Back in the Seventies and Eighties I founded and ran several Fleet Street photo agencies specialising in stock images of celebrities from pop stars to politicians. These were syndicated to the National and International press and Television. These days I am active in the Microstock world and this blog charts my journey as well as, hopefully, providing inspiration and ideas to others. Image buyers should also find this blog useful with links to my portfolios and regular updates on new uploads. Unless otherwise stated all images are my copyright and may not be reproduced or copied. Comments are very welcome but will be reviewed before publication. Enjoy your visit. Regards, David.

Monday, 31 October 2011

Robert Maxwell - Twentieth anniversary of his death

On the 5th November it will be the twentieth anniversary of the death of British media tycoon Robert Maxwell.

Born Jan Ludvick Hoch in Czechoslovakia he later became a Captain in the British army adopting the name Ian Robert Maxwell. The nickname "Captain Bob" derives from that. Postwar saw him building up a business empire mainly based in the printing and publishing area.

He also served as a Labour party Member of Parliament for Buckingham for several years.

By the time of his death he had built up or aquired a wealth of media interests spanning newspapers, books, cable etc and was an arch (business) rival to Rupert Murdoch. Here in Britain he was best known as owner of Mirror Group Newspapers -publishers of numerous National and Regional newspapers, most obviously the Daily Mirror itself. New publications he launched included the weekly European newspaper and London evening newspaper the London Daily News (neither still exist).

I only met him once, a few months before his death, at a photo call in London (pictured) though "met" is probaly a bit off the mark as I recall the conversation consisted of "This way Mr. Maxwell!".

On the day his death (found floating in the Atlantic off the Canary Islands after supposedly falling off his yacht) was announced I knew something was up when I walked past the Holborn headquarters of Mirror Group to find it surrounded by hundreds of journalists and film crews.

In the following days it emerged that his empire was heavily in debt and that Maxwell had taken millions from the pension fund of Mirror Group employees to try and prop up the falling share price.

The past twenty years have thrown up a whole host of conspiracy theories about his death -leading to numerous books, a BBC television drama and even a stage play.

Whatever his wrongs, he was certainly a fascinating and powerful figure in the British media and I am glad to have had the opportunity to photograph him. Regards, David.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

September updates:

September saw a climb out of the Summer slowdown, pushed up by a further two Extended Licence sales.

At Shutterstock I had 63 downloads ($62.84) making it my BME there. This was achieved with the help of an EL on my Tentertainment music festival image and a good number of On Demand sales.

Dreamstime achieved 10 downloads ($21.71) including $12.71 for a print EL of a Folkestone harbour image.

Istock saw 9 downloads ($13.52) plus just one partner sale at $0.28. Editorial continues to do well there and a lot of new material has been accepted (including an almost unbelievable 18/18 on one batch). My portfolio there is approaching 300 files now.

123RF saw 9 downloads ($4.50) with my portfolio there now over 1000 images (mainly editorial).

Bigstock had a resurgence with 4 downloads ($4.50). The more exciting news there is that, following correspondence with one of their executives, Bigstock are now accepting my archive celebrity images (the ones previously rejected for "grain") and my portfolio has now moved beyond 600. I should also be joining the "Bridge to Bigstock" program which will see all my additional files accepted at Shutterstock (but not at Bigstock) moved over. Just waiting on the official invite for that.

Yaymicro produced 2 downloads (3euro) and finally posted the third party sales for the second quarter of 2011 (a dissapointing 4.7 euro).

Mostphotos surprised with a second subsciption sale (0.77 euro).

Picturenation had one web resolution sale (£0.40) -my 'pigs head with an apple in its mouth' image.

Over at Canstockphoto my portfolio rose to over 100 (no sales as yet) and I cleared up the keyword rejection issue. Duncan at CSP was most helpful in giving me examples of what they do and don't want in keywords. Best summarised as only keywording what you can Physically see in the image without adding related keywords. They've now been re-submitted and accepted.

Cutcaster continues to build but I must admit some dissapointment in not having any sales yet. All the same, they are easy to upload to and will remain part of my workflow. This could prove a good site in the long term.

Fotolia hasn't had much of my attention yet but I did submit a handful more taking my port to 16 images. A long way to go there.

September saw a big push on uploading -mainly concentrating on my archive celebrity images. For contrast I also uploaded a set of images of a 1928 vintage Hastings trolley bus named Happy Harold (pictured). Well Harold made me happy by getting virtual 100% acceptance and a sale within hours on Shutterstock.

Regards, David.