2011 in review
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:
Photo credits: Mihai-bogdan Lazar.