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Messages - MikLav

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General Stock Discussion / Re: Yuri admits he's losing money !
« on: February 27, 2010, 14:32 »
Would be very interesting to hear what other top non-exclusive photographers are thinking about market trends, e.g. Andres, or Cathy Yeulet or Ron Chapple (though Ron wasn't very active in micro last 12-18 months).

Feedback from Yuri is valuable, but statistically it isn't enough to drive any conclusions.

General - Top Sites / Re: Oh no, please! Not Canstock!
« on: February 27, 2010, 04:36 »
For me canstock just doesn't work. Even Crestock is doing better having a few cheap sales every month. BigStock or 123rf are doing MUCH better for me than canstock.

was it a provocative post? :) the originator never came back to this conversation...

254 / Re: just wondering about the big "6"
« on: February 25, 2010, 16:48 »
I think it should be the "Big 4" 

I have found to be a great source. Build a profile and post a casting call :)
Yes, specialized websites for photographers/models/stylists work quite good. Note, that different sites are popular in different countries, e.g.: in Flanders (Belgium) in the Netherlands in Germany in Moscow (Russia)

in my opinion there is one negative of one type of EL on BigStock - an option that allows "any other use". That's too broad so I deselected it. Other ELs on BigStock, and on other micros are basically more money.

257 / Re: Rejection: accurate shoot description
« on: February 23, 2010, 17:01 »
The main problem with shoot description is that it makes generic release unusable - e.g. DT effectively requires 'catchall' release, so one with description cannot be used there
that becomes a non-problem if you submit a new release for every new session

258 / Re: Rejection: accurate shoot description
« on: February 23, 2010, 10:37 »
Yes it is indeed pretty clear. What I said is that it's a new requirement.

I have my own generic model release which simply says "Date" for each model, photographer and witness and it was accepted everywhere until last week. (I always get it signed during the shoot).

So this is a remark for non-exclusives who use generic release - make sure you have field "shoot date" on your release, not just "date".

And of course "shoot description" field that was the initial subject of this thread :)

259 / Re: Rejection: accurate shoot description
« on: February 23, 2010, 04:41 »
speaking about the date, the new rule now that it should say explicitly "shoot date" rather than just "date". I've got several rejections last/this week for the reason my release was missing "shoot date", despite the date entered 3 times

General Stock Discussion / Re: Contributor meetings...
« on: February 23, 2010, 02:53 »
Stockxpert organized a contributor's conference in 2008:

Later in 2008 StockXpert organized a teleconference for contributors, related to their program with

iStockapyple already mentioned (initially were open to any contributor, but since couple yrs ago only for exclusives)

Fotolia once organized a gathering in Berlin, if I recall correctly it was open for contributors

Microstock photographers organize themselves too:

Shutterstock contributors organized European meetings two times:

iStock minilypses are common

General - Top Sites / Re: One more sale and the dominoes fall
« on: February 04, 2010, 10:43 »
Hmm __ but there may also have been a reason why StockXpert's customers weren't buying from IS or elsewhere in the first place (unlikely that they were completely unaware of the other sites).
Well... not really. When we met with StockXpert and JUI folks a couple years ago they said that majority of new customers were coming via SXC (i.e. looked for free photos first). So they came via SXC to StockXpert and stayed because StockXpert was just fine for them. If now they are taken by hand and guided to istock - I am quite sure majority will quietly follow.

262 / Re: The Invisible Wall
« on: February 04, 2010, 10:38 »
I doubt very seriously that such cap would make any benefit for SS.

(and I don't see such patters after being 4 yrs on SS - I see some jumps and drops).

Adobe Stock / Re: Can we do something against them?
« on: February 03, 2010, 09:19 »
while this obviously sounds very unfair I must admit that my total income keeps growing with FL...

Adobe Stock / Re: Can we do something against them?
« on: February 03, 2010, 07:14 »
What happens at Fotolia its just unacceptable.
Could you elaborate on what is "happening" there? Perhaps I missed something. The only thing I am aware was the recent issue with the tax forms, but that seems to be resolved...

265 / Re: RIP Stockxpert...
« on: February 03, 2010, 05:58 »
That's really sad news.

266 / Re: SS earnings decreased
« on: February 02, 2010, 02:11 »
I had fewer ELs in Jan so my total is below November-December, but the number of sales is about the same as the past few months.

267 / Re: "artifacting". Always "artifacting".
« on: January 23, 2010, 06:46 »
istock reviewers are very consistent, and istock makes much effort to keep them aligned.

268 / Re: "artifacting". Always "artifacting".
« on: January 21, 2010, 04:41 »
In fact, this is something quite easy to address if you apply a systematic approach. I am getting nearly 0 rejects for artifacts for the last +/- 10 months if not longer:

* shoot exclusively in RAW , not too high ISO
* good exposure, particularly no underexposure, and no pulling shadows up
* very little or no sharpening when processing RAW
* if converting RAW to separate file before opening in photoshop use TIF not jpeg

in result you should see very little artifacting (BTW check on the edge of shadows at 400%-500% zoom).

What I am doing next with 100% of my pictures is applying TopazLabs DeJPEG filter (photoshop plugin). There is an old free version and there is up to date commercial one which isn't expensive. The "official" purpose of the plugin is different, but it helps very nicely to remove that little artifacting. The key is to apply DeJPEG at very low settings, don't overdo it. I made several presets for different degree of artifacting/noise; and I am thinking about making a tutorial about that when I have some time.

When applied at minimal settings, DeJPEG filter smoothens areas without detail while keeping details sharp, and adds a very little noise. This is an example (crop enlarged to 300%):

the version "more DeJpeg" not only smoothened stronger, but also has more noise added.

Adobe Stock / Re: The Mysteries of Fotolia
« on: January 20, 2010, 16:00 »
 I don't do many non MR images but the ones that I do I rarely upload to fotolia or Dreamstime as they don't seem to like them much but my MR images have almost 100% acceptance in the last year or two at both of those sites.

I have similar experience - most of my pictures are MR people and almost 100% of them is accepted. When I submit non-MR pictures, fotolia rejects the majority. Castles get sometimes accepted, but not generic architecture/city views, not generic landscapes, not nature.

270 / Re: a rejection I can't comprehend
« on: January 20, 2010, 15:55 »
Maps is a subject for rejection since very long time ago (years).

A simple workaround for conceptual pictures is to draw your own low-detail contour map.
Just to give you an example it took me around 10 minutes to hand-draw the world map used in that picture, using graphic tablet and one of existing world maps:

(the picture was made in 2006, I would have made it better now)

General Stock Discussion / Re: Anyone selling at Panther Media?
« on: January 18, 2010, 19:40 »
they were promising the new super-easy upload system since summer'09, keeping saying it's "almost there" but it is still not there :(

I don't have time to upload all my portfolio through their current system - only having 97 photos at the moment.
I am getting a couple sales per year with them. I guess it would have been higher if I upload all my pics.

Panther is doing better than crestock for me (much fewer sales but higher amounts and total) and much better than mostphotos (which resulted 0 sales so far) or yay (couple 2-dollar sales) - but at the same time much worse than bigstock or 123rf.

I still hope they will get a better uploading system at the end...

I would say Dreamstime, because

* I would have said Shutterstock if you already had experience, but entry exam isn't easy for completely new person
* istockphoto - same issue with entry exam though it's easier with 3 photos
* fotolia - no exam but too unpredictable, not so good learning from being there
* stockxpert - unpredictable future and entry exam though not very difficult
* others - not worth your time

My own first site was istock - but that was in 2005 when I knew nothing about microstock and I didn't know any other site - just found about istock in a forum post.

273 / Re: Dreamstime uploads down?
« on: January 10, 2010, 13:13 »
now it works fine for me, just tried.

When I passed a certain threshold and I considered my microstock income to be meaningful, I created a list of instructions and passwords for my wife to log in to each site and request earnings as they accumulate. 
Same with me.
Was thinking about doing that for a while, and a sudden death of one of my friends from heart attack at age of 42 triggered me to actually sit and write those things.

Veer / Re: What happens to Veer MP?
« on: January 07, 2010, 17:07 »
My approval rating this month:
SS 59,62%
IS 40,68%
FT 30,96%
DT 52,85%
BS 72,22%
StockXpert 85,83%
Veer 4,23%... (6 images accepted out of 142)
And, of course, no sales and 9 views on a portfolio of 259 images.
Ok, I can be still a newbie, I don't have a great portfolio and so on.
But don't you think there's something strange here?
You have a very low acceptance rate everywhere, so your situation with Veer is quite logical.
For example it is really very easy to get acceptance on BS or StockXpert above 95%

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