Thursday, December 17, 2009

Canon released new firmware for 5D mark II

Firmware Version 1.2.4 incorporates the following improvements and fixes.

1. Supports the WFT-E4 II wireless file transmitter that was released in December 2009.
2. Corrects a phenomenon in which visible noise may appear in images taken by continuous Bulb shooting.

Firmware Version 1.2.4 is for cameras with firmware up to version 1.1.0. If the camera's firmware is already version 1.2.4, it is not necessary to update the firmware. For more info go to 5D mark II firmware page.

There are two kinds of compressed files for the firmware update according to your computer's operating system (Windows, Mac OS X). Please extract it after downloading.

Firmware Update Version 1.2.4 (for Windows extraction)
Firmware Update Version 1.2.4 (for Mac OS X extraction)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

November 2009 earnings breakdown

Overall 2nd best month ever beating previous month. 123RF is back from last month drop. SXP got EL for first time. DT is a huge disappointment after couple promising months. Unexpected sale from YM brought it to top 5. CSP still shows that if sales were more regular it can be good performer. FT is stagnant for last 3 months.

Nov Nov/Oct
SS 45.70% 105.54%
SXP 20.05% 250.00%
123RF 9.40% 173.78%
DT 6.24% 70.84%
YM 6.01% 1484.00%
CSP 4.39% 38.41%
FT 4.34% 98.44%
IS 2.76% 73.10%
BS 0.61% 75.00%
Veer 0.41% 29.41%
CS 0.10% 12.50%


Lightroom 2.6 available

Adobe has announced the availability of Lightroom 2.6 and Camera Raw 5.6 at Adobe Labs.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009 celebrates Polish Independence Day

Here in USA Veterans Day is celebrated but for Poland 11th of November is National Independence Day to commemorate the anniversary of Poland's assumption of independent statehood in 1918 after 123 years of partitions by Austria-Hungary, Germany, and Russia.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Sold extended license on Shutterstock

Last couple months since April has been constant slide down so I am glad last month it came back to normal. Today I got extended license sold.


Sunday, November 1, 2009

October 2009 earnings breakdown

Overall 3rd best month ever so maybe bad days are over. I am glad that SS now only 50% of my total earnings. Top 5 would be the same if I would not have one large sale on CSP. DT slowly growing to pass SXP. FT is steady but surprisingly followed very closly by IS which got BME. I do not know what can I do improve IS performance.

Oct Oct/Sep
SS 48.89% 107.69%
CSP 12.92% 926.23%
DT 9.94% 204.13%
SXP 9.06% 142.45%
123RF 6.11% 66.02%
FT 4.98% 92.83%
IS 4.27% 185.12%
Veer 1.55%
BS 0.91% 400.00%
CS 0.91% 800.00%
YM 0.46%


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Adobe Lightroom 3 Beta

Adobe have just announced the release of Adobe Lightroom 3.0 Public Beta. Please note that the software available in this public beta is not a final release. The product quality and the features are still being developed and completed. This version cannot import catalogs from Lightroom 1 and 2 but you can install it next to your existing version and play around with some new cool features. As usual final version is expected to migrate your existing catalogs.

Some of the new features included for you to play with in the Lightroom 3 beta are:

  • Brand new performance architecture, building for the future of growing image libraries

  • State-of-the-art noise reduction to help you perfect your high ISO shots

  • Watermarking tool that helps you customize and protect your images with ease

  • Portable sharable slideshows with audio—designed to give you more flexibility and impact on how you choose to share your images, you can now save and export your slideshows as videos and include audio

  • Flexible customizable print package creation so your print package layouts are all your own

  • Film grain simulation tool for enhancing your images to look as gritty as you want

  • New import handling designed to make importing streamlined and easy

  • More flexible online publishing options so you can post your images online to certain online photo sharing sites directly from inside Lightroom 3

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Canon EOS-1D Mark IV

Canon today announces the launch of the new EOS 1D MARK IV – a high-speed, professional Digital SLR (DSLR) camera designed to empower photographers to capture split-second moments in high resolution, under the most challenging of conditions. Ideal for shooting action, sports, news events and wildlife photography, the Canon EOS 1D MARK IV delivers speed, power and high-resolution images, creating the perfect camera for photographers who require reliability in fast-paced, high-pressure situations.

EOS 1D Mark IV

Canon EOS-1D Mark IV – key features:

* New 16.1 Megapixel APS-H CMOS sensor
* 10 frames per second continuous shooting
* Up to 121 large JPEG images in a single burst
* New 45-point wide area AF with 39 cross-type sensors with f/2.8 sensitivity
* High-speed Dual “DIGIC 4” processors for superb image quality
* 12,800 high ISO expandable up to 102,400
* Full HD movie recording at 30, 25 and 24 frames per second
* 3.0” Clear View II LCD with Live View mode
* Durable dust and water resistant body with 76 rubber seals
* Compatible with all Canon EF lenses, and Speedlite EX flashes
* Also available - new EOS-1D Mark IV Wireless Transmitter WFT-E2 II (also compatible with existing Wireless File Transmitter WFT-E2)

Wireless control to the latest EOS-1 Series and EOS 5D Mark II

Canon today announced the launch of two new Wireless File Transmitters to improve workflow efficiency and place greater control and flexibility in the hands of professional photographers using both wired and wireless networks.

The WFT-E2 II, designed for the newly-launched EOS-1D Mark IV, and the WFT-E4 II, designed for the award-winning EOS 5D Mark II, allow photographers to transfer image files securely to a computer or server, control the camera remotely and connect to WiFi enabled devices to view images directly from the camera.

Canon EOS 5D Mark II: firmware development

Canon today announces that it is currently developing a firmware update to the EOS 5D Mark II to enable the recording of high definition 1080p video at 24 and 25fps. The decision to develop new firmware to support these features has been taken following feedback received from cinematographers and photographers.

Canon currently expects the firmware update to be made available during the first half of 2010. An announcement regarding details of the update and its availability will be made closer to the release date.

Press release

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Fotolia Add-in for Microsoft Office 2007

Fotolia releasing a new add-in ribbon for Microsoft Word 2007 and Microsoft PowerPoint 2007 that gives customers easy access to an enormous library of easy-to-search, high-resolution images and vectors. The Fotolia ribbon provides instant image solutions to complement personal and professional projects.

Fotolia Ribbon

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

N-400 application timeline - continued

07/10/2009: N-400 sent
07/13/2009: N-400 application received
07/16/2009: N-400 application check cashed
07/20/2009: Receipt received
07/29/2009: Fingerprint Notification received
08/14/2009: Fingerprint appoitment 2:00PM
09/11/2000: Interview Notice received
10/01/2009: Passed Test and Interview!!!!!
10/13/2009: N-445, Nitice of Naturalization Oath Ceremony received
10/29/2009: Oath Ceremony -
American Flag

Thursday, October 1, 2009

N-400 application timeline

American Flag

07/10/2009: N-400 Sent
07/13/2009: N-400 Application Received
07/16/2009: N-400 Application Check Cashed
07/20/2009: Receipt Received
07/29/2009: Fingerprint Notification Received
08/14/2009: Finger print appointment
09/11/2000: Interview Notice Received
10/01/2009: Passed Test and Interview!!!!!
--: Oath Ceremony Letter Received
--: Oath Ceremony -

September 2009 earnings breakdown

Overall I got exactly same result as in previous month but breakdown is completely different. SS gained back from terrible results and it is not almost at normal level. Other did worse than last time. Most visible looser is DT while 123RF got only slightly worse. FT continues to build up rising trend but it is still very slow. Big surprise was a sale on MSP. SXP and IS keep the same level.

Sep Sep/Aug
SS 55.12% 121.74%
123RF 11.23% 67.58%
SXP 7.72% 78.09%
MSP 6.94%
FT 6.51% 131.69%
DT 5.91% 37.38%
IS 2.80% 98.25%
FP 1.67%
CSP 1.69% 234.62%
BS 0.28% 12.50%
CS 0.14% 8.33%
Total 100.01%


Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Crestock WordPress plug-in

I am Crestock contributor and WordPress blogger so I got interested in announcement I received in email this morning. It looks like Crestock developed plugin that allow bloggers access to search for, and add, any Crestock image to their blog - free of charge. Obviously I applaud any marketing initiatives that will help my photos to sell better but I got couple questions.

  1. Why I as a blogger need high quality commercial photos for my blog? I am not making any money on my blog so why would I want to pay for images? I can get whatever I want for free under Creative Commons license. Lets say I want image of carrot on my blog. If I search for "carrot vegetable" on Crestock I got very few results.If I go to Google Image Search and search the same terms with CC license I got hundreds if images.

  2. How do know that this plug-in exists?  Where is a press release? How do I install it? Why do I care about it? What are benefits for blogger? I would rather want a paid banner from Crestock on my site than ability to display watermarked images.  The answer is Google Search. It will lead you to WordPress page for this plugin. Nothing more. What kind of marketing effort is that? 24 overall downloads, it is not going to bring any sales I think

Friday, September 25, 2009

Picasa 3.5 available for download

Basically it's about name tags that have been available in web version for a while. It  scans all the photos in your collection, identifies the ones with faces, and groups photos with similar faces together.  It will also sync back and forth with online albums so if you already got name tags there all will be imported to your local collection.

Other features include geotags and integration with Goggle Maps. You can easily set album or photo geographic  locations.  Tag management has been improved which makes it more interesting alternative to commercial photo management software. last but not least is simplification of import, upload and sharing. You can actually do this in one step.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


Pixelpipe is a web gateway that allows mobile desktop and server applications to publish once through Pixelpipe and have that content (photo, video, audio, text, file) distributed out to over 100 different social networks, photo/video sites and blogs around the world. For consumers we provide a huge selection of software and plug-ins including iPhone, Android, Picasa, iPhoto and more available as well as support for a number of open APIs (Flickr, Atom, twitter..) for software developers to publish through.


Microstock mergers & acquisitions

Can we say that holiday shopping season just got started? I think it actually started when parent of #2 (IStockPhoto) snapped parent of #5 (StockXpert). Now #1 (Shutterstock) takes #6 (BigStockPhoto). What should #3 (Dreamstime) and #4 (Fotolia) do, merge? This way Big 6 will be reduced to Big 3 and rest of small players sooner or later will bite the dust. Wait, there is still the "biggest looser" of microstock industry Corbis they can drop big money on something change the balance of forces.

Friday, September 11, 2009

August 2009 earnings breakdown

I am posting August results a little bit late because I was on vacations during first week of September. So how this month is comparing to previous one? Still it seems like downtrend across the board but it is getting weaker. I gained back some of the losses. IS is still loosing, fourth month in row below payout level. Other players are actually doing better than usual. Hopefully vacations are over now and we are entering holiday season.

Aug Aug/Jul
SS 45.28% 92.69%
123RF 16.61% 227.70%
DT 15.82% 159.61%
SXP 9.88% 89.90%
FT 4.94% 148.33%
IS 2.85% 65.52%
BS 2.22% #DIV/0!
CS 1.67% #DIV/0!
CSP 0.72% 65.00%
Total 115.52%


Buy My Stock Images:

ShutterstockIstockFotoliaDreamstimeStockxpertBigstockphoto123rfCrestockCanstockphotoPixmacMicrostock Button - all microstocks in one button
Sell Your Stock Images:

ShutterstockIstockDreamstimeStockxpertBigstockphoto123rfCrestockCanstockphotoPixmacMicrostock Button - all microstocks in one button

Saturday, August 1, 2009

July 2009 earnings breakdown

Overall I earned 25% than in previous month. Most of my top 5 agencies were down. The biggest surprise was IS performance which allows them to grab 5th spot. DT performed quite good too. FT is huge disappointment this month.

Jul Jul/Jun
SS 56.43% 88.08%
SXP 12.70% 92.70%
DT 11.45% 117.13%
123RF 8.43% 26.19%
IS 5.02% 187.77%
FT 3.85% 57.14%
CSP 1.28% 190.48%
SV 0.58% 60.00%
FP 0.26%
Total 75.81%


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

June 2009 earnings breakdown

It looks like I am recovering from disaster in May. I got first EL from 123RF which gave them second place. SXP is stagnant at the same level for couple months while DT is clearly going down.

June Jun/May
SS 48.58% 152.02%
123RF 24.40% 422.75%
SXP 10.39% 126.39%
DT 7.41% 80.46%
FT 5.11% 175.00%
IS 2.03% 85.28%
SV 0.73% 71.43%
CSP 0.51% 350.00%
BS 0.49% 200.00%
CS 0.36% 37.50%
Total 59.15%


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Shutterstock list of acceptable video codecs

For while I got almost all my videos uploaded there rejected for wrong format. Canon EOS 5Dmk2 uses Quicktime format with h264 codec for video and uncompressed audio. The software I got, Magix Movie Edit 15, could really save it in this format. Every time I tried to rim something I could not convert it back to original format so I started looking for video transcoder. First find was MediaCoder . It does the job, saves movie with h264 video codec and given audio codec. It worked for many sites but failed on Shutterstock and AlwaysHD. Actually the second one suggested that I should use Photo-JPG or Motion-JPG codecs. MediaCoder does not support these formats but I found another great utility, MPEG Streamclip. It's really Quicktime format powerhouse. It can convert anything to Quicktime. I tried it and 3 movies previously rejected by Shutterstock got accepted. In meanwhile I got email exchange with Shutterstock customer support. Eventually they send me list of codecs they accept:

The format for acceptable codecs has changed to the following effective
October 31, 2008. Please adhere to these formats going forward.

Acceptable codecs:

0x00000000 0x10000001 0x10000002
dvsd DVSd dvc dvcp
MJPG AVRn ADVJ jpeg mjpa mjpb
DX50 DIVX MP42 FMP4 MP43 avc1 MPG4 M4S2 mp4v

If you attempt to upload a format such as AVI (which was once acceptable
before) you will not be able to do so any longer.

My first EL sold on 123RF

Berry Creek Falls

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Satechi TRC-A

I was thinking about buying something better than Canon RS-80N3. Canon's TC80N3 is the only choice I was able to find and it is insanely expensive. Recently I found out that there is alternative available for 1/3 of the price. After reading review on Amazon I decided to give it a try.


When I unpacked unit it looked quite solid. Screen is quite big in comparison to TC80N3. First glitch was a connector, it did not click as easily as Canon's. Frankly I was not sure if it's save to push it hard. I did not want to damage pins on camera connector. It never seem to be pushed down entirely but apparently it does not matter. It works anyway. After this initial problem I was trying how it would work for time lapse video shooting. There is no big manual required. Reading instructions on single piece of paper once is enough to operate it. It does the job. I was not able to check all functions but I like what I have seen so far. I am not throwing away my old remote yet cause I want to check new one in more extreme weather conditions.

Friday, June 12, 2009

What optical slave for Vivitar 285HV?

I just got Vivitar 285HV. Nice flash, seems to be much higher quality than cheap Bower flash I returned same day it was deliwered.
Now I want to trigger it remotely. I got two optical slaves:

  1.  Wein Peanut PN. I tried with PC cable supplied with flash and directly and it does not seem like it works. It can fire flash randomly but most of the time is dead. I guess it has something todo with connector which does feel very tight when inderted directly into flash port.
    Wein Peanut PN

  2. Seagull SYK-4. It's actually hot shoe adapter with optical slave. It works much better than first one, at least when in direct line of sight.It triggers when flash is in hot shoe and connected thru PC cable. I did not make many tests to tell if it's 100% reliable.
    Seagull SYK-4

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Photo of the Day


10 images a day

Finally I decide to streamline my upload workflow. I have been using sitecopy for months but I was always manually picking files for upload before running it. I decided that it takes too much time. Script modifications allow me to run in from task scheduler at 1AM.

1. Pick 10 random files from my ready images (no repetitions from series should happen)
2. Upload with sitecopy to all the sites in the list
3. Move uploaded images to backup location (I am thinking about putting backup on Amazon S3)

In the morning it does not take long to submit 10 images on every site.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Canon EOS 5D Mark II Firmware v1.1.0 is Now Available

Canon EOS 5Dmk2
Firmware Version 1.1.0 incorporates the following improvements and fixes.

1. Includes a function to enable the manual exposure setting when shooting movies.
2. For details on how to use this function, please download the PDF files from the bottom of this page. Disables the function of the depth-of-field preview button when images are played back or when the menu screen is displayed on the LCD panel.
3. Fixes a phenomenon where the peripheral illumination of images cannot be properly corrected, even if the images were captured with the lens peripheral illumination correction function set to Enable.
4. Digital Photo Professional software version 3.6.1 or later (for Windows and Macintosh) can be used to automatically correct the peripheral illumination of RAW and JPEG images that were captured in the Peripheral illumination correction setting with cameras that have Firmware Version 1.0.7 or earlier. Fixes the algorithms of the Auto Lighting Optimizer function when Custom Function C.Fn II-3 Highlight tone priority is enabled.
5. Fixes incorrect indications on the Arabic, Romanian, Spanish, and Ukrainian menu screens.
6. Changes the battery information displayed on the camera when using the optional Battery Grip BG-E6.

Firmware Version 1.1.0 is for cameras with firmware up to version 1.0.7. If the camera's firmware is already version 1.1.0, it is not necessary to update the firmware.

Download: Firmware Update Version 1.1.0