How Getty Is Killing the Stock Photo Industry

by JamesNYCJuly 7. 2008 08:35
When we created the PhotoShelter Collection, we aimed to change the face of the stock photography industry by fundamentally altering the dynamics of how photographers were treated, and in turn, providing visual diversity to buyers that simply didn't exist. Tens of thousands of photographers from over 130 countries signed up and started uploading their images to PhotoShelter, and the buyers have followed. Each month we have stolen sales with major clients away from Getty and have become an increasingly large thorn in their side.

So it's a flattering to hear that Getty Images is validating our approach and recognizing our success by reaching into the flickr community.  No other competitor in their history has forced Getty to change their model. This is a great sign of encouragement for us. Getty's CEO Jonathan Klein describes this new endeavor as "the best imagery from a fresh collection of high-quality images chosen by us from Flickr's diverse and prolific community." If it sounds familiar, it should be, something very similar is printed on our homepage.

But rather than compare lexicon, let's clarify some of the key points and differences of this announcement.
Klein stated in a Seattle Times piece that the deal "for us is not significant, but it's strategically extremely important." Flickr GM Kakul Srivastava corroborated this by saying, "From our perspective, on the Flickr side, we're not expecting this will be a huge stream of monetization for our members...The relationship, in the licensing piece, is purely between the photographer - the Flickr member - and Getty Images itself."
So, if it's not really about making money, what is it about? Why would the market leader (which is now held by a private equity firm whose sole goal is to make money) strike a deal in such a public fashion if they didn't intend for it to make money? Why would flickr consent to not taking a transaction fee? What is of such "strategic importance" to Klein?
The answer is in Getty's historical moves. It's about locking out competition from the industry to ensure a continued, virtual monopoly. Getty pays flickr for an "exclusive" deal to be their preferred stock content distributor because they are threatened by an open platform like PhotoShelter. Consider that if PhotoShelter succeeds, not only does Getty lose market share, but they invariably will have to give back more of the profits to photographers because they will need to compete for content.


Lexar Professional UDMA 300X CF card, and the Lexar Professional UDMA Firewire 800 reader.

by JamesNYCMay 16. 2008 09:09
We get some great new toys to play with on occasion. The latest was sent to us by Lexar when they introduced the Lexar Professional UDMA 300X CF card,  and the Lexar Professional UDMA  Firewire 800 reader.

While most people specifically those renting digital cameras from rental companies find a Sandisk CF card included with the rental package. These new offerings from Lexar are well worth taking a look at.

Though Sandisk may have the strongest brand name in the flash memory market, they are not without their short comings in terms of the cards life span based on read/write capacity, and they also are the most expensive.

Lexar is actually a wholly owned subsidiary of Micron Technology, Inc. A company that like Sandisk manufactures there own flash memory chips.
For those not familiar with Micron Technology who markets there DRAM as Crucial memory and Flash memory as Lexar; Micron and Crucial memory has been the brand of choice for those building hard-core gaming computers and home computer enthusiasts that have been over-clocking their processors since the days of the Pentium 166.
The reason these computer users have chosen this brand of memory is because it takes the abuse, it runs fast, stays cool, and rarely to never causes system errors. This has also been my personal experience. I have been over clocking my PC's including this sites servers for years using Crucial DRAM. And MAC users will find the Crucial memory is more stable and less expensive than other memory for Mac's.

So during our last Digital Tech Workshop we put the Lexar Professional UDMA 300X CF card, and the Lexar Professional UDMA  Firewire 800 reader to the test. I made every attempt to abuse it beyond what is was designed for.

This UDMA 300X card was tested in the Phase One P25+, P30+ backs, the Leaf AFi that was presented a few weeks ago by FotoCare and Leaf, and it was also used in the Canon 5d, MKII & MKII cameras.

After capturing to the card, and reformatting after every download, reformatting for every system change, including formatting it to both MAC and PC operating systems and using it to transfer video files; the UDMA 300X never had any problems.

The fact is when used in conjunction with the Lexar Professional UDMA  Firewire 800 reader this is the fastest CF card data transfer combination that you can currently buy including any offering by Sandisk.

"..Blazing Fast!!" was what everyone that tried the card and card reader combination said.
Since we don't have any speed test software the best we can offer is our opinion. But when compared to the Sandisk Ultra III that we have here. We saw data transfers taking seconds with the Lexar UDMA 300X as opposed to minutes with the Sandisk card.

Now as you can see below the Lexar option from a cost/performance stand point is by far the better option.

The above table represents the current comparable high performance CF card and CF card reader options from Lexar and Sandisk

Once again we see that checking out all of the options can not only save us money it can boost our workflow performance.

For those interested in seing what's inside a Sandisk CF card click here.

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We look at the Shoot Sac

by JamesNYCApril 6. 2008 09:33

Back in October we told you about a really cool new camera bag we had seen while attending the PhotoPlus Expo in NYC I came upon the booth of a new product called Shoot Sac.

This new company was doing a brisk business at the PhotoExpo and the idea of a photo gear bag that didn’t look like your grandfathers camera bag was very appealing. So I called them up to see about getting a sample to review for the site. Ok so I’m a little late in making this post, by about 3 months… but I think it’s still worth talking about again.
The Shoot sac is a light weight bag with an adjustable nylon strap similar in design to a bike messenger bag that is made out of 3mm neoprene and measures roughly 17” in length and 9” tall.

The bag was initially designed to be useful for wedding and event photographers as well as others who need quick access to their lenses. While it’s not a replacement for a regular camera bag it would be a great location bag for photographers, assistants and digital techs whom on location might need to quickly throw a bag together with lenses and other gear for that quick run down the beach, or the photographers sudden need to leave that location you’ve paid to use in order to shoot in a location that he knows he’ll get kicked out of; or that quick trip in a zodiac to shoot on the side of a volcanic island.

As you can see in this photo, the bag stays close to the body which makes it not even appear to be a camera bag. This is probably a great idea for paparazzi or other situation where some semblance of discretion is mandatory.

The Shoot Sac comes in basic black but replacement covers can be ordered in a variety of colors, designs and fabrics.
One of the esthetic advantages of the Shoot Sac is the ability to change the bags cover flap which is attached by a strip of Velcro. This is simple enough with a quick pull on the Velcro and you can replace the covers or remove it all together.

The Shoot Sac has three pockets in the front and three in the back.


The back pockets use snaps as a method of closure, and the front are protected by the detachable cover flap.

This bag is really well made and for those wanting or needing to have an alternative photo bag this light weight bag makes a great option.
On some levels the Shoot Sac’s purpose is one of form over function.
However having said that I filled it with some heavy items around the house and gave it some abuse. This included dropping it from 6 feet, banging against the walls while running up the stairs, swinging it into a wall as if by accident, and the result was that nothing was damaged, including the bag.
(NOTE: no actual photographic equipment was used during these tests.) The sales team I spoke with were primarily selling to the DSLR photographer demographic.
But I wanted to see what practical application this bag could have for the commercial photographer that doesn’t shoot weddings or events.
So during one of our Digital Tech workshops a few months ago I filled the bag up with some typical Medium format digital gear.

This included:

2 – external Firewire drives

2 – 15’ Firewire cables

1 – 30’ Firewire cable

1 – USB cable

1 – Hasse 120mm lens

1 – Hasse 150mm lens

1 – Mamiya 140mm lens

6 – CF cards

1 – CF card reader


So here’s my take on the Shoot Sac.

Pros:  It’s Lightweight, good looking, offers better than average protection to expensive equipment considering its thin appearance. The stitching looks pretty secure. Holds a good amount of equipment for short limited location situations

Cons: Currently the Shoot Sac comes in only 1 size, it could really use a shoulder pad because the shoulder strap falls off the shoulder every 30 seconds unless you walk leaning to one side. The current Velcro strip that holds the cover flap should be replaced with an industrial version. It’s just too easy to remove the flap or for it to accidentally get pulled off.

The addition of a Velcro strip or clasp on the front of the bag would be nice so that should the bag ever fall off your shoulder your lenses won’t fall out. The snaps on the back too need to be replaced with a more heavy duty version. The current snaps on the bag I received looked like they would pull off after a very short time. While it’s a great idea to have a replaceable cover flap it would be nice if this flap actually cover the entire width if the bag.  As seen in the photo there is a fair amount of space on both sides that should a photographer ever get caught in the rain (like that ever happens) everything in the Shoot Sac will get a fairly good soaking. Double stitching all around would be a nice option along with wider pocket separators. The hardware for connecting the shoulder strap looks pretty but also looks like it would have a short life expectancy; so stronger materials would be a priority.  For $179.00 all of the above issues should all be corrected.

Final thoughts: From my listing of ‘Cons’ you might think that I don’t care for the Shoot Sac.

Not So! I honestly think that this is a must have for the many situations over the years where I really could have used one of these. I only wish that I have invented it.

Price: $179

Further information:


ShootSac responds. Hi James! I just read the review you posted, thanks for that! It's nice to see people trying out the Shootsac in different ways than we even intended... we've had reports of people using it for all types of things (it even carries a six pack quite nicely). I did want to mention one thing to you, though. In the review you stated that the bag falls off the shoulder easily unless you walk with a tilt. The Shootsac is actually intended to be worn messenger bag style... with the strap going over your head and resting on the opposite shoulder. This would not allow for the bag to ever fall off or allow any of the contents to fall out. This also would take care of the issue of needing the flap (which is mostly for dust protection and aesthetics, as well as being a lens cloth is you have one of our designer covers) to secure down via velcro. We wanted the bag to be the fastest and easiest to get into and change your lenses out of... so securing the flap was against that. Anyhow, I just wanted to express my appreciation for you taking the time to examine and review our product, and to make you aware of the intended use of the Shootsac. I hope this clears up a little bit of what seemed to be negative aspects to you, and hopefully it will allow you to be more confident in using the bag yourself. I can certainly see why it would seem easy to fall if it was being worn straight off the shoulder! :)

It's In The (e)Mail - An introduction to creating effective email campaigns

by JamesNYCFebruary 29. 2008 07:52
by Jon Hornstein,  February 29, 2008 Postcard mailers have been a standard promotional tool for photographers for decades. And while they still serve an important function, email blasts have largely overtaken postcards as the preferred way for photographers to reach out to potential clients and keep in touch with existing clients.

Email has many advantages over postcards.
With email, you can track who receives your message, who opens it and if they click-through on any images or links. You can also create a richer and more interactive experience by designing the email in a way that allows the recipient to access progressively more information. Tracking the behavior of the recipient can also tell you what people find most interesting about you and your work. This type of marketing information is priceless. Last but not least, the cost of sending an email blast, while not as inexpensive as many think, is much less expensive than printing and mailing postcards.

But a poorly designed email campaign can be ineffective or even damaging to your reputation.

Here are 10 things you need to keep in mind when planning and sending your email campaign:

1. Start With a Good List
The best list consists of names of people who have asked to hear from you. Legally, these are the only people you should ever address with a mass email. Otherwise what you are sending is considered SPAM. Bought lists are only legal to use if the people on the list gave their permission to the list collector to receive unsolicited emails from people selling photographic services. Always check to see if this is the case. Even then, the quality of the list can vary widely. In all your activities, try to get people to agree to receive marketing emails from you. This is your "golden" list.

2. Send Regularly
You should use your email campaign to create and sustain a relationship with the recipients. Sending them monthly is ideal. Every other month is the minimum frequency you should consider. If you send out promotional emails more than once per month you run the risk of creating "noise" that your audience will find easy to ignore.
read more:

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Job_folders app V.3.2

by JamesNYCFebruary 7. 2008 09:19

Hi James,

I've just updated Job_folders app to create folders that have the structure more like C1. I've found this to be more convenient..... even for Leaf users. Please feel free to include it in your next news letter. Cheers Rick

Condé Nast Shuffles Management Team

by JamesNYCJanuary 7. 2008 21:35
Condé Nast Shuffles Management Team
Lucia Moses
JANUARY 07, 2008 -
Vogue and Glamour publishers Tom Florio and Bill Wackermann and other Condé Nast execs added responsibilities as part of a wide-ranging management shakeup at Condé Nast Publications. As part of that reorg, three other top sales executives — Mitchell Fox, Amy Churgin and Sandy Golinkin were shown the door.
CN CEO Chuck Townsend announced the changes in an internal e-mail distributed to employees Monday afternoon.
read the full story here:

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Flying with spare lithium batteries

by JamesNYCJanuary 7. 2008 08:46
As pointed out in this forums post by Matt

Many people are having difficulty traveling with spare rechargable batteries.

Effective January 1, 2008, the following rules apply to the spare lithium batteries you carry with you in case the battery in a device runs low:

  • Spare batteries are the batteries you carry separately from the devices they power. When batteries are installed in a device, they are not considered spare batteries.
  • You may not pack a spare lithium battery in your checked baggage
  • You may bring spare lithium batteries with you in carry-on baggage – see our spare battery tips and how-to sections to find out how to pack spare batteries safely!
  • Even though we recommend carrying your devices with you in carry-on baggage as well, if you must bring one in checked baggage, you may check it with the batteries installed.

You can read the whole story here:

 Looks like FedEx will be very busy shipping batteries in the near future.

A Phase One - Medium format camera to be released in Feb / March.

by JamesNYCJanuary 7. 2008 08:41
While speaking to an industry contact / friend this morning I found out that the new Phase One / Mamiya alliance is expected to bare fruit in the next 2 months

This new medium format camera will be based on the Mamiya 645 system.

It will present a new series of lenses, and feature faster auto focusing, and unlike other systems it will allow for the use of third party digital backs, and roll film backs. So one day you can shoot with a Phase back and then the next change to a Leaf back if you wish, or even shoot film all with the same body and lenses. This is a direct response to the Hasselblad "Integrated system" and the Leaf AFi & Sinar Hy6 (both essentially the same cameras).

This should be very interesting since neither the Leaf AFi or Sinar Hy6 are yet available to the market. It will be interesting to see where people choose to place there investments.

As soon as I can get a hold of this new camera I will post more.

Phase One & Mamiya. Yet another

by JamesNYCNovember 15. 2007 21:32
Phase one announced their new "Strategic alliance" with Mamiya yesterday.

"Phase One and Mamiya together are committed to equipping photographers with what they need to surpass even their most passionate visions and enjoy the process," said Henrik Håkonsson, CEO of Phase One. "Phase One is committed to open modular systems thus supporting photographers’ full freedom of choice." This answers the question as to which camera company with be accepting Phase One backs now that Hasselblad has chosen to build their "Integrated" and many say Closed system with the release of the H3D system.
This too is the second "Strategic alliance" by Phase One in the last 14 days.. Previously it was their Microsoft alliance as of 11/1/2007.
These two moves further strengthen Phase Ones already dominant 60% Digital Capture market share by offering greater medium format camera options primarily pro-summers but also to professionals; and in providing a lower cost medium format camera system that will work with the Phase One P+ series digital backs.
This certainly will continue to make it more cost effective for young photographers, photo assistants, photo students and pro-summers to gain access to the tools used for high-end digital capture with out needing to sell a kidney or take out a second mortgage. While Phase One digital backs have always been an option with Mamiya cameras; either via a dedicated digital back for the 645 AFD or by using an adapter plate such as the ones used for the Mamiya RZ Pro II and Pro IID cameras there are now clear indications that a new Mamiya/Phase cameras is in the works. ".... 'They' have been working on something for some time..".
Also a series of digital lenses is said to be in development. "...there is clearly an opening for 'Other' German lens manufactures to provide high quality lens options for the current or up coming Mamiya systems." ".. the possibility for there to be a series of high-end lenses in the some what near future is extremely good,.. actually it is extremely likely..."
Mamiya has been a dominant player in professional commercial photography for years and is ubiquitous on many fashion , catalog, and advertising shoots around the country.
The Mamiya 645 was the workhorse of choice before the Contax 645 came on the scene about 12 years ago. and now that Contax is gone and Hasselblad has focused on it's integrated system; Mamiya is still there waiting to be picked up and used again just like that old 68' Nova that sits parked in the street, and seems to be the only car that will start first thing in the morning in the dead of winter.
So where is Capture 1 Pro V.3.7.8 ?
"Yeah, it'll be out next week" , "Yeah, it'll be out next week" , "Yeah, it'll be out next week" , "Yeah, it'll be out next week" ... (Phase One internal response.)
Ok. you'll be able to stop holding your breath MAYBE, sometime during the first week of December.
Expect a few changes, mostly in terms of improved stability.
DO NOT expect support for OS X Leopard, "...if there is any improved support it will be 'Iffy at best'..." This a a direct quote from one of my Phase One sources

Fuji GX645AF - The H1 as a history lesson.

by JamesNYCOctober 18. 2007 09:36
This camera was first introduced back in 2002. and has been for sale in Japan almost as long. Strangely there is renewed talk of it on the internet.

As most of you know the Hasselblad H1 & H2 cameras were in fact cameras manufactured by FUJI/FUJINON with the Hasselblad name licensed for use by FUJINON and using FUJINON lenses. So now that Hasselblad has opted to compete in the digital capture market with strictly an "Integrated system" what do you do with a manufacturing process that is already setup and still has the possibility of making you money? 

Why you keep making cameras and making money of course.

This new Fuji GX645 is actually the same body and lens configuration as the Hasselblad H1 system. However my sources can not assure me that these cameras have the current H1 firmware revisions’, or if a new firmware has been implemented. This new Fuji camera should be able to accept all of the digital backs previously available to the H1 series cameras, and should have the exact same functionality.

It should be noted that even though this camera has been talked about on other web sites and forums, its is through a marketing agreement between Fuji Japan and Hasselblad Sweden only going to be available for sale in Japan. Should you find this camera being sold in the U.S you can be sure that it is grey market. Additionaly this camera will only be available in limited quantities.

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