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Messages - nativelight

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1 / Re: SV -- please remember to pay us!
« on: October 15, 2008, 11:35 »
Ha!  I just got paid and wasn't even expecting it!  Maybe I should start uploading to SV again.   ;D

Although I'm not a huge fan of IS because of the uploading process, I think they're usually fair when they do these mass house-cleanings.  They went after the "rating gangs" quite awhile ago and I don't recall hearing any complaints about the wrong people being punished. 

I'm all for this.  I have a very low opinion of people who do this kind of thing (keyword spamming)  - not that my opinion matters one iota!

Nikon / Re: No interests at Nikon Cameras
« on: October 13, 2008, 10:45 »
Hi, I'm happy Nikonian to, before with D80, now with D300 and waiting somethng with FF sensor and more megapixels. Look at, they speedking something about D800, D900 and D3x...

I was under the impression the D700 is full frame.  Is that not the case?

Nikon / Re: No interests at Nikon Cameras
« on: October 12, 2008, 12:32 »
I guess I'm a "nikonista" too since 1982.  My first SLR was a Nikon FE2 which I still have and is still functional.  I went digital with a Nikon D70 and now I have that and a Nikon D200.  If I ever get serious about stock and start making some real money, I'd live to move up to the pro level Nikon.  I can't justify the cost right now though.

General Stock Discussion / Re: Wedding Photography Resources
« on: October 10, 2008, 11:01 »
If you are truly serious about Wedding Photography then the information you receive on DWF for your annual fee will more than pay for itself.  I've been a member for around 5 years and I've found it to be an unending resource of great information from most of the industries leaders.  I'm not nearly as active there as I used to be as I belong to another wedding photographer forum that is more like DWF used to be with high end shooters but fewer people in general.  Because the DWF is so massive now it's a bit impersonal.  The discounts I receive because I'm a member have paid for my membership every year.  Especially the Prodpi discount.  One weddings print discount covers my cost :)

As for the free ones, you get what you pay for.  I would not recommend you jump into wedding photography head first.  It's one thing to shoot your friends and family for free.  It's another thing entirely to ask for thousands of dollars for your work.  The expectations are a bit higher and not being good with your strobes is not an acceptable explanation for why moments get missed. 

My best advice would be to find a reputable pro in your area and ask/beg/bribe him or her to let you carry their lights around for some weddings free of charge.  Maybe even 2nd shoot.  There is a heck of a lot more than taking pictures involved with wedding photography.

Mat Hayward

Thanks for the excellent advice, Mat!  I definitely do not intend to jump in head first.  The last thing I want to do is to ruin a couple's wedding day memories by screwing up their photos.  I would really feel very, very bad about that.  I'm being very cautious with this venture and taking it very slowly.  I do intend to shadow another photographer a few times before shooting a wedding on my own.  Even then I will shoot my first few at a deep discount.  I will be entirely up front to those first few about my experience.  There are plenty of people that will be happy to take the risk because they otherwise could not afford a "real" photographer.   

I was dubious at first about shooting weddings.  However, as I delve into the subject more, I'm finding myself more and more interested.  I love the more "non-traditional" type images I'm seeing in the various books I've bought and the websites I've seen.  I know it's business and not all fun and games, but I really think I might enjoy it. 

Cameras / Lenses / Re: You have a backup camera?
« on: October 10, 2008, 09:41 »
I upgraded from a D70 to a D200 earlier this year, but I kept the D70.  My husband uses it when we go hiking or on a photo club field trip.  We also use it for underwater photography.  If I upgrade to a D300 or whatever is next in the line, I'll probably get rid of the D70 and keep the D200 for backup and underwater.  In other words, I'll always have two cameras available.

Cameras / Lenses / Re: What was your first camera and the next?
« on: October 09, 2008, 09:56 »
I think my first must have been a Kodak Instamatic when I was a kid and I had one of those funny Kodak "disc" cameras somewhere along the line.

My first "real" camera (SLR) was a Nikon FE2 bought around 1982 (I still own it).
I switched to digital about 5? years ago with a Nikon D70.
I upgraded to a Nikon D200 at the beginning of this year. The D70 has been relegated to underwater photography.
No definite plans to upgrade at this time, but I've been toying with the idea of upgrading to the D300 and using the D200 for underwater work.  Now if I could just convince my husband that it's a brilliant idea....  lol

New Sites - General / Re: New Microstock Site -
« on: October 08, 2008, 11:47 »
I'm glad this thread is still out here.  A member of my photo club mentioned this site to me last night.  He thought it was a new site along the lines of Photoshelter so I decided to do a little research today.  I see after nearly 2 years this site is still in beta!  I think I'm going to pass on this one and let my friend at the photo club know too.

Very sad.  Although controversial, I thought he brought a little life to the forums - sometimes too much life, but life nonetheless. 

Site Related / Re: Adorama discounts for Microstockgroup members
« on: October 07, 2008, 09:26 »
I'm in and I hope like the others it's a bit better than the NAPP/B&H discount.  Free shipping is nice, but it's nothing to write home about.

11 / Re: MSG Compare
« on: October 03, 2008, 12:19 »
You can add me. IS username is "debljames"

Shooting in the shade or overcast conditions - who needs lights and fill? Perfect for people shots.

I guess you don't necessarily need either.  I think you probably need one or the other (at least a reflector) to get nice catchlights in the eyes.  I went back to the video to see if I could detect any catchlights and I could not.  So maybe he didn't use any artificial lighting or even reflectors after all.

I want to see if they'll show his editing work because I'm curious how he takes photos from that shoot where they used none of the standard lighting gear (not even reflectors) and were able to make them high stock quality in post-production.

If anyone has a link to a video on how to do that I'd be interested.

I just watched the video and I also found it curious that he didn't have any kind of artificial lighting.  The finished images sure looked a lot brighter than the video.  Many times he was shooting in the shade and then the finished images look nice and bright.  Did he just not show the lighting or is there some special post-processing technique?

  And you are right, the "streamlining" of stock, but mainly my regular job is something that I struggle with on a daily basis.  Things today change so frequently, it seems as soon as I've mastered some learning curve there will be something new to learn, or some sript that needs to be written before I can take the next step...

How true!!  I watched the video for CS4 and it just depressed me.  It was so over my head.  I feel like I'm falling further and further behind in both my photography and my real job (computer programming).

I can attest to the last point about rejections.  My acceptance rate with IS is only 47% - much lower than any other site.  Most of my rejections are "we find this image overfiltered...".  I'm just too stubborn/lazy to create one copy with noise reduction for everyone else and no filtration for IS.  Someday I'll get with the program.   :D

Photoshop Discussion / Re: Photoshop CS4
« on: September 23, 2008, 11:29 »
I'm watching the launch video on the Adobe site:

After 30 minutes I have yet to hear anything that will compel me to buy this.  So far it's mostly about new video stuff which I don't do.

17 / Re: Bye Bye...
« on: September 19, 2008, 09:34 »
I've given up on the deleting one image a day method.  I think my 400 days is up in October or November anyway.  At that time I will ask for my images to be removed.

I can't believe they're still up and running too.  I would have expected them to die off long before Photoshelter. 

Yaymicro / Re: That does it. Closing account.
« on: September 18, 2008, 15:09 »
Well, I am not doing this for my hobby as well. And I am with you, I am not doing it if there is no serious income that is why I do not upload to 123rf and BigStock as well. And I also do not upload to Yay anymore until they prove to provide serious income. But it does not hurt me to let my images stay there a year or two until they are proven unsuccessfully.

From my experience I think you are wrong about 123RF.

I find 123rf and BigStock have good consistent sales.  Those two combined often make me more than some of the top 5 sites.

I know that some are doing well with them. But I am doing horrible with them. They account together for ~1%-2% of my microstock income.

Same for me.  I recently dropped them both.

General Stock Discussion / Re: Snappy ways to make money!!!!!
« on: September 16, 2008, 09:52 »
"Point, shoot, cash in!"  Wow, I've been working too hard at this.  I didn't know that's ALL you had to do!  lmao

General Stock Discussion / Re: Wedding Photography Resources
« on: September 15, 2008, 14:48 »
Thanks, mantonino.  I appreciate the continued advice.  I know full well about the "woohoo, that's a great image" sites.  I have an account on which I've let go stale over the past year.  Some of the forums there are exactly like that.  There are some long-time participants there that could post a huge pile of steaming dog s*** and they would be praised for everything from great composition to great lighting and great concept.  It goes beyond the ridiculous.   ;D

General Stock Discussion / Re: Wedding Photography Resources
« on: September 14, 2008, 14:11 »

As far as weddings go...I have done a few and will not touch them with a 20-foot pole. I have never been a girly-girl and I find it hard to pretend I care about something I feel is such a colossal waste of time/money IMO. ( but thats just me)

Sorry Nativelight... I cannot help you very much but there is a thread here that I remember having some useful information. A member named "grizzlybear" took the time to write a wonderful and informative post. Best of luck to you!!

Thanks, digiology!  I have that same concern because I too have never been a "girly-girl" and I also think weddings are a colossal waste of money.  But I guess if they want to waste the money, I'll be happy to take some of it.  :D  Again though, I'm still undecided and just in the research phase.

By the way, I don't have an account on Flickr - never have, never will.  :D

General Stock Discussion / Re: Wedding Photography Resources
« on: September 12, 2008, 23:13 »
Thanks, pixart.  I appreciate the link.  I'll take a look over the weekend.

Newbie Discussion / Re: Image management
« on: September 12, 2008, 17:31 »
I agree with the philosophy that it is a waste of time (and space) to keep up with which images are on which site.  My portfolio is almost identical on all sites I submit to, with the exception that there is usually a backlog waiting to be uploaded to istock. 

Same for me.  I forgot to mention I typically have a "waiting for istock" folder too within each new directory I create.

General Stock Discussion / Re: Forums in microstock sites
« on: September 12, 2008, 17:29 »
SS is the only micro site forum on which I regularly participate.  I don't really know why I chose that specific one over IS or DT.  They all seem to be fairly active.  I think SS probably seemed the most liberal in their policies.

I find this one (MSG) the best.

Newbie Discussion / Re: Image management
« on: September 12, 2008, 16:14 »
I use Lightroom catalogs to organize my files.  I keep the original file names on all versions (raw, jpg and .psd) so there's never any question as to which files are processed versions of my raw file.  When I upload from my card, I create a new folder with the camera model, date and major subject of the shoot. An example:

If I uploaded a card today the folder name would be: D200_08_09_12 (major subject)
I put the year first because they all then sort by date even though the file name is a string rather than a real date.

I do not keep track of which agencies except which images except for RM images.  Of course, I don't really need to do that either anymore since PSC is closing.  They're the only agency for RM I had to worry about rejections.  Below my main folder, I have various subfolders - Micro Processed, Micro Submitted, RM Processed, RM Submitted, snapshots.  The processed folders are for images I have post-processed but not yet submitted.  Submitted folders are self-explanatory. Snapshots are for non-stock quality images, but images I want to keep for sentimental reasons.

I have 3 primary hard drives and two 500gb hard drives that are mirrored as backups. I also backup on DVD.  I got some of the ideas I used from "The DAM Book" by Peter Krogh.  It's excellent and has been updated since I first bought it 2-3 years ago.

I don't think there's a right way or a wrong way for DAM.  It's whatever works for you.  My method has been evolving for the past two years and continues to evolve.  I also started with an Excel spreadsheet like others here.  I just found it too cumbersome over time and I also found I didn't really need to track acceptance and/or rejection for each image.  Each site seems to do a fine job tracking sales so no need to duplicate that data.  I just track overall monthly sales by agency in Excel.  This way I can see how I'm doing YTD for each and overall.

Hope that helps!

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