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Messages - Elenathewise

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Oh, there is one of Andres Rodriguez's, too - with Andres himself in the picture!!! Would be funny if it wasn't so annoying.

Just found one of my images on Flickr under some other user's name (I don't even have an account on Flickr):
Apparently, somebody called "misallphoto" thinks they can just download other people pics and build their portfolio that way....
I contacted Flickr about this, but I see other images in his "portfolio" that I know belong to other people. Some of them Yuri Arcurs', some from the user known as "ioannis kounadeas" on Fotolia. Please take a look and see if you have been stolen from, and contact Flickr as well, maybe this will result in their faster action.

778 / Re: Is StockXpert going down?
« on: June 16, 2009, 22:28 »
I'd say that Getty will simply shut down StockXpert and any others they buy that compete with IS.  But they won't do it in a day, because they don't want to lose customers. The whole idea is to take down these sites in stages while herding all their existing customers over to IS.   

I totally agree. They will NOT fold StockXpert into Istock - they encourage contributors to "start building portfolios" on Istock. If they were adding StockXpert to their collection that would not be necessary. They will eventually just close it down, since there is no point in marketing 2 different micro-sites with similar collections, it's confusing for customers.  And yes, they don't want to do it abruptly since they want all StockXpert customers to switch over to Istock. Would be silly to let them go to Fotolia instead. However, they made opting in for Jupiter subs ridiculously difficult  - you literally have to add each single file, there is no "select all" option. Well, maybe there is one for exclusives:)

I think Stockxpert's days are numbered. Why else would they actually remove the images from the Jupiter distribution channels. What I don't get is why did they go to trouble recently to go through stockxpert's images and remove the ones they considered having copyright issues. Seems like a waste of time.

I had the same thought - it's a greenhouse:) Not that there is anything wrong with it - the light should be great, especially with those hanging light-diffusing panels instead of ceiling. Top diffused light makes everything look so nice. Thanks for sharing Yuri - that's pretty neat. Although, for me 2 white walls and 3 lights still works fine:), but every kid has a right to have all they toys they want, why not.

781 / Re: Well done PM
« on: April 01, 2009, 12:25 »
I have steady sales on Panther, in spite of the fact that I have only part of my portfolio there. It is very time consuming to upload and submit images. I wish the upload system was simpler. Andy, what exactly are you improving? When is new system expected to be online? Is there place to submit feedback and feature requests?

General Macrostock / Re: Accepted at Getty
« on: March 27, 2009, 21:33 »
When I started this topic all I wanted to find out if it's worth participating in Getty's "Photographer's Choice" collection and paying placement fees for images. I also promised to report my experience, which I did truthfully. I do not like being asked for my credit card info upfront before I even decide to pay for something or being charged erroneously, I don't think anyone does. However, I offer no opinion on Getty as a company or give anyone advice to participate or not. My own opinion is that at this point I don't consider "PC" a good way to expand my business. It would either take too long or too much money to build considerable presence there. Case closed:)

General Macrostock / Re: Accepted at Getty
« on: March 26, 2009, 18:53 »
Thank you stock shooter for the kind words about my work. But the truth is, Getty didn't offer me placement in their other collections, and Masterfile was not interested in what I do. Maybe they don't like microstockers, or maybe they just don't want the kind of images I produce. So I am grateful to microstock which allows me to do what I like and support my living. If I had a reasonable offer from the macros, I'd take it - it's just I don't think PC is reasonable at this point.

General Macrostock / Re: Accepted at Getty
« on: March 26, 2009, 12:32 »
Well I am not saying Getty is bad for everyone, I am sure there are people who make very nice money with them. I am speaking for myself and this "Photographer's choice" collection. Let's do some simple math. Let's say I submitted 10 images for free. It will take them 2 month just to online.  When you sell one, Getty allows to to submit another one for free only next quarter (!), and only once (i.e. if the same image sells again, no "freebie" this time). So, in a year I can only submit 10 more for free if every single image sells. Now after a year I have 20, after 2 years 40, after 3 years 80 and so on. That is without investing any money in it. If I reinvest all the money I make on Getty back into placing images with them, I can submit some more images, so maybe I'll get to 200-300 in 3 years (and not see a penny of profit meanwhile). Remember all the images have to be exclusive to them, too. So, after 3 years I have 300 images with Getty if I am giving them my best images and also get extremely lucky. Now - wow, I have a potential of making what? about 750 dollars a month (if I am making $50/month with 20 images).
That is after 3 years of making nothing. Keep in mind, images have their own "shelf life" and 3 years is probably half of it (unless you're shooting landscapes, but then forget about these kind of sales). So some of them will "go out of style" and will stop selling.
Now let's say I submit the same 300 excellent images to microstock or other non-exclusive "mids" and "macros". They will start earning me money right away, and by the end of 3 years each of them will easily generate more than 300 dollars. (300*300)/36 month = 2500 per month. No waiting. Plus, I have freedom to submit more images and hit some unexpected bestsellers, which happens quite often. 
So, my conclusion is that "photographers' choice" placement is not a good way for me to make money. It maybe good for someone who doesn't produce a lot if images, and doesn't rely on stock for income. I don't care if I can make twice as much per image on getty than on micros if my monthly total is 50 bucks:) or even a 1000 for that matter, I have bills to pay:)
I know you can say I can make more with good images on Getty, but if I am not able to submit large number of images in reasonable time without investing ridiculous amounts of money, I still don't get the income I need. Would be different story if they weren't exclusive, but they are.
Now if you're invited to shoot for some other Getty's collections, that's a different story. But I heard it's practically impossible to get into that these days if you're an outsider.

General Macrostock / Re: Accepted at Getty
« on: March 25, 2009, 10:23 »
For the test submission review I had to wait about a month. I am having more and more second thoughts though. After I have been accepted they told me I can submit 10 images free. So I submitted 2 just to test the waters. Guess what they tried to charge me for that. I didn't have my credit card info with them, so they emailed me saying I owe them money. We did clear up the issue  - I had to dig up their initial email with "10 free" and send it back to them, so they dropped the charge but they still want my credit card info. Which I am not giving - I think I had enough of "testing waters", it's pretty clear to me that this program is just to suck money out of contributors. You'd expect if you're paying them to represent you, you can at least expect excellent customer service. Instead, their service can not even be called mediocre, it plain sucks. And no, I didn't make any sales with 2 files online, you have to be in the thousands to make at least some money, so economically it just doesn't make sense. I am convinced now that this is just a myth, they are trying to capitalize on their brand name, but don't offer anything of the value to their contributors in return. Well good luck to them, I am out of there. Waste of time.

 I just spent some time browsing through their collection. There are some good images there. Most of them though seem to be really overprocessed  - from blurs and color oversaturation to really darkening the image by screwing up the histogram. Which in some cases does achieve some dramatic effect. However, I don't think quality is even a consideration here, at least in traditional sense. It looks like the entire collection is about this darkened oversaturated oversharpened look which I heard is quite in vogue right now. So, some advice for people who want their photos choosen - move levels sliders way over to the right, same with saturation, apply even more dark around the corner of the image, them apply and blend in about 5 layers of gaussian blur and you have big chance to be selected! ;-)
I also saw quite a few classic microstock staples. And a lot of pet pictures, some of them a good, some ... well just pet pictures:)
Some stuff is plain weird. Not "wow weird", just ... strange. I am too lazy to post some here, there are some real "gems" over there , but you can always go enjoy them for yourselves:,fkf,fks#

I remember a while ago big macros were trying to distinguish themselves from microstock by saying that they have good quality and micro stuff is crap. I guess it doesn't work anymore - quality standards on micro are ridiculously fierce, I wish the guys had some common sense and stopped this nonsense. But microstock quality is pretty good these days. So now the macros have to come up with something different - like stocking up some really creative shots and who cares about quality:)

It looks like what Getty is trying to do is to stock up some really unusual images - the price also makes sense, too - if you're looking for unusual, you should be prepared to pay a lot. Which makes sense, they have to offer something different to survive the competition with micros. Be prepared though, your quirky stuff may never sell, since there are not that many buyers that look for very unusual. On the other hand, if it just sits on flickr and not earning anything, it's much better to have it sitting on Getty:)

I wish microstock admins allowed more creative stuff in, why not have it - really dudes hard drive space is dirt cheap these days. And yes, a closeup of some guys's front in underpants with cooked spagetti stuffed into them (Creative (RF) #85153696 Flickr) is not going to sell as many times as one of Yuri's business teams, but again - why not have it? Maybe someone will need it someday, although really I can't imagine what for:)

Oh, no offense meant - I am sure there are many wonderful images to be found on Flickr. It just tells you something about Getty - looks like the number of high quality images offered to them through traditional channels is going down, otherwise why would they do that.

this is interesting - they are browsing Flickr for images to add to their collection?... boy they must be desperate...:-)

General Macrostock / Re: Photographer job opening at Getty :)
« on: March 13, 2009, 00:32 »
Yikes. I see add like that, I run away from it very fast:) Full of corporate bulls**t. Not that I'd qualify, but even if I did, I'd sooner sell doughnuts on the street corner. I think big corporate culture is a thing of the past. Like slavery:)  (and yes I did work for one for 7 years, thanks to microstock was able to get out of that jail:))

General Macrostock / Re: Accepted at Getty
« on: March 13, 2009, 00:23 »
I agree - placement fee is something I can not get my mind around. I don't think I'll pay anything at all - maybe submit these 10 free images and see how it will go... so far I am quite unimpressed though. I submitted a couple of images - just as a test run. About a month to review. Then they appear with no relevant keywords. Apparently, they take another month to add keywords. They are in complete control of keywords, some that appeared are not even relevant. These guys are not in a rush anywhere. Emailed contributor relationship twice with some questions, no reply. Support form on the site does have a person on the other end, so at least that was helpful. I learned that I can not remove the images that have been accepted ever - "under no circumstances". Nice. You pay 50 bucks, then if they just sit there, you can't even remove and sell somewhere else. Not even after some time.
Placement fee goes on top of all the production costs of an image - I wonder how they think photographers will make money, providing they have lowered their prices and introduced "high volume", i.e. subscription, sales model.
So, am having second thoughts about participating at all. Like I said, maybe those free ten... the thing is, a good image can bring me hundreds on microstock, so by taking it out I'll be actually losing money...  :-\

Off Topic / Re: Why is Hitler so mad at Nikon?
« on: February 25, 2009, 21:44 »
I have Nikon D300. Now, possible upgrades for me - D700 (same megapixels) or ultraexpensive d3x (24 mpx). IN BOTH cases I have to get new glass, since its a full sensor. If I am getting a new glass anyway, why not get CANON EOS-5D MK II which is reasonably priced and will give me 21 mpx? I don't see a reason why. I don't know what Nikon is doing but they better come up with some reasonable upgrade path for D300, and soon....

Veer / Re: Veer Marketplace Is Live
« on: February 23, 2009, 17:52 »
What is the search results order? It seems no matter which subject I search for, especially people related,  I get images from Yuri Arcurs portfolio first:) Does your relevance search go something like this: "show whatever matches from Yuri's porfolio and then everything else"?:-) His stuff is good, no question, but what about the rest of us? I don't think I will be able to sell anything if my images consistently show up on page 25...

Newbie Discussion / Re: Travel Photography - which agencies?
« on: February 17, 2009, 22:03 »
In microstock world, I found my travel images sell best on Dreamstime - they must be targeting appropriate markets.

Lighting / Re: Profotos vs AlienBees?
« on: February 16, 2009, 13:27 »
I looked at the White Lightning series, which is also Paul C. Buff (same as AlienBees), I really like their X1600 flash unit. I like the ability to adjust to lower powers if needed. It's a bit more expensive than B1600, about $100 difference, but I think this is going to be the one... :) This thread has been very helpful, thanks everyone for your inputs.
I also think that Profoto is a bit overpriced, I mean it looks like it's an excellent lighting system, but it seems to me that at least part of that price you are paying for a brand name. I liked the Mercedes analogy - it's an excellent car, but the price difference does not directly correspond to the quality difference. That's my impression, at least for now:)   

Lighting / Re: Profotos vs AlienBees?
« on: February 15, 2009, 23:45 »
Profoto ComPact 600:   
* Maximum energy: 600 Ws
* Recycling: 0.25-0.8 s
* Flash duration (t 0.5): 1/850 s @ maximum power
* Full 5 f-stop range
* Frosted glass cover
* 100 W /250 W modeling lamp
Price - about $1000 - $1100

AlienBees B1600:
* Maximum energy: 640 Ws
* Recycling: 2 s
* Flash duration (t 0.5): 1/1800 sec at full power , 1/900 at 1/32 power
* Full 5 f-stop range
* 150 W modeling lamp
Price - $359.95

What I see is that Profoto light has faster recycling time (about 2 times faster) and.... mmmm... what else? is that worth extra 700 dollars? Of course I am pretty ignorant on this matter, maybe I am missing something or getting it all wrong - please feel free to correct me. But I would really like to know what these extra $700 per flash units will buy me.

Lighting / Re: Profotos vs AlienBees?
« on: February 15, 2009, 22:47 »
grp_photo, you are right, I should be comparing similar lights from Profoto and AlienBees. Need a more detailed look at the specs....

Lighting / Re: Profotos vs AlienBees?
« on: February 13, 2009, 16:06 »
Thanks everyone for your replies. Yeah, recycling time for AB1600 is 2 sec, but it's much more powerful than, say, Elinchrome 400ws (that recycles in 1.6 sec). By the wat AB400 recycles in 0.5 sec :-) I did try the Bees out, they didn't fail for me once, and I was shooting all day (that was in December and I am still processing images:)).
Pixart, thanks for the tip about pre-clearing. Looks like it can save some headache (yes I am in Toronto).
Profotos are very high end and very expensive, so I wanted to see what exactly the price difference can buy you. Recycling time - yes, power - yes, but they also talk about "beautiful profoto light" which I am not quite sure what it is:)
I know Yuri Arcurs dude uses them, but then it looks like he loves spending money on his business:) I probably would too if I was 25, but you know having a mortgage and a kid in private school.... life stuff like that kinda gets in a way of going crazy with expenses... At the same time I don't want to spend a chunk of money on something I won't be happy with for a while... But looks like ABs are not bad at all, maybe it's time to order:)

Lighting / Profotos vs AlienBees?
« on: February 12, 2009, 19:11 »
The price difference is quite substantial. So, does anyone know what Profoto strobes are doing better than, say, AlienBees B1600? Is the difference just power and recycling time (and AB1600 looks quite powerful and fast enough to me), or there is something else? What kind of shoot would require Profoto  strobes and why ABs won't work in that case?
Thanks in advance for your comments!

799 / Re: Well, that was a waste of time...
« on: January 29, 2009, 21:54 »
Heeeee..... I loved your original post... good sense of humor:) Got a good laugh, thank you:)

In my opinion, helping doesn't hurt anyone. The thing is, if the person is talented and determined, he/she will achieve their goals no matter if you help them or not. They will find out about those "secrets" and "tricks" on their own, by trial and error, books, internet. By sharing some info you make their life a little bit easier, giving them a bit of a shortcut, but you're not changing a big picture. And for the people who are not able to find out about those "tricks" themselves, no amount of help will actually help. It's a no lose situation. And helping others actually makes you feel nice, instead of feeling like an a**hole:)

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