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Messages - Waldo4

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1 / Re: Trouble with initial acceptance at SS
« on: April 25, 2008, 15:24 »
'Cept that if you like making money in this buisiness, especially with a less established portfolio, SS is your friend.  I can see, given a while to mature, my port on IS and DT will probably overtake SS in total monthly earnings.  But until I've got several hundred files approved at each and have been around for several months or years for some files to get up there in the download rakings, SS is kicking their butt in earnings, hands down.  I'll have reached at least 2 or 3 payouts at SS before I get my first elsewhere.

ha! good point! thks waldo.

i guess in my case, stock is only something i do aside from  regular photo assignments, so it's not to pay the rent. so it probably a pain rather than a necessity for me to wait in line at the SS 30 day hyperqueque  ;D
cheers again for the insight ! 8)

Hey, this is just a means of making petty cash to buy some new equipment for me, maybe someday it will be something greater (highly doubt that it could ever get even close to replacing my actual salary), but if I tried to live off my stock earnings I would have to sell the van that I was living in down by the river  ;)

2 / Re: Trouble with initial acceptance at SS
« on: April 25, 2008, 15:10 »
is SS so important that you would put up with waiting for 30 days?
i'm not even sure i 'd consider that an option.
i'd rather go elsewhere. like who 's dying to get into SS???

not me? ;D ;D ;D
as if the others are not just as good, if not better.

we all heard of numero uno getting too big for their shoes.
the only way from numero uno is down.
for that reason, i prefer to stay with the other of the big 6
BECAUSE they seem to want your photos.

it takes two to do business. ::)

'Cept that if you like making money in this buisiness, especially with a less established portfolio, SS is your friend.  I can see, given a while to mature, my port on IS and DT will probably overtake SS in total monthly earnings.  But until I've got several hundred files approved at each and have been around for several months or years for some files to get up there in the download rakings, SS is kicking their butt in earnings, hands down.  I'll have reached at least 2 or 3 payouts at SS before I get my first elsewhere.

Geez they're taking their sweet time to announce this one, doesn't it go into effect in less than a week (next Thur)?

The SS raise.....the new 5D.....the IS sub start.....tis a time of waiting (doesn't help either that I've be giddily waiting for the NFL draft tomorrow and have reached near frenzied levels).

Site Related / Re: New site features
« on: April 25, 2008, 07:13 »
One thing, kinda minor, that link at the top that shows the thread currently being looked at, would be very cool at the bottom of the page as well.  That way, after reading a thread, you can link out of it instead of scrolling back to the top.  I like the new layout.

The way I see it there are 3 ways that rejections are complained about.

1) As a "What did I do wrong on this specific image" complaint, but actively seeking the advice of one's peers to improve ones own work.  These are by far the most helpful, rejections help you improve, but sometimes the aid of others is required to head down the path of improvement.  I enjoy giving feedback on these, in many ways it is something that Flickr has honed for me, I think that I am a much better critic than photographer myself, and can express the things that I see and possible ways to improve them well, each time I do so helps me as a photographer as well.

2) As a "What is wrong with them, they take this but not this", but in a lighter, almost humorous tone, where the author really doesn't care too much that the shots were rejected, just pointing out inconsistencies in the approval process at a certain agency.  Enough of these establish patterns and are good for noobs to establish for themselves what the norm for approvals is at various agencies, and help them to brush off rejections without batting an eye, and certainly not getting angry about it.

3) Angry "These inspectors are horrible, they rejected almost all of my batch."  Not much good comes from these, unless a large number of people experience the same thing (like the SS debacle a few weeks back).  The author obviously is not looking for advice on how to improve their work, and obviously has taken the rejection emotionally and personally, and is angry over the rejections.  Not the right way to approach the approval process, unless it is an out of left field blip like what occurred at SS, but in that case the posters that are established in the industry and not only understand the quality of their work as it relates to stock, but also have an established pattern for their level of work with the agency, have a right to be angry over the rejections as they have established relevant data that proves to themselves that something is amiss.

6 / Re: Slowdown prior to sub launch?
« on: April 23, 2008, 12:56 »
My shots have been flying off the shelves this week, relatively speaking.

If I've noticed a slowdown anywhere since the announcement it has been at SS, sales have tanked there lately despite constant uploading.

Adobe Stock / Re: Overabundent Photo Category
« on: April 22, 2008, 17:27 »
I just got the same rejection--over abundance.  But it wasn't for an isolation.  I'm wondering if a) new reviewer, or b) new reason for reviewers to select from.

I've had this one in the past.  Not too long ago they rejected one of mine (a ripe cotton field) for that when there were less than 100 shots using the primary keyword search (no exacts), and every relevant one but 2 had sold at least once (hint if you can get past the type or overabundant rejection, cotton sells), whereas my next shot was approved, an isolated apple.  ::)

9 / Re: Poor Lighting???
« on: April 21, 2008, 14:46 »
Most shots that I submit to SS that have any noticeable shadows are rejected, even if they are the point of the shot. 

I don't even attempt to use CPL's anymore because of how much they increase the noise.  I generally can get the skies blue enough without them, and if I want more I can drop the cyan and blue lightness and increase the saturation to have essentially the same effect as a CPL without the noise.  The only time that I use CPL's for stock is in the studio to control reflected light on non-metal objects.

I submit a lot with skies and do nothing special to reduce the noise.  I've got an XT and the 17-40L.  I always shoot at ISO 100 and overexpose by a stop and recover with the RAW editor.  The only NR that I use is to bump up the Lum smoothing in ACR to 25 for skies, or the Chro NR to 25 if the shot has heavy shadows/black areas.  I haven't had a noise rejection anywhere since I started shooting like this.  Since ACR corrections are recorded in the EXIF, I go no higher than 25 to avoid overfiltered rejections at IS, above 50 they tend to reject a lot more.

However I always correct fringing with my 17-40.  I do it in PS with the lens correction filter.  Generally I bump up the red/cyan slider 3-5 steps to the right, that almost always is enough to correct the problem.

In this shot the fringing appears much more noticeable than the sky noise, though the sky noise does seem high for the setup.

11 / Re: iStock to start Subscription packages.
« on: April 21, 2008, 11:31 »
Yeah I see that, my bad, all of the earlier stuff that I had read had not been disambiguated between minimum payout and minimum payout per credit, but alas they fixed it and I was wrong (good).  Disregard the beginning of my last post.

Cameras / Lenses / Re: A recommended lens from God
« on: April 21, 2008, 11:11 »
God needs to show those good folks over at Canon how to make a small, easy to hold, EF 15-400mm f/1.4L IS USM with the sharpness of a great prime, 2:1 magnification, minimum floor of f/40 with no diffraction below f/22, zero CA's and distortion, with the saturation and color of a 17-40 L, with nearly instant and perfect focusing, that also cost less than $500. 

Maybe some day my prayers will be answered.

13 / Re: iStock to start Subscription packages.
« on: April 21, 2008, 10:41 »
From all of the official IS explanations that I have read and analyzing the #'s, there is one thing that I have realized this is yet not explained well (that I have seen, maybe I am missing seeing the magic sentence) that may not be the most favorable.

It relates to the minimum guarantee.  I have not found the minimum guarantee per credit language (please correct me if I am wrong).  It seems moreso that they guarantee a bare minimum, that no file can be sold that will net a royalty of less than .19, but that only relates to the smallest files.  From what I have seen it is entirely possible that for larger files that # can in fact dip below .19 per credit, they just guarantee that you will get at least .19 for the download.  If this is the case (I hope that I am wrong, but not heartbroken if I am not), then some may not be too happy about it.  However I do think that the two extreme cases, where the customer downloads the quota completely triggering the .19 floor, or vice versa where you get an only sale lottery ticket, will be rare cases.  The full quotas will show up at first, but over time as the novelty wears off we'll see on average that just about every sub sale is from a customer partially using their quota. 

It will be interesting as we will be able to plot trends, once it starts a good thread to have going would be the average credit per sub that people are seeing, so that customer trends with regards to # DL'ed and % of sub used on average per day will come to light.  We will be able to see how it changes over time, if good or bad trends, for us, are developing, and also use the data to project onto other sites to see just how much they they are or aren't gouging us with their model.  It is entirely possible that we will spot some trends and project some data that will make many people absolutely furious with a site like SS with how much photographers are getting the shaft with their model (or the flipside, we can question how SS is even profitable), as IS's means of doing it allows a data transparency that is hidden behind the curtains at other sites, closely guarded secrets kept from the contributers.

I think that everybody has the possibility to do anything in them.  Creativity is inherent in everybody.  Talent however IMO refers to the ability, partially technically, partially by feel, to transfer what is found in the mind into what something that can be communicated to others.

Whether via spoken words, written words, visual art, photography, film, musical composition, musical performance, architectural/engineering design, scientific discovery, all of this is nothing more than various forms of communication, something that humans have mastered relative to other creatures on the planet, yet still humans communicate very rudimentary.  The ability does not exist to communicate to others what exists in our heads exactly.  We can get close, especially in some areas, other areas are very lacking.

I think that musical performance gets the closest, musicians exist that can communicate the sounds in their heads to others almost exactly as they hear it in their minds eye (I saw a fantastic Santana show with Prince as a guest musician, both literally seemed to be taking to one another via their instruments, both clearly had the ability to play back exactly what the other had just played and expand apon it, it was really amazing to hear).

Spoken language, as rudimentary as it is, works, though the eloquence of a thought is often lost in the translation into language, and thoughts and ideas exist that there is no way of expressing verbally.

Wheras mundane concepts that are easily described by language and musical notes are fairly easy for humans to communicate, visual ideas are much more difficult, and non-mundane concepts are the most difficult of all. 

Everybody has the ability to visualize things somewhat, they inherently recognize the aspects that make a good photo/painting, etc..., but to transfer that from recognition to creation is a big step (even communicating why it is good is a difficult task to master, it is not something that language is good at describing inherently), not only requiring technical proficiency to use the medium but also the ability to communicate via the medium, which is often referred to as talent, but the ultimate teacher could teach the "talent" to anybody, the problem is the ultimate teacher does not exist, not even close, due in large part to the limitations of verbal communication.  Words do not exist to properly describe the mental process of artistic communication, it is something that you have to kind of figure out on your own, some people can, others that need help to see the way are considered to be lacking talent, they could do it if their mind could be shown the way.

The one place that I think that our teaching is most advanced is in the field of engineering and architecture.  Everybody has the ability to visualize something that doesn't exist.  Though education engineers are taught via endless practice to hold and refine a model in their head, ascribe forces, materials, money, and feasibility to it, and learn the technical proficiency to communicate this to others via agreed upon standards for communication of the design via plans.  Anybody can be taught to be an engineer or architect, the ones that make it however are the ones that can be taught to be effective in a reasonable amount of time.

I really feel for theoretical physicists, their creativity is on fronts where there is no effective language to communicate, and no predetermined system to describe their ideas to others.  Numerical equations exist, but they are but a small part of the understanding of the concept.  Einsteins special theory of relativity is a prime example.  It is a very simple concept mentally, yet there is no equation that can describe it, and it is very difficult to put into words.  Einstein's explanation with trains and clocks is very bulky and difficult to understand, others have described it better, but it still is always a very bulky and difficult to understand explanation, but the concept at the core is so very simple.  Scientific explanation as seen by outsiders is so very far behind the true forefront of understanding, at the very edge there is absolutely no means developed yet to communicate that understanding to others, it only exists in the mind and nowhere else.

Sorry for my spiel and back to photography.  I firmly believe that everybody has the ability of a master photographer in them.  But they need to develop it (there are no savants that can pick up a camera and be Ansel Adams from day 1), both by learning to describe what a great picture is using the boundaries of language (Flickr is fantastic training for this), which also codifies it for ones self so it doesn't require extra thought at each execution attempt, and learning the technical aspects of using the medium.  Over time and practice the visualizing of a great picture comes easier and easier, to the point where it becomes possible to "see" prior to clicking the shutter.  All of the aspects; lighting, composition, color, framing, become visible with honed practice, and findings one voice reflects a comfort level with regard to subject where the previsualiztion of the shot and subsequent execution of it comes with the most ease of all to the photographer, almost natural compared to other subjects and styles.  I am one person that feels strongly that your first 10,000 clicks are crap, that any great successes are more the result of an accident gone right than a meaningful success compared to later more refined photography that comes through experience, where understanding all of the variables involved and the having the ability to have complete control over them has been learned.  Even then this just makes a good photographer, a great photographer has complete and total mastery of every aspect of the image, from previsualization and subject, to execution and delivery in a finished form.

General - Top Sites / Re: Exclusive stuff hotting up....
« on: April 19, 2008, 09:26 »
Very good point about value, not just value to customers but also corporate value.  An agency without exclusivity isn't worth much more than than their equipment, structures, and holdings, the intellectual assets that they have, being non-exclusive, lack much in the way of value.  Exclusive intellectual assets on the other hand are much more valuable.  If a dollar value were to be placed on an agency's library, Istock's would be worth significantly more than anywhere else because of their content.  As a company, this is a very good thing, at allows a more favorable standing with financial institutions and should the owners decide to sell out (or the opposite not sell out), having the value of the company very high is always advantageous. 

I think that you are right on this one hatman, exclusiveness is the next step.  IS are the trailblazers of the industry on many fronts, and their foot is soundly in the door.  I think though that the FT approach is going to catch on, instead of full artist exclusivity like IS has, the push for single image exclusivity will enable the same net end result on the collection, while at the same time not turning away contributers because they must close up shop elsewhere.

If this is the way the industry is moving, and it really looks like it is, single image exclusivity will eventually lead to partial site specialization IMO.  For example say that you produce file X and you know that it is a good one.  It really fits what sells well at site Y, so offer it exclusive there.  Site Y now becomes better at what sells best and further cements their hold on that segment.  They all will still have the general libraries, that won't change, but single image exclusivity, if it becomes lucrative, leads to the decision, where do I list this.  The primary answer is where will it sell the best, the little differences and nuances between each site now will begin to become more and more magnified, and as the gaps in differences grows, the buyers too will slowly learn and adapt and migrate to whoever suits them best, further widening the margin.

16 / Re: review time up at SS
« on: April 19, 2008, 08:20 »
Thursday night I had one reviewed in a half hour, I just put it in the que.  At the same time an image that had been there a day was reviewed.  A submission from later that night hasn't been reviewed yet.  They have been a real consistent 24 hours or less since easter for me (almost always beat FT, 123RF is sometimes quicker), for this file to go through 2 pms is very unusual as of late.

General Stock Discussion / Re: Most anal reviewers?
« on: April 18, 2008, 14:47 »
FT rejects 60% of my shots (holding steady)
IS rejects 45% (getting better)
SS rejects 35% (holding steady, for some reason they don't think that I can focus my camera, all rejects in the last month have been for focus, never got a focus rejection elsewhere though, unsharpened vs. unfocused, can they tell the difference?)
BigStock rejects 20% (holding steady, they hate anything with DOF effects)
123RF rejects 15% (holding steady)
DT rejects 10% (I've got a 40 shot no reject streak going)

General Stock Discussion / Re: Is shutterstock a prophet
« on: April 18, 2008, 12:49 »
Sometimes it holds true, other times not so much.  My #1 image at SS has sold 4x as many times as the next closest, yet it has barely sold elsewhere, whereas my #2 image at SS has earned more elsewhere than at SS (both at FT and IS), but it is still a top earner at SS so the trend hold true there.

19 / Re: 40 DL during the first 24h !
« on: April 18, 2008, 12:37 »
My BDE and 2nd BDE were within the first 5 days of being on the site.  Since then if I were to add up the total weekly earnings each week would be lower than the previous.  I've almost been there two months, last Friday was my first 0 sale day, looks like I'm on track for my 2nd today.  This despite the fact that I upload pictures almost every day and my port is almost 8x as big as it was the first week.  Sales are declining sharply as port size increases (seeing the same trend at FT, each month is a new WME).  If things continue at their current trends, SS will drop below DT for me in about a month in earnings and below IS in two, and I've only been at it 3 months total.

You have HOW MANY at Fotolia?  I can't imagine - mine get reviewed within 2 hrs there.  TOPS.

Short queue/fast review:
123RF (less than half a day)
Dreamstime (less than a day)
Fotolia (hours)
FotoMind (less than half a day)
Shutterstock (less than 2 days)

Long queue/slow review:

Nonexistent image processing:

What?  They have been consistently a week for me since Easter, before that they were consistently 4-5 days.  I once had one reviewed in 3 days.

Sigma just released a PnS with a DSLR size Foveon chip and a prime lens in a single little package.  A little $$, but it looks like the convenience of a PnS with absolutely no quality compromises. 

I've never gotten this rejection either, didn't even know that it existed.  I would think that an issue with poor flashing would be addressed with a lighting rejection, which I have had (from natural light, though not in a very long time, pay attention to the shadows and minimize their impact on the photo and the rejection goes away, even used creatively, heavy shadows are tough to get through).

Adobe Stock / Re: What is up with Fotolia??
« on: April 12, 2008, 12:30 »
But if I sit back and think about it, they nearly always accept the best photos and reject the worst.

I find the opposite.  At least when it comes to overall sales.

The big exception is isolated shots.  Has anybody ever had an isolated anything rejected by them?

24 / Re: The curse of overfiltering
« on: April 12, 2008, 12:18 »
EXIF concerns is one reason that I started doing things to hide what I was doing editing.  I think that a lot of reviewers look there first, as it can quickly tell you a number of different things to inspect more closely (heck I imagine that a lot are rejected on exif data alone), including ISO (look for noise), deg K and Tint (WB check), Shutter Speed/Focal length (look for blur), aperture (look at DOF), noise reduction, and sharpening.

Because all RAW file adjustments are recorded in the EXIF, I make sure to make my EXIF look perfect.  If I am manipulating WB to my advantage, I do it in PS and not ACR.  If I am exaggerating the saturation I do it in PS and not ACR.  I never use more than 25% NR in ACR (below that is pretty benign).  If I am radically adjusting contrast I do so with the curves and not contrast so it is recorded as "custom."  I always drop the exposure in .5 stop increments and at least drop every file by .5 stop (usually needed because of the way I shoot, if not, fix with curves (custom again)).  This way every shot of mine, based of exif inspection is shot at 100 ISO (it is anyways), shot to the right, has spot on WB, and if they want to reject for noise filtering, too much contrast or saturation, they've got to find it with their eyes and not in the exif.

Adobe Stock / Re: What is up with Fotolia??
« on: April 12, 2008, 11:43 »
Hmmm....just rejected a cotton field for overabundant type.  84 results when using keywords "cotton field" almost every relevant file of the 84 has sold several times (including another one of mine), one of those keyword combos where for a relevant file a DL is virtually guaranteed. 

Yet two days ago they accepted an isolated apple which returned 4257 results and has less than a 50% sales rate.  Mmmmm..k

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