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Messages - douglas

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76
Shutterstock.com / Re: Large image previews on SS ?
« on: November 08, 2015, 19:16 »
Im looking to do the right thing so look to this forum for views.

The original large preview and weak watermark were inadequate and wrong. I signed the petition and have not uploaded since.  For me, the new watermark works fine with all my, admittedly very limited, number of images on SS.

Thats not what a petition is about.  The recent postings about Dreamstime is socialism regarding image rotation turn my stomach.  Socialism is an uninformed US English term for I dont understand what it means but it may hit my pocket so I oppose it. I now live in Romania which did not have the best of experiences of socialism but I grew up in Scotland where every right, every holiday, every benefit was fought for and dragged from the ruling class by socialism and by sacrifice from those least able to afford it.  Throughout my career I have refused to cross a picket line, even as a CTO.  I see the forum petition in the same terms.  If you feel SS has not done enough with their improved watermark, I will do what little I can to support you by not uploading, and the principle is that if a 100, 1000, 10000 people follow suit,  it eventually makes a difference.

77
Shutterstock.com / Re: 30 Cent and lower SODs
« on: November 06, 2015, 10:50 »
Yes, you are well off the mark with your views on social media. I rather doubt Facebook would have the market capitalisation it does based on your use case.

The use of Shutterstock images, so far as I can see, is more for business use: advertise an event, drive traffic to a website, promote a product where the number of viewers is considerably higher than kids posting their social life. Last time I looked (a while ago), it was also possible when selecting the Shutterstock image on Facebook to extract the underlying URL and get yourself a free medium-sized watermark-free image. Dont know if that bug has been fixed yet but it is more of a concern to me than the use of images to illustrate the Hieronymus Bosch-type world you imagine teenagers inhabit.

78
Pond5 / Re: Pond5 review times
« on: November 04, 2015, 11:58 »

It has been while but they are humans and busy humans and with a ton of uploads and them having to go through each file I can see how things can get bogged down at times...

Puh-leasse. They sub-contract their reviewing to India and a company which, to my mind, makes a complete hash of it. That apart, it is up to Pond5 to put in place a Service Level Agreement with their sub-contractor specifying 97% of contributions evaluated within X days.

79
Off Topic / Re: More than 27 people died last night in Bucharest
« on: November 04, 2015, 11:38 »
And after three days of mourning, 30,000 people here in Bucharest made their feelings known last night and the first rat belatedly scuttled off the ship

 http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-34720183

#colectiv #coruptiaucide

80
General - Stock Video / Re: Be a exclusive contributor at istock
« on: November 01, 2015, 18:31 »
LOL also but .

We accept these punitive conditions as the norm in stock photography but has their validity ever been tested?

My experience in the UK was with building websites where my customers had been part of another firm and told they could not compete for bigX years.  Few cases went to court but could found upon other cases where bigX was seen as unreasonable and smallX agreed upon.  Some of the exclusivity contracts in stock photography look awfully like restraint of trade which Scots and English Law frown upon.

So , if you are willing to shell out $250K in legal fees for the right to sell your images elsewhere at $0.35 each, we on this forum will be eternally grateful to you  :) More seriously, US law with its class action suits might make a fighting fund for a test case a reasonable option.

81
Shutterstock.com / Re: Large image previews on SS ?
« on: October 30, 2015, 03:58 »
Nothing major ever changed

Doing something may achieve nothing, doing nothing will definitely achieve nothing or, in the oft-quoted words of Edmund Burke, 'The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing'.

82
Pond5 / Re: Ways they review
« on: October 14, 2015, 17:23 »
I disagree on the no more erratic, 74 out of 95 rejected, most of which had sold on SS and were on four other sites, seemed quite eccentric but thats by the by.

I agree about the request to re-review.  The strange logic of this at SS has been rehearsed to death on this forum and I have had useful discussions with reviewers who seemed to care at Dreamstime and Fotolia.

At Pond5, though, I dont know what the process is and, in any event, how does one construct a specific argument against a rejection applied to all 74 files of

"These images unfortunately contain one or more of these defects: blurring (it may be caused by poor focus, inadequate light conditions, or insufficient lens quality), noise (it may be caused by a high ISO, inadequate light conditions, or insufficient quality of image sensor), chromatic aberration (it may be caused by insufficient lens quality) and cannot be accepted. We would like to suggest examining your images at 100% resolution before uploading, to avoid this in the future. Thank you for your understanding." ?

Its not something to lose sleep over as I have only sold one image at Pond5 in nearly three months so what they accept, they accept but it is illustrative to me of the QA problems in offshoring core functions, something I am only too familiar with from years in software development.

83
Hi Denis
Curiosity got the better of me and I had a quick look at your site. I wouldnt mess with a photographer who can look that manic  :)

The fact that youre just skinning an established providers white label product is good on the security front but a hacker is not going to know whether its secure or not before trying, in this case, javascript injection.  Im not a hacker and really just know the basics from working for banks who often make the most basic of security mistakes.  I was able to pop up a box to display any set cookies with javascript (alert:document photodeck will know if you tell them). Either there are no cookies set or they are hidden which is even better. I would think though that, because you are using a javascript form submission, it should be possible to inject another email address into it with void(document ...). Again, photodeck will know.   

This is all pretty theoretical, youre not the Pentagon, most 'attacks' are just to pick up some email addresses or try to use your server to send, or spoof sending, their spam and you will see meaningless (other than the email address) data in your incoming contact form data which you can delete or ignore. Presumably you dont send out blanket emails to everyone who has contacted you via the form anyway.

I dont know what the double access of the site is about but, generally, thats how I can recognise these attacks/probes on my own sites, two accesses in quick succession from the same IP address. I looked for the addresses which were hitting your site but they didnt match. Poland seems to be flavour of the week for me!

I used a UK proxy with IP address beginning 37.9 if any suspicious activity shows in your logs.   
Dont think you have much to worry about but good luck.

84
Well, I live in Romania and havent seen you on the news here so dont think youve become an overnight sensation.

We have very cheap and very fast internet so, unfortunately, its a good place both to set up offshore/nearshore internet development businesses and to initiate hacking to attempt things like PHP email injection (to use someone else's site to broadcast spam). It may well be that your site is being explored for such potential weaknesses (I didnt check it to avoid you further worry about Romanian IP addresses!) but can take a look if you like.

I run several sites which have registration facilities and have concerted attacks on them from would-be Ukrainian and Russian spammers who use multiple IP addresses (but often within a range) apparently from different cities though probably just using proxies. Depending on your operating system there are various methods of blocking specific IP addresses, ranges or whole countries.

85
Pond5 / Re: Ways they review
« on: October 05, 2015, 06:49 »
I hadnt bothered with Pond5 for a couple of months as nothing had sold but, after a sale last week, I uploaded a batch and could see from the post-review message that they have the reviewing had been done by the Indian company V2 Solutions http://www.v2solutions.com/media/images.html

Based on what had been accepted and sold at other agencies the review was, shall we say, erratic and all the possible rejection reasons were lumped together for all rejected images with a one or more of these apply generic message.

86
I was a bit surprised on looking through Pixabay that there were images of trademarks, brands, identifiable models and buildings for which most stock agencies would, rightly or wrongly, demand a property release. How can they then say images are free for commercial use?

Well, they cant and on following through to their FAQ https://pixabay.com/en/service/terms/#usage they cannot guarantee you can use images for any purpose as Pixabay does not require a model release, If there is one they cant guarantee its legal.

For other trademark or third party rights no warranties given. Use at your own risk.

An interesting business model. Use whatever you like but if you get sued its your problem.

87
Off Topic / Re: The guy who photobombs stock shots
« on: September 16, 2015, 04:36 »
Now he has a Kickstarter project for a book:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1903893337/the-stock-photobomb-book

I backed it which means I have a credit card and, therefore, am more than 11 years old and also found what he is doing (very) funny.

88
General Photography Discussion / Re: tree identification?
« on: September 12, 2015, 04:23 »
If the tree is a species that grows in the UK (and I accept Utah is a tad warmer as a tree habitat) then the Natural History Museum in London has a useful categorisation guide http://www.nhm.ac.uk/content/dam/nhmwww/take-part/identify-nature/tree-identification-key.pdf and Leafsnap a free iPhone app accessible via http://www.nhm.ac.uk/take-part/identify-nature.html.

The guide at least gives you some good categorisation terms with which you  can search Google images to find your tree.

89
Software / Re: Photographic Tools
« on: September 10, 2015, 08:46 »
I had a look at imaggas demo http://imagga.com/auto-tagging-demo# for auto-keywording.  It was impressive but useless so far as my needs are concerned.  Other than the very valid point already made about location it just seems it would take longer to correct the errors than to keyword from scratch.

It was very clever in recognising one of my test images as a statue. But it wasnt a statue, it was a metal sculpture so all the derived keywords were off on the wrong track.  Similarly, it recognised a cake as a shield  (the baker will not be happy) and again generated a whole bunch of invalid keywords, Greek, ancient etc.

I dont quite use a controlled vocabulary for stock photography as I have in other applications but I do want control over the terms so images can be considered similar on my terms not the auto-taggers so, if I use narthex, I want porch, church, Orthodox, Christian, architecture, architectural generated but how likely is an auto-tagger ever to recognise narthex in the first place?

As my son is looking at this area for his degree project I would be interested in anyones comments with a more positive view on auto-tagging.

90
Chaps and chapesses, I posted my original comment with my tongue so firmly in my cheek it was almost protruding from my ear as a response to the recent batch of grumbles on this forum about the venture capitalists dictating the future of Shutterstock. I could just see an investor saying, If we could cut out the photographers, who are always grumbling about the reviewers, and, in fact, save money by eliminating the reviewers too, then we have an economic model for success!

However, there is a grain of truth in it.   I have been fortunate enough to see some amazing technology in labs over the last few years as part of my day job, largely starting from the need for image recognition but capable of being flipped to image generation, which will surely find their ways into products before too long. Yes, CGI is far more expensive than photography and somewhat unnatural but it wont always be that way.

Looking at similar technological changes, I bought my first CD Drive in 1989 or 1990: it cost $7500! A few years later, manufacturers were charging money to take them out of new PCs for companies wanting to protect their networks.  In 1992, I ran a demo in London of the first software-only MPEG encoder with rather jittery images, at a time when a still-image JPEG encoder (it wasnt just a selectable filetype back then!) was a piece of hardware which cost around $5000.

Never say never when it comes to technology.   

91
Perhaps photography as we know it will become obsolete.  Why go the trouble of dealing with photographers when you can generate the precise image you need in CGI?  Instead of putting out a brief on ImageBrief, just feed that description into the next generation image creator and out comes the perfect shot assembled from configurable components with some lighting algorithms applied. No ill-tempered models, shadows to annoy Shutterstock, fees, releases or cranky photographers.

The really scary time will be when news photographs are generated that way too!

92
Super Image Market / Re: Upload photos and get PAYMENT
« on: July 24, 2015, 07:00 »
1 The link from the OP does not work (404 error)

2 Quite hard to find contributor information on the site but http://www.superimagemarket.com/About.aspx?content=7 states you pay them a storage fee for having images on their site. Images I looked at were selling for $1

3 This is supposed to be a contract but is written in pidgin English would be interesting arguing the finer legal points of that 

93
Selling Stock Direct / Re: New Web Site
« on: July 17, 2015, 05:42 »
You have some really great images on the site but I will comment from my day job perspective working with eCommerce website design and build.

I know you say it's not just for selling images but, as a buyer, I want to go straight from the image to a buy/enquire option. Even if you don't want/can't set up a pay and download option, it would be better for a potential buyer to be able to click on an image of interest and go to a form (or at the very simplest, a pre-formatted email). allowing further details about use to be added if necessary, and sent to you with one click. Better still, let the buyer add images to a cart/lightbox to allow multiple enquiries in one go.

The image sequence displayed on the home page runs a bit fast for my liking (I know you have a pause button) and it's a little unhelpful that the sequenced images have captions and descriptions (which are hard to read in the time on screen) but this info is not displayed when selecting the image with a click.

I wish you the best of luck with the website. Although building it seems like a lot of effort it's nothng compared to the SEO and promotion work you need to do to get the right visitors to it!

94
New member on the board so interested in any advice or experiences in this area.

I tried submitting my initial 10 images to SS. Three were accepted and six were rejected for not having property releases. They do not require property releases (for many years it was my job to know about such IP issues) and they are all images I have for sale on other agency sites.

Of course getting rejectons for ridiculous reasons from time to time happens with all agencies but I wondered if this a general thing with SS? Given that the largest part of my work consists of architectural images there would be little point in me submitting ten candles or bowls of cherries to get in only to have next to nothing accepted thereafter.

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