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Messages - MichaelJay

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StockXpert.com / Re: Thinkstock earnings posted
« on: March 12, 2010, 02:00 »
You would appear to be correct.  iS shows $5.25 for 21 partner program downloads.  Oddly, they show it with my January earnings;

Then probably those are your January earnings from the Partner Program - which includes photos.com and from February will also include Thinkstock.

On iStock, Partner Program downloads were not added for February yet. Apparently (I conclude this from this thread) they decided to process the StockXpert downloads first. I have read on iStock, Partner Program downloads for February will only be added next week.

General Stock Discussion / Re: Twitter's bird
« on: March 05, 2010, 15:46 »
is it me needing a course of math and economy?

Yes, you might do well.

First of all, you'd figure out it's called "economics", not "economy". Then in Economics 101 you will learn about Supply and Demand and that demand rises by lowering the price. The maximum profit is not achieved by asking the maximum price to sell one piece of your product but by finding the right spot where the profit per piece and the number of pieces sold optimize your margins - that's especially true with the technology when multiplying your digital product does not cost more than a fraction of a cent.

But I guess you're too old to learn new tricks, aren't you?

Site Related / Re: Microstock Earnings poll update
« on: March 02, 2010, 06:09 »
The solution is to follow the changes in percentage compared to the previous month...
0-10% of change is 1 , 10-20%(2), 20-30%(3)  etc...

Well... so one contributor doubles his income from $5 to $10, that would give a 10. And another drops from $5000 to $4500 and would give a -1. How would that system return better results than one working with absolute numbers?

Not to say that ANY system would return perfect results. It doesn't matter what you are counting, it's always the interpretation of the results that matters.

iStockPhoto.com / Re: showing diversity to istock
« on: February 28, 2010, 04:56 »
During an application IStock don't care about model releases or logos, trademarks and that's why they don't put those images  straight to the portfolio.These need to be uploaded again.
I've submitted a portrait without MR and it passed the exam.

Yes, people images without MR's are fine because you can't submit MR's during application process.

But I think (I don't know for sure) an image like the second one would be rejected because a contributor submitting this image didn't read the copyright section of the Training Manual carefully enough. That's part of the iStock approval process as well, isn't it? I wouldn't submit an image with lots of post cards with other people's motives because I have doubts it would be accepted.

If my theory is right that copyright/trademark questions are part of the approval process, the first image would also be a question mark because of the prominent Nike logo on the shoe. That one would never get through regular inspection, I am not sure if it passes application review.

Maybe you can also come up with one or two cityscapes or landscapes to show your abilities to shoot photos without people as well. Besides that, those images look good from composition, light and colors. Though it's impossible to say from these thumbs if there are technical flaws in the little details when seen in 100%.

iStockPhoto.com / Re: everything in the world is copyrighted
« on: February 28, 2010, 04:49 »
The interesting question to me, now, is - could I get it approved if I told them otherwise?  I'm guessing not.

If you believe you have proof enough, you should submit it to Scout with all the information and links you can provide. The executive team then will decide about your image. If your image is found to be acceptable, you can later on provide this information to inspectors by adding a note in the file description.

General Stock Discussion / Re: Contributor meetings...
« on: February 23, 2010, 02:36 »
iStock hosts "iStockalypses" usually at least twice a year. While those events are mainly multi-day group shoots during daytime, there is always a lot of creative discussion going on and there are always sessions like "meeting the inspectors" or speaches about iStocks plans and future.

As far as I know, every contributor is welcome to those sessions, though the number of tickets for the shoots are very limited. You can always meet inspectors and some of the content leads at those events and discuss acceptance standards or business perspectives if you like.

At the last iStockalypse, we had about 60 contributors for the shoots, another 20-30 just visiting and about 100 admins, inspectors, HQ stuff around as it happened in Calgary. The next one isnt announced yet but if you are interested keep your eyes open. The event is travelling around the globe (e.g. there were ones in Berlin and Buenos Aires in recent years)

iStockPhoto.com / Re: Istockphoto rejection because MR date
« on: February 20, 2010, 03:26 »
I received a new one:

++Releases for photos shot September 1st and later require both a shoot date and a shoot description.

Is this yet something new?
(my releases have signature date that is exactly the shoot date. Even this is not enough now?)

Do you have an appropriate Shoot Description? It's not really new anymore, it was announce half year ago in this article.

Thanks Michael. That only says that the revenue from the Extended Legal Guarantee goes to IS. Where does it say that the contributor only receives standard royalty from the sale of the EL?

In other words, I would expect Pixart to NOT receive anything above the standard EL commission for the guarantee, but from what I understand, she didn't even receive the standard EL commission.

edit: Or are you saying that as soon as a client requests a Legal Guarantee, that is no longer considered an EL and is only sold then as regular old download? If so, what Pixart asked makes sense...why list in the EL column? Kind of confusing.

No, there was no other EL in this case. Legal Guarantee is one type of EL. It's not like an EL for unlimited print run. If a customer buys Legal Guarantee plus another Extended License, you will get the usual royalties for the other EL but not for the Legal Guarantee part.

It's just a bit confusing because it's technically treated as an EL and as such shows as EL income but you only get the royalty for the file size as you would get without the Legal Guarantee.

Can you point me to the Contributor Agreement or whichever document states that we only get paid a standard royalty on ELs if a Legal Guarantee is purchased? I must have missed that big time.

From the Legal Guarantee FAQ when it was announced:

Do artists receive revenue from the purchase of an Extended Media Guarantee?

The Legal Guarantee and the Extended Legal Guarantee both offer iStockphoto clients peace of mind that many of our competitors simply cannot offer. These guarantees attract more clients because iStockphoto is taking the risk of defending the content we are so proud of and legally confident in. Since the risk to protect our clients belongs to iStockphoto alone, the revenue from the Extended Legal Guarantee goes only to iStockphoto.

iStockPhoto.com / Re: Expecting an IS Payout Today...
« on: February 16, 2010, 04:57 »
Question: how long does it take to process a payout at Istock? I'm at my first payout, requested money on the 5th of february and my earnings are still in pending.
Thank you.

Payment calendar is here: http://www.istockphoto.com/docs/PayoutSchedule_2010.pdf

If your payment was made before the Cut Off in one week, you will be paid one week later. If you payment was for Paypal, the cutoff date was Feb 8, 9am - the payments will be made today Feb 16 (one day later due to the holiday in Alberta). If you requested Moneybookers, payment will be tomorrow etc.

Photoshop Discussion / Re: Elements 8.0 or CS4?
« on: February 12, 2010, 11:31 »
My main question is: What are the advantages of CS4, what can you do with it which isn't possible in Elements?

What I would miss in Elements (if it's still the same in 8, I used 6 before switching to CS): Working in layers on a 16-bit image. Elements didn't allow that, you could either work in 16-bit colors flat files or in 8-bit colors layers.

You might also want to look into Lightroom. Price is between Elements and CS. It's more photographer oriented than CS, you can do a lot of things in there easily. But the interface is pretty different, so it's hard to get tips from others. I use it as a library tool and for the RAW conversion before switching to CS for the fine-tuning of the image.

Then again, if you don't earn a lot money with photography yet, you might want to keep your investments low at the beginning. It's not as easy to get the money back as a newbie than it might have been three or four years ago.

iStockPhoto.com / Re: Jan stats.
« on: February 09, 2010, 17:13 »
This has nothing to do with the original question, but the topic is right on... :)  :

Have you gotten partner sales in january? My doesn't show up at all...

Partner sales are probably added later this week.

Photoshop Tutorials / Re: domain name for PSD tutorials - tutz.tv?
« on: February 09, 2010, 17:12 »
this is a tough crowd to please :)

Next time provide three different options for the survey: Yes, Definitely, Absolutely  :D

Photoshop Tutorials / Re: domain name for PSD tutorials - tutz.tv?
« on: February 09, 2010, 09:24 »
Would you think Amazon would be a good name for a bookstore? Do you think anybody could remember how Google is being spelled? I don't think the domain name is the critical part of a good website. ::)

But no, I don't like tutz.tv  ;)

iStockPhoto.com / Re: Istockphoto rejection because MR date
« on: February 05, 2010, 06:59 »
Just have them sign a blank release and scan it in... Then fill out all the data so that you can change the date whenever you need to.

That sounds like legally solid advice...  ::)

So you are saying there a people that handle hundreds of MRs?

I think I have about 400 MRs on my hard disk right now. Once you get used to it, you'll find a system to organise them. I sort them by date, so it's easy to assign the right ones to the photos I've taken during that shoot. With DeepMeta it's also very simple to add them to images before uploading them to iStock.

For Partner Program - login to your account, look up across the top when you are in "My Uploads" or click the brief case icon up on top, right to get there. 4th one says, Partner Program. When you go there, it shows every image with a box on the right, you can allow them or disallow, select image by image by checking or unchecking the box.

The other for Extended Licenses is under, Member Profile, which allows you to Opt In or Opt Out for extended licenses.

Are you confusing Extended Licenses and the Partner Program? There is a Partner Program Opt In/Out choice in the Control Panel.

The Extended License program is within the iStock site for customers who want to purchase commercial licenses, multi-seat license etc. I would reconsider if you really want to opt out of those because they a rare but make a lot of money.

iStockPhoto.com / Re: Istock took away one of my Pics
« on: January 29, 2010, 02:57 »
Apparently they are prepared... They do have Motorolas left up. If they are that worried... then why. The Motorola V635 seems to be popular to upload there.

Images are being removed constantly. I had two shots with a Blackberry removed last year and they were not pure product shots, the Blackberries were prominently in the image, though. Product shot images have become a problem over the years, and images that look very similar to one specific product will not survive in the long term.

So what? As a contributor I only have two choices: Get angry about it, let it ruin my day, stop creating new images, stop uploading them? Or get over it quickly and change to topics that are no problem to upload, that sell and make more money for myself?

General Stock Discussion / Re: I do not have a clue...
« on: January 27, 2010, 03:30 »
So uploading quotas are the problem?

Sorry but this almost always sounds like a cheap excuse to me. 200 images after almost 2 years of uploading is not a question of uploading quota. Yuri and Andres have to deal with non-exclusive upload quotas as well. And some other guys only started in the last two years and still made pretty well despite this limitation.

I've had a quick look at your portfolio on two of the other sites, and personally, I wouldn't call that a huge success yet. Even with 1000 images online, you only have one image that sold far more than 10 times. I would question myself if the effort is worth those results. Don't get me wrong, it's totally up to you to continue uploading hundreds of images hoping for a few that sell every now and then. But I doubt that you will get any decent money with this approach. Totally my personal opinion, of course, and you have to set your own priorities.

If I'd be in your position, I would really consider if you wouldn't do better by reducing the number of images drastically but spend more time processing those images that you upload. It won't get easier with all libraries growing, and your images will have to stand out from the crowd if you want customers to find them.

iStockPhoto.com / Re: Record long inspection wait times
« on: January 25, 2010, 07:04 »
I have one uploaded on 03/12/2009 and still pending. It's funny, I am sure it is a glitch.

Yes. If it's not showing "Pending Executive", you should report all images staying longer than two weeks in the queue to Contributor Support.

iStockPhoto.com / Re: "artifacting". Always "artifacting".
« on: January 24, 2010, 16:02 »
ETA: you're definitely right FD-amateur; checked the RAW and it's not there. Maybe it happened with cloning some dust out. Now at once we have the reason for the frequent overfilterings i get : "not enough eye for detail"... ;)

This doesn't look like cloning mistakes... but it looks very familiar to me.

Usually those smudges came when I blurred the background (which appears to be the case in your image as well). Even when you select only the background, the blur moves in the colors from outside the selected area. The only safe way I have found to blur the background is to put background and foreground in separate layers and then only blur the background and move the foreground on top of it. Since I'm doing it this way, I haven't seen any "Isolation" nor "Overfiltered" rejections.

Apologies if my guess about your workflow is wrong, this is only based on the mistakes I made myself.

We've decided not to pursue stock photography right now, and we're fine with that. We never wanted to change our style or choice of subject for this.

I can fully understand that - and I'd say, microstock will require more than a minor change of thought. I think all those images are great and I'd love to hang them on my wall.

But for microstock you will need your images to be more in a "raw" stadium, so different customers have lots of options to change the image to their personal needs. And most of them won't end up on a wall in a living room but on marketing material or illustrating articles.

Still, those images are nice and could certainly make some good money on stock as well. But you'd have to separate your workflows for your art/print business and the microstock business if you want to succeed. Maybe you should consider going a bit up, more like an RM agency with an artsy approach.

General Stock Discussion / Re: use of NASA images
« on: January 21, 2010, 16:45 »
iStock's policy regarding usage of NASA images is explained in this article:


iStockPhoto.com / Re: Can't seem to upload images to IS?
« on: January 20, 2010, 14:34 »
Is it possible that I am frozen out due to a very small portfolio?  They haven't told me I am fired or anything?  This is really frustrating.

No, don't worry. There have been some reports today ( see here: http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=166641 ) about the upload being slow. So it's not just you. The problem hasn't been identified yet but I'd guess if you try again tomorrow it should work better.

Off Topic / Re: Photo Tips for Our Website
« on: January 19, 2010, 16:08 »
No, no guys, you are missing the point, did you not read this bit;

you could make $200-$2,000 a week taking snap shots in your own backyard

See, I've been trying to do it in a studio with props and stuff. Do you accept american express?

Darn... I live in an appartment, I don't have a backyard.  ;D

iStockPhoto.com / Re: To go exclusive or not?
« on: January 19, 2010, 04:31 »
I didn't had any Vetta approved yet on 3 submitted. Maybe it's because they were older than 1 year files or had more than 100 downloads. Or they suck... i don't know. Anyway from now on I have no Vetta. I would say it's quite hard to make it if you have no images with models, but this is only my personal experience.

According to Kelly Tompson's year-end statement: "Less than 10% of the images submitted for Vetta have made it into the collection". I proposed almost 20 of my images before the first one got accepted. So keep submitting your very best ones, eventually one will qualify. ;)

With regards to the second statement, there have been quite a few examples of images without any people which became a huge success in Vetta, selling hundreds of times. So models are definitely not a key requirement for Vetta.

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