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Posts posted by DHill

  1. How is everyone doing so far this year? 


    We're a third of the way into the year (4 months completed out of 12), so to get a rough idea of how you're doing compared with last year, on the dashboard graph, hover over the 2015 dot and multiple the number you see by three. Then compare this with the number you get when you hover over the 2014 dot. Then click on 'Revenue' at the top of the graph and repeat (I think commission was the same throughout 2014 until now, so the comparison should be OK). 


    Doing that, I'm on course for roughly the same number of sales this year as last, but 30% less revenue. This is with around 15% more images than this time last year. 


    It would be interesting to see how this compares with others. I'm hoping that that most will show a more positive trend than mine ;-) 




    I have a batch of 40 that has reverted back to 'processing'.  Hopefully it will sort tomorrow.

    Mine have gone back to awaiting qc, i'm sure yours are as well. 


    my batch i uploaded with 15  yesterday, have now turned into 52...


    I uploaded a batch of 25 last week. Track Images reported that 46 had been uploaded. However, when they passed QC, only the original 25 I uploaded appeared - no duplicates.


    MS said that they were aware of the problem - I had the impression they'd already fixed it but it seems not.  

  3. Let's hope someone is fixing Search.

    As a consequence of changes in Search at the same time of the re-rank we now see massive clumping of images from one or a couple of single contributors. ...



    I noticed that, too. Not only are images from the same pseudo clumped together, but images from my different pseudos are clumped together whereas before they were widely separated. Strange. 

  4. James - if I go to "Upload" in the top-right corner of my dashboard, I get the options of Stock Upload, News Upload or FTP Upload. Not intuitive until you actually click the button. 


    I'll wait until the reports of glitches in FTP die down before trying it, though (having said that, I uploaded 25 images the old way yesterday, and 46 appeared in Track Submissions, so that's not perfect either).  


    Edit: I got the email a few weeks ago (not sure why - was after some but before others). I didn't check whether the FTP option showed up on the upload button straight away or a few days later. 

  5. On Windows, I just use CTRL X to cut and CTRL V to paste. Easiest.



    Just read a report today - research by Google apparently shows that only 10% of computer users know these short cuts, which are common to most software (probably a much higher rate amongst Alamy photographers ;-) )


    What is missing though is ctrl-z (undo last action), which is equally universal (... er, well, actually, not in our case!). It would be useful when an accidental tap on my laptop trackpad deletes several lines of keywords!! 

  6. Here are my figures (gross - from MyAlamy dashboard, no NU sales, in newspaper scheme, majority RM). 


    2008  $278

    2009  $71

    2010  $104

    2011  $260 

    2012  $80 

    2013  $85 

    2014  $68 

    2015  $55 


    2011 was an anomaly due to one very large sale. 

    2015 is so far looking a bit unusual due to a smaller than normal proportion of textbook sales and a higher proportion of newspaper scheme sales. 


    Edited for format. 

    • Upvote 1


    I wonder if what you suggested was part of the intent behind the "creative" filter ... 


    It's a pity that an agency like the one you mention (presumably the photographers' collective known for featuring a blend of people from different cultures) would leave Alamy. It would be interesting to know why that would happen. 




    It was stated at the time: to 'attract the kind of buyer who pays more' or something meaning the same.  And they brought in editors.  Where did they go?  


    Yeah, I know the stated intention was to attract a different kind of buyer to Alamy, but there's likely to have been other ideas bubbling away as well. 


    All I know is that the only four-figure gross sale I had on Alamy (well over $5k, actually) was well before 'creative'. I do hope that buyer (I was told it was an advertising agency) is still around ... 


    Hmmm. Does it also work the other way around - do Alamy images get onto Corbis? 


    And if they did, would that be a good thing (access to high-end buyers?) or a bad thing (just buy from whichever is cheaper?) ... 


    Food for thought! 


    Alamy would need to bring in a team of editors first to create a meaningful collection (meaningful size as well as content).  That means investment.  Which means reduced profits.  Which means reduced funds for the other operation, and reduced end-of-year take home pay.  Very unlikely, but If they did do that, and did it well, it would be a great boost for the company.  Why stop at Corbis?  They could, like all the successful independent commercial agencies, distribute it widely.  The question is: would it be open to all contributors, or a hand-picked selection?  If the former, it would be good for contributors too, who, potentially (it all depends on the image, as someone said), might see their earnings shoot up.


    As things stand: the firm is badly in need of any edited commercial collections it can lay its hands on.  It seems to have just lost one of the best mainstream collections it had, from the famous multi-ethnic agency.


    I wonder if what you suggested, Robert, was part of the intent behind the "creative" filter ... 


    It's a pity that an agency like the one you mention (presumably the photographers' collective known for featuring a blend of people from different cultures) would leave Alamy. It would be interesting to know why that would happen. I'd hate to guess ;-) 




    Inchiquin said:  "All I'm saying is that it doesn't work for me, and so the assumption must be that it may not work for some others either.


    As an indicator of relative rank:


    1. BHZ shows me in the top 24%


    2. Other searches (including single-word searches) consistently show me in the top 5-10%."


    I am sure that part is true Alan, but I think that at least can be explained by the fact that only the enthusiasts on Alamy do the BHZ thing. Which puts you in the top 24% of the enthusiasts. Given that there are almost certainly a large number of photographers whose collections are vegetating in the depths of Alamy and are not actively managing their collections, I would assume you would be rather higher placed overall.




    Further to that and Kumar's point, it's a reasonable assumption that the majority of people playing BHZ follow the rules and put BHZ only in essential keywords. However, real world searches would have lots of image where the search words only appear in comprehensive. So real world search would have a lot more images at the tail end than BHZ. 


    In other words, it's logical to expect a better performance in real world searches than in BHZ 

  10. What exactly is the Copyright Licensing Agency?



    It's an organisation that facilitates the licensing of copying of books (and more). It operates as a clearing house, in a similar way to DACS but the focus is on the written word rather than imagery. There's a similar organisation in Australia (CAL, the Copyright Agency Limited).


    There are many ways in which they do this, but one of the main ones is educational licensing. Here, if you're, say, a school or university, you can purchase a licence from CAL that allows your teachers to copy up to 10% or one chapter of a book for use in class without having to negotiate individual permission from each publisher or author. The fees from these licenses are then distributed by CAL to the publishers and authors in proportion to how much their books were copied. I believe the UK system works in a very similar way. Authors benefit from this income in a similar way that photographers benefit from DACS.


    To me, as a recipient of CAL and CLA as well as DACS income, it's very disappointing indeed that CLA and DACS are arguing. These organisations both do good work, and should really be working together.



  11. I've recently gone through the upgrade process myself - see http://discussion.alamy.com/index.php?/topic/3407-whats-the-current-thinking-about-a-pc-for-image-processing/?hl=computers


    A lot depends on how you use the computer, what software you use, etc. I was using Lightroom a lot and Photoshop plus various plugins a little, and tended to have large numbers of documents and browser tabs open (from my other work) at the same time as working on photographs (it was too time consuming to close everything down and open it up again later). 10GB memory wasn't enough - as well as the computer running very sluggishly at times, I kept getting memory errors and crashes. 


    I've found that 32GB RAM makes a very big difference, though my accounting software crashed today apparently due to an out of memory issue (despite not using all the memory available). Generally, howoever, things still run quite snappily with several documents, lots of browser tabs, LR, Photoshop and Nik all open at the same time. Would 16GB of memory do? To be honest, I doubt it - Task Manager generally shows twenty odd GB of memory in use at any one time. 


    A full SSD also seems to make a big difference. LR's library module especially runs much better than it did on the old computer, which makes my keywording and captioning much, much faster - thereby effectively saving me money. 


    I second the idea above that a desktop will almost certainly give you more bang for your buck/pound than a laptop.  

  12. I used the VAT refund booth at Terminal 3 in Heathrow a couple of years ago. It worked, but wasn't a great experience - the queue was about an hour long, which I was told was normal, so it's important to get to the airport early. And the fee was very high - you don't get all of your VAT back by any means (from memory, something like three quarters only). 


    Hope that helps, 



    • Upvote 1

  13. Great - thanks, everyone. Your comments have been really helpful. 


    Bryan and Kevin: good to hear your experiences with the Sony kit lens. 


    John: sounds like you've gone through a very similar thought process!  Good to hear from a fellow Cheshire-ite (part of my family is from the Lymm and Grappenhall areas, and I grew up elsewhere in Cheshire). 


    Alex: yeah, I know ;-). If the RX100 wasn't shared with my wife (she uses it more than I) and if I'd had the patience to spend more time with the manual, I might have got to know all the button combinations. But other cameras I've used are far more intuitive and faster to operate.  


    Linda: yep, for a long time I've been contemplating getting a D5xxx body as a backup for the reasons you mention. It would be quite compact with the excellent Nikon 35mm f1.8 DX, but I guess it's a bit big for an RX100 replacement though ;-). 


    Anyway, in summary, as the Sony kit lens isn't that great, it comes down to Fuji vs Olympus. Both the X-M1 and OM-D E-5 are available for little over US$400 equivalent here at the moment. From my research, Oly has the better focus, Fuji has better kit lens (though Oly is also very good) & Fuji beats Oly in low light. Micro 4/3rd has the widest lens selection but I'm not looking to develop a kit (yet???). 


    So, this afternoon I went with the Fuji, though it was a very close call. I'm very pleased with it. The user interface is very intuitive and quick to use, and the images so far have been excellent. They remind me of sharper versions of D7000 images - noise levels seem very similar. Interestingly the default capture sharpness setting in LR creates sharpening artefacts! But then, logically, there should be no need for capture sharpening if there's no AA filter. 

  14. Hi everyone, 


    I know there have been a number of threads on mirrorless cameras recently, but here's  a different angle that I haven't seen discussed yet. 


    I'm looking to buy a second camera as an alternative to my Nikon FF system. I'm currently using an RX100 for that purpose, but I'm not terribly happy with it (slow response, annoying power zoom, harsh highlights, lack of dynamic range, inability to set aperture and then adjust exposure compensation without pushing lots of buttons, etc). 


    Whatever I get, I'll probably be using the kit zoom that comes with it. I know I'm going against a trend here, but the idea isn't to replace my DSLR ;-) I don't mind lack of viewfinder/EVF (got used to that with the RX100) but do like the idea of a flip screen to save my knees when doing low angle shots and - perhaps - when using a tripod. 


    Current favourite is Fuji X-M1 with the 16-50 kit. Excellent reviews, and great price here at the moment, but a bit bulky compared to the alternatives. Not sure it would fit into a laptop bag with its normal contents, for instance. 


    Alternatives seem to be: 


    1. Sony A5000, A5010 or A6000. Smaller, and the cameras themselves sound very capable (I have read the recent threads about them) but is anyone using the kit zoom (16-50 f3.5-5.6) for Alamy? Reviews say that the image edges aren't that great, and if shooting in RAW (which I intend to), there's an awful lot of distortion, especially at the wide end - just the focal lengths I tend to use the most. In fact, the 16mm end sounds rather rough. How bad are these issues? Enough to be issues with Alamy QC? 


    2. Panasonic GM1 and 3. Olympus OM-D E-10 (though the latter is a bit pricey for my purpose, here). Anyone using these with kit lens for Alamy? Any advice?


    *Not really complaints - for a small camera it does a great job - these are just some issues I'm hoping to mitigate. 


  15. I believe both Zenfolio and Photoshelter provide private galleries, with options for clients to download and indicate selections. Zenfolio seems to be a lot cheaper than Photoshelter, and as far as I've seen the only major thing it doesn't have that Photoshelter does have, that I've noticed, is fully-featured stock pricing. 


    My Zenfolio site (see link below, though not yet fully developed) was easy to set up, and is very easy to keep up-to-date through Jeffrey Friedl's plugin for Lightroom (http://regex.info/blog/lightroom-goodies/zenfolio) - you just drag images to a publishing collection within LR, then click 'publish' (there's a bit of a set-up process to go through, but it's very straightforward and Jeffrey's instructions are easy to follow). I believe Zenfolio also provides a web-based uploader. 


    There are also similar plugins with similar functionality available for Photoshelter. 



  16. Good link, Mike. Thanks for posting. 


    I've ordered the computer. Linovo did manage to put in a K620 card - according to benchmarks, better for 2D and even 3D than the much more expensive K2000! And due to a quirk in their discounting system, I got a second 512GB SSD in place of the 128GB drive for only $20 extra. 


    Thanks again for the advice, everyone. 


    In case there's anyone in the same boat, here are some extra links I found useful:



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