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Messages - HermanM

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1 / Re: Isn't upsizing nonsense?
« on: December 02, 2009, 23:16 »
The only thing I care about is that Alamy sells, more than micros (for me) on a monthly average and upsizing only takes a few seconds per image with a Photoshop action (you can even automate the whole process).  If it is a leftover of the older days I dont care, for me they sell very well.

General Stock Discussion / Re: Cooking the Books
« on: October 17, 2009, 20:18 »
The beauty of my country is that income earned abroad is not taxable... Soooo sweeet...  ;D

3 / Re: How am I doing on Alamy?
« on: October 09, 2009, 23:48 »
Some things mentioned here about RM/RF sales ratio and series do not apply - at least for me.

So far I'm selling far more RF at Alamy than RM maybe 10/1 ratio. So to say that RM is the way to go at Alamy is nonsense. It only depends on your portfolio - not the agency.

If you look at their Quarterly Statement, for the last ten Q's the tendency of RM/RF ratio has been a slight increase of RM over RF from 3:1 to 4:1.  I agree it depends on the buyer and the portfolio, but it is pretty obvious that most Alamy buyers are getting RM images.

Just got a Photosearch sale yesterday!

5 / Re: How am I doing on Alamy?
« on: October 08, 2009, 16:19 »
You cant change RF to RM directly.  If it has not sold you can delete it, reupload it and assign it a different licence, but it takes tooo much time.

Also, it is not necessary to assign the restrictions to achieve an editorial use only (but with few images you can do it).  I always use the "For Editorial Use Only" on the description, has worked for me.  The problem with restrictions is that they are cumbersome to set, especially with hundreds of images.

6 / Re: How am I doing on Alamy?
« on: October 07, 2009, 18:39 »
Another thing you might want to consider for your type of stuff is hide your keywords, i.e. you're putting your keywords in the comprehensive field and as a result everyone can see them, that might lose you the edge.

This is quite important, since the comprehensive keywords field is less relevant than the main keywords field, which is less relevant than the essential keywords field.  The bad thing is that the IPTC annotations embedded in the images populate automatically the comprehensive keywords field and you have to manually move them over the more relevant areas.

General - Top Sites / Re: 123 took spot #6
« on: October 07, 2009, 18:34 »
For me the biggest are SS+FT+DT, followed by IS (my portfolio there is small, I hate the uploading process), then BigStock and dead last 123RF (I really don't like them).  I dropped StockXpert when the "Photos" thing went up and dont regret it at all, but they used to be my #4 or #5.

New Sites - General / Re: New SWISS Stock
« on: October 07, 2009, 18:29 »
At this stage of the microstock game they will probably be a secondary footnote... Sorry to say, but things are shaping up here and it aint pretty for newcomers to a crowded dance.

9 / Re: How am I doing on Alamy?
« on: October 07, 2009, 14:31 »
Last month I had three sales of images without zooms... since the roll-over introduction zooms have become somewhat less a predictor of sales (it used to be around 20z/dl).  It is very very unpredictable!

About your portfolio, it seems ok, but there are lots of similars, so you have a lot of images of a few themes.  Also you have lots of RF images.  Always keep in mind that RM sells more often at Alamy, so it can be (theoretically) against you, if we take percentages into account.

This is dishonest, there is no point to argue it.

What I have always been against is the fact that with IS your whole portfolio and future work is "agency exclusive", they are the only ones (I know, at least) that do that.  I can agree that "image exclusivity" makes sense, total and absolutely true, but to tie your destiny and fate to one agency does not play well in my book.

And there are those couples that do what has been stated.  It is sort of a loophole...

Discusin en Espaol / Re: Una pregunta de gramatica
« on: October 03, 2009, 10:28 »
En Panam se les dice "bolas" o "bolitas" navideas...  Decir "esferas" hara que me miraran con extraeza... :D :D

12 / Re: I want to join ALAMY, but it is exclusive?
« on: October 01, 2009, 21:56 »
As with any product, buyers have different levels of leverage to negotiate prices, some will get lower prices based on their volume of business.  What is surprising is the wide range of prices.

If you had $2000 and change lying around you could get the new 24.6mp full frame Sony A850 and a couple of cheap but excellent quality used Minolta lenses. Its by far the best buy if you're considering full frame. I shoot with the 12.2mp A700 and can submit XL images.  Also a great camera for the money.

The problem is that 24.6mp on a full frame with cheap lenses don't mix well.  It happened to me with the 5D, the older cheap Canon lenses that I had showed all their faults on the corners...

General Stock Discussion / Re: Macworld Article On Microstock
« on: September 30, 2009, 18:10 »
With answers like these it becomes clear why photos sell for pennies, photography is devaluated as it is and so many consider themselves "professional photographers" ...  :-\

General Stock Discussion / Re: Macworld Article On Microstock
« on: September 30, 2009, 14:47 »

what's the difference between young, talented, aspiring photography graduates and an amateur? 

If you need to ask then you are an amateur  :D

Having a diploma (or at least some studies) takes a lot out of the trial and error amateurs run into, gives you (at least) basic if not advanced notions of sthetics and all the other things that we, amateurs, find out in the long run, but sometimes after lots of mistakes.  Also they understand from the begining the concepts of photography that make amateurs that want to submit photos flood many forums with basic questions. So, I guess that there is a difference.

16 / Re: I want to join ALAMY, but it is exclusive?
« on: September 30, 2009, 01:12 »
I joined Alamy a while ago and put about 12 images out there. All are also available on microstock sites so they are royalty free. Shortly after I had a sale for $45. I think that was the purchase price, not my commision. But on April 7 a refund was given to the buyer.

It took me 23 seconds (really, I'm not kidding you) to find at Google the term Barnegat Light House, search results sent me to Dreamstime, found an image of the light house and in the inferior part of the page your photo shows at a similar...  Buyers are not fools.  Your image can be found via Google with little effort and then buyers will request a refund and never come back to Alamy, or at least if they come to your image they will then check out if it is available at the micros.  

The same happens with "Petite Pink Lily flower", Google shows it at BigStock.  The "Kid in the Kayak" shows as first search result in CanStockPhoto... It goes on...

You even use your name at both sites (Alamy and micros)!

Nothing prevents you from doing this, posting the same images at both price levels, but expect to see lots of refunded sales by doing so.

Remember that there has been a lot of SEO by micros lately and pages are titled usually "stock photo of..." using in the title of the page the description you provide.  That makes Google your main enemy for this.

Photo Critique / Re: StockXpert Denial
« on: September 29, 2009, 20:17 »
Just this week I got an iso1600 image accepted... Ran Dfine at 60% opacity and downsized from 13 mp to around 6, minimum smart sharpening and it looked even better than iso 100.  So, do really consider some downsizing in certain cases.

New Sites - General / Re: The3dStudio, a concern about quality....
« on: September 29, 2009, 20:13 »
In micro time 5 years is something as several eons... A very very long long time... I'm not sure if this is a way to go.

Cutcaster / Re: anyone out there selling?
« on: September 29, 2009, 16:36 »
If you're selling the EXACT same images on microstock sites for 1/10 of the price, that would be the reason there are less sales on the mid-stock sites..

Remember that not everybody wants to buy a subscription, no matter how small the package.  The idea of getting the image you need without having to worry about having to fulfill a subscription may be appealing to many people. Indeed, the3dStudio is using that approach and are selling more.

20 / Re: What do you strongly dislike about Dreamstime?
« on: September 29, 2009, 13:24 »
... or if a new site could bring me significantly higher prices,....

Do you actually forsee this in the future?  Call me pesimistic, but I dont!

New Sites - General / Re: The3dStudio, a concern about quality....
« on: September 29, 2009, 13:22 »
They addressed my post on their blog (which is the same here) and they explained that they are going to be between self-editing and editing (they say that pics that are not that good are selling, but they will weed-out the worst and become stricter when they reach some point).

I think that it is a valid point for a start-up (well, in their case, not so start-up) to be lenient with their initial submitters and become stricter down the road.  What I like is that they actually listen... And sell!

Cutcaster / Re: anyone out there selling?
« on: September 29, 2009, 13:19 »
Very bad news... I was planning on uploading more there, already had around 12 images uploaded, but now I am wondering if it is worth the effort.

General Stock Discussion / Re: Macworld Article On Microstock
« on: September 28, 2009, 17:36 »
As a whole prices have remained stable, with slight increases at IS and maybe a couple of other sites, but with subs becoming more common those increases become diluted.  The problem is that if one site increases prices too much there will always be another undercutting it.  The net result is stagnation of returns for photographers.  IS can get away (to some degree) with price increases for various reasons, but don't expect it to be like that everywhere .

24 / Re: I want to join ALAMY, but it is exclusive?
« on: September 28, 2009, 17:18 »

These have been this year's RF sales I made at Alamy.  All these at 60% commission.  It's not bad at all.

But those 2 sales of RM images at low prices that I mentioned earlier are the reason for my concern with Alamy, it was totally unexpected.

General Stock Discussion / Re: Macworld Article On Microstock
« on: September 28, 2009, 09:18 »
The micros destruction of the pro business is more complicated that arguing that "old farts" fell for a "darwinian" thing... The problem with micros is, as I've said before, that prices are too (way too) low.  In fact, they started rock bottom.  It should have been different, they should have started as mid-stock, it would have been wiser.  Now, increasing prices some pennies at a time dont give you any margin of anything but to feed the beast, as we are all are.  

Two years ago a 20 images upload to SS brought a lot of sales on the next few days, today it doesnt.  Things have changed for the worst.  Almost everybody that has been doing it for a while says that earnings are the same despite having bigger portfolios.  

Another big change was in the mentality of the photographer:  we are happily willing to take a 20% comission on some sites ("for the thrill of seeing our work used") and that devaluates our work as a whole, amateurs and pros.  Do you think that buyers have any respect for stock photographers today?

I agree that we all should adapt to the new changes that have come our way in the last 5-8 years, but we have to acknowledge that micros started a "bad revolution" in which we photographers, pros and amateurs, lost a lot.  We, amateurs, dont realize it.  The pros do.

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