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Archive for July 2006

iStockphoto, CanStockPhoto, BigStockPhoto, Dreamstime, StockXpert, Fotolia, Shutterstock, 123RF – A Microstock Update.

This is my little micropayment stock update:
In the screen grab picture below you can see whats going on in my little Royalty Free Stock Image world, the biggest cheese is still iStockphoto, but coming on close behind is Shutterstock.
Stockxpert is still the best average payout per image followed by Fotolia and then Dreamstime, Shutterstock being the lowest payout per image, but it makes up for it in amount of sales.
In order of slowness of sales (slowest first):

I’d say I get a steady trickle of sales from iStock and Shutterstock, though Shutterstock is better when you are consistantly putting up new work, iStock ticks over by its self better (money wise).
Referrals at Shutterstock are starting to show a few $$ here and there, a little from Dreamstime, and a little from Fotolia too, everywhere else is, so far, non-existant! (So click the blooming links and sign up Grrr! Ha ha ha)

I’m just trying out so thats probably why I have no sales yet, I’ll give it time and it will take me a while to get all my stock images online.
I’ve kicked Gimmiestock out altogether, nothing ever sold, the site has a slow review time and a painfull system of uploading images.

If you are looking for ease of upload, go for StockXpert, it has to be the most user / Photographer Friendly of the bunch, being able to set image properties to groups of images at the same time is a total time saver.
Istock might well be one of the worst sites for uploading, but if you use one of the image manager programs they offer it can streamline your workflow there.

Advice is to always keyword and caption your files off-line in Adobe Bridge (or other image management program that supports embeded data).

If you are after Free Royalty Free Shots for your designing pleasure, Fotolia and Dreamstime would be my recommendations as they always have fresh images for you to grab, just click one of my links and sign up 😉

Great Stuff 🙂 The first of many, I’ll have to be getting a Pastle and Mortar soon 🙂

I went on to see my grandad, he’s 92 don’t ya know!, to check the greenhouse, took a few shots to show how things are progressing. I think my grandad might water a little too much but so far all is well.
Below is the ‘Thai Bankok Upright’ and its first pods 🙂

This is the very start of fruit on the ‘Purple Tiger’ and a nice flower too 🙂


Thisone is probably the flowers on the Cayenne, but I’m not sure!

A Lazy little hoverfly (Buzz!)

And here’s the group of plants in the greenhouse, i notice the Rocoto Orange doesn’t seem to like it in there and the plant I keep on the windowsill here is doing much better with some nice pods coming 🙂


I’m a proud ‘Chilli’ father LOL 😀


Posted on: July 15, 2006

This is probably the last shot i’ll take of the Rocoto Orange before it ripens 🙂
(better shot uploaded), now thats better.
I notice my chilli plants in the geenhouse arle suffering from Greenfly, so tonight I’m going to go get them…Grrr!

Just check out this, these are growing great 🙂
Here’s the Rocoto Orange, even if it is still green!

There’s thew Top of a Purple Tiger Chilli plant:

And this is the Tepin, going straight up!!! Wonder if i should nip it out ? 😀

🙂 Not bad for a wiindow sill 😉

I wrote this for somone who asked about Photoshop Brushes.

OK, for starters, I presume you have Photoshop?

I’ll do two little lists that will hopefully explain this: (explained for PC, though Apple mac isn’t that different)

The ‘Where Brushes live’ list:

  1. Photoshop keeps its Brushes here, C:\Program Files\Adobe\Photoshop\Presets\Brushes\Adobe Photoshop Only. (can be photoshop 5,6,7,CS,CS2)
  2. If you click on the Brush tool in the Tools Pallet you get some options, and the little fly-out menu lets you load and save brushes.
  3. You can put brush files, marked with the .abr extension, in the above folder and they will be shown in Photoshop’s Brushes list so you can easily load them.
  4. using the [square] brackets you can change the brush size up and down without having to open a menu or click on anything else.

OK, here’s the ‘How to make a Brush and save it’ list:

  1. Find an image or part of an image that you think might make a cool brush, change the Image to greyscale or desaturate your image. Remember that the Black parts of your image will be the bristles on your brush, and the White parts are the paper or blank canvas beneath. Its a bit like a Rubber stamp, the ink only touches the raised ‘Black’ parts of the stamp. 🙂
  2. Select the part of the image you wish to use, and if nessesary make it 2500x2500Pixels or less in size, this is the maximum size that Photoshop can handle.
  3. *I usually just draw a Marquee or a Lasso selection around the part of the image I want, copy it, create a new document, and paste it in, merging everything down to 1 layer*
  4. Play around with Levels untill you are happy with the dark to light ballence of your new brush, remembering that its the Black-to-all-the-subtle-shades-of-grey are what carries your paint to your canvas. You can vary the levels so that you get different effects.
  5. Be carefull with the edges of your brush, if you cut through a strong dark part of the image at its edge this might not work well as a brush (though thats dependant on how you envisage it will be used).
  6. The analogy of a fluffy Black dot in a big white background is a pretty safe bet, but don’t have loads of wasted white space around the part that will be the brush.
  7. You ‘Define Brush’ in the Edit menu of Photoshop, remembering to give your Brush a sensible name or a name and number for a set of similar brushes.
  8. Its best to start Defining Brushes with an empty brushes Pallet, so Hold down ALT+’Click’ on the Brushes to remove them one at a time, you should see the little ‘Scissors’ symbol as you are doing it.
  9. Once you have Defined your set of Brushes all nicely named its time to save the Set, this saves a number of Brushes into one file so you can easily load them up later, then you go to the little triangle Button to get the Fly-out menu and go to ‘Save Brushes’…. easy eh!! 😉
  10. You’ll find that Photoshop saves them as default in the Folder I mentioned at the beginning, you can copy the file from there if you need to back it up for safe keeping or maybe zip it up for people to download off your website 🙂
  11. Experiment 😉
  12. Oh, if you have the option of making your brushes in an older version of Photoshop 7, 6 or 5, go for it… as not everyone has CS and CS2 and making your brushes in one of these newer versions stops older versions from using them…. Thanks for that Adobe! :p

And here’s some pictures:

This is the Place Photoshop Keeps its brushes.brushes_location.jpg

This is the Brushes Pallet and Fly-out menu where you save your Brushes and sets of Brushes:

This is my Chilli pepper Rocoto Orange…. Hey, this just keeps getting bigger, I think you should be able to see the difference from the last picture… Here’s the new pic 🙂


Adding one more Royalty Free Stock site to my list, 123RF,  hopefully I’ll find time to upload to here too… So another to add to my Spreadsheet. 😀

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