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Messages - hatman12

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iStockPhoto.com / Re: YTD counter working on ESP??
« on: June 12, 2018, 22:04 »
Seems strange that it suddenly stops working on June 1st, and the DeepMeta views counter stops at the same time.  Still, this is iStock and as we know anything can and will happen particularly in the IT side of things.  Hopefully these things are just broken and not updating, but unfortunately we won't know the true situation until the June statements are published, which won't be until July 20th.  So glad I went non-exclusive three years ago.  Okay, being non-exclusive hasn't been greener grass and it's a bit of a struggle, but at least I don't lay awake at night wondering what the next iStock nightmare will be.

Newbie Discussion / Re: 'noise/grain' rejections
« on: June 12, 2018, 06:37 »
What camera/lens etc are you using?

iStockPhoto.com / Re: YTD counter working on ESP??
« on: June 12, 2018, 01:40 »
Eventually it was officially revealed that it's not working.
I read about someone else who can't get onto the forum, despite help from support.

Is the DeepMeta view counter broken too?

iStockPhoto.com / Re: YTD counter working on ESP??
« on: June 11, 2018, 21:22 »
Same here.  Sales numbers have absolutely plummeted since June 1st.  Usually I see about 20-30 sales per day, but since June 1st that has changed to only 2-3 per day, a drop of 80% or so.

Unfortunately the sales  numbers are confirmed by the views shown by Deepmeta - for the last few months my Deepmeta views have been showing about 2200-2500 over the past 30 days but that is now dropping rapidly, down to 1860 or so and falling.

Looks like something significant happened on June 1st.

I'd really like to think that is some sort of glitch, but my gut fell given my experiences with iStock over a twelve year period is that we've been screwed big time.  Hope I'm wrong and it's just a temporary thing.

Adobe Stock / Re: Poor $ week on fotolia
« on: May 21, 2018, 22:19 »
I am following this thread with interest. I'm seeing growth in many accounts but would like to understand why some of you are not.

@Madman will you answer the following questions for me please?

How many files are in your account?
How long has it been since you have submitted new content?
When you most recently submitted new content, how many files did you submit?
Have you synced your Fotolia account with Adobe Stock yet?
If not, why not? 



Mat, I'm having a similar experience.  Up until last summer I was delighted with the growth at Fotolia.  Then, quite suddenly, sales dropped and have remained at lower levels.  I have continued to upload what I believe is quality work, and yes I am synched with Adobe.  However my sales and income are now only 50% - 65% of previous experience.  US sales have declined significantly and I suspect that some sort of location based search parameter has been introduced which has reduced my sales (but perhaps not for others).  I am based in South Korea but all my work is produced for the European and American markets.

Up until last summer I could happily sell 30-45 images most days.  Nowadays that has reduced to the 15- 25 range, so clearly something has happened.

Thanks for your help as always.

Cameras / Lenses / Re: Pentax 645z opinions?
« on: May 20, 2018, 23:46 »
Fuji GFX.  But the lenses are very expensive.

Don't waste your money unless you are able to upload to Macro agencies who sell to the big advertising world.

Years ago some agencies such as iStock gave search priority to XXXL images but that was when the largest sensor sizes were 16-21mp.  Nowadays most APS-C sensors exceed those sizes.  And the quality of APS-C is now similar or better than the full frame sensors of seven or eight years ago.

Bear in mind that the market has changed and many web sites, newspapers etc actually use a huge number of shots taken on mobile phones - the quality and size issue seems to have been replaced by 'modern approach and style' considerations.

I recently sold my Canon full frame gear and changed to Fuji X-T2.  The quality from RAW is as good if not better than my old Canon and I am delighted with the change.

Spending more money on better equipment is tempting, but it is the content of the image that will make the sale regardless of size.

Canva / Re: Canva
« on: May 20, 2018, 21:26 »
Well this is potentially very disappointing news for those of us who have worked hard to build portfolios at Canva.  It's good that Canva have said that all existing Canva images will be prioritised, so perhaps the impact won't be too bad.  But it's a worry.  At best there will be some slight dilution, but at worst a complete decimation of current sales and incomes.  I suppose it all depends on how the arrangement is implemented - if it's through an additional link that takes the customer off to the iStock web site to import into Canva perhaps that won't be so bad.  But if the arrangement involves importing the entire iStock catalog into Canva then I can't see how that can result in anything but reduced sales for current Canva contributors.  Presumably more information will become available in due course.

Adobe Stock / Reached Emerald: should I increase prices?
« on: March 21, 2018, 23:47 »
Reached Emerald status a few weeks ago and wondering whether I should increases prices from the basic 1 credit to 2 credits.  I'm undecided - on the one hand I'd like to try for higher income, but on the other hand I don't want to destroy sales.

Do any other Emeralds have experience they'd like to share?

iStockPhoto.com / Re: Deepmeta bug: Error 422 keywords
« on: February 26, 2018, 02:23 »
I've had a similar report before. I'll do some investigation.
Thanks for reporting!

Still getting this problem - half the keywords appear in Spanish not English.  Appears to be random and doesn't affect all files.  Preference keyword language is English.

Shutterstock.com / Shutterstock keywords not changing order
« on: February 21, 2018, 03:48 »
Over the years I've noticed that when sales are made the keyword order of images gradually changes from alphabetical to 'most popular'.  That also has something to do with search placement for those most popular keywords.

However over the past two or three months I've noticed that the keyword order for new uploads isn't changing and remains alphabetical even for images that have sold a few times.  I've also found that instead of new images with sales gradually becoming more popular, they sell a few times then disappear.  I wonder if this is also something to do with the keyword order not changing.

Has anyone noticed something similar?

I recall that years and years ago many contributors to iStock were complaining about 'good days followed by bad days'.  I experienced it myself - a couple of really good days would be followed by a sudden bad day.  It all smacked of income limiting and was very obvious at the time.

But they didn't do it by manipulating the search.  Search positions remained stable but sales dropped significantly.  It seems the way they did it was to limit what registered buyers could see - in other words the search results seen by individual buyers were not necessarily the same as the results seen by contributors or visitors.  iStock themselves confirmed that they could 'tailor' the search results for all registered buying accounts.

And this is probably what is happening at Shutterstock.  Yes the search might move around a bit generally, but if they really want to control sales they simply have to remove or reduce certain results seen by particular buying accounts.  They know which accounts are subscriptions, on-demand etc, and they know which contributors have had a run of above average sales or SODs.  It would be a simple process to pull back those contributors from visibility to certain buying accounts.  None of this will ever be seen by contributors or visitors - only by the registered buyers.

Interestingly I've noticed a similar situation on Dreamstime.  With their famous 'three good weeks followed by two bad weeks' again the search doesn't seem to change, yet sales can be dramatically different.  Again I suspect they are able to tailor results to particular buyers accounts.  For instance in January I had a very good month of on-demand sales.  Very good.  For the last couple of weeks though, all I've had is subs.  Somehow the on-demand sales have completely disappeared, more than just coincidence.  They only way they can do this is to 'remove' my portfolio from the registered on-demand customers temporarily.  Of course only the customers will actually see the changed search results.

iStockPhoto.com / Re: Deepmeta bug: Error 422 keywords
« on: February 15, 2018, 20:57 »
Franky, I'm getting strange language problems in the latest version of DM.

My preference for keywords is set to English US.  However some of the keywords are being displayed in Spanish.  This doesn't happen for every file, and not for every keyword - just *some* of the keywords in *some* files are converted to spanish for some unknown reason.

Sometimes this happens after I've submitted a file in English, then, after acceptance perhaps a few days later again some of the keywords are displayed in Spanish in DM.

When I look at each file on the istock web site all keywords are displayed in English even if some of them are shown as spanish in DM.  In some cases the spanish words in DM are missing from the keyword list on the web site.

This happens with *some* files, not all, and the behaviour seems to be random.

Very likely all eyes are focussed on the Winter Olympics and Valentines Day.  I've noticed in the past Summer and Winter Olympics that my sales slow down during the games.

iStockPhoto.com / Re: Deep Meta Stats
« on: February 06, 2018, 19:25 »
The latest versions of DeepMeta have a "Keywords" section, showing all keywords used in your portfolio, along with royalties, downloads, RPD, RPI, etc. You can sort by these columns as well, revealing your top selling keywords.
Thanks, Franky, that's great to know.

Where can I find this keywords information.  I'm using the latest version.

Alamy.com / Re: Success stories on Alamy - the $100,000+ club
« on: January 27, 2018, 21:42 »
When I went non-exclusive nearly three years ago I started to upload to Alamy with some enthusiasm.  However I found sales very slow and the upload process tedious.  After about a year I gave up and considered the effort not worth it.  If it is indeed possible to make reasonable money at Alamy perhaps I should try again, but I must admit I am feeling somewhat reluctant.

Alamy.com / Re: Success stories on Alamy - the $100,000+ club
« on: January 26, 2018, 07:22 »
Note that whenever Alamy comes here promoting themselves they always refer to 'x amount of sales' which is always the gross amount, never the net amount.  When they say $100,000 what they really mean is gross sales value, which is equivalent to double that of net sales value.  Of course many people have had success with Alamy, but let's get the amount of money right, otherwise it is deliberately misleading.

How do you think the keyword Copy space affects the sale of images? A while ago almost every stock image that contain space for text had the keyword copy space. Even though it was just a tiny area with room for text etc.....Even images with absolutely no room for text had it.
I wonder....Is it useful to submit images with copy space keyword or can you just leave it out and add more descriptive keywords?
What do you guys think of this? Does this have any effect on sales?

For many years I always included the keywords copy space, copy, space, copyspace etc where an image had the appropriate space.  Lots of my images have space so I always thought it logical to include those words.  I believed (wrongly) that those words were important to buyers.

Then, in Oct 2012 (I think) iStock changed its search to only include the first six or seven most popular keywords.  I found that many of my files disappeared from searches that included the copyspace words.  Perplexed, I wrote to iStock and asked them about it - they replied and said that there is no evidence that buyers ever use those words for searching.  They were helpful in those days, so I wrote again and said I found that difficult to believe.  They then replied and said they'd carried out a small analysis of my sales and that the copyspace words were used in less than 5% of searches and sales.

When I went non-exclusive in Feb 2015 I naturally had to upload all my work to other agencies.  I refined my keywords but left the copyspace words intact.  Then, after a couple of years and a good volume of sales I had a look at various sites and found (again) that there was no evidence at all of those words being used to make sales.  I looked through my Shutterstock best sellers (where they list the top three keywords) and out of several hundred files the copyspace words didn't show once.

But perhaps the best source is the 'keyword cloud' at 123RF (look at your personal home page near the bottom).  The cloud shows the top fifty words used for downloads in your own portfolio.  Again, in my case, despite having probably thousands of files with the copyspace keywords, those words do not appear in my 123RF cloud.

So all the evidence suggests that istock were correct in their analysis - these words are hardly ever used by buyers.  And in fact because some agencies penalise images based on numbers of keywords, having these unnecessary words might actually result in fewer sales.

Nowadays I never include any of those words.

General Stock Discussion / Re: Cavan Images
« on: January 10, 2018, 13:24 »
You need to be careful about Cavan.  I believe this was originally just a Getty photographer who decided to allow other photographers to contribute to Getty through the Cavan brand.  Gradually that activity has expanded.  I believe Cavan has been able to negotiate good placement terms with Getty (and Fotolia Premium, Offset etc) because of good quality and past success, and Cavan are now capitalising on their position in the market by allowing lots of other photographers to use their brand.  In other words it is a successful photographer who has now become an 'agency'.  No harm in that of course.  Note that although they say they pay 50%, I believe what they pay is 50% of whatever they are paid by the other agencies.  So basically they are a portal through which others can gain access to Getty etc in exchange for giving Cavan 50% of the income.  Again no harm in that of course, so long as people are aware.

Shutterstock.com / Re: New algorithm change on Shutterstock
« on: January 10, 2018, 13:16 »
Very poor start to the year.  Sales running at only 50% of usual expectations.  Something appears to have changed, as others have pointed out.  Disappointed.

iStockPhoto.com / Re: Downloads Year To Date
« on: January 10, 2018, 12:32 »
Mine is showing and seems to be updating a few times a day (it reset to 0 on 1st Jan).

Thanks for pointing this out.  I wasn't aware of the 'downloads year to date' but I found it as you suggested and have been watching it last couple days.  Yes, it changes throughout the day apparently in real time.  Not as good as proper real time reporting of course, but at least it's something to watch as a guide to download activity.

iStockPhoto.com / Istock uploads - no views or sales
« on: December 12, 2017, 02:50 »
I started uploading a few batches of work to istock again a couple months ago.  I haven't really uploaded much since going non-exclusive two years ago.

I recall that the priority keyword system got broken a few years back and making views or sales from new uploads became very much a hit or miss affair (mostly miss).  Thing is - I'm still seeing very few views on newly uploaded files.  And I mean very VERY few views.  Some entire batches have zero views.

I remember they tried to remedy the problem by introducing the ability to put keywords into priority order in DeepMeta, but that didn't seem to work very well - the files still got jumbled keywords when they hit the site.  That function is no longer available.

Is anyone having success with new uploads to istock, or is the thing still broken from years back?

I've now tried out most of the RAW converters and the one that stands head and shoulders above the others (for me) is Photo Ninja.  Exceptional quality and beautiful rendition of lighting.  Completely eliminates all wormy artifacts. Very nice sharp results.  This is the one for me and I'll now stop trying out others.

Enjoying using my new Fuji equipment.  However I find the results from the 18-55 lens rather hit and miss, with an unacceptably high number of blurry and out-of-focus results.  I've searched through the internet forums and find that many people have had problems with this lens - something to do with a conflict between the OIS system and the camera body.  I updated the body and lens firmware but the results are still patchy.  Never got this sort of thing with my Canon gear.  Looks like I'll have to get this lens exchanged or checked, or upgrade to the more expensive 16-55 F2.8.

I read a review of this lens which got excellent results.  But the reviewer qualified that statement with the remark 'if you can get a good one'.  Seems there's lots of variation in quality for this lens in particular.  Shame, because it's a nice size and weight lens, whereas the 16-55 is more like a housebrick.

Adobe Stock / Adobe/Fotolia sales volatility
« on: November 30, 2017, 00:47 »
I've noticed a declining trend in sales and views over the past few months.  Others have commented about an apparent change in geographical exposure.  What I'm experiencing is a dramatic change in sales volume from one day to the next.  Fotolia used to be very reliable but nowadays I get very good days followed by very bad days, then another good day etc.  A good day might be in the 25-35 sales, a bad day will drop to perhaps just a dozen.  Today I got only a handful of sales, whereas yesterday was in the 'normal' range.

This change in sales pattern seems to be accelerating, with the variance between good and bad becoming more pronounced.

I did some searches to see if that might give some answers.  I was surprised to see a big emphasis on illustrations in my search results.  Then, a couple days later, I did the same searches and the results were dominated by photos.

I'll guess that Adobe/Fotolia has got some 'clever' tech people who have come up with all these ideas about how to provide variation for customers, how to give better search results based on geographical location etc etc.  I remember that istock tried all these things years ago - none of them 'worked' and all that happened was that contributors got lower sales and became more and frustrated and confused.  In the end the entire istock search got broken (and the keyword priority system still appears to be broken today all these years later.

I'm certainly frustrated and confused.  Adobe/Fotolia has been a very good agency for me from when I went non-exclusive a couple years ago, but now all these 'clever techy' things are going on it just reminds me of all those frustrating years at istock.  Shame.

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