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Author Topic: Yuri Arcurs is raising the microstock quality bar  (Read 14290 times)

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« on: December 28, 2007, 19:09 »
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WOW!  Did you read on the SS forums about Yuri Arcurs' newest equipment acquisition for microstock work, a Hasselblad digital, 39mpx!!?  Using medium-format digital for microstock surely seems like overkill to me. 

I hope this doesn't become a standard anytime soon, or many of us will be sunk!  $80,000 for photo equipment is more than I can shell out right now (or at least this month.....) ;)
« Last Edit: December 28, 2007, 19:20 by HughStoneIan »


« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2007, 19:42 »
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That sort of equipment is more suited to sites like Alamy than MS. I wouldn't feel threatened by it in the slightest as the files are far too big and take up too much bandwidth to be even worth the time or effort.

But perfect for client work as we also use the Mamiya ZD.

« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2007, 19:44 »
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He's not raising the bar - it was already that high.

vonkara

« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2007, 19:51 »
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It's not only 80 000$ of equipment...it's 80 000$ + about 50 000$ for all the people who work whit him too. I don't know if this is for a month or a year but this guy is one of the hundred in the world who have that much equipment and people behind him.

He is also probably one of the only one who is selling at microstock. Seem to not be a waste of time even if he is that much talented. However in my opinion, microstock will probably stay for the microphotographer even if there's huge monster whit hasselblad who can scan your brain and take pictures through the clothes...

But at the same time, microstock seem to want that when we take pictures of wildlife for example, we capture the animal, give him some soporific pills and take the picture whit 4 high power lights over white whit 3 superb ladies who are making faces for background. Have to think about the 3 days of photoshoping needed to make the file accepted.

Just kidding a bit here, but since I started 6 months ago (not very long), I was taking 20 min. to photoshop, now it's taking me between 45 min to 1 hour 1/4 to make sure the file have a chance to be accepted. Much harder now ,that's sure.

« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2007, 21:30 »
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He's not raising the bar - it was already that high.


Wow again!  I guess with seasoned pros like Chapple or Rinder, I would expect them to be using the most megapixels in the business for big-ticket assignment/advertising/commercial-type shoots.  It just surprises me that they would use such gear with microstock in mind.

« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2007, 21:58 »
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Gee suddenly my Canon 1Ds Mark II seems like an "Kodak insta-matic"

« Reply #6 on: December 28, 2007, 22:33 »
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He is undoubtfully very talented regardless of the equipment

CCK

« Reply #7 on: December 28, 2007, 23:01 »
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I see even Yuri gets rejections, certainly makes me feel better about the 40% rejections I get at IS! ;D

« Reply #8 on: December 28, 2007, 23:17 »
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I see even Yuri gets rejections, certainly makes me feel better about the 40% rejections I get at IS! ;D

HA HA!  Yeah!!

However, now IStock can have no excuse for rejecting his Hassy photos for noise, pixelation, or artifacting, I think.  They'll have to come up with something more creative.  Perhaps "This photo is much too clear, sharp, and noise-free for our library."

CCK

« Reply #9 on: December 28, 2007, 23:49 »
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I see even Yuri gets rejections, certainly makes me feel better about the 40% rejections I get at IS! ;D

HA HA!  Yeah!!

However, now IStock can have no excuse for rejecting his Hassy photos for noise, pixelation, or artifacting, I think.  They'll have to come up with something more creative.  Perhaps "This photo is much too clear, sharp, and noise-free for our library."

How about "no camera can produce this clear photos, it must be computor generated"!

iofoto

  • iofoto.com
« Reply #10 on: December 29, 2007, 01:04 »
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I've been using the H2D/H3D-39s for 2 years now and there are some advantages to production flow. For example, to maximize a stock shoot, I may choose to shoot with an H3D-39. Only when editing later, do I decide which images go to RM, RF, or microstock. Having the larger file size provides options since some stock agencies prefer the larger 39mp files.

Another advantage is cropping. You can literally crop away half the image and still end up with a file larger than a 1DsMII. Cropping images to squares for better search results is easily accomplished with the larger file size.

On the other hand, a Hasselblad workflow takes about twice as much time, and keeping up with their continual software and firmware updates is no fun. (Our Hasselblad tech rep is on speed-dial!) The Hasselblad cameras also don't work much below freezing. Last winter, I was in North Dakota in zero degree (fahrenheit) temperatures... the H3D-39 would simply not work. Picked up the Canon and had no trouble whatsoever!

In summary, there's no camera  that's perfect for every situation. I believe that photographic creativity is partly driven by the technology at hand whether the photographer is using a Holga or a Hasselblad. In the end, its the vision that counts.

« Reply #11 on: December 29, 2007, 09:24 »
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 Cropping images to squares for better search results is easily accomplished with the larger file size.


Can you explain that a bit more please? SY

DanP68

« Reply #12 on: December 29, 2007, 10:34 »
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Gee suddenly my Canon 1Ds Mark II seems like an "Kodak insta-matic"


LOL Miz.  I'd love to have that insta-matic when shooting football however.   ;)

iofoto

  • iofoto.com
« Reply #13 on: December 29, 2007, 10:53 »
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 Cropping images to squares for better search results is easily accomplished with the larger file size.


Can you explain that a bit more please? SY

Sure, the square image fills more of the space allotted for a thumbnail. A square thumbnail appears larger than a corresponding vertical or horizontal and attracts the customer's eye. A square crop doesn't work for every image and takes some extra effort- however, a square crop is a good technique for varying the look of your portfolio within the search results.

« Reply #14 on: December 29, 2007, 11:25 »
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Great information, thanks ever so much. I can't use this at the moment with my photos (shooting with a "vintage" Canon300d doesn't allow for much cropping  :o ) But it is a really great tip for my abstracts and fractals as I can choose freely my image size there. I was always wondering what would be the "ideal" ratio to use for such images and you really helped me out! Like you said, not everything will work in a square format, but I will certainly bear it in mind.  ;D SY

« Reply #15 on: December 29, 2007, 13:21 »
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Ellen Boughn at Dreamstime blogged about composition and the merits of using a square frame - read it by going here.

« Reply #16 on: December 29, 2007, 14:04 »
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lets hope for his sake that the maximum file size is raised :)  Currently there is a 25 MP limit at shutterstock.


« Reply #17 on: December 29, 2007, 15:07 »
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I had some experiences with the 22MP Hasselblad digital back (the CF-22 linked to a Mamiya RZ 67 for the sake of precision) and the quality was outstanding.

I'm dubious just about one thing, alas the complete absence of digital noise.
There is some in the shadows using the CF-22, as neither Hasselblad can defy the laws of phisic.

22 MP (4080 x 5440 pixels) on a 36.7 x 49.0 mm sensor are not that much more spaced than in a Nikon D3 for example and 39 MP on the same sized sensor would lead to some more noise for sure. Probably they enhanced the cooling of the sensor as the CF-22 is very prone to heating (it is cooled by a fan to minimize the problem).

This tidbit of information just to keep you all from commiting crazy acts like selling your wife to grab this toy tomorrow  ;D

« Reply #18 on: December 31, 2007, 21:06 »
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Hate to say this but he's just at least doubled his processing time and increased his overhead.  I have a 1Ds Mark II shooting at 16.7 mp.  I have to downsize my images for certain agencies (like BigStock and Canstock) because the file size is too big sometimes (they only allow files of 10mb or less in any format).  He will have to do the same.

Additionally, did you notice in his post on Shutterstock how his computer processing time has increased?  Along with that camera, he's going to have to upgrade his computer's processing speeds - either new computers or more memory.

Upload time is another issue as upload time increases with file size.

I think his heart is in the right place, but I have to question the business decision if he continues to follow his practice of only submitting to micros.  I upgraded in size to get to 48mb tiff files for macros in an easier way - not to satisfy the microstock agencies.

I hope, for his sake, that he starts contributing to traditional agencies in order to expand his business.  The decision to upgrade to that level is a little premature IMO for microstock.

« Reply #19 on: December 31, 2007, 21:37 »
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Yep that's impressive.
He is doing RM as well, although i have never found wich image/agency. He kept it secret.  ;)

Now could it be possible that he got his blad... free??? i mean he got so much exposure that i wouldn't be surprise that " Hasselblad" gives one in return for " advertisement"....... kind of sponsoring  :)

Happy new year 2008.......... now let me check my lottery tickets  ;D

« Reply #20 on: December 31, 2007, 22:05 »
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Yep that's impressive.
He is doing RM as well, although i have never found wich image/agency. He kept it secret.  ;)

Now could it be possible that he got his blad... free??? i mean he got so much exposure that i wouldn't be surprise that " Hasselblad" gives one in return for " advertisement"....... kind of sponsoring  :)

This is from Yuri's DT profile - I take it to read that yes, he was given his blad for free.  What an excellent Christmas present:  Extremely dedicated when it comes to digital quality Yuri just recently became officially sponsored by Hasselbald and will by Jan, 2008 produce exclusively with the Hasselblad Digital Medium Format Camera, H3D-II-39 at 39 Mega Pixel. Only a handful of photographers world wide are sponsored by Hasselblad.


Lee - if you are out there, he mentions your blog in his profile as well.

I think he goes by logos or something like that on other sites.

Yuri_Arcurs

  • One Crazy PhotoManic MadPerson
« Reply #21 on: January 03, 2008, 07:45 »
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Here is the SS post that this thread is about. http://submit.shutterstock.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=30399&highlight=yuri+arcurs+check+cheque

Did he get the Hasselblad for free?: I cant discus my sponsorship with Hasselblad in financial details because I am not allowed. Sorry. I will however say that I am very happy for the agreement.very happy.

To IOFoto:
Try the new H3D-II-39 and not the H3D-39 and all your problems (speeddial to hassy tech etc.) will be over. The new Hasselblad back uses the exact same sensor as the older Phase one model, but it is streamlined with the Hasselblad housing and works without any problems at all. The old versions where a pain to work with and I have spent endless hours just restarting computers and trying to actually connect the camera to the computer. (Worked on a H2D-39, as you can see on my exif data on older files) The new version is much better; in fact I would say its a completely new experience.

Workflow:
Yes it is a doubling or a tripling of workflow. The files are 250% percent bigger and the RAW files are 800-1000% percent larger then canons. However, simultaneously to switching to Hasselblad workflow, we upgraded our entire IT department. Four new quad macs, new server, new network and new laptops. The workflow is probably 250% bigger, but our total IT capacity experienced a must bigger facelift, so the total workflow is actually faster today. Loading and saving a 39mp Tiff file from our server into a workstation takes less then a second.

Real problems:

Size limitations both in mega pixel and in mega byte on microstock agencies are really a pain and becoming increasingly irritating.
Customers starting to download a full res, but when finding out that the full res is 20 or more mb he/she cancels the download and regrets. (this is mostly a problem on SS and StockXpert).
Memory allocation maximum in Photoshop due to being a 32bit software is really a problem.

Benefits:
Unmatched quality. Canon files look overfiltred and pressed to the maximum compared to Hasselblad files. Very clean and natural looking files with great skin tones. Skin tones are brown and not yellow or saturated looking.
Cropping space such as IOFoto mentioned. A very nice feature allowing us to crop almost completely as we wish and still have a high res image as end result.
The pictures we produce today will still be high res in five years or more from now.
No fringing removal.
No canon jeggies in hairlines and sharp files that needs blurring away.
No noisenone.
Better focus Almost no files lost due to being out of focus.
High shutterspeeds with flash up to 500/1 sec with no problem.
Easy uncompressed upload to Alamy, no need for upsizing.
Easy and functional direct shooting onto our servers.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2008, 07:48 by Yuri_Arcurs »

« Reply #22 on: January 03, 2008, 08:53 »
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On the other hand, a Hasselblad workflow takes about twice as much time, and keeping up with their continual software and firmware updates is no fun. (Our Hasselblad tech rep is on speed-dial!) The Hasselblad cameras also don't work much below freezing. Last winter, I was in North Dakota in zero degree (fahrenheit) temperatures... the H3D-39 would simply not work. Picked up the Canon and had no trouble whatsoever!

Maybe they shd call it Hassle-bad.

« Reply #23 on: January 03, 2008, 10:02 »
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well despite all our grumbling and complaining I don't think too many of us would turn down a Hassleblad offer :)

« Reply #24 on: January 03, 2008, 10:08 »
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Leaf.... that all depends on what I would have to do to keep the camera, otherwise, I would much rather use my own favorite toys.....without having to be beholden is a great thing.


 

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