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Messages - polar

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1
New Sites - General / Re: Mega Sales on 500px!!!!
« on: December 25, 2017, 11:36 »
Have the people who've been seeing these huge sales actually been able to withdraw the money? I'd be worried about it being clawed back under the "yes, of course it's too good to be true" rule.

2
The other 'funny' thing going is that when someone in support has solved an issue, I get a questionnaire to see 'how well we did'. I never get one after a confrontation with MissSnippy. So no doubt they'll be able to report 100% satisfaction if they select which interactions they put out for review.

More genius. Game the data and you don't have to do the work. :-)

3
If you cant delete a file, canyou edit keywords by removing them, or putting in bogus keywords, thus rendering an image unsearchable
No, for some inexplicable reason, they stopped our ability to edit keywords. That also has to be done through support. I have dozens, possibly hundreds of keywords which their statement somehow 'disappeared', and I'm supposed to find them all and put them into a spreadsheet for them to fix.

That's genius. Then if you complain about images not selling, they can claim it's because they're not keyworded correctly.

4
iStockPhoto.com / Re: sudden jump in "downloads year to date"
« on: December 04, 2017, 23:30 »
^^ Second sticky post in the help forum, and the info accessed from the link. Plus previous posts (it's 02:06 here, need to go to bed, sorry) and an old email or newsletter.
They always said that dytd was not accurate, but the stats we were getting paid by were accurate; they said they were pulled from different sources, which never made any sense to me, and when I asked why, it wasn't answered.
I'd love it if there were extra payments, but I can't see any hint that there would be, in any of the info we've had on this. It is just a counter adjustment, and certainly my dytd have never matched my reported sales, even remembering to count E+ as 2.

Thanks for the further clarification. That was the forum thread I read. None of it made much sense to me but on second reading, I finally gleaned the point you're making -- that they're claiming we have, in fact, been receiving payments for these "new" DLs all along. Of course, their non-real-time and much-delayed reporting of DLs makes this nearly impossible to verify. But since there's nothing I can do about it, I'll go back to ignoring them.

5
iStockPhoto.com / Re: sudden jump in "downloads year to date"
« on: December 04, 2017, 20:47 »
And for clarity, that won't lead to more money, unless you are exclusive and should have gone up to the next level, in which case there will be a further calculation to see what backpay they owe you.
They told us  a while back that this was going to happen (though I'd forgotten until I saw a mention of it just the other day), and there is an explanation on their forum today.

I'm exclusive but these won't bump me up a level. I'm not actively contributing any more -- there's just a small group of files left behind when I abandoned them.

I'm puzzled, though, how you can suddenly have a whole bunch of downloads listed and not get any payment. Are you saying we've already been paid for these downloads? I didn't see that reflected in the monthly reports I've received so far.

It never ceases to amaze me how iStock can so innovatively screw up anything and everything that has to do with paying their contributors.

ETA:

Can you tell me where you found the information that these updated stats will not result in an increase in payments?

I looked at the forum -- where the communications are, as usual, confusing and uninformative -- and I couldn't find anything that stated this sudden increase in YTD downloads would not result in additional payments. As far as I can tell, these additional downloads have not been accounted for in the monthly payment reports I've received in the past so I would assume that they will be paid for in the future.

I understand that I won't get more money because of being bumped up in the rankings but as far as I can tell, I have not been paid anything for these downloads so far, so shouldn't I be getting at least that?


6
iStockPhoto.com / sudden jump in "downloads year to date"
« on: December 04, 2017, 16:36 »
In my ESP profile section, the number of sales in "downloads year to date" suddenly took a 30% jump this afternoon. This has never happened to me before, so I'm pretty suspicious that these aren't legitimate sales.

Under the "if it seems too good to be true..." rule, I'm presuming these will all be sales for fractions of a cent, if they are not actually a mistake that will later be reversed.

Has this happened to anyone else? Does anyone know what's happening here? I vaguely recall something like this being mentioned in another thread but I can't find it now.

7
General Stock Discussion / Re: Google Chrome is slow.
« on: November 21, 2017, 21:37 »
What other sites are good to use to open your e-mail accounts. I use Google Chrome and lately it has been very slow.  What about (I heard of) Internet Explorer?  Please list others or the one you use that give you good results.  Thanks--Oscar Williams

and if your beef is with Chrome, I've heard that the latest release of Firefox is way faster.

I just updated to Firefox 57. It is faster and does not bog the computer down nearly as much as the earlier versions. But be aware that there are significant changes to the UI and this version breaks many, if not most, of the add-ons that people have installed. Nearly all of mine were...poof...gone and there don't appear to be many alternatives so far. It was disconcerting.

Much gnashing of teeth about this in the forums.

8
That's all great getting your USD deposited in a USD account in Canada, and not having any fees as a result... but what if you want to actually spend this money? I'm assuming Canadian ATM's don't dispense USD, and if they did, would most places accept them? And more importantly, would they accept them without charging you a fee? There's always a fee somewhere down the line.

Having a USD cash account at your bank is useful if you also have a USD credit card and want to use PayPal funds to pay it off. That was the reason I wanted to transfer my PayPal funds in USD but I've since cancelled the USD credit card. Now I just leave the money in PayPal and use it for USD online purchases.

But you're right -- no matter what you do, there will be fees.

9
if you live outside the US, there is a 28% tax withholding that you are subject to unless you live in a country that has a tax treaty with the US and an exemption. All o fthe countries that have tax treaties, and exemptions on the 28% tax withholdings, are all 'industrialized' nations like the UK, Australia, Canada, etc. you can search google for the list of countries that are subject to the tax withholding.

I'm in Canada. I've only ever dealt with iStock and they don't withhold the US tax once you fill out the proper forms. I was looking at 500px recently and it's not clear to me whether they honor the exemption.

This is what it says on their web site:

"According to U.S. tax law, 500px must withhold a percentage of payments to citizens and entities in other countries depending on the tax treaties, and remit these withholdings to the government.

At the beginning of each year, 500px will use the information in your W-8 form to send you a document called a Form 1042-s. This document will outline the amount you were paid out by 500px and the amount of tax withheld in the previous year. If you are filing a Local Tax Return in your country of residence, you may be able to use the 1042-s to claim a foreign tax credit for the taxes withheld."


The second paragraph suggests that if the US tax is withheld at source, the best you can do is get a credit against your tax bill in your own country.

I'm not sure if the wording "...depending on the tax treaties..." in the first paragraph means they do in fact spare Canadians. I'd be interested in hearing from any Canadians here who sell on 500px whether they're exempted from the withholding.

10
New Sites - General / Re: 500px distributors
« on: October 11, 2017, 11:04 »
I'm debating giving 500px Marketplace a try but have a few questions for those of you who are already selling there.

1) Am I correct that they've addressed the watermark issue by allowing you to upload a low-res watermarked image for public viewing and a high-res unwatermarked image that is not publicly displayed but only used to send to the customer?

2) I have no interest in participating in the social side of the "community." I gave up on comments and "likes" and "most popular" when I quit Flickr years ago. Does a lack of participation in this stuff affect the visibility of your images in the Marketplace search?

3) I'm in Canada, which has a tax treaty with the US. I see that 500px withholds US taxes and does not, like iStock, allow you fill out a form that exempts you from this withholding. Instead they provide a 1042-s form that "you may be able to use...to claim a foreign tax credit for the taxes withheld." I'm checking to see if I can, in fact, get a refund this way but I'd be interested in hearing from any Canadian contributors who have experience with this.

11
Stocksy / Re: Call To Artists is Open!
« on: September 15, 2017, 05:32 »
Well, I'd say "animals on safari" is one series, but you could ask the editors.  It's kind of hard to market "polar's safari images" as an exclusive series if you can go to Shutterstock and get something in the same style and location with just a different animal.

But what constitutes the "same location"? Over two weeks, we covered nearly 1000 kilometres of territory involving several different ecosystems. The locations in the images don't look alike.

And why would these different locations and animals be any different from "Bob in jeans at the fair" and "Bob in swimsuit at the beach"? This wouldn't even be Bob in both shots; it would be "Bob in jeans at the fair" and "Jim in a swimsuit at the beach."

I would find it disconcerting if thousands of images taken on such a trip were locked up like this.

12
Stocksy / Re: Call To Artists is Open!
« on: September 14, 2017, 17:23 »
I see that for video exclusivity is required.
Does it mean exclusivity on a clip base or exclusivity for the full portfolio?

For photos and videos, it is for the series.  And also across mediums if you shot both.
example: Shoot a photo/video series with bob in jeans and a tank top at the fair.  All photos and videos from that series is exclusive.
Then take Bob to the beach and shoot there in a swimsuit.  You can put those somewhere else if you like.

I was on a wildlife photo tour for a couple of weeks. Each day, we shot one location in the morning and another in the afternoon, all in different places. Even within a single morning or afternoon session, we'd often travel quite a distance. What would be considered a "single series" in this case -- each morning and afternoon session? Each location? Both?

What if each of these sessions involved shooting multiple species of animals? If I submitted lion pictures from one session, would cheetah pictures taken during the same session (though not necessarily in exactly the same spot) be restricted as well -- even if they were not submitted or accepted?
 

13
The comments in the Petapixel article (which is about a year old now) are quite interesting. They include comments from legal experts who've been involved in copyright infringement cases for years.

14
iStockPhoto.com / Re: I stock not paying anymore?
« on: August 23, 2017, 08:16 »
I made about $85 in July and I'm surprised they sent it to me yesterday... I always thought the minimum was $100.
I didn't know they'd changed it either.  That must be pretty new, as I've seen people say they were just cents below payout so had to wait another month.
Have they changed it or is it an error...as usual I can't find this basic info on their site?

I'm only a few bucks short and didn't receive a payout. With iStock, if you go with the preponderance of evidence (in this case or any other), I'd say it was an error.

15
Software / Re: Photo editor
« on: August 22, 2017, 12:06 »
I'm thinking about shifting to Macphun's Luminar https://macphun.com/luminar. Is there anybody using this photo editor? What I'd like to find out is how it works with LR. Are there any drawbacks?
Can you suggest any other alternatives for Mac?

Take a look at Affinity Photo. I switched from Photoshop Elements about a year ago and am very happy with the program. It was built for the Mac and has many great features.

I'm not connected with Affinity in any way -- just a satisfied customer.

Thanks for the link. I wanted to replace my old version of PS  (CS3) but new adobe product are too expensive. I will try this software.

I wanted to avoid getting trapped into a subscription situation with Photoshop. Affinity is non-subscription and priced quite reasonably at around $50 USD. Given its wealth of features, I think it's a very good deal at that price.

It's up to version 1.6x and the 'x' updates have been free. They've said they will charge an upgrade fee when they make the leap to V2.

16
Software / Re: Photo editor
« on: August 21, 2017, 18:32 »
I'm thinking about shifting to Macphun's Luminar https://macphun.com/luminar. Is there anybody using this photo editor? What I'd like to find out is how it works with LR. Are there any drawbacks?
Can you suggest any other alternatives for Mac?

Take a look at Affinity Photo. I switched from Photoshop Elements about a year ago and am very happy with the program. It was built for the Mac and has many great features.

I'm not connected with Affinity in any way -- just a satisfied customer.

17
They're not making any excuses. That's just how it is, end of.  >:(

I know (sigh). It doesn't make me any less annoyed.

18
Has the royalty statement for this month (dated Aug. 1) been posted yet? The last one I can see in my account is the one dated July 1. I thought it would come out on Friday since the 20th is on a Sunday, but I'm not seeing anything.
No, the one which is came out yesterday (before the weekend) was for July.
Obviously the statement for August can't come out before the end of the month, and as always will come out on or around the 20th of the following month, i.e. September.

Thanks for the info. I had a brain cramp about the weird reporting schedule.

5 bucks short of a payout. Disappointing since I thought I'd get over the finish line this month based on the number of sales. It's really annoying not having a running earnings tab. There's really no excuse for it.

19
Has the royalty statement for this month (dated Aug. 1) been posted yet? The last one I can see in my account is the one dated July 1. I thought it would come out on Friday since the 20th is on a Sunday, but I'm not seeing anything.

20
Photoshop Discussion / Re: Soaring cost
« on: July 17, 2017, 21:59 »
At the beginning, they were trying to get their rental program off the ground by forcing people. Now the program has lots of subscribers, perhaps they will be concerned about the money they're leaving on the table by not selling licenses - or about putting Affinity Photo out of business.

I sure hope they don't try to go after AP. I really detested PSE when I was using it and I wouldn't go back to it even as a stand-alone program, much less a subscription. AP is much, much better.

I'll admit I do my work in Elements and am largely satisfied. It doesn't have CMYK or the basic vector tools full Photoshop has, but for regular photos it competes above its paygrade, at least for me. One thing that is a challenge is using both Elements and full Photoshop. For some strange reason some of the keyboard shortcuts and menus are in different places...

I did use Elements for many years and it was sufficient for the level of processing I do. But I was afraid it would eventually be moved to subscription too and I didn't want to go there. I wasn't sure I'd have a choice but when I saw what AP could do, it wasn't hard to make the switch.

From reading the Affinity forums, it seems a lot of people were motivated by a desire to get away from the PS subscription model. I haven't paid any attention to what's been happening with Elements for more than a year now, but I was under the impression that it has already been migrated to subscription.
Elements isn't subscription and I would be surprised if it ever was because it's for people who don't want to spend much.  Adobe probably use Elements to draw people in to the full version.

I actually went looking for a replacement for Elements when an OS upgrade forced me to upgrade the version of PSE I'd been using. The older version had worked pretty well but the newer one was slow and buggy.

That was around the time when the whole Creative Cloud thing started to hit in a big way and there was a lot of chatter that Elements would follow suit. I guess that never came to pass, at least, so far -- but I'm really glad it led me to find Affinity Photo instead.

21
Photoshop Discussion / Re: Soaring cost
« on: July 17, 2017, 15:32 »
At the beginning, they were trying to get their rental program off the ground by forcing people. Now the program has lots of subscribers, perhaps they will be concerned about the money they're leaving on the table by not selling licenses - or about putting Affinity Photo out of business.

I sure hope they don't try to go after AP. I really detested PSE when I was using it and I wouldn't go back to it even as a stand-alone program, much less a subscription. AP is much, much better.

I'll admit I do my work in Elements and am largely satisfied. It doesn't have CMYK or the basic vector tools full Photoshop has, but for regular photos it competes above its paygrade, at least for me. One thing that is a challenge is using both Elements and full Photoshop. For some strange reason some of the keyboard shortcuts and menus are in different places...

I did use Elements for many years and it was sufficient for the level of processing I do. But I was afraid it would eventually be moved to subscription too and I didn't want to go there. I wasn't sure I'd have a choice but when I saw what AP could do, it wasn't hard to make the switch.

From reading the Affinity forums, it seems a lot of people were motivated by a desire to get away from the PS subscription model. I haven't paid any attention to what's been happening with Elements for more than a year now, but I was under the impression that it has already been migrated to subscription.

22
Photoshop Discussion / Re: Soaring cost
« on: July 17, 2017, 10:29 »
At the beginning, they were trying to get their rental program off the ground by forcing people. Now the program has lots of subscribers, perhaps they will be concerned about the money they're leaving on the table by not selling licenses - or about putting Affinity Photo out of business.

I sure hope they don't try to go after AP. I really detested PSE when I was using it and I wouldn't go back to it even as a stand-alone program, much less a subscription. AP is much, much better.

23
Photoshop Discussion / Re: Soaring cost
« on: July 17, 2017, 09:07 »
I switched from Photoshop Elements to Affinity Photo over a year ago and have never looked back. Affinity is a great program that offers a wide variety of features from basic to sophisticated. They also have a Designer program.

Affinity Photo is available for both Mac and PC. The regular price is about USD $50 or the equivalent in other currencies, although sometimes there are discounts. They're still on Version 1 with several incremental upgrades; I'm on V1.5 and V1.6 is supposed to be out soon. These upgrades were free, but they've indicated they do intend to charge a fee for full-version upgrades (e.g. V1 to V2). 

I'm not affiliated with them in any way - just a satisfied customer.

24
Off Topic / Re: Plane crashed in my front yard
« on: July 03, 2017, 12:16 »
"I feel badly for the guys they've sent out to dig up the soil for testing. They spend hours wallowing in lead contamination with no protective gear. That's a lawsuit in the making."

It puzzles me that they would not have protective gear. Surely they must have known there was a risk of lead contamination because that's why they were doing the tests.

25
"...tell us what we can do better for you."

Everything.

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