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Messages - lefty

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26
iStockPhoto.com / Re: "Istock Collections" what ??
« on: August 23, 2010, 18:34 »

Or, then again, maybe it is just like any corporation: someone got lumbered with the job of catering to the boss's latest whim, couldn't be bothered to make much effort and just shoved in enough content to keep the powers that be happy. "Look, boss, I used lots of Vetta, it's the cream of our creative prowess!". It's hard to argue with your own slogans.

This makes the most sense IMO.  Would certainly explain why there are so few images, and also some near duplicates of pretty mediocre stuff.  Like the dogs Baldrick noticed in the Animals lightbox, or the two images of the goofy guy sitting in front of a green blackboard with an apple on his head in the education lightbox.  Seriously, both of those had to be included because there was just NOTHING better?!

As for starting my own site to drive traffic to my micro portfolio.... here's a thought - I pay Istock 80% of what my images make on their site.  It's not too much to ask that they 1) give everyone a fair shot at inclusion in sitewide lightboxes; or 2) don't claim that those lightboxes are the best of the collection when clearly they aren't; or 3) let their search engine be the arbiter of what gets put in front of buyers; or 4) Make it clear to buyers that the intended purpose of those lightboxes is to highlight Vetta, E+, and/or exclusive content.     

If I wanted to devote the vast amount of time and expense necessary to start my own stock site to drive traffic to my micro portfolio, WtheF would I need Istock for??

As for curating lightboxes on Istock, I have done that for years and so have many others.  The difference is that most of us don't have the lightboxes we curate promoted by istock, unlike these "hand selected" lightboxes with "the best imagery" on the site.   

Lisafx, if  in deed "near duplicates of pretty mediocre stuff;  dogs Baldrick noticed in the Animals lightbox; two images of the goofy guy sitting in front of a green blackboard with an apple on his head in the education lightbox; etc is all IStock best can present for as the best of Vetta , E+. 
Surely the buyers are not dumb enough to not know the un-level play field. Or is buyers used to be insulted of their intelligence ?

27
iStockPhoto.com / Re: "Istock Collections" what ??
« on: August 23, 2010, 17:26 »


It does seem odd that in the rather small animals lightbox there are a couple of pictures of the same dog looking in slightly different directions and what appear to be three black and white images of the same elephant. I'm sure they're all great photos but near duplication and multiple images from one supplier in such a small box covering such a huge subject suggests a hurried cobbling together. I wonder why there are so many animal "head and shoulders" shots, too. Is that the vogue?

No kidding.


That's fair enough, Alias, but aren't these lightboxes promoted by iS itself? And doesn't that give them the seal of official approval, as being the best of the best for each subject? There's nothing wrong with iStock doing that but it does reflect badly on them if they don't then make the effort to pull out the most stunning pictures in their collection ...or maybe it is just so large that they can't find stuff, either.

Or, then again, maybe it is just like any corporation: someone got lumbered with the job of catering to the boss's latest whim, couldn't be bothered to make much effort and just shoved in enough content to keep the powers that be happy. "Look, boss, I used lots of Vetta, it's the cream of our creative prowess!". It's hard to argue with your own slogans.

You said it man

28
iStockPhoto.com / Re: Sales slump
« on: August 23, 2010, 16:28 »
Lefty, I think that dj's comment was meant to be sympathetic rather than insulting. Some newbies come in with a well developed skill set, many others don't. Personally, for economic reasons, I like the crowd who get 80% rejections more than the few who get 80% approvals ... but that's just self-interest talking.

BT, not offended. We all in same boat . I understand the emotional here. If there is a slump it is not 100% due to newbie taking a piece of pie but also other factors too obvious . Over saturation, subscription, low price, etc etcetc.
But buyers still need pictures . If slump was evident , only question is where are pictures taken ?
Flickr? Theft of derivative? Cd compilation? Torrents ?
But the mood here point only to blame rejection and higher rate of stupid reviewers.
I am not convinced stupid reviewers are what agencies enjoy to hire.
The agency know there is already over supply of pictures. As they say, there are no stupid pictures, only stupid photographers.

I too, being newbies , wish more people quit. Oldtimers especially, because so much better for me,
and you, and whoever stay. Of course, it is my self interest too. The more people think microstock stink
the better for me too. My piece of pie is bigger.  So no, not offended. Just only reading with much interest.
Thank you for pointing out. I point out too, no offense felt by me. Only happy the air is focused to reality.

We ask question Slump of Sale. We like to know what causation of slump.
Maybe too, buyers sick of same stupid pictures that stupid photographers make. Why back to Yuri on Yay?
Maybe clones are not welcome. Maybe buyers sick of copycats.  But yes, still enough copycats
submission new stuff.
So what? More copycats of old stale stuff mean better chance for you or me who try to find other stuff to shoot.
Only problem, I say before, find me on page 100, to 1001.
So stupid old stale picture still sell more. So stale old picture get me approval. Why I am so stupid to make new idea if reviewer is going to prefer stale picture and same concept?
If they want stale hamburger? Why we try not to accept the reality.
Until best seller drop from view, we make stale hamburger.

Hope my explanation understood.

29
iStockPhoto.com / Re: Sales slump
« on: August 23, 2010, 15:43 »
I agree with your last assessment BT.  Markets tend to self correct.  I can see a lot of image producers becoming disillusioned soon and slowing down, or completely ceasing image production.  Personally I'm doing pretty well, but even so I have little to no desire to keep feeding images to my agency for ever diminishing returns.  I can't imagine how it feels for the noob who has an 80%+ rejection rate and just wants to reach his/her first payout sometime in the next few years.

What is this thing about anti-newbies. Not all newbies get 80+% rejection. Can not a newbie also get
20% rejection ? Or even 40% Istock rejection ?  Or is all newbie painted with broad brush in this narrowminded
mentality here?

30
StockFresh / Re: StockFresh - from Peter Hamza and Andras Pfaff
« on: August 23, 2010, 15:02 »
any idea how long the approval process takes?

I've been waiting since June 3rd if that gives you any indication.  If I ever get in/rejected or whatever else you can possibly do this'll be the last stock site I submit to.  I have 10 I already submit to and this one (possibly) would be 11.

I just want the wait to be over with.

Wow, the wait is worth it? You have too much faith because you forget of Stockxpert already ?

31
6MP is full page. + web users do not need anything even that big not even for the equivalent of HD. + if you discourage your riff-raff you will create riff-raff sized business opportunity for someone else to revolutionise stock again. If you try to shut people out of a business they will build their own. Microstock taught that.

With riff-raff  I mean "getting-rich-over-night" merchants who just dump their ports with all kinds of spamming, etc, never to be heard of again but their stuff still remains in our files. There are thousands of these.

made myself clear now or does anyone still wants these guys to screw it up for us?

Thank for the clarification.
I agree too that spamming mercs are the problem and not the undersized 6MP contributors.
Our equipment put us on a disadvantage we know because higher resolution pay more commission. Don't think we ignore that fact. But already so many of your professionals and old timers are complain that equipment outlay
shortfall with microstock earning does not make investment of expenisve top of line intelligent spending.
We do not have the larger size picture to compete with you but we do produce equal quality work
or maybe better. If this result in loss for old timers than it is time for old timers to get smarter
and make better work instead of sitting on large behind with excuse that reviewers are not fair.
We get rejections too.

Sorry lefty!  but Ive yet to see this fantastic work youre talking about. From what Ive seen its mostly cats, dogs, flowers and what they call young business people.

Of course not lagereek, look harder . Like on pages 100, 1001..
;)   
as for mostly cats, dogs, flowers, young bisness people, I agree.
For the new ideas, we have first to go pass the reviewers . A bigger stumbling block than you surely agree
for it takes many years to change an idea microstock built.

32
Contrary to many people, I think shutterstock has a great search algorithm.  I think there is nothing more frustrating than on other sites where you upload a pile of photos you put a lot of work into, they end up on page 10 of the search results and never see the light of day.

On shutterstock, new images are put on page one when they get a few sales, as well as previously proven best sellers.  If the new image is really great it will stay on top with the best sellers.  If the image wasn't so hot, it won't last long on the top and will sift to the bottom.  I think the shutterstock method at least gives new images a chance.

Agree agree. Also like so many said Shutterstock is equal standing for all old and new contributor with no download information to bias buyers group think. So image stand on sellability. Not because I am Mr Big seller with big sale . You like my picture or you don't. So instant sale because it is what buyer want.
No surprise contrarian report sales drop but sales up for others , even new people.
Fair level field .

33
6MP is full page. + web users do not need anything even that big not even for the equivalent of HD. + if you discourage your riff-raff you will create riff-raff sized business opportunity for someone else to revolutionise stock again. If you try to shut people out of a business they will build their own. Microstock taught that.

With riff-raff  I mean "getting-rich-over-night" merchants who just dump their ports with all kinds of spamming, etc, never to be heard of again but their stuff still remains in our files. There are thousands of these.

made myself clear now or does anyone still wants these guys to screw it up for us?

Thank for the clarification.
I agree too that spamming mercs are the problem and not the undersized 6MP contributors.
Our equipment put us on a disadvantage we know because higher resolution pay more commission. Don't think we ignore that fact. But already so many of your professionals and old timers are complain that equipment outlay
shortfall with microstock earning does not make investment of expenisve top of line intelligent spending.
We do not have the larger size picture to compete with you but we do produce equal quality work
or maybe better. If this result in loss for old timers than it is time for old timers to get smarter
and make better work instead of sitting on large behind with excuse that reviewers are not fair.
We get rejections too.

34
Comment on riff raff not very friendly.
Maybe the increased of loss of sale here this forum is due to riff raff.
If size of XL make you non- riff raff, then I confess I fall in sub category of riff raff.
No, I don't have top of line Canon, but if my picture is taking sales away from professional camera top of line non riff raff, then maybe riff raff not so riff raff.

35
Back to topic

I decide to pair rejection with sales. If agency give me more sales , I accept rejection with good intention to improve. Proof is pudding because site that give me regular downloads and many times instant downloads with approval, then I respect reviewers know what they select.
Other hand, if I keep getting rejection and the approved stuff do not give me downloads, not instant downloads, not long time downloads, then I think reviewer
is talking through his other end.

Perspective work for me since my consistent uploads go to site with best pairing
of instant download with quick approval. You all know which site I talk about.

36
Im making myself a promise. Im not going to entertain sites anymore if they show what I call untrained, uneducated reviewing. I dont want some half-assed part-timer reviewing my shots.
This summer Ive seen such piss-poor editing, obviously from summer staff with total lack of the English language that you get more out of it in a burger bar.
+ 1

+2

If you have had an entire series rejected, try Scouting one of them and ask for clarification on the rejection reason.  It might surprise you.

Only problem is by time you get revaluation redemption, you grow long beard and die of old age .

37
Accept fact that always will have one dumb reviewer who reject work even after whole bunch approved by others. Accept it most likely new reviewer will mule mentality and no clue of rejection reason. Aceept  subjective rejection reason is totally subjective so resubmit later hope regular reasonable reviewers will pick up your resubmit and then of course approval second time.
Accept too that lazy reviewer don't select correct rejection reason. Just big time
mule . But tomorrow a different reviewer will most likely approve same picture.

38
iStockPhoto.com / Re: Sales slump
« on: August 21, 2010, 19:43 »
Lisa,

I look at the factory ports too.  Not because I need ideas, because I cannot produce what they produce.  Heck I very rarely do people shots to begin with.  But I wanted confirmation that new files struggle mightily.  I see the same thing with many of the mega factory ports.  Their best sellers continue to be images from 1-6 years ago, while they have pages and pages of new uploads with no downloads, are 1-2 downloads.  Yet many have a lot of views!

Someone earlier in the thread mentioned that buyers tend to buy whatever has a ton of DLs, and avoid anything with 0 or few DLs.  I think there is something to that.  Several studies have confirmed that in the retail sector, consumers will scoff at an item they perceive as under-priced because they fear there must be something wrong with it.  Yet if you double or triple the price, they will purchase it.  Dan Heller found the same perception exists among buyers in the photo stock industry.

That might explain why so many contributors mention their new images get a ton of views but no DLs, and then the images disappear into the search engine's black hole.

So again the dilemma . Lisa said it's the volume. But one more factor, the bias to buyers to select pictures with biggest download number. So Shutterstock and other agencies who prefess not to show download number to prevent bias influence on buyers justification.
Buyers not as independent as we all think. Ironic, you think a buyer will prefer to use a unique picture , not one that is already used by 1000 other people.
It is a strange business for sure this microstock. Uniqueness and quality of image are no the criteria for success
but the number and the influence of other people. So again the groupie mentality.

39
iStockPhoto.com / Re: Sales slump
« on: August 21, 2010, 19:16 »

I agree with the above statement, if you are talking about the factories.  As Sean pointed out, if you are an individual producer, regardless of rank, you can only produce so many good images per month, and that's it.  I have been producing at pretty much the same rate for years - roughly 100-150 images/month. 

However when I look for my own images in searches, they are now lost in the flood of many thousands of cookie-cutter, virtually indistinguishable images from the factories.  I can forsee a time when perhaps just a couple of factories will have pretty much divided the market between them and the rest of us will just be scampering around looking for scraps.  (hope I am wrong)

What frustrates me is when I go on the content request forums and see buyers asking for EXACTLY the images I have already produced.  They have searched and can't find them because they are lost in the shuffle.  I know it's not just me experiencing this.  I am sure all the threads about downed sales are because others images just aren't being found by buyers either. 

Wow, you complaining and you are top seller . I don't know what to say for little people like I and other who is new insertion.
If your work is bury in the shuffle for your 100-150 image por month, how we with many less to survive in microstock?
Also, if they cannot find you,a nd you are one of big sellers, you think maybe there is in fact conspiracy
of favoritism ? I know again conspiraction factor, but in reality how you feel?
Must be have an evidential there is one specie for favorite seller and other specie you and everybody
buried in flood.  Hope my explanation make sense. Thankyou.

40
I am sorry I do not understand everyhting but I don't agree Shutterstock is not viable business. It is same to say because McDonald sell cheap food they cannot survive, but we know that story who is right.
Shutterstock keep old seller but also encorage new seller with potential. So this very intelligent business model because you cannot sustain growth without new idea.
If oldest member quit because they don't sell as much in comparising, it is only smart move to appease new members to fill void left . So, ok, one or two big sellers leave big hole in Shutterstock inventory becayse old stock is not selling so well.
Quick to response with new contributors to fill void , and yes, they sell new stock fast with instant approval instant sales. New contributors encouragement continue to feed the beast. Why not? You do the same for IStock, and other agency , no?
My thinking only. Shutterstock why so successful. It is not dying. Dying maybe for you, but not for Shutterstock and many contributors. I think that is why inventory continue to grow. It is why they never lose Place #1.

41
Dreamstime.com / Re: Did Dreamstime stop selling....lol
« on: August 19, 2010, 11:40 »
No seriously though, Ive never figured out why DT insist on putting out entire series in search, I mean you can sometimes see 10 or 20 shots, almost identical taking up an entire page and I wouldnt mind but often the series are just mediocre shots and with hardly any DLs at all.
I recon they simply let the search-engine run itself hoping for the best, either that or they simply dont have the know-how regarding searches?

This is ironic because the biggest rejection is to discourage similars. Unless this is reviewers and new editors double standard?

42
I have been slowly stopping to shoot for micro and looking for more avenues as there is no sign of possibilities to grow sales within the agencies we used to so submit images to. My income has grown but it has grown because I have more distributors, and I will be shooting for the traditional market, at least 80% of my work will go there. It has been a very frustrating year in microstock, but yet exciting in the rest of the stock industry.

Maybe because you're cannibalizing your own sales.  Looking at your latest in IS, it looks like you're just reshooting groups on white, girls with phones, business people.  So, people buy the newer one, or the older one, but they don't need both.

What are you doing differently for the "traditional" market, and where?  My Getty sales are less than encouraging, as well, the contributor side of the workflow (stats, sales data) is very unhelpful.

Yeah that's partly true ..... I'm leaving the different stuff for traditional places or premium collections. I have tried uploading different topics in micro and there is simply too much supply and not enough demand anymore so I am just shooting to mantain sales while I try to make the other avenues as profitable as micro once was for me.
A really good image even if it's "Different" will sell 12 times at the most on a day in shutterstock just after uploading, I use to see 48 dls in a day for a good image.

Good point by sjlocke. Also I remember sjlocke say somewhere too it is not Shutterstock not growing over time, it is seller's piece ofpie is smaller
because more supply by new contributors with better idea. Or maybe another Istock quote , the drop of sales for specific contributor is not
indication that agency sales is bad , only the contributor share of commission is in decrease.

43
Shutterstock.com / Re: Feeding the beast
« on: August 19, 2010, 10:40 »
If you have to keep 'feeding the beast' to maintain sales then it just means that your images aren't good enough to compete with the best in their subject matter. Images that attain a prominent position in the default sort order can enjoy regular and sustained downloads over many years. Don't blame 'the beast' but instead try to improve the saleability of your work.
Agreed, up to a certain level (i do believe truly outstanding work will keep floating above).
It's critical to have your pictures raise up in the most popular before they die out in the newest first. That's become increasingly difficult because of the fierce competition + the ones up in "most popular" keep strengthening their position as well because of their improved visibility. Not for nothing the top 50 ever is barely changing anymore.

Agree statement 1
Agree statement 2
But to be sellable must be visible. Only Shutterstock make you visible on day 1 .
That is why same day same hour on approval get download.
Other sites you are invisible so like or not your outstanding work is not outstanding because
buried under higher rating contributors. Shutterstock field is more level . Proof is instant downloads
on many new approved images for even newbies.

Other thing never discuss here too.
Shutterstock no view on download next to image. Does not bias buyer decision
I think why newbies do more successful with Shutterstock for that big factor.
Picture stand on picture quality not the number download to sway buyer decision.

44
Shutterstock.com / Re: Feeding the beast
« on: August 19, 2010, 10:03 »
At least Shutterstock give you instant sales and your work is visible. Don't care if 25 cents or more, at least you know the treatment is fair. I cannot say the same for other sites . OK I must feed beast, but the beast feed me too. That is why it is the best beast. The other beast only chew your b--ls and give nothing back.

45
I think is complicating. Because better selling pictures are the one you put as saturated. More complicating when your rejection of different picture conceptual
but the reject reason say No commercial value.
So you do it submit saturated pictures get high approval or risk low saturation
and more rejection.

46
iStockPhoto.com / Re: What the $%^&### is an artifact?
« on: August 17, 2010, 16:17 »
What cmcderm1 said.

My advice is, don't waste money on "better" monitors and don't work above 100%, because you'll end up futilely jumping through hoops.

Strictly speaking, the term "artifact" should mean something visible introduced in post-processing.  In that sense, noise isn't an 'artifact' unless you want to call it an artifact of the camera electronics  - but a lot of things are in that category - like the pixels themselves. If you're saving to jpg at the highest quality, there are no visible compression artifacts - none.   If you mashed the histogram around, you could have banding.  But couldn't IS just refer to banding as "banding"?  

With no real definition of "artifact", and no clip supplied by the reviewer - if the problem isn't obvious, just give up and move on.  

Very good advice. Easier to understand "artifact" or other vague rejection reason is better mean it to be
we don't want the picture, no thank you.

47
Shutterstock.com / Re: Imediate downloads after acceptance
« on: August 13, 2010, 06:38 »
Agree fully.  Sometimes so instant it's very encouraging because other site do not give new work priority like Shutterstock. This is reason for concentration with Shutterstock. Also for new person it is a big motivation to always I make new work for Shutterstock because instant download.
The money per download is IStock better there but the total commission Shutterstock is now for me ahead .

48
iStockPhoto.com / Re: Does image rating leads to more sales?
« on: August 12, 2010, 15:53 »
Ratings increase the chances of your picture being viewed in any search which is ordered by rating.

An artistically and uniquely created image with high rating could be interesting to look at but not necessarily useful other then a very specific project. Hence the reason some of those images get very high views with low sales. Denis
Yes, I think is big problem there. Many views no sales make bad impression Maybe best not to get rating. No? Can opt out on rating?

49
Lighting / Re: cake photography
« on: August 12, 2010, 14:21 »
The best technical question I find can get best answers on Istock. Food experts, or any technical question  on forumIstock  always get helpful answers. For me, I read best answers there always.

50
iStockPhoto.com / Re: Does image rating leads to more sales?
« on: August 12, 2010, 10:35 »
Benefit of getting a rating? It makes you feel nice to be appreciated.

Once upon a time, I believe that the ratings did have an affect on the best match placement. But then a bunch of rating gangs got together and started gaming the system and IS had to kill that program.

Full agreement for nosaya. I see image rating same people who spam mailbox for christmas,etc.
Only want you to do same for them. Not sincere mostly .

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