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Topics - Waldo4

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123RF / What to do?
« on: March 27, 2008, 10:28 »
Thus far this site has been noting but a bug to me, nothing has worked.

When I initially signed up they send your initial password to your email.  that never happened, I tried over, and over, and over, checked every folder and filter setting in my email...nothing.  Finally after a month and dozens of attempts I contacted support, and a few days later I finally got an email from them, and not so kindly they said to check your filters and junk folder.  But it also had a password (that came right to my inbox, not in any junk folder), so I could finally actually get in to my account.

Next up, upload ID.  Used the same photo as for other sites (straight on shot of my DL).  Seemingly no problems.

Then upload at least 10.  Well I didn't have a ton of time when I was uploading so I just picked 10 of my most universally accepted, hottest sellers, and tried to upload them.  First try, failed, problem with the upload.  Tried again, it worked.

Now after a week of waiting for them to review them, I get an email telling me that they won't review them until I upload an ID????  I did this, and on the sidebar it says that my ID is uploaded.

So I try to REPLY to their email (via their own internal email) (by hitting the convenient REPLY button), type up that I have uploaded my ID, go to send, and get an error that there is no recipient. ????  So I check the box of contacts and there are no contacts, support is not there.  One would assume that the recipient would be transferred with the reply button, but that is much to easy.

So I go to the forum over there as that is the only way to maybe get a hold of anybody (barring giving support a call and waiting on hold for a week or two), and whallah, try to reply to any thread and I get pure white space, no forum typing for me.

Seriously, is this site really this bad and buggy?  Now I have no idea what to do, no address to send a reply to, and nobody will review my photos until I send that reply. 

General Stock Discussion / It hit me like a ton of bricks....
« on: March 07, 2008, 15:58 »
Ever since I joined the MS industry I have ever pondered what makes a good MS photo, after all #'s of photos don't make you money, good photos make you money, what the clients want.  What do the clients want?, there are so many thoughts about it, about what the customer base is and what they are seeking, all the sites tell you to go look at the big sellers, but that just tells you what others have done, if anything it saps creativity more than fostering it.  What are the vast majority of the clients looking for?

It finally occurred to me.  Maybe I'm way off (I'd love to hear the thoughts of those more experienced than me), but it is a theme that seems to run through my bestsellers and those on the sites.  Clip Art.  They are looking for good, high resolution, photographic, clip art.   Something just as accessible as a thumb as a large high res, something that is immediately understandable from the initial peek.  Clip art does not crop out lesser elements for a cool composition.  Whether a frame to frame shot or an isolation, all seem to be nothing more than a simple bit of clip art.  Sure they are infinitely more complex because of the medium and the possibilities with it, but when approached as a piece of art would be approached the same theme tends to emerge, on a basic level they are a piece of clip art.  Some have a story or a theme or a concept, but it is always very recognizable and understandable.  They are easy pics, just as clip art is.

With this in mind, marketable subject determination and how to frame and present that subject for the clients becomes much easier when you view your work not as an artistic masterpiece, but as a piece of clip art for a designer to put to use.

Thoughts anyone?  Have I possibly stumbled upon the frame of mind to have to be successful in the industry, instead of stumbling in the dark, throwing poop at the wall and seeing what sticks, which in many ways is how it feels at times.

General Stock Discussion / Sharpening
« on: March 03, 2008, 11:01 »
I am having trouble with different agencies acceptance/rejection and have somewhat come to the conclusion that much of it has to do with sharpening and how much to use, if at all.

For example SS rejections for out of focus - not they were not, they were unsharpened.  Sure a smidge soft at 100%, put a usm of 100, 0, 2 on it and it is tack sharp, at 200%.

On the other hand, IS has essentially rejected everything (including my test images that were accepted for the test), all for artifacts.  1 was unsharpened, the others had less than 100, 0, 2 sharpening, and I suspect that sharpening was the reason.  On a sidenote though my most commercially viable image was accepted, and it was sharpened more and had more "artifacts" than any image that I have submitted.

If I was a designer I would probably prefer completely unsharpened images because of the higher quality of heavily editing an unsharpened image vs. a sharpened one, but I fear that they all will be rejected for "out of focus" some places.  To completely process different for each site is absolutely ludicrous IMO.

If the artifacting came from something else, I really am at a loss.  I always overexpose half a stop then recover in RAW editing to maximize the low-noise portion of the sensor.  I keep the NR levels in ACR set at lum 70%, Cr 50%, is this too high?  Rarely do I do much editing aside from some clone stamping (aside from isolations and creating a clipping path) outside of the RAW editor.  What else could generate an artifacting rejection on a 100% unsharpened image?  I always LAB sharpen on the lum channel to avoid sharpening colorization.

Do you sharpen your images, if so, how much, and do you produce copies with different levels of sharpening for different sites?

Shutterstock.com / Woo hoo, first try
« on: February 27, 2008, 15:05 »
I waited a little bit until I was real confident that I had 10 that could pass any inspection, and got in on the first try at SS (7 of 10).  Is that unprecedented these days?

I got in at IS a few days ago on the 2nd try, 1 of 3 approved the first time, redid 1 and submitted a different one (only a few hours after the denial) and was approved in about 3 hours, I thought there was a waiting period?    Though I have had no files actually approved yet for sale, still waiting on the checkers.

I wish StockXpert would have given me something more than a "we aren't interested in the kind of work you do", they didn't say if any of the files were any good, or reference the files at all (I completely forgot which ones I submitted unfortunately, so I can only submit new photos taken after my last try the next time, oh well).

My question:  How long does it typically take for things to show up in your SS gallery, mine is still empty, aside from the 3 on the latest approved bar on the side, I have no way of knowing which 7 of the 10 actually were approved.  I am away from my email (always on pop3 client at home, the webmail version of my account stays empty because of it), they probably sent me a message, I am assuming?.

Photo Critique / Stock suitable
« on: February 13, 2008, 12:41 »
I am wondering if anybody thinks that this shot could ever have a possibility of being accepted anywhere.  Blur goes with the territory with motion, though I think I did a great job with his face.  It is just such a unique photo, I have never seen anything close to it, anywhere.   Motion shots, yes, but not like this.  Though this one does have a special place in my heart (it is the first shot that I took that I am truly proud of).  The face gets sharper as the viewed file gets bigger (this one does not take to sharpening at all, and every preview size, either on a MS site or on Flickr, that is smaller than the original, has sharpening applied.  I have several images where this is very obvious).


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