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Темы - domencolja

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General discussion / Monthly earning poll on 123RF
« : Февраля 21, 2008, 02:32:06 pm »
I've been eager to get a community-wide insight in the earnings scheme of 123RF for quite some time. I know it's a small-player site and the income stats aren't comparable to the bigger ones, but I'm beginning to feel constant raises in downloads.

Is it the same for you?

Illustration / Pathfinding question in Adobe Illustrator
« : Февраля 07, 2008, 04:30:37 pm »
Here's my problem: I have a myriad of little expanded brush shapes on the canvas bordering to the bottom. The remains of these shapes poke out of the canvas, so I added a simple rectangular clipping path to delimit the actual "visible" artwork. Now: usually I use the ctrl+7 shortcut to clip the shapes "inside" the rectangle and then use the merge command to cut them off (or use the crop command with a rectangler over all the shapes - same thing, but I like to work the first way so I clean them only at the final export stages). But this time each one of those little shapes has an individual gradient applied to it and they are grouped together all one on top of the other (very various, chaotic). If I use the crop or merge command what happens is that each one of those shapes sliced every single individual shape and what I get is a million, literally million of little shapes all sliced where they shouldn't be.

How am I supposed to tell illustrator to use the crop command ONLY using the rectangular and NOT minding about all the shapes inside? I don't want every one to slice the neighbours, but only the rectangle to isolate and crop the shapes as a group.

Grouping them doesn't work. I always get multisliced shapes all over the place. If I change the colors of the shapes (example applying a white fill to all of them) and use the crop command, I usually get one compound path (and that's not what I want).

Any suggestions? Or will I have to crop them one by one individually?

Illustration / Weird Adobe Illustrator CS3 problem
« : Февраля 06, 2008, 10:25:14 pm »
I've been working on some new files today and I've stumbled upon a ridiculous problem thet occurs when saving untouched AI files to EPS AI8 format files. Let me put is straight: a blank artwork with no elements saved to a 5MB big file;) I know, I know...;))

First I had like 150K path points in it and the files were 8MB big. Than I started deleting layers and objects to see which were the ones that clubbed the file to size death. One by one they were going to the trash bin, but at the end I deleted the canvas wipe clean and the files were still saved at a whopping 5MB size.

Has this happened to anyone else before?

p.s.: I'm restarting the program right now to see if it was a memory glitch of some sort. But it really is weird, damn...

Illustration / Vectorstock
« : Февраля 02, 2008, 12:50:20 am »
Anybody tried Vectorstock? What are the sales figures if you did so?

p.s.: I checked the site and it's interface (actually not only that - the whole "concoction": structure, FAQs, supporting info, browsing experience and so on) seems a bit roughly thought. Haven't dug into it any deeper, but even the upload system feels raw. Will wait for some experience before I "take a day off" and start submitting there.

Illustration / iStock vector illustrations application: suggestions needed!
« : Января 31, 2008, 11:44:04 pm »
I'm on my way to try the vector illustrations route on iStock for the third time now (test approval with three vec. illustrations). The first time I submitted t-shirt supersimple crap and I'm aware of that. The second time I reiterated the mistake again. The third time they rejected my first "real" microstock uploads with the "too much of this stuff" explanation (apparently no technical issues were found, so that's good).

These are the ones that got rejected (sorry for linking the 500px wide versions):




I'm well aware today (two weeks after starting with AI) that these illustrations might be "fairly ok", but I'm not content with them anymore. I can see my eyes and technique regarding vector illustrations is constantly developing day by day (as time permits). I know these three resemble a very generic and popular style that is on top of that not executed as it should be. That's probably the reason why they rejected them (well, even if I've seen a lot worse vectors on iStock to say the truth).

One thing should be clear: I'm not satisfied with those and I'd like to submit these for my next test. Tell me what you think. Are they going to be approved?




I've chosen three different styles this time (even if I guess I might have better vector illustrations in the Shutterstock portfolio (or on their way to being accepted): I don't have a lot of them, but the number is growing slowly, but constantly). I know they're extremely picky on the approval test and I'd really like to at least try vectors on iStock (since my photographic career there has a grudgy valence like no other (and you pgf-ers know what I'm talking about));)

Do you think they'd pass?

p.s.: I'm asking especially you, NM. You're the "vector man", please tell me what you think.
p.p.s.: Oh and yeah: here's the link to my SS vector portfolio (http://www.shutterstock.com/cat.mhtml?searchterm=&anyorall=all&search_cat=&search_group=vectors&orient=all&photographer_name=domen+colja&searchtermx=&color=) in case you guys have some spare time to check out what else could be enrolled in the "threesome" fight I'm about to have at iStock;)

Thanks in advance to everybody!

General discussion / Increased traffic or sales?
« : Января 08, 2008, 07:52:20 pm »
Is it only me or are the best (in my opinion) competitors of iStock, that is Dreamstime and Stockxpert (could be others too), pumping up their traffic and sales these first days of January? My stats have increased lately considerably. Is this new traffic being redirected off of iStock because of the price increases?

Or is it, again, only me detecting this "trend"? How's your sales going in 2008 on these sites?

Here's how it stands: I'm most acquainted with rejections on iStock. I already debated my approval ratios about iStock vs. everywhere-else (40% vs. averagely 90% and above) on an other thread and those that read my "rants" are familiar with that. They're mostly "overfiltered" rejections that I can't see no glimpse of sense in, but I accepted their criteria (however sadly) and I'm ok with it.

But. This time I got a rejections I deem one of the most rudest and symptomatic (of their relationship with submitters) EVER. Here's the accompanying text:
"++++please clarify if you are the original photographer on all the elements of this photograph composite+++", "Please provide a focused description for this file. Aim to describe the main subject as well as possible (its location and origin), as a creative work of any kind, other than your own, needs to be in the public domain to be considered for royalty-free photography. Please include any valuable information regarding the file and the ownership of the original artwork. Make sure that your description is clear, helpful and targeted to the client who may be interested in your image (and not to the inspector). Thank you."

Here's the image (I'm posting it only as an example - this issue revolves around a bigger picture, their relationship to customers - it has nothing to do with only one rejection):

Really briefly: the image is a conceptual composite of a number of clocks hanging from the sky with Dollar banknotes falling. ALL the shots were OBVIOUSLY taken from me. The background is again MY work. But this is superficial information, since I agreed to their license, their terms and I AM A PHOTOGRAPHER, for God's sake. I'm no child stealing other's work and posting it redesigned to their site. Are they serious? I mean it: is this a joke? Every time I upload I agree with those four stupid checkboxes saying that I'm the original photographer and what not, blablabla. But this isn't enough for them, hah, they want me to write it down personally in the description field. And I'm sure this is the opinion of only one reviewer, 'cause if I wrote down that all the shots were taken from me, where they were taken and so on in the description field, the image would get rejected once again for improper (nondescriptive) description (or overfiltered reasons, of course). I'm not smiling anymore to these rejectiosn, the "accusation" that I'm a thief has made my day for good. It is serious: I'm fed up with their relation to little submitters. This is an abuse.

For how I see it, something's terribly wrong with the "business fairness" iStock is supposed to have. We're all aware they have a disastrous uploading system. It's time consuming, ridiculously slow and far from optimized. People continue to use it because their marketing skills and the buyer's side of the service is top-notch and their site sales stuff very efficiently. They're not investing in it (speak about income/business fairness - they're paying us "mortal" contributors the lowest percentage anyways) again for some obscure reason and I have a couple of ideas why:

- even if the disambiguation system is crap and the uploading with a multiple-step process takes ages, it keeps their search engine clean, the regulars (top submitters) have come to accept (and love the income),
- us, "punny little photographers", on the other hand, can't do nothing about it anyways,
- it is structured to optimize their profit, I'm sure of it: kick out the "mob", reward the buyers and the top-sellers (even if they spend ridiculous amounts of time submitting),

It is obvious that the system works even if it's unfriendly as hell. No FTP uploading, no flash or java uploading applets, stupid categories (and I mean it, really, really unintuitive). On top of that reviewers that are trained to wipe-clean submissions that would sell, but not sell enough. Their service works by the power of inertia. They're the "credit sales" leader, Shutterstock is "the subscription scheme competitor" (targeting a different audience, I'm sure), and they don't give a crap about it. And I pray a day will come when all the other competitors (Dreamstime, Stockxpert, Fotolia, Luckyoliver and all the others) will kick them off of their seats.

They've raised the prices once again, they have done NOTHING to easy the pain of uploading. Obviously they don't care about waiting queues (it is the only site, don't forget that, that has upload limitations for everybody, even the best submitters (and there is a profit reason behind it as well: 1. lower the inspectors outcome, 2. keep the flow of photos steady (limit the mob, reward the high-sellers)) and has a Scout backdoor that is slower than Macchiavelli's trip (btw, Scout is only a joke to keep the mob devil at bay - why is it so slow and "understaffed" than?).

I'm completely in sync with what Sabrina Dent (Link) has said about iStock (briefly and even if she's a designer and I'm a starting submitter, really rookieish on top that). I'm through with them, the abuse got too heavy to handle. All the mentioned reasons have made me realize that time and nerves are more important than those Dollars I could earn from working my ass off with them. When I spend hours uploading, rechecking keywords (only for them), sorting and filtering already submitted images (because of their upload limits that apply to different extent to EVERY submitter), waiting a week to get the unsympathetic rejection reasons (those that are not coming elsewhere), I crumble upon my thoughts when I realized iStock is not for me. Crumble out of liberation, that is.

iStock? Bye, bye.

p.s.: And if someones comes up with the "hey, guy, this is a business, don't take it personal, there's no "friendly" where money's involved", I'm responding with "sure, in a balanced business relationship (balanced IS friendly), but this is a master-slave dominance and won't be part of it anymore".
p.p.s.: Sure I am just a beginner and I might be taking sides too fast and abruptly, but right now it feels better than ever to have written in down. Eight other microstock sites are more than enough of a judge to establish if my stakes were handled positively.
p.p.p.s.: And some stats: I've made more money (25 times more) elsewhere in one month than I've done on iStock since late August. Here's food for thought. To me it doesn't matter that much: the most important thing is time and frustration - and I've spent enough of both on iStock. It might be the best site ever to others, but to me this is the personification of a communist dictator (metaphorically speaking): "contribute to the greater good and shut up once and for all".

General discussion / What's your average monthly sales on Shutterstock?
« : Декабря 26, 2007, 05:05:55 pm »
This is probably top secret info for many of you here, but I'm asking anyways;)

Mine seems to be closing on around 700 this month. Been there for four weeks and the first 10 days of December were newbie-ish with only 44 downloads. Than something happened, don't ask me what 'cause I honestly don't know, but the sales boosted.

Oh, yeah, an accompanying portfolio size + join date would be welcome too;)

So for me:
- 700 this month, December
- join date: late November 2007
- portfolio size: 281

General discussion / iStock continued rejections getting ridiculous
« : Декабря 25, 2007, 08:29:00 pm »
Hi to everybody (first of all)...

I thought of opening up a thread regarding the submission criteria on iStock. It could be me (I don't disqualify that option at all), but am I the only one that has a catastrophic acceptance ratio on that site?

I usually float around the 90% acceptance ratio on every other microstock site (SS, DT, LO, F, BSP, SX...), on some of them even more (and they get to 100% after I get rid of stupid minor faults of mine), but iStock is steadily on 35 to 40%. I usually get the overfiltered reasons (and some "too feathered/rough edges") and NONE of my PSed images get through at all. I mean it: NONE. On Shutterstock, for example, I started 4 weeks ago and I already constantly get from 40 to 50 DLs per day, on iStock almost three months have yielded a whopping 11 downloads. The portfolio on SS is reaching 300 pieces, on iStock around 60 (and they are probably my worst images - they seem to accept only those, don't know why).

Why am I writing this? I know for a fact that Shutterstock and iStock are the microstock market leaders out there and they seem to have (from what I've read) the most strict submission rules there are. But I find that they're not comparable at all: again - my 90% on SS and 40% on iS speaks for itself. And it does tell one exact thing: they don't accept my type of imagery.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not dissing iStock for their choice of criteria. I'm just asking if this acceptance scheme has been detected from someone else. Or am I the only one with such differences between iStock and other sites?

p.s.: My SS portfolio: http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery.mhtml?id=135580
p.p.s.: My best selling image up there on Shutterstock that was on number 27 of the weekly Top 50, but rejected with a "no resubmit" sticker all over it on iStock:


I'm posting the link and the image just to give you a "material" insight in the type of imagery I make (it does have a retouched feeling to it, I honestly admit it) and to hear from you if the same is happening to you when you submit creations like these to iStock.

p.s.: Ok, I am a bit personally hurt from all those rejections on iStock, that's true. It's a big letdown and I'm seriously thinking of dropping my account there. The uploading is way too slow compared to other sites (the new keywording system, oh my God, not to mention no model releases compository, no FTP, bad category selection, strange behaviour with Opera, etc, etc, etc) and I might be getting to emotional about the bad experience, but that's just how things are for me. And since I know that there are a lot of people out there that reckon iStock is the best microstock site out there, this feels even more depressing;)

Thanks for the replies, guys! And btw: happy holidays! (especially to you, Sybille - thanks for the invite and the wishes!;))

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