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Messages - douglas

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General Stock Discussion / Re: Top buyer countries?
« on: June 07, 2019, 15:25 »
My understanding of the original question was for buying overall rather than for individual contributor experience. If so, that is pretty much ramked from the USA down by GDP, but Shutterstock did produce some interesting stats for 2017 (maybe they have done it since also) at https://www.mystockphoto.org/shutterstocks-contributor-earnings-report-2017/

For individual contributor results it depends what you shoot. As a dour, miserable Scot I shy away from happy shiny people. In fact, I shy away from people altogether and take more pictures of buildings. Consequently my under saturated, under exposed, grim pictures sell better in Europe than in North America and, for reasons I cannot explain, seem to do well in South Korea.


Mat was so busy being awesome for us, his shooting was sadly limited.

Haha, he did use my least favourite word 'awesome' rather a lot.  But then hit a matchwinner with 'conversating'! I've never heard that one before.

Nevertheless, they were really interesting videos: educational and inspiring so thanks for your efforts.   

Dreamstime.com / Re: Request for web extended license (W-EL)
« on: January 29, 2018, 10:49 »

It's a weird bug to continue over time on random images.  I wonder what process they were trying to run.

Indeed it is. Perhaps an 'encourage all the people who opted out of ELs to re-enable them' kind of process?

General Stock Discussion / Re: Slow Start Due to US Holiday on 9-4
« on: September 02, 2017, 17:59 »
One thing the US holiday weekend seems to have done is leave absolute zoomers doing the reviewing for SS.  Rejections for non-English captions and special characters Dsseldorf?  Who would use Dusseldorf in a search?  Only a Dussel.  And the same for Otto von Bismarck.  Given his methodical and detailed diplomacy, careless of him not to have an English name. Of course the same keywords in another batch were accepted without problem. Property release required for a detail from a 200 year old statue in a public square. A weekend to send everything to Alamy methinks. 

Adobe Stock / Re: Adobe stock way down in middle tier???
« on: August 01, 2017, 07:43 »
That would simply because they don't have enough votes yet to get into the top tier - after they were changed from Fotolia to AdobeStock.  A few more people need to vote and they'll be bumped up to the top again.

Well, if I look at
Microstock Photography Monthly Earnings Survey for me it still shows 'No Vote' for Adobe Stock although I did put in my earnings for it. Still think it's a bug.

Adobe Stock / Re: Adobe stock way down in middle tier???
« on: August 01, 2017, 01:43 »
The answer is probably much simpler.  I entered my value for Adobe with all the rest, clicked submit and on the next page it showed as 'no vote' for Adobe, other inputs were correct. Think there's a bug in the poll.

Adobe Stock / Re: Call for content
« on: May 17, 2017, 04:42 »
those reviewing  the image, should specify the exact reason the image was rejected for. Show me where the noise or artifact is, tell me why should I provide a property release for the image in question, tell me why the image lacks aesthetic and commercial appeal

You do know what reviewers are paid, don't you?  How would you like to fund the detailed rejection reason - a cut in your earnings per image perhaps?

Fotolia has been quite helpful to me in the past explaining why they considered something needed a property release but I dont think its reviewers understand the house rules which is why, with two similar (in location and content) images, one gets through and the other does not.  Recently, though, I have had images where I guess the reviewer might conceivably have thought an image needed a PR but maybe didnt want to stick his or her neck out and rejected the image because of artifacts.  It seems a strange strategy if anyone reviews the reviewer.  There are either artefacts or there are not, its cut and dried, and, as no other agency has found them, I would think thats more reason for the reviewer to get a bollocking than an opinion on PRs.

No commercial or artistic value is a nonsense: we all think we know what will sell but I doubt we do.  My best selling image on SS was rejected as LCV by Fotolia.  My top seller on Fotolia was rejected by SS (though I cant remember why) so there are differences in what sells where but Im sure the reviewers are as much in the dark on that as we are. 

iStockPhoto.com / Re: AI and the end of stock
« on: April 16, 2017, 10:15 »
Yes, the term is outdated anyway - those working in the area of computer vision tend not to use it now and generally talk about machine learning.  Despite what stockastic says, this is a million miles away from procedural programming.  It might all still be 'just software' but perhaps what is in our head is 'just software' too (or the computer model of the brain is just the current tendency to equate the brain with the latest technology, a catapult to the ancient Greeks, a mill to Leibniz etc as John Searle recounts in Minds, Brains and Science) or we ourselves are just part of a vast computer game created by a more advanced civilisation, both currently hot topics in cognitive science.  What interested me in the comments is that most attacked the 'artificial' part of AI.  This suggests there is a good understanding of what human intelligence is. There isn't and, anyone doubting this, would do well to read Stephen Jay Gould's 'The Mismeasure of Man', ether the original from 1981 or the update in the 1990s to see how divisive and a politically dangeous concept intelligence is.

There may be a paradigm shift to quantum computing in the field as quantum physics and tunnelling are being suggested (controversially) as mechanisms for cortical or perceptual processing, the sense of smell, navigation in birds, for example, but even with only progress in D-CNNs, I expect a workable system such as you describe in less than 5 years,  As I wrote before, I don't think it will be cost-effective or a preferred method for buyers (other than in searches of existing images) for stock but probably will find a niche in film special effects and in modelling for drug design at the molecular level. 

Tried it - dumped it.  On the first few transactions I did not receive money from PayPal until the customer confirmed receipt of goods.  As these transactions were $500 - $3500 fraud was always a worry.  When this limitation was removed the cost per transaction was considerably higher than with a traditional merchant account through the bank (sometimes as high as 5.5% vs 1.9% depending where customer is located).

iStockPhoto.com / Re: AI and the end of stock
« on: April 14, 2017, 05:47 »
I was a software engineer for about 25 years.  I worked on everything you could think of.

Relax.  There isn't any "Artificial Intelligence" - it's 99% marketing hype.  Yes, software is doing some things it couldn't in the past - like recognize faces. But it's all just algorithms and data;

Actually it's not. I too have worked in software development for nearly 30 years and was involved in AI through the so-called 'AI winter' where the computing power was not sufficient for the challenges or the hype.  In the first decade of this century computer vision was about algorithms. In this decade it has moved away from algorithms such as SIFT to machine learning (deep convulutional neural networks) which are far more effective. The output of an algorithm is predictable, with machine learning it is not. The GoogLeNet winning entry in the 2014 ILSVRC competition for visual recognition used a D-CNN (with a week's 'training') and achieved 93.3% accuracy.

I suggested the replacement of stock photography by automated image creation on this forum about a year ago.  Now I think a practical application is about 5 years away though I doubt it will be worth implementing in the stock industry.  The first requirement of it is the image recognition part.  There will probably be enough images available to search that the image someone describes in detail will already exist and the cost of paying the creator (what will that be then? 3 cents?) will probably be less than the cost of the computing power to generate the image.  And, as buyers never know exactly what they want, a few pages of pics to choose from is likely going to be preferred in conjunction with a 'more images like this' option to a single image of 'this is what you asked for'.

The only sure prediction I can make is that whoever perfects the technology it won't be Shutterstock.  Implementing D-CNNs is quite a bit harder than keeping a database online and managing changes through development and test environments to a live site.

Certainly not about poverty and misery, Dougie Wallace's Harrodsburg project:


New Sites - General / Re: What do 500px actually sell?
« on: January 14, 2017, 19:39 »
Its a good article.  I deleted my account at 500px as soon as they changed the commission but to say Who could be so ignorant or desperate? . Some 840 clueless photographers (article not Sammy) completely misses the point.

Unlike us, the clueless photographers were presumably not trying to pay their bills with their photography.  Every local newspaper, now even the BBC, advertises send us your pictures the reward is the Warholian 15 minutes of fame, although probably much less time in the internet age.

So how does one fight against crowdsourcing?  Recently Mastercard plastered the arrivals area of Bucharest Airport with advertisements including one, Download the Uber app to get 10% discount.  The citys taxi drivers threatened to strike if it was not removed.  So now it says, Download the [blacked out} app to get 10% discount.  We are not fighting a competitor trying to undercut us: we have competitors who dont currently care about the price at all.

But that will change.  The PEOTUS has taught us the importance of narcissism.  The snappers happy to give their pictures away at the moment for the privilege of being on a popular web page will eventually compare their works value with Kevin Aboschs potato (I picked tatties as a kid and thats a nice potato but ).  Greed is probably not good but, over time, it will drive us to a reasonable equilibrium point.

Some very grouchy people on this thread.  SSFs responses seemed reasonable enough to me.  Without looking at existing lottery tickets, how is it possible to create a realistic one.  I did this all the time in creating illustrative banking instruments, statements and fictitious screen displays for e-learning courses which obviously have to abide by IP law in a global marketplace.

The difference with stock is that IP law is completely irrelevant.  Most images rejected for IP violations do not violate IP law but contravene the risk-averse policy of the agency which is fine, its the agencys business decision.

The advice to ask the agency whats wrong with an image is a good idea (sort of).  I was much obliged to Fotolia/Adobe for explaining their policy on photographs of graffiti which was pretty clear.  Sadly, in subsequent submissions it never seemed to be applied by reviewers.  I just accept now with the five agencies I submit to that some will see an IP violation and others wont and dont waste time arguing about it.

I don't know about the stills from videos but I do know Pixsy is not much use with LinkedIn takedowns.  I had an image on sale in Alamy used in several places on LinkedIn and this was picked up by Pixsy which was very useful.  However, a Pixsy case requires confirmation from the agency that no licence has been sold and that you remove the image from sale which may be too much of a sacrifice just for a LinkedIn use. 

I took it up with Alamy who said they were unable to act with social media sites (no explanation why) but they were helpful in getting payment from a large media group who had also used the image.  I completed the LinkedIn copyright violation form myself and promptly received a reply saying they would deal with it under their publishing rules.  Nothing happened and the images are still used in LinkedIn.

Shutterstock.com / Re: Petition to stop spammers
« on: November 06, 2016, 18:08 »
I totally agree with Picone, this has nothing to do with ethics and so much sanctimonious claptrap has been spouted here.  I have never repeated keywords in my captioning, not because Im saintly but because I couldnt believe any organisation would be so technically backward as to deploy search technology that could not cope with filtering keywords.

In terms of internet technology this is nothing new.  It used to be possible to promote the position of web pages in search engines either by repeating keywords in body text, metatags or having, say, a white bar at the foot of a web page with white text repeating phrases.  What I couldnt remember was when search engine algorithms started getting wise to this and penalising it and still cant date it precisely but a 1996 article warned about Infoseek and Lycos (remember them?) penalising this type of spamming and AltaVista  (RIP) disallowing URL submissions of pages with spam.  This was the year Google began as a Stanford research project.

Search engines blocked spamming metadata and the use of invisible text not because it was immoral but because their customers did not get the quality of result they needed.  Twenty years later Shutterstock will do well to learn that lesson or its customers will search elsewhere also.  I look at the antiquated software of SS (search, map breaking, uploads failing, outages) and wonder firstly how it can describe itself as a technology company and secondly  how conspiracy theorists on this forum can believe it is capable of implementing algorithms worthy of the Matrix to penalise or promote the position of their images for given periods of time.           

123RF / Disappearing sales totals
« on: November 01, 2016, 13:01 »
Did anyone else have the same experience on 123RF today?

Yesterday my sales for October showed both as a figure and on the graph and counted towards the unpaid balance.  Today, the new month, the value for October and the graph show zero sales for October and November and the sales total is minus the October balance as shown yesterday. The recently sold slideshow has the pictures shown until yesterday as sold in October and the searchwords reflect these images also.

Canva / Re: How to get accepted at Canva?
« on: October 19, 2016, 18:18 »
Your photos definitely deserve a better home than selling for buttons on Canva.  Macro agency is the way to go but you are a long way from my areas of specialism so someone else here will suggest the best ones to try but good luck, great pictures.

Shutterstock.com / Re: Shutterstock down again? (UK)
« on: October 19, 2016, 11:28 »
SS cant keep the site online, the upload facility frequently hangs and they cant reliably implement a map interface (it still periodically gets its knickers in a twist with z-indices) .

But the conspiracy theorists believe the company can implement algorithms worthy of the Matrix to prevent, or encourage, their content to be seen or not seen at any given time  ::)

Photography Equipment / Re: This I believe is truth
« on: October 19, 2016, 11:00 »
The original article referred to how DSLRs are an island in technology cut off from things we take for granted in other devices, connectivity, device sharing, USB charging etc and some earlier posters wrote how Nikon and Canon dont have the software technology to improve features.  Thats complete nonsense.  I work in software development and have been on many projects where high tech companies have outsourced development of phone apps, or IC design or embedded software because they dont have an in-house facility.

Now, if a UX developer came to me on a project with the menu design Nikon use for their in-camera software Id strangle him with his own wireframes.  However, Ive used Nikon all my days from film onwards and I know how things work.  Its not a decision whether its better or worse than Canon.  I know if I need to make setting changes, or even swap a lens really quickly in the dark at a gig, I can do it without thinking.  Its brand loyalty by Stockholm syndrome.  Ive been held hostage by poor ergonomic design for so long Im comfortable with it and dont want to change to something equally badly designed but in a different way.

General - Top Sites / Re: image theft wallpart.com
« on: October 19, 2016, 10:37 »
Its rather creepy yes, they have photos of mine from DT and SS and I agree, big deal - but they have Pinterest and personal website photos of people with their kids on the beach!

Their copyright protection page is a hoot.
WallPart has proprietary software that allows it to block infringing material once taken down from being "re-posted" by anyone.'
And who might this anyone be posting material on their site?

They also say
We have a shop!

Want to see the posters in person?
We're just around the corner from Newtown station:
921 King St
Tel 2300 751 017

A town or country might have made this a little more convincing but a poster on another forum identified it as being in Sydney, NSW, Australia but no answer on the phone. Anyone here live around the corner?  ;D

I wonder why someone supposedly operating in Australia would would quote US copyright law.

Oh, and surprise, surprise, the website is registered in Kyiv, Ukraine!

123RF / Re: RF123 Earnings page down for you too?
« on: October 18, 2016, 12:07 »
Click a month data point on the graph - takes you to e.g.

Adobe Stock / Re: Adobe Stock Contributor Site now live!
« on: October 15, 2016, 06:00 »
Has there been a major change in keywording on the Adobe Stock site?
I have some images which a buyer is only likely to be interested in because of the geographical location.  Taking one town name (non-English) and searching on Fotolia returns 10 images with four of mine first.  Searching with the same town name on Adobe Stock returns no images though they are accessible on that site via other keywords.

Shutterstock.com / Re: Map is broken?
« on: August 26, 2016, 08:28 »
I don't understand why everyone is upset about that map.

It's fun, but not really useful.  I would be fine with the map vanishing altogether, if everything else was fixed.  Heck, just fix half of everything else.

It's important because it's symptomatic of an IT Department in disarray.  Software breaks, so you roll back to the last working version until you have a fix.  You introduce new features, you try them in a sandbox then a test environment before releasing to the production environment. 

When users see this is not the way an organisation is doing something they righly fear the stability of other parts of the system, is the earnings reporting working correctly, for example? Generally a well run company will take the maximum care with public-facing web applications to avoid crises of user confidence.

General Stock Discussion / Re: Fotolia new logo
« on: June 02, 2016, 08:12 »
I am not partially right, I am totally right.

http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/logo - a more authoritative source on etymology than Wikipedia. You are missing a step in evolution, logo did not come directly from logos but instead from logotype and logogram which themselves used logo- as a loanword. A logo is meant to convey words symbolically: it does not need to be a word itself.

I am more interested, though, on whether it will help sales. Last month Fotolia sales were 5% of SS sales for me and even behind 123RF.

General Stock Discussion / Re: Fotolia new logo
« on: June 02, 2016, 07:32 »
That's a good logo actually.
It fits into the Adobe brand, much better than the old one.

By the way a logo doesn't need to be made of a icons and symbols.

Logos made out of typography are timeless. Think about it.


Logo, from the greek logos: word, speech (so typography, and not icon or symbol)


If it were directly from the greek it would be logos not logo. Logo is the combining form of the word and was first used in the 1930s in logogram or logotyoe, so either symbol or typography, and subsequently abbreviated to logo.

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