Saturday, January 21, 2012

Leading Microstock Sites

Wouldn't it be nice if you could somehow rake in a cool passive income from your holiday photos? Well actually you can do just that by signing up for a microstock site! Microstock sites essentially connects small time or amateur photographers willing to sell their photos to publishing houses willing to buy them.
From the seller's perspective, the biggest advantage of using a microstock agency is that they seldom claim exclusive rights to your photos meaning the same photo can be sold over and over again. From the buyer's perspective also, microstock is often preferred over regular stock photos because they are a lot cheaper (often costing less than $1 per photo).
Following is a list of some of the most popular microstock sites available to international citizens.


A subsidiary of Getty Images, iStockphoto is the oldest and probably the largest (profit wise) microstock agency. A very stringent quality control policy ensures that only the best photos get approved and it is very difficult to become a contributing photographer for them. However, they also provide industry leading contributor compensation schemes making sure their photographers can enjoy a steady and substantial income.
Apart from photos iStockphoto also accepts vectors and video clips.


Another major player in the microstock industry is Shutterstock. Unlike most other microstock agencies Shutterstock operates on a subscription basis, which means instead of single photos, large publishing houses buys hundreds of photos from them at a bulk rate. This in turn ensures their photographers have a greater chance of selling a large number of photos in a short period of time, generating a sizable income. Reportedly,some contributing photographers are earning as much as $10,000 a month from Shutterstock alone.
Another great feature of Shutterstock is their support forum which contains lots of interesting discussions and tips and tricks from some of the industry leaders and is a treasure trove of information for any budding photographer.
Shutterstock is always on the look out for editorial photos and can even provide you backstage passes if you are willing to cover any newsworthy event in your locality.


Dreamstime is a much smaller microstock site, but still a lot of people are making hundreds of dollars with them every month. An unique feature of Dreamstime is that they offer critical reviews of the photos they have rejected, giving the photographer a chance to either plead his case or make the necessary adjustments and resubmit the photos.
Dreamstime also allows the selling of exclusive rights at a recommended price of $350 (negotiable).


A subsidiary of Shutterstock, Bigstockphotos have well over 3 million photos on their database. Their editorial team is a lot more lenient making it a good place to start for beginners. Unfortunately, however, at present it is rather difficult to generate any sort of revenue with Bigstockphotos.

A few other well known and reliable microstock sites include Fotolia, Crestock and Canstock Photo.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

C++ Tips and Tricks for Beginners

I am learning a bit of C++ as part of my Engineering curriculum and I am picking up a few interesting tricks along the way and I thought I'd share them with other new learners of C++ hear today. This article is not meant for the pros but you are welcome to read through anyone and I hope you will be kind enough to point out any mistakes I have committed. So here goes:

Tip 1: Use Parenthesis and Logical Operators Whenever in Doubt
It is a rather common mistake to think that the computer is your maths teacher because it can interpret your mathematical expression in an entirely different manner. For example, suppose you want to accept a value and find out if it's between 500 and 1000 (ie. 500<x<1000). But you use a if loop like
The computer will always evaluate it as TRUE. Why? Because it evaluates the function from left to right and because < is a binary operator the evaluation is in fact (500<x)<1000.
Now, 500<x is either 0 (false) or 1 (true) but in either case it is <1000. So the if loop always evaluates as TRUE.

Tip 2: Use Do-While Loop to Your Advantage
The main difference between the do-while loop and other common loops like the for loop or the while loop is that the checking is done at the end of the loop rather than at the beginning. Which means, no matter what the loop will evaluate AT LEAST ONCE. You can use this to your advantage in more ways than you may think and make your program more convenient to write and also create a few nice tricks. Here is a very easy trick you can perform with the while loop:
int main()
define your variables
int rerun;
write your statements
cout<<"Enter 1 to try again"<<endl;

Tip 3: Evaluate Functional Value While Using Non Linear Equation Solving Algorithm
If you are using computer programs for non linear equations solving by methods such as Regula Falsi, Bisection and Newton Ralphston, then keep in mind that the programs have a tendency of returning false roots, ie, values at which the functional value is not sufficiently close zero. So, it is best to CHECK if your functional value is actually zero before returning the answer.

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