Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Cambridge Open Studios 2018

11am - 6pm on 7th & 8th, 14th & 15th July
@ 23 Greenfield Close, Stapleford, CB22 5BT

COS flag

After many years deliberating I finally decided to sign up for Cambridge Open Studios (COS) back in December last year. COS is a group of over 500 artists living and working in the Cambridge area. The highlight of the year is open studios where over 350 of the artists open their studios & homes to display their work during the weekends of July.

I've opted to open up my home during the first 2 weekends in July (7-8th & 14-15th) from 11am to 6pm Saturday & Sunday.

For the last few months I've been thinking about which photos & products to display and sell. I've also spent some time procrastinating the logistics of transforming my kitchen / dinning room into a gallery space suitable for showcasing my work.

To date I've designed and printed some greetings cards and fitted an Artiteq hanging system along part of one wall. Now comes the difficult part of image selection, frames, sizes finishes etc.

Greetings cards

I will have a variety of work on display from classic Cambridge shots to a variety of UK landscapes from the Lake District, Norfolk & Suffolk, Cornwall & Scotland.

Please do pop in and say hello It would be lovely to welcome old friends and new.


Resources:

Cambridge Open Studios
Artiteq Hanging System


Sunday, 29 April 2018

Another New Website - www.marona.co.uk

I first registered my domain name marona.co.uk back in 1999. Lots of people have quizzed me about the origins of the name, the simple answer is it's the name of my house. After searching through atlases (assuming it was a place name) I drew a blank. I then assumed the previous owners may have been called Mary & Ronald or a combination there of. Recently I came across a baby name website to discover the girls name marona (not in the top 1000 names) in Hebrew means "flock of sheep". So there is the answer.

Using Wayback Machine I was able to dig out one of my earliest designs from 1999.


1999 design
1999 design


In 2003 I was featured in Amateur  Photographer magazine and was praised for my clean and simple design. Back then I offered 6 images for sale. The purchasing process required you to download an order form print it out and post it off with a cheque. How things have changed.


Amateur Photographer Websight
Amateur Photographer


By 2006 I had dropped my wife's art work, Cityscape & Cambridge images. Cambridge images had flourished and moved to it's own domain. I was now down to three categories, Landscape, Panoramic & Close-up. I also added in PayPal payments, the order form process clearly wasn't going to catch on.

2006 design
2006 design

Over the next few years the bulk of my website hits and a few sales were for Close-up images. Although I enjoy taking macro shots I was far more focused on landscapes. Fast forward to 2010 and another design change embracing pull down menus and numerous galleries.

2010 design
2010 design

Since 2010 not a huge amount changed other than adding new images and retiring a few older ones. The site remained non responsive and a bit of pain to use on phones since everything was so small. 

Almost a year ago I redesigned www.cambridgeimages.co.uk using a w3schools CSS template and it was finally time to start thinking about sorting out www.marona.co.uk

I decided to stick with w3schools, but have a slightly different feel from my Cambridge site. Using a menu which stays at the top of the page as you scroll enabled me to add more content to a single page. The portfolio pages are also dynamically sizing meaning tablet and phone use should be much easier and usable. I've stuck with PayPal ordering, it's trusted and reliable and effective to implement.

More fundamentally I've re-brand myself as "Landscape photography of the UK". No more cityscape, macro or foreign destinations. Hopefully this will work in my favor and give me a clearer focus when adding new work.

New Website - Marona.co.uk
New design

I hope you enjoy my new site, I've already received some positive feedback with lots of suggestions so I don't think it will be standing still for any great length of time.


Resources:


Monday, 26 February 2018

Reverse image search and sausages

I've been selling photos on Alamy (digital stock photos) since 2001 everything from landscapes, cityscapes, travel and a few images from in and around the home.




Ironically one of my best selling shots is "8 Sausages in a frying pan". It has sold a total of 13 times since 2006 ranging in price from $0.83 to $156. (Alamy pricing is very confusing). So it got me thinking where has this image been used and by whom? When you sell an image on Alamy it sometimes gives you a bit of a hint; magazine, newspaper, website, presentation... you get the gist, but it's never very specific.

A few years ago I was reading the Telegraph only to spot a photo of Wastwater, that looked very familiar and sure enough it was one of mine. There was a small credit, but all it read was "Alamy" a bit disappointing and the stark reality was I only got paid £5 for the privilege.

So how else can you track down where your images are used? Back to the image of the sausages, I found a really useful website https://tineye.com/ a reverse image search engine. You upload a photo or URL to a photo and it the searches through an alleged 26.2 billion images in 3.5 seconds! My humble sausage photo was picked up 30 times across the web.

Here are a few of the more interesting locations my image has featured:
  • Dailymail  - "Hull-based sausage makers Cranswick gobble up poultry producer Crown Chicken in sizzling £40million deal"
  • Newslocker - "MRSA superbug found in supermarket sausages and mince"
  • Telegraph - "Moving guide: 10 things to know before relocating to Qatar"
  • Telegraph - "Ditch sausages for a longer life, say Harvard scientists"
  • Cracked.com - "Sausages are older then the Bible"
But the prize has to go to a Caribbean Villa in Trinidad and Tobago that features my sausage shot as part of their breakfast menu offering.

Give TinEye a go yourself and you may be surprised at where you photos crop up.


Resources:

TinEye reverse image search
My stock photos on Alamy