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Topics - dragonblade

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Shutterstock.com / Pending files for review not visible?
« on: June 03, 2023, 05:12 »
Ive just submitted some HD video files to SS via Stocksubmitter. According to Stocksubmitter, they were submitted earlier this evening. Though when I got to the SS site, there are 0 files pending review. And 0 files to submit and no files have been recently reviewed. Is this a bug?

SS did have an issue like this in the past where files pending review would not be visible.

iStockPhoto.com / Deepmeta - commercial and editorial
« on: May 11, 2023, 18:31 »
It's been quite a while since Ive used Deepmeta and Ive forgotten a lot of the details. Just now, Ive watched a comprehensive tutorial on how to use this software to refresh my memory so I can use it again and start uploading more content to iStock. I do recall that you need to submit commercial and editorial photos in separate batches. Though I didn't come across that aspect in the tutorial (unless I missed it somehow.) Just wondering how I would mark a batch as commercial or editorial?

Ive been trying to install Stocksubmitter on a new pc running Windows 10 Pro / 64bit. I went through the usual installation steps but the program won't open. When I try and open it, I see the horizontal green bar moving across the screen from left to right with the text: "Checking for updates."

After that, I get:

"Comparing files"
"checking whether the files get modified"
"No updates found"
"Completed (success)"
"Differences found: 0"

This is all displayed very briefly and then disappears. The Stocksubmitter program never appears. I got the same result multiple times last night and today as well.

Should I delete the program and reinstall it?

Dreamstime.com / What are the usual video royalties on DT?
« on: March 18, 2023, 11:37 »
Just wondering what most people get paid for individual video sales on DT? I tried to find the info on their site but could only find prices for customers. It looks like they offer video subscriptions these days so I guess the royalties would be pretty low. However, I have been getting some low priced video sales on AS lately and a little bit of that on P5. Would DT be any better or the same or worse with regards to video? I hope they're not as bad as SS who give videos away for less than $1.

Alamy.com / Is Alamy giving our images away for free?
« on: November 19, 2022, 07:36 »
I just logged in to Alamy now and in the Recent Sales within my dashboard, I see one of my images has $0 next to it. Though it's still classified as an RF sale.  So what exactly is going on?

It's time for me to fill out the W-8BEN form again. It's been ages since Ive filled one out and Ive forgotten some of the fine details like the amount of tax to be withheld. Australia has a tax treaty with the US so it will only be a very small percentage that will be withheld. Surprisingly, I couldn't find any such information online about the exact amount. Another Australian stock photographer on another forum assured me that it was 5%. Though today, I managed to download an old W-8BEN form that I had previously completed and it says 0.5%. So now I'm not sure whether I should put 0.5% or 5% on the new form. Would anyone here know?

I'm currently uploading two HD videos to SS. According to the status in Stocksubmitter, the clips are submitted and there is the green circle that indicates exactly that. And I have logged into that catcha thing for SS that pops up within Stocksubmitter.

When I log into SS on Google Chrome, there are 0 pending video files. And 0 clips for 'not yet submitted.' In other words, there's no sign of these files on SS.

However, last night, I had no issue submitting a video file to P5 via Stocksubmitter. That clip is pending review within P5.

With the introduction of subscription sales for videos across a number of agencies, contributors are going to see a reduction in the amount of money earned on clip sales. It really is a sad situation with contributors losing more and more income. However, this guy thinks quite the opposite. He opened a thread in an online forum and expressed the view that stock footage is overpriced. He repeats this many times throughout the thread and never changes his tune. Unbelievable.


There is a belief that with some stock agencies, there is such a thing as having too many keywords. After a few years of shooting stock, I still don't really know if this is really a thing or not. On DT, there are some contributors who advise against adding too many keywords as supposedly, this can hurt sales. By contrast, on SS, the general philosophy is to add as many keywords as possible. I actually mentioned on the SS forum that folks over on DT were advising against putting in lots of keywords. An SS contributor replied that this was nonsense and urged me not to listen to them. So since then, I have been adding as many keywords as possible with all the agencies that I submit to.

Though now I'm wondering if I'm doing more harm than good with certain agencies.

AS is another agency that, if I recall correctly, warns against adding excessive numbers of keywords. But unfortunately, I can't help myself.

Actually, some time ago, I did a little test on DT. I tried some searches for one or two of my images on there that had a rather large number of keywords. And I had no trouble locating those images in the search results. So I'm guessing that buyers wouldn't have any trouble either.

Adobe Stock / Payout query
« on: November 15, 2021, 20:16 »
With Adode Stock, I'm assuming that the minimum payout amount is $100 like some other stock agencies? If that's the case, I'm above the minimum but I haven't received any notifications about payout. I guess it's not automated so do I have to manually request a payout? I went into my account on the AS site but couldn't find anything related to payouts. How exactly do I go about this?

Off Topic / The Hummer Thread
« on: September 30, 2021, 23:08 »
Continuing the 'Hummer' thread from the SS forum which will soon expire in late October. Hopefully, there will be some wildlife discussion here and all manner of other topics too. And also a place for people from the old SS forum to hang out.

Alamy.com / Surprised to find my videos on Alamy
« on: September 27, 2021, 22:15 »
I did some random video searches on Alamy today and I was surprised to find some of my videos on there. By the way, I was not contributing to Alamy in the days when they accepted video.

I clicked on a few videos of mine and under 'contributor', it says: "Pond 5 / Alamy Stock Video." And yes, I also have these same videos on Pond 5.

Actually, I vaguely recall some deal between Pond 5 and Adobe Stock where your editorial videos on Pond 5 could be sold through AS. But I wasn't aware of any deal between Pond 5 and Alamy.

Interestingly, only some of my Pond 5 videos are available on Alamy - not all of them. I wonder if there's some kind of selection process or I guess it could be random.

Though it does seem odd that some of my videos on Alamy are also on my Pond 5 exclusive account. Since they're exclusive, I would have assumed they could only be sold through P5. And there are also non exclusive P5 videos of mine on Alamy.

I did check the details of a few of my videos and I notice my Pond 5 account name on them (on the Alamy website.)

Pond5 / Unusual rejection reason
« on: February 06, 2021, 02:57 »
Recently, I submitted some super 8 footage to Pond 5 and got a rather surprising rejection reason. They claim that they cannot accept this clip because of the visible black bars on the sides and that I should resubmit it with it's native dimensions. Well of course it has black bars on the sides - it's super 8 film footage. As most people know, super 8 has a 4:3 aspect ratio and so there will be black bars on the left and right when the footage is displayed on a 16:9 screen. That can't be helped.

And yes, obviously it has the native dimensions - super 8 cameras expose a 4:3 frame (unless the gate has been modified.)

I have also submitted another super 8 clip in the past and there were no issues accepting that one despite the 4:3 aspect ratio. And a search on P5 will reveal many 4:3 clips.

I wonder if they're developing a bias against 4:3 clips.

Alamy.com / Anyone still getting big sales on Alamy?
« on: November 21, 2020, 20:57 »
With peoples latest reports on sales on Alamy, all I'm hearing about is very low prices these days. And I had two sales there recently myself. Both of them were fairly low. Are the big sales becoming an extremely rare occurrence? I admit I'm reluctant to put the work in and submit on a regular basis because sales in general are very rare. And it seems that these days, if you are lucky enough to have a sale, it's likely that it's just going to a few dollars.

iStockPhoto.com / So where's my money?
« on: September 02, 2020, 10:43 »
I don't take a regular look at the ESP site because I find it awkward and tricky to navigate at times. However, I noticed that late last year, my earnings were just over $70 and then the following month, the amount was slightly over $2. So my question is - where did the rest of that money go? I didn't receive a payout. I checked PayPal and there is certainly no payment from iStock / Getty for that time period. I did get a payout from them once before.

Another thing I should add is that I actually earned just over $100 in that period but due me foolishly not updating the tax form, they took out a huge chunk of tax which left me with a little over $70. Though regardless, I don't know how it dropped from over $70 to just over $2 with no payout.

General - Stock Video / Possible green screen dilemma
« on: August 29, 2020, 04:02 »
So I shot some green screen footage recently, as I have in the past as well. During the shoot, I checked the corners of the viewfinder carefully and the light on the green screen looked fairly even and uniform. However, when I viewed the footage on a computer afterwards, I was surprised to see a shadow on the top left hand corner of the frame.

Just now, I imported the clip into Sony Movie Studio along with another clip and did a chroma key test. The shadow on the upper left corner does not appear to be an issue. When I keyed the green out, I could see no shadow at all. It looks seamless to me.

However, if I leave the shadow in the footage, would this potentially be off putting to buyers? Could it discourage them?

The thing is a lot of my stock footage is edited with Shotcut and I have my doubts that that software would have the means of removing the shadow. If I wanted that shadow gone, I would have to go the hassle and invest time in learning how to use new software. Although I would have to that eventually for certain future projects, it just seems overkill in order to hide a shadow that is not really a problem anyway (except in some buyers eyes perhaps.)

It seems that I can't reply to existing threads or start new ones on the forums at SS. Can't send private messages either. Hopefully, the ban is temporary. I didn't receive any notification about it or anything like that. No e-mail.

Ive hardly said anything negative on the forums. I did share my outrage of the new massive payment cut but so have most other contributors. And I expressed my thoughts about that ages ago - not recently. And some contributors have been a lot more vocal and aggressive about that topic than I have.

Oh well. I guess I'll just have to wait it out.

Just wondering if it's possible to use Stocksubmitter with two different Pond 5 accounts? I currently have an exclusive P5 account and a non exclusive P5 account. And Stocksubmitter submits to the non exclusive P5 account at the moment as well as a few other agencies.

Alternatively, I guess I could open up a second Stocksubmitter account and use that one just for the exclusive P5 account?

This query relates to buyers who purchase a license to use model released stock images from a stock agency. Obviously, the buyer is informed by the agency that the photo or clip featuring a person has a valid model release form. Though does the buyer ever see the model release? Is the buyer given a copy of the release? Or is it a case that they have no access to the release and rely on the trust of the agency that there is a release that was provided by the photographer?

The reason why I'm curious is I am considering trying to sell some stock directly with no agency involved. And I may have some images featuring myself and possibly other people (who I would normally need model release forms for.) I would inform any interested buyers that I have releases for the models. Though is it likely that they would demand to see the releases or download them? And if they go ahead with that, I'm wondering if there would be any disadvantages like the risk of identity theft etc.

Pond5 / Video subscriptions?
« on: June 10, 2020, 10:05 »
I just came across this page with P5 advertising subscriptions to buyers.


I thought Hyperstock was the only avenue for video subscriptions offered by P5 (non existant for now.)

Pond5 / Trying to sign up for exclusivity
« on: May 29, 2020, 23:57 »
At the moment, I'm trying to sign up for an exclusive account at Pond 5. Just to clarify, I don't want to make all my clips exclusive. I just want to make certain clips exclusive and make the rest available on more than one agency. Of course during this turbulent time period, there's so few agencies that pay respectable commissions for videos. SS has just thrown it's contributors under a bus (unless you can make massive amounts of sales over there to get to their top paying levels.) So as far as I know, that leaves just P5 and Adobe Stock as the only two viable options.

However, I'm curious about this second account that I have to set up. According to the instructions, I have to click on a button that says "Sign Up Now" on the Sell Your Media page. I can't see that option so I guess I'll just click on the "Sign Up" option. I'm asked to create a new user name which I'm finding a little unusual. I think I would prefer to have a single user name when I'm selling both exclusive clips and non exclusive clips. That way, I have a common identity and buyers would realise that all my videos were produced by the same person. If they like one of my clips and are considering purchasing it, chances are that they may like another one of my clips on my second account that has a different user name. I'm not even sure if P5 lets buyers know that two accounts with potentially usable videos may belong to the same person.

Pond5 / Can only view first page of search results
« on: February 10, 2020, 02:40 »
Something strange has happened to the design interface on P5 from the buyer's side. Say for example, I get over 1000 results for a search term, only the first page of results will be displayed. There is no option to advance to the next page like there used to be. Is this the same for everybody else?

MicrostockSubmitter / Shutterstock sign in issues
« on: February 09, 2020, 09:31 »
Tonight, I was having a problem with the pop up Shutterstock sign in page that appears when I'm using Stocksubmitter. Specifically, it's to do with the 'I am not a robot' option. When I click that option, no tick appears. Instead, the photo test appears where I have to select which images feature cars, motorbikes or traffic lights etc. And no matter how many times I click on the 'I am not a robot' option, it always remains blank. I cannot get the tick to appear.

Ive closed this pop up screen a few times and each time it reappears, I have the same problem.

Dreamstime.com / I got a rejection at Dreamstime??
« on: February 04, 2020, 00:23 »
Something has just happened to me that has me extremely puzzled. And it's something that's very rare too. I actually got a rejection at Dreamstime. As you know, DT accepts just about anything. I honestly can't remember the last time I got a rejection there but it was probably over two years ago. And I could probably count my total number of rejections at DT with just one hand.

And the reasons for the rejection are bizarre. "The image is overexposed." I disagree. The subject (an insect) is correctly exposed. I bracketed different power settings on my speedlight and selected the most pleasing exposure for submission. The background may look very light in appearance but that's because it's white. Pure white. And there's certainly nothing wrong with a white background as you'll find many of those in microstock images.

The other rejection reason is: "Poor lighting." I say nonsense. I used off-camera flash positioned at roughly 45 degrees from the subject and I also had a diffuser to soften the light. Additionally, I also used a reflector to bounce light back into the shadow areas. As a result, my invertebrate subject was evenly illuminated by soft lighting. I have no idea why DT regards this as poor lighting.

My gosh, is this a sign that DT is becoming more like SS? I haven't had any photo rejections from SS for a little while but Ive heard of many other contributers over there complaining about ridiculous rejection reasons. Actually, by the way, this very same image was accepted by SS. Ive also submitted it to Adobe Stock but haven't heard back from their review team yet.

Regardless, I'll resubmit it to DT and see what happens.

General - Stock Video / Should I submit or not?
« on: January 19, 2020, 22:42 »
I currently have a dilemma concerning stock footage. Not too long ago, I recorded some 4k footage of some news worthy content (I guess I should say potentially newsworthy.) However, the laptop that I usually use to edit 4k video is being repaired and so I don't have access to it. So I'm forced to use my 9 year old pc with only 4GB of RAM and old processor. I seriously doubt it could handle rendering 4k video files so the best I could do is render HD files from 4k footage. But a weird thing happens when I do that. I currently use Shotcut for editing stock footage and I always use a two pass render for optimum quality results. Though at least one of those passes will fail (and I get a big red X to indicate that.) Ive attempted to export this particular video so many times and what happens is that either the first render pass will fail or the second one will. Or sometimes both passes will fail.

Though surprisingly, when I play back the exported file, the video looks completely normal. I don't see any issues. Though logically, there must be something not quite right since I repeatedly got failed render passes. So the question is - should I submit or not? Just wondering if there might be some kind of issue that's invisible to me but might be apparent to an editor working with the clip on a timeline.

I also took some photographs of the very same subject that I recorded footage of. And one of those photos sold through SS over week ago. I couldn't find whereabouts the image was used though I'm assuming it may have been featured in a news article. I'm probably thinking now that this is old news and so I'm likely too late in trying to submit the footage of the same newsworthy subject. However, this morning, another one of my photos of the same subject sold through SS. So there could be hope yet.

Though like I mentioned before, there could be some technical issue with my edited footage that I'm not aware of. Cos according to Shotcut, what I have is a failed video export. And no matter how many times I render, I get those red Xs and the fail messages.

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