Friday, May 30, 2008

New Pictures: San Francisco Carnaval


On my much neglected general purpose site: San Francisco Carnaval Pictures.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Good time to be taking a break!

That's Stella. I'm not generally a big fan of tattoos but that one's cool.

I've been catching up a bit on the PowerSeller forum on eBay and everybody's just furious. eBay has a history of making big changes without thinking them through and then screwing up the implementation (flaky, crashing software). They've really accelerated this year and sellers are scrambling to change strategies but just as you think you know what's going on they change things again. The feedback system's basically totally changed (and made partially retroactive so everybodys scores are jumping around) and a lot of buyers are abusing it already - feeling they can threaten sellers without retribution. And I mean threaten like demanding they get full refunds and keep the item because of some imagined problem.

They threw us a bone to block certain kinds of bidders, but they're options like blocking bidders with 7 reports filed against them in the last month, or who had 5 unpaid item strikes (which is interesting because they're supposed to be kicked off at 3). Somehow this isn't reassuring.

If I were an eBay executive or shareholder I'd be really freaked out. Just the fact that eBay can't decide on a consistent day to calculate certain values that can lead to discounts is making people think that they're purposefully choosing low days to screw sellers. I don't think it's true, but just the fact that people are so easily willing to believe it is a huge red flag. And of course it's irritating that they seem to be doing it at random - if they just picked a day and stuck to it they'd avoid a lot of these issues.

Generally speaking when eBay screws with me it just motivates me to beef up the website and continue the process of pulling my buyers off-eBay and having them buy direct. I'll have to do some real thinking to figure out what I can do to counter these latest changes.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Mike Rowe Moment

(If you don't know who Mike Rowe is, he hosts Dirty Jobs among other things)

This could also be titled "adventures in plumbing". So I have an itty bitty house - one bathroom - and so when anything goes bad it pretty much needs to be taken care of. The bathroom sink drain tends to get slower and slower and then once a year or so I take off the U-trap and kind of poke around and that generally takes care of it.

This year that just led to it clogging completely - clearly something stuck further downstream. Well, I know how to snake a drain, so I did. It's one of those things about lifestyle jobs - the low income means you pretty much get to do that kind of thing yourself. Also I did that kind of thing when I was an overpaid software engineer just 'cause I'm cheap and really, it's just not that hard and I'd rather get it done then wait around for somebody else to do it, especially since there's just the one bathroom.

And I tell you, I have never seen anything so disgusting come back up. The smell was horrible and it seriously looked like a very dead squirrel was on the end of that thing. Turned out to be hair and goo and Lord knows what but I didn't even want to reel the snake back in - I ended up toweling it down enough to wash elsewhere and throwing away the towel.

No, there are no pictures. Believe me, that's a good thing. Besides, you really think I was going to touch a camera after that? Or eat, ever again...

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Post Shoot Notes: San Francisco Carnaval


I'll see if I can get these edited in the next couple of days (just for fun).

Monday, May 26, 2008

Lensbaby II

As people who regularly read this know, when I get some new gear typically it's first tested in the yard, and then next at a local college campus that happens to be particularly attractive. So I tried out the Lensbaby there - they just had graduation recently so the campus was pretty quiet. If you didn't read about the Lensbaby a couple of posts ago, it's a $150 tool that makes my $2000 digital SLR work more like a $23 Holga. It made sense at the time.

I switched from the f/4.0 ring that comes installed to a f/5.6 which gives you a larger sweet spot which makes more sense to me with a full frame camera, and for various boring reasons is convenient to use with studio lighting. I also generally took a lighter hand, just getting a feel for keeping what I wanted in focus. I followed bumblebees around for quite a while which was good practice.

Anyway, if you're curious, I put up some Lensbaby shots. They'll just be linked to from the blog, not the main page. If anybody wants a print I used the regular photo template which has shopping cart links but remember I'm not going to even look at web orders until June 16th.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Yikes!

I actually took this a few days ago in Oakland with my point and shoot and just got around to pulling off the pictures. This is near the Oakland Zoo (which is where I was headed - they have a baby giraffe. It's cute!)

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Lensbaby!

So I've wanted a Lensbaby for at least a couple of years now, but they're kind of expensive for a specialized lens, and I think pretty much everybody I know who has one played around with it for a bit and then got bored. Then again I still shoot with my Holga now and again, which has somewhat of a similar look. Anyway, I gave in and bought one.

If you don't know, a Lensbaby is kind of a strange lens that has a sweet spot that's sharp and is blurry around the edges, much like a Holga. But unlike a Holga you can then physically push the lens around so that the sweet spot moves - but it's more than this, because it's acting like the movements on a large format camera since the front of the lens is no longer aligned with the sensor. In this image (using a handy bush in my front yard) the sweet spot is down in the lower right, so it's a fairly extreme effect. Note that you can't just replicate this in Photoshop since the depth matters and that information is lost once you take a picture.

Pretty much everybody takes flower images with these things to start and they can be very pretty. I've seen some very beautiful macro work (where you have limited depth of field anyway). I've seen a few nudes but not a lot, and some interesting shots of animals and such. Basically just enough really interesting work to make me think it has potential, although just like anything else 99% of what people produce with it is crap. Hopefully I'll get out of the crap stage eventually.

I have some ideas for a few things with models that ought to look interesting but we'll see if I can turn that vision into reality or not. I don't anticipate spending vast amounts of time with this thing, but I think it's going to be like with any shoot where I decide if I have time for some fun stuff, and if I'm going to shoot film, and what. So as an example if I'm too backed up to shoot film because of the processing/time requirements, but I have time to spare in the actual shoot, I can whip this out and do some body landscape work or whatever. And if it's awful, well, no harm done.

But for now that's pretty hypothetical - I'm definitely not going to do any model work for a while, and even after that... I'm just getting really frustrated with the whole no show, or "how dare you sell your art, art should be free", or the flip side "I'm worth a zillion dollars even though I have no experience because I think I'm more attractive than I am", or the "I don't trust you unless my husband's there", or you go find their blog and it's all long rants about how they hate men. It's really tempting to just go back to bird or macro photography for a year or so, but I'll do at least some shoots with trusted, known models this summer.

Anyway, if you want to see some better lensbaby examples, check out their website - I just took a few shots to make sure I basically understood how it works and that everything was OK. Clearly to master it you have to try quite a few things - you have a lot of control if you know what you're doing, and if you don't you can just flail around and hope you get lucky. I'll be doing that second one to start. :-)

Friday, May 23, 2008

Critters


I'm trying to catch up on my photo albums -
not portfolio stuff, just vacation snapshots or whatever. I sometimes share those on my much neglected travel/wildlife/personal site, typically in 4x6 aspect ratio as opposed to the 8x10 that's standard on this site, so there's no kind of shopping cart buttons or whatever. But if you want to see some snapshots of mine, you can check out some shots I took at Año Nuevo and at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

This is all part of the largish library of images one collects as a photographer - I'm not sure how far I'll get but I want to make some attempt this summer to go through my files, find some shots I like and where there's no weirdness about the rights, and put some of them on here for sale. I'll also make some cyanotype and platinum prints - I've done that with some Yosemite images before and sold them, it just hasn't been a focus.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Book Update

You can never totally figure out if you need to do some substitutions until you really start assembling things into a book, but here's my first pass on just assembling some images. If nothing else it's interesting just because it's roughly in chronological order, spanning just over a year. You can kind of see the flow of things.

Still needed: Title, front cover, back cover, assemble into book, possibly change some images

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Cyanotypes


It's kind of moot since I'm on hiatus, but as part of filling up the eBay store so everything will be ready to go when I start listing again June 9th and start processing orders June 16th I basically doubled the number of cyanotypes - it took a couple of days to make that many, and more time to photograph them and so forth so this is kind of a big deal, usually they just trickle in two or three at a time.

If you want to order and pay for one by, say, noon Thursday (California time) I can get it out to you right away, otherwise if anybody orders one I'm pretty much going to have to ignore it until June 16th.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Yikes!

The thing about storm chasing from my perspective is that I grew up in Los Angeles and even moving up to the bay area the whole "water from the sky" thing feels unnatural, even 16 years later.

Earthquakes aren't so bad - well, not if you have California building codes, anway, this isn't China. Yes, every now and again somebody will get killed by one here, most notably in '89 when part of the 880 collapsed but it's still fewer people than a good cold snap or heat wave can kill in parts of the country.

I reserve the right to retract this post when the Hayward fault goes.

Monday, May 19, 2008

New Book

That's Lisa.

So I've pretty much decided to do another Lulu book as one of my hiatus projects. I went through the shoots since the last book and there's plenty of material. So the next step is basically to pick a couple of images from each shoot and stick them all together in one place and then weed a bit (you always end up with some kind of similar ones). It takes longer than you might think even if you have everything all laid out in front of you - there's just a whole lot of images to choose from.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Hosting Issues

My apologies to anybody who was affected by the server that hosts this site being up and down today - apparently the air conditioning at my host's datacenter blew - you would think that they would have some redundancy there but apparently not. But it looks like it was down from about 9-11 (California time) and then they turned it back on for an hour, then off for an hour, and then it's been up since and apparently the air conditioning is back on.

Seems like I get something like this happening about once a year - which is better than my old host where there was some disaster that was "out of their control" about once a month for a long time, and then once a week towards the end. So it's a big improvement but it's still pretty irritating.

If anybody sent me email and I don't reply, well, never hurts to resend it.

Luminous

That's Pam - I'm trying to get back in the habit of highlighting some older shoots just to perk up these articles.

I've been meaning to mention, Luminous volume 3 is out. I haven't had a chance to check it out yet but the earlier ones have been worthwhile. It's published by Lulu so if you want copies of my books feel free to get both and save on shipping. I've pretty much stopped stocking them myself, so if you want a copy that's the place to get one.

Speaking of which, I'm about due to decide if I'm going to do another one. People like them, and they're not a huge amount of work since they're basically "this is what Doug did over the last year" but there's some work involved and I have to think of a title and so forth. Step one is basically to make a list of every shoot I've done since the last one and see if I have enough material or not, then I have to collect up the images and two more for front and back covers. Then a title, and run everything through Photoshop to size the images and put the title on the cover and that kind of thing. Then arrange it in order in Word and write any text. People are always nagging me for more biographical information so I guess I could revisit that and maybe shoot a new self portrait (bah!). Then upload it all, order a copy, make sure it's OK, then order a bunch of copies to sell. It's tiring just thinking about it!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Rita Moreno

76 years old and she gives a great commencement address.

Bombs away!

My female friends tell me that not only are these the perfect gift, they will get you laid. And remember, many of my female friends are professional models...

(It's a friend's store - she's nice, if you know somebody who would like one help her out!)

Oh, and also, don't forget the cutoff for print orders is Sunday the 18th (tomorrow as I write this) at noon Pacific Time. If it comes in after that, I'm ignoring it until my hiatus ends in mid June and you'll get your prints then.

Friday, May 16, 2008

New Pictures: Fierce

Here's the clothed set with Fierce, as promised. That's it for model shoots for a bit, but I have a lot of pictures I've taken but not had a chance to do anything with (baby seals!) so if you want to see some of my non-nude photography stay tuned.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Three years!

I'm not sure of the exact day, but three years ago this month I quit my day job. Amazing how time flies.


That's Zinn, just because.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Cyanotypes!

So I spent yesterday and a day last week making cyanotypes. Not only are they involved to make, but then you have to let them dry a day, and then press them flat for a couple of days, and then photograph them, and only then can you list them. So by then all of my auctions will be over. That's the way of things sometimes around here - things happen in a funny order because sometimes I have to leap on a task when it's possible to do it (like the humidity is right) and not at the ideal time.

I'll probably put a few in the eBay store and keep some in reserve for when I start listing auction items again. I should altogether be able to at least double the number on hand available for sale, although you can use the shopping cart to order a cyanotype of any image on the website (although given my hiatus you won't get it until late June).

That one over there isn't a new one - it's just an image I had handy.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Blog updates

I'm playing with the template in at attempt to integrate the blog a little better into the rest of the site, both in terms of the color schemes and navigational stuff. I'm uploading it periodically and testing with different browsers. If something breaks badly, give it a few minutes and reload. If that doesn't work feel free to drop me a note or comment on this post and mention which browser and platform you're using.

Stage two will be to update the links like model blogs and so forth, but so far I've just pruned dead ones and won't add any until the framework settles down a bit.

Update: It seems to be working ok on a couple of different browsers. Ironically I discovered that IE is rendering the main pages a little oddly (they're left justified instead of centered) compared to how Firefox and Safari do it. Maybe it's a question of different defaults, I don't know - I'll have to look at the CSS at some point and see if I can figure it out. The blog is the same on all browsers and the CSS is very similar so go figure.

I'll start beefing up the links and things when I have some free time. If you're a model I've worked with and have a website or blog and would like a link drop me a note - I'll try to track them all down at some point but if people send me stuff I'll add them as they come in.

This burst of activity is largely due to the fact that I've been making cyanotypes all day and I keep having little 10 minute chunks of time while I'm waiting for something to soak or be exposed but I've been meaning to do it for a while. When I redid the color scheme for the main site I found that people stayed longer - I think the all black background is kind of hard on the eyes, and I made a lot of navigation things more obvious. So it's good to update the blog to basically match - it should be easier to read, and while it's not perfect at least the navigation bar on the bottom of the page does let you bounce around the important pages on the site without it looking too weird.

Cool little hard drive

That's Jade in an older shoot.

I needed to get a small hard drive for travel - I already have a NexTo which has a card reader and a hard drive and a button and just slurps up picture data, but doing any kind of extended wildlife or travel work backups become an issue. I also wanted something I could use to backup my laptop. I've been using Western Digital USB drives (I have four of their 1TB drives) so I got a 320GB Passport drive.

It's cool - it gets all of its power from the USB (some older laptops don't supply enough power and you have to buy a special cable to pull from two but even my cheap one is fine). And it's tiny - it's bigger than an iPod but smaller than a paperback. You could put it in a shirt pocket but it might stick out a bit. Because of the way it's powered you don't have to carry any kind of a transformer around so it really does take up basically zero space since it's so thin you can just slip it in someplace in any kind of a bag.

It's not blindingly fast but it's fine - copying from one USB drive to the other it copies 1GB/minute so backing up a few gigs of picture data a day is no big deal. I suspect the drive itself isn't the bottleneck in that situation but I haven't done any kind of timing tests moving data from the laptop. And even flipping through 12MB picture files is less than a second each which is fast enough to start the picture editing process while traveling - I can tag the good ones and maybe just back up the keepers to my laptop which doesn't have a whole lot of storage but will give a third (yes third) copy of the keepers.

Anyway, if you travel with a laptop and do something that generates important data (in my case, pictures) it's kind of silly to spend weeks without backing it up, and for 40 cents per gig it's pretty cheap insurance. And I'm enough of a geek and old enough that the whole idea of something that small holding so much just makes me smile.

And speaking of customer service I got mine at Amazon and they dropped the price $7 a couple of days after I bought it so I sent them a two line email mentioning that and their price protection policy and they refunded me the difference. If people don't know - if the price of something on Amazon drops within 30 days after they ship they'll refund the difference but you have to ask - find the contact customer service button and they just need the order # and the price you saw and mention something about price protection and you would like the difference refunded and they'll do it a few hours later. I don't bother if a book drops 13 cents, but for computer stuff it's nice to take a moment once a month and see if anything you bought recently is cheaper - I probably don't do this as often as I should but I've done it three times and saved about $50.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Kelp!

I've had a long series of successful shoots with no problems, and most of the people you see on these pages are really quite nice (art models are some of the coolest people you'll ever meet), but you do run into the occasional wanna-be model who manages to do something no model has done before in the 200 successful shoots prior to her.

Today's shoot didn't happen and unfortunately it was the last scheduled shoot before my hiatus, so once I upload the clothed set I did with Fierce that's it. The good news is that the half dozen models I'd put off (who would have loved to have had todays time slot) should help me get the ball rolling pretty fast when I start up again.

Update: For those who asked - basically what happened is that she apparently feels that selling art is evil or something and won't sign a release that allows print sales. I feel like the starving artist thing is literal enough already without doing freebie portrait shoots for beginning models which is what the shoot would have become. This would have been her first studio shoot so I was taking a chance on her as it was.

Now how a woman chose to shoot for a stranger, going over to his house alone and nude, and didn't pay enough attention to his website or modeling website profile to realize that he sells prints, or when I was chatting about print sales and portrait work (where people pay me hundreds of dollars to take their picture) on the drive over that maybe she might fit into one of those categories. Very odd and I really have no explanation for it.

Speaking of which, if anybody reading this doesn't know I sell prints... I sell prints! There are "add to cart" buttons below every picture on the website. Press them early and often!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

eBay note


I've stopped listing new stuff - auction items will have a few days left, so check it out if you're so inclined. I'll start up again in early June.

That's Mouse with Alcatraz in the background.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Print Order Issues


OK, I have some dates for my annual hiatus. I'm officially going to say that anything ordered after May 18th at noon PST will most likely not be processed until June 16th (plus or minus a day or two). You can order if it's convenient, I just won't pay any attention to it until then. As a bonus any orders that come in between today and June 16th of $100 or over (including shipping) I'll do something nice - details up to me. Might be a free print, might be something else, you'll just have to find out.

That's the adorable Kamarose.

Mouse on Mouse

Mouse has an interesting article on the shoot we did on her blog. (Speaking of which, I really need to sit down and add more model blogs to my sidebar - it was originally an on request kind of thing and then I just got lazy and at some point I had to roll back my template and I think I lost one or two at that point. Bah.)

Anyway, if you're interested in a model's perspective on a shoot like that take a look.

Also, if you're a local photographer and you don't work with her you're a moron. And she's going on some kind of national summer tour so even if you're not local you should check her out. MM# 114261 for those of you that know what that means.

Friday, May 09, 2008

OSH Sucks Harder

If you haven't read it already - check out this earlier post or just take it as read that somebody at OSH was rude to me and I dropped a quick note about it on their website.

The good news? A "George" at OSH - that's Orchard Supply Hardware, which is basically supposed to be Home Depot with better service (ha!) - called me and left a message. The bad news? He didn't provide his last name, anything about if he was with the store or district or corporate... and he didn't leave a return phone number! That's a great trick - you can tell your boss "Well, I called that upset customer back and he never returned my call so he can't care very much, can he?" I guess I could call the store and either hope he's at that location or that they can guess who he is, but given the customer service levels received so far I'm not sure I want to bother with that. Especially since I'm not fishing for a free pound of nails or something; I just thought somebody should know.

Seriously, I can be abused at Home Depot and pay less, or I can go check out that little hardware store down the street I've been meaning to check out.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

New Pictures: City Mouse

A day earlier than planned, here's the new set with Mouse running all around the city.

So for those who don't totally know the area, the locations are...
  • Treasure Island (half way across the bay bridge)
  • Corner of Haight and Ashbury
  • In front of City Hall
  • At the base of Lombard Street
  • On the Fishing Pier with assorted landmarks in background including Alcatraz
  • On the Golden Gate Bridge itself
  • At Fort Point with the bridge in the background
I've also enclosed more scenic shots than normal, so if you see a shot or two with no model, that's why.

There are some other obvious tourism shots to take - perhaps someday I'll go take those as well.

Based on the teaser shots I put up right after the shoot I got some comments to the effect of "how did you do that in such public places". Basically you just work really fast - you can be nude pretty much anywhere for 30 seconds and do it safely. In some cases it's actually less public than it looks (there's something out of the frame in between us and any people). It is important to have enough experience to get something cool in that little time, but remember that you can always do test runs clothed, look at the back of the camera, and only when you're 100% sure you both know what you want do you actually have to go for it.

This is actually less out of any legal concerns than just not wanting to be rude to passerby, although it was unavoidable to be noticed by the tourists at the base of Lombard Street taking the same picture as us. Luckily they were all amused and saw it as a San Francisco moment.

Bad customer service aka OSH Sucks

So this is weird - I usually buy home improvement/gardening type stuff at OSH. I'm not sure if it's a regional or national chain or what but basically it's like Home Depot or Lowes or any of these guys but not quite as big and usually better service. Basically if you're willing to pay a little extra to not wait in line so much and have good service it's worth it, otherwise off to Home Depot. I'll go to one sometimes, especially if I'm already in the area and just want one or two things.

The details of the story aren't that interesting - suffice to say after a long wait as they tried to deal with the incomprehensible concept of an item that the computer didn't recognize and the guy who could provide the necessary SKU insisting on coming out and trying it himself several times as we waited he finally provided the code and as he was leaving made a really snotty remark about us. You know, because it was our fault that the item wasn't in the database or that the process took so long.

Well, I asked to talk to a manager and what I found interesting was that he wouldn't apologize. He said some things like "it's an employee issue and I'll deal with it" but never "I'm sorry" or "that shouldn't have happened" or "how rude!". After it became clear I wasn't getting anywhere I said I was going to contact corporate and he said two interesting things - one was that it would just come back to him to deal with (aka that there was no point in going over his head because it was his decision - which is interesting because he was just an assistant manager) and then later he kind of sighed and said something like "somebody might call you and then you'll get your compensation." Like I was fishing for coupons or something. Which I wasn't - I hadn't asked for anything and if they call I'll refuse it because I don't even want the appearance that this is motivated by me wanting free stuff.

But I think that's very revealing - like he couldn't imagine somebody actually said something offensive enough that I'd want to make sure a manager knew about it - that in his mind the only motivator could be that I was looking for coupons or a discount or something. (I'm not even sure what it would be - "I'll go away if you give me a pound of nails?" It's not like if you complain at Ben and Jerries and pretty much they're going to give you some ice cream.) I'm not sure if that says more about him or about your average customer these days, but it's interesting.

Anyway, I thought the whole thing was rather odd. And at Home Depot I probably would have shrugged and figured the clerk was having a bad day and never talked to the manger, but at the places whose selling point is good customer service, who needs it? If I'm going to be abused I can do that at Home Depot like everybody else.

But getting back to the compensation thing - I bet it's a lot easier to complain on the corporate website than it used to be. Hit contact us, complain, get some free goodies. You could hit Ben and Jerries, some fast food places, whatever. I bet they'd send you some coupons good for free food or whatever. I wonder if people actually do that - once a week make up a new fake name and story and go fishing. There's probably even a book in it "How I got 52 free pints of ice cream in a year". Or you could have a blog dedicated to it, and people could share tips about particularly generous companies.

OK, I Googled it, and sure enough there's at least one page on how to do it. Sigh.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Spam Spam Spam Phish!

Just got this in my model contact email. Isn't this awful? If anybody doesn't know, if you got a direct deposit refund they'll just use that same information, and if you sent them money they'll just send back a check. They don't email you asking for this kind of thing.

My favorite bit is at the end - explaining why it might be in your spam folder. Um, because it's spam?

Over 130 million Americans will receive refunds as
part of President Bush program to jumpstart the economy.

Our records indicate that you are qualified to receive the
2008 Economic Stimulus Refund.

The fastest and easiest way to receive your refund is by
direct deposit to your checking/savings account.

Please follow the link and fill out the form and submit
before May 10th, 2008 to ensure that your refund will be
processed as soon as possible.

Submitting your form on May 10th, 2008 or later means that
your refund will be delayed due to the volume of requests we
anticipate for the Economic Stimulus Refund.

To access Economic Stimulus Refund, please (Phishing link removed!)




NOTE: If you received this message in you SPAM/BULK folder, that
is because of the large amount of e-mails we are sending out
or because of the restrictions implemented by your ISP.

© Copyright 2008, Internal Revenue Service U.S.A. All rights reserved.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Post Shoot Notes: Fierce


I had a chance to shoot Fierce today which is wonderful - she's a great model and a lot of fun. I've actually worked with her before doing nudes but this was more of a fun dress-up shoot.

This is the first frame of the shoot and one of the last ones - as always I just grab some stuff from the thumbnails to do the blog post.

So the schedule for the edited shots going on the website is Mouse outdoors on Friday, then Fierce the Friday after that, and then hopefully a nude shoot after that but we'll see.

Little updates

If you see Iron Man, wait until after the credits before leaving - there is an interesting bit at the end. Good movie, by the way, I was a bit concerned from some of the reviews but I think the local reviewer was just projecting his own politics onto some of the somewhat vague politics in the movie.

I'm listing a lot more items than usual on eBay. There's a couple of reasons for this - their new fee structure pushes fees off of listings and onto successfully completed auctions, so there's a lot less incentive to keep the percentage of items that actually sell high. But it's also a bit of an experiment - I'm going to be going on hiatus in a bit anyway, so it's kind of a blowout to see if it actually increases sales. My feeling so far is that it's about a wash - part of the point of auction format is that there's this notion of scarcity - that you have to get it now. And if you're listing 150 items a week like one of my competitors, well, what's the rush? I haven't decided yet what strategy I'll use when I resume listing. Maybe I'll just go totally nuts and flood the market!

So speaking of the hiatus, it's about that time. Every year everything kind of stops for a couple of weeks, usually around late May. I haven't figured out the exact dates yet but I'll probably only be listing new eBay items until around the end of the week, then let people pay for things and ship them off. I'll probably resume around a week into June, with auctions ending around June 10th (ish). Likewise you'll still be able to make orders on this website, but I'll stop sending new items to the lab around May 20th (ish) and resuming around June 10th. I'll post a more formal announcement at some point but I thought blog readers would like a heads up.

The next price increase will be around mid August or early September. I basically know where I want to be by new year's and it's just a question of how many little sub-increases I'm going to break it up into. I really should have started this earlier so the whole schedule is kind of compressed but there's nothing for it now. I probably won't post exact dates and numbers until mid July.

Friday, May 02, 2008

New Pictures: Lisa


The new pictures of Lisa are up! That means Mouse Outdoors a week from today (the 9th). I do have some more shoots scheduled but probably just a couple more sets and then I'm going to be on hiatus for a bit.

I feel like I should explain the foot picture. Basically I was challenged to take a tasteful picture of the soles of a woman's feet. I kind of laughed it off and was mentioning it to Lisa and we both decided, what the heck, why not? It's actually a very cool shot in larger images or print form partially because you can see all the little toeprint lines - I'm not sure how much that comes through in this size.
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