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Messages - astrocady

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1 / Re: How to submit a stitched panorama to iStock
« on: December 08, 2010, 17:38 »
I just had a series of photos rejected with the following message...

* PENTAX K100D native resolution = 3008 x 2008. Your file is 2704 x 2801. As part of iStock standards, we only accept files at their native resolution. *

This was an isolation photo.  All I did was crop off the excessive white space on the left and right edges.

I had another photo rejected recently because it was shot at ISO 400!! 

I'm beginning to agree that we should strip all the camera data from the files before submitting.

Cutcaster / Re: what's up with Cutcaster???
« on: October 22, 2010, 16:56 »
I haven't had much problems with rejections, but I'm still waiting for that first sale.  I'm still uploading though.

General Stock Discussion / Re: HDR: Why all the controversy
« on: October 22, 2010, 16:53 »
HDR is one of many "tools" that I use when it's appropreate.  On some things it works great.  But, even when I take an HDR spread, most often I use the only the middle normal exposure shot.  When HDR works though, it can make a really great pix.

One thing I have learned, never put HDR in your keywords until AFTER it's been approved ;-)

General Stock Discussion / Re: Skin issue
« on: October 25, 2009, 14:22 »
Here is what I do to keep sharpness when I use Portraiture...]

There is a setting within the filter that places all the corrections it makes on a separate, transparent layer above the one your are applying the filter to.  I make sure that box is checked.

Then the filter is done, I select that layer and turn off all the others.  Then I use the eraser to delete everything but the skin areas.  I set then set the brush hardness to 0 (very soft) and delete the very edges of the skin.

This keeps the rest of the picture sharp.

The only model I've found that didn't piss me off with the first 5 minutes was myself.  So, I only do self portraits nowadays.  I don't have a studio or expensive equipment.  

I have a carport on the south side of my home and the siding is white.  In the afternoons the natural light under the carport is fairly good, with a rather nice reflected light off the concrete driveway on the west side of the carport.  I put my camera on a tripod and point the camera towards the north.  

I have two extremely cheap strobes that my wife found at a garage sale.  I have to wireless triggers that I bought on ebay for about $15 each.  I place one on the ground between my feet, pointing 45 degrees upward towards the background (the white siding which is about 5 feet or so behind me)  The other strobe I lie the shelf of a wooden step ladder (shelf is about 5 foot off the ground) which is just out of frame on the east side.  I bounce the flash off the carports white metal ceiling which counterbalances the  reflected light coming in from west side.  I normally shoot at about f8 at 1/90 and iso of 200.

My white background isn't perfect, but I make sure the brightest part of the strobe's light is hitting the background right behind my head, so there is usually no isolation touch-up need in that difficult area.  The rest is quickly and easily dealt with, usually in only a couple of minutes.

I don't claim for these to be all that great, but a do sell a few, and recently had my first sale on Alamy with this one.  

6 / Re: Mostphotos 3.0 Comming Today?
« on: September 06, 2009, 18:44 »
well, David, I don't blame you for being ticked.  I didn't realize you were using ie8.  The only excuse I can think of is that they had the detection script set for ie8 for testing, and forgot to change the code back to read ie6.

I looked at the code for their index page, but it contains php code which is implemented on the server end, so by the time I see it and do a view source all the php code has been implemented.  The certainly don't do this the way I do -- and I'm NOT saying my way is better.  I don't send them to a different page, I just add a warning to the page in question and they can see if their browser will work or not.  They way they're doing in, in a case like yours, you have no option.

Mikie is a good coder, and I'm sure he will fix this soon.  Have you sent MostPhotos a site mail or email about this problem?

7 / Re: Mostphotos 3.0 Comming Today?
« on: September 05, 2009, 18:44 »

So in 2009 it is still in use by a significant portion of the web population, and they can 'upgrade' or go elsewhere to buy images, why would anyone not support a browser with a significant number of users is beyond belief, and I wonder which option they will choose as many users do not know how or cannot just upgrade thier personal PC or company workstation?
David  ::)

I am a web developer and I stopped "supporting" ie 6 about six months ago, and I am so relieved -- a HUGE weight lifted.  ie6 is, and always was, a horrible browser.  It was the heights of Microsoft's "we're going to force everyone to use our software" phase.  You either designed a site for ie6 or for everyone else. They thumbed their nose at the www beauro of standardization and it was the primary reason for the anti-trust suits.

According to Google, only less than 20% of web viewers use ie6, so, YES, it is time to accelerate it's demise.  Because it was never web-standard complaint, a lot of today's features just won't work on ie6.  This leave the web developer who wants to take advantage of web-standard features with the pain of building 2 pages -- one for ie6 and one for everyone else.

Having said that, all my sites will "work" on ie6.  They might not look good, and some boxes may be jumbled, and certain features are disabled, but I do make sure they are workable.  I still warn everyone that accesses one of my pages with ie6 that they are using an unsupported browser and urge them to update.  I include links to all the modern browsers.  Anyone can easily upgrade with only a few clicks.  But should they decide not to (or in some extreme corporate cases, can not update) the site is still functional.  Perhaps MostPhotos is similar?  Are you sure it actually does not work, or are you just getting the warning?

As for those companies that force their employees to use only ie6 -- that is mostly out of laziness on their part, and if enough employees complain to their lazy IT departments, maybe they get off their butts and bring their company up-to-date.

8 / Re: Mostphotos 3.0 Comming Today?
« on: September 04, 2009, 18:39 »
Yes!  I think it looks, and acts very nice.  Good job mikie!

Veer / Re: Veer Has Sales Charts/Reports Now as promised
« on: August 30, 2009, 08:07 »
Now if we could just sort our port by view and downloads, so we could see what Veer customers are interested in

Veer / Re: Losing my enthusiasm for Veer
« on: August 21, 2009, 09:08 »
Just got the review info for the last of my port to be uploaded to veer.  It seems that every batch had more and more rejections, with this last on being the worst.

On the plus side, these rejections were more detailed -- not the canned ones I always got before.  But like Disorderly's, they were on the rude side.  Better than uninformative canned responses, but it sure came through loud and clear that the reviewer was displeased.  Not sure if it was my pictures or the job in general that caused his displeasure, but if other are seeing similar comments, it must be the job.

General Stock Discussion / Re: Poll: What is your Day Job?
« on: August 21, 2009, 08:57 »
Web design, graphic artist, copy & technical writer, IT, stock and custom photographer.  Still can't pay all of bills.

General Stock Discussion / Re: The use of a square image
« on: August 21, 2009, 08:14 »
As a graphic artist, web designer and former newspaper person, I agree that a lot, if not most, images end up square, or nearly square in final use.  However, I have always like the option of deciding how the picture should be cropped depending on its use and position.  Sometime I want copyspace on the left, sometimes right, and sometimes not at all.  This is why I leave my images the size they came out of the camera.

HOWEVER, objects or people isolated on a white background are another matter!  I've used to leave them full frame as well, but after reading the discussion about square images for better thumbnails, I"ve started cropping them as near to square as possible. 

So, thank you Jonathan for the tip!

Site Related / Re: Microstockgroup Twitterlist
« on: August 12, 2009, 09:03 »
I go by HydroSysSteve, but seldom tweet about photography (although I did yesterday).

Veer / Re: Losing my enthusiasm for Veer
« on: August 12, 2009, 09:00 »
First off, it's good to see you again Lisa!  I've missed your input lately.

I do not contribute to Veer but I do read the threads, did Veer not say they were looking for specific content and not just more of the same, so if you have 1000 live on another site and ready to upload it does not follow that they are suitable, Brian did publish a list of prefered content in one of the topics, it would be nice if the websites let suppliers know which categories were needed and which were over subscribed and getting the 'Not Required at this Time' rejections.

Every site has a list of what to, and what not to submit -- and they all seem to be the same to me.  Veer's is no exception.  No real guidance to be found there, IMO.

Quote from: abimages
My feeling is they are trying to offer microstock to their existing customers only. Which is why it's important to them that this new content fits in with their existing style.

I can find no real pattern in the rejections I'm getting to indicate a preferred "style."  The rejections seem very random, except for the "too similar" ones.  Those, it appears, seem to come from boredom.  They obviously don't like more than 2 or 3 from the same batch, but once again I can't see the pattern in the ones they do choose.  They rarely seem to choose the once I think are the best from the batch.

Oh well.  I mark the rejections I don't agree with in Bridge and in a few months, after things have settled down, I'll resubmit.

What really bugs me is how long it is taking them to get their website working right.  I am a php programmer and I know that adding a link to our portfolio is a simple, simple matter, and adding the ability to search our ports by views, downloads, etc is not rocket science either.

General Stock Discussion / Re: Are US photo buyers bigots?
« on: August 10, 2009, 12:16 »

As for why a company may wish to stress white people in their advertising campaigns, that is an entirely different matter.  But I don't think it's as sinister as race bigotry.  They also don't usually feature overweight people, bald people, people with bad complexions, scares, etc.

That's why I don't have any self portraits in my portfolio    :-[

Well, I do have a few, and being slightly overweight with a bad complexion and a few scares is probably why they don't sell well  :D LOL  :D

General Stock Discussion / Re: Are US photo buyers bigots?
« on: August 10, 2009, 08:38 »
I think another reason for relatively fewer A/A images may be free model availability.  A LOT of models used in microstock are related to the photographer.  So it may be a case of not as many black stock photographers and white stock photographers bugging their family to pose.

As for why a company may wish to stress white people in their advertising campaigns, that is an entirely different matter.  But I don't think it's as sinister as race bigitry.  They also don't usually feature overweight people, bald people, people with bad complexions, scares, etc.

All sales very slow for me.  Not too surprising as I haven't uploaded much all summer.  Need inspiration.

Cameras / Lenses / Re: Strap crap !
« on: August 01, 2009, 13:06 »
WOW!! That's scary!  :o

I just gave my strap a good tug to test it.  It held ;D

Veer / Re: Feature request
« on: August 01, 2009, 08:20 »
Also the ability of editing keywords.  I just noticed the top three pix showing in my approved window all had the same word misspelled, and it's the most important keyword.  No wonder it's been a slow seller at all sites.

Photo Critique / Re: rejected photo
« on: August 01, 2009, 08:09 »
The halo almost looks like the effect you get with HDR or if the kites were added to the picture.

General Stock Discussion / Re: Copyright protection????
« on: August 01, 2009, 08:05 »
Yeah, being small is no excuse. Getting burned a couple of times was enough to convince me. Having the expectations of both parties spelled out in writing really avoids later headaches for all concerned. I had one too many dealings on a fuzzy handshake where the project grew and grew and my paycheck didn't. is my friend now.  ;)

Thanks, WhatAlife.  I know you're right and if this job I'm hoping to get "real soon now" doesn't pan out and I have to keep doing website to put bread on the table, I will definitely follow your advice.  I've been lucky so far and I realize it.

General Stock Discussion / Re: Copyright protection????
« on: July 31, 2009, 18:08 »
Forgot -- thanks Adeptris, WhatALife & Moon007!

General Stock Discussion / Re: Copyright protection????
« on: July 31, 2009, 18:06 »
I would put the protection as noted and also you should be fine when you are using your clients images.  They are responsible for their site even if you are designing it.  I think you are only responsible for the images you provide.

Maybe I should edit the image meta data for those images furnished by the client to state, in the copyright notice area, image provided by client.  Don't know that it would stand up in court, but it wouldn't hurt,.  Beside, putting SOMETHING into the meta data should (yea, right) serve as a warning to others not to steal the pix.

General Stock Discussion / Re: Copyright protection????
« on: July 31, 2009, 18:03 »

But my question still stands -- how am I as a webmaster supposed to know if a client took a picture himself or stole it?

You should put a statement in your contract that protects you against liability for this. It is not your responsibility to warrant that they are allowed to use photos they are instructing you to put on their site.

An exerpt from one of my design contracts:
8. Releases
Client shall obtain all necessary copyright permissions and privacy releases for materials included in the Designs at Clients request. Client shall indemnify Contractor against all claims and expenses, including reasonable attorney fees, due to Clients failure to obtain such permissions or releases.
At their discretion, Contractor will obtain appropriate licensing for any supplemental imagery they deem necessary for completion of services outlined in Exhibit A. Contractor will provide Client with a copy of these licensing terms upon delivery of the final document files. Client shall indemnify Contractor against all claims and expenses, including reasonable attorney fees, due to Clients breech of these licensing terms.

Wow!  a formal contract!  I'm a small, one-man-show and don't have any formal agreements.  I know I should, but...

General Stock Discussion / Re: Copyright protection????
« on: July 31, 2009, 14:39 »
Hmmm.  Well I have 3 pix that I recently downloaded from iStock.

iStock_000004462902XSmall.jpg had NO data at all.

iStock_000001648333XSmall.jpg had title, description and keywords. Copyright Status set to unknown.

iStock_000003299659XSmall.jpg had full information -- title, description, keywords, copyright status=copyrighted, copyright notice had photographers name and ALL of the Creator information, including her phone number, was filled in.


But my question still stands -- how am I as a webmaster supposed to know if a client took a picture himself or stole it?

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