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Where Will A.net Be In 2010?

Tue Dec 16, 2003 5:22 am

Fellow a.net photographers,

what you guys think. Overall a pretty easy question, but if you dig a little deeper challenging..........

I am not among those who have been here since the first shots were accepted about 5 years, but I have been here for quite a while.

I have seen a lot of changes and improvements taking place during that time.
A lot of photographers have joined and some other left for reasons I don't want to go into.

Initially pretty much everything was accepted, crooked horizon pictures, not centered, grainy, overall too dark or too much contrast, or whatever.
Back then bad motiv was hardly an issue.

I am sure that any art director would glady accept any rejections of let's say the TOP 50 photographers on a.net.

About 3 years ago, Digital SLR became more affordable for the general public, new slide scanners were introduced, thus standards have risen quite a bit.

A.net is certainly one of the best, maybe even the best aviation site on the internet, but I have that feeling that these shots which are a.net are famous for would not be accepted under todays standards.

People come here for various reasons,

The aviation enthusiats who just likes to browse casually thru the shots.
......there is the serious aviation enthusiats, who is looking for certain regs, color schemes etc.
.....there are students who are looking for pictures to spice up their presentations for a school project.
.....there are companies who are looking for freebies and others simply steal the images off a.net
.....there are commercial companies who are willing to pay for what they get and value the excellent quality.

Different reasons, but they have one thing in common. The interest in aviation and looking for that special shot.

Special shot could be a 50mm side on ramp shot, a 747 during a heavy touchdown, landing in heavy, close up of a 747 engine, stunning scenery, some even come here to check out the gallies or even the toilets.

Aviation is a very broad field and sometimes it seems to me that a.net does not want to open up to expand. (Let's leave the book hotel feature etc aside)

I am sure that any art director would glady accept any rejections of let's say the TOP 50 photographers on a.net.

I am just thinking about Mark Garfinkel and the great work of a photojournalist.
I miss those awesome moon shots, or the endless RWY 22R line ups
Rudy Chiarello another great photographer from Boston...where did these guys go??????

I am soley talking about photos.

A.net has come a long way and all those photographers, who have invested time, money have made a.net to what it is right now. Number 1.
Sure thing the guys in the background have added their share too, no doubt. But without those hundreds of photographes.....well no photographers no photos.

Where will a.net be in a couple of years from now.

Online stock agency?
Just a photo database?
Online travel agency?

You tell me..............

Vasco Garcia
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RE: Where Will A.net Be In 2010?

Tue Dec 16, 2003 5:40 am

Very interesting Vasco...I agree fully with your sentiments about the current state of a.net...as for the future...Im no psychic so I cant really make an accurate speculation....only time will tell!

Chief A.net college football stadium self-pic guru
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RE: Where Will A.net Be In 2010?

Tue Dec 16, 2003 5:50 am

I think there will be less and less photographers on here, I think it will be virtually impossible for a no-name photographer to get photos accepted.

(Notice, that trend is already happening)

Don't think I am bitter, I have two photos on here fomr a few years ago, I have only submitted one picture in the past few years, I don't really bother here. I look at it this way, most of my photos are different from all other aviation photographs, A.net doesn't want them, somewhere else will A.net's loss.
Go big or go home
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RE: Where Will A.net Be In 2010?

Tue Dec 16, 2003 6:04 am

Another good reflection thread.

I dont see A.net moving into the direction of an online agency. A very recent thread suggested a move into that direction, which was supported by a lot of photographers, including me, but there wasnt even a reaction from the side of A.net. And that while we were making extremely valid suggestions.

On the subject of DSLRs becoming more and more available to other users: I think special, well known (the top 50 you refer to)
photographers have to come up with special pics to stay in the top 50 region. Extreme close ups that were special a year ago are now possible for everyone to take. Just as the "Air to Air" shots were special a year ago, we now need to look for other special kinds of pics.

I am sure that sooner or later some photographer will find that special "niche"

I dont know where A.net will be in 2010, all I know is that I will have continued my hobby and I hope that I will have gotten better by that time. But, like Greg says, only time will tell.

Wietse de Graaf
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RE: Where Will A.net Be In 2010?

Tue Dec 16, 2003 7:04 am

photographers have to come up with special pics to stay in the top 50 region

As long as people continue shooting good sideshots they'll have no problem staying in my top 50 Big grin

Seriously, I think it's hard to predict where A.net will be in a couple of years, or for that matter what our hobby in general will look like. Just think of where we were 6 years ago, no digital, hell not even A.net am I right Smile.
In 6 years so much can happen, not only in terms of technology, but also military-politically: who knows how repressive some goverments might get in the future.......

I do know A.net has made the hobby more interesting for me, as has the internet in general. Many people I consider friends now I wouldn't have met if it wasn't for this site. I can only hope it will keep making this hobby a more positive and rewarding experience for everyone.

Alderman Exit
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RE: Where Will A.net Be In 2010?

Tue Dec 16, 2003 7:13 am

Where Will A.net Be In 2010?


Posts: 1978
Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2001 2:12 pm

RE: Where Will A.net Be In 2010?

Tue Dec 16, 2003 8:28 am

I think that anet as an "institution" needs to set some direction for itself. As was mentioned in "the other thread"---what does the site want to be? (pardon me for repeating Vasco's comments..)
-a database of every airplane built
-a stock agency
-just a photo gallery

Only the powers that be can decide...

I disagree with AA61 above...I certainly don't think of myself as a "name" photographer, yet my sucess rate is very high with over 800 photos in the database in the past couple of years. I have the advantage of being able to afford good equipment and I like to think I take the time to upload quality images. But that is something that just about anyone can do.

As for "different" images..again, the admin needs to figure out where this site wants to go and do we want to look at (I hate the term, but..) "artsy" images. There are already many of these posted, but it is a grey area that I don't think the screeners are even totally comfortable with.

I hope that Johan understands that this is not a bashing session...those of us who owe much to this site just want it to grow and become better. But to grow it needs guidance.

Cheers, Tony
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RE: Where Will A.net Be In 2010?

Tue Dec 16, 2003 9:35 am

(personal view, not inside view)

I would think that there are bigger issues facing sites like this than photo standards and content right now. In fact, on the subject of photo standards, its obvious airliners.net has come along way in the last few years, and I have no doubt that the standards will increase in future as technology make better imagery available. However, that isn't for now - we've had an amazing period of stability of standards (as far as I can work out they certainly haven't been ramped up in the last year or so) and there's nothing on the immediate horizon that indicates another step up in the near future. A few photographers will come and a few will go, but volume of contribution surely isn't a concern right now - there are more submissions than ever and new photographers are breaking into the database all the time.

Now, returning to where in 2010? Well, as we all know the Internet model has and is changing fundamentally. What was free now has to be paid for, and I'd imagine that the biggest challenge for any site like this over the next few years will be continuing to fund the operation of the site. My concern is not over standards and content, but over longevity - will the site still be here in one, two or seven years? Many other previously well known sites providing other services have disappeared. Disk space, servers, and more particularly these days bandwidth cost money, and that has to come from somewhere. Maybe we photographers will be obliged to pay for a site like this hosting our images in future - webspace isn't going to be free where ever it comes from! Maybe we'll be contributing by way of commission on photo sales? Maybe the site's processes will have to change to accommodate the need to generate more revenue? The way I see it, sites that do not have a reliable (i.e. non-ad generated) revenue stream will in time become at risk. To survive, major sites will need either a wealthy benefactor or a reliable source of income, and I believe that there will come a point where the current funding arrangements (with effectively some forum members to some degree or other presumably supporting the photo database) won't be sustainable. What then?

If (and I'm not saying that I know, because I don't) at some point photographers are required to pay for sites like this in one way or another, some will leave - the non-serious ones. But nothing's going to be for free in the end, well nothing of any major substance anyway - photographers will sooner or later end up paying where ever they put their work (internet, agency, you name it), either through membership fees, contribution fees, operating fees or commission on sales. Like I say, maybe if a move towards generating more revenue is required, changes in policy and process will be needed to support it? Who knows?

Most important thing for now though, for me, is not concern about what will or won't be on the site in seven years time, but will the site be here in seven years time? I hope so. And I suspect we're all going to have to contribute in one way or another to make that happen.

There are old pilots and there are bold pilots, but there are no old bold pilots
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RE: Where Will A.net Be In 2010?

Tue Dec 16, 2003 10:32 am

I would be inclined to agree with Andy regarding revenue generation - the question is which way this should be done - by subscription or sales? Either way has its pitfalls. To market the photography more agressively, would, I think require refining the way the site works - no doubt to the dislike of non-photographing members.

To increase revenue by subscription would require support of additional features for non-photographers, possibly driving some photographers to more specialised sites.

Perhaps there is a third way. It may be A.net is too big, and will need to fragment into a number of services (is my.aviation an example?).

And of course there is the competition. If A.net charges photographers (and I'm not saying this is wrong), well there are other sites which already operate this model (though not so subject specialised) and photographers may find that A.net uncompetitive.

Finally, there is the matter of how this site is run - while many people contribute, it does seem to me that the site lives or dies according to Johan's direction, and his ability to secure resources at Lund. Perhaps the question is where does Johan see himself in 6 years - is this site of sufficient interest (and lets be practical, does it generate sufficient income) to keep Johan's involvement ... and if not, what then?

As in most things, perhaps we should hope for the best and prepare for the worst. For all I know, the hosting organisation could pull the plug on A.net tomorrow - I have no idea whether A.net would survive this.


Colin K. Work, Pixstel
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RE: Where Will A.net Be In 2010?

Tue Dec 16, 2003 10:48 am

I've had a life long interest in aviation. My Dad worked for Delta in ATL for over 30 years. I was raised directly under the traffic pattern for Hartsfield. I was spotting planes in the late 60's and early 70's as a child with a pad of paper and counting Piedmont, Southern, Eastern, and Delta aircraft from my spot in the front lawn. My photography passion was always limited to landscapes and wildlife images, of which I have thousands. It never occurred to me to combine the two interests until about a year ago when I found this site. I about freaked out! My job transfer here to Dallas in 2000 landed me about one mile from the South end of 18R/36L at DFW into a nice apartment. And of course you know the rest of the story...

I admire A.net's astute professionalism. Although at times I am pulling my hair out over rejections that I consider some of best work, I understand that screening is a subjective process that must work for all contributors alike. The lingering question is well timed with this thread. So what's next? I am literally running out of options at my home airport as far as aircraft, angles, lighting, etc. My only other option is to travel, which I plan to do extensively in 2004. The "artsy fartsy" issue has been raised before, but does some seem like a natural progression for this site. Digital cameras are flooding the market place as we speak, just wait until after Christmas!

I think with the constant changing of the aviation industry, quality images of aircraft will not be lacking. There is much exciting stuff in the pipeline for us to look forward to. I am constantly amazed at some of the creativity and imagination that goes into the shots I see here daily. It's getting better all the time.

I think all of you who have a passion for this unusual hobby will continue to do what you do at locations around the globe. A.net will evolve in a positive way because of this. Technology will change, equipment will improve, and so will the quality of our work. I plan to be around to watch the events unfold.

Ryan U

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RE: Where Will A.net Be In 2010?

Tue Dec 16, 2003 2:01 pm

HUH??? Ryan "10D" Umphrey has a problem with rejections???

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Ryan C. Umphrey

I thought you'd have like a 1% rejection rate. All your shots are great! I only wish I lived near an airport like DFW. I hope to start a new job soon somewhere so I will have more of a chance to shoot more.

BTW, if you get tired of the DFW angles then head downtown and grab some "LUV".... some different angles, rotations & touchdowns over at Herb's place errrr,, Love Field.

Bruce Leibowitz - Jackson, MS (KJAN) - Canon 50D/100-400L IS lens
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RE: Where Will A.net Be In 2010?

Wed Dec 17, 2003 11:15 am

Bruce, yeah right  Smile/happy/getting dizzy Thanks for the plug. I get badmotive/badcentered/badlevel just like everybody else, in fact a BUNCH of them lately. My acceptance rate here is 86.25% and dropping like a rock...

Made the LUV trip a few times but need to make more of an effort about being patient down there. Southwest is, dare I say it? - - - not as exciting as Triple 7's for me. Besides, I'm working on a project to get all 45 of the AA T7's. Much work to do with about 24 left.

Making the trip to ATL again next week. Did the Thanksgiving trip but screwed up my camera settings and almost all images were crappy. Totally my fault. Blew Air Jamaica, Air France, South African, and others with poor choice of metering and trying to experiment when I should have stuck with what works. Lesson learned. Won't happen again.

Come on over to DFW and I'll hook you up with the hot spots, besides, I need someone else to help me take the heat from police and security, whom I'm getting to know quite well. I'm at the point of carrying around oversize prints to offer as bribes!

Ryan U

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RE: Where Will A.net Be In 2010?

Wed Dec 17, 2003 12:30 pm

Ryan...the prints as "gifts" can open many doors.  Smile
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RE: Where Will A.net Be In 2010?

Thu Dec 18, 2003 2:12 pm

I was at LUV once and did the same thing you did......I screwed up the settings add to that the fact that it was frigid that day (well, whatever qualifies at "frigid" for Texans anyway!) and my hands probably shook a little. i had a jacket - but DUH it was in the hotel room down in HOUSTON. It was warm and mild at IAH and I drove up to Dallas only to find it was cold.......

Bruce Leibowitz - Jackson, MS (KJAN) - Canon 50D/100-400L IS lens
Tommy Mogren
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RE: Where Will A.net Be In 2010?

Thu Dec 18, 2003 4:58 pm

Very interesting original thread from Vasco.

I would like to hear Johan's opinion on this!

The silence is scary....  Sleepy

Johan, where is this site heading ?
What's your long term goal ?

Online stock agency?
Just a photo database?
Online travel agency?

Tommy Mogren
Flightdeck Action - Cockpit Videos on Blu-ray and DVD - Flights In The Cockpit- You're Invited!
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RE: Where Will A.net Be In 2010?

Thu Dec 18, 2003 5:06 pm

Well of course the goal is to provide a nice income for the Lundgrens and a vacation house in the south of France! LOL

But seriously, my guess would be to make airliners.net the "center" of online aviation...and everything that goes with it. It would not surprise me if one day there is a video database along with the photo database. I'm sure BigPhil would love that!  Big grin
Bruce Leibowitz - Jackson, MS (KJAN) - Canon 50D/100-400L IS lens

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