This blog is my attempt to keep track of some of the things I learn along the way, with my Canon 7D, G12 and accessories. All images copyright Brad Calkins, not to be used without permission (or purchase). I do not attempt to monetize my blog, other than to promote my stock photo portfolio on Dreamstime.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Level 3 in a month...

Sometimes you create an image that seems like it will be an obvious seller. The one below is like that, and has moved up two levels already in the month or so it has been online. I'm especially pleased since we got the binoculars for 'free' when our car repair bill was high :) Maybe I'll be able to pay off the bill with this shot!
Future vision
© Photographer: Bradcalkins Agency:

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Bokeh by Zeiss

I've become increasingly interested in Carl Zeiss lenses, but still don't know if I'll actually spring for one. The 35mm f/2 Distagon seems to fit the bill for a high quality fast prime for under $1,000 (unlike the Canon 35mm f/1.4). No autofocus, though :)

Anyways, Zeiss has a newsletter and currently has a very comprehensive PDF that goes over many of the challenges of lens design and how it affects the characteristics of how a lens 'draws', among other things, the out of focus areas and results in good or bad bokeh. Of note are a few key points and reminders about bokeh - there are many misconceptions out there: the bottom line is that there is more to it that just the number of blades (though that helps too!).

Monday, April 19, 2010

Reminding us of our limits

Bad weather
© Photographer: Bradcalkins

As in control as we humans might like to think we are, the Earth has a way of reminding us that we are just invited guests on this planet, rather than the owners. This week's volcanic eruption in Iceland put a stop to thousands of flights to and from London - including some family I have planning a trip overseas. It is always humbling to be reminded that we are at the mercy of the weather, and I happened to be in Washington, DC around this time to see some of the preparations being made for the upcoming Earth Day in the Washington Mall:

Climate change
© Photographer: Bradcalkins

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Nice trend!

Below is a graph of my quarterly results from Dreamstime. I've stripped the absolute numbers, but the key point is that the trend over the last 8 quarters is straight up. It hasn't varied much according to my upload rate - other than to say I've kept that pretty steady too. What is of interest to me is that while the monthly sales seem all over the place, and often feels like I'm not gaining ground by uploading, the actual trend smoothed over time is remarkably steady. Of note is that the revenue is gaining partly due to increased revenue per download - whether due to the higher pricing or movement of files to higher levels is hard to discern. I'm very satisfied with return from Dreamstime on my efforts in uploading. It is nice when you get more and more monthly income for the same level of monthly effort :)

March was a good month...

My sales on Dreamstime were excellent last month - a best month for me. My individual sales and revenue were higher than ever. RPD was a little less than February, but still up quite a bit since the new levels and pricing took effect in January. Of note is that I'm seeing a lot of first time sales - almost 100 images were purchased from my portfolio for the first time in March. 30 files moved up a level, including 2 into level 4. Finally, I was 1 image short of 100 uploads. I don't think I have it in me to get another 180-ish up by the end of the month to hit 2,000 by my 2nd anniversary on Dreamstime - but one can always try !

Here is my first sale of April:

Children watch worm
© Photographer: Bradcalkins