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About Zollikon

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    18 Sep 2018

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  1. Just emailed member sevices re this and got bounced to here by their automated reply. The Sun says "a massive 29.03million people read The Sun online" Alamy says - here's £2 for a photo The Sun leads a web page/story with. Is this really sustainable? Not for me, I've given photography the heave-ho for a few months to concentrate on actually earning some money. This kind of payment is an insult. Am I right?
  2. Sorry, got caught up in boring work for a few hours there! Thanks for all the input. Just re-checked in AIM and there is one submission of 2 photos and one of 91 photos - all the same night shoot. They all have exactly the same QC fail text and I can't click on any individual one to get more info - all are 'unclickable'. So, whilst I reckon I know why they failed, I can't be completely sure except by submitting them in smaller batches, maybe even one by one. I can see very clearly that some of the images are not sharp, though as I said, the two initial slightly unsharp fails that I simply downsampled and resubmitted, then passed. Maybe they were marginal. I think in future I'll DS and lightly sharpen any I think are borderline and bin any worse than that. I should perhaps say that I am using a new camera who's sharpness is incredible, way, way better than the Nikon D7000 and Nikon lens I sold to part finance it. My "pin sharp rate" is at least double with the new camera and so I am a lot more critical when pixel peeping. I don't want to waste Alamy's time or be sin-binned - just keen to offer photos that I think have a market. If I were Alamy, I might introduce a sharpness or useable size scale from 1-10 - lots of slightly unsharp 6000x4000 photos would be fine used on a web site at 600x400 or even full screen. Maybe that's getting a bit complicated - Alamy have been incredibly successful and I am simply not qualified to start telling them their job! This is all good, I am learning...
  3. Thanks Starphinx, I know they fail all in a submission and that does make sense - but it would be nice to know which one they objected to and why to save us guessing. I know also they relax the rules or News and then those news shots go into the stock library after 48 hours - so quality and saleability is not an exact science. That's interesting about adding a comment in EXIF. I currently tag using Alamy's web site but could add an editorial comment for QC before uploading - assuming might see it.
  4. Just had my first fails - tricky hand-held, bustling city street, night shots, in the rain. My uploading got cut off after 2 pics and they both later got rejected - no reason given. I downsized and resubmitted them individually - both passed. How does this make sense?! They 'look' sharper because you're not zooming in as much at 100%, but they obviously they are not actually any sharper - I don't get it. Can Alamy not offer a 100%/variable loupe view to potential purchasers so they can judge for themselves? Should I just batch downsample ALL my images from now on? The second point is more serious. I uploaded the remaining 90+ images from the same shoot (before the first 2 had been rejected) and they all got rejected. The notice says "One or more images failed QC. This means the remaining images have been rejected without being assessed." Having looked closer, a few are not that great - fine for web or TV use or maybe quarter/half page, but not a full magazine page. No complaint from me, I'm still gauging Alamy's thresholds. My point is, I don't know which they failed nor why. I can understand they don't want to trawl through 90+ images failing lots for the same thing - but could they not at least tag the one/s they did look at and fail and let me know why? I don't need an essay, not even a sentence - just a sticker saying 'blurred', or 'WB' or 'noise', or 'CA', etc. In this shoot, I liked the vibrant artificial street-light colours - did they want them WB corrected? (I guess not, they accepted my DS'ed retries). I have have deliberately blurred people and buses in the shots to portray feeling/movement - did they not like that? How about neon lights on rain spots on the lens - they add character and tell the story - but they are a fault... My point is, I'm guessing. Surely they could give me a clue? I really like this shoot, I have literally thousands of other photos that will pass QC awaiting my processing but I want to learn why these shoot pics failed and get some or them on sale (I've edited magazines and they will sell!). So, I'm going through them one at a time at 100%, cutting out any with more blur, downsampling and sharpening those with fractional blur - but am I wasting my time? In the absence of any words or guidance on my images, the only way I can think to learn is by submitting these one at a time (maybe 60 or 70?!) and seeing which ones pass and which ones fail. But given that they accept exactly the same image just because I down-sampled, I am wondering about the quality of quality control itself. These thoughts are probably more for Alamy as I am suggesting extra features. But any help/thoughts appreciated. (I'd rather not too many just telling me to assess at a higher quality or look at Alamy's QC PDF, that's a given.) I seem to remember that Alamy suspend you for 28 days if you fail QC too many times - anyone know current policy on this? I don't want to be banned just for trying to learn their thresholds/preferences. Thanks!
  5. It's sad, I only recently got back into photography (Camera Press, back in the day) and signed up with Alamy because their 50/50 split seemed like a fair deal. If Alamy want to grow, great. Many businesses want to grow, and they fund it by reinvesting profit, issuing shares or getting a loan - because they are confident of their business plan. Trying to fund your growth by squeezing your suppliers is a sketchy way to try and grow - especially when there are other routes to market for those suppliers. I think the real kicker is the huge size of the cut. It's not a 5% or a 10% cut, it's a 20% cut. TWENTY PERCENT! That is massive. And, with regret, it's enough to make me look into some of those other routes to market. I'm genuinely sad, but I guess that's business. I'm not going to tell Alamy how to run their business, but I sure know I have to look after mine.
  6. Quick update - the BBC sale has just appeared on dashboard. I think that's pretty fast sales/order processing. I think they got a good deal, I think I got a good deal and Alamy have their 50% too. Overall, happy. Such a shame about the 20% cut for contributors just announced, which is sadly prompting me to take action.
  7. Hi Cryptoprocta, I never thought of that - good point. It's not a great drama for me, more an annoyance. But now you have explained that, it makes much more sense to me and that helps me to feel good about things. So thanks!
  8. Thanks all - I now know a lot more than I did 24 hours ago. Re slowness, in business 'might is right'. I don't understand why it would take a big business any longer than an individual to pay a bill, especially in these days of electronic payments - they even have accounting departments dedicated to it if they want to centralise things. When I used to sell direct to newspapers and magazines it was quicker and that was by cheque! - unless the business was failing or had a cashflow issue, then they would screw the little guy with slow payments. I could understand if one cost centre was bulk buying lots of images, but this is an independent production company selling a show to the BBC - they used maybe 10-15 photos in that programme and, as I say, it's a huge show with a huge budget - pretty sure they could afford someone on minimum wage to spend an hour, maybe two, going through a few e-checkouts! I understand economies of scale but don't really find size as an acceptable excuse for slow payment. Same reason the banks used to take a week to process payments - no excuse for that other than earning interest on our money because they could. The only thing that will change things is market forces or technology (or law, I think parliament has been looking at slow payments from large businesses to small suppliers) - I'd be surprised if this behaviour still stands in a few years as things automate more and more. Anyway, this isn't really my fight, I'm just saying.
  9. I thought someone might say that, drat. So it's probably inflated my ego more than my bank balance. Compared to the £900 NUJ rates value if I'd sold it direct it's an incredible difference. But then as I said, I'd have had 0% chance of selling it to that slot myself (they'd have simply said "no"), so it is what it is - 0% of £900 or 50% of a whole lot less.
  10. Just seen this in the contibutor FAQ: "If you’ve seen an image being used, and it hasn’t appeared in your sales history within 3 months, then please let us know by filling in our unauthorised use form"
  11. I really appreciate the very fast reponses, fantastic. 6 months?! Wow. How is that justified in the era of computers, shopping basket downloads, etc? I am not going to fight or complain, but that's amazing in this day and age. Is it something to do with waiting while the creator reports extra transmissions, etc? Anyway, I clearly need to adjust my expectations in that regard. So maybe I have already sold one or two more that I don't know about yet - every cloud! I thought the BBC would have a deal with Alamy, thanks for confirming. I assume that means they get a discount - any idea what amounts might be typical (prime time BBC1 comedy, lots of repeats, one pic full screen for about 4 seconds)? Maybe I should be asking Alamy that question but I don't really want to waste their time on my noob questions. I am learning, thanks for helping me do just that
  12. I appreciate this thread is 2 years old, but most of the books I read are older than that and still relevant, so here goes... I was watching TV last night and nearly fell off my sofa when I say the BBC had used one of my images that is only available on Alamy. Nothing has shown up on my account, yet surely this is all computer-based so it should show up as a sale automatically and immediately on Alamy as soon as it was downloaded? (I highly doubt the BBC would have removed the Alamy watermark!). - having checked, the NUJ rate for the BBC's usage would be about £900 due to repeats, on-sales, international rights, web usage, etc as it appeared on a very popular/famous show. - a quick check shows the Alamy rate is £199, of which I would get 50% - the NUJ suggests adding (at least?) 100% for unauthorised usage. - speaking to a seasoned pro I have met at two different events recently, he told me he requests £5000 every time he finds an unauthorised usage. I laughed and asked if anyone ever pays and he, deadly seriously, said "every time"! - I am aware of courts awarding punitive settlements to discourage wanton theft - a bit like if you didn't pay £1 for car parking, you wouldn't expect to be fined £1 if caught - try £35 or £70 or even £150 after being clamped! In which case the £5000 starts to make sense. I am new to Alamy, so a few questions: - how long should I wait before doing anything about the BBC? - I have read somewhere that Alamy does deals with large-use customers where rates are reduced. Do I just have to sit and wait to see if this applies to this case and if so, what might that £199 actually be? (please don't say £10!!) - Do I have to report unauthorised uses to Alamy and leave it to them to chase? Or am I free to chase the production company (or whoever else in future) myself if I have the time/will? - If I chase myself, do I have to stick to Alamy rates or just try for whatever I can get/think reasonable? - If I independently get payment from the infringer, how much do I give Alamy - 50% of £199 or 50% of the settlement? I am really grateful for Alamy as the photo really wasn't that great and the chances of me selling it to the BBC myself would have been 0%. But I do want paying (and I have free access to a barrister so I will be paid one way or the other!) - this show will make the BBC many, many tens (hundreds?) of thousands of pounds over the coming years and they have a £4,000,000,000 annual budget, so yes, I really do want paying. I appreciate I am probably way too early in posting this, but this is the first time I have experienced this and I don't want to wait in vain for 3 months for it to show up on the system and then be told I'm too late. Any advice from more experienced Alamists greatly appreciated! Thank you.
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