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22 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

I think that the business plan of some of these free software outfits is to build up a large user base, establish themselves as a 'must have' technology and then get bought by one of the big players.

 

With much "free" software It's pretty widely understood that - "when you don't pay for a product - you are the product".   

 

Under the covers data mining and selling is rampant.   Our personal and internet data is a gold mine that's worth a lot of $$ in aggregate.   Recently exposed example was Avast's free antivirus s/w:

https://www.techworm.net/2020/01/avast-free-antivirus-track-sold-user-data.html

 

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1 hour ago, Phil said:

 

With much "free" software It's pretty widely understood that - "when you don't pay for a product - you are the product".   

 

Under the covers data mining and selling is rampant.   Our personal and internet data is a gold mine that's worth a lot of $$ in aggregate.   Recently exposed example was Avast's free antivirus s/w:

https://www.techworm.net/2020/01/avast-free-antivirus-track-sold-user-data.html

 

 

 

Very good point. Thanks for the reminder.

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3 hours ago, KHA said:

Free online software scares me, for the most part! I feel safer with the stuff you have to pay for.

 

have no problem with some developers entry free software which they are doing so in order for people to get hooked, like Capture One.

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16 hours ago, meanderingemu said:

 

have no problem with some developers entry free software which they are doing so in order for people to get hooked, like Capture One.

 

I think that in the case of the free Capture One software, it was a matter of Sony wanting to come up with a good product to accompany their cameras, and they seem to have succeeded. Of course, it is also good advertising for  Phase One. I'm sure that the developers and programmers got paid for their efforts. The free version of the software has most of the features of the paid-for full version, which would be overkill for me. After spending several thousands of dollars an Sony equipment, I don't have any problem using some free software to go along with it. Thanks, Sony.

Edited by John Mitchell
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2 minutes ago, John Mitchell said:

 

I think that in the case of the free Capture One software, it was a matter of Sony wanting to come up with a good product to accompany their cameras, and they seem to have succeeded. Of course, it is also good advertising for  Phase One. I'm sure that the developers and programmers got paid for their efforts. The free version of the software has most of the features of the paid-for full version, which would be overkill for me. After spending several thousands of dollars an Sony equipment, I don't have any problem using some free software to go along with it. Thanks, Sony.

 

 

we have the same with Fuji, but i think with so many people having worm effect problems with LR, it would make marketing sense to hook people into C1 with the free reduced version.  In the end they got my licence money when i got fed up paying the $15 per month to Adobe...

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4 hours ago, meanderingemu said:

 

 In the end they got my licence money when i got fed up paying the $15 per month to Adobe...

 

Ça va faire la job!

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On 06/06/2020 at 19:07, Autumn Sky said:

You need to walk in slums, eat where they eat, talk to common everyday people & see how they live, not minority working in tourist establishments for tips. I have done that & please trust me I have broader picture than many. These are in most cases good people, just trying to make ends meet. So if they can help feeding their child with 10 cent stock sale, how can anyone blame them or say it is matter of choice.

 

When I go abroad I put various stuff I don't need in my huge backpack, things I'd throw away here or give to Salvation Army. Because if I gave that sweater or pair of pants to my Nepal guide, he'd not have to buy one & have more money to feed his family.  This is the reality of life in vast parts of this planet sadly.

 

 

 

 

Basically, I don't live in the tourist parts of Nicaragua.  I doubt seriously that the very poorest go out with their cellphones to take photos.  I've been warned in Managua to keep my cell phone in my bra by Nicaraguan women sharing a cab with me.  I you're that poor, the cell phone is a prized possession,  not to be risked by running around taking photos in public with it.   I've been warned in my first neighborhood not to wave it around facing the sky to get a GPS reading, too. 

I've met women who ate rice and beans and sold tortillas for 1 cord each and couldn't afford to eat them.  They were highly unlikely to be submitting photos to Alamy.  One cord is around 3 cents US.

 

My helper makes 700 cords a week for walking my dog twice a day, around US $21, and makes half that from a friend who has him walk one of her dogs once a day, and makes C$200 for shopping for us (per person) and C$200 for cleaning my downstairs rooms once a week, plus C$100 extra for cleaning the two upstairs rooms.  Ten cents would be around 3-4 cordobas, and wouldn't buy more than three or four tortillas.  

 

It doesn't spend like $10 US.

 

My helper has a wife and daughter.   And a kitten.   And a third employer who may or not be getting money to him now (she's stranded in the US due to the virus).

 

Some photographers in Central America might be happy to be making $200 a month from stock in addition to local wedding, portrait, and school photography, but my local professional photographer has Godox lights and a Canon DSLR, and does printing and framing as well as the senior portraits and passport photos and wedding formals. 

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I am more and more of opinion SS just cut it too much.  Basically it is now "10 cent download" micro.   I am now getting 38 cent downloads on DT, after their 10% June 1 increase.  Yes it is peanuts but it is also almost 4 times more.  Even few months ago SS and DT could not even be talked about at same level.   I doubt many people with high-end images (i.e. Alamy quality) will be willing to keep them on SS under these conditions.  So the business path they chose to take might be "we are offering huge amount of low quality cellphone shots at a bargain price".

 

 

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36 minutes ago, Olivier Parent said:

 

My opinion is quite different. I personally don't think it will have much impact on the content of their collection. When someone already agreed to sell a photo for 30 cents or so, I sincerely don't see what will keep him from selling the same image for 10 cents (or even less actually)…

It always seemed to me that the logic of contributors to microstocks was to submit all of their images to every possible microstock website in order to get every single penny they can, whatever the vertiginous drop in price of the photographic image that this practice implies, so…

Of course, a few contributors may leave the ship with great noise but at the end of the day, it will probably be nothing more than a statistical detail for SS.

On the other hand, the benefits generated by this cut in commissions will be significant for SS.

 

 

the biggest impact is drop to 15% on other licences each January for long term partners, who had reached level 3-4 before, and on the video side.    

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6 minutes ago, Olivier Parent said:

 

But will that affect the content of SS collection in a significant manner?

In other words, do you think these long time partners will all close their accounts?

I doubt it.

 

well in first week there was an effective drop of 1,600,000 images.  we will see.  But in the end it will be the customer who decide, and based on some of my experience, they don't seem to care about quality.  SS is the Walmart of stock photo

Edited by meanderingemu
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1 hour ago, meanderingemu said:

SS is the Walmart of stock photo


I don't think even Walmart sells stuff for ten cents, though . . . Not even the gumball machines outside. Photographers should give that some thought, because Walmart has economies of scale an individual photographer will never have that allow it to survive with razor-thin profit margins. The microstock industry has devised a model built on loss-leading Black Friday every day of the year, except the loss comes from their suppliers, not them.

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7 hours ago, Olivier Parent said:

 

My opinion is quite different. I personally don't think it will have much impact on the content of SS collection. When someone already agreed to sell a photo for 30 cents or so, I sincerely don't see what will keep him from selling the same image for 10 cents (or even less actually)…

It always seemed to me that the logic of contributors to microstocks was to submit all of their images to every possible microstock website in order to get every single penny they can, whatever the vertiginous drop in price of the photographic image that this practice implies, so…

Of course, a few contributors may leave the ship with great noise but at the end of the day, it will probably be nothing more than a statistical detail for SS.

On the other hand, the benefits generated by this cut in commissions will be significant for SS.

Good reasoning.   Comment re "logic of contributors to microstocks was to submit all of their images to every possible microstock website in order to get every single penny they can".  Once again I point to contributors from geographic areas where every penny counts, even if most people on this forum don't seem to agree with me.  Second, by very virtue of "microstock" it is quantity over quality.   Or something I read when starting ~3 yrs ago, quote "It is better to sell photo 100 times for a dollar, then 1 time for 100 dollars".   (Most everyone in this forum will disagree with this logic I know, but it symbolizes whole concept of microstock)

 

One example from my own port.  This is technically low end image,  just barely acceptable to pass Alamy QA:

serengeti-tanzania-national-park-landsca

 

Needless to say, it never sold on Alamy and never will.   On Shutterstock it is my top performer with 159 downloads, net $76.68.  It gets better.  I manipulated image and flipped the elephant to face the tree.  Then I produced 3rd image by positioning tree in the middle and having 2 elephants, one on each side, facing the tree.   All 3 images -- really single one -- made me net over 200 dollars across all micros so far.  Zero on Alamy.   So ""logic of contributors to microstocks was to submit all of their images to every possible microstock website in order to get every single penny they can" becomes a little bit more clear I hope.

 

We'll see what will happens.  I will actually post my June SS numbers here at end of the month.  I stopped uploading & will decide by end of summer if I want to keep my port there or not.

Edited by Autumn Sky
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On 07/06/2020 at 02:43, BobD said:

 

How can anyone blame someone from getting off their a**e to make a few extra dollars to support their family.

It's the exploitation of them by the likes of shutterstock that I, and I'm sure others find objectionable.


How much of the micro stocks shots come from third world country residents and how many come from tourists?    Quick run through a page of Shutterstock Nicaraguan photos shows mostly Anglo names or Europeans with wider portfolios than limited to Nicaragua.

Edited by MizBrown
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I've begun my staggered exit from that other place. For starters, I'm deleting a number of images so that I can make them exclusive here. I might leave the remaining orphans -- my collection is very small -- for awhile to see how things go. Chances are I'll get frustrated and delete them too before long. Not sure what to do about video clips as I have made some OK sales. However, from what I can glean, any future ones will most likely be for less than peanuts. My guess is that I'll eventually deactivate and cash in my remaining chips, such as they are. No doubt they will be glad to see me go as I had no intention of becoming a serious MS contributor. It was an instructive experiment on the dark side, though.

Edited by John Mitchell
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17 minutes ago, Olivier Parent said:

 

Think of a potato producer. Some guy from a large scale distribution company tells him "hey, you know what, it is better to sell 10 tonnes for $100 than only 100 kg for the same amount…"

And the lucky potato producer says "Oh, OK, let's do that!"

The potato price then drops from $1/kg to $0.01/kg and every potato producer starts to complain that it is not worth it anymore…

Believe me, I do not need no explanation, the logic of contributors submitting to microstocks is absolutely crystal clear…

Potato example is not good parallel (although end effect is the same).

I was just using it to illustrate concept of quantity over quality.

 

But real question is, at least for me,  what is the optimal way to manage your assets?  Leave them on Alamy where most will never make anything, or as with elephant example, flip it, spread it etc etc and with time it makes few 100s

 

What bothers me personally the most in this whole "10 cent a pop" thing is disrespect and whole "we do it because we can".

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13 minutes ago, MizBrown said:


How much of the micro stocks shots come from third world country residents and how many come from tourists?    Quick run through a page of Shutterstock Nicaraguan photos shows mostly Anglo names or Europeans with wider portfolios than limited to Nicaragua.

That is valid point MizBrown & I agree with you.  This goes into territory of photography digitalization.  Cellphones with decent cameras, pocket cameras i.e Rx100 etc you bring along while traveling anyways.  Everyone takes pics, and at the end you upload a few "it doesn't cost anything, maybe it can make few bucks". 

 

Days of serious/dedicated photographers when it comes to microstock are gone.

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Given that the two options (micro vs traditional) yields roughly the same income in the end with fewer photos making more money each, at a traditional.....then I would definitely take the old school approach and get more money per use even if many photos don't ever sell.  I know that this is a losing battle in keeping the value of photography up but I am old enough that I will depart this business before selling photos for pennies (on a regular basis).   Micro has also hurt my assignment work.  Pandemic aside, even tho I have kept pretty busy with assignments, it is nearly impossible to get rates to go up at all.  I have been working for the same editorial fees for years and years while I see my expenses all around me go up and up.  It's hard for a publication to value original photography when they can get stock photos for less than the price of a candy bar.

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1 hour ago, Autumn Sky said:

Needless to say, it never sold on Alamy and it never will. On Shutterstock it is my top performer with 159 downloads, net $76.68.  It gets better.  I manipulated image and flipped the elephant to face the tree.  Then I produced 3rd image by positioning tree in the middle and having 2 elephants, one on each side, facing the tree.


The bottom line is you seem to be chasing a different market. Your method automatically seems to rule out at least two groups of potential buyers:  

 

1. People who wouldn't want their product associated with an altered photo; a lot of nature-related publications certainly would fall into that category because they don't want their output to be suspect. And even people who might not worry about that ethically might be worried about technical reveals, such as the celebrity photo a few years ago where someone ended up with three arms on the cover of a magazine or something like that.

 

2. People who saw your photo, loved it, and might have been willing to pay higher bucks for it until they realized they had already seen it in 159 other places and continued the search for something unique.


And as people have brought up many times on this forum, why would it be likely to sell on Alamy when you are offering it through a competitor much more cheaply? 
 

You know how much you made, but you don't know how much you might've made. But it's a beautiful photo (at least unaltered!), so congratulations on your success with it.

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22 minutes ago, KHA said:

...

You know how much you made, but you don't know how much you might've made. But it's a beautiful photo (at least unaltered!), so congratulations on your success with it.

Thank you for very good comment. 

 

I am not saying I chose the best path & am struggling about the best way to "manage my assets".   This is largely why I post on this forum, because one can learn a lot from experienced Alamy contributors (compared to micro forums where it is largely pity quarreling that just makes you sick after awhile)

 

 

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23 minutes ago, Michael Ventura said:

Given that the two options (micro vs traditional) yields roughly the same income in the end with fewer photos making more money each, at a traditional.....then I would definitely take the old school approach and get more money per use even if many photos don't ever sell.  I know that this is a losing battle in keeping the value of photography up but I am old enough that I will depart this business before selling photos for pennies (on a regular basis).   Micro has also hurt my assignment work.  Pandemic aside, even tho I have kept pretty busy with assignments, it is nearly impossible to get rates to go up at all.  I have been working for the same editorial fees for years and years while I see my expenses all around me go up and up.  It's hard for a publication to value original photography when they can get stock photos for less than the price of a candy bar.

 

I agree with what you say. However, there was a time when MS agencies were good places to put certain types of images -- e.g. found backgrounds and abstracts, generic nature subjects, etc. -- that typically don't do well on editorial agencies like Alamy.  However, my MS experiment suggested to me that those days are over because agencies like SS are now overflowing with this type of imagery. I uploaded these kinds of pics (which I enjoy taking) along with some "Alamy-like" editorial images to see which would do better, and I found that it is the latter that tend to sell. In other words, posting editorial images on MS is now an excellent way of totally devaluing one's editorial work. Caveat emptor!

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Perhaps a reminder here of how Shutterstock got going. The very first website Orringer set up bought reject slides/chromes for 50 cents. So the forums were full of arguments with those people accepting this offer saying that it was better than getting nothing and otherwise the bits of film were going to landfill etc.

 

The counter-argument was that if a reject from a shoot was being offered at a micro price many would pay that for 'good enough' rather than paying the proper price for the better shots on sale at traditional agencies. It would undermine both photography and fees for photography.

 

We know how that worked out don't we?

 

 

Edited by geogphotos
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46 minutes ago, Olivier Parent said:

 

 

Do you prefer milk instead?

 

i'm sorry, but using milk is a BAD analogy.

 

there is no such thing as a 1 cent vs 1 dollar per litre scheme.   farmers have two choices, either accept the price for the milk, or not;  if you don't accept it, then you dump your milk into the sewer and come back another day hoping the prices will be better.  the only way to get a better price is to belong to a dairy cooperative where you can possibly get financial help, slightly more beneficial prices for their milk as a group, maybe even limited milk storage until milk prices go up a bit.     

 

an aside.... we had price fixing and scandals in the usa over milk. it is why milk must be sold at a minimum price as set by the government.  and that minimum price is determined by the complicated set of formulas based on the end usage of the milk, and how much it cost to process those end products, etc. etc.

 

 

also if you have bad quality milk, and the buyer has a choice, they are not going to buy it when there are so many other dairy farmers offering to sell their milk.

Edited by sooth
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If you want to sell at Shutterstock, if you like micro-stock, and are happy in your work, then why keep banging on and on about it here on the Alamy forum?

 

Just carry on as you are and stop talking about a competing company, a damaging business model, and how happy you are with it all.

 

What are you trying to achieve?

 

Is it like doing missionary work trying to save lost souls?

Edited by geogphotos
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1 hour ago, Olivier Parent said:

 

If you don't like potatoes, take any other produce you may like, it will work exactly the same.

Do you prefer milk instead?

Think of a milk producer who decides to sell his lesser quality milk through large scale distribution: 1 cent for a litre instead of 1 dollar for a litre.

Not because the large scale distribution guy puts a knife under his throat but because the milk producer considers it is the best way to "manage his assets".

Sure, the milk producer will make a few 100s, but he, as every other producer, will also lose the ability to sell higher quality milk for 1$ a litre because from then, milk is worth nothing.

Sure it is only my opinion but to me it sounds like "I prefer 1 cent in my pocket than 1 dollar in my neighbor's pocket".

We are all responsible for the consequences of our actions.

Would you blame the large scale distribution guy when, provided with hundreds of millions of litres of almost valueless milk, he then says to that same milk producer "from now I will pay you only 0.3 cent a litre instead of 1 cent"?

No need for patronizing, and you are totally missing the point I was trying to make.  Issue, not just for me, but for everyone here is how to best manage our assets, our intellectual property if you want, in light of never ending race to the bottom, caused by variety of factors. Milk or potatoes or whatever analogies are inappropriate. I wish things were so simple but they are not.

 

 

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