I've wanted to do a number of things for a while now, so I've taken time off from flickr. I'll be back up to comment soon, but I won't be commenting on a daily basis as I used to do 'back in the day'.
I've really had an urge to sell my photos online. I'm not a great photographer, but I completed a course in desktop publishing ten years ago, and became fairly proficient at PhotoShop, Illustrator and Quark Xpress. My PhotoShop skills have allowed me to turn horrid/so-so images into passable artwork.
PhotoShop Elements 5 has been my weapon of choice for several years now. A few months ago, I bought three Topaz add-ons that allow me to do everything from create HDRs to remove JPEG artifacts. Saw Topaz on the 'Scout' page. Here's what Topaz can do.
I've since added PhotoShop CS4, Adobe Lightroom, Tiffen (a good filter software), and Plugin Galaxy. I'll probably add Adobe Illustrator, too.
I'm thinking of proceeding as follows:
1. Re-post-process about 3000-5000 of the images already on my flickr photostream. I have a lot of travel shots.
2. Re-post refurbished images to Flickr.
3. Upload images directly from Flickr to Imagekind. Thanks to Jennifer Artman for unknowingly making me aware of Imagekind, which is a subscription-based service through which people sell images for use in everything from 'mug-art' to 'wall-art'.
4. Create several blogs to push business to my various photostreams.
5. Set up bookmarks in such social bookmarking sites as del.icio.us and technorati, such that the bookmarks drive interested people to my photostreams.
6. Set up pages in numerous social networking sites. I'm already a member of both Facebook and MySpace. Since a gazillion of my family members and personal friends are using these two sites, I can use these sites to let people know when I've posted new images. I'm also looking at other sites like MyStuff, Diigo, Faves.com., SocialMarker.com, Gather.com, Grouply, Sitebar, Gather, Digg, Furl, Simpy, StumbleUpon, I Like It, etc.
There are several sites that are similar to Flickr and Imagekind (Zoomr comes to mind)...but one thing at a time.
Why am I doing this? I've mentioned a number of times that I work part-time at a store in the retail chain called RONA, which is a Canadian competitor to Home Depot and Lowes. Over the past several months the renovation business has dried up as a direct result of the global recession currently taking place; thus, part-time hours are shrivelling. Also, my retirement savings have taken a hit. All this is not a major panic, since I will not be making significant withdrawals of these funds for another two or three years. What the shrinkage does mean is that Karen and I will not be taking major trips as we did over the past few years...unless I beef up sources of active and passive income. Also, it's best that I pick up income from home-based activities that will allow me the flexibility to spend time with my daughters and their children (there's one more grandchild due in July). Regular jobs are neither plentiful nor desirable these days.
Once I get the several thousand 'art' images posted, I might take a shot at stock photo shooting.
I'm not being naive here. I realize that there will be a lot of hard work and marketing, but time is one commodity I have lots of right now, and I've pulled off some neat stuff at other times during my life.
I still need to complete the research and story of my Uncle Bill Watson's life, as recounted through his letters home during World War II. And I'll be marking grade 10 literacy tests for EQAO, which is is the skills testing arm for Ontario's Ministry of Education.
I'll let you know how it goes