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Jumped in with both feet, now I'm all wet!


Rusty Buckets
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Hello friends, thanks for having me-

 

If y'all could spare a tick to glance over what I've uploaded so far I'd sure appreciate y'all's thoughts. There are a few things you'll notice in these few submissions that tell all my photography secrets, chief amongst 'em- I'm green! Guess that's what y'all's input is for. Been snapping pictures just a bump outside of typical for as long as I can remember, nothing so creative as some of y'all's work out there. You folks do some real good work and I tip my hat to y'ens.

I am aware that I have a long way to go in getting the camera to behave how I'd like it to. I see a shot in my head, then I see what was captured, and generally have to introduce the two to each other. I'm working on it, whole bunch of trial and error and just generally familiarizing myself with the camera and all its onboard tools. As far as content its anyone's guess- I'll shoot near anything and there's just no telling what catches my eye. You'll see my 'gallery' is far from niched down, kind of a shotgun approach when it comes to subject matter. I do tend to bank on the rule of thirds and the power of vacant space or an offset subject, matter of fact I've been shooting like that since long before I was aware they were actual things. Good to know I'm on point to some degree.

Finally, getting those suckers uploaded. I know right off the top the captions tend to get a little more flowery than functional- I do have a tendency to get winded (especially when I can correct and finesse it before its out in the public). More importantly- I do not by any means want to get spammy with the keywords, but I never seem to have trouble coming up with a whole pile of 'em. If y'all could lay eyes on those and see if my tags have drifted from synonyms to Vienna Sausages I would sure be in y'all's debt. I don't want to be "that guy", but I would like to see these shots arrive before an audience. No CTR rank yet, according to the dashboard my CTR is DOA. Could be I just ain't capturing what folks want to see, could be some other thing y'all can enlighten me to, I recon it could be just about any old thing.

As I said, I tend to get windy. If y'ens made it this far with enough time to spare to take a look at a couple pictures, I'd be much obliged.

Thank you kindly friends and happy shutter-shaking,

-G

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Welcome to Alamy. I somehow thought you were on this side of the pond. Gee, how did I spot that.

 

Just a couple of things. You have the caption for the Christmas decorations on the daisy photo. Happens to us all. You must remember to unselect before moving on or you wind up with something from the first picture carried over. I think the photo of the boy climbing stairs would be better with enough stairs shown so we know what's happening without being told. I love the kids' feet on the fence. You should try to include British terms as well as the American. Our sneakers are their trainers. Thinking of more words for sneakers is going to help you more than creative terms. Just always remember that the captions and keywords are the way people will see your images. Be sure to choose supertags and include as much as possible in the caption.

 

Paulette

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Skip the flowery captions.  Make them detailed and functional as they are searchable as well as the keywords.

 

What breed of dog (if any) in the mudhole?  Always include that in your caption. The image is also too dark.  

 

Again, the forest shot, make the caption about what kind of trees, where they are exactly. Midwest isn't detailed enough.  Also needs a little work in post processing as the image is flat. Bring up the whites to make the snow pop a little more.

 

Remember, there are over 300 million images on Alamy, so competition is stiff.  Do some searching on Alamy of the same type of images and see what is out there.  It is a tough slog, so you have to work hard at it.

 

Jill

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Ma'am I thank you, straight honesty always plays better than passive aggressive non-answers which tend to avoid the point all together. 

I've got a new monitor on the way, haven't done much of anything in post with any images. Tried several times but the LCD screen on a laptop is a poor representation of the images' true self. I'd get a shot looking real sharp, then see it on a different device and not recognize it. 

Captions are easy enough to change, I can fire up the function and put the pretty on hold. Have to get my "copywriting" brain to wind down and my "just the facts, ma'am" brain humming. I kind of thought that may be the case. I'm real concerned about the tag/keyword deal- I can usually fill the bank, but I don't know where useful keywords and synonyms fades out and spam author fades in. 

You pointed out some real easy things to address and I thank you.

God bless and good day ma'am-

-G

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Hey G,

I'm feeling all y'alled out 🙃 Welcome. As Jill says, captions are searchable by clients too. And you can see captions by hovering over a thumbnail; if a client does an image search and hovers over one which didn't really describe well what's in the picture, they may likely move swiftly on. Include the Latin as well as the common name for flora and fauna, and always add the location to the caption. Some helpful links:

https://www.alamy.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Captions-and-Tags-checklist.pdf

https://www.alamy.com/blog/tips-for-your-captions-from-the-sales-team

https://www.alamy.com/blog/captions-and-tags

 

Example:

Four feet on a fence in fresh footwear - Image ID: 2KR60K7

Try something like: Young children - brother and sister - standing on a wooden fence wearing trainers in (location). Only legs and shoes visible. Theme: outdoor fun

 

20 hours ago, Rusty Buckets said:

kind of a shotgun approach when it comes to subject matter

 

Not a problem when you're starting out. You'll see what sells and then you can concentrate on certain areas. I'm always trying new things, you'd be surprised what sells!

 

20 hours ago, Rusty Buckets said:

I do not by any means want to get spammy with the keywords, but I never seem to have trouble coming up with a whole pile of 'em.

 

spam GIF

Same image again, Image ID: 2KR60K7

I wouldn't put Puma at all, even though that is the brand. It will lead to false results for client searches and is not really relevant to what the image is showing. I'm not sure 'puma trainers' gets around that, but hopefully someone else in the forum can confirm.

 

Irrelevant keywords: bright, centre focused, clean, crisp, elevated, happy, joyful, light, ready, refreshing, stinky, exterior, outdoors

 

You are keyword spamming, which will hurt your CTR rank:

Your pictures will appear at a certain level (e.g. first page, 10th page... etc.) in searches by clients, depending on various factors. CTR and Sales are the only factors we know about for sure in the secret formula Alamy uses to set our search ranking. Your CTR rank (on your Dashboard) is a function of the number of times a client zooms (clicks on) one of your images versus the number of times your images appear in a client search, but are not zoomed.

CTR=Zooms/Views * 100

This is basically a long way of me saying, don't spam keywords. E.g. don't put sky, blue, clouds for every single outdoors picture you shoot. There is a tendency to try to put lots of keywords for your images to try to get them seen by clients. So they may well appear in searches, but if they're not zoomed by a client, your CTR rank will drop. Which means your images won't show as high up in client searches. You don't want your images to get buried in the 300 million images on Alamy. By all means, put a lot of keywords in for certain pictures if they're relevant. Captions and keywords are almost more important than the image itself because you can have the most amazing images ever, but if they're keyworded wrong, no one will ever see them.

 

Also include singular and plurals  of words if appropriate. Don't worry about moving the line to optimised (green) - we have collectively decided that this is not a good idea unless you really need that many keywords.

 

Best of luck!

Steve

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3 hours ago, NYCat said:

Welcome to Alamy. I somehow thought you were on this side of the pond. Gee, how did I spot that.

 

You have the caption for the Christmas decorations on the daisy photo. 

 NYCat- Yes ma'am, my wife tells me all the time she can hear my drawl in my text messages! And thanks for pointing out that multi-select thing. Took me about 10 pictures to realize how that worked and time I got them all lined out I was so dizzy I needed directions to my own back porch. Looks like I missed one in there, glad to know it. 

I'ma be real honest about those pictures- I haven't been able to get out and shoot like I want to, but I wanted to get familiar with the process. Dug through thousands of pictures from years back and picked out a few I thought might carry their own weight. Those little 'trainer' (see there, improvement already!) pictures of my boy kept popping up and I couldn't resist setting a couple aside. I'd certainly put a little more attention on the composition knowing I'm shooting for show instead of nostalgia. 

Friend I thank you for taking the time, and I hope for the best for y'ens.
-G

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10 minutes ago, Steve F said:

I'm feeling all y'alled out 🙃 

Yeah, I recon on y'all don't get much 'y'all' east of the water park. I sure try to "gussy up" when I'm addressing the whole dang internet, apparently those roots run awful deep in me and refuse to be subdued!

 

Sir I thank you kindly, what a treasure trove of information you brought to the table. I've been awful keyed up about the whole spam thing, only person I know that could put up with spam didn't make it to town much and it took a toll on the power of his noggin. Sifting through spammed keywords can't be too far different from eat'n that stuff- after all there is a reason the name carried over. I haven't nailed down a target audience yet, but I'll tell you now- that ain't it.

 

You put some real strong examples out there specific to the images and that helps a great deal. We all have that kind of way we think and it ain't easy for a body to shift his perspective without having examples like that to give him a road map. 

Friend I thank you very much, you put effort into that and it took time from your day. Here in the holler a man ain't measured by much more than his character and his effort and when a body sheds either for the sake of his fellow man it ain't a thing we take too light. I greatly appreciate you for it.

I do thank you, and I know it'll come back around one way or another.

-G

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39 minutes ago, Rusty Buckets said:

Yeah, I recon on y'all don't get much 'y'all' east of the water park. I sure try to "gussy up"

 

Nope! Now where's my copy of Grapes of Wrath...? 😉

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Other thing -- you don't know how you'll do this side of at least 300 photos in your portfolio.   Generally for mid-pack (most of us, including me), it will take over 1,000 to get an idea.

 

Your language is interesting.  Have family in North Carolina and rural Virginia, and spent time myself in rural Patrick County, Virginia.  I'm now even further south in Nicaragua in a city of 50,000 which serves the surrounding farming (coffee and cattle) region.  We have people growing pot and distilling liquor back in the hills just like my grandparents' part of rural Virginia. 

 

This Nicaraguan isn't that different from some of the people farming in the Virginia mountains, down to the clothes, though not to the oxen these days, though I did meet one man who worked oxen in Patrick County, Virginia.

 

2HGFGF0.jpg

 

 

 

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On 09/12/2022 at 10:51, Steve F said:

Now where's my copy of Grapes of Wrath...? 😉

Ha! Grapes of Wrath- I had to share that one at family dinner, brought a chuckle all around. I believe I'm acquiring a reputation of being "worldly" for "rubbin' elbows with an Englishman" (both quotes from those at the table, and both intended with the utmost respect). How about that, short and kindly discussion on a simple blog post, all the sudden I'm neighbor to an Englishman and its made me worldly. Wasn't exactly the benefit I foresaw in posting a few pictures, but I'll claim it proudly!

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On 09/12/2022 at 11:54, John Mitchell said:

 

I thought Rusty must be from Yorkshire. 😎

Y'all are too much fun! I've heard it said parts of the holler out here look like the Shire, fraid I wouldn't know- haven't seen the picture. I am real sure though, there ain't a lick of 'York' that'd fit in too well around these parts. I can't but only imagine it works backwards too, I'd love to see that side of the waterin hole, but I'll tell you now it wouldn't take long before I was itching for home.

I'll be gospel honest with you though friend, furthest north I've been in the world was round your neck of the woods. Have kin in Vancouver so we stopped in years back. Still holds strong as the prettiest place I have ever seen, every time you think you've seen the prettiest shot you can get, you turn a degree or two and find out you were wrong. Whole lot of beauty around y'all up there- you've got to have a good time being a photography on that island.

 

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On 09/12/2022 at 11:02, Rebecca Ore said:

you don't know how you'll do this side of at least 300 photos

 

Have family in North Carolina and rural Virginia, and spent time myself in rural Patrick County, Virginia. 

 I did meet one man who worked oxen in Patrick County, Virginia.

That was something I figured out quick- with hardly over a dozen photos it was likely premature to go lookin for critiques. Y'all didn't bat an eye though, without even a question to how serious I am toward photography you folks have brought valuable insight to the table I hardily appreciate. Truth told- half of what I've posted so far came from the archives, pictures taken at gatherings and what not I never dreamed would be seen by the public. I've just found myself with time to shoot again, look forward to capturing scenes the way I see them. Never spent much time taking pictures like that before, so the way-back files didn't hold much worth posting.

Y'all over in Appalachian country, now that's a place a man can go and feel at home real easy. We call the Ozarks home, some fine hills and hollers round here, but the "Ozark Mountains" in truth can't really hold the title "mountains", especially against those your kin live in. Now I can't claim knowing any pot farming in these parts, but if a man twisted my arm hard enough It could be told that I might be able to lead him to the general vicinity of where there could be found a working still. Maybe... 😉
Anyhow, I do try to polish it up a bit when I'm 'in public' like this, but I am who I am and if a man's ashamed of that he's got fair amount of soul searching needs done. I usually read back through this type of thing before I hit the all powerful "submit", make sure I put all the g's on the -ing's, try to cut the y'all's and y'ens where I can, try reading sentences like I was someone from outside the holler- the bottom line is I ain't from outside the holler and sometimes what I've got down there is just the best way I know to say my piece!

Lastly, it would seem oxen prove a might more high maintenance thana tractor. Most family round here still keep a mule or two on hand though, and one man in the holler still breeding them. I remember more than one time a tractor going on the blink and we'd harness one or two up to keep the field moving while we waited for the tractor to come back to life. They each have their own kind of reliable, machines and critters do. 

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14 hours ago, Rusty Buckets said:

Y'all are too much fun! I've heard it said parts of the holler out here look like the Shire, fraid I wouldn't know- haven't seen the picture. I am real sure though, there ain't a lick of 'York' that'd fit in too well around these parts. I can't but only imagine it works backwards too, I'd love to see that side of the waterin hole, but I'll tell you now it wouldn't take long before I was itching for home.

I'll be gospel honest with you though friend, furthest north I've been in the world was round your neck of the woods. Have kin in Vancouver so we stopped in years back. Still holds strong as the prettiest place I have ever seen, every time you think you've seen the prettiest shot you can get, you turn a degree or two and find out you were wrong. Whole lot of beauty around y'all up there- you've got to have a good time being a photography on that island.

 

 

Thanks for the kind words. BC is indeed a beautiful place. I live in the city of Vancouver, which is on the mainland. You might be thinking of Vancouver Island, which is about two hours away by ferry. It's a big island, about one-quarter the size of Merrie Olde England I reckon. The city of Victoria, which still looks very English, is at the tip of Vancouver Island.

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16 hours ago, Rusty Buckets said:

Lastly, it would seem oxen prove a might more high maintenance thana tractor. Most family round here still keep a mule or two on hand though, and one man in the holler still breeding them. I remember more than one time a tractor going on the blink and we'd harness one or two up to keep the field moving while we waited for the tractor to come back to life. They each have their own kind of reliable, machines and critters do. 

 

 Can't eat an old tractor.  Tractors also can't think when they get the plow stuck against a rock.  Also, more prone to rollover on steep land (though the steepest tends to be used for coffee or grazing).   People also let cattle and horses graze on road sides and highway verges (never have seen a draft horse in Nicaragua, but lots of people have riding or cart-pulling small horses).   Tractors require imported fuel.  Oxen don't.  Mules and horses get used to carry wood into town for the people who still cook with wood.  Mules here are kind smaller than US mules -- nobody seems to have brought in large Jacks.  They're more surefooted on mountain trails than horses.   I've heard of farms three hours or more by mule or horse from the nearest road, back mountain trails.  Friend had one he had to ride into, but had a Nicaraguan family tending it. 

 

I think the oxen in that photo had just hauled that truck up to the farm buildings so the guys could work on it.   Horse here are from Spanish ambling stock for the most part -- and singlefoot and look like slightly smaller Quarter Horses   The rich have big parade horses from Andalusian stock.

 

More people are moving to town, so while the population was around a bit more than half rural when I moved here, it's  now a bit more than half urban.   When bean planting is done with sticks stobbing holes for the seeds, agriculture is hard work even with four crops a year.

 

I cheer every time I see a tractor here, but they're mostly in the flatter land.

 

 

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10 hours ago, John Mitchell said:

 

You might be thinking of Vancouver Island

It was the Island we spent most our time on, a cousin of mine was Fire Marshall for a fair piece up there and shared every island secret he knew with us- an amazing place through and through. We did wind up in Vancouver for an afternoon of thrift shopping- not this holler hound's native space at all, but the city itself struck me at how crispy clean it was. Now when we got back to his place on the island and put the biggest, freshest two salmon filets I've ever seen on the fire I was right back where I belong!

 

 

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8 hours ago, Rebecca Ore said:

 

 Can't eat an old tractor.  Tractors also can't think when they get the plow stuck against a rock.  

 

Friend you couldn't have said it better! It is amazing each variety of critter has his own capabilities all just a shade off from one another. A whole lot to be said of a man's bond with the animals he works- familiar notion to those who know and totally foreign to those who don't. We'll get the mules out now and again just to ride beside the tractors, only a couple laps, just enough to keep familiar.

I remember two times we hooked the team (2 mules, and 2 Belgians) to the tractor to get it back to the barn when it bogged down in snow. A few quarters and other riders on hand, but with the muscle the team brings to bare we don't put that stress on the "saddle squad". Come to think of it, there's no less than 3-4 times each winter we'll get a phone call from town (population 6,000 just to paint a picture): "Y'all have time to get the team out? Ole pastor Birch (or whoever it may be at the time) got the Buick stuck and the wrecker (based near 25 miles away) wants $300!" Insert a few friendly curses for impact. Glad to have the tractor for sure, but can't imagine a day there's not something with a heartbeat in the barn.

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9 hours ago, Rusty Buckets said:

Glad to have the tractor for sure, but can't imagine a day there's not something with a heartbeat in the barn.

My uncle said that he missed the company of mules or horses when he plowed with a tractor.  There's a lot I don't like about tobacco country or coffee country, but they're have some things in common that I understand.  He almost died in his eighties on his tractor and was pissed that he wasn't allowed to go then.  

 

And this is what where I live looks like from a mountain on the other side of the valley.  Coffee and cattle, and town for doctors, lawyers, firms that sell agricultural supplies, clothes, and Chinese and Mexican electronics and domestic appliances.  

 

2HFD7H3.jpg

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On 11/12/2022 at 02:30, Rusty Buckets said:

Ha! Grapes of Wrath- I had to share that one at family dinner, brought a chuckle all around.

 

I do feel like I've been communicating with one of Steinbeck's more colourful creations!

 

Get some more pictures up soon, happy shooting!

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Welcome, from Kansas, formerly Oklahoma my whole life. I have loved going to the Ozarks in the past. My Hubble (now deceased) & I used to go for a week and stay at Spider Creek resort in Arkansas to trout fish. White river, Little Red, so on. Of course, I always outfished him, figure that. It seems I have a knack or instinct for where the fish are.

I’m looking forward to see what else you’ll be uploading in the future.

As long as you’re not expecting to get rich off stock and treat it with respect, and somewhat of a hobby, you’ll enjoy the ride. When I first joined, it was nothing to get decently regular $300 sales, and I sold an image of one of my home-baked coconut cream pies once for $700…advertising. 
While some of us still get the rare & surprising big sale, it definitely isn’t the norm. Most of all, have fun at it.

Betty

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18 hours ago, Rusty Buckets said:

It was the Island we spent most our time on, a cousin of mine was Fire Marshall for a fair piece up there and shared every island secret he knew with us- an amazing place through and through. We did wind up in Vancouver for an afternoon of thrift shopping- not this holler hound's native space at all, but the city itself struck me at how crispy clean it was. Now when we got back to his place on the island and put the biggest, freshest two salmon filets I've ever seen on the fire I was right back where I belong!

 

 

 

Not all of Vancouver is crispy clean. In fact it has some very rundown neighbourhoods and a lot of homelessness. That said, it's still a great place to live. Don't know how long ago you were here, but you might not recognize Vancouver now. Blink and the downtown skyline changes. Here's how it looked a couple of years ago. The city that I used to know is buried somewhere beneath all that shiny glass and steel.

 

Downtown Vancouver skyline in 2021 with North Shore mountains in background, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada Stock Photo

Edited by John Mitchell
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I love your bottles and black and white forest shots, even if they're probably too artsy to sell as stock. They could, however, sell for personal prints, but you get far less here than if you sold them as prints directly. They're beautiful. You have a good eye for composition (even though the feet on the stairs are cropped too close since, for stock, you need to know what's going on, which is as important as aesthetics). I see that tug of war between art and commerce. 

 

For stock, you want more of the kids' feet in sneakers on the fence, and everyday things that newspapers, magazines and websites need to illustrate articles or sell products. Even a container of spam, LOL!  Think about how your photos can be used by clients. But don't stop taking beautiful landscape and artsy shots for your soul. 

 

You've gotten some good advice on keywords and captions, so I have nothing to add except that you should use concept words when they apply and not simply what objects are in the photo. Just don't go too far afield. 

 

Good luck and welcome! 

Edited by Marianne
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