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Messages - mjp

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Site Related / Re: Microstockgroup Twitterlist
« on: August 13, 2009, 11:11 »
Our studio twitter can be followed at url:

Cameras / Lenses / Re: 85mm f/1.8 or 70-200 f/4L
« on: June 19, 2009, 02:57 »
For original poster, We have 2x 70-200 4L's and 85mm 1.8F and 85mm 1.2L as well at the studio. I have used 85mm F1.8 a lot (portraits to product to macro shots). It is great for the price and is very sharp but not sharp as the 1.2L version but very near to it. I have also used 70-200 4L which is now replaced the F1.8 85mm lens in my camera back. It is good for portraits, landscapes, studio work etc. I have used it with 1.4x extender as well (e.g. stock images from airshow) with good results. I have not used the 2.8L or the IS version, but the IS is very good thing to have when shooting low light situations. I would go to 70-200 over the f1.8 85mm.

br, MjP

I hope Rahul get deals done with agencies and we finally see promised new agencies on the data grid :). Tool is great but without all major agencies support it is useless. They released info that they get funding but then nothing. If nothing happens in next 1-2 months I will delete my account there and change passwords to stock places which were used there.

I would suggest getting those papers in order because it is only a matter of time before the other sites do the same.  It isn't as big a job as it appears.

If you qualify for an EIN you can get it over the phone (and the official papers will be sent in the mail) speading things up a bit.  IRS number +1-215-516-6999 That is how I got my number a while back when another site needed it.

Then just fill out this
W-8BEN Form Certificate of Foreign Status

 and your done.

I did not receive a letter from Shutterstock though.. and i am guessing I should have :(

I haven't seen anywhere telling me where to send the forms and if they just want the W-8BEN or if they want to see the EIN form as well?!

Hi Leaf,

We submit as a company so is the EIN code what we need to fullfil the W-8BEN document? Is there any costs to get that ITIN or EIN code (other than notary documents or similar)?

br, MjP

Yuri's studio is awesome:) (drooling on my keyboard after watching the video). Our two studios combined are not anywhere near that ;( had to shoot more :). But seriously the idea of different and always "ready" setups sounds very effiency when shooting. Overhead in initial installment is huge, but it long run it should work well. As I like to shoot food and related setups the idea of moveable kitchen furnitures looks ideal (no space here, but maybe someday).

BTW How about starting "show us your studio (some images of each other studios etc, because that way we can learn new things too)" thread over here Microstock group?

br, MjP

Off Topic / Re: Projector vs LCD
« on: May 24, 2009, 11:13 »
Go projector if you can dim the light even on sunny day. I have 90" self made screen on our living room (laminated plywood, painted with correct color paint) with 3-4 year old panasonic projector. Watching the HD movies from BluRay is very nice (even the projector is only 720p). I Will not go back to small tv's at any reason :). But if you can't dim the light coming from outside the lcd is then a better choice.  And if you are buying projector you should go to 1080p (full HD) one.

br, MjP

Yaymicro / Re: To all YAY MICRO contributors
« on: May 24, 2009, 05:39 »
There is sales, we just get our first payout (over 100 euros) with about +1500 images. We will definetly upload more images there on the future.

Adobe Stock / Re: FT rank
« on: April 25, 2009, 08:18 »
Our portfolio is jammed at  ~500 level. It was under 500 last year, but lack of new upload during the december/january we lost some positions:).

Todays readings looks like:

Absolute rank     515
Relative rank    614

Had to get more stuff online (more sales too :) )

br, MjP

New Sites - General / Re: Fotomina
« on: April 13, 2009, 14:05 »
Are you in it for the money only or do you have a genuine interest for photography?

No they got funding from a Finnish near-government agency for innovative startups.  :P

Test:  wich aperture gives shortest dof.   2.8 or 8  ?   :D

What's DOF? Oh righty, Department Of Funding.  ;D

Actual Tekes is not a "Seed/startup" funder (e.g. they fund Nokia research programs with several million euros per year). They fund innovations and technology development and research projects, not marketing, not investments  (o.k. they can fund your development servers but not the production ones).

They can give you 25 or 50% of project budgets (maybe more if you are in focusing on some of their major funding programs, not sure this years situation). They can give your low rate development loan or direct support (which the company not pays back) or combination of both. Company needs to find other side of funding for project to get these money. No money paid in advance (they are paid after 6 months, 1 year or so (company must paid all salaries, taxes etc during that time)). What I know about the process it involes lot of paper work and funding is very hard to get because demand is high. There is no limit on project size (so you can get e.g. 2 million euros, but usually supported amounts are somewhat 50k-200k / year (you can download the list of suppreted companies per year from Tekes page)).  Tekes funding is very good tool when you are building up new products since it lower the costs but you get all the money beforehands so real funding is needed to make the project in first place.

I must say that Fotomina has something good if they have got funding from Tekes (In next years list of funded companies we can check the amount they got). 

br, MjP

New Sites - General / Re: Fotomina
« on: April 11, 2009, 05:22 »

I have few question which I like to know answers if possible.

What is your target market area (just Finland, scandinavia or world wide?) . I see you company has just started (registered date 18.03.2009), but how you are going to enter market and get buying customers? Does you company have venture capital or it is privately funded? 

Lot of new companies are entering in the market place and many will fail because lack of funding to even get things running 6-12 months. In Finland we have had few stock agency bankcrypts in last 6 months so the entering even the local market place is not easy task to do.

br, MjP

Microstock Services / Re: Twitter
« on: March 25, 2009, 02:02 »
You can follow us at :

Mikko / Studio Foxy

Computer Hardware / Re: Epson 3800 and papers for printing
« on: February 06, 2009, 14:45 »
For a basic prints I use Ilford gallerie Smooth Pearl paper (cheap and quite nice finnish). Gold fibre silk is very good paper (I like it better than similar hahnemuehle papers I have tested (photo rag pearl and fine art baryta )). For matte prints I use Somerset Enchanched photo paper but it need very large prints to look good in my opinnion (too much surface texture for my taste). I have printed with Epson canvas with no problem. I use epson 3800 as well. Have a nice time with your new printer.

br, Mikko

Microstock Services / Re: Lookstat Giving it a try
« on: January 12, 2009, 06:27 »
Is there any third party security audits planned on site security so we can trust to store our passwords? And how about thawte or similar daily security scans etc?

The idea behind the system is very good and I will gladly use the system, but I need to well known third party confirmation about site security before I can trust my passwords to any third party organizations.

br, MjP

This is a great point and a very reasonable perspective.

My intention had been to put in place McAffee daily secure scans (as seen in the footers of DT/SS) and I have no issue with a 3rd party review either although I must confess I have not yet selected a provider yet. I'm very proud of our commitment to security and I'm confident that from a technical perspective we're doing the right things so I have no issue whatsoever with either of these steps.

My belief on trust was that I needed to build it directly with the community by being transparent and available, asking our users to talk about us and then using 3rd party validation after that. Overall I think your suggestion is terrific and it is definitely something we plan to do, I just wanted to share my thinking behind why it hadn't happened yet.

Basically, this is a long way of saying that we'll act on this item in Q1 of this year and I'd be happy to get in touch with you with an update once I get that ball rolling. Thanks for taking the time to share your perspective and being open to using the service in the future.


I registered into lookstat with one stock site ( just in case:) ) and I will do the rest after security confirmation from security audit or a good words from wellknown high profile microstock contributors. But so far everything looks good.

The data which the program collect is looking good and I can see it's huge benefit to contributors in a long run. We can have much more knowledge about what is selling and when and overall statistics as well. But ofcourse you have lot of coding work to get everything done, so good luck with the development phase.

Maybe you could provide simple secure interface specification to low earner/smaller sites which they can implement to allow easier integration to lookstat (I think that way sites win(they might more users since good contributor tools) and lookstat get information easily and more securely etc (e.g. seperate passwords for data gathering etc) ).

I will post ideas and suggestions in the future if I get good ones:) .

br, MjP

Microstock Services / Re: Lookstat Giving it a try
« on: January 08, 2009, 03:59 »
Is there any third party security audits planned on site security so we can trust to store our passwords? And how about thawte or similar daily security scans etc?

The idea behind the system is very good and I will gladly use the system, but I need to well known third party confirmation about site security before I can trust my passwords to any third party organizations.

br, MjP

General - Stock Video / Re: photojpeg quality settings
« on: January 01, 2009, 03:20 »
For video, yes, I always compress at 95% or thereabouts.

Thanks for the information.

br, Mikko

General - Stock Video / photojpeg quality settings
« on: December 31, 2008, 03:33 »

When I set photo jpeg quality 100% I get huge files (1920x1080 30/frames 5dmk2 ) on expoert. So it is possible to reduce quality to 95% or similar and get files accepted to major footage stocks like Istock, ss, StockXpert? Or should I stick with 100%?

br, Mikko P.

18 / Re: SS rejections explosion!!!
« on: December 29, 2008, 13:49 »
About a half of the latest batch were rejected due the reason: not in focus/ focus not where we want it blaah...

Images were food shots with shallow dof you can see any food magazine / book (shot with tilt&shift lens to maximize DOF). I was getting lot of this kind of rejections on StockXpert earlier this year but suddenly I got all my new images accepted (same DOF etc..). Had to change approach for SS images.

br, MJP


Computer Hardware / Re: Do you calibrate your monitor?
« on: December 29, 2008, 04:52 »
I use spyder 2 with Eizo's calibration/profiling software (better than spyder's own in my opinnion). For printer profiling I use Spyder 3 print. My working environment is not ideal (wrong colored walls at the moment) but I have D50 room lights and smaller print evaluation light. Colors look very nice on monitor and they match prints quite well. One thing I notice when I get new monitor, that photo retouching is harder because you see colour differences easier, so there is always something to fix after clone stamp and patch tool :D.

br, MjP

General Stock Discussion / Re: How do you back up your images?
« on: December 29, 2008, 04:44 »
I use Carbonite..
Cheap and above all, unlimited storage for almost no money! 

Second one is wich I upload everything (jpeg,raw,psd).

I found a lot of negative feedback about both Carbonite and Mozy. Data lost / not restored with Carbonite; too slow upload and various problems with client for Mozy...

Also beware that there is no commitment from online backup companies - no uptime guarantee; no data availability guarantee, i.e. there is no SLA at all and Terms_and_conditions deny any responsibility.

So using an online backup might be a useful extra option but isn't looking safe as a primary backup method, at least with cheap companies.

Amazon S3 looks better with an explicit SLA (which is assured by such a serious name like Amazon), but it becomes more expensive when you store large amounts of data (>100GB)... BTW it works nicely with freeware FireFox addon S3Fox.

Amazon S3 get more expensive if you store lot of data into it, but with its multiple  geolocation datacenters and somewhat good SLA it is quite good and amazon is serious with its cloud computing services (like ec2, cloud front etc..). So I think my backups are quite safe in their hands:). has gotten some bad and good reviews so I do not count on it, but it is cheap secondary backup location.  I have also on location backup just in case and will always evaluate new backup strategies.

That s3fox is also very nice tool. But for better backup automation the jungledisk is needed.

best regards: MjP

General Stock Discussion / Re: How do you back up your images?
« on: December 28, 2008, 10:51 »
I had this kind of plan:

Backup everything on the NAS drive (1gigabit) and had another USB drive in the bank safety deposit box. It worked but then the NAS Drive blow up:). So I had only one external drive + computer hard drive... Not good at all. Harddrives can fail any given moment, so counting on only few drives is not wise if you have valuable images on them.

So I test online backup systems and they are my current choice. I have two different setup. Amazon S3 (with jungle disk( for backupping RAWs and final JPGs. Second one is wich I upload everything (jpeg,raw,psd). Why two system? Only for reliability and availibility. I also have one USB backup drive (I use SyncBackSE backup program)  at home also for fast access if network is not awailable or something similar.

Cost of the online storage system is cheaper than buying professional storage solution and supplying power to it. No hasle with cd/dvd's and time consuming burning and archiving progress...

Be sure you always have off-site backup as well and do not count on one or two external hard drives (they will broke on some day).

br, MjP

I wrote a short guide to Microstock footage a while back which should answer a few questions regarding sound/clip length/codec.

Microstock photo guide

iStock seem to love Apple codec so quicktime pro $30

Any editorial footage submitted to SS needs a detailed title regarding when/where/what otherwise they reject it and you have to reupload

Thanks a lot for the information. I will try that free streamclip program with apple codec. Is there any information how much usual submitter get from the video clip per month / year (average)? I see that there is other sites as well (pond5 etc). The upload speed will be the problem (1mbs upload speed).

br, Mikko

2008 targets were:

- 1000$/month before next fall from microstocks [failed, but near]
- Remodel my garage to home studio (planning starts january and should be ready at summer time) [got designs too late, still in the works]
- Add 1000 images to my portfolio. [failed, only added +500, images]
- Focus more and more on food & still life photography  [OK]
- Buy tilt and shift lens and learn to use it [90mm tse is marvelous, using it 90% of time]
- And maybe get more non-microstock related photography income as well.[This was a surprise, got many non ms related shoots]

goals and plans for 2009:

- Add  at least 1000 images to my port.
- Double microstock monthly income before end of the 2009
- Focus on seasonal food and still life images
- 9 days photo trip to Toscana, Italy
- Buy new telezoom lens
- Start making videos with and submit to sites, at least 100 videos in port.
- Finish the studio project in january

br, MjP


Merry X-mas/happy holidays to everyone!

I got my 5dmk2 few days ago and I'm looking information about software and possible workflow tips to allow me to shoot stock footage with that new camera.

I think I need some kind of editing program and maybe codecs (commercial?) as well. Adobe software(premier) seems to be quite expensive so is there alternative for the editing software. I read Leaf post about different sites requirements, so I need so me work flow tips to get videos to these sites easy as possible. My computer setup (PC-vista64) is quite fast with lot of memory so I think the programs can run fast enough to allow video editing. And of course if there is good to know tips about 5dmk2 video shooting please let me know:).

Thanks in advance,

Best regards : Mikko P.

Canon / Re: Has anyone taken delivery of their new 5D mkII yet?
« on: December 19, 2008, 02:16 »
Ac-foto (germany) have them in stock (I just looked). So you can order it from there ;).

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