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Messages - ChasingMoments

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101
Crestock.com / Re: Any downloads?
« on: February 03, 2008, 20:57 »
This is all extremely interesting to me! I've heard a lot of different theories about stock buyer behavior

I guess we can't assume that ALL buyers are this or that... Most likely, some buyers are purely "heavy weight" buyers that need hundreds of images at a time and use only subscription; others are "per credit" buyers that shop around for the exactly right image they are looking for; and yet others are cost-conscious buyers that have done their research (all it takes is look around all the sites once) and who KNOW which site offers best deals and go to that site, and if that site doesn't offer what they need, they move on to the next most cost-effective site. And of course there are some buyers in between. For any sort of meaningful discussion about anything, including the future of stock industry in general, we need to know which portion of all the buyers each buyer type makes up. If most buyers are "sub" buyers - huh! Then per-credit $ is least important to both buyers and sellers, unless photogs unite and boycott sub-sites. HUGE collective action problem; will never happen. If the market is split more evenly, then "each" type of buyer matters, and stock industry becomes "politics" & sites will try to innovate to draw buyers to their side. Say, canstock & 123 don't sell individual credits, they are probably trying to fill the niche bw expensive subs & per-credit sales...

...i can probably write a whole academic article on market direction & buyer behavior & get it published :))) data availability might be a problem though, but if there's a stock site willing to hire me for data analysis ;))) i'm available...

102
Crestock.com / Re: Any downloads?
« on: February 03, 2008, 18:31 »
I'm really new at crestock, but i am a bit worried.. no dl's at all. and very very few views...



well, given that its prices are higher than almost elsewhere, I'd stick around for a while, upload in your spare time when you don't have anything to upload anywhere else, wait and see what happens, give it some time to cycle through a season or two... and then either get out or stay :)

I myself just joined not too long ago, and i'll give it a few months. After which it'll be either all or nothing. Cuz uploading to so many sites is just not worth the time and effort...

ChasingMoments

I like the way your thinking. Perhaps I'll try uploading the 140 or so images that have been approved elsewhere that I haven't at CS since I stopped uploading after only 4 approvals months ago. If they are charging higher prices, perhaps some of that will ultimately be passed on with comission raises in the future after their marketing efforts start to payoff.

Plus ... I've been fortunate enough to travel to Sweden once :)

Jag Heter Mark



Well, here's the thing... when I am saying that they charge more than other sites - I'm not too excited about. Why? Because buyers will tend to gravitate from more expensive sites to sites where they can get the same image, even at a higher resolution, for cheaper - and, price-wise, in terms of what buyers are getting for their $$ crestock is one of the least competitive ones. Buyers leaving --> fewer sales.  Photogs are thinking in a one-sided way - they say - YAY, sites that charge more are great - but! this is a free market, and in a free market, demand is also important.... and the demand is for cheaper, higher resolution images. Thus, who's going to win? The sites that are charging less for the same images...

Unless you are a mature, established site, with established clientele, stable, solid reputation, loyal contributors and so on and so forth. IS is one of them - solid, steady, predictable approach; consistent strategy, no wobbling left & right & trying a bunch o'things out. SS is another one - also solid, steady, predictable, consistent strategy. DT is probably in the same boat. Newcomers, younger, less established sites like crestock need to be competitive  - how? In a saturated market where they have no chance of creating a unique gallery and where all the photogs recycle the same portfolios - how do you survive and thrive? By charging less - then you can compete for your usual, per-credit buyer.

I really wish I could see some stats on the percentage of different sites' incomes that come from "per credit" buyers and that come from subscriptions.... oh well, on to watching the GAME...!!!

103
Crestock.com / Re: Any downloads?
« on: February 03, 2008, 12:16 »
I'm really new at crestock, but i am a bit worried.. no dl's at all. and very very few views...



well, given that its prices are higher than almost elsewhere, I'd stick around for a while, upload in your spare time when you don't have anything to upload anywhere else, wait and see what happens, give it some time to cycle through a season or two... and then either get out or stay :)

I myself just joined not too long ago, and i'll give it a few months. After which it'll be either all or nothing. Cuz uploading to so many sites is just not worth the time and effort...

104
25 %...

which suggests that a lot of the demand in the stock industry field comes from an occasional, per-credit buyer. I also think that these per-credit buyers won't change and become sub-buyers as it is a different kind of image consumer.

105
Adobe Stock / Re: Fotolia tightening up standards a bit?
« on: February 02, 2008, 21:39 »
Wow - whats up at FT? Normally don't get many rejections.

Just had six rejected for 'non-conformity', does this look so bad for stock?




Wow !!! Real sorry about your rejection... may be they have a new rule - reject everything that looks like water or flood filter?

I'm not uploading to FT for now...

106
Crestock.com / Re: Understanding composition
« on: February 02, 2008, 21:03 »
I agree with the reviewers, the composition of these pictures is too tight.  Try backing up a little or using a wider lens so the viewer can see what is happening in the picture.  Also these pictures only have 2 elements water and ice.  I have found that most good pictures have at least 3 elements.  Like water, ice and a person in a barrel going over the falls!  All joking aside try to shoot during the magic hours, shoot a lower or higher angle, add a foreground element, use a slower shutter speed, find the spot that Aliencat used (http://www.dreamstime.com/niagara-falls---winter-sunset-image7) and use the rule of thirds for composition.


Well, I WAS going for a tigher, close-uppish shot, trust me - on purpose....  I know Aliencat's spot well, and I've done a lot of research across stock sites - all images are sorta the same wide angle of the same two-three shots - from Canada - wide shot of American falls, from Terrapin point (his shot) to the Canadian side, and some side views of the American falls (which I already have plenty of and I don't even bother submitting them... may be I should!). So, I was going for something different, more detail, closer, more intimate Niagara, with stone-like icicles and rushing masses of water in the background - for copy space.... Well, I live 30 mins away from Niagara, I'll go photograph some "usual" suspects next time I'm around there.... I also know Niagara well enough to know that beautiful sunsets/sunrrises (for photographers) are rare as the sun falls at this really bad angle :)))  Move the sun, darn it!

Aliencat's image is really great (not without a ton of photoshop in the sun - I wonder...)

Ahh, the law of "gotta do the opposite"... if it's a close up - they'll say back away, if it's a wide angle, they'll say get closer... can't win huh :)

Anybody willing to get into a barrel and roll down the yet-unfrozen-Niagara falls?

107
Crestock.com / Re: Understanding composition
« on: February 02, 2008, 20:55 »
In order to be successful, commercial images must convey/contain some sort of message - making an interesting or pretty picture will not get you very far in this market. Although the most efficient (and profitable) way to make money is to plan your shots, you can still be very successful by making "found" shots if you compose them with a definite purpose in mind - try taking in the scene and picturing the possible commercial images with your mind's eye before raising the camera to press the button.

Hehe :) trust me, I do this every time I hit the shutter button - copy space - check, in two out of three images copy space is provided by the falling water in the background, and the zoomed version (as I thought) would offer a close up with bigger resolution to those who are designing winter/travel destination projects. Of course, outdoor shots are less "commercial" that tabletop/studio over white or something along those lines, but my images are still quite suitable for any seasonal/winter/travel destinations images. And to tell you the truth, Niagara Falls in winter is not the most photographed world wonder, especially given that all the traditional shots offer you the same, hackneyed wide angle shot. Believe it or not, these close ups are more of an exception among Niagara shots than a rule... huh, oh well...

108
Crestock.com / Understanding composition
« on: February 02, 2008, 12:44 »
Any tips for crestock submissions? :)))

I understand crestock prides itself on warning contributors of its stringent standards, but the "composition" rejection is totally beyond me.

A serires of three images, all three of the same subject matter with different composition - rejected for composition. So, we'v got three incorrect compositions..... So, then, tell me - what would be "correct" composition in their opinion? Anybody here with insights on this "composition" thingie? I emailed support asking a more detailed explanation as ... well, I just started uploading to crestock, and given its low sales, low income %, the verdict is still out for me. In no way am I "threatening" as all I am for stock industry is this tiny fish in a gigantic ocean, but for my own sake I am trying to "understand" this because it has implications for when, whether, how fast, and what I will be sending over to crestock. I will never complain about rejections based on technical aspects... but things like "composition" are more of a gray area....

If you are really curious - all three are on DT, most recent acceptances, frozen Niagara Falls...

109
Cameras / Lenses / Re: The 1$ tripod replacement
« on: January 30, 2008, 21:22 »
Lose your tripod. The 1$ image stabilizer

Hat tip: Duncan, CanStockPhoto forum



Way cool! Thanks for the link !

110
Just to follow up...

If thinking from this thread catches on, what will happen is not that microstock sites will improve in price structure for photogs, but that all the photogs will stop putting their best stuff for micros and thus several things will happen: sub micros will be slowly but surely going down unless they innovate drastically as quality of their top contributors will decrease, top contributors will be putting their top work to more mid-stock-ish agencies and some work to macros...

this is somewhat based on my own thinking: from now on (makes no sense to do all the work on the existing port online) - i will separate out everything i shoot into RF for subs, RF for mid-stock and RM for bigger fish and submit accordingly....

111
I've been reading this thread really carefully... and one thing is extremely surprising for me!!! How come there is nobody from the agencies talking to us here... They are reading, that's for sure. But - what - don't they have anything to say?

...it looks like there is a labor union of sorts forming here, and photogs can, if united, influence the course of stock ... as far as I understand, a relatively small % of microstockers have over 400-500 images in their ports, and usually these photogs are on average better in everything, and if this relatively small % pools resources - then wow!

112
Adobe Stock / Re: Fotolia tightening up standards a bit?
« on: January 28, 2008, 11:28 »
I've had a good acceptance rate so far this year, 6% of my photos were rejected, BUT the rejected photos are some of my bestsellers at Shutterstock and iStockphoto. I had one photo rejected for "did not reach the desired level of aesthetic quality". That specific photo has had 25 downloads at SS and 7 downloads at IS. I define "did not reach the desired level of aesthetic quality" as "I the reviewer do not personally like this image", so do not allow that to bother you at all.

Thanks for support :)

... Frustrating though because reviewers didn't even bother to see if there are any other images of frozen Niagara Falls in winter before rejecting for "aesthetic quality"... and you know how many there are? According to the keywords search - ONE! What happened to FT?

113
Adobe Stock / Re: Fotolia tightening up standards a bit?
« on: January 28, 2008, 09:36 »
9 out of 9 rejected today  ???  - the "type of photo" & "did not reach the desired level of aesthetic quality"... I am at a complete loss... :) Never happened like this before, and what's that with "aesthetic quality" - define it for me please... I mean, I can understand "technical quality", but what's "aesthetic quality", and how is it different from "type of photo" and "overabundant" rejection reasons
.. Argghh!

114
Mostphotos.com / Re: Future Scenario?
« on: January 24, 2008, 16:41 »
I think more of a problem could be that people will upload tons of junk, thinking other will buy it. At this stage the quality of photos on Mostphotos are amazingly high, considering there are now selection criteria except size.

Well... it's sorta like a free personal photography website with unlimited gallery space... come on, dont' you think that people'd try to abuse it? :) Free, unlimited...  to say nothing about possibilities for people to upload unsavory content... of course we all know that it's 'prohibited' by TOS - but huh! It's human nature to abuse the system. As MS grows in popularity and competitiveness... I'd hate to be the one saying "i told you so" ; )

sooner or later MP will have to impose some sort of criteria, may be some sort of portfolio review...

115
Mostphotos.com / Re: Most photos - new "midstock" site!
« on: January 24, 2008, 16:35 »
To:  ChasingMoments

Hello!
It is a kind of weird situation though MP through a day has a lot of new members. But I have now emailed you a new pass and I personally tested it and it worked.

Hope it works.
Plz let me know

Yay, issue resolved! Glitch in the matrix - my pointer must have jumped and I typed a few extra characters in the user name...!

Thank you for communicating with me & following up on this - nice to get a a personal approach!

I'm on and will be uploading. "Good sale'ing".

116
Mostphotos.com / Future Scenario?
« on: January 24, 2008, 01:28 »
Hmmm... it just sorta hit me. How would MP survive the scenario in which people will start abusing its "free portfolio space no review system" for uploading and keeping their images their for free - personal gallery sort of thing, vacations, grandma's birthday, out of focus pictures of your gerbil, you get hte picture?  I am sure this kind of abuse is bound to happen... are there any mechanisms in place to prevent and to contain it?

- Monitoring against this? Well, then you need reviewers and criteria for evaluating one's work as 'playing the system' (uploading hundreds of shots of your family dinner...) v. not

- Letting it be... which would sink the ship very fast because buyers won't sort through all the bad work

- Relying on the review system which many people are already disliking and that still won't prevent the "pollution" of the pool of images on MS...

Your thoughs boys and girls?

117
Shutterstock.com / Re: Among today's rejections
« on: January 21, 2008, 10:51 »
Wow... thanks a lot everybody. Interesting adjustments. What makes it complicated, and as was mentioned by a previous poster, is that there's no way it would be accepted at IS that way. I could obviously upload different versions, but the logistics of this are complicated as they are.

Anyway, this was a solid reminder that I need to spend more time post-processing some of my images.

HEhehe... why don't you just isolate the balloon off the sky, the isolation will make a lot more money!! Adn you won't have to deal with clouds!

118
Thanx chasingmoments for participating in the thread

but i want to know ur opinion in using the extract option in photoshop which i fount a clip for it in youtube....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y13QRSIyaJA

thnx in advance

Karim farah


Karim,

Quality: I have tested the extraction filter in PS, and never found it adequate. It leaves jagged, rough edges, it leaves parts of the background and it frequently rippes parts of the foreground out. You always have to clean up with other tools, in fact, for selecting and removing the background I'd alwasy prefer the wand tool over the extraction tool. It is also obvious from your example: parts of the image were ripped out by the extraction tool, and most of the time you don't have the luxury of just erasing !!! your main subject matter (as you did on the guy's back with pants and shirt). I would also really like to see 100% zooms of different parts of your isolation as I am sure they'd have rough edges.

Time wise: You make a good effort with this tutorial, but in the 11 minutes that it took you to isolate this guy I would have done a much more precise job with a pen tool with two of such images.

Verdict: you make so much good effort to learn isolation! And you've already invested so much time in understanding it, learning about it, etc. Use your time wisely and go with the pen tool! Seems like you have an understanding of other tools, if you are versatile with the pen tool you'll be able to isolate subjects like in your example in under five minutes.

Best,

Olga

119
Shutterstock.com / Re: Among today's rejections
« on: January 20, 2008, 21:11 »
May I?

IMHO, regarding the original v. the edited version: there is a blue color cast, the color picker reveals bluesh hue no matter where you look in the clouds, and I've never heard of ALL of clouds being blue because they are transparent... (I would agree that there might be a blueish strand at the edges of clouds... but not ALL of the clouds). In the edited version, this color cast is even more obvious, which really makes this image unsuitable for stock (to say nothing about the fact that now about half of the clouds is also overexposed)...

may I offer my take on color correction? richer colors, and a reduced blue-ness of clouds


120
good day all,

seems to be very hard and time consuming to use the pen tool in photoshop especially when u want to isolate a flower or any object have many details ... there is must another way

Karim farah

Are you looking for an effective way to isolate or for an easy one? Gee.... learn how to use the pen tool, practice, practice practice, and it'd be the best thing you'll do for yourself as an artist ! :)

Remember, pen tool is the best option only if your bg is busy... leaves, grass, whatever. If you have a monotone bg - use levels, dodging, painting over, eraser. Wand tool would also work. If you do have a complex background and you want to isolate - go with pen tool, trust me.

121
Lasso is an extremely weak tool for isolating objects, not as versatile as a pen tool. Nobody said using pen tool to isolate objects over compex background wasn't easy - it does take time! If your objects are on monotone, light background (gray, etc), you can burn out the background without lasso or any other selection tools using levels + dodging...

I have tutorials on isolation on my website: http://www.chasingmoments.com/Tutorials.html   You should check out "the basics" of isolation


122
Shutterstock.com / Re: Among today's rejections
« on: January 20, 2008, 18:09 »
Hmmm... well, when I evaluate "correct white balance" I look at whether the whites in the image have color cast... might it be that the clouds in the original image are on the blue-ish side?

123
Mostphotos.com / Re: Most photos - new "midstock" site!
« on: January 20, 2008, 15:13 »
Ok, so as step 1 I decided to register and look around. Guess what? I filled out a form with info/login/etcetera, then went to login... and I can't. The system doesn't recognize me, and then I tried to reset the password, entered my email address, got a message that says that an email has been sent... no email. Hello? Help?

Hehe.. well, that might be it for me & MP for now :)

Try an e-mail to support.
They are usually reply pretty fast.

All right, let me follow up (with some frustration that I ever took time to look into MP at all...). I did follow your advice and send them an email; next day I received a response asking me to confirm the registration email, which I did. Nothing since then. Nada. Just tried to login &/or reset password. Not working. Come on, for a new & up coming site one of the keys to success it to make it as contributor-friendly as possible... and now I've wasted time. Won't be going back.

124
Crestock.com / Re: Any downloads?
« on: January 20, 2008, 10:36 »
Hey,

@ChasingMoments, it sounds like you will pretty soon have 100 DLs and then be on a 30% commission. But, then, the thing is that lower commission rates don't equal higher profit for stock sites. Not for Crestock, we aren't sitting up here in cold Scandanavia counting our kroner, everything that is earned needs to be re-invested into marketing and the logistics of keeping the site afloat. Crestock's sales are going up and up, but that only results in the opportunity to promote the site more and gain a larger share of the market.

We're working on higher sales, from more marketing. Not low sales with a high comission. 50% of no sales is still, no sales.


Josh, thanks for responding, hope this strategy pays off.  I personally (and I am sure many here'll join me in this) wish you all the best as your success will mean more $ for us in the future

125
Crestock.com / Re: Any downloads?
« on: January 20, 2008, 00:00 »
Eeeee.... all right, I decided why not and signed up for crestock, :) just uploaded the first batch two or three days ago; they reviewed two, accepted two, and I already sold one, the rest are still in qeue for review. What's started to bother me is that a buyer pays $5 for a small dl and i only get $1...isn't that a lot more than on other sites for a non-subscription dl?

hehehe... all i'm learning from this is that at one point i'd not want to hand all this money over to stock sites...

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