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Messages - Keefo

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1
Print is different than cursive.  Print would be individual, block letters, as opposed to signature or cursive.

2
I'm definitely the odd-ball.  I think I've posted a total of 5 pictures across a few sites, and have about $9 in sales total.  For me it's not even a hobby.  It's a cool facet of photography.  It's an industry that's continuing to emerge, grow, evolve, and I just find it absolutely fascinating.  I love reading the forums here, and on the microstock sites.  It's such a neat thing to see people grow from, "my husband says I take nice pictures of the family at Christmas time and of our family cat, so I thought I'd give this a try" to a year later talking about payouts and downloads and new equipment and how to expand sales, and which sites to post to next, etc.  I just wanted to stick my toe into the water.  I wanted to get a small taste of what it's like to have uploads accepted, and rejected; what it's like to have your first download, 2nd, etc.  I just find it so interesting I can't look away :)  Also, I find the community (microstock in general, this site in particular) just amazing.  The interactions, the learning that takes place, the back-patting, the hand holding, the comraderie, the earnestness to teach and share the photography and business experience just blows me away.  I've learned a ton about photography, business, this industry, and just plain people, from browsing here and other microstock sites.  Someday I might decide to put some effort into it, but for now I'm having fun just watching.

3
Crestock.com / Re: I knew it! Congratulations Eco!
« on: June 21, 2007, 18:23 »
Congratulations!  What a great photo!

4
At the company I work for, there are a number of social distribution lists where people talk about hobbies, etc.  I read through the photography list, and some work colleagues were talking about stock and microstock photography.  One guy posted that he shoots primarily wildlife shots and couldn't find much of a market in stock.  But one of his friends ran a site like you described above (free pictures, so revenue is through advertising).  He ended up posting his picts there.  He said he didn't make a lot of money, but he made enough to pay for new camera equipment (whatever that means).

Personally, unless it's a really high traffic site, I don't see how you could make much.

5


[/quote]

Done properly you shouldn't experience any increase in noise.
[/quote

Hi Phil,

What's the proper/suggested way to do this without increasing noise? I've used Photomatix, and the tone mapped images almost always have increased noise.  I think there's even a warning or info in the help indicating that the tone mapped option usually increases noise -- the last version I used was a beta they had for download a few months ago; my HD died a couple of weeks ago, and I haven't re-installed all my apps yet (so don't have Photomatix handy).  If you have any cool tips, etc for using it, it would be great if you'd post them.  Photomatix is very cool and easy to use on the surface, but I think I'm missing out on a lot of the nuances/power of the app.

Thanks,

Kevin

6
Bigstock.com / Re: BigStock Sales
« on: April 04, 2007, 18:20 »
They just added a library! Woohoo!

I think it's worth uploading to. I make roughly $130/month. It ranks 6th for me.

Wow, how many photos do you have there?

7
Green is my favorite color, so I can't complain there :)

8
My understanding is that the program only stored passwords locally and it never transmitted information to any "home base".  And if he were planning to do that in the future, then why would he use his real name and give links to all of his stock accounts?

That's correct.

And yes, all other software will also be affected by this, including the Firefox plugin. He made it very clear that they do not want to have their user's passwords placed in applications other than their website or software which they wrote themself.

They also just posted a general warning w.r.t. this in their forums.

All the best,
Michael


What total BS.  Didn't IE even used to offer to cache and auto fill in userIDs and passwords, some form of auto-complete thing?  I can see that they, as a company, could institute a policy that their users aren't allowed to enter the passwords/userids into a 3rd party app.  And that if they do their accounts may be suspended.  But what legal grounds can they say you're not allowed to create software that stores users passwords and userIDs?  I think there are even 3rd party tools that do this for all sites (not specific to Microstock).  I FTP to various sites (not specific to Microstock), and I have my users/passwords stored in my FTP tool.  That's somehow illegal?

If they're exposing the APIs that let you connect and retrieve the data, how can they balk?  I don't understand.

Regardless, of course it's not worth fighting for you, but it will be interesting to see if this gets challenged by somebody somewhere down the line.

9
Looking over the site, its kind of interesting.  But there are some things which just seem out of place.

The sign up page says this about the images you can upload:
"How to sell images photos and pictures online.
To sell images and photos online they must be a digatal image from a digital camera or a scanner. The images must be sharp high in colour clear crisp images with high resolution 300 dpi is the norm."

But DPI has nothing to do with image resolution -- just print resolution.  This makes me think they might not be that knowledgeable.  They refer to dpi in terms of the image resolution a couple of times.

I also don't see many quality guidelines, but I found this, "RSI doesn't advocate resizing of images this degrades the image.
How ever you are in charge of your own images and you may resize as you see fit. Please remember 10mb largest upload! Remember your images are reviewed and your account may be suspended if your images no longer fit our criteria."  This could be good or bad.  You CAN find a home for your lower resolution images here.

They allow you to upload images with copyrighted logos and buildings, etc, and they don't require a model release (just strongly suggest it, both of which sound like a big liability risk to the photographers if you ask me):
"To upload pictures of people, it's best practice that you attach a signed model release to each photograph.
If you don't supply a model/property release you may severely create loss of sales in certain country's."

I'd be really careful about reading through everything.  A lot of the info is spread out accross the site.  Good luck to all who sign up.

Kevin

10
Off Topic / Re: Unlimited backup for $5.00
« on: December 22, 2006, 20:17 »
I'm using a free service right now that allows up to about 300 photos. When I pass that I'm planning on using http://www.jungledisk.com/. It looks like one of the best prices around for what we do.  :D



I think the jungledisk is a good deal if you don't have a large amount of data.  But if you have 50GB, it costs less than 10 cents per gig at Mozy and it's a flat 15 cents per gig at jungledisk, right?  So anything over 32GB is cheaper at Mozy.  I don't know how the features compare though.

11
Off Topic / Re: Unlimited backup for $5.00
« on: December 22, 2006, 20:07 »
A quick look at the Mozy site lists the encryption features: 448-bit Blowfish encryption (on their servers) and 128-bit SSL encryption (during file transfers).  I wouldn't have too many concerns about them accessing your data unless it's something really sensitive.

My real concerns would be upload/download times for all that data.  You could save time by compressing stuff.  You could also compress and encrypt the data yourself if you were concerned with the security.

They started installing fiber in my neighborhood, so hopefully bandwidth won't be much an issue for me.  This looks interesting.  Thanks, Leaf, for posting this. 

12
iStockPhoto.com / Re: Different model releases for every site?
« on: December 20, 2006, 17:56 »
I get the models to sign one release form, the iStockphoto release form. I then scan in and save for use with IS. I then edit out the IS logo, address and text at the bottom, resave and use this for every other microstock site. Had no problems at all with anyone. Dreamstime don't like it if you save your MRFs at anything less than 1000 pixels on longest edge.

I'm not a lawyer, and I don't play one on TV or anything, but I think that if you alter the text of the document after it's been signed, that invalidates the signature.  It might be a good idea to alter the document first (so that it's generic), and then use that to get model signatures.  That way, if you ever do run into any trouble, the original model release exactly matches what you're uploading to all sites.  Just my two cents worth.

13
Site Related / Re: what do you think of the new layout
« on: December 12, 2006, 19:13 »
The site looks really nice.  You should be very proud of what you've accomplished here.

Thanks,

Kevin

14
iStockPhoto.com / Re: Istock troubled waters my opinion
« on: December 12, 2006, 19:07 »
And when we're talking about quality/rejections...

It would be easy for istock to make a profit from selling pictures of lousy (or not optimal) quality - The previews aren't very big and doesn't say much about the quality, so the customers will have to trust the agency in order to buy images.

It would be easy to do that, once.  Then the customer would never come back, and word of mouth would kill them.

15
Site Related / Re: what do you think of the new layout
« on: December 11, 2006, 21:38 »
I like it.  One thing you might consider is bolding the thread titles instead of the poster's userids on the main page.  They seem kind of small/harder for me to see.

Like Peiling, I thought I was at the wrong site at first.  I think it has a very nice, professional look to it.

Very nice job,

Kevin

16
Off Topic / Re: Monitor Calibration
« on: November 11, 2006, 20:56 »
Well, crud, my CRT finally died. It was so easy to calibrate -- had great presets etc.

I went ahead and bought a Dell 2407wfp. I've been trying to calibrate it with a Spyder 2 (not pro), and haven't had much luck. Has anybody out there been very successful with this? The Spyder2 worked great on my CRT.

If so, what did you choose for your target gamma and white point? And what changes did you make to factory default brightness/contrast? On the monitor, what do you have set for color settings/adjustment?

I posted pretty much this same post over on dpreview, but since the topic of calibration was discussed here recently I thought I'd ask here too. I can't justify buying new hardware for calibration right now. My wife will kill me (especially after spending all the dough on this monitor).


Now a little rant on color management
I was using a very old CRT -- Hitachi Superscan Pro 800. But it was a great monitor. It was easy to calibrate with preset temperature settings, etc. I buy this new, nice, beautiful, LCD and I have high expectations, but I don't think they're unrealistic. I was thinking they would have some kind of reasonable presets. Guess what they have? "PC Blue," "PC Green," and "PC Red." What the heck? I realize the color gamut on these LCDs is much less than CRTs, so maybe people aren't flocking to them for high-end color reproduction, etc. But wow, even OS manufacturers are starting to realize the desire for color management. Can't these monitor manufacturers at least take a few steps in the right direction? Or at least not step backwards? Is it so much to ask for a freakin' 65000k whitepoint setting? Ugh. For those of you out there with other LCDs, have you been running into the same problem?

Take care,

Kevin

17
Dreamstime.com / DT: Enhancements for Model Released Images
« on: November 02, 2006, 18:06 »
Maybe I missed it, but I haven't seen anybody talking about this here, so I thought I'd post.

I think this is really cool (and explains why they wanted some expanded information in their new model release library system):
http://www.dreamstime.com/thread_5991


18
Off Topic / Re: Stunning Photography
« on: November 02, 2006, 16:59 »
I'm a sucker for black and white photography.  Very nice stuff.  Thanks for the link.

The work here always blows me away:
http://andrzejdragan.com/


19
Alamy.com / Re: First Licensed Image sale at Alamy
« on: October 31, 2006, 13:54 »
Congratulations, Leaf!  That's great news.  Now the question is, have you cleaned out your garage yet :)

20
Cameras / Lenses / Re: Be careful out there.
« on: October 31, 2006, 13:49 »
Just to add to what Striker777s said about taking the ratings with a grain of salt, I would suggest reading through a good chunk of the feedback people leave so you understand why they're getting the numbers they are.  Don't just look at the numbers.  Like Striker said, the numbers tend to be negative.  If you read through the feedback you might find that the negative comments are things like, "I received my camera and it broke 2 months after I bought it" or "UPS lost the package and it took them a month to find it."  Basically things that aren't exactly related to the company, or things that might mean the service isn't great (maybe they take a long time to ship, or maybe they call you back and try to sell you extra equipment, etc) but you're still willing to put up with for the discounted price.

21
General Stock Discussion / Re: Aaaaaaaagh!
« on: October 31, 2006, 13:39 »
Ugh.  I also turn off autofocus for some shots, and forget to turn it back on when I'm done.  That's not nearly as costly, since you can tell right away.  But it sucks to miss a candid, spur of the moment shot, because of it -- my son blowing out candles at his 7th birthday party :(

22
Cameras / Lenses / Re: Be careful out there.
« on: October 29, 2006, 21:19 »
A good place to get information on a site (e.g. is it a scam, is the service decent, etc) is:  http://www.resellerratings.com.  I check it every time I buy something online from a business I haven't dealt with before.

23
Microstock News / Re: Firefox 2 Released
« on: October 25, 2006, 12:34 »
Competition is awesome.  IE was dead until other browsers started grabbing some market/attention.  That whole thing always seemed weird to me.  You have all this early inovation in browsers and web technology.  Then MS wins the battle with Netscape, and then decides to stop improving their browser.  Meanwhile web use, technology, and inovation continued to evolve and grow in leaps and bounds, leaving the old relic, IE, sticking out like a sore thumb.  I'll never understand that decision/strategy.  There was definitely not a lot of forward thinking there.

24
Off Topic / Re: Monitor Calibration
« on: October 23, 2006, 20:08 »
I picked up the Spyder 2 (non-express) for about $85 on ebay.

25
Cameras / Lenses / Re: Sensor cleaning and scotch tape
« on: September 26, 2006, 13:14 »
I'll second what Striker says.  A lot of the "dust" comes from wearing/debris from internal camera parts.  I have an FZ30 and have little bits of debris showing up inside the lens, and a couple of specs on the sensor (that weren't there when I bought the camera).  Unfortunately I can't just remove the lens and clean my camera out :(

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