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.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Hastings pier - rising from the ashes:

Great news here in Hastings when the Heritage Lottery Fund this week agreed an award of £11.4 million to the Hastings Pier and White Rock Trust towards the estimated £13.9 million needed to restore our fire wrecked pier.
This much loved landmark was opened in 1872 and designed by Eugenius Birch (also responsible for Eastbourne pier and Brighton's West Pier). Some 280 metres long, the pier underwent a variety of changes over the years and in the 1960s and 1970s played host to many top music acts including Jimi Hendrix and The Rolling Stones.
Recent years saw lack of maintenance by the private owners and the pier was declared unsafe in 2008 and closed to the public. That is why, though having photographed it many times, I have never actually walked along the pier myself.
The 5th October 2010 saw a devastating fire (thought to be arson) which destroyed nearly all of the wooden upper structure and decking of the pier. As I posted at the time, I was able to get down there in the afternoon when it was still smouldering and being hosed down by the fire service. It certainly was a sad sight to see it in ruins - an event that gained coverage across the National press and Television news in the UK.
It has been a forlorn looking landmark since then but finally Hastings Borough Council have succeeded with a Compulsory Purchase Order against the owners and are handing the pier over to the charitable trust.
There is still some money to raise but, all being well, work should start in Spring 2013 with a re-opening in late 2014. It's not going to be just a rebuild of what was there but a whole new design utilising the original 1872 metal substructure -which survived the fire.

I'm greatly looking forward to watching and photographing the work in progress and, hopefully, taking my first ever walk on the pier in 2014. Regards, David.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

October Sales Updates:

For a few days in October I thought we were going from the Summer Slowdown to an Autumn Abyss as the month started off so slowly. However, things picked up and October ended up being a strong month.

123rf get first billing here as I had a BME of $28.76 from 13 downloads. Two PEL sales of $11.25 each achieved that (Hastings pier and Dungeness lighthouse) though, in general, sales were busier there than for a long time. Hopefully, there is a return to form going on at 123.
Shutterstock (obviously) excelled with 103 downloads ($56.23). What else to say about this agency? They sell - that's it.
Dreamstime produced 10 downloads ($14.09). The search engine changes that favoured my images a few months back seems to be swinging the other way now.
Istockphoto picked up 8 downloads ($13.58) plus 2 PP sales ($0.52). Editorial images continue to grow here and my portfolio is now just off 600 in number. A far cry from the days (pre editorial) when I only had 150 images there and a rare sale. They (editorial) are currently getting excellent review times -often just an hour or two.
Bigstock saw 5 downloads ($6.90). I am still waiting to see the anticipated big boost in earnings here now that the majority of my portfolio has been transferred via the Bridge to Bigstock program, but I still feel that this is an agency that could do good things in the future.
Fotalia achieved 3 downloads (2.45 credits). This is still a very small portfolio for me but sales are encouraging on that small amount. I'm still bemused how any agency can not have a description field for uploaded images. How do buyers actually know what the image is of? My response is to have longer than usual image titles in which I try to cram in the required information. Probaly just my editorial instincts here as I want to explain the Who?What?Where?When? for my images.
Yaymicro had one download (1euro) and new tougher reviews resulting in a number of rejections for lighting/artifacts. Reminded me of the old days on Istock.
Canstockphoto produced my second ever download ($0.30). I still need to build my portfolio there.

Uploading in October saw more images of the Sussex town of Rye including the famous Mermaid Inn (pictured) and, of course, further images from my September trip to the Greek islands of Skiathos and Alonissos (pictured). Regards, David.