Saturday, August 30, 2008

Gallery Update - More Photo Scrap

I took some photos last weekend after dropping my brother off at work. I've wanted to take photos of the buildings down there for a while, so here are a few of the images I've uploaded thus far. I took more than 40 photos, but I will try to put up as many quality images as I can.

Here are some shots of objects:

And some more nature pics:

That's it for now. I have to finish correcting the rest before I upload them.

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Sunday, June 8, 2008

New image gallery available

I've added more images to my Shareapic.net account. I now have images of buildings available for download.

If you're not sure how to download the images, just click on their thumbnails to get to the full view page, and then right-click to save the image to your computer. Please refer to my previous post for the Terms of Use.

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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Trying to get back into the swing of things

Well, back into the swing of my hobbies at least. I finally came back to World of Warcraft, working on my hunter to get her to level 70 and acquire her level 60 mount. Yes, I am that slow; I'm enjoying the adventure that comes with the endgame, thank you.

I've also come back to photography. I purchased a Canon PowerShot G9 digital camera this past Sunday, and the camera has been really cool. It's an advanced point-and-shoot with features of an entry level DSLR. The best feature about this camera is that it can take pictures in RAW format. I never got to use a digital camera that could save in RAW, so this is a first for me. AND I LURVES IT SO MUCH. I seriously do not want to go back to jpeg. The only reason I would is to take pictures of not-so-serious stuff (ie catching people being stupid). As for pictures I would seriously consider microstock-worthy, it's RAW all the way. Holy Christ, the quality of RAW. The noise in the RAW images look more like film grain captured by a negative scanner. The only exception to this is when using a very high ISO setting, which is something that plagues all DSLRs or so I've read (in a lot of camera reviews).

So by now I've taken some pics with this lovely Canon PowerShot G9 digital camera, and I'm quite happy with some of the shots I've taken. Of course the lot of them come from our front yard, but hey, my mom has a green thumb. Her roses bloomed beautifully yesterday, and I had to get some photos. I actually thought some of these would be nice to share online. Even though they are of the overly done "nature/home garden" category, I wanted upload them anyway.

I will begin adding these pictures to a Shareapic gallery (for obvious reasons), and they will be available for people to download. Even if these photos are considered a high quality by stock photo agents, nature pics are not hard to come by, so I doubt submitting them to a stock photo site will produce any noticeable revenue. So I'm offering web-sized versions of my photos for free at Shareapic.net. The images are sized to a with of 600 pixels (may be small depending on the height). It's should be a good size to work with for many designers wanting to use them for web purposes. If a designer contacts me to request a larger pic, then discussion of payment will take place. That's the name of the game, yo. Here are the "rules":

I, Alexandria Long, have given consent for all people to download and use my photos in either personal or commercial projects. What you may NOT do with these images are:

  1. Resell them as your own. If I find any of my photos on a stock photo site that I'm not a member of, you WILL be hearing from me. If I find them in printed stock photo catalogues or art books, you WILL be hearing from me.
  2. Upload my photos to art and photo gallery/album websites and state that you're the creator. You in fact did not create them, and any credit for them should go to me (Alexandria Long). If I find my photos on sites such as DeviantArt, etc, then you WILL be reported.
  3. Simply altering one or any of my photos DOES NOT make the result your photo. Anyone with a brain can play with Photoshop/Gimp/Paint Shop Pro filters. Using a photo as a design element in a project is fine, but filtering the photo to high hell for the sake of "making it mine" doesn't cut the mustard. Sale or unauthorized distribution of any altered versions of my images is prohibited.
  4. Print them on tangible products such as coffee mugs or postcards meant for sale. Slapping one or some of my photos on a CafePress item and selling it is not cool. You are in effect selling my photos as stated in the first rule, so if I catch you, I will report you.
  5. If I, Alexandria Long, were to sell to anyone larger, higher quality versions of my images, that does not give the buyer the right to sell the image. The buyer merely purchased the right(s) to use a higher quality image in whatever project they need it for. The buyer DOES NOT own the purchased photo, and therefore may not sell any of my photos.
  6. If my photos were to ever be used in printed materials such as magazine or book covers, then credit MUST be given to the creator (Alexandria Long). I will also be looking further compensation when it comes to book covers. If you use a web-safe version of my image for a 'zine or book cover, expect to hear from me.
  7. If my photos were to ever be used in online publications such as online news or blog websites, then credit should be given to the creator (Alexandria Long).

By downloading my images from Shareapic.net or Picable.com, you are agreeing to my terms. Even if you do find other more spectacular photos for free, I still have my rights as a creator.

I'm eventually going to move the T&Cs to their own page. After adding a few more photographs to the first Shareapic gallery, I'll link to it from the sidebar. For now, you can reach it by clicking here. This is the 'Home Garden" gallery, where all of my home's flower pics will go. More galleries should soon follow.

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Thursday, September 20, 2007

At work, lots of perks and no jerks

I'm enjoying myself at Network Solutions so far. It's only my first week, but I already like this place a lot. The culture is very friendly here, and this NetSol location is rapidly growing. From what I hear, it's mostly guys here, but the group of new hires that I'm in has only one guy. Not that he's complaining. :P

I've been hired as a designer for the Standard web design team. Basically I work on a lot of web sites for individuals or small to mid-sized businesses. The usual turnout rate for a standard package is only a couple of days. All the code is handled without my need to touch it unless there's some customization requested by the client. This is good, as it should help me concentrate more on the actual layout design. Hello, Adobe.

One of the new hires hinted me to www.sxc.hu, which is a free resource for stock photography. People can share their photos and others can download what they need. At least I won't have to come out of pocket for great photos to use whether for myself or for someone else.

Time to go. My lunch break is over, so it's back to training. Can you believe I actually have a final exam? D:

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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

I need your praise! (and possibly your rejection --;;)

Picture.com is a web site for people to submit photos that they take and get recognition for it. The staff there hold monthly contest, and my photo was picked to be a finalist in one of them. Yay. I'm waiting to hear on the progress; the contest I'm in is supposed to announce the winners this summer. While that's going on, the Picture.com staff has added another aspect to their site: visitors can rate other people's photos. I got the link to my photos rating page the other day, but I'm posting it now (because I didn't check my email until today o.o;;).

Click here to vote at Picture.com.

Click that link and rate my photo using the vote thingy above the photo. You can rate it good, mediocre, or just bad. Just please be honest with how you feel about it.

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Sunday, July 15, 2007

Good times ahead!

I finally got a company to respond to me. Cepia LLC. of Clayton, Missouri called me up for an interview, and I went there that very day. I was so nervous, and me traveling in a car with no air conditioning (it does have it, but it will make the car stall) didn't help keep me cool either. I made sure to have as much in my portfolio as possible, scrap notes and sketches included.

As far as the interview went, I was REALLY early. I made sure to leave early enough in case traffic was murder, but I got there pretty much 30 minutes before my scheduled time. I think that's a good thing. I always did that with previous interviews. When I finally got to sit down with the recruiters, I feel like I fumbled through my portfolio a bit. Despite my nervous wordiness, they liked a number of my pieces, especially my paintings. I felt the portfolio review of the interview went well, all things considered. Then I went on a tour of their main office. It's really nice. They mostly do toy design, but before that they did lawn care products. They now handle a wide range of product lines, and everyone there helps with a wide range of assignments, from design to modeling for package design, to human resources.

I REALLY want to work for Cepia, and it's not just because I'm desperate for work. I love all of what they offer, and I like that they provide guidance and a friendly environment for the employees. They seem really close to each other, but still professional enough to make sure everyone's doing their best. I want that, and I really hope I get the job.

I haven't stopped looking for work. I've been applying for any job I feel I'm qualified for. St. Louis Community College is now offering a graphic design job. Ironically, this 2-year college institution is looking for an applicant with a 4-year degree. I'm going to apply anyway; surely my recent college would be happy enough to employ one of their own recent graduates. Harrah's Casino is still posting that they need a graphic designer. I've applied twice for that job, and still no response. I've planned to continue bugging them with constant applications until I receive an answer from them. I feel it's unprofessional and very rude that I do not get any response from an employer. At least let me know if I'm not what your company is looking for.

Enough about my job search. I have even cooler news. Picture.com has photo contests going on, with an annual competition with a grand prize of $10,000. Pretty sweet, huh? Well, my photo, which I have dubbed "Focused on The Fountain" has been entered into the Open Amateur Photography Contest for this summer, and I've been chosen as a semi-finalist for this competition. Not only that, but my photo will be published in the upcoming anthology currently named "Endless Journeys". I feel this is a great honor, so I plan to get 2 copies of the book, for myself and one for my family. It feels like a hefty cost, but if I want to be recognized, I have to pay to have my artist profile in the book. And since I'm going to pay for people to read about me, I'm going to buy the book so I can read about me too. :)

More good news: I've been approved for Smorty and Blogvertise, paid-to-blog sites similar to PayPerPost. While PayPerPost actually gets opportunities in everyday, the availability of the opps depend on how popular your blog is and how fast you are at accepting available opportunities. The popularity thing is a HUGE turnoff, but it seems to be a big payoff. The wait to be paid for approved blog posts also depends on the opportunity.

Smorty is a great way to get paid for blogging, and has a week wait on being paid for blog posts. After accepting an opportunity, the wait for your post to be approved or rejected is two days. Once your blog post is approved, you must wait five more days to be paid. Thus, you can get paid every week for each successful sponsored blog post you make. Unlike PayPerPost, you get email notifications when opportunities are available (I had to search the PPP site to even find the RSS feed). You have to log into your account as soon as you see the opp or else you might miss out on it. The opp availability is not based on popularity like PPP, which I like. With the number of companies looking to advertise on blogs, the number of opportunities increase. Very important: make sure your current sponsored blog posts can be seen from your blog's homepage. If they cannot be seen or not somehow linked on your homepage, your posts will be rejected. I don't believe the posts have to be permanently linked on your homepage, but please keep this rule in mind when you submit your blog posts for review.

get paid to blog

Blogvertise has a 30-day wait after blog post approval. Like Smorty, you get email notifications on new opps, and they are not based on popularity. However, if you choose to neither accept or reject an opportunity, it will go to someone else, and the less opps you will receive in the future. If you're not a very active blogger, accept at least one opp to make sure the Blogvertise team doesn't deem your account inactive.

Regardless of what paid-to-blog program you stick with, don't make consecutive sponsored blog posts. The program's moderators will assume your blog is a blog made strictly to get paid from, which they frown upon. So to avoid getting rejected in the future, keep your blog fresh and full of multiple topics. Also it is recommended that you have a blog that is hosted at your own domain. Most opportunities will not accept blog posts from MySpace, Blog*Spot, Vox, or Wordpress blogs. For instance, Smorty will not approve of blogs unless they have their own domain (i.e., www.yoursite.com). There are other excluded domains, so find a place that has reasonable hosting for your blog.

This is a sponsored post.

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Friday, April 6, 2007

Gallerie Update

I updated the Color Gallery 2 days ago, but didn't have the time to post about it. I added two paintings, both from my last semesters Painting 1 class. They're both the last paintings I've ever done for that class and some of the best paintings I've ever done. If anyone thinks I can make some nice quality prints with any of the paintings I have listed, please don't hesistate to give your opinion.

I'm not looking to do any high quality prints like professional painters, just a solution that will look great on anyone's wall. I was thinking CafePress. The company provides good printing services and can provide me a way to make a bit of money while I look for work in my field, which is illustration. Also, I'm looking for an inexpensive way for me to take photos/transparencies of work.

Speaking of photography, I updated the Photography Gallery too. Just one photo this time. I believe it's the best and simplest black and white photo I've ever done. It was a class exercise in foreground and background. I Thought it made an interesting enough piece to add to my photography portfolio at the time; the composition works really well. I think I'll call it "Frenching the Fountain". :P

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