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Friday’s Bits and Bobs

Well, another week has passed, and it has been a strange week of sorts.  Really very quiet and I don’t have much news for today, but I thought I might talk about some things.

Weather

I’m done with it.  I think I just need to write off the month of August.  It is another full moon this weekend and chances of clear skies is almost zilch.  Seems we can expect dry days and evening showers, “that doesn’t help Mother Nature, please send us some nice weather”.  We had a glimpse of lovely days earlier in the week when the sun was shining for two days, it was glorious.  I even got hot outside.  Hopefully spring won’t be wet like it usually is.

Filters

LeanneCole-kyneton-20131002-8498I told you a couple of weeks ago I was considering getting some filters for my lenses that are 77mm, at the end.  I have been looking at the prices of them in Australia and it is another one of those cases of where we pay far more for everything than countries overseas.  It is so frustrating.  Then when you ask the companies that sells stuff here you get this massive run around.  No real answers.

So I said I would get them from overseas, then I was accused of being unAustralian, and not supporting local businesses.  Apparently the Australian way is to rip off people and we, the people, should be glad they are doing that to us.  It makes me so mad.  The excuses you hear companies giving us is unbelievable.  I heard one company saying it was because our economy is stronger, so apparently it is okay then.  I’ve heard that the head of Ikea, when they first came to Australia wondered why things were so high, and was told that Australians are used to paying more for goods.  We were used to it, how about, we had no choice.  So Ikea sells things here for more money than anyway else.

Luckily these days we do have a choice, and we can get things from overseas. Though, deals are made to make it harder for us.  Try and buy anything on Amazon that is photographic and you will be told that it doesn’t ship here.  It seems there is a conspiracy going on that is determined to make Australians pay more for everything. It is just disgusting.  Though there are always ways around this.

LeanneCole-kyneton-20131002-8488The other thing I was told from the company about the filters was that I had to be careful that I was actually getting what I was paying for.  So the scare tactic.  I told them that the company I wanted to get them from was very reputable and that I knew I would be getting what I was paying for.

I hate being made to feel guilty because I don’t want to be ripped off.  It seems we should feel good that it is happening, afterall isn’t it what has been happening since, forever.  The government also sees nothing wrong with it.  I would love to shop locally, I don’t have a problem with doing it, but when I know I can buy something overseas, and pay for shipping and still save money, then why would I get it locally?

500px and Selling Photos

I have been talking to Laura Macky about SmugMug, she has it and is very excited about the possibilites of it and what you can do via Lightroom.  I’ve had a look, but can’t get the plug-in or add on so I can do the same in SmugMug.  Though, with SmugMug, I believe, you have to pay for it.  I have a host for my website, and I also have my own photocart, which I set up a few years ago when I was selling cycling photos.  I still have it, and I don’t use it much, as I don’t think there is much market for selling photos.

I have done it in the past tried to set up things to sell photos and then sold nothing.  The truth is, with millions and millions of photos out there on the internet to sell, what are the chances anyone will buy one LeanneCole-kyneton-20131002-8505of yours?  I think to sell images you have to put in so much effort and do so much marketing, and I have to ask if it is worth it? I did get asked about selling one of the milky way shots, but I don’t think it was serious.  It is such a hard thing to do.  In the 4 years I’ve been blogging I’ve only ever sold one thing through the blog, and I made $1 from it, really didn’t pay for all the effort I put in.  I know others have sold photos, but I don’t.  So I don’t think I am going to worry about SmugMug.

I have been playing around with 500px, and it is fun.  The goal seems to be to get to the front page of Popular, and I got to the third page once, will just have to keep trying.  There are some amazing photos on there.  If you look at Popular, then you can see the best photos that are on it.  I like the idea that it was created by photographers for photographers.  It isn’t a place to put all your photos and really is best if you only put your best work up there.  It can be free, or you can pay for it to get extra benefits, though not really sure what they are at this stage.

Videos

I was told the other day that the videos I’ve been doing for processing are too fast.  I told the person that I do that because I don’t really want people to see exactly what I do, just get an impression of how an image can be transformed.

LeanneCole-kyneton-20131002-8503He said that there were lots of videos on the internet about how to do specific things but not working on a whole image.

I said that I don’t like just doing the whole video so people can see it, because, while I tell people what I can do, it seems unfair that I have spent hundreds of dollars learning how to use photoshop and that I should just give away my knowledge.

So a plan was hatched, I would still do the sped up videos of my processing, but I would also make available the original version that people could pay a small amount of money for to see.  I’m not hopeful that anyone will pay to see it, but who knows, you have to try right.  I know it seems selfish, but generousity doesn’t get the husband off the back when he is telling you you need to contribute to the expenses, or when you want to get something, him saying have you earned enough money to buy it.

Over on my other blog, on my website, I will try it out and see what happens. I want to do an image today where I have to get rid of people in the opening of a building, so that should be fun.  I will put up a LeanneCole-kyneton-20131002-8495sped up version and the photo later today.

I think that is about it this week. Sorry, very whingy.  I think I might be getting a bit depressed from the weather and that no one is doing any classes with me.  Two courses have had to be cancelled from Eltham because there has been a lack of interest.  It is a shame that people don’t realise what a great opportunity winter is to take photos.  Oh well, I just have to hope that things will pick up soon.

The photos I have chosen today are because they were taken on a very grey overcast, rainy day in Kyneton last year.  It is great to see how moody the images can be and how you don’t have to have sun to get great images.  Have a great day, I hope the sun is shining where you are.

 

114 Comments
  1. Lovely photos!

    August 8, 2014
  2. Susan Portnoy #

    I find Smugmug and 500px and all these so exhausting. Can’t begin to motivate myself to work on ANOTHER site and photos…argh…

    August 8, 2014
    • They can be Susan, I don’t do much on 500px, I look, but limit how much time I spend there. I don’t do many things, I won’t be doing SmugMug.

      August 8, 2014
  3. Beautiful photographs!

    August 8, 2014
  4. I hear you sister…. the weather is HORRIBLE and most people I know are a bit down… its hard as we are past the half way mark of the year and either feeling overwhelmed by what needs to be done or exhaused by what has already been completed…. but having said that is a beautiful time of year… you should come to the Dandenongs and see the stunning Sherbrooke forest in winter its simply divine, all misty, rich green and rain dropped…. and its great to know we are on the other side of winter and spring is just around the corner and everything is just waiting to burst into life again…..

    August 8, 2014
    • Wow, that place sounds amazing, how do I find it. I want to see it now. I will have to do some research.
      It seems to be the season for it, it is so unusual for here to have this much grey, we really aren’t used to it. Thank you Kara

      August 8, 2014
      • check out google images…Sherbrook Forest its hard to take a bad pic here and the Alfred Nicholas Gardens and while your there you can check out Shannon Bennetts Burnham Beeches and give us a yell if you do come and I can give you a tour around and show you my photopolymer gravure process… 🙂

        August 8, 2014
      • That would be fantastic, I have your email address there, I will send you a quick one and maybe we can organise something, thank you and thanks for the links.

        August 8, 2014
  5. Leanne, I’m going to post one of these next to a photo of my own to show the difference between my rank amateurism and your expert eye.I’m stunned every time you post a new set.

    August 8, 2014
  6. For what it’s worth Leanne, I don’t think it is the weather…I’ve been in a slump regarding images too (gallery frustration). Well, it is not like we can stop shooing. I like the dark images in this post – very moody and well done – as you might expect, I’m typically not drawn to bright and sparkly shots as a rule…Hang in there – the weather is bound to change 🙂

    August 8, 2014
    • Maybe we need to perk one another up? No, can’t stop shooting. I don’t think I am either, I think I like really dramatic lighting. I have some ideas, but the weather needs to pick up first. Thank you so much Robert. 🙂

      August 8, 2014
  7. No way should you give away free what you’ve paid hard earned money to learn!

    August 8, 2014
    • Thanks for understanding John, I wish others did too.

      August 8, 2014
  8. Jackie Saulmon Ramirez #

    Love that bridge and the buildings. In the street with the cars I can almost see a jigsaw puzzle.

    I hear your frustration about making money off your images. I wonder if there are any benefactors that could support your work or as I mentioned before, perhaps the Australian tourism department could help there. If I were working I would love to buy some of your images but I’m stuck with my disability. What about universities or smaller, local colleges? There are groups that seniors in where they have activities come in and teach how-tos to their members.

    It this point you may want to focus more on portraits to put the bacon on the table so to speak and then take your landscapes and historical images for your pleasure. Pleasure and self-satisfaction mean different things to people. I do one-on-one support to parents in the U.S. and other areas with the focus on preventing child abuse. I write for about 360 people who subscribe free of charge to get parenting info, games and other things twice weekly – then what I write is plugged into my Soup To Nuts blog. On Wednesdays and Thursdays I facilitate two 2-hour support groups – all free of any cost or fees. I would love to get paid, really. I sat down one day and figured how much I would make: Pay: 25 cents an hour x 12 hours = $3 per day, times 365 days in a year = $1,095.

    I feel your frustration. You could be famous some day with your images. Or maybe not. Only you can make those decisions and changes. I know my daughter has lost money on her art work. The times she has profited she had entered contests. Even with those there are risks; she shipped pieces that were damaged and had to fight to get reimbursed for it. Times are hard and artistic fields often suffer first.

    You have a wonderful, creative mind, hopefully you will find the right path to take that will get you to where you want to be. ❤

    August 8, 2014
    • Thanks Jackie, would love to turn one of my images into a jigsaw puzzle, have looked around at companies that do it.

      The problem is they don’t see my blog as useful, so I don’t get noticed. I’ve sent Tourism Victoria countless emails and got nothing back, so I think that pretty much says what they think of me and my blog. I feel like I do a lot to support Melbourne and Victoria, and what do I get back, nothing. Selling images is really not the answer, I’ve learned that.

      That is another problem, there are so many people who buy cameras and then decide they will do portraits for people, the competition is so hard, I tried doing it for a while, but I really don’t like doing it and I think it showed. That is a lovely thing you do, really nice.

      That is true, I could be, or not. I really like the idea of teaching, and think that could be a great way to go, but this time of the year it is not good for it. A friend keeps telling me that I just have to wait out August that things will get better in September, I hope so.

      Having some time to myself has been good for other things too, and I might start a couple of projects and see where they go. Thank you so much for your support Jackie, I do really appreciate it.

      August 8, 2014
  9. I agree with you Leanne.. I have had people get a bit offended when I won’t tell them the exact things I do to process a photo.. I’m happy to give advice but have one technique where I change people into stylised characters.. and other photographers want to know EXACTLY how I do it and when I tell them roughly but not exactly, they think I’m being mean. Umm I’ve put hours into experimenting.. just do the same and you’ll find your OWN style … keep your chin up.. you do amazing work

    August 8, 2014
    • I am so glad you understand too, and know what I mean. It seems mean, but you put so much time and effort into it, why just give it away. I have spent so much money learning what I know, and I don’t think it is unreasonable to expect people to give something back if they want to learn from you. Thanks Livonne, I’ll do my best.

      August 8, 2014
  10. Amy #

    I’ve heard the high cost of living in Australia. That is so discouraging. If you buy from overseas, I guess you’d pay high shipping (?).

    August 8, 2014
    • Sometimes, but it can still be cheaper with the shipping than what you pay here. The difference can be anything up to $100. It is unbelievable. My cycles, and he can buy tires for around $40 from the UK, but if he buys the same tire here, it could cost him $120, shipping about $10 or $15, so $55 for a tire from the UK, or $120 for a tire from Australia, yeah, why would you buy them here. Then the stores and businesses get upset, but it is getting harder and harder to buy things here, our wages are going down, but the cost of living keeps going up. It is horrible, I am really starting to hate living in Australia.

      August 8, 2014
      • Amy #

        That is three times higher and wages are going down, so not right!! How can that be? I’d hate it…

        August 8, 2014
      • I know Amy, it is so depressing, and our government is doing nothing to help, except giving the rich people even more.

        August 8, 2014
  11. mikew66 #

    Great Post Leanne, I have been trying 500PX for a few weeks now and really love it. It gives you some great idea’s and I like the way you can search a place and see what others have done there. I have a couple of shots that have made it the front page but I think you have to Like a lot of others to get your Photo’s noticed, and also some categories get a lot more attention than others. I found Landscape and City and Architecture get most attention.
    Have a great Week

    Mike W

    August 8, 2014
    • I am starting to love it too, though, having to spend time looking at other peoples work is the one thing that gets me down sometimes, you really have to pick your stuff. I have been trying to like other peoples work, but time is a problem sometimes, though I will keep trying. I just need to find a good image. Thank you Mike, I should look for you there, what is your name there?

      August 8, 2014
  12. thegentlemanfarmer #

    You may not have sold it, but that’s a brilliant Main Street photo of yours…

    August 8, 2014
  13. You are spot on in your assessment of Smugmug. I have it and they are wonderful, but people don’t buy photos, at least not on the web. I haven’t tried 500px yet, but I absolutely LOVE Behance. It is a wonderful community of artists, and I have made some incredible friends there that are in every stage of the artist’s journey. It is a great way to network in the business. You are also right in your perspective on making videos that show every step of your work. Just look at Lynda.com. You have to pay a lot of money to have access to the tutorials, and it is definitely worth the education. We pay a lot of money to achieve our skills, you should not just give that away. Perhaps you should look into whether Lynda.com would use your tutorials. Beautiful images, I really enjoyed them!

    August 8, 2014
    • I like 500px, but I am realistic enough to know that people won’t buy my images there, so I use it to show my best work. I haven’t looked at Behance, can you tell me more about it Mary?
      Not sure if Lynda.com would be interested in my tutorials, but I like doing the sped up ones, so will offer the slower ones for a price, I have to do them anywhere, and then people can decide whether or not they really want to know what I did. Though, I have to say, I’m not feeling confident. LOL.
      Thank you, it was one of those days where we thought it would be a waste time, but in the end, we got some great shots, then it started raining, the sky is terrible once the rain starts.

      August 8, 2014
  14. Sounds a bit like Canada too Leanne. The cost of living is way high here!! Beautiful photos as always Leanne, very moody with the brooding skies!! I can’t even think to do anything else at the moment either with other programs and websites. Maybe later when I get back!!

    August 8, 2014
    • At least you aren’t too far from the states, and have that as an option. I’ve noticed that many companies there now either won’t ship here, or they charge so much money for shipping that it is a rip off too. $60 shipping to ship one filter. Thank goodness for sites like hop shop go.

      August 8, 2014
  15. amy #

    Leanne, these are gorgeous! I really like them, especially the ones with the bridge… You mentioned not being able to sell your photos, but I’d love to buy one of these. Are these for sale?

    August 8, 2014
    • Thank you Amy, the bridge is amazing. Yes, they can be for sale. Though I don’t sell them cheaply, I usually charge around $200 for a high res image. So don’t stress if that is too much.

      August 8, 2014
      • amy #

        I’ll start saving then! I didn’t think it would be cheap-beautiful, professional art usually comes with a price. I’ll shoot you an email when I’m ready to buy, thank you!

        August 8, 2014
      • You are too kind Amy, lovely of you to consider it. Thank you.

        August 8, 2014
  16. So beautiful!

    August 8, 2014
  17. While I understand you’re fed up with the weather, I have to say that “moody weather” can produce great images…with the right skill, of course 🙂 I LOVE the images you show in this gallery!

    August 8, 2014
    • That is true Tiny, I don’t mind getting that weather for photos, I just wish it was every day. 😉 Thank you.

      August 8, 2014
  18. Amazing tone in the pictures.

    August 8, 2014
  19. Great images….even in bad weather you get great shots. LR is definitely a winner. I’m now creating a flickr account and publishing my photos via LR to flickr. It carries over the keywords too which is very nice. I must say that LR and Smugmug are the perfect marriage! I wonder if the CEOs of Yahoo & LR are dating lol.

    August 8, 2014
    • oops I meant CEO’s of Yahoo & Adobe 🙂 Whoever they are.

      August 8, 2014
      • Adobe, Lightroom same thing isn’t it?

        August 8, 2014
      • Well adobe is the company that owns Lightroom as yahoo is the company that owns Flickr. Yes I am that anal lol

        August 8, 2014
      • Why don’t I have trouble believing that haha 🙂

        August 8, 2014
    • Thanks Laura, the weather was pretty surreal that day. Wow, you are going for it girl. You will be the Social media queen. Maybe it is so.

      August 8, 2014
      • Surreal. That’s it. Perfect word. Yeah the social media queen with no new photos! 😦

        August 8, 2014
      • I think so too. You go through all the photos you have taken before, I bet there are ones that didn’t consider and would see differently now. That has happened to me, I go through my photos, then later on go through them again and think, why didn’t I choose this one before.

        August 9, 2014
      • True…plus the large moon is on Sunday so I’m going to take pics of that and work on them when I can which will probably be about 3 weeks after Tuesday. I do have some images I can work on…it’s amazing how resourceful I can be when I have no new pics in-camera.

        August 9, 2014
      • Oh yes, you will hear me screaming there if it’s overcast again, unfortunately that is what the forecast is looking like, so not fair.
        Yes, it is amazing how you forget how many images you have actually taken as well.

        August 9, 2014
      • I’ll put in my ear plugs lol.

        August 9, 2014
      • Haha, I think you might need them.

        August 9, 2014
      • 🙂

        August 9, 2014
  20. We pay way over the odds for things here as well!

    August 8, 2014
    • It is so crazy, sometimes I think these companies think we are idiots, and don’t do our research to know that we are being ripped off.

      August 9, 2014
  21. The weather might be rubbish, but the photos look all moody and atmospheric as a result 😊. I’m with you on SmugMug……for me it’s an either or, but not both…..two much effort and cost for not much gain.

    August 8, 2014
    • Thank you Mark, sometimes the weather can be great for photos. I have to agree, I just don’t really see the point about SmugMug, someone, I think my husband said, someone is making loads of money from people trying to sell photos, SmugMug. Maybe that is what the Mug in the name for, because you are mug if you do it, I don’t know. Though could be a good place just to show your work.

      August 9, 2014
  22. Living in europe and the european union but not in the Euro Zone we get screwed quite often in Poland, if you buy online you get charged the Euro price which you then have to convert. Amazon is great at making money on the exchange rate. Adobe is the same I pay around 50zl a month for photoshop and lightroom but in fact each month it is a slightly different price due to the euro – zloty exchange rate fluctuations. I do try to buy from local shops but there are fewer specialized shops.

    I got 2 filter backs to fit most of my lenses as well as an adaptor for my ND filter. You do have to pay top dollar to get the best quality, if you have spent a lot of money on your lens why put cheap plastic in front of it.

    500px is a great place to create portfolios and show case your work it is not like flicker a;lthough the race to the front page is i feel a bit of a game and many people like specifically for a like back and that side of things puts me off sometimes.

    Hope you have a better weekend.

    August 8, 2014
    • I think a lot of us are getting screwed over really. The stupid thing is they don’t seem to realise we know it is happening, and often we can get around it. The best one for me is itunes, it is digital, so no costs involved as far as postage or anything, but we get charged twice as much for music here. Now that is a definitely ripping us off. It is stupid. I have no trouble shopping locally, but if something is a lot more, then I won’t spend money I don’t have to get it.

      I spend good money on filters and things too, but I don’t want to spend twice as much to get them here. When you can get a filter for $100 in the US why would you spend $200 to buy it here, if it is the same thing.

      I am liking 500px too, and I don’t know how far I will get with it, but it could be fun, I won’t put in the time, I know, to really be successful, so my images will have to stand alone and battle on their own. I do like getting stuff out though.
      thanks Ben, I hope we do too, and I hope you have a good one too.

      August 9, 2014
  23. Reblogged this on Hadel.

    August 8, 2014
  24. Lovely images, my favourite is the Royal George Hotel, I like the colours and the mood. As for Australians being ripped off – it’s exactly the same in Germany. My colleagues who travel to the US a lot buy all their stuff there because it’s up to 50 % cheaper. We always wonder why we have to pay so much more for everything. The thing is people just pay up because they do want to have the products. At lease we’ve good great weather & sunshine (for the time being) 🙂

    August 8, 2014
    • Thanks Kiki. We suffer even more, it is often the case where it can be 100% cheaper and doesn’t matter how much you want it now you can’t justify spending that much. It is crazy.

      August 9, 2014
  25. Hi Leanne, I think there might be an error on your blog layout. For a little while now it has been looking wrong in my browsers (Chrome and Safari). The left hand column is there and there is a wider right hand column but there is a wide blank space between them. It doesn’t matter if the browser window is narrow but as mine is usually set to the width of the screen, it is a very noticeable wide gap. Just thought you ought to know 🙂

    August 8, 2014
    • The blank space in the middle is the date thing, though it should be too wide. I like it, I like the way it separates the posts from the side bars, breathing room. I look at the blog on Chrome and find it okay. It should disappear when you click on a post. Nothing I can really do about it though. There are only so many things you can change. Thanks for thinking of me.

      August 9, 2014
  26. I feel like that some day… It’s normal and we just need to keep going. I do shot as a business but I also shot for me. I don’t worry about telling people how I took, processed an image. They are not me so the outcome will never be the same. Hope the weather changes

    August 8, 2014
    • That is true, everyone does it differently. Thank you Luis, I hope so too.

      August 9, 2014
  27. Beautiful photos Leanne, as always. I would love to take your course but unfortunately I’m in Canada. Hope the sun comes out for you!

    August 8, 2014
    • Thank you for considering it Jessica, LOL, and thanks for what you said about my photos.

      August 9, 2014
  28. This is a lovely set of photos.

    August 8, 2014
  29. What a beautiful colour!

    August 8, 2014
  30. I’m not sure how to respond, so I’ll just share my thoughts. First and foremost, the arts have always been a hard way to make a living, even for those with some measure of “fame.” Second, I’ve been selling pictures for almost 40 years and making a pretty good living doing it. So, your theory that there isn’t money is selling pictures doesn’t wash — at least with me. I’m far from alone. Third, there is an old saying that you only spend 20% of your time doing what you love. The remaining 80% of your time is doing stuff to support that. That’s across every industry. Fourth, the time invested is never in proportion to your net earnings unless you happen to “hit it big.” I suppose time invested is relative. So is the definition.

    More specifically.

    Everybody thinks they are a photographer. Sites like Smugmug and 500px pander to that. Flickr gained some notoriety a few years ago, when Getty Images swooped in and poached some photographers who seemed to be producing steadily. I can say that with some assurance since I’m a legacy photographer for GI. You are better off learning to do SEO as defined by Google and getting your images seen on the web when buyers are looking for images. You are also better off licensing images through your own website, but your site has to have the technical underpinnings to do that. And, yes. You really have to tell people.

    Work. It’s all work. Every art demands it. Storyteller is a byproduct of my own natural curiosity and the need to produce images for myself. And, it’s about practicing. Yes, many of those images are shuffled off to my various agencies and so they do earn royalties, but that wasn’t the original point. The point is real to practice.

    Teaching and videos. Unless you are a “big name” there is almost no point in it unless you feel some burning desire to do it. There are guys I know — one who is in your country now — teaches seminars for US$12,000. He takes about 10 aspiring photographers and off they go. Oh, that doesn’t include what I call touring expenses. Videos. Everything is on YouTube. When I need to learn something, I don’t even go to the manufacturer anymore.

    Finally. Most technological products are MAPPED by their manufacturers, especially big players like Canon, Sony and Nikon. That’s global. Retailers cannot sell too high or too low. What you are likely seeing is the vagaries of the currency market and the local retailers’ response to that. I bought stuff in Melbourne and Sydney when we were there. The price didn’t seem to be that far out of line. I was more worried about US Customs. But, we use a broker who has a facility within US Customs. So…

    That said, what do you want? I’ll just buy it here and ship it to you. I’ll toss it in one of the USPS shipping boxes (Their marketing catch phrase is “if it fits, it ships” (all for US$5.95) I’ll add the proper paperwork and you’ll have it in about 8 days. You can pay me through Paypal after it arrives. No big deal.

    I hope some of that helps, Ray

    August 9, 2014
    • Hey Ray, if you are selling, share your secrets, would love to know what you are doing to get success doing that. Oh yes, doing the marketing, that is something I’ve been working on a lot lately in the last year or say, not very good at it, but trying to. I am lucky in that I don’t have to earn massive amounts, my husband just wants me earning.

      Licensing images works differently in Australia, you don’t do it. Our copyright laws do protect us, or are supposed to. I have been doing more with the SEO stuff, and that is part of the reason why I do Google+.

      I know a lot of this already Ray, I did a fine arts degree and much of this was covered, though Australia is a very small market, especially for selling artwork. There aren’t a lot of galleries here.

      I think there is money in teaching, big money no, but enough to get by on. I was doing okay, well until about a month ago, and I am sure at this point it is more the weather.

      Believe me, it is not what you are saying about the prices, there is an attitude that Australians are used to paying more, so we get charged more, a lot more. Sometime 3 times as much as other countries. Not everything, and somethings aren’t too bad, but there can be very serious differences here. We pay a lot more for books, some photography stuff, that is getting better, but still. You should see the differences in cycling stuff, $45 for a tyre in the UK, to $120 for the same tyre here. not good.

      Thank you for your offer Ray and I might have to take you up on it sometime. I am getting filters, but someone else is helping me with that, but I might get some other ones.

      Thanks Ray.

      August 9, 2014
      • Leanne, there are no secrets, but you could take a few steps in order to set yourself up in order to sell images or shoes or cars.

        1. Even though you attended art school, I’ve never believed schools teach you about the real world. I have a pile of degrees that I never use except to manage my “other half” who is a musician.

        2. I’d write a business plan that outlines what it is you really want to do with your pictures. I’d take a long time doing it and I build in components that allow you to make changes on the fly to fulfill the core of it which is really the mission statement. Once you have that, anything is possible. BTW, the best mission statements are short an compact. For instance, Coca Cola’s is “to sell the most bottled water in the world.” After all, what is Coke? Sugar, syrup and water.

        3. I’d try very hard to make myself the “to go” person for a certain kind of photography — whether with content or style. With content being the better choice because styles change. I want potential clients to think, “if I want a picture of The French Quarter, I want Ray Laskowitz.”

        4. I would stop thinking that Australia is your market place. The world is your market place. Here’s an example. I position myself as a New Orleans photographer, but I work very hard not to sell or even accept assignments here. There are plenty of guys trying to do that. I make the same kinds of pictures they do, but I sell (license) them nationally or internationally where they are not so common. My pictures become unique.

        5. Social media is a give away. An enticement. Like advertising. So too with YouTube for musicians, Google+, according to those with close ties to Google itself, is on the way out. They may split the photo side off, but then you’ll be showing pictures to photographers.

        6. SEO. I enjoyed what your friend wrote which was nuts and bolts. Keep in mind that you are writing tags or keywords to entice a certain audience. Use their jargon, not ours. If you want to sell to art collectors, use their terminology. I want to license pictures to more corporate entities, so I use their terminology. Also both WordPress and Google compress or remove entirely keywords and metadata contain too many words. 15 combined is limit.

        Make and cultivate contacts outside of the country for whom you really like to work for, or sell to… a short list. Maybe ten for the year. True marketing gurus will tell you it takes between 7 and 10 “touches” to get them to do anything. Start with an email or postcard. Make a small online newsletter. You have nice writing style. Tell them what you are doing, why you are doing it and show them. Your blog — my blog — is fine for that, but the people we tend to have follow us are our fans who will likely never buy or assign anything. Break away from that. MY BIG SUGGESTION is cultivate a few of these potential clients before you go to NYC, meet them while you are there. Buy them a coffee. Or a lunch. Have a printed portfolio with leave behinds.

        As far as costs go, photography is about networking with other like-minded photographers. We all help each other out. If you need something from me, please ask. If I can do it I will do it. I reach out to other photographers all the time.

        Finally, your website. Don’t let it flounder. That can be your main point of contact and business. I down load pictures to my global clients from the FTP site that I prove within my website. Large files. They are sure are impressed at the easy of my service, which really matters. Clients can select pictures from a world away. In fact, I do a lot of business in Great Britain that way.

        I must have missed the price discrepancies while we were in Australia. But, at one point because of circumstances, we paid what it cost to accomplish what we needed to do.

        Hope that gives you some ideas…

        August 9, 2014
      • Hey Ray, there is a lot to take in here, I might need to take it to email, would you mind.

        August 9, 2014
      • My pleasure. Ray@Laskowitzpictures.com is the best way.

        August 10, 2014
  31. Love the photos eerie and enchanted woods. Quite understand your frustration – it seems that everything is world wide until you want to buy something – America is far cheaper than the uk but why!d
    To comment on selling photos – friends of mine sold them from a site but now everyone is a photographer. I did sell some from two exhibitions but this was a while ago. People think that just because they have a camera that they can get good pictures! Keep up the enthusiasm – really enjoy your Blog.

    August 9, 2014
    • I think the distributors forget how we can see how much things sell for in other countries, it is not good when something is sold for 2 or 3 times more here. Books cost so much here.

      I think the same Diana, everyone is a photographer now, I don’t really worry about selling photos, not sure it is worth it. Though I get asked from time to time, and people usually don’t want to pay what I ask them for. Thank you Diana, that is always good to hear.

      August 9, 2014
  32. nzsnapper #

    We have similar issues with pricing in NZ, although I feel it has actually improved a bit with competition from the auction sites. There are ways around buying in the US there are a few companies who can give you a US address to ship to and then ship on, NZPost for one but there are others. I have used it and works well depending on the size of the item. As for selling photos if you ever work it out let me know!!

    August 9, 2014
    • Oh yes, I think NZ is the same as us, we are on the other side of the world, there it costs so much more to ship things here, that is why everything costs twice as much, sometimes three times as much. I think it is crap. Where is the international market. I have seen those, but haven’t used them. I was lucky this time to find someone to get them for me and post them to me, well I haven’t got them yet, but should soon.
      I don’t know that it is worth the effort trying to sell photos. I sell them very rarely. Not enough to write home about that’s for sure. Thanks Richard.

      August 9, 2014
  33. Devon #

    Just looking around today, and found your gorgeous photographic work.

    I read somewhere, that selling photo/art work on the internet is one of the hardest things to do. Partly it’s the price level the service vendor sets, the other part is the volume of work available for sale. It’s not exactly the type of merchandise where it’s an impulse buy. And selling stock photos is even slower. It is a very competitive field of work. Also, I did 500px several months ago but dropped away. I found a lot of the photos, especially landscape and portraits, the same after awhile.

    About shipping between the USA and Australia, that’s a tricky proposition. A friend of mine had shipped a box to her friend in Sydney through the US Postal System. It was supposed to transfer to the Australian mail service in Hawaii. Long story short, it didn’t even make it out of Honolulu. The package ended up in the dead mail section in Minneapolis. It took roughly three months to track down the package. The items in her package were damaged, including the beautiful book she was sending to her friend as a gift. It says an item needs to be shipped by either UPS or FedEx to reach its destination. Needless to say, UPS and FedEx are high cost when it comes to international shipping.

    August 9, 2014
    • Thanks Devon, lovely of you to visit.

      I think that is true about selling photos. The other real issue is that a lot of people look at photos and say, I could do that, why would I buy it. So very hard. I only just started on 500px, not sure how long I will do it for, but it is fun at the moment, though have to admit, I haven’t done much there myself, I’ve looked at some work, but I do hate this idea that you have to put in so much effort. I think an image should speak for itself, well that is what I always hope.

      What a terrible story for your friend. I haven’t had any trouble, and Amazon certainly don’t charge huge amounts for postage, and everything seems to get here. There is always a risk I suppose.

      August 9, 2014
  34. Love the moodiness, Leanne.

    August 9, 2014
    • Thank you Dave, that is great.

      August 9, 2014
  35. Ugggggh, I hear you loud and clear about prices here in Australia. The price hike (I like to all it the Australia Tax) goes for everything, but it seem to be especially bad for anything photography related. Not only that, some things seem to be in exceedingly short supply here too, which only drives the prices up higher.

    I do realise that the listed USD prices on sites like Amazon are without-tax, plus there are import fees, shipping, etc etc for companies to get stock here, but that doesn’t even come close to justifying the at-times 100% price hike. I’ve resorted to buying things from eBay or through a shipping forwarder.

    Also, I consider your photos to be a few levels above mine, so the fact that you weren’t able to sell your photos is kind of depressing. A friend of mine did once advise me not to bother trying to ever sell photos. He said that it almost killed the fun of photography for him. I think I’ll just stick to blogging 😀

    August 9, 2014
    • Oh yes, the Australia Tax, I have found somethings not to bad, and you have to pick the stores you shop in, but we do always pay so much more. I haven’t noticed the short supply, but there does seem to be lots of things that aren’t available here.

      It doesn’t explain how I can buy something from overseas, have it shipped here, and if I had to pay GST would still come in a lot cheaper than buying here. Somewhere, someone is making a lot of money from us. Then they have the gall to tell us we are being unAustralian, that is what one company told me recently when I questioned how expensive something was. I think I am going to have to start doing the same, though buying through ebay can be very dodgy, you can do your money that way. I’ve bought filters and they were just crap. Other things it doesn’t matter so much.

      Thank you David, it is a bizarre thing the selling. If someone wants to buy a photo, there are millions to choose from. I think it doesn’t hurt to have some for sale, but seriously I wouldn’t count on making money from it. I can’t even get people to donate money to my site, so getting them to buy an image seems almost impossible. Sorry I hope I have depressed you too much.

      August 10, 2014
      • I can’t believe a company actually accuse you of being unAustralian for questioning high prices. That in itself is unAustralian, I think! How rude. I’ve long since put all that aside and started shopping online a long time ago. Yes, eBay can be a bit dodgy, but the price savings are more than worth the gamble I think, common sense withstanding.

        August 10, 2014
      • I know, it was a dodgy thing to do, if you ask me. I agree, we’ve been shopping online for years, though it is getting harder and harder to do it these days, companies are being told to not sell to us, which is a real pain. Ebay can be good, but you are right, common sense is important. Thanks David.

        August 10, 2014
      • Yeah, that is really irritating. I’ve resorted to using shipping forwarders to bypass those restrictions a few times, actually.

        August 10, 2014
      • How do you find the shipping costs to Australia? I’m finding them astronomical, so expensive. Makes you wonder if some deal has been struck to make it that way. I haven’t ordered any books from Amazon in a while, but I don’t remember being charged huge amounts for shipping. The UK is pretty good, their shipping costs can be very reasonable. You can ship a DVD from there to here and only pay about $5 for the shipping. My daughter got some Doc Martins boots, and it cost $15 to ship them here, she got the wrong size, and when we went to ship them back it was going to cost us $75, crazy. No wonder people don’t use Australia post anymore. What shipping forwarders have you used? If you don’t mind me asking, I know about Hop shop go, but have never actually used it. I don’t like the way they don’t tell you how much the shipping will be until later on.

        August 11, 2014
      • Buying off Amazon US can be really hit and miss with the shipping prices. I’ve found that it helps to pay attention to who exactly is selling the goods. If it says “sold by Amazon”, then you can expect reasonable shipping prices, often $10-15 for most things. It can be frustrating to sort through lists of items and find that shipping for most of them is more expensive than the item itself.

        I use PriceUSA for shipping forwarding. They’re a bit different from the others. Instead of giving you an address to get things sent to, you give them the item link that you want to buy, they buy it for you, then they send it to you. I like it because you don’t need an account, there aren’t any ongoing fees, and they genuinely seem like nice people. Plus, you can ask for a free quote any time. Of course, the shipping costs will only be an estimate at first but it’s generally okay. Keep in mind that if the US site you buy from doesn’t have free US shipping, you’ll be paying for shipping twice (shop to PriceUSA, then PriceUSA to you). Thankfully, free US shipping is pretty common.

        Hope that helped.

        August 11, 2014
      • I have found the same thing with Amazon David, you really have to look to see who it is really coming from.

        I haven’t heard of them, must check them out. It sounds good. I will have to remember that about the free shipping. Does the shipping to cost that much?
        It did help, helped a lot, thanks. Hey David where are you?

        August 11, 2014
      • No worries, anytime! I live in Brisbane, what about you? The shipping within the US is usually not too expensive, even if you need to pay for it.

        If you have any more questions about using PriceUSA, feel free to fling us an email. I don’t want to spam your blog posts too much 😀

        August 11, 2014
      • I’m in Melbourne. I gathered that about their shipping so weird.
        I will remember that, thank you David. You can always email me too, I really don’t mind. 🙂

        August 11, 2014
  36. tylaar2013 #

    Love your photography

    August 11, 2014
  37. These are lovely photos, Leanne! Which filter did you get in the end to get the darkened skies?

    August 11, 2014
    • I didn’t use a filter, I just darkened them in post. Thank you.

      August 12, 2014
  38. Hey, Leanne, I’m a happy purchaser of your video 😀

    August 12, 2014
    • Thank you Stacy, I appreciate the support, it means a lot. 😀

      August 12, 2014
  39. Really love that final street shot, especially the angle.

    August 12, 2014
    • Thanks Elen, I love that street, must go back in nicer weather.

      August 12, 2014

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