It’s about one month since we have passed into the New Year. 2011 was the best year yet on Dreamstime, and I will soon celebrate 8 years of collaboration. The growth was overall below my expectation on the beginning of the year, but it is still there despite the many economic problems our world is facing.
I have closed the year a little under the production target for 2011 – 113/120. 95% of them were accepted by Dreamstime (107), which represent around 13% increase in portfolio size. For a few years I am aiming at constantly producing at least 10 images per month, but this target seems to elude me. This year I have focused on planning the trips to meet the target, but I seem to fall short on post-processing time. I had indeed has a very busy year on my day job and I still have many pictures taken in 2011 for processing. I’ll set the same target for 2012.
I don’t set targets for income but I do have expectations. Last year (2011) was the best year ever in terms of income, but below my expectations. Overall I have earned 15% more on Dreamstime in 2011 than 2010. More specifically the income from image sale increased by 17%, while the referral earnings increased by a smaller percentage. The royalty per image per year on Dreamstime has increased in 2011 by 5%. Last year, Dreamstime generated 44% from all my photography related income.
Last year the investment was mostly directed towards travelling, rather difficult to quantify. Early in 2011, I have bought a wide-angle lens (Canon EF-S 10-22mm/f3.5-4.5) which served me very well in many practical situations. However, the difference in quality is visible from the standard zoom, and the post-processing time in correcting purple-fringing or selective sharpening has increased. I think I have reached a limit of weight that I am comfortable to carry along, therefore I have made no further efforts in equipment upgrades (which in general can be translated in increased weight and volume). I am currently looking into solutions to increase the quality of my photographs in the standard zoom range, therefore probably a new lens will soon replace my workhorse lens Tamron 17-50mm/f2.8. Additionally, I am also looking into equipment for astrophotography and extreme macro.
The main interest remained for me travel photography with a recent focus towards street level photography, HDR style. Macro photography (flowers) remained a secondary interest field, but I seem to have difficulties getting accepted many of my works in this field, probably because is a very popular domain. With a few exceptions, many of the accepted macro images (flower mostly) sell below my expectations.
Major travelling targets in 2011 were: Gran Canaria, Spain (early 2011) and Northern Italy (Siena, Florence, Pisa, Turin – Easter 2011). Weekends and extended weekends covered Frankfurt/Germany, Amsterdam/Netherlands, Strasbourg/France, Innsbruck/Austria, Sibiu/Romania and towards the end of the year Bilbao/Spain. Of course, nearby locations (in Switzerland, Alps, France) were also explored.
Japan (Tokyo, Nagoya, Kyoto) and Hong-Kong, China were visited at end 2011 – beginning of 2012 and the first images are coming on-line at the time of writing this blog. Brussels/Belgium will most probably be visited in the next months, but there are no other definitive targets.
Here are what I consider to be the best images produced in 2011:
@Merial. Yes, you are right. For the same reasons I did not do the upgrade earlier. For the moment, I am inclined to buy the Canon EF-S 17-55/f2.8. I expect to obtain a slight increase in quality, but most importantly, I hope the focus to be more accurate and fast due to the ultrasonic motors, and maybe the image stabilizer might prove usefull in certain situation. Of course it will be heavier and bigger, but I hope the difference will not be extremly noticeable...
You will struggle to get better zoom then Tamron 17-50/2,8 - Caon 17-55 is marginally better but much more heavy and expensive and in my opinion its price/weight/performance ratio is quite poor. EF-S 10-22 is nothing exceptional, except its quite overpriced.
My choice would be Sigma 8-16 and Sigma 24-70/2,8 macro which are both superior. The problem is hole between 16-24mm :(
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