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Messages - Asthebelltolls

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Pond5 / Re: Signing Out of Pond5
« on: December 03, 2021, 22:33 »
     Many thanks, Level 6! Your Pond 5 advice for logging out worked! This is the first time I've had difficulty logging out anywhere with any program or Photo Agency.
     I've been submitting since 2009 and doing whatever I could to earn without
emptying my bank account but the SS appears to be doing everything they can
to pass the expenses on to the Contributor.
     And of course you look over to the right the SS is at the top of the list so that's
going to keep the flock where they are.
     My income with Photo Stock after 2 years submitting to 5 agencies was $20,000
a year. My expectation was that my income would continue to rise.
     Why in the world people sign up and continue to contribute is beyond me.
     My HD rarely sells anymore and I wasn't willing to invest in the latest, greatest camera. I spent a HUGE amount of effort and time to develop HD submissions and then bing! 4K suddenly erased the effort.
     The only thing I would suggest to new contributors is develop your own website.If you're good you'll do well.
     Thanks again Level6!

Pond5 / Signing Out of Pond5
« on: December 03, 2021, 14:51 »
     I have no problem signing into Pond5 but I discovered I now can not sign out. The site has no "logout" message. I still use Windows 7 on an old PC. Your help and/or insights would be appreciated.

Years ago I lived by the US border and regularly cycled the boundary to take pictures and submit to agencies. When I described the image as a US farm I was being technically accurate. The border has official markers indicating exactly where the border is and I would many times step into the US to improve the framing of my shot. One day a US Patrol Officer drove up after I stepped back into my country. He explained that the rules were strict. I apologized and told him that that would be the last time. He was very good about it and even allowed me to take a photo of him standing beside his patrol car. That all changed very quickly. US Border Patrol
helicopters began following me every time I cycled the border. I think they didn't like what I was doing and would do whatever they could to make me uncomfortable.

Off Topic / Re: Hippos a thread to environment
« on: October 17, 2021, 21:47 »
Imagine one of those beast's farts? Then imagine dozens of those beasts farting after a hearty feed. That's some serious gas being pumped into the environment.

That may sound funny, but it does happen to be true!

Gosh....I wonder if hippos outnumber cars?

Pond5 / Re: How has Pond5 been in 2021?
« on: October 04, 2021, 12:50 »
     This topic is, for the most part, useless unless you include the following information in your response: Format submitted. HD? 4K? 5K? Are you a professional videographer by trade or a "wanna-be" submitter? What kind of clips do you submit? Nature? Sports? People? All of the above?
     Personally, I don't upgrade format because agencies provide little or no incentive
so it's still HD. I'm a professional videographer by trade but feel stock submitting a total waste of time. Agencies provide little or no incentive.
     Oh, and by the way, most stock clips submitted are, IMO, a pile of pooh.


Contributors: Provide millions of images to low paying sites.

Also Contributors: The problem is that for some reason low paying sites have millions of images so theres no point trying to improve our lot by stopping uploading to low paying sites.


Indeed, we are our own worst enemy.  But I think there are a couple of dynamics in play for those who upload continuously. 1. They rely heavily or solely on that income and cannot just easily walk away and 2. many contributors shoot average assets or low commercial value work and MS is a good platform for that kind of content.  Honestly, I liked the way Istock used to really scrutinize images and limit how many could be uploaded each week.  It was harder for LCV to get by the reviewers and it kept the collection a bit cleaner.  But those days are gone and here we are.

Totally agree. Stock photography was once a place where the motivation for learning and improving was far greater but even then, when I first started, there were 3 million contributors and counting! That was 12 years ago! I dumped the SS after they dropped commissions and still find my existing portfolio providing hundreds of dollars payout every month. I stick with two agencies, Depositphoto and Dreamstime. They compliment each other making submission protocol very fast and easy. I continue to do what I enjoy with half the hassle. No regrets. I think a lot of veterans will find an ongoing income. Slowly decreasing but always there.

123RF / Re: Is 123rf upload page down?
« on: September 25, 2021, 13:44 »
123rf has the most absurd page structure and protocol. More cr*p then you can ever possibly shovel. Are you STILL submitting to that agency? 

Thanks, Jo Ann. Appreciated.

     They have the technology for spotting problems when contributors submit an image already in their portfolio but they can't spot thieves stealing your image and placing it in their own bogus portfolio? You think it might be time for a class action lawsuit?

Pond5 / Re: So has anybody sold any images on Pond5?
« on: September 09, 2021, 17:56 »
     Personally, I wouldn't bother submitting images. P5 is best known for clips. Very hit and miss agency for me and VERY miss lately. With just over 3000 clips I've managed 18 sales @ $226.00 total with 3191 views over the past year.
     The best thing about P5 is you can change/alter the price of your work if they decide to lower the commission which I did a few years back. I don't know if increasing the price of each clip by $5 had a direct effect on sales but the agency is definitely on the decline for me.

Shutterstock.com / Re: No payment mail yet?
« on: September 07, 2021, 15:25 »
Each month this year payments from the SS have arrived no earlier than the 5th and no later than the 9th.

Thanks Brightonti for sharing. The presentation, personally, makes me realize just how boring drone shots have become. They're so common. So unoriginal that there's nothing that really has that special appeal. Something that really stands out from the rest of those cluster of landscape-seascape-cityscape,etc, etc. drone shots. Personally, I don't do "drone" shots but when I look at the presenter's examples of what's good and what isn't, I tend to disagree. It's my opinion that, like any image, a good drone shot provides a good story. A 30 second sequence that starts high above a city devastated by Hurricane Ida and ends with a family clustered in front of their flooded home. A 30 second sequence that begins high above a beautiful summer Italian village and ends outside a restaurant where a young couple are enjoying a romantic interlude. IMO, the examples the Presenter gave us was the "same-old-same-old". Nothing special. Boring.

Illustration - General / Re: regarding older Adobe software.
« on: August 31, 2021, 12:04 »
     I get the feeling this was a topic authored by an Adobe insider who wants to sell current Adobe tools.  8)
     80-90% of online agency material is stock from years (many years) ago. Still offered to buyers and still selling. I have images that were worked on by PS6 and still doing just fine.
     Until agencies tell me otherwise, I'm sticking with the same old Adobe programs that got me to where I am now. This is a business where you spend your money very, very carefully.

Photography Equipment / Re: Night Sky - Star Photos
« on: August 25, 2021, 13:25 »
My problem using "basic" equipment shooting high speed or low light subjects has been dealing with grainy results. Often rejected by the agencies after applying standard image enhancements before submitting.

Photography Equipment / Re: Night Sky - Star Photos
« on: August 21, 2021, 13:01 »
Thanks for sharing your night star experiences, Uncle Pete! I can't help you with your query but I appreciate the description of the effort you made so far!

Dreamstime.com / Re: Im sorry about Dreamstime
« on: August 20, 2021, 14:21 »
Dreamstime is doing well for me.

Same here. They must be advertising! :-)

     During the Industrial Revolution. In the manufacturing and Public sectors. Everywhere you look, when labor was mistreated by their employers, they unionized.
     Microstock is NOT a partnership. Currently, we work for companies that dictate and control the rules and that will never change as long as the vast majority of contributors accept their terms. Terms that they can and will change to meet their best interests, not yours.
     Shutterstock, on their home page, states "become a contributor" not "become a partner". Their tutorials often include a background statement suggesting that if you want to make more money expand your skills/profession into freelance work. Creating work for companies as a professional videographer and/or photographer.


     I think the best thing we contributors can do in this forum is to let everyone know who is thinking about becoming a contributor is that the agencies are in control. Not you.


Dreamstime.com / Re: Im sorry about Dreamstime
« on: August 13, 2021, 12:52 »
Dreamstime was my first agency way back in the stone age era, 2009, when we
were using rocks and chisels to submit images. They are the only agency that
retained and honored the original agreement that I signed up for. Back in those
days I assumed commissions would increase. Today Shutterstock received
$79us payment from a client for a clip I produced. I received $0.69us in commission.
This is why I continue to submit to Dreamstime and don't submit to Shutterstock and
a host of other agencies that broke our original agreement.

Thanks, Brightontl, for the interesting video resolution topic but from my POV there's an underlining message that should be included.

Submitting higher resolution clips to agencies cost the videographer more money. The higher the resolution, the more money the provider had to shell out. Something the agencies completely and totally ignore. I still get a few bucks for my 4k image sales as I would with HD. 4k, and eventually higher resolution clips, will become more and more popular as buyers adapt but what's the sense in providing top rated resolution clips when I'm going to earn nothing more than a handful of pocket change?

My last clip sale was $0.67 from the SS. Can you tell me what the motivation for getting the latest/greatest equipment is?

A special "exclusive" shot could probably be negotiated. Donald saved from
serious head injuries by his comb-over after tripping when getting out of his
limo, comes to mind.  8)

General Stock Discussion / Re: recommended video sites?
« on: May 23, 2021, 18:21 »
And does HD still sell or is 4K the dominant format?

Yep, 2 sales at 10c, no commission to me.


And Contributor support seems to have been replaced with a bot sending a standard email to whatever question you might ask....


You do have a commission (royalty) of .03 cents.  30%. Now see if that even buys you a single peanut.

And I hope everyone is paying attention to our inflationary times after governments
spend trillions trying to deal with the world's health crisis. That dime that Shutterstock gives you or .03 cents royalty from Alamy covers the effort it took for
your index finger to press down on the shutter release. Everything else you did: Driving to the location. Setting up. Getting the perfect shot. Going home. Down-
loading. Working on the image. Submitting. Keywording, etc. Is ignored and the
money goes into their pockets. Oh! But wait! That $0.10 is American currency! It could be as much as $0.13 if you're living in another country! Enough to buy two peanuts!

Bigstock.com / Re: Website down?
« on: April 12, 2021, 21:58 »
Working fine for me. Logging in, etc.

Shutterstock.com / Re: Worst month on shutterstock
« on: April 04, 2021, 13:39 »
If you are succesful and talented the US has lots to offer. If you are ill or disabled not so much. For the affluent the US has a great lifestyle.

Yup, if I lived in the US I'd be bankrupt and homeless from medical. I need huge travel insurance just to go (when I used to travel). Lovely place with great people and scenery, but no, I prefer Canada. The idea of being a no-fault car accident away from extreme poverty doesn't appeal.

Not that my country doesn't have its issues of course.

....like deranged, knife wielding lunatics running through shopping malls and "missing women" headlines every second day but, yes, I too prefer Canada.

And for me photo income increased year after year since my first submissions to agencies more than 10 years ago. The decline started 3 years ago with reduction in commissions so while my portfolio may increase, my income is down 75% from 3 years ago. Some of that income is, in part, due to the marketplace moving from HD to 4K. I sell far fewer clips than I once did. It's my view that if agencies wanted to make cuts they should have reduced HD and kept images where it was - in the minimum $0.30 - $0.36 range. Videographers/Photographers would have remained motivated to submit images and motivated to upgrade equipment to 4K. 6K digital is just around the corner. How many of us are motivated to once again purchase new equipment for the new marketplace? Especially when we now know agencies are foaming at the mouth to reduce commissions?

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