If you are travelling you should always take insurance. Image if your expensive camera is taken from you by the thiefs or you drop it while making a wonderful picture. I am using insurista travel insurance recommendations. I have visited Germany, USA, UK, Greece, Cyprus, Spain, Italy, France, Portugal and many other countries and insurista was very helpful.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

iStock buys Dreamstime microstock

There has been a lot of speculation about Getty Images buying everything that moves in the stock photo business. The deal with Jupiter is off, and some are suggesting Getty might be heading for a hostile offer on Corbis.

I can´t see the headlines "Getty buys Corbis" for 2 reasons: competition regulation might come into play, and Corbis has too much financial clout and prestige in the backdrops. So what is left for Getty Images to buy after the iStock acquisition?

Well, the next stock photo headline will be "iStockphoto buys Dreamstime Images" or something similar. Get ready for the Microstock market consolidation.

Nost Microstocks have identical images, since all microstock is RF and most submitters are not into exclusive rights, so what would be the point?


  • Killig the competition
  • There are some exclusives at each agency, meaning quality portfolio additions.
  • Editors at each agency sometimes pass different images, the mismatch grows the portfolio.
  • Aggregation of clients allows for price extensions and better profit.

    iStock is the most respected Micro player and together with Shutterstock the most profitable fo the photographers. If the cash and guts are there, it would be easy for iStock to become superbly big. Dreamstime and Fotolia are the only real competitors and gobbling them up would open for a whole new scenario where iStock is the only player.

    I am not counting in Shutterstock since it is a 100% subscription service.

    So, did you think this was an April fools thing? Think again.
  • Monday, March 26, 2007

    polar bears threatened by climate thread

    Global Warming is hot. There is not much apart from sex that is a hotter topic and sells more news these days. Unfortunately, global warming is probably not a joke and something that we are just beginning to see the effects of.

    Disclaimer - this post is a offtopic rant. My blog - my right. Comprende?

    As always, there are the yay! and the nay! sayers on this issue of climate change, but.. and this is a big booty blubber rubbing butt sounding but.. the nay! sayers seem to have in common a heartfelt conviction that the notion of human intervention is a conspiracy for some reason or other.

    In my view, many of the nay! sayers are like ostrich with their heads in the sand, clinging to false information because it feels good, and desperately hoping the storm blows by unnoticed...

    Each to his own, but while ignorance may be bliss, self-indoctrination is pure stupidity. I am not suprised that the loudest cries come from the main perpetrators... If you have a hard time swallowing that you probably belong to that group.

    My advice is , try to get out more, smell the air, travel the planet a bit and check out other regions than your local community...

    If you all are wondering, this rant is the product of "the polar bear climate change photo" thread at dpreview that started as a discussion about photography rights and quickly bloomed into a more ecology focused heated exchange ;)

    As you might have guessed by now - I for one think we are affecting the climate and i also think many a nagging feeling this might be the case, which is probably a bit scary, and like stubborn kids in the face of truth they try to shrug it off with a petualant "no!".

    As I said, my blog - my right. Venting time galore.

    For those that comment on forums and claim scientific evidence denying the effects of 9 billion humans on the planetary ecology and biosphere... Grow up. Try to be objective, educate yourself.. then comment. Citing a couple of papers funded by the lobby groups is not very convincing. It sort of has the opposite effect, get it?

    Let´s use the brain for a second. Which group has most to loose by change.. the industry/financial lobby community, or the scientific/climate lobby community? Which group is more apt to receive government support in view of political stability? Perhaps the group that advocates status quo? Which audience is most easily manipulated? Very probably those who live in ignorance with their head in the sand.. and later when the shit hits the fan go "uh.. what the..? how? why? who?" .. who? how? why? c´mon, think..

    Lets make a small test out of this. 6 questions. If you get 3 or more answers right (approximate is acceptable) I will consider you educated and someone to take seriously on this topic. If you only know the answer to 2 or less you will deemed ignorant, uneducated, indoctrinated and in need of a tuneup -- on this issue. A flunk and a flake.

    A) How much airplane fuel does it take to fill a jumbo jet?
    B) Why does northern Europe risk ice-age climate if global warming constinues?
    c) Does more or less sunlight reach plankton today compared to 20 years ago?
    E) Why are plankton important to humans?
    F) How many people in USA would be affected if global sealevels rise 2 inches?
    G) By how many fossil fuel cars there be India and China by the year 2010?

    Here is a bonus.. get this one right and you are superbly enlightened...
    What is the main cause of global dimming?



    The original dpreview thread has some enjoyable sources of quotable material like:

    "In fact, 800 years ago the earth was considerably warmer than it is today. And there were no SUVs to blame for it back then...." dude, please update your knowledgebase asap.

    "Man's CO2 output probably has some impact on climate, but that impact is below the threshold of natural variability. We can't detect our own signature, it's background noise."

    "What a pathetic joke this all is. And to think of all the time and money wasted on "global warming" while their are children in the world starving to death." Um.. well, i hope you will be taking on some of the refugees that may be coming your way during the next decade.

    "You have to be a complete fool to see a picture of some polar bears playing on some ice and think they're there because the north pole melted and they're dying. Are the people who attend Al Gore's lectures really so ignorant?" This is a good one.. you are the only one seeing ghosts in the closet. Probably nobody on the whole planet thought the specific bears in the images were in danger, or that the bears as a species will die tomorrow. - it is called symbolism. doh

    "Most of the warming occurred prior to the post-WWII ramp up in CO2 output. Post WWI saw a sustained cooling period despite dramatic increases in CO2 output." No comment, apart from suggesting further studies on influence and effects by the original poster.

    "In fact all of them completely denied that global warming was occuring until they saw the movie "An Inconvenient Truth." Please get out of your provincial box a little bit more and try not to push historic "facts" on others based on your own limited experiences.. The globe is a bit bigger than your own neighborhood.

    "The real danger is Al Gore, have you seen how freaking big that guy is getting? At the rate he's growing I fear he will eventually block out the sun!" haha, finally someone with a sense of humor :)

    "The Kyoto Protocol calls for mandatory CO2 reductions (of 30%), which, in Dr. Fred Singer’s opinion, would have an undetectable effect on global warming, but have a devastating effect on the U.S. economy." The fact that the original poster is posting this in a context of we must protect our status quo says it all.

    This one is my favorite:
    "Human activity can contribute to no more than 0.117% of the greenhouse effect.
    Do you understand that?"

    As proof Gary points to the following source of information
    http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/HOMEPAGE5a.html
    :))

    Anyway, enough of the rant. If you are wondering what to shoot on stock basis.. for the mid to long term perspective, environmental images, both negative and positive will surely be in demand.

    Thursday, March 8, 2007

    Sigma DP1 specs and images

    The exclusive Sigma DP1 wide angle compact is finally here. The Sigma DP-1 is a fixed lens rangefinder compact with a quality lens equivalent to 28 mm in 35 mm terms.

    The Sigma DP-1 is probably the most awaited compact ever, among the enthusiast / pro community and the expectations on this camera are very high. It is one of the few compacts to have a 28 mm angle and a quality fixed lens. Even if the lens is F4 we should expect sharp results wide open.

    Sigma DP1 images illustrate a good-looking camera measuring 113 millimeters wide and 240 grams with a 2.5 inch screen.


    If the image quality is good - then this is a Canon G7 killer. It the same sleek body as the canon but lacks the zoom lens and IS. But.. and these are important points for many: it has a 28 mm lens, and it shoots RAW files.

    The most interesting part of the Sigma DP1 is the Foevon X3 sensor that is between 12 and 7 times bigger in area than other compacts on the market. This is the same sensor you will find in the Sigma SD-14.

    The Foevon sensor which is a CMOS captures light on 3 different substrates and lacks the normal bayer mask that traditional CCD and cmos sensors do. The upside on this is image quality and color fidelity. The downside is cost and file size.

    The Sigma DP1 captures images at 2652x1768x3 layers. File size becomes equivalent to 14 megapixels. You will need very large memory cards for this camera.

    You can expect very very good noise performance in this DP1 compact. It also has the same True Image processing that the sd-14 dslr has.

    The body has the black zen finish we are accustomed to from Sigma lenses.

    The Sigma DP-1 also has integrated pop-up flash and a hotshoe for esternal flash and the external viewfinder (รก la leica). Check out the square lens-hood. Pop it on and you it will look like a leica. Will it take as good images as the Leica M8? Time will tell, but it has the potential to be a superb performer.

    Sigma DP1 specification highlights

  • 28 mm lens
  • Largest sensor area of any compact
  • Foevon sensor
  • Raw file format
  • 9 focus point, can select single
  • Full manual controls
  • Shutter speeds 1/4000sec. to 15sec.
  • 8 white balance modes incl. custom setting
  • Built-in flash + hotshoe