Friday, June 20, 2008

The Most Common Reason for Rejection from iStock...for me

It is sometimes frustrating submitting photos to iStock. So far, my acceptable rate there is only slightly over 50%.

The most common reason for rejections? Here it is:

This file contains artifacting when viewed at full size. This technical issue is commonly created by the quality settings in-camera, in post-processing or in RAWsettings. Artifacting may be the result of other factors such as excessive level adjustments.

It has become some kind of mystery for me how they actually 'see' the artifacting, and they never tell which part of your photo has artifacts. It is like you know you have an enemy somewhere, but you don't know where they are. Frustrating.

Luckily iStock has the lowest resolution requirement. Whenever I have such a rejection, I would just downsize and resumbit. However, I still want to know how exactly they view 'artifact'.

I view my photos at 100% in Photoshop, everything looks fine. Submit the same photo to other agencies which have much higher resolution requirements and accepted but rejected by iStock for artifacts. How could that be?

Thursday, June 19, 2008

3Ds and 1I

D for discipline;
D for determination;
D for decisiveness;

I for independence.

These should be my mottos. I need discipline, determination, decisiveness & be independent from anybody. That's what K Su taught me. Now it is a good time to put those principles into practice.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Which one?

Took two photos of the same person but at different moments. Which one do you think is better? I personally like the second photo more, but then the sales at Shutterstock seem to say otherwise.
What do you think?

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Personal Trainer

I have been looking around for a personal trainer these few days. At first, I thought I must first get a gym member before I can engage a personal trainer, but then it turned out it is not the case. There are quite a lot of freelance personal trainers available for hire, and the training location can be anywhere, from SSC clubfit gyms to condo gym, even to your own home.

The charge for personal trainer also varies. The lowest can be as low as around S$38 per session (I think one session is 1 hour), to as high as more than S$100 per session. The services provided are similar but still varies.

After searching for a while, the high price really turns me away. Ok, for now, I will train on my own. As usual, I must first come up with a plan. Whatever you do, you must have a plan :) I will give myself 1.5 - 2 months to try it out on my own. After that, if I don't see any improvement, then I will try to engage a personal trainer.

The trainer I am thinking to engage is from this site:

or this site:

If you have any experience with the above two, please share your experiences. Better, if you have a good personal trainer to recommend, please let me know. Thank you!

Btw, I in fact called up Fitness First at AMK Hub, enquirying for their membership fee. Their sales claimed they would only present to their potential customers face-to-face in their premises. Sounds very much like those time-sharing sales tactics. Then later I walked past AMK hub, and saw there is a booth on B1 promoting their membership. The sales didn't seem to be too interested in engaging the attention of anyone, just crowded around and chatted with each other. They lost the business from me. Probably they don't bother anyway. Bad impression.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Closing Positions

Going for holidays soon, so I closed all my 'speculative' position today. Out of the 3, two made a big loss. Too bad, they both fell below my stop-loss price and had to go. The only one that made some money has only a mere 2% return on investment. It is far far far from the 15% I am targeting.

Anyway, I have revised my game plan. Those counters that do not suit my new plan are being removed. With a plan in place, I hope my returns will be more rewarding.


Sunday, June 15, 2008

To myself

This is taken from someone's blog:

I never allow anyone to tell me what I can do or can't do, other than the legally or morally obligated stuff. It has been a full year of waiting and persevering, and no one can put me down by doubting me over my pilot ambition. Whether I can make it or not is not up to anyone to say. If I fail, I tried. But if I fail to withstand cheap discouraging words, I deserve to fail.

I like this attitude. Ever since I got my master's, I had not set any tangible goal for myself. Days go by without any purpose. Time for me to set new goals, draw a new game plan, and go all out to achieve it.


Saturday, June 14, 2008

Deja Vu

It is a deja vu, the same screen, screen of blood, appears again for my portfolio. It has been quite some time since I last had that kind of screen.

Fooled by the recent rally, I naively assumed the worst is over, and started to pump some bullets into the field, and then only find I am caught off-guard, and low ammunition when the real battle is about to start.

Time to revisit my strategy.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Dark Times

I have been quite unlucky recently. First DBS announced a new round of preference shares issuance of 6%, followed by OCBC announcing their issuance of a new tranche of preference shares at 5.1% per annum. The issuance of these new shares at a higher yield made the old ones, which I just bought less than 3 months ago, a lot less attractive. Who would trade a 5.1% yield stock with a 4.5% yield stock? On these two counters alone, I lost more than S$1000+. Now I am kind of stuck with these two stocks. The only comfort is that if I hold them long enough, the yield over the years should make up the capital loss, but the return on investment is going to be pathetic.

The sell-down of stocks this week dragged me deeper into the red. The 'growth' stocks that I am holding simply became very vulnerable in the face of the onslaught. That cost me another S$1000+.

In total, more than S$2k vaporised over a couple of weeks. I would be much better off if I spent them on myself. Should be enough for one year's membership fee to a reputable gym.

Lacking of luck these days, hopefully can be more lucky next month when the OCBC preference shares are available for application through ATM.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Being Successful

Feeling reluctant to update my blog these few days. Too tired from work, and feeling a bit down actually. I always want to be a successful person, but somehow the more you long for something, the farther away that something is from you. I long for success, however, I can't even master some basic skills, such as getting a driver's license :(

How to be more successful? I always ponder. Some say you should work hard, some say it is all pre-determined by your karma, or fate, or whatsoever powerful masters of the world. A Taiwanese auther, and former member of the Legistative Yuan, Li Ao (李敖) said you want to have a sense of success, you need to be confident, sometimes even a bit self-deceiving... Mmmh.... Interesting comments....