Thursday, September 17, 2009

About photo: Hungarian highway

You can buy the picture on top on these links:
The subject of this blog entry is my new best earner ever photograph. You can find the previous one about the blue vase here. This is the fourth blog entry in the series where I introduce my top photos according to the buyers. I have already wrote about my best photo in July and the all times most downloaded photo. However this entry is about the new king of the hill.

History: This is the first time my D90 was with me on a flight. I took this shot from a plane back from Lyon. We almost reached Ferihegy Airport, and just before landing the plane crossed the M0 highway that surrounds Budapest. I made this shot just when the plane crossed M0. When I got back to my computer I immediately loved the shot, so even though I read it several times that it is not a good idea to upload photos taken from a commercial flight I still tried. And as it turns out this photo became one of my most predictable earners.

Content: This photo shows the M0 highway of Hungary in westward direction shot from the air. You can also see that a junction of the highway is just outside the photo. The four lanes cross two small bridges, first to avoid some rural roads and secondly to pass over a small brook. There are several cars and trucks coming and going, but it's not too heavy traffic. Finally the road disappears on the top right corner of the photograph.

Technique: If you are familiar with my portfolio (for the portfolio links see the left side of the blog), then you know that I am not too familiar with moving subjects. I mainly take photos of isolated objects. So this photo was different. I had an entire flight to exercise to finally come up with a recipe for the shot. The result was simply using focal lengths between 60-80mm to avoid the wing of the plane, and to use apertures between F8-11 to make sure the lens is giving me the best sharpness, finally I used 1/200-1/500s shutter speeds to avoid blurring. During landing even 1/500 seems slow... So don't be surprised that I don't have photos about landings yet. To avoid reflections on the window of the plane I pushed the lens as close as I can to the window. While I also tried to make the front element of the lens parallel to the window.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Predicting earnings by the end of the month

I have recently discovered a tool of Yuri Arcurs that can predict your monthly earnings based on the sales you had so far. This tool uses historical data of Arcurs. I started to use the tool and compare it to the linear prediction I believe most of us use. Its formula is simple and straightforward:

I have started to take notes on both predictions from 3rd of September. Now that we have reached the middle of the month here are some statistical details:

Arcurs's predictionLinear prediction
Standard deviation$14.69$19.76

As it can be seen from the table above the usual difference between Arcurs' tool and the linear prediction is within the boundaries of standard deviation. For me it means that the tool cannot be used more precisely for my data than the simple linear prediction algorithm.

Below you can also see the chart showing the relations between the current earnings and the two predictions.
Finally you could observe that the linear prediction always grows within a given day. Its because the formula I used for the calculation is on daily basis. If I would have used smaller granularity in timing the differences between the two predictions would be probably smaller.

At the end of the month I plan to report when did these two predictions reached the best prediction and how close did they matched the real earnings figure.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Statistics worth monitoring

If you remember I was writing about my own stock statistics application on this blog already. You can see the previous entries here: about Fotolia's tag cloud, about photo views monitoring. Now that my application is running for more than a month I started to collect more than just the basic statistics I have built the application for. Basically my app monitors the sales and views of every picture I have on SS, FT, IS and DT. From these data I can calculate the following stats:
  • How much did I earn overall or at a particular agency
  • How many views I have had overall (excluding SS for obvious reasons) or at a particular agency
  • Number of views/download - overall stat (all views/all downs) or per agency stat
  • How many downloads do I have with a particular download type (overall, per agency)
  • Detailed view on the statistics above for every month/week/day
  • Total earnings/views per photo (independently from particular agency) - this stat aggregates all earnings/views of the different agencies for a particular photo (I made an algorithm to find the same photo's different id's at the agencies I am submitting to)
  • Latest views/downloads per photo - this is useful to identify if a photo has lost the appeal to the buyers or it was not listed in any searches at a position visible to them.
These are the ones I currently monitor. If you can figure out some more that you think I could include in my stats I will do my best to include them. I plan to publish the app as soon as it gets stable enough for others, so stay tuned. I hope it will be useful for others. The good thing about the app that it collects all the data to a simple SQL database, so in theory you could write your own statistics queries. The bad thing that you will probably won't like the app because it does not have a GUI currently (ok, there is a simple GUI for prompting you the recaptcha image for shutterstock login, but that's all).

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Statistics of August

August was BME on Fotolia, Shutterstock, and StockXpert for me. I have had 148 downloads with no more than 259 images online. I have got 60 new accepted images. This is almost comparable to the number of accepted images in June (which was 70). Even though there was an increase on submissions my monthly total earnings were not increasing at all agencies. On first of August my 23 day long download record has not counted further. But my downloads only stalled for a single day and it turned out that only 1st of August finished without downloads in the entire month. So now I have a new record still running and it is now on its 30th day. Therefore if this tendency is not broken soon I would count the days where I have had more downloads than a single one.

Here you can find the details for my report:
AgencyPortfolio sizeDownloadsEarnings ($)ChangeViews
1 sub, 3 OD, 1 EL
Dreamstime1685 sub
123 sub, 1 OD
2 OD
StockXpert23612 sub, 1 OD

I usually monitor the number of views on my images also, and from now on I plan to include the views column my the statistics. My multi-site view/download figure is still around 85 views/downloads, thanks to StockXpert. Fotolia's figure has dropped significantly first since I have started to calculate this number, and now instead of 135views/downloads now I measure 156. And these are the all time figures this month Fotolias monthly average has gone over 200!

As I already reported it on my previous statistics page the only agency that I can count on is ShutterStock. As you have seen from this month figures the others are heavily jumping back and forth, so I cannot count on them too much right now. However, surprisingly StockXpert starts to rise the volume of its sales for me. It might happen that StockXpert buyers like my images more than the other fluctuating agencies. Of course I came too late to StockXpert, because according to other blogs and forums their merger just starts to show its results. So I am really interested how do my overall sales figure will turn up at the end of the coming months there. For the record here are the details of August: StockXpert PPD 1, StockXpert Sub 4, Sub 7 and finally Jupiterimages Unlimited sub 1.

At the end of this blog entry I put the my total earnings comparison after the end of August. Since I have started at the different agencies at different times I have scaled the earnings down to an average day on each agency. On this figure you can see how much StockXpert gained even in a single month.
So here is my current agency ranking:
  1. ShutterStock (-)
  2. iStockPhoto (-)
  3. StockXpert (was 5th in July)
  4. Fotolia (-)
  5. Dreamstime (was 3rd in July)