund. It does mean that you have to wait for the money, but the hassle factor falls to almost nil. I've been doing this for several years (not just with DACS).
  15. If you don't have GPS on your camera, you can use your mobile phone (I use an app called MyTracks on my Android phone) to create a tracklog, which then can easily be imported into Lightroom and synced with the photos in the map module. LR will then put place names into the location metadata fields, as long as you've set this up in preferences. I used to use GPS units that attach to the camera (which is even easier as the GPS details go directly into the photo metadata when the photo is taken) but found they kept breaking (and I'm pretty gentle with my camera equipment ...)
  16. 4 sales for about $37 to me ($74 gross). Not a bad ratio of sales per thousand images, I guess, but one of my lowest monthly returns for a long time. I hope this is just a temporary glitch. Doubling my figures for year to now to get an estimate of the whole year's total, I'm heading for largest number of sales ever but - the lowest revenue to me since 2010. I really hope the second half of this year is better than the first half :-)
  17. Wim, what criteria do you use when deciding whether or not an image should be deleted? BTW, I never delete anything. No zooms; no sales and the rest is gut feeling. Mostly in the form of: what was I thinking when I uploaded that? There are quite a bit of those still in my collection. And contrary to popular belief, they do not sell. (Maybe my belief too: I play the lottery as well.) ... Wim - knowing you, you probably have a very good reason for this - but why not simply move those images to a separate pseudo rather than deleting them? My understanding is one pseduo doesn't affect any other, so there would seem to be no risk in this strategy ... hmm!
  18. Actually, the other way round - jinja is usually translated as 'shrine' and ji or dera as 'temple'. In Tokyo, think (dare I mention it) Yasukuni Jinja = Yasukuni Shrine, and Senso-ji is often called Senso-ji Temple in English language guides ;-). Nitpicking perhaps, but useful for keeping keywording and captioning accurate. PS interesting photoblog you have, Mike.
  19. I would say property release needed/not available for these anyway just by assumption, but I'd be interested to know the source of this information ... Thanks, David. There are a number of competitors who give it as a specific requirement for Japan. A Google search on "rf for japanese temples" will give you a few relevant references which have been confirmed verbally by some local photographers here in Japan. Best, Mike. Thanks for clarifying, Mike. I'm guessing that at least for Buddhism it's just a general assumption; hard to see a general decree coming from all Buddhist sects in the country. Better to be safe and assume PR is needed, anyway.
  20. I would say property release needed/not available for these anyway just by assumption, but I'd be interested to know the source of this information ... Thanks, David.
  21. DHill

    Monthly report

    Hmmm ... one reason to want to know Alamy's performance is to see whether your own images are keeping pace with Alamy as a whole - and organisations in many industries consider it good business practice to benchmark aspects of their performance against their competitors. So how about a slightly different angle on the original question: how do the people here benchmark their performance? Those submitting to more than one agency can compare performance of their own images between the agencies (assuming they're not submitting different types of image to different agencies). But what other strategies do people use to see how they're going?
  22. Thanks, Robert and John. Here's hoping for a strong bunch of textbook sales this northern hemisphere summer. That would be a nice antidote to the winter chill down here ;-) A good proportion of my sales are 'worldwide' textbook sales not in round US$ figures - I would guess that a lot of these are UK-based. However, these tend to be for significantly less than the round US$ ones - mostly well under $100 gross, with a few exceptions. I can't see any pattern in those - they seem to occur throughout the year.
  23. Robert - what seasonality do you notice for textbook images? I've just checked through my old sales and notice that those in round US$ in the $160-250 range tend to be in the final quarter of each year. Let's hope that trend continues this year!
  24. Interesting results so far - some up, some down. Let's keep them coming! I've had more low-value newspaper sales and fewer of those $160-250 textbook sales (which to be honest are what keep me motivated here, as they're they seem to comprise the majority of the higher value sales). That perhaps explains my 30% drop in gross revenue compared with the same period last year. Anyone else seeing a similar trend? Hopefully I'm the odd one out and those textbook sales will bounce back later in the year ;-)
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