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Messages - gostwyck

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Off Topic / Re: GO Greece!
« on: July 09, 2015, 18:57 »
Must watch, 4 minute speech by Nigel Farage:

He wants to split up Europe but wanted to keep Scotland in the UK.  Never quite understood how he can argue for one union so passionately while doing all he can to break up another one.  I also don't like how he tolerated so many racists in his party and didn't keep his promise to quit the leadership if he wasn't elected as an MP.  He is just like most politicians, a huge ego and no principles.

The union of the UK has been in existence for over 300 years and is democratically approved. In short ... it works. In contrast the UK public only ever voted to join the 'Common Market', a simple trade agreement and that was 40 years ago. Almost all of us would still vote in favour of that. What we don't want or need is the EU dictating 80% of the laws that govern us, unbridled immigration, excessive cost and little democracy or accountability. We're not interested in a federal Europe .. because it won't work ... as is proven by the issues with Greece amongst many others.

Farage did resign as leader immediately after the election (in which he won nearly 4M votes but secured only one seat, more votes in fact than the SNP who won 57 seats in parliament) but was persuaded to 'un-resign' three days later.

But hey ... I'm sure you know all this but feel free to distort it and leave out most of the pertinent facts to suit your own little agenda.

Anyway ... back on the topic of Greece.

Off Topic / Re: GO Greece!
« on: July 09, 2015, 15:36 »

The EU's Dirty Secret: Germany Is The Biggest Welfare Recipient There Is

The standard way of thinking about the eurozone is this: Germany is strong, France is a bit less strong, and everyone else mooches off their strength.

Certainly that's how it's appeared lately, post-crisis, but that's thinking way too small.

Floyd Norris at NYT sheds some light on what's actually been the case, going back to the creation of the Euro: Germany is the biggest beneficiary around, and everyone else has been losers.

Basically, because periphery countries like Portugal and Greece and Spain are not able to devalue their currencies to a point where they have competitive labor forces, Germany is the huge winner.

Its trade balance has surged from being in a small deficit pre-Euro to a huge surplus post euro.

Sans euro, Germany's neighbors would be far more competitive than they are now. Also, if we went back to each country having their own currencies, the Deutsche Mark would surge beyond where the euro is now, making Germany even less competitive as BMWs became less affordable for everyone else.

The workers of Spain, Italy, France and everyone else are crippled to benefit the Germans, and its insistence on a strong Euro. Also it should be noted that pre-crisis, the huge consumption booms in countries like Greece were another subsidy to the Germans.

It's ironic, then, that German politicians are giving Merkel such a hard time about bailing out her peers. It seems like a classic case of overvaluing the seen -- direct transfers to other countries -- over the unseen, the pernicious effects of currency system that doesn't work.

It's certainly true that Germany has benefitted hugely from being in the Eurozone ... but that is their reward for their industries being highly competitive and their citizens for being thrifty.

It seems that in Germany the workforce has largely accepted minimal increases in pay for over a decade __  in total contrast to the French for example where prices have increases hugely since the Euro was introduced. If you visit both countries you'll probably be quite shocked to discover how cheap it is in Germany and also how expensive it can be in France.

Before the crash the frugal nature of the German people was considered to be a brake on their own economy. They were producing great cars, furniture, white goods, etc but too many Germans preferred to keep their money in the bank rather than spend it. Their behaviour is quite different to citizens of the UK for example, many of whom will keep spending on stuff until their credit is maxed-out.

Yes, Germany is now doing very well from being in the Eurozone but it is only because of their own hard work and self-discipline. It is something that less efficient countries should admire and seek to emulate rather than being envious and critical.

Off Topic / Re: GO Greece!
« on: July 08, 2015, 13:55 »
The debt is unpayable. 275 billion for a country of 11 million people. That's 25k per person, including babies and retirees. Greece needs to default and start printing drachmas, something that should've been done 5 years ago. Today is Greece, tomorrow could/will be Spain, Portugal, Italy, Ireland, France.

The ECB is printing 1 trillion euros exclusively to the banks anyway, and nobody cares. Why the people should pay the price for idiotic deals between corrupt governments and sick eurocrats?

The Greek debt is not 'unpayable'. Greece spends 45B on state pensions with a population of 11M. In contrast the UK (which is reasonably generous) spends 80B on state pensions with a population of 66M. Greece is spending over 3x more per person than the UK on pensions despite the cost of living in Greece being about half that of the UK.

If Greece were to reduce their spending on pensions to UK levels, relative to population size, then they could pay off their entire debt in about 10 years.

Off Topic / Re: GO Greece!
« on: July 02, 2015, 16:06 »
All I know is it used to be a cheap holiday in Greece when they had the Drachma and I presume they were making more from the tourists that went there instead of more expensive places?  So it must make some difference?

But how are greeks going to buy goods from europe with drachmas? We would have to work all summer with people coming for cheap holidays just to buy in return a new fridge, tv, computer and video camera!

How will someone repay a loan he took in euros to invest in a small apartments to rent tourism company when he has to repay in drachmas? Impossible.

It worked for Iceland. When they went bust their currency was tied to the Euro. They had to devalue (to roughly half the original exchange rate) and it certainly caused some pain but ... five years later the economy was back in growth.

Yes, imports become more expensive with a devaluation but then exports become more valuable too. It stimulates the local economy. A cheaper Greece would be much more attractive to foreign investors and therefore would actually have money flowing into the country rather than out of it (as has been the case in Greece for the last few years). Foreign investment in manufacturing, because wages are cheaper, also brings many more jobs. You wouldn't have to import fridges and tv's if they were actually made in Greece instead.

Greece has already had several painful years of austerity however, in contrast to Iceland, they have absolutely nothing to show for it other than a much bigger debt than they had before. By staying in the Euro they are just extending their pain and humiliation (by having policies forced upon them by foreign lenders) seemingly forever.

Well something seems to be working. Although sub sales volume is about half the normal rate I've already had SOD's of $61 and $127 so far today.

Wow! I can hardly believe that I just read an entire interview/article on stock photography ... and the word "curated" wasn't used even once. That's amazing!

i have low sales last two weeks, , but its getting better, this week could be better, we see how much od will be today

In the Western world there is an annual vacation called 'Easter'. It's happening right now. When fewer people are working then fewer images tend to be downloaded.

Bizarrely it appears to have happened at roughly the same time each year for the entire 10 years I've been selling microstock images. How weird is that?!

Cameras / Lenses / Re: New Canon full frame DSLR 50MP!
« on: January 30, 2015, 20:02 »
Great news, I guess. The question is how much will it cost?

I very much doubt it. Way too much of a shift from Canon's recent positions.

General - Top Sites / Re: The Wall
« on: January 30, 2015, 20:00 »
I have to partially disagree with that explanation, its only part of the phenomenon. You could have 15,000 landscape shots, and hit a wall, but as soon as you add 1000 lifestyle images you may just as easy get a bump in earnings.

As usual, you have no idea whatsoever what you are talking about . Your posts are just constant and meaningless noise that clutter this forum and make the good stuff so much harder to find. Elena however does know what she's talking about ... and that is reflected in her sales. Why not wait until your own sales justify some knowledge of the industry before expressing your opinion?


I really don't recall that, as far as I remember the TS rate has been the same ever since I joined.
* Correction * I see that they increased the rate from 25 to 28c in Jan 2011, a year after the programme started, not sure you can claim credit for that, though.

No, I wouldn't expect you remember the facts let alone to thank or even acknowledge the steadfast position of your fellow contributors that secured your royalty increase. Why would you?

For several years you have quite deliberately undermined your fellow contributor ... as you are doing yet again with DT ... because apparently, to quote yourself, you think you might get a beer out of it. Well done you.

Hope you enjoy that beer and can live with how you sold out so cheaply, once again, to the detriment of your fellow contributor. Like I said, a leopard really doesn't change it's spots. Once a cheap sell-out ... always a cheap sell-out.


I didn't say "always", I was referring to my assessment of this particular issue. I don't think that having some thumbnails pop up in Google adverts will adversely affect ordinary sales. So it is a case of some images earning a little bit more than they would otherwise. Of course, I might be wrong, but as far as I can see there isn't really any downside to this (and there certainly is with the DPC which is aiming at undercutting the entire industry - that's a completely different kettle of fish).

Well the PP wasn't "undercutting the entire industry" either, it was 'just' undercutting the subscription royalties paid to contributors at SS, DT and FT. But you still volunteered your portfolio for it at the first opportunity. I hope you enjoyed the beer you got out of it whilst the rest of us successfully held out for the higher royalty payments we earned for you.


<Sigh> You won't so much 'devalue the market' but, by your actions, you certainly devalue your own portfolio. You were amongst the first to dive into Istock's PP and I'm quite sure, if you were still with FT, that you'd have opted-in to the DPC too.

DPC was fundamentally different from the Thinkstock. But thank you for telling me what I would have done. I didn't know that.

Well, as you pointed out a few posts earlier, you are always happy to opt-in your images if you think there might be a beer in it for you. Me thinks a leopard cannot change his spots.

I'm opting into this because it might be a bit more money and I'm d'mned sure none of my images is so wonderful that 10,000 advertisers would grab it for free just because it is one of a pile available free. I'll probably get a handful selected and be able to buy a beer with the proceeds.
There may be a "devalues the market" argument, but since we all opted out of the mysterious free give-away last year and there are still enough images available for DT to go ahead with this, being opted in or out is going to make no difference to that at all.

<Sigh> You won't so much 'devalue the market' but, by your actions, you certainly devalue your own portfolio. You were amongst the first to dive into Istock's PP and I'm quite sure, if you were still with FT, that you'd have opted-in to the DPC too.

There is a major problem with these 'fantastic opportunities' that involve major operators such as Google or Microsoft. As we know from previous similar deals at IS and FT you will likely lose control of any images involved forever.

A few of my images were 'selected' for both the IS and FT deals which again was supposedly for a time-limited period of one year. I got paid a handful of change for maybe 20 images. Thirty months later all the images were still available for free to anyone who wanted them and had been downloaded thousands of times. Things/personal had moved on at all of the companies involved and no-one was interested in doing anything about the issue (or could even remember what the original deal was).

As far as I'm concerned my images are widely available for cheap enough prices already. If a potential user wants to pay less then I'd rather they go elsewhere. If Google want to give images away for free then they are wealthy enough to buy the images outright or create their own content.

DT need to be stronger and negotiate a MUCH better deal for us ... or recognise what a waste of time this is and walk away from it.

Nikon / Re: More strange marks showing on D200
« on: January 20, 2015, 13:20 »
It's not a good idea to use a blower as you can accidentally transfer lubrication onto the sensor (which looks like may have happened on your example above). I'd also recommend the Visible Dust cleaning kit.

16 / Re: Bravo Shutterstock
« on: January 14, 2015, 15:01 »
I didn't say iStock didn't cut rates or fotolia or 123rf or any other company.  My response was to the person claiming that Shutterstock had never done it.  They have, that's the only point I was making.

What was that? Could you just clarify your point (for about the four-hundreth time on this and other threads)? When did SS ever cut rates?

The USPs of SS are the quality of the search results and all images being the same price. That saves time and time is money to image buyers. Oringer has concentrated on providing a service to buyers ... not just selling image licences for the lowest possible price.

FT's search, in comparison to SS, is frankly awful because no weighting whatsoever appears to be given to the most relevant keywords. Search results are also heavily weighted towards the newest images too which increases the irrelevance of results and suppresses the best images once they are more than a year or so old.

FT risk damaging their own business model with DPC anyway. I can only hope it never really becomes successful.

Canon / Re: What is the Advantage of IS on Canon Lenses?
« on: December 27, 2014, 21:05 »
They reckon IS can make up to 2 f-stops of difference. If you can hold your camera reasonably steady then, in studio conditions at least, IS shouldn't make any difference at all. If you can't actually hold your camera steady then I doubt that IS will be of much help anyway. If you're shooting for stock then I would struggle to believe that you would make significantly more money with an IS lens than a non-IS lens.

If you happen to find yourself with an unexpected and totally amazing low-light opportunity ... with only a non-IS lens to hand ... you could always up the ISO by a couple of stops to have pretty much the same effect.

Practice the correct grip of a DSLR camera/lens assembly and how to 'freeze' when clicking the shutter. That's way, way more important than having an IS lens __ and much cheaper too.

Photo Critique / Re: Style, where to focus
« on: November 26, 2014, 13:05 »
Don't worry about landscapes. Just try to pick different types of images. Bright and simple __ images that will stand-out and be understood at thumbnail size.

Remember also to make sure no logos or obvious 'designs' are visible. For example the little girl's distinctive pink boots may be rejected as being a potential design. She's a superb little model though!

I too think that your work is far too good to be sold at microstock prices. Your buyers are looking for something different and will be prepared to pay a lot more. I'd definitely suggest both Stocksy and Offset. Hopefully they'll both accept you and you will then be able to upload a different portfolio to each so that you can evaluate which agency sells best for you.

Good luck!

20 / Re: Have DT sales slumped?
« on: November 26, 2014, 12:41 »
Yes and no ... sales are indeed very low (about 55% of November 2013), but I can't say it's bizar or unexpected, since September and October had the same problem  :(

The previous 3 months were disappointing ... but nothing like this. My revenue for November is currently projected to be just 41% of Nov 2013.

What happened to EL's at DT too? I used to have a few almost every month but I think I may have had just one in the entire year so far. Similar story at FT.

21 / Re: Istock being absorbed into Getty ...
« on: November 26, 2014, 10:55 »

Yep.  My sales in June 2014 were reported around July 20, 2014 and the payment arrived in my account on September 25, 2014.

Sales at Istock Sean? Have they re-opened your account?

22 / Re: Have DT sales slumped?
« on: November 26, 2014, 10:51 »
I know this is an old thread but not much point in starting another.

My sales at DT this month are bizarrely low __ literally 50% or less than I might have expected.

I'd have to go back to early 2006, back in the days when all images cost $1 and all royalties were 50c, to find such a low monthly total.

Anyone else finding the same?

23 / Re: Istock being absorbed into Getty ...
« on: November 25, 2014, 14:40 »
I can't see Istock HQ still being open in Calgary by the end of 2015.

I know Lobo is insisting on the IS forum that "The Calgary HQ isn't going anywhere". I'm sure he is correct. Those offices will still be in Calgary ... just being rented by a different business.

24 / Istock being absorbed into Getty ...
« on: November 25, 2014, 12:26 »
... with some implications for contributors;

Dear Contributor,

As you may know, iStock has been operating as a separate business unit in the Getty Images family and all of iStocks customer and contributor relationships have been tied to iStockphoto LP, a Calgary-based company.

Over the past several years, we have been taking steps to integrate and operate as a unified business. The benefits of this unified approach are increased cross-selling to customers, increased cross-placement of content to maximize sales potential and a more efficient business allowing us to increase investment in customer-facing improvements. We are still early in realizing the benefits of this unification and are now ready to incorporate iStock into the Getty Images global legal structure to set the foundation for further progress.

How does this affect me?

On December 15, 2014, we will amend the Artists Supply Agreement (ASA) to change the Compensation section to reflect that you will no longer be required to request payments. The ASA amendment will be made available on the site for your review and acceptance at least 30 days in advance of any changes to the payment systems.

After the new ASA has taken effect (January 15, 2015), and once the ability to request payment has been removed (the last day to request payment will be January 21, 2015), account balances of $100 and over will be paid to contributors automatically on a monthly basis. Additionally, on January 31, 2015, your contributor agreement will be assigned by iStockphoto LP to Getty Images (US), Inc. All of the revised 2014 ASA terms will remain exactly the same except the agreement will be with Getty Images (US), Inc., not iStockphoto LP.

As a U.S. company, Getty Images (US), Inc. is required to follow Internal Revenue Service regulations, therefore withholding taxes may apply to your payments beginning in early 2015. As part of this change and to aid you with the transition, we will have an automated online interview process on iStock that will help determine the appropriate documentation each contributor should provide to Getty Images. Additionally, through this online interview process you can complete the appropriate forms and submit them. Links to this process will be available in the Contributor Tools section of your iStock profile starting January 22, 2015. 2014 payments will not be impacted by this change

What do I need to do now?

We recommend that you ensure that your mailing address and contact information are correct on your Profile page

We also recommend that you create an account with either PayPal or Payoneer if you do not currently have an account. This can be done directly on the PayPal or Payoneer websites. Skrill (Moneybookers) will no longer be a payment option once the ability to request payment has been removed.

We wanted to give you some advance notice about what is happening so you can be ready for the coming changes. We will provide you with additional details regarding payment and tax as we get closer to launch

In the meantime please take this opportunity to review the FAQs and make note of these important dates.


The iStock Team

25 / Re: Very poor sales in Nov!! :(
« on: November 24, 2014, 17:32 »
For us who did not get lazy and slack off, but have been uploading our max ability week after week for years and keep at it, but still see sales and income dropping, any suggestions?   A bit simple to say just produce more and watch the money roll in at this late stage in the game.

I don't know your port. I would suggest trying some new things outside your comfort zone. I went back and reprocessed some images to give them the Instagram look, and they started selling better than the ones with normal processing.

Thank you.  Good suggestion.  I have tried doing some things like this and they do sell, but this takes time and I can still only produce so many good hcv images per week without help.  With reducing income I don't even consider taking on help.

It is nice when people like Rinder and Rob share suggestions.  Most do not anymore.  They are worth trying.

  For me, I planned to try doubling output for six months to see if I could increase income average near past levels.  So far I haven't been able to double the output. I hope maybe after Xmas I can try it and keep quality and originality.   If it succeeds it will be a lot of work. At least if it fails I can take a nap and spend more time with my kids!

Try using the Catalogue Manager at SS to monitor how much your new work is actually making. Create a new Set for each month's work (i.e. containing all the images uploaded during that month) and it will continually update the sales and revenue generated by those images.

From that you will be able to derive the revenue per image/month. I reckon a microstock image to have a 'working life' of about 5 years so if you multiply the revenue per month by 60x then you will have roughly projected how much your month's work is likely to be worth over its full term.

I recently created a Set for each month worked over the last couple of years. I found the results both surprising and highly motivating. I discovered that newer images were much more important to maintaining or increasing revenue on SS than I was previously aware. Most importantly I've determined that creating new images is most definitely still worthwhile __ even if you only uploaded them to SS. The revenue from other agencies is just an additional bonus!

Great suggestion!  I never knew that was possible to do.  I will spend some time to set this up.  If my results are like yours, it will be motivation to spend the time making more volume of new work.  Many thanks for constructive idea.

You're welcome! I don't know why I didn't think of it before. I regret having been so lazy for the last few months whilst being unaware how much it was costing me in 'opportunity lost'. It's actually quite exciting when it updates each day to see how your last couple of months work is doing.

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