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Topics - Seren

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General Midstock /
« on: July 14, 2008, 04:46 »
Does anyone in the UK use the image file for stock purposes?

I made one sale there when I had six images as part of a larger collection with someone else.  Good sale too, 60.

I am trialing them now for handling my event printing (they handle the website, take the money and send the prints out) but although thought I'd load my stock library on there at about 50 a go for each RF picture.  You can do RF or RM, set your own prices etc.

The good thing is, I now have a stock library of all my images on my site, where people can search, buy, and I don't have to give 80% to a big company.  I suppose the key will be building up the size of my library, and of course regularly sending out flyers and updates to relevent companies and buyers.

Of course the other good thing, is I'm starting to cover much more music stuff.  Gigs, festivals etc.  Now I've got somewhere I can place images taken at gigs etc, ISO3200, which wouldn't be accepted at any traditional agency, and just send the link off to magazine picture buyers.  I get to trial run it at the end of the month, I'm covering a new festival in Wales!

So basically, I get to be my own inspector, market my own images to the people that *I* want to see them, also have them as part of a larger image library, and collect all the earnings for myself.


I'll let you all know how it goes...

General Macrostock / Fotolibra
« on: May 05, 2008, 02:10 »
Does anyone here submit to Fotolibra?  I'm seriously contemplating buying the 6 a month membership and uploading all my grandfathers slides, negs and prints.

Any thoughts?

More importantly any sales?

I'd really like to support them, being a British / Welsh company and all that.  It would be nice to see earnings in my own currency!

3 / Footage Exclusivity?
« on: April 18, 2008, 06:24 »
Since I can't post at iStock, I'll ask here.

I don't want to go (back to) photo exclusive at iStock.

I assume iStock has a footage exclusivity program?

Can I just go exclusive with footage and not pictures?

4 / 3 Millionth File?
« on: April 18, 2008, 03:55 »
Don't get me wrong, I love iStock (most of the time) and I think it's great that RenPhoto got the fab prize she did.  And I also feel that iStock are free to play the game however they want, their business, their rules and all that.

BUT, aren't there some strange coincidences here?

Firstly, the counter hasn't hit three million yet.  The front page says that there isn't three million files in the library.

Secondly, it's an amazingly wow photo.  I love it.  It's very classy.  But seriously, how often do photos like that crop up?  Especially on the long awaited 3M file.  It wouldn't have been good marketing if the 3M file winner was a shot of an isolated apple on a slightly off white background.

And I guess at the end of the day, they wouldn't want to be giving away fab prizes like cameras to someone who would use them to shoot for the competition.  So for it to go to a diamond exclusive seems right.

I'm not bitter, I'm just not a fan of "competitions" when they're so obviously rigged.

But hey, if somehow it is used in marketing and increases my sales then it's all good.

Off Topic / Kiva Swear Box
« on: April 09, 2008, 04:45 »
I've come up with a cunning plan.  If it turns out I can lend on Kiva, I'm going to turn my rejections into money.

Each time I get a rejection on a stock site, I put 50p (about $1) into a "swear box".  When that gets to X amount (and the way fotolia are going it won't take long to add up!) I'm going to put it into a Kiva loan.

Effectively I'm punishing myself by depriving myself of money for 6 months or a year, and helping someone else in the process!  Everyone wins!  And then I'll have a little lump sum at the end of the loan, which I can use to spend on a nice gadget or something!

Anyone want to play?

6 / More "bouncer" weirdness!
« on: March 17, 2008, 10:48 »
Just had another 25 rejected.  Ok, a few I can understand.  I still don't understand how you can see noise in a 5D's image shot at ISO100 with no post processing, and then reject the next image for over processing with noise software set at the same settings.  But hey, I can live with that.

But I don't get these...

  ! SD_RF_MS_08_0043.jpg, Peat Plant Pots
    Composition could be better.

It's a stack of plant pots isolated on white... how much more composition do you need?

  ! SD_RF_MS_08_0045.jpg, Military Boots
    Composition could be better.
    Image is too clustered, try to concentrate more on one point

It's a picture of boots isolated on white... how much composition do you need?  What does "image is soo clustered" mean?

! SD_RF_MS_08_0046.jpg, Water Polo Ball
    Composition could be better.
Please leave space, too centered

It's a water polo ball, isolated on white.  In the middle of a canvas cropped to remove excess space (but leaving a decent white border).  How can you need more space?  All a designer needs to flippin do is add more white space around the edge!

  ! SD_RF_MS_08_0006.jpg, Red Capsicum
    Composition could be better.

My composition skills are clearly really bad.  Perhaps I should give up photography.  Because I can't even get a flamin red pepper isolated on white correct in composition!

I thought I'd post it here to get your thoughts guys, I'll stick some thumbs up later if you want them.  They've all been accepted on various other sites, and I don't really get the rejection.  I'm going to figure out if I can contact the person who rejected them so that I can contest most of the batch.

What do you lot think?  Do you find LO rejects alot of your images isolated on white for bad composition?  Or am I just a crappy photographer...

Off Topic / SoFoBoMo
« on: March 14, 2008, 02:35 »
"Single Photographer Book Month"!

Anyone want to join me on this?  It's a challenge of making a photo book in a month, a bit like national writers month in the states.  I think we're going to hit it up around about April/May but of course you can pick any month you like!

I made a flickr group because if there's one thing I lack it's motivation, so come and join us!

You don't have to produce a printed book at the end of the month, it could just be a collection of 6x4 prints, or a pdf file, or even a blog or forum post!  The idea is to create something tangible within the limitations of a month.

We all plan projects, and we never get them done, so there is nothing like setting a date for finishing, sticking to it and completing the challenge!

8 / Monthly Contest Buy-Out
« on: March 11, 2008, 02:17 »
Ok, so I've been looking at the monthly contest thing.

And of course the offer the chance to do the $25 buyout thing.  What's the terms governing this?  Is there anything to stop you entering ten fairly average images every month and making yourself $250?  Because I could sure do with that guaranteed money every month!

How similar do they have to be to be the same concept?  For instance, if I photograph my mum hoovering one room, could I submit photos of my stepdad hoovering another room to a different site?

9 / FTP on BigStock? How?
« on: March 08, 2008, 08:50 »
I can't seem to find anything on their site that tells me what ftp settings to use.

Actually, I can't seem to find anything on that site!

Computer Hardware / Flatbed Film Scanners
« on: March 07, 2008, 11:48 »
I'm looking for a flatbed film scanner (so that I can scan up to large format).  It'll be mainly for medium format scans that I've shot myself, but I'd also like to start selling some of my Grandfathers medium format and slide work.

Can anyone recommend one that would get me through the micro inspection?  I think iStock will be my best bet, since it has the specialist film inspectors.

I've been eyeing up the Epson Perfection V500 Photo Scanner, at 200 it's around what I want to spend.  I'd go over a little if I could get something pretty awesome.

Anyone with experience?

(BTW, please don't suggest drum scanning - I've got literally thousands of his pictures to go through, I can't afford drum scanning!)

EDIT - Also eying up the Epson Perfection V700 Photo Scanner which is above my price range, but it looks like it's far better.  Any experience?

11 / Double Standards!
« on: March 06, 2008, 09:09 »
Got a rejection from LO last week.  It was just some bog standard shots of some eggs on a white background, feathered shadow underneath to ground them (as per my usual style).  They were a little noisy I guess, because I shot them on my old 350D on ISO200, but that wasn't why they were refused.

They were refused basically because they were bad isolations.  Stray pixels was the reason.

But then I looked at the portfolio of the "bouncer" who reviewed my photos, and found that they have a portfolio that has absolutely shocking isolations in!  We're talking obvious on camera flash, focus on the wrong parts sometimes, white balance issues and worst of all...  they had clearly been cut out using the pen tool, but they have left a tiny bit of shadow under the object!  But not a nice feathered shadow just to ground the object, a horrid, horrid black line basically that abruptly stops!

My shots, although not perfect, were a thousand times better than that, and yet they were rejected!  Double standards is not a good trait in a stock agency!

NB:  I'm not adding which reviewer it was, or what shots they were, that's not fair at all.  But suffice to say, between the patronizing note and the double standards, I'm not impressed!

12 / How many sales?
« on: March 05, 2008, 02:54 »
I think I'm missing something, but I can't seem to get a simple chart of how many sales I've had per month at dreamstime?

Something like:

Jan: X Sales, X Downloads


I find DT's interface really clunky and difficult to navigate and never seem to get to the page I think I'm looking for!

Off Topic / Sloppy Joes and other interesting food...
« on: March 01, 2008, 12:36 »
Here's one for all you guys state-side.

I'm after your best recipe for Sloppy Joes.  I've never had them, but I have a burning desire to eat them.  Can someone send me a recipe for them?  You Mums best home made type...

While we're at it, I love trashy food.  Any other favourites?  Tex Mex stylie is good, I'm about to tuck into a whole Tex Mex platter for dinner...

14 / What the! Speedy inspection!
« on: February 27, 2008, 16:51 »
There must have been a glitch or something, because I just had four files inspected within an hour.  I uploaded them on the 23rd and just finished them off nearly two hours ago.  Just got the acceptance email through an hour ago!

I'm not exclusive anymore...  All my other files have been taking six or seven days.

General - Stock Video / Stock footage kit
« on: February 26, 2008, 05:26 »
Also posted to shutterstock:

I'm planning to shoot some SD with my video cam and see if it gets accepted, but I've got some ideas for some wacky time-lapse type stuff shot with my 5D.

From a Canon 5D, to make footage, what software do I need? I'm running a mac, could I do it with iMovie?

Will I be able to create HD footage with this sort of method?

Any help appreciated!

16 / Best match woes...
« on: February 25, 2008, 02:39 »
I must have been lucky before.

But after my enforced three week break from iStock and coming back non-exclusive my files have sunk like stones.  I had a few files that I could guarantee would sell most days, or at least a few times a week.  They had really good search positions, several on the first page (I view twenty at a time, as I suspect most buyers do) and quite a few on the first two or three pages.  Several times I had the first "non-vector" image in the search, due to working with kids doing sports at stuff and basically finding a niche market!

I wondered why I'd only made a fraction of the sales I usually do in the week since I've been back, so I just looked through my search results.  I can't find any of my good sellers on the first twenty or thirty pages!  They're been knocked so far back in the general search terms that it's not funny!

Surely if they were good enough to be on the front page of the best match (clear images, good "stock" and good keywording) then they're still good enough to be on that page?  I mean, iStock even makes MORE from me than from exclusives!  Surely not being exclusive doesn't make a file bad?  The thing that is bothering me though, is my search positions aren't even as good as before I went exclusive!  Must have had a few shake ups I didn't notice.

I guess this is my punishment for making a mistake about the contract, but it's frustrating.  If these sales don't pick up to where I was last August before I went exclusive (and I've doubled my portfolio size since then, at least!) then it's just massively set back my need to go full time in September.  Actually, that's not true, I have to go full time in September by any method possible...

Anyway, rant over.  I feel a bit better!

General Stock Discussion / Database to manage photos
« on: February 22, 2008, 02:16 »
I'm thinking about building a database to keep track of all photos uploaded on site.  This is just for my personal use (although if anyone else uses Bento - which I'm planning to use - they're more than welcome to try it out too).  I'm coming up with what should be in the database.  My list so far, feel free to suggest other stuff!

My image number / reference
Reference on sites it's been uploaded too and the status there (accepted, rejected etc)
Date accepted
Reason for rejection

Now I'm not sure about this next point.  Should I just track overall royalties and downloads, or should I track each sale on each site?  I'd prefer the latter, but I'm not sure how complicated it's going to be to implement.

Any thoughts?

18 / Ooops, suspended from the forum!
« on: February 21, 2008, 02:24 »
So I just wrote a post on the culling thread about how iStock is practicing severe double standards in culling car and boat images.  I pointed out that if they were going to do that, then they also had to cull pretty much every everything else in the library because everything modern is designed by someone and has either trademark, trade dress or copyright.

Guess iStock didn't like that, cause the removed the post.

So instead of answering the concerns of a contributor, they just suspend me from the forum.

I even pointed out that I was willing to be a test case in this ridiculous "policy" and more than willing to go to court over it in the UK.  Guess they didn't like that either.

Oh well.  iStock is going to implode on itself if it doesn't stop making ridiculous policy changes that are completely at odds with the rest of the stock industry.

General Stock Discussion / Stock Tracking on Mac
« on: February 20, 2008, 02:49 »
Are there any programs out there that have the ability to track images that are on various sites but for Mac?  Would like for it to work with macro stock sites too if possible.

Am I going to have to resort to complicated spreadsheets?

General Stock Discussion / Micro agencies that accept CD's?
« on: February 20, 2008, 02:47 »
Short of trawling through the whole lots of agencies, which allow you to submit CD's instead of uploading files?

I know SnapVillage does.  I'm just getting fed up of checking my computer FTP'ing files!  I've recently become un-exclusive with iStock, so I'm trying to get my portfolio uploaded to a few other sites doing well, but if places would accept CD's it would make me consider them, even if they have a lower earning potential.

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