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Elliott Bignell

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About Elliott Bignell

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  1. Touching faith in a system that everyone understands to be broken.
  2. Houston, we have a solution: https://medium.com/@elliott.bignell/freeing-photos-from-agencies-a7b4b7723910
  3. Hi, Anita. No,I'm no longer on Facebook. You can find me on Twitter and Medium. I thought I could start writing articles on Medium to explain what I am doing. Watch this space... Antonio, my idea is a site like Flickr or 500px, but which everyone could have their own copy of. You could style it yourself if you are skilled in web development, or just copy someone else's if not. You would put your photos up somewhere like SmugMug and my code would let you organise and present then as you like. You could also put them up for sale at a price that suits you. Or you could direct the buyer to Shutterstock, come to that - what's to stop you? So far this is nothing new. My idea is to network between photographers so that potential buyers can search for a photo across the whole network. If you sell your own shot, you keep the whole fee, or perhaps give up a small percentage to an income pool which everyone shares. If your site directs a buyer to another photographer, you share the income, maybe 50-50. Done right, we could even set our own terms individually. With a few thousand photographers, we would rapidly have a network with millions of photos. These could be star-rated by the public and this would rank the shots, rather than a simple in/out quality metric. The key is openness. It should work with many photo-sharing sources and also any other networks that come up in parallel. It could get really big.
  4. I've mentioned this before but not received that much interest. I have built a photo-server that fetches my pics from SmuMug and serves them up. It's open source and runs on PythonAnywhere or on a RaspberryPi at home, so everyone can pick up their own copy and adapt it at will. There's some work to do yet, but I'd like to get a network together and start sharing between groups of collaborators, making up an independent, peer-to-peer photographers' network with no central manager or owner. All of us together are bigger than any one agency! We could make this THE network for selling stock and keep the proceeds for ourselves. Anyone who is interested, even if only with a wish list, get the code and contact me via the links. https://github.com/ElliottBignell/homePIX https://elliottcb.pythonanywhere.com/
  5. I have also taken my port off sale. 8,500 shots, which were at least good enough to make it through review. Based on the new structure and sales to date, which had DECLINED on average over the two years I built up from zero pictures, I think it exceedingly unlikely that my income would ever return to its value prior to the "restructuring". Not to mention which, this is a matter of self-respect. In many fields, such as my main one of software development, agency fees would be more like 15%, not 85%. I conclude that we are not organised enough.
  6. $0.10 per shot now, eh? Less than $8.00 for May with over 8,500 shots after 2 years hard work. Do you think this counts as theft yet?
  7. Has there ever been any progress on this? I've had a few glitches like the new Gnome interface at home bombing out and leaving my FTP job cut off in the middle, and matching several thousand images on Shutterstock to several tends of thousands of candidate images on my hard drive when the series are cut off in the middle is like undertaking a work of Sisyphus while Indiana Jones is coming the other way with a second rock just behind him. With a straight textual list of the filenames it becomes trivially easy, and it's possible to do almost anything by way of organisation on the command line. If you have to compare each element by visual comparison of thumbnails it suddenly becomes a weeks- or months-long project. Computationally, giving us a text view alongside the pictures is almost just a job that one man can do over the lunchtime, swamped by the overhead to Shutterstock caused by inadvertent multiple submissions. I can't imagine any reason why they would NOT have provided it by now. The worst part is that I've had the exact same conversation at other agencies, notably 500px, who I ended abandoning in disgust. Is there something about picture-agency psychology that rails at doing things the easy way?
  8. I had a rejection a little while ago for "intellectual property" reasons, where the subject was a hilltop village in Toscana. I chased it up and the respondent confirmed the decision, sending me a link to the list of sites subject to what I increasingly think of as criminal obstruction of a view. (Being a photographer and not a property-owner for most purposes!) The nearest site to the subject was about 40km away. The reviewer probably just thought all Tuscan churches looked the same. Anyway, I lodged a further complaint and got a reply a couple of weeks later saying that the rejection was in error after all. But I still have to re-submit. Too much to review and too little return for a single image. I also placed a great number of pictures on the site when I first started and relied on the built-in listings to manage which I had submitted and which still needed labelling. Oops! Nearly all got deleted after a couple of weeks, probably after 21 days as that is the posted limit for rejected pictures. There's no way to retrieve a list of the original filenames - I enquired - so I cannot automatically separate my collection into deleted, rejected and accepted, and we are talking about 50,000-odd JPEGS once series and variations are taken into account. Checking them by hand against the 3,000-odd in my portfolio would be an enormous amount of work, and I mostly miss repeat submissions. So I get a lot of rejections for that reason, which could also be solved automatically without too much effort. I even offered to write the scripts, but the respondent just repeated that they can't provide the filenames!
  9. I just made the mistake of submitting pictures of Oerlikon market with an editorial caption but not marked as "editorial use only". The usual rejection, but it seems so useless: A waste of work on both sides, when an automated script could have picked it up and corrected within nanoseconds. Rather more irritating are the restrictions on "non-English text" and special characters. The "special" characters in question are on every keyboard in many countries, such as with Swiss German keyboards (mine). Worse, the correct transliteration ("Z├╝rich" to "Zuerich", for instance) often also triggers a rejection. And of course a lot of us don't live in English-speaking countries, as is also the case with many potential customers. Living and photographing mainly in Switzerland, France, Italy and Germany virtually everything in any city has non-English names on it somewhere, but SS seems impervious to globalisation. I had a picture of the Rialto Bridge rejected a while back because it has an Italian plaque on it. It's in Italy! And they require US date format, which is literally not used anywhere else in the world! (Except Micronesia...) Where are we going to end up if the Chinese buy the company and start insisting that everything come with a Chinese translation?
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