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Messages - Susan S.

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1 / Re: sjlocke was just booted from iStock
« on: February 11, 2013, 20:30 »
I am totally gobsmacked by this. What a mindless, petty, idiotic thing for istock/getty to do. Ive always argued that their policies were a sign of incompetence rather than malice. Now in one fell swoop they have demonstrated that its quite possible to be both malicious and incompetent at one and the same time.

I cant think of anything else they could have done that would have demonstrated their complete and utter contempt for their contributor base so thoroughly.

New thread started by Mr Erin seems to indicate that there is some movement and they are working with Getty to amend this deal:

Weve heard you, and we've met with Google and are working with them to refine the implementation which we believe will address some of the concerns raised over the past several days--including copyright ownership.

Implementation aside, our goal is to do the best deals for Getty Images, iStockphoto and our contributors for the more than one million customers we service on an annual basis.

We want to stress that we realize the importance of copyright law, compliance and enforcement to our collective futures. Getty Images is a leader within our industry in advancing these ideas - including active participation in the legislative and government regulatory processes with numerous governing bodies around copyright issues. We also acquired and continue to invest aggressively in the PicScout ImageIRC platform to provide technical solutions for copyright compliance and we look forward to sharing new developments with you as this evolves.

Then he goes on to repeat the bullet points we've all seen at the top of the last thread.

Discussions with Google now is just shutting the gate after the horse has bolted.

 The fine print on that deal is so fine and so unrestricted, the average Google user won't read it, and if they did wouldn't understand it. And it's so wide that if they did understand it they can still do pretty much what they like with the images.

Having an image in that deal would require a total payout of the value of the image over its expected stock lifetime to be reasonable. Even if it did have metadata attached so it wasn't legally orphaned, with what can be done to it through Google under the EULA, and what is likely to be done to it by people who don't understand copyright it's a dead image as far as your ability to be able to get return on your own copyright.

For istock to go forward from this they need to give a cast iron guarantee that they would never give away contributors IP like this again. And I wouldn't believe any statement they made could be that cast iron after the number of times they have gone back on things.

3 / Re: Image Deactivation Tally for iStockPhoto
« on: January 14, 2013, 19:53 »
I've deactivated all my model released photos from istock when the Google deal first came to light. This was before the D day deactivation was discussed - but I think I'm nervous enough about my model released images (as all but a few are of kids) that they would be coming down right now anyway whatever happens. That's  I think about 60 images including one which was just about to go blue flames and a couple of other decent if not spectacular sellers for a hobbyist.

4 / Re: D-Day (Deactivation Day) on Istock - Feb 2
« on: January 14, 2013, 19:49 »
I doubt that threatening to delete files will have much effect, but it's about all the small players can do. I've already deleted all my model released photo files when this first came to light as I simply don't trust istock/Getty anymore, whatever they say as they have proved themselves so untrustworthy. The other photo files up at istock I don't care so much about, but I may delete all my illustrations. I'll hold off until Feb 2 doing that, so I can join in to the Great Delete.

It's easy for me to do as it's just toy money (but the last month it hasn't even been coffee money let alone toys, so it makes it easier still). Not so easy for those who depend on istock for income - but the way things are going I can't see that income holding up to anything even for the full timers. Getty seem to have nailed their colours to the mast for treating the photos as their own personal property and there is no future in that for image creators.

I've used Adobe ideas for my last two illustration uploads on istock-some stippled renderings that didn't need touch sensitivity as they were all identical sized dots, but were much easier to do using the iPad screen as I could place the dots more accurately than with a Wacom tablet.

For these, all I needed to do in Illustrator was to close up all the open paths (as there were several thousand, that strained the resources of my computer a bit).

Doing anything other than simple monochrome or flat colour in Ideas I think requires too much tidying up. But I haven't tried anything more complex since istock started taking transparencies, so it might be easier now. The biggest problem is all the open paths that are created, and merging strokes together. Unlike the blob brush in illy, Ideas leaves all the paths unmerged.

Hockney uses Brushes, apparently, which is a pixel based rather than a vector based app. I quite like Brushes but my favorite sketching app is currently Paper by 53. It has the best pencil emulator of all the drawing apps by miles, but it's best for monochrome stuff as it doesn't deal with colour very usefully.

If the istock critique forum questions are anything to go by, I think you need more examples that shows off your drawing ability. These are perfectly competent illustrations but a bit simple for istock applications - and some are fairly heavy on non-subtle gradient use (I have a lot of illustration rejections for that on istock).

The first one is too heavy on non-subtle gradients; the roulette wheel is nice but looks a bit like it comes from an illustrator tutorial on how to draw shiny objects rather than observation of how the things actually look with bright light shining on them - the shine shape doesn't follow the curvature of the components of the wheel, making it look like a shiny icon rather than an individual illustration. I like the chinese dragon, but patterns often get rejected as too simple for application.

 The figure won't fly -the drawing is a bit too simple, falling a little awkwardly between being trendily stylised and realistic figure proportions and the gradients don't do a very good job of rendering a three dimensional shape with consistent lighting;  I very much like the crabs, but I suspect for istock you might be better doing a version with less gradient use and more flat colour shading; the Christmas one is again nice, but somewhat cliched. I'd expect most of them to get through into the collection once you are accepted (especially if you tone the gradients down a bit) but I'm not sure they are sufficiently complex to get through the initial application process.

7 / Re: Eps 10 on Istock?
« on: January 04, 2012, 20:06 »
Yes - suprise suprise they haven't updated the illustration submission documentation yet, despite the fact that it's been at least a month, but there are a couple of threads in the illustration forum about it and a news announcement somewhere on the site.

Just in case anyone still wants to contribute to istock, this has now gone live.

Not much of a chance.

10 / Re: Istockphoto Down For Maintenance or Hacked?
« on: November 30, 2011, 22:24 »

For some interesting reading, do a twitter search for "istock". There's one guy claiming he missed a deadline and lost a client because of the outage. Kinda makes you wonder if people really do know that there are other microstock agencies out there.

I've always theorized that people stay with istock out of habit, but maybe it's also out of a lack of awareness that similar companies exist.

And then he follows up with "Don't worry, IS...I still love you."

We should flood that buyer with links to sites that charge less and don't cause the loss of clients.

It's also people not wanting to commit to a large subscription when they already have a pile of credits that can only be spent on istock; or their company will only deal with istock  as that's what management has approved. It's down the track a bit when firms and designers are considering what to do when their pile of credits runs out that istock will get hit.

11 / Re: Embarrassing Error Page
« on: November 30, 2011, 21:57 »
Why blame on conspiracy (hacking) what is more simply explained by incompetence. Given the database/caching/everything else issues they have had with their back end over the last couple of weeks, lack of technical expertise is the most likely reason.

12 / Re: Embarrassing Error Page
« on: November 30, 2011, 19:00 »
Latest tweet:

@Susan1961 Some people love the copy we've got up there, some people hate it. It will be replaced shortly.
3 minutes ago

Hands up anybody who loves it.

Anyone with the sense of humour of a second grader on red cordial. Maybe.
(I'm Susan1961 on twitter)

After their total inability to get their database working, this error message really made me see red.

13 / Re: Silhouette - MR?
« on: July 31, 2011, 20:28 »
I suspect they would want that as a vector anyway, rather than as a photo. With vector silhouettes they want to see the source photo to get some demonstration that you took it, but don't generally seem to want a model release (having said that my vector silhouettes have all been rejected on other grounds. But not on the grounds of requiring a model release!)

Photo Critique / Re: My Style
« on: July 17, 2011, 22:06 »
They keep on changing the terms and conditions of the student/education versions. 
Ah, here we are. the education FAQ

"Can I use my Adobe Student and Teacher Edition software for commercial use?

Yes. You may purchase a Student and Teacher Edition for personal as well as commercial use.

Can I use Adobe Student and Teacher Edition software on more than one computer?

Adobe Student and Teacher Edition software may be used on two computers only. This is ensured through a product activation procedure, which is performed online.

Can I upgrade my Adobe Student and Teacher Edition software?

Adobe Student and Teacher Edition software can be upgraded to a commercial version when the user is no longer a student or teacher. "

Cameras / Lenses / Re: Help Me Choose My First DSLR
« on: July 16, 2011, 08:12 »
Can barely  done with lens in your budget if you want to buy in Aus. We get ripped off something shocking by the camera manufacturers. You would need to budget around $aus800 at least.

If you import from the US you can save a fair bit, but camera bodies aren't covered by international warranties, so some risk is involved.

Photo Critique / Re: My Style
« on: July 15, 2011, 03:04 »
Absolutely love the black board and chalk mathematics photo!
Not exactly high art and took precisely two minutes to set up and take on a two foot tall kiddy chalk board after a buyer request. And earned around $600 between the vertical and horizontal format since then. I doubt either would be accepted now, although they still sell.  They filled a niche, when there was literally none of that stuff on istock and now there are hundreds if not thousands of the same thing. I just got there first. 

Photo Critique / Re: My Style
« on: July 15, 2011, 02:50 »
But that is an artistically composed, well lit rose! Not just an available light rose plonked in the middle of the image.

If you want to see my port, clicking on the little istock symbol at the bottom of each of my posts should take you there. I'm an istock exclusive hobbyist who doesn't actively contribute (and haven't done for over twelve months). My port earns me enough to keep me in photoshop and illustrator updates and pay for camera gear from time to time to make it a self sufficient hobby. Nothing more (and that's mainly as I have a couple of decent sellers that were uploaded and caught attention 4-5 years ago and still sell regularly).

While I'm not a professional I do have a very high acceptance rate - I'm good at the technical side but not really interested in providing what the microstock industry wants to sell which is why I've never bothered to go the next step and really try to increase my effort.

Photo Critique / Re: My Style
« on: July 15, 2011, 02:07 »
Flowers (at istock at least) have to be pretty * perfect to be accepted and won't cut it for an application image and generally won't sell anyway. This one doesn't look perfect (unimaginative composition, just centred,  doesn' t look sharp even at the tiny size you have posted)

Photo Critique / Re: My Style
« on: July 15, 2011, 01:42 »
Can't tell anything about these due to small size and jpeg compression -  except that several of them would likely get a lighting rejection/overfiltered (for sepia) at istock. You need to have images that will pass inspection at 100 per cent view. None of these are likely to be particularly saleable (we all have similar shots in our portfolios and most never sell - the ballooning one is probably the most stockworthy.) Landscapes only sell if they are of named really touristy locations or are drop dead fabulously gorgeous, capturing exactly the right light (and preferably both) and then post precessed with finesse- none of yours look like they fit either of these criteria.

What sells of the new stuff these days are high production value, people (preferably multiple people) shots. A sony cybershot camera is unlikely to make the quality grade. It's very difficult to get anything accepted anywhere that is going to sell images with anything less than a DSLR - some of the compacts with larger sensors like the Canon G series can get accepted if you shoot in RAW (so all the in camera processing applied to jpegs can be turned off) and have optimal lighting. A mobile is definitely not going to make the grade. There's little point in trying to turn a pigs ear into a silk purse by spending moeny of photoshop or lightroom if you don't have a worthwile camera.

20 / Re: translation please
« on: July 14, 2011, 00:37 »
Cheryl, at a certain point you have to stop caring.

It's the only way to deal with istock - and in particular their treatment of vector contributor.

21 / Re: translation please
« on: July 13, 2011, 20:08 »
I interpreted his comments in the illustration forum to mean that Milan would be focusing on the marketing side of vectors.  But JRRD made it very clear in the other thread exactly what he thinks of vector artists getting together:

"The idea of a ''vectorcentric iStockalypse'' has indeed been attempted in the past (Melbourne) & has proven not to be the appropriate formula for that file type. "

Which presumably was an instruction to Jen (Bortonia) to get her head in and stop being publicly enthusiastic about vectorlypses. She (as her posts in the illustration forum make clear) and all the other attendees in the vectorlypse in Melbourne that I spoke to while I was there thought it was really useful - I certainly found it to be so. So presumably istock finds it to be too costly to devote resources to what they see as a second tier (at best) class of assets.


Your photos are certainly eye-catching compositions. However istock is very picky about images passing without technical flaws when looked at at 100 per cent (and the images you have posted here are at less than 100 per cent of full size so it's hard for  us to pick up all the potential issues such as chromatic aberration, oversharpening etc- looking at them I suspect they may be oversharpened for istock's taste, but without full size it's hard to tell). Istock are also not fond of harsh dramatic lighting with blocked out shadows and slightly overexposed highlights, and some of your images tend in that direction. Personally I like them, but probably they aren't istock's cup of tea.

General Stock Discussion / Re: Google Images Drag and Drop
« on: June 15, 2011, 02:07 »
Interesting... Found - One of my images with no downloads (but looks like a thumb with watermark semi skilfully removed). Found one photo with only one downloads used by about five different users; Found one photo claiming to be taken of a particular location by a particular photographer and then picked up by the location where photographer claimed to have taken it and used in all their advertising material (It's actually a photo of somewhere totally different!); found two vectors being used as logos in contravention of itsock's licence. Plus lots of interesting uses I haven't seen before. Including one of my eldest daughter as a poster child for autism (I don't think I'm going to tell her about that!!)

24 / Re: Tax question on iStock income
« on: May 12, 2011, 06:30 »
That's my understanding for Australia too. If it's a hobby you neither declare the income nor use the deductions. You need to be set up as a business, as you say, to get the benefit of business deductions and you can only deduct against the photography business, not against other sources of income. I'm treating it as a hobby for tax purposes. I sure am not making a profit once all the equipment depreciation, software upgrades etc are taken into account. But it pays for the hobby.

25 / Re: IS illustrator master Russel Tate gone
« on: March 31, 2011, 15:58 »
Maybe something to do with this?

I hope not.

Given  Russell's ability to do draw 3D objects in Illustrator, that the lighting reflections and perspective on the two bows are different, (and they look like differennt rendering techniques) I think the chances that he needed to use a tutorial to do an illustration of a bow are very small. I presume it's just a case of choosing a similar bow as a model. I have a box of identical bows somewhere for use in Christmas decorations.

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