Photo 20Q Podcast – David J Schloss

As part of my Mac 20 Questions podcast I interviewed David Schloss from MacCreate. There was a lot of chat about photography and David told me what he has in his camera bag. David also talked about his favourite photographers and he has taught photography courses with the best of them.
One of the photographers I am impressed by is Dave Hill, he comes out with some totally awesome images that look kind of hyper real.
What do you think the latest SLR cameras that take video too. I like the idea but think I had better see how they work first and see some footage from one too.

Mac20Q Podcast 66 Talking to MacCreate

canon 450Another of my passions is photography and I am lucky to have David Schloss from as a guest who is a photographer too. He tells us about his equipment and how he uses it for his sport photos and also his macro photography. We chat about the new SLR cameras that do video as well as stills. Stock photography gets a mention – I do some micro stock with Fotolia and sell some of my images, both illustrations and photos. I would have to put in more effort though to make it pay me much of money but I do get some money out of it from time to time. It all helps

In the interview we also mention HDR photography and some of our favourite photographers. I like the work by Dave Hill – no not the old Slade guitarist and for HDR there is a guy called ‘Stuck in Customs’ on Flickr He has made a tutorial to show how he does it also.

clapperboardSeeing as I am interested in Video it is great also that the stock sites like fotolia and iStock also sell video clips. I have only uploaded a couple of clips so far of some wind turbines I saw in France. So I will Have to get out and shoot some more.

This week I had to take my mom to the airport at the end of a visit and I decided to drive into Girona to have a look in the Mac shop in the centre of town
I was keen to check out the new magic mouse – I tried it and liked it. The woman in the shop was hovering so I didn’t really play as much as I wanted to but I think I want one. Having the sideways scroll is important for me for the audio editing, and no fear of the ball nipple getting gunked up

ShuttleXpressAlthough I have been tempted to get one of those things that the Final cut pro jockeys like to use, a  Contour ShuttleXpress. The ShuttleXpress is a 5 button Jog & Shuttle Multimedia Control Surface. and it says the ShuttleXpress comes pre-configured for many of the leading Audio and Video applications
I wonder if it is set up for AmadeusPro – but I can see myself using it for Final Cut  Express now that I have got around to buying it. That was the other thing I was asking about in the shop – They did not have in stock though – I have bought online now, because parking is such a pain in Girona

Wanted to check if I would be getting a Spanish version or if it was in English. And it seem that it is available in English – good for me anyway. I actually bought what I wanted from the UK Apple site. I would have paid €248 on the Spanish site and I got it for €181 from the UK. The only thing is that I had to have it sent to a UK address. I should have done this before my mother came to visit and not afterwards.

Cintiq 12WX First Impressions

I bought the Cintiq 12WX and I have to say using it is great but it took me some time to get it set up to work right.

When connected to my new iMac I have to set the position in relation to the main screen and the position of the Mac title bar just right. For me it works best with the extra display of the Cintiq to be above the main screen and with the title bar set in the Cintiq. That leaves the dock in the main screen. This is good because the dock gets in the way of the drawing on the smaller screen if set into the Cintiq.

The other set up to be done was the calibration, which involves pointing to 2 hairline crosses, top left and bottom right of the screen. That took a while to get the point positioned right relative to the pointer. You don’t want it under the pointer so that you can’t see it when you are drawing. It is better slightly up and slightly to the left (if you are right handed)

Drawing with the CIntiq is pure joy, which is just as well considering the price of the item. It isn’t exactly the same as drawing on paper but pretty close. Maybe the tiniest of lags from pointer to paint movement.

Screen size it something that bothered me at first. I bought an iMac with the big 24in screen and now I am working on a 12in with a smaller resolution ?? It’s Ok when you get used to it though. I did try mirroring the displays but that left me with the lower resolution on the iMAc and that was terrible. I wonder what is the resolution on the 21in Cintiq, if it matches the resolution on the iMac I will consider the 21in next year, for a while I considered sending back the 12 n and getting the 21in now but, was wise enough to give the 12 in some time for me to get used to.

Unfortunately I only had the Cintiq a few hours before having to go away for a few days but as soon as I got back I got playing with it. I spent a day working with ArtRage doing some drawing on the tablet and was pleased with the results and then the next day I worked in Illustrator to make a repeating pattern design to upload to my microstock sites. You can see which Micro Stock Sites I use at Web site.

I will post up a couple of drawings when I get around to it….

I am planning to make a new design each day to build up the portfolios in the Microstock sites because I have been doing well selling the illustrations, better than with the photo sales. has been a good one for the illustrations but not as successful as

Just seen that the repeating tile pattern I uploaded to BigStockPhoto has been added to my portfolio there and the wait for the image to get on to Dreamstime is around 120 hours.


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Sold a photo from Fotolia yesterday

I was pleased to see a photo sold of a hydraulic hoist  lift thing with big wheels on. I was at the in laws one day and I shot a picture or two while I was hanging around of one of those hoists that builders use to get up high on the outside of a building, or could be used by those workers that fix the street lighting.

Definitely a great idea to always carry the camera as you never know when you might be able to get a photo.

With this photo I did some photshop work to clean things up both in the background and on the hoist too. There was a logo on the metal work and I removed some ugly dirt on the tyres.

Spondicious Podcast 03

In I talk about Using various programs to make digital art. ArtRage, PainterX and Photoshop gets a mention.

I talk about the Cintiq 12WX which I expect to have in my hands tomorrow, it only has to get here from Barcelona and the supplier has been quick to deliver in the past.

My son’s art gets a mention as he is posting his work on DeviantArt. I have set up an account for him on Fotolia also. So he can earn some money from his art while at art college.

I continue to rant about iStockPhoto and Fotolia and the problems with rejection of images on one site while accepted on others and the appliction to be an illustrator on iStock.

For keywording your photos try using

I used GarageBand to record the podcast and then used Levelator to get it sounding better, the music was coming in too loud compared to the voice at first. I am very impressed with Levelator right now. Then I moved it to AmadeusPro to do a bit of low level tweaking  – another good program and not expensive so I will probably buy it. Back in GarageBand I turned it into an enhanced podcast with all of the links and pictures you see when you get the podcast in iTunes.

Here is the as an Mp3 file if you don’t want the enhanced version in the link above

Wacom Cintiq 12WX on it's way

Wacom Cintiq 12WX drawing tablet

I have bought a new Wacom tablet so that I can pass the one I have now, an A5 wide to my son, it wil be good for his art studies. The new tablet is a screen as well as a tablet. It will be like having a digital sketchpad. I will be able to draw directly on the screen and according to others that has such a device is a joy to use.

Today i have been working with the old tablet and I made a design which is a repeating pattern. I have uploaded it to a few sites but I have to wait to see if it is accepted.

On the subject of images being accepted you really need a thick skin because sometimes files get declined for a variety of reasons. I have found in the past that the vector files I would have more or less total acceptance rate on the microstock sites. Today though I had 2 file rejected by Fotolia and the same files added to my portfolios at Featurepics and photo. Weird – lets see what happens with the repeating pattern I just sent to Fotolia.

Maybe the reviewer was having a bad day. One of the files was a reworking of a file that sold multiple times for me on already.

I have also just sent in 2 files to iStockPhoto. Both were files that I used to gain acceptance on that site as an illustrator so theorectically they should go on without problems, though I was somewhat annoyed with the whole prcess.

With you have to get accepted as an illustrator first. They make you jump through a pile of hoops to get you you verified on their books. The size of the file has to be just right for both the JPG thumbnail and the EPS vector image too and you have to put the vector inside a zip file and send it all in via the web site. What bugs me is that when it comes to the actual sending in the files again to submit them to your portfolio the sizes are all different and the procedure is different also. Why???? I would have thought that the idea of the hoop jumping would be to train people into doing it a certain way so that it would be correct for submissions.

and on the other hand are super easy for submissions, you only have to upload one file – the vector file and their system makes the thumbnail for you. You still have to do all the keywords and the categories though.

Sold another photo with Fotolia

Fotolia has always been my best Micro stock site for selling photos. Today I had a sale of a photo of an accordion player. It sold through the subscription model of sales on Fotolia so not much in terms of cash but better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.

It is all part of the micro stock way of selling photos, the thing is that you can sell a photo many times over and if you have a large portfolio then you will get a nice income from many micro sales of your photos.

I do now someone that has a decent income from micro stock and has a portfolio not that much bigger than mine. Where he scores better is having more photos of people. People in business situations which convey a concept well well on line in this arena. I think I need more models to take pictures of.

While we are talking about models you should know that you have to supply a signed model release for any persons recognisable in your images. You can use a generic release form with most of the sites which is good if you submit to more than one. It would be a pain having to get a model to put a separate signature on a sheaf of release forms. Getting models from within the family is one place to start but some photographers make enough from the microstock sales to be able to hire models.

Yuri Arcurs being one such person.  He is a Danish photographer that does this to such an extent that he employs 12 people and hires models for photo shoots when he does them. Click on one of links for the micro stock sites in the side panels and you will find that he has done an interview or two and you can have a look for his work to see what sort of images he makes and sells.

Giving it away – Huh?

I have on a couple of the sites where I sell my photos and illustrations, free images. Is this a good thing to do or is it crazy?.

Supermarkets have what are called loss leaders. They have something they might sell for cost price or even less than cost price, they put a big sign outside the shop and some adverts in the newspaper to say what good prices they have. The idea is to get the punters in and usually people once inside the shop will spend more by buying more things in the shop. Same sort of thing on the Micro stock sites you offer an image for free and downloaders of this file will get to see other images of yours and possibly buy so you end up with more sales.

There you go FREE is GOOD for your overall sale figures.

From – here is an explanation why they think giving away images is a good idea and why they are introducing an optional Free Image

Why would you want to do this you might ask? Good question; with our totally new back-end architecture and search engine optimization code combined with a small selection of ‘free downloads’; VS2.0 will begin to route large amounts of NEW traffic directly in from all the major search engines. End result, more image views = more downloads. As the free vector section will be very limited, this will IN NO WAY negatively effect current downloads. It will infact increase your sales, even on your free vectors