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Messages - bobkeenan

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1
General Stock Discussion / Dreamstime Exclusivity Issue
« on: October 09, 2015, 12:39 »
About 3 years ago I uploaded about 12 images to Dreamstime as exclusive photos (I have about 1400 unexclusive images there now) just to see if it was a better way to make money.  I do not think any sold so that was the end of that experiment.

Today I get an email, kind of a scary one, from Dreamstime, that they discovered one of the exclusive images on 3 other sites.  I use about 12 sites.

I immediately removed the exclusivity from all 12 of the Dreamstime images.  And then went to each site, found the image, and deleted it.  As far as I could tell the image generated no sales anywhere.

I wrote back to Dreamstime about what I had done.   And am waiting for a response.

Do you think Dreamstime will be ok with what I have done or will they get nasty about it?

I will follow up with how they respond to my actions.

2
Software - General / New Photos for Mac is no Aperture
« on: March 10, 2015, 13:05 »
I got to try out the new Photos for Mac.  I have been a user of Aperture for several years and it fits both my personal and microstock needs.  I very rarely use PS any more.  So I was a happy camper till Apple decided to drop any future development of that software.

I had high hopes for the new Photos for Mac.  But, right now,  it seems much more like iPhotos than Aperture.  Key missing  stuff is no curves adjustment.  Curves adjustment is a large part of my workflow.  They do provide a levels adjustment but its confusing and too course a tool.  There is also no star rating.  They have sharpen but no edge sharpen.   No Burn and dodge.   Very few to no brush options .

So anybody else try it?  What do you think?

Anybody switch to lightroom or another software with success?

3
Pond5 / Why no sales show up in earnings area?
« on: August 03, 2014, 22:54 »
Just jointed pond5.  About a month ago uploaded and got approved about 1000 images.   I have had 4 images sell in the past 4 weeks that show up in email notifications.

But nothing shows up in the earnings area of the Pond5 site?   Is there a delay of some sort.  I emailed customer support and am waiting for an answer but the first answer provided no information.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD

4
Pond5 / How to batch price?
« on: July 14, 2014, 17:01 »
I am brand new to Pond 5.  I just uploaded about 800 images.  I would like to select them all and set the price for all 800 at once.   It is not clear to me how to do this.

5
Just submitted 22 images.  My rule in the past has been only do 10-15. But hey I was feeling lucky.   Only 2 got accepted????  They threw out a bunch of really good and unique images.   OH well... Back to 10 images at a time I guess


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD

6
123RF / Re: How is your sales?
« on: January 30, 2013, 11:47 »
123 RF has always been a sleeper for me and ranks about 4th in my portfolio.  BUT in Jan they took off for some reason and are now 2nd for me?  Have no idea why.

7
A few thoughts.  Don't feel bad about SS rejections now or in the future.  They just happen no matter how nice your photos are.  For your qualification photos don't submit anything fancy.  No shallow DOF's, no sun or light reflection.  Don't do anything that comes close to having any copyright issues like the globe.   Then look at each image at 100%, the whole image.  There can be no noise.  And the main subject has to be totally in focus.  In fact for your qual shots try only submitting images that are only above f8.

I picked out some of my favorites and got rejected.  I then looked at my top sellers and only picked the ones that matched what I said above and got in.   

Oh.... and you can do everything right and still get a reviewer who is having a bad day.... and oops you are rejected.

Good luck and keep plugging away.

8
I called the IRS on this one.   They recommended that I use Schedule E as it was a royalty.   TT does have entries for 1099-misc and other payments in the royalties area.  There are also lines for putting in expenses.   I did not ask about expenses.... should have.   Various posts on the internet on this subject is that as soon as you start trying to take deductions you look more like a business which means more paperwork, increasde audit possibilities, cities looking for business permits, etc.

So the way I see it my options are:

1. Input it in the hobby income line with expenses.   The tax is higher this way but If I put a 1099-misc in there it could trigger an audit? But it still looks like a hobby.
2. Put it in the schedule C and list expenses and/or depreciation camera stuff.  But now it looks like you are a business.  Audit time?  City Permits?  But here you get the least tax.
3. Put in Schedule E.  TT takes it.  List no expenses to avoid audits and it still looks like a hobby.  No City permits.  Higher tax.

So.... I think I will go with 3.   But if my sales keep increasing to the point where I am making more than the cost of my equipment, then,  I think it will be time to get a tax accountant.

Let me know if I am really wrong on any of this stuff... thanks.

9
I spend more money on my Photo Equipment than I make in Microstock.   I do Microstock to help pay for my hobby.   In a few years I might have made enough to break even on my expenses (@$20K) but that is not my goal.   So that sounds like a hobby and not a business right?

But this year I got a 1099-Misc from a couple of the agencies.   I use  turbotax and when you get a 1099-Misc that drives you to fill out schedule C and basically the Govt wants to treat you like a business.

I would rather just total up the 1099-Misc and other non 1099-misc income from my microstock and input in the hobby income along with a cost of doing business that is about the same amount..... but that could be an audit red flag.

What do you you non-business guys do?

10
About a couple weeks after I bought this great camera I dropped it. Oh and I also had a new Tamrom 24-70 f2.8 VC lens on it. The camera still worked but had a big ding on it.




The lens Auto focus got messed up and had to be repaired. A hood saved the glass.

How did I drop it and how I wont do it again can be found in detail on my blog here.

But essentially is was operator error. I used an arca plate on the camera with no safety stops.... I have them now.

11
Shutterstock.com / Re: Downsized for acceptance??
« on: November 15, 2012, 13:08 »
I had posted about a blog that I wrote about http://www.bobkeenanphoto.com/my-microstock-sales/.  I posted that I wrote this on a bunch of forums and have been getting some interesting responses.

One guy says he gets really good results downsizing the images to no more than 4mb.   He says that eliminates a lot of the noise issues still keeps the the details sharp.   He says he gets a good acceptance rate with that.


Anybody else experience this?   I always thought that customers would want the largest file they can get.  But maybe most customers can use the 4mb images and maybe that does cutdown on noise.    I may have to try this and see what happens.


And the results are.... 2 our of 13 submitted were accepted from the batch of downsized image.  Mostly for noise and focus.   So that experiment failed.  Back to full images and Topas denoise when needed.

12
Shutterstock.com / Re: Downsized for acceptance??
« on: November 10, 2012, 22:18 »
Started an experiment.  Have never done this before.  Most of my images are on the order of 5760 3840 pixels unless I crop.  So with a batch of 12 images I downsized them to a maximum of 3500 on a side.   So it will be interesting to see if that has any impact on my acceptance rate

13
Shutterstock.com / Downsized for acceptance??
« on: November 04, 2012, 18:42 »
I had posted about a blog that I wrote about http://www.bobkeenanphoto.com/my-microstock-sales/.  I posted that I wrote this on a bunch of forums and have been getting some interesting responses.

One guy says he gets really good results downsizing the images to no more than 4mb.   He says that eliminates a lot of the noise issues still keeps the the details sharp.   He says he gets a good acceptance rate with that.


Anybody else experience this?   I always thought that customers would want the largest file they can get.  But maybe most customers can use the 4mb images and maybe that does cutdown on noise.    I may have to try this and see what happens.

14
Cameras / Lenses / My journey to the best DSLR camera bag
« on: October 30, 2012, 00:17 »
I have had a bunch of different camera bags over the past 5 years.   Most were either a mistake from the beginning or I out grew them with my increasing camera equipment.  I have learned a bunch from that experience so I wrote a blog post about it.  My best back is the Lowepro Flipside Sport 15L.

Here is the blog if you are interested.

http://www.bobkeenanphoto.com/bags-bags-bags-my-journey-to-the-best-dslr-camera-bag/

15
Shutterstock.com / Re: Shutterstock Love/ Hate
« on: October 07, 2012, 16:47 »
I just did a look at the last 8 months of submittals.  Here is what I found.   

If my stuff gets reviewed on a Sunday, 75% of the time I get most or all of the stuff approved.   Reviews on Friday are the worst.   About 50% of the time almost all of my stuff gets rejected the other 50% about 1/2 have get accepted.

All the other days of the week show no trend.

The bad news is trying to figure out when to submit to get it reviewed on Sunday. Because lead times for my reviews run from about 7-3 days.

And maybe my 8 months of data is random anyhow  ....   ;D


16
Shutterstock.com / Shutterstock Love/ Hate
« on: October 05, 2012, 22:55 »
They are main earner by far.  I love that.

But boy do they got hot and cold on acceptance.   I send one in this evening and got it back a few hours later.  100% Rejection!!!!    Previous submittal took over a week to review..... 100% acceptance.  I am just shaking my head.   I think my stuff got caught up in the Weekend Curse!

17
Here is a question.   Someone I know is starting up a new site has invited me to include some of my images.   I would offer fine art prints.   BUT.... the site wants limited edition run.   So maybe I only print 100 of a single image with a number system of "1 of xxx" and with my signature.

The questions is...... is this ethical to do this with stuff that that already been on lots of microstock sites (non-exclusive RF) for a couple of years.   I have not made any prints of them. 

What do you think?

18
Cameras / Lenses / How to buy DSLR stuff (Cameras, lenses, etc)
« on: September 23, 2012, 18:22 »
I got serious about photography about 5 years ago.  Messed around with it for 35 years prior.  When I got into DSLR cameras all of a sudden I am paying some serious money for this stuff.  It took me a few years to learn how to buy.   That included figuring out what I really wanted, what could I afford, where to buy it and other questions like that.  So I put a blog post together to share what I have learned.  You can read it here:

http://www.bobkeenanphoto.com/how-buy-dslr-stuff/

The short version is buy used or refurbished Canon or Nikon Cameras and Lens.  Sigma and Tamron are good as well.  Think a lot about what you want.  Read the reviews, talk to other photographers, rent one if you can.  Then buy it at your local camera shop if they are competitive.  If not use Ebay, B&H, Adorama, or Fred Miranda.  There is a lot more detail in my blog.  Let me know what you think.
--
Bob Keenan
http://www.bobkeenanphoto.com

19
I have about 820 images on Fotolia.   They are not big earners and my acceptance rate is fairly low (35%).... but I just submitted 13 images and they only took one.   Each failed image had the statement "did not meet our desired level of aesthetic quality".  What is weird is that the images spanned about 10 different shoots with differing subject.    I think I got a tired ticked off reviewer.

20
Many of you have probably read this book already.  But if not.....

Michael Freeman's book "Photographer's Eyes" is an amazing book for the art and compositionally challenged.   I first read it about 3 years ago and have read it 3 times since.   I have also read all of his other books.  But this one really affected me.   So I wrote a short blog about it here:

http://www.bobkeenanphoto.com/book-review-michael-freemans-photographers-eye-photographers-mind/

And thought I should share this thought on this forum.  It really provided a kind of turning point in my Microstock image work.  I am not a major microstock guy....but you should have seen my stuff before I read the book.

I would highly recommend any new photographers to check out his book.

21
The details of my title can be found in my blog at:

http://www.bobkeenanphoto.com/canon-versus-tamron-vc-24-70mm-f2-8-lenses/

But the essence is that I love my Canon 24-70mm f2.8 but for the kind of shots that I do I need the IS.  I had it with the 17-55 when I had an APS camera.

When Tamron came out with the VC version I jumped on it.  Even though I know Canon has great glass and I knew very little about Tamron.

So..... I am happy I made the switch.   Many of the finding in my blog match other reviews and finding.  I used Reikan's Focal to verify some sharpness info.  The Tamron is sharper at 70mm, the Canon better at 24mm.  There is some vignetting at 24mm on the Tamron.  I have not seen the onion bokeh.  I think the bokeh is nice.

Bottom line its a good lens and that VC makes my day!!

22
Alamy.com / Re: Learned a lesson today, space your submittals
« on: February 21, 2012, 20:56 »
I can't see your image at 100%...but I'll give you my experience.  I'm not sure what brand you shoot, but I shoot Canon and I own the 24-70 f/2.8L.  That lens sucks...big time.  It's great for editorial and reportage but for creative stock, it's the pits.  I'm willing to bet that the "soft and lacking definition" is a result of the lens being soft in the corners.  Take a look at the image at 100% and look at all four corners.  Is it soft?  Is it in focus?

I have an image submitted on the microstock agencies of a wind farm.  I couldn't submit the image to the traditional agencies I work with because all four corners were soft.  I cropped it to a smaller size and submitted it to the micros (that allow for smaller image sizes) and it has done very well.

That's my experience.

I don't think its the lens.   This was shot with the 24-70 f2.8  at 50mm and at f8.  I have never seen any significant corner problems.  Out of the close to 2000 images that I have on microstock sites I bet about 800 are from this lens.  Also if you look at all of the reviews for this lens they say that the only problems are when it is wide open or at the fulll ranges of the zoom.   This was at 50mm and f8.   So I would love to blame the lens but the problem is me and microstock.   To do this shot right I should have set it up on a tripod, cranked the iso down to 100, and taken it at f16 and maybe put the focus point a little further back on the fence to maximize the DOF at the beginning of the fence.

BTW if you can't tell I LOVE this lens.  My other love is the 70-200 f2.8... then my wife and kids   ;-)

23
Alamy.com / Re: Learned a lesson today, space your submittals
« on: February 21, 2012, 16:38 »
Yea... "Soft or Lacking Definition"

I focused on the leading fence post at f8.   And I was pretty close with a 24-70mm lens at 50mm.  My DOF was about 2 ft.  I got what I wanted which was a sharp front post drifting to a diminishing softer background.  And I know that microstock reviewers can be erratic and finicky about DOF.   So you always take your chances when you submit stuff like this I guess.

24
Alamy.com / Learned a lesson today, space your submittals
« on: February 21, 2012, 13:16 »
I submitted a batch of images a while ago.  It had not gone through QC yet but I had another batch to submit.  So I figured I would submit that as well.   It looks like one image in the first batch failed so they all failed and it also looks like the second batch failed as well because the first one, in the first batch did.   So what I learned is to submit a batch and wait for it to clear QC before you submit a second.

BTW the image that failed was my favorite image.   I don't print much of my stuff for personal use but my friends and family liked the image so much that they insisted I print and frame it.  That's like one out of 2000 in my portfolio.   It also has lots of copy space for commercial space.  So it was interesting for ALAMY to fail QC on this one.  Note it was also not accepted at most of the other sites that i use.    

There is just no accounting for tastes.... Its a shame that they they all all wrong and I am right on this one   ;-)

Here is the image that has gotten almost universal rejection:

25
Alamy.com / Why does it take so long to clear?
« on: February 20, 2012, 23:56 »
I made some good sales in the past few months and now I have several hundred dollars waiting to be cleared.  The question is why does it take soooooo long to clear? 

Are customers allowed to return images up to 45 days from purchase? 

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