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Posts posted by DHill

  1. I've just noticed something crazy, which will answer your question, Sung: search for 'Cheshire countryside prints' in Google Images, click on the first one, and you'll come to this page:




    There's a nice 900 pixel image, with the FAA logo in the corner where it's easy to crop off. Easy to save to your computer, and easy to embed into your own website. What's more, there's no IPTC or EXIF info in it at all - not copyright, not anything.


    Big ouch!!


    FAA obviously has very good SEO, but at a price ...

  2. I bought an iPad a year or so ago, and wanted to like it. However, I had similar frustrations to you, Edo. Rather than simply being able to drag and drop documents across from computer to iPad, I had to go through all kinds of weird, unintuitive steps just to get a few PDFs onto it - rather painful when in a hurry. It turned out to be the most frustrating computer I've used - and I've used a fair few, since the late 70s! 


    I understand that Android tablets have a lot more flexibility - you can plug USB memory straight into many of them, you can access the file system to drag and drop things, and so on. I've generally been recommending that people consider Androids as well. 


    They say that iPads are good for consuming content (presumably if you've bought exactly the right app to consume it and don't want to do anything imaginative with it) but not very good for creating content. 

  3. Funny story, Stephen! As for distortion, this article makes interesting reading: http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2013/01/you-can-correct-it-in-post-but. In summary, correcting distortion = loss of sharpness, and sometimes distortion correction is necessary. But - most mid-range zooms seem to have bad distortion at the wide end.


    It's interesting that the old 20mm f2.8D came up - that was going to be my next question! Edo - I know you are very keen on this lens. It's a pity that Nikon don't seem to be in a hurry to update these very useful small older lenses. But the other one that I'm seriously considering is the 21mm Zeiss. It sounds excellent and manual focus doesn't worry me on a lens as wide as that.


    My plan is to use primes (and the 14-24 f2.8) when I have the time to switch lenses reasonably frequently, and to reserve the mid-range zoom for when I have to work quickly to avoid trying people's (e.g. my wife's) patience or when I can only carry one lens. I'm rarely in a situation where I have to respond quickly to what's happening around me, which makes the situation quite different from a wedding or event photographer.


    I also don't have anything with VR for full frame shorter than 70mm; that may further explain why I'm looking for something with VR in the mid range. It's funny - a few years ago, before I had any VR lenses, I also questioned the need for VR. But now that I've used it, I've found that I'm taking photographs that otherwise would be impossible, and now I wouldn't want to miss those opportunities.




    I have a D700 (sorry no D800) with the 24-120 f4.  I found mine to be very good. Not quite as sharp as my 14-24 2.8 but no complaints.  Used it for portraits, gigs, general walk around lens.  All crisp. Can hand hold very low with the VR (20th sec normally OK and passes Alamy QC). I know this may not help as the extra resolution of the D800 may reveal problems I can't see with the D700.  But I have no concerns using it (unlike the previous 4.5-5.6 model which was awful)


    Yes, I find that the corners are rather soft at 24mm (24-70m f/2.8) with D800.



    Thanks very much, Sung. Is that the Nikon or the Tamron?


    And thank you also, Petr. 28-300 probably doesn't go wide enough for me, I'm afraid, but I had heard that it's practically as good as the 24-120 f4 - which is very impressive, considering the much greater zoom range (or not so impressive for the 24-120, depending on how you look at it)

  5. Thanks, Edo. Wise words as always. I remember you saying elsewhere that your copy of the 24-120 was a good one, and your recommendation to go refurbished. Unfortunately I've yet to find refurbished anything on sale here in Australia - it's always been a bit of a mystery to me where to get them from!


    Anyone using the Tamron 24-70 f2.8 on a D800 (or even D800E)? All insights greatly appreciated!!

  6. ... The big challenge on FAA, I find, is getting your work noticed -- i.e. attracting visitors who actually might buy a print. I've yet to figure that one out. ...

    Me neither. I've tried the 'if you vote for mine I'll vote for yours' games and apart from now not being last in searches (as I was when I first uploaded images), it hasn't done me any good in the three months or so I've been there - not a very productive use of time. But maybe I just haven't been there for long enough or uploaded the right kind of photos (mostly I've just uploaded straight stock, but I'd probably be better off giving photos a more arty treatment; HDR seems to do well there).


    The other thing to consider is that there's no upside. I've had a four figure sale and a good number of mid-three figure sales on Alamy, but that's just not possible on FAA.


    I'd say that if you're going to try it, then get in quick - FAA is growing at a tremendous rate - close to 1% per week, going by the number of 'artists' on it as stated on this page: http://fineartamerica.com/artworktags.html

  7. My new D800 works absolutely wonderfully with my favourite lenses – primes and my 14-24/2.8. But I should really get a mid-range zoom for times when using primes just aren’t practical, such as when I’m with someone who can’t wait for lens changing and such. What I’m looking for is flexibility combined with sufficient quality to pass Alamy QC without drastic solutions such as resizing down to 24mb - which would probably get almost anything shot with good technique on the D800 onto Alamy!. My research indicates there are two candidates, which all have strengths and weaknesses (I’ve excluded the Nikon 24-70/2.8 because although it's otherwise the obvious candidate, there’s no VR, which is useful for certain effects I like such as blurring moving people while keeping the background sharp). These are:


    1 Nikon 24-120 f4. Good focal length range. However, reviews seem to all say the same thing – on the D800, it’s plenty sharp enough in the centre, but a bit dodgy around the edges. As I photograph a lot of architecture, edge sharpness would seem quite important.


    2 Tamron 24-70 f2.8. Good to have f2.8. I wouldn't normally go with non-Nikon lenses, but this one sounds much better than most third parties. Reviews say that it’s almost as good as the Nikon 24-70 f2.8, and much better than no 1 at the edges, though loses a bit towards the long end.  


    So – my question: I’d love to hear people’s Alamy experiences (something reviews don’t cover) with either of these two lenses on a D800. Are there circumstances (e.g. wide open at the long end) where you’ve decided not to submit images to Alamy due to image quality issues, or have had to take drastic steps such as resizing to Alamy's minimum size? Issues such as that are likely to be a bigger deciding factor than whether to go for f2.8 or the extra length – though at the moment I’m swinging towards the Tamron for its f2.8 option.


    Earlestown, half way between Manchester and Liverpool, for a family wedding in August. Anyone call that exotic?  :D


    Recently been to a wedding in Stafford. Now that is an exotic location. :wacko:



    One up on me ;-) 

  9. Annual pricing sounds like a good idea, but I'd suggest a bit of research first. If they're a professionally run and well-established company, you probably have little to worry about. But if they've only recently started, you might want to try to get as much money as you can up front (e.g. initial fee plus annual fee from the first year onwards, or all up front) - something like 70% of start-ups fail in the three years. And even if it's an established SMB, I'd ask some probing questions about how they keep track of IP licences - many have no idea how to do this, and if they get taken over by another SMB, the new one might not always ask the right questions beforehand. So there's a possibility of them losing track of things. If the company has a proper IP register, it will help with this. I do a lot of work with SMBs of a certain category in Australia, in my day job ;-) 

  10. Most software allows the use of the ctrl-z shortcut to correct mistakes and slips of the finger (it undoes the previous action). Unfortunately this doesn't work in Manage Images (although other short cuts, such as ctrl-v for paste, do). 


    I've lost count of the number of times my fingers slipped and I lost the keyword I was cutting and pasting from, say, comprehensive keywords to main keywords!


    Is this just a Windows problem, or is it a problem across the board? 


    Dealing with this would be very helpful in improving efficiency and productivity. 

  11. There is an LR plugin that allows you to type in the comp keys, ess keys etc and submit images from within Lightroom. It doesn't work for me though as I re-name my images on export - it relies on the names within LR and within Alamy being the same. I'm sure others will chip in with the name of it. 


    Otherwise, copying and pasting keywords between the fields is part of the cost of doing business with Alamy (if you consider your time to be a cost, that is).  

  12. I geotag but mainly to ensure that I can provide accurate caption and location information. I manually put location information into key words and Alamy's location field, so that buyers have easy access to the full information there. I've no idea whether the GPS information stays in metadata for the buyer to access; unless Alamy can tell us, I guess we'd have to check with a buyer to find out. 


    I did have a GPS unit, but that broke so now I use my phone to produce a GPS track (using the MyTracks app on an Android phone) which I then attach to the photos in Lightroom. It's slightly more hassle than a GPS unit - you have to watch out for images taken when the phone didn't get a good GPS lock. Lightroom will try to interpolate location based on the time stamp of the image, and often gets it wrong. So it's important to check this. 

    • Upvote 1

  13. Agree. This would be a very useful feature in getting a handle on the kinds of images that are successful on Alamy (without having to keep manual records of zooms etc).


    It would also be useful to be able an image's search history and find out (a.) which search strings it had appeared under, and (b.) which of those in a had resulted in a sale or a zoom. This would help in culling unproductive keywords - which would help to keep searches in Alamy relevant.



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