Probably Due To Network Congestion

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March was different, I made my average cashout level but just missed out by a day or so on cashouts from iStock and Dreamstime, for the first time in a while SXP did not reach the minimum payout figure.
Here’s the Lookstat graph for March:
march09lookstat

Next up here’s my monthly cashouts graph over time, after reading things on Microstockdiaries regarding some slowdown, so the graph below kind of backs that up showing me that earnings for March are as good, or bad, as they were over two years ago. August ’08 being my best month ever, its looks like a gradual slide downward now.
monthlycashouts

This is backed up my blog views at imagepushing.com , the first graph in weeks and then months after shows a slump in views… meanning less designers, artworkers, and buyers are searching for images
imagepushingweekly
imagepushingmonthly

What I need to do is to start being more targeted in what I shoot and submit, if only to improve my approval ratings a little!
Its a short report this month, more in reaction to Lee’s over at MD to see if there was any correlation.

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yay_logo_large

Yet another stock agency… Looks a good clean, easy to use site, no fuss, easy on the eyes, navigation is all sensible, hopefully it will appeal to the hardcore image buyers out there.

Various permutations of the referral link (the second one is my portfolio):
http://yaymicro.com/register.action?referredBy=pdtnc
http://yaymicro.com/search.action?search.photographer=pdtnc&referredBy=pdtnc

To quote YAY from their press page:

Background

YAY Micro is an affordable provider of digital content. YAY offers photos, illustrations and vector files to customers all over the world. The parent company, YAY Media AS, is located in Oslo, Norway, and was founded by Linda Johannessen, Jan Ole Kjellesvig and Roger Bystrøm in January 2008. YAY Micro got their first images March 7th. The response from photographers and artists have been positive, and by launch June 2nd YAY Micro had over 200 000 images in their database. Over 1 000 photographers and artists have signed up.

Our vision is to be the leading digital content provider.

YAY offers both creative and editorial content

At YAYmicro.com you will find great creative and editorial images. Building an editorial database is a priority, and new images are added every day. Freelance photographers, citizen photographers and agencies deliver fresh red carpet images to YAYmicro.com.

Our goal is to be the first microstock agency to fully incorporate editorial content in our offering.

banner125x125_static

I like the way this site works, its pretty sensible and works logically, the upload procedure works well and editing image details is simple.
This is how the profile page looks, Its pretty concise and usable:

The Image portfolio page is just as easy with albums for organisation that work by drag and drop, and looks like this:

I have just completed uploading my portfolio of 1324 images, all accepted due to there being no inspection procedure to go through (the closest acceptance to that was 979 images at CanStockPhoto).

Earnings and referrals
Royalty-free images: earn 50% of the total price, which is €12.50 per sale.
“We offer you 1 Euro for every sold image by a referred photographer and an additional 1 Euro
for every image bought by a referred customer. This means you can earn up to 2 Euro every time a transaction is made between your referred friends”

All there is to do now is organise a few albums and site back and wait…. we shall see!

Its September!!  View My Portfolio

Double your referral rewards Sept. 1-30, 2008

You’ll be seeing double this month now that we’ve introduced double referral rewards. From Sept. 1-30, 2008, we’ll … more You’ll be seeing double this month now that we’ve introduced double referral rewards. From Sept. 1-30, 2008, we’ll pay you $20 USD every time you refer someone to become a member of iStock who then makes a credit purchase.

When you join the Referral Program, you start by selecting a site badge to post on your website. Then we track people who follow the link, become a new member and make a Pay-as-you-go or Subscription credit purchase within 14 days. As long as the new member purchases credits online and it wasn’t reversed, you will receive $20 USD from iStock within approximately three business days. Read the full details when you join the program.

Stock Photography: Search Royalty Free Images & Photos | iStockphoto.com

Looking at the ease of upload and getting images online I thought this place would be good to have a go at.

There is a good write-up at www.microstockdiaries.com so I won’t write much more untill I see some results after I get my full portfolio online.

Light Painting in Dark Places

After seeing other peoples shots of dark places such as drains and tunnels, I decided to have a go for myself.

So experimenting with long exposures, 30 seconds and longer, and a mid range aperture in a couple of disused railway tunnels.

Queensbury Rail Tunnel - July 08
All Rights reserved © Copyright of pdtnc

Setting the Camera

With long exposures you need to keep your camera shake free so the use of a Tripod and cable release is essential, I picked my shot and set my camera in the dark getting focus manually on long shots and shooting off a flash shot to attain focus on closer in shots (Switching to manual focus once happy so as to lock it at that distance).

I was shooting in the camera’s Manual Mode so as to set exposure time to the ‘BULB’ setting, I chose an aperture of F8 so depth of field would be mid range for my lens, I set the camera ISO to 100 so as to keep down the possibility of digital noise showing up (Other ISO setting could be used while practicing and getting the hang of how long the exposure would take).

So I’m focused, my camera is on the tripod cable release attached, my camera setting are locked, it was time to click and lock the shutter release and start using the torch to light the scene.

Lighting with the Torch

Using the torch its a case of literally painting the subject with light where you want the camera to ‘see’ and capture what you want, it takes some experimenting and can be an interesting way to be creative with lighting your photograph. Its important to keep the torch beam moving on your subject so as to avoid ‘hot spots’ where too much light could over-expose, paint evenly and try not to miss the bits that interest you.

I started with 30 second exposures and went up to 2 minutes 30 seconds on some shots where I didn’t want to use to much direct light so I could get a more creative effect, this will all depend on the brightness of your torch or torches.

A handy tip would be to leave a small dim light under your tripod so you don’t go walking into it while making a shot.

Using more than one torch can give you the option of back lighting an object and also painting the foreground with the other torch, coloured gels can be used over the torch beam if you fancy adding a little extra colour to your subject.

Light trails are fun, and can be a happy accident while lighting your subject and add a bit of excitement and movement to the scene, though if you don’t want the trails be careful that the line of sight between your torch beam and your camera is guarded and you wear dark or black clothes so you don’t show up in your own shots.

For most of my experimenting I stayed behind the camera, though I started venturing out further to see what else was possible which is well worth it.

Safety and Darkness

Standing in almost complete darkness with just a flashlight might be an eerie experience for some people so its always best to take a friend and tell someone else where you are going and how long you will be there. For me the excitement of creating some amazing photographs out weighs any fear I might have had, I found the darkness and torch light quite calming with the silence only broke by the dripping from the ceiling of the tunnel and its ventilation shafts. It always good to watch where you are putting your feet while setting up shots as uneven floors and obstacles could trip you up, so be careful, safety first!

Ravenscar Tunnel 12.06.08
All Rights reserved © Copyright of pdtnc

Equipment

The Camera equipment used was as follows; Canon 400D, Sigma 10-20mm lens, Tripod, Remote shutter release cable. The Torches used were; Maglite 3D-cell with Terralux LED upgrade, Fenix TK10, and some other cheaper LED torches, I also took a couple of Glow-sticks.

Links

More of my tunnel photos are at www.flickr.com/photos/pdtnc

If you liked this and found it useful please go vote for it at http://www.jpgmag.com/stories/6108

All Rights reserved © Copyright of pdtnc

Busy head churning over with ideas and thoughts…

Would be nice to sleep through sometime.

I blame istockaudio today for my busy head… Check it out if you like your audio, buy, earn, submit etc
View My Portfolio


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