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1 hour ago, Starsphinx said:

I have unique images - some have been a real pain to keyword because of my penchant for taking photos of things when I don't know what they are.   No not all my images are unique.  Yes, some are popular subjects.
I try to do my best with keywording - I may be missing a bit but not a lot and I see thousands of images way worse than mine for keywording (I know this because I check out competition images when keywording)
I am not interested in a shortcut to get my images to the top of search results - I am interested in making sure they do not drop to the bottom of search results because of some process I could know more about to understand how it works.  Like why not all zooms count. 
Have a look at my port - tell me if there is anything grossly wrong I am doing - or why I am not getting zooms.
 

I don't think you are doing anything wrong, but the competition is high!

 

Take your shots of Barclays Bank in Bath. Search for Barclays Bank Bath. 7 images of which yours are 4 and 6. If you are a customer wanting an image of Barclays Bank in Bath to illustrate an article which ones are you going to zoom? If you want an image of people protesting against Barclays in Bath then the 6th image might fit the bill but the small image just doesn't say 'Protest' to me. 

Six months is not a long time to begin to see results, particularly with just 413 images. It was over 1 year before I saw my first sale, so you are way ahead. 

I just don't think there is any more to know about the search process that you could take action on.

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3 minutes ago, Keith Douglas said:

I don't think you are doing anything wrong, but the competition is high!

 

Take your shots of Barclays Bank in Bath. Search for Barclays Bank Bath. 7 images of which yours are 4 and 6. If you are a customer wanting an image of Barclays Bank in Bath to illustrate an article which ones are you going to zoom? If you want an image of people protesting against Barclays in Bath then the 6th image might fit the bill but the small image just doesn't say 'Protest' to me. 

Six months is not a long time to begin to see results, particularly with just 413 images. It was over 1 year before I saw my first sale, so you are way ahead. 

I just don't think there is any more to know about the search process that you could take action on.

Lol - oh yes the protest.
Confession time - I am not remotely comfortable with street photography although I am deliberately working on it.  That Barclays with the protesters was probably the first time I went out forcing myself to shoot street scenes.  I did not spot or notice the protest while I was out and only picked it up in processing - and you could not kick me harder than I kicked myself for missing it.

I am spotting a fair number of areas uncovered or only lightly covered - however, there is a concern with that in that to an extent where a subject has not been covered it is not in demand either.  A classic of that would be P1Y1D.  Now if I am even close on species (and I did a lot of research) that is the only photo of a whole family of parasitic wasps on here (and there are none on a certain place initials SS).  Problem with unique photos of obscure insects is there are not a lot of people looking for them.  Still, if you know any entomologists send them to my photo lol.

I will keep working and learning and challenging my comfort zones - and will take any advice and criticism I can get.

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4 hours ago, NYCat said:

 

I find it useful to see which of my images are zoomed. I think I can learn something about what people are looking for. I also pay attention to the search terms they use and sometimes realize I haven't added that term to some images that should have it. You haven't added any images here for a very long time and yet you contribute a lot to the forum. Not saying that is wrong, just rather puzzling. Do you think your contributions will result in changes you want to see? Do you think you might start uploading here again? Just curious. Hope I'm not being too nosy.

 

Paulette

 

No i don't see as nosy at all and i am glad you manage to gain useful feedback from zooms. You are correct i have not added any images for more than 4 years to alamy and will be unlikely to do so in the future as i have specialist agencies i have been with for far longer which pay 50% and do my keywording. However i don't think that 208 posts in 12 years is contributing a lot. As for Zooms mine remain healthy and steady because i believe that its sales that really determine search position and zooms and views are just part of the Alamy spin. Not uploaded for more than 4 years,all files have poor visibility, never revised a file once keyworded, never acted on any of the alamy suggestions e.g. stemming etc, yet get a payment every month so i won't remove any files but i effectively wrote them off when the last commission reduction took place. 

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3 hours ago, Starsphinx said:


I will keep working and learning and challenging my comfort zones - and will take any advice and criticism I can get.

 

Well you did ask and this is a genuine and honest opinion.

 

I don't know if anyone else has pointed this out as you post so much on the forum but a lot of your images are very dark and not achieving a full tonal range when they should be. You are almost certainly underexposing in camera in a lot of cases as you are allowing light skies to influence your exposures which are then too dark (the hunt pictures for example). Either you judge when to use exposure compensation or do everything in manual with spot metering (my preferred method). Meter your subject in a case like this and not the scene. R9MK1E is an extreme example of underexposure but there are several others from that session and lots more on the first page of your port. You could certainly improve a lot of them in post but learning to meter and control your exposure is so fundamental. Now is the time to correct these basic errors and not way down the line.

 

You may also have your monitor set too bright so calibration is advisable but the first thing to do is learn to expose properly as this is definitely the main problem here.

 

Also, seeing as you asked, I would suggest working on your composition. For example, R9MK16 is not only very underexposed for the subject (presumably the rider and horse) but the composition is all over the place. The horse is chopped off, there is part of an out of focus dog in the foreground and a passerby who has nothing to do with the picture. The lines in the image are all cutting across at angles which to me is a compostional no-no. One only becomes aware of Lacock Abbey in the background after reading the caption and it is so much in the background that it is irrelevant. I would have binned this if I were you. These may have originally been news pictures but they now form part of your portfolio. I learnt a long time ago never to show substandard work

 

Getting solid technique is fundamental to everything in photography and that includes getting it right in camera as well as in post. You can talk all you like but photography is about what you produce not what you say.

 

 

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10 hours ago, Starsphinx said:

I have unique images - some have been a real pain to keyword because of my penchant for taking photos of things when I don't know what they are.   No not all my images are unique.  Yes, some are popular subjects.
I try to do my best with keywording - I may be missing a bit but not a lot and I see thousands of images way worse than mine for keywording (I know this because I check out competition images when keywording)
I am not interested in a shortcut to get my images to the top of search results - I am interested in making sure they do not drop to the bottom of search results because of some process I could know more about to understand how it works.  Like why not all zooms count. 
Have a look at my port - tell me if there is anything grossly wrong I am doing - or why I am not getting zooms.
 

 

Basically, do see what searches in your area have been for, and if people can't find them and you can get the photos, get the photos.  In my case, I had access that other people didn't have,  but the photos were apparently less than compelling, so I'm going to reshoot with better lighting gear and both 105mm and 55 mm and maybe 18mm lenses.  Think about framing, think about lighting.  Bunch of owl figures but I'm not getting compelled to take a closer look.  I didn't shoot the burning of the old men of the year munecas this New Years (it was raining for one thing), but next year, should do those again with tighter framing.  

 

Not all zooms count because some casual buyers and all of us zoom on stuff.  Easier to use the stats from people who are consistent buyers.  

 

I think I had my first sale after around 300 or 400 images, had three in 2017 and three in 2018.

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9 hours ago, MDM said:

 

Well you did ask and this is a genuine and honest opinion.

 

I don't know if anyone else has pointed this out as you post so much on the forum but a lot of your images are very dark and not achieving a full tonal range when they should be. You are almost certainly underexposing in camera in a lot of cases as you are allowing light skies to influence your exposures which are then too dark (the hunt pictures for example). Either you judge when to use exposure compensation or do everything in manual with spot metering (my preferred method). Meter your subject in a case like this and not the scene. R9MK1E is an extreme example of underexposure but there are several others from that session and lots more on the first page of your port. You could certainly improve a lot of them in post but learning to meter and control your exposure is so fundamental. Now is the time to correct these basic errors and not way down the line.

 

You may also have your monitor set too bright so calibration is advisable but the first thing to do is learn to expose properly as this is definitely the main problem here.

 

Also, seeing as you asked, I would suggest working on your composition. For example, R9MK16 is not only very underexposed for the subject (presumably the rider and horse) but the composition is all over the place. The horse is chopped off, there is part of an out of focus dog in the foreground and a passerby who has nothing to do with the picture. The lines in the image are all cutting across at angles which to me is a compostional no-no. One only becomes aware of Lacock Abbey in the background after reading the caption and it is so much in the background that it is irrelevant. I would have binned this if I were you. These may have originally been news pictures but they now form part of your portfolio. I learnt a long time ago never to show substandard work

 

Getting solid technique is fundamental to everything in photography and that includes getting it right in camera as well as in post. You can talk all you like but photography is about what you produce not what you say.

 

 

Thank you.

 

R9MK16 actually should of hit the floor, I didn't realize it had gone through.  My upload workflow is different when doing live news and on this occasion involved sitting in a layby screaming at my laptop which went gaga in the middle.  I will chase back through the hunt photos and remove the ones that should not have gone up. (I did not check on the day I went straight from the hunt to a football match which kept me busy the rest of the day - and at the moment football matches are my main photo income).
I am aware of the underexposure in earlier uploads - and an improved monitor is on my list of things to buy when I have some money.  Calibrating my current one is a pig and a half.

I have worked to improve my ordinary stuff - I think I need to look at live news shoots where I have a tendency to get in a flap about getting them uploaded.

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13 hours ago, regen said:

 

However i don't think that 208 posts in 12 years is contributing a lot. As for Zooms mine remain healthy and steady because i believe that its sales that really determine search position and zooms and views are just part of the Alamy spin. Not uploaded for more than 4 years,all files have poor visibility, never revised a file once keyworded, never acted on any of the alamy suggestions e.g. stemming etc, yet get a payment every month so i won't remove any files but i effectively wrote them off when the last commission reduction took place. 

 

I think it was your recent activity on the Forum that made me think you were here a lot. The announcement about the new commission woke up a lot of us. Interesting that your zooms stay healthy. I've never been sure my lack up uploading is hurting me. Lots of other activities keep me away from the computer sometimes.

 

Paulette

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Starphinx, there is a lot of good advice here on this forum and I have to say I agree with others i.e., MDM and Keith Douglas.  I realise that Live News shots are what they are but I still consider it important to get composition and exposure correct.  For me, I would never upload anything anywhere that was what I consider substandard in regard to composition/exposure but that's just me.  I am sometimes quite shocked to be honest at some images I've seen on here - not necessarily live news but I guess some people just upload to maybe keep numbers up.  Don't worry so much about zooms/views etc.  Also, I think better to upload a few informative live news images than loads less so.  Anyway Happy New Year and keep clicking ;)

 

Carol

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Posted (edited)

.

Edited by JamesH

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