Erudite Expressions (Prints)

Updates to Erudite Expressions

I haven’t posted in my prints blog in four months, so I wanted to highlight some important changes to Erudite Expressions, as well as mention a couple of reminders about prints.

1) Fotomoto recently released a “Share” button, so if you navigate to the top of a photo, you should see that option (highlighted in a screenshot below). You can share on Facebook, Twitter (though this feature could use a URL shortening by http://bit.ly), Google Buzz, or Digg:

New feature: Share the Photo

New feature from Fotomoto: the Share Button!

2) I dropped the price of Wallpaper-sized images that you can download to your desktop to just $1.00 (it used to be $2.00). You can find the option to download wallpaper-sized images under the “download” link above the photo.

3) I also found out that I have a few 50% off prints coupon codes still unclaimed. If you want to take advantage of the offer, use coupon code B54D54 after clicking the “purchase a print” option above the photo and entering the coupon in the “Discount” box of the shopping cart. I’ve previously discussed Fotomoto and purchasing prints from Erudite Expressions in this post.

Thanks for your support! I plan on updating this prints blog a bit more often the rest of the year.

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May 14, 2010 Posted by | prints | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Supporting the Haiti Earthquake Relief Effort: Prints Sale

Earlier today, I wrote a blog post encouraging photographers to help out in the relief effort of the recent earthquake which has devastated the island nation of Haiti. If you haven’t read that post yet, please do so now.

As I outlined in that post, we photographers can help out by donating a portion of our sales proceeds (either through prints or bookings) to the charities directly working in Haiti right now.

If you want to participate in this effort revolving around the images I have been posting over the last three and a half years on my photoblog, Erudite Expressions, then please continue reading.

I’ve decided that I will do a prints sale where 50% of your order at Erudite Expressions will go to a charity of your choice. If you don’t specify a charity, then I will donate to Partners in Health (the reason? I was moved by the efforts of that organization in Haiti after reading Tracy Kidder’s beautiful work, Mountains Beyond Mountains). You can read the latest news about the efforts of Partners in Health here. Of course, if you don’t participate in this promotion, then I encourage you to give directly to Partners in Health or your charity of choice.

To answer all your questions about this print promotion, the FAQs follow.

Continue reading

January 14, 2010 Posted by | prints | , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Holiday Prints Sale: 50% Off Prints

I’m holding another prints sale, and it’s the biggest prints sale of the year!

From now until end of day on December 28, 2009 January 7, 2010 you can take 50% off prints which you may order at Erudite Expressions. Just use the “purchase a print” option located above any image, and then use coupon code “B54D54″ (no quotes) at checkout. The code is valid for all print sizes. The orders go through Fotomoto, and you can pay with your credit card (learn more about Fotomoto in this post). You can purchase with confidence.

The code is valid for the first ten (10) customers who take advantage of this offer or until end of day December 28, 2009 January 7, 2010, whichever occurs first. So act fast. It’s the biggest discount I’ve offered for prints, so I hope someone takes advantage of it. Please note that you can purchase multiple prints in a single transaction; if you just click on the “Continue Shopping” box, you can navigate to a different page, with your item(s) saved in the shopping cart. A screen shot of purchasing a print is shown below. FAQs are also presented after the screenshot.

Purchasing a print via the "Purchase a Print" option located above the photo. Apply the coupon code B54D54 in the discount box to take 50% off the order.

Continue reading

December 26, 2009 Posted by | prints | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Five (5) Ways of How NOT to Run a Twitter Contest

I’ve been thinking about how to promote some of my prints and services via Twitter. Based on what I’ve seen and observed so far, I provide some of my thoughts below.

First, if you’re not familiar with Twitter, check out this easy 10 Step Guide to get started. If you’re familiar with Twitter, you know that Twitter has incredible potential for reaching out to customers, promoting products, etc. I am going to focus on holding contests on Twitter. This post highlights five ineffective ways to hold a contest via Twitter, whereas my subsequent post will give you some ideas on what I think is a good or effective way to hold a contest.

Here are five ways of how NOT to run a Twitter contest:

1) Do NOT create an account which simply advertises or promotes your contest. You will come across as spammy and people don’t want to follow spammers.

2) Do NOT make people retweet (RT) a certain message so that they enter the contest. It may be an easy thing to ask of your participants, but I think it’s a fairly cheap and non-genuine way to interact with your followers. For example: I am not a fan of contests where you have to do something like this:

RT @SomeContest: I’ve just entered my name on http://www.example.com for a chance to win a super-duper prize! Yay me!

3) Do NOT require people to follow you (or your brand) as a way of entering the contest. You know how most official contests have a guideline that no purchase is necessary (this is actually an FTC rule; more info here) to enter a sweepstakes? Same with the following. It’s not necessary. I think it’s an artificial way to bring up a following count. If people are genuinely interested in what you have to offer, they will follow you without you asking.

4) Do NOT create a contest where the winner of a contest will be an Xth follower (i.e, a follower milestone). For example, don’t declare that the contest winner will be “my 1,000th follower.” I’ve had personal experience with running a contest this way, and it doesn’t work for a few reasons.

  • First, those that follow you may not necessarily be aware that you are holding a contest. So someone may follow you but may not care for the prize of your contest. This happened to me with my 600th follower, who was some kind of big-time CEO who didn’t much care for a free print.
  • Second, there are spammers out there. This happened with my 500th follower, who turned out to be a spammer. I had to unfollow the spammer, then wait for a legitimate 500th follower (who also had to be aware and interested in my contest). Luckily, that turned out to be the case, but it’s not something that I want to deal with in the future.
  • Third, if you have a large following base, and you declare a prize for an Xth follower, you’ll see a gradual increase in number of followers, but expect a huge spike around the Xth follower. It might be a challenge figuring out who the legitimate follower was. Do you really want to deal with that issue?

5) Do NOT make a twitter user disclose any personal information. This last point is fairly obvious, but it bears repeating: all personal details should be dealt away from Twitter (an email exhchange is ideal, though a communication via direct message is suitable as well).

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I’ve outlined five ways of how NOT to run a contest on Twitter. Tune in to my next post (in about a week) to gain some insight into what I think would make for holding an awesome contest via Twitter.

November 10, 2009 Posted by | other | , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

So Come on Down to Erudite Expressions and Get Yourself a Print. Or Don’t.

Hi, I am Eugene. I own Erudite Expressions. I sell prints.

I’m not gonna waste your time; I’m gonna tell it just like it is.

These are prints, not works of art. They come unframed. If that’s what you’re looking for, that’s what I got.

They’re new. None of them have stains. I post-process the images, these guys print ’em, and these guys help me deliver ’em. [Insert cat screech here].

A bouncer in Birmingham told me that he wouldn’t frame my prints even if I gave them away for free. And my best friend told me that he didn’t even know that I sold prints.

So if you don’t buy a print from me, it ain’t gonna hurt my feelings.

So come on down to Erudite Expressions and get yourself a print. Or don’t. I don’t care…

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In case you are confused, the above text is based on this awesome commercial of an honest man selling mobile homes in Alabama:

October 26, 2009 Posted by | prints | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Summer Prints Sale: 8″x10″ Prints

I am announcing a Summer Prints Sale, which is a continuation of the Spring Prints Sale. The prints available are the 8″x10″ prints which were unsold from the Spring Prints Sale. A list of some FAQs is below.

UPDATE (9/15/2009): Summer 2009 is over, but since zero prints have been sold, I have changed the sale to an “Ongoing Prints Sale” which has no expiration date. The unsold prints can still be bought at the same prices in the Ongoing Prints Sale.

Q: What is this sale/promotion all about?
A: The sale is for the 8″x10″ prints which I own; these prints were unsold from the Spring Prints Sale I held earlier in the year. All of the images may be found on my photoblog, Erudite Expressions.

Q: What kind of prints are they?
A: The prints were printed at a professional printing lab, Mpix. All of these 8″x10″ prints have a metallic finish; as I mentioned before, I think the metallic finish is amazing.

Q: Which prints are available for sale?
A: Scroll down to see which images are available.

Q: What’s the process for ordering one print?
A: If you want to order one image, please find the link to the image (each image below is hyperlinked to the respective photoblog entry) and select “purchase a print” at the bottom of the post. To order, find the “summer prints sale” option in the purchase pop-up window (on the bottom), as shown below:

View of "Fly Here" and the pop-up purchase window

View of "Fly Here" and the pop-up purchase window on the right; the "summer print sale" purchase options are highlighted

Select the appropriate radio button (to purchase either one, two, or three prints) and click submit. Payment is carried out via Paypal, as it is easy and secure (note: you don’t need to own a Paypal account to order; all that is necessary to purchase is a valid credit card).

Q: What’s the process for ordering more than one print?
A: If you want to order more than one print, I ask that you follow the procedure above (but select the appropriate option for how many prints you want to order; in this sale, you have the option of purchasing one, two, or three prints in a single transaction). Then, please e-mail me at elbelbelb2000[at]gmail[dot]com which (other) images you want to receive. Alternatively, you can just email me the prints you want to order and send me the appropriate funds via Paypal to my address, elbelbelb2000[at]gmail[dot]com.

Q: How will I know which prints are still available?
A: Since this is a first-come, first-serve promotion, I will keep a close watch to my e-mail inbox. As soon as an order is through, I will cross out those images which are no longer available.

Q: What are the prices of the prints?
A: For this sale, the prices for the 8″x10″ prints are as follows:

  • one 8″x10″ print:  $30.00
  • two 8″x10″ prints:  $50.00
  • three 8″x10″ prints:  $60.00

The pricing structure is set up so that the more prints you order, the less expensive the unit price per print. For this sale, I am capping the maximum number of print orders per transaction to three.

Q: But what about…
A: If there is anything I didn’t cover, please send me an email.

Q: So which images are for sale as prints?
A: The following is the list of images (linked to the respective photoblog entry in which the image appears).

Click the “Read more” link below to see the images available in this sale. Thanks for your support!

Continue reading

July 28, 2009 Posted by | prints | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Imagekind Review: Prints and Customer Service

For many months now, I wanted to implement a system on my photoblog, Erudite Expressions, whereby customers could order prints and frames to go along with them. One company which would allow me to sell prints along with frames was Imagekind. I decided to give them a try by ordering two prints. The following is my experience with the prints and Imagekind’s customer service. The reason I am posting this review so late is that it took over a month and a half for Imagekind to resolve a print return issue.

Print Ordering
On April 10, 2009, I ordered two prints from Imagekind. The two prints were two of my high dynamic range (HDR) images, “Capri Unfolding” and “Old Blue Door,” shown below.

Capri Unfolding: A scene from the island of Capri

An old blue door seen in Adi Bou Said, Tunisia

An old blue door seen in Sidi Bou Said, Tunisia

For “The Blue Door” I chose the 16.0″x10.7″ print size with the Somerset Velvet Fine Art finish, and for “Capri Unfolding” I chose a 24″x16″ print with an Enhanced Matte finish.

Package Arrival and the Case for Flat Shipping
The package with the prints arrived around April 20, 2009 (the package was shipped domestic ground), so it took about ten days total for the package to arrive. When I received the package, I was immediately frustrated and disappointed. Why? Because the prints arrived in a tube, certainly something I am not used to when ordering prints from other places.

The prints which I ordered arrived in the tube shown

The prints which I ordered arrived in the tube shown

This was the first offense for Imagekind. It may be a personal choice whether you want to receive prints in a tube, but to me, there is no question about it: prints should be shipped flat. What’s really amazing is that the largest print size in the order was 24″x16″, and this print size is well within reason of being shipped flat. I made an informal inquiry as to why Imagekind shipped the prints in a tube, and their reply was:

Have to ship in a tube for the large sizes. We can ship flat for the smaller prints, but too much risk for large; they bend

Um, they bend? Not if the packaging in which flat prints arrive is secure. I have ordered prints as large as 30″x20″ from Mpix, and Mpix doesn’t have a problem shipping prints flat. In fact, every single order which I have placed from Mpix arrived in a secure, sturdy flat package, and I have yet to receive a print order from Mpix in which my prints arrived bent or otherwise damaged.

Look (and I am not sure if Imagekind gets it): if prints were meant to be shipped in a tube, then the expectation is that they prints are to be “consumed” rolled up. The fact of the matter is that it is impossible (or extremely difficult) to get the prints to lie flat after being rolled up. Is the intention of the rolled print to be dumped, or to be framed? If the intention is to be framed, then for me, the absolute requirement for print delivery is that the print is shipped the way it is printed: flat.

The images below show the two prints, as I received them:

Imagekind's print of the "Old Blue Door"

Imagekind's print of the "Old Blue Door." After being unrolled, notice that the print does not lie flat.

Notice something about the print above? After being unrolled, I placed the print under a number of heavy books, hoping that the print will spring back into a flat shape. Such wasn’t the case, as you can see. How about the other print?

Imagekind's print of "Capri Unfolding."

Imagekind's print of "Capri Unfolding."

Again, I had great difficulty flattening the other print, “Capri Unfolding.” Another angle of view of the print is shown below:

Another view of the "Capri Unfolding" print

Another view of the "Capri Unfolding" print

Again, notice that the print does not lie flat. I captured this image well over a month after receiving it. During that time period, I placed the print under a heavy load of books and other stuff. As you can see, even an extended period of time under a heavy load did not help the print regain its original splendor.

Image Quality
The next item to consider is the quality of the prints. First, note that the initial impression of the prints was already damaged because the prints were not flat, and non-flat prints necessarily means their quality is less than perfect.

As I mentioned, I ordered the prints on two different finishes/papers. The “Old Blue Door” had the Somerset Velvet Fine Art finish, described on Imagekind’s website as:

Somerset Velvet is a delicately textured fine art paper engineered to give you the highest resolution and color saturation possible. It has always been the first paper choice among serious artists and printmakers dating back to the 1700’s and the days of handmade paper. Somerset Velvet is 100% cotton, acid-free paper with luxurious weight, texture and finish that truly delivers museum quality appearance.

The print of “Capri Unfolding” was printed on Enhanced Matte paper, described by Imagekind’s website as:

For artists and photographers seeking a flat matte surface, Epson Enhanced Matte Paper is the ideal choice. This bright, white paper is perfect for images that do not require gloss. It yields highly saturated images, while maintaining excellent highlight and shadow detail. Professional photographers, digital artists and amateurs alike will find Epson Enhanced Matte Paper a remarkable choice for any project.

I thought that the print quality of the Enhanced Matter paper was excellent. The colours of the “Capri Unfolding” print were vibrant and saturated, just as with the image I uploaded to Imagekind’s server. Additionally, as Imagekind’s statement about the paper claimed, the shadows and highlights were well maintained. For the 24″x16″ print of “Capri Unfolding” with the enhanced matter paper finish, I paid a total of $12.99. Definitely a solid price.

However, my opinion of the “Old Blue Door” print (the one with the Somerset Velvet Fine Art finish) is different. I thought the print looked muddy, the saturated colours of the blues were washed out, and the overall print texture wasn’t appealing. The print size was 16″x10.7″ (which is roughly equal to the 1.5 aspect ratio of the original image I uploaded). The biggest deal killer regarding this print is that it is quite expensive: $19.49. So, combining the following facts: that the print came in irregular size (why not just do 15″x10″?), that the print quality wasn’t amazing (I actually prefered the Enhanced Matte finish more than the Somerset Velvet Fine Art finish), and that the cost of the print most certainly didn’t justify its quality, I decided to return the print back to Imagekind.

Returning the Print
Imagekind has a great policy regarding prints with which you are unsatisfied. If you are unhappy with your print order – for whatever reason – you can return the print within thirty days for a full refund. Per Imagekind’s website:

We are confident in the quality of our products and your satisfaction is 100% guaranteed. If for any reason you are not satisfied with your purchase, you may return it within 30 days of receipt for a full refund on the price of the item. To return it to us, please pack it in the original packaging and include the completed Return Form. Shipping charges will not be refunded.

I decided that I liked the 24″x16″ print of “Capri Unfolding,” but the 16″x10.7″ print of “Old Blue Door” didn’t warrant keeping. So as requested, I filled out a form in which I detailed my dissatisfaction with the “Old Blue Door” print, rolled the print back up and placed it in the original packaging.

I added "Attn: Imagekind Returns" before shipping the package back

I added "Attn: Imagekind Returns" before shipping the package back

I shipped the package back to Imagekind a few days after receiving a package from them. Since the tube is somewhat heavy, I shipped the package back by domestic ground (the cost was around $5). As Imagekind states, the company does not refund shipping charges.

Imagekind’s Customer Service
After shipping back the package with one of the prints, I expected that Imagekind would make an adjustment to my credit card within seven to ten days. Unfortunately, my experience was far from that case.

My assumption was that the print arrived back to Imagekind headquarters (at the latest) by May 1, 2009. I thus expected a refund of $19.49 visible on my credit card statement by around May 7 (that’s giving Imagekind a week to process the return and crediting back the amount). After checking my credit card statement for April 10 to May 15, I noticed that there was no adjustment made from Imagekind.

Frustrated, I contacted Imagekind customer service by email (care@imagekind.com) on May 17, 2009, asking them why my refund has not been issued. After making this initial inquiry I received a generic response from Imagekind letting me know that “We have received your inquiry and are assigning it to a representative. You can expect to receive a response from us within two business days.” The next day (May 18), I received a response from Tracy (one of the representatives at Imagekind) that they have “found a record of your returned item and issued a refund.  You should see a credit on your account statement for $19.49 in 2-3 business days.”

So I waited three more days. I checked my credit card statement. Still no refund from Imagekind. I waited a few more days, thinking that it might take another day or two for the refund to go through. On May 31, I checked my credit card statement, and there was still no refund. This time, extremely frustrated, I send Imagekind another email asking why the refund hasn’t been issued…The response I received is both baffling and inexcusable:

I’m sorry for the delay. Your refund was marked as complete in one area but we didn’t actually put the refund through.”

What? How does that even work? Complete in one area? Which area? A refund shouldn’t be considered complete unless the refund actually goes through and I see it on my credit card statement. Anything less on Imagekind’s part, and the words “refund” and “complete” should never be used together in the same sentence.

I sent Imagekind another email letting them know how unhappy I was with this customer service. Think about this for a second: when you send an item for a refund and the company receives said item, you expect the refund process to go smoothly and see it posted on your credit card statement in a reasonable amount of time. In my case, I had to send not one but two inquiries to the care team at Imagekind asking them what is taking them so long to process a refund. To me, that kind of customer service is most definitely sub-standard. My suspicion is that if I didn’t contact Imagekind (twice!), my refund would have never been issued.

However, this customer service story isn’t all bad. I finally received my refund on June 3, 2009 (after a month and a half of waiting). I also received a personal phone call from Tracy, who messed up processing the return the first time. She offered her sincere apology, and I received a $20 gift certificate for future purchases at Imagekind.

Verdict
Before ordering prints from Imagekind, I was almost certain I was going to use their services to offer customers the ability to buy prints and frames. However, after the two strikes (first, shipping the prints in a tube rather than in a flat envelope; and second, the major delay for issuing a refund for a returned print), I am hesitant in considering Imagekind for further print orders, and most certainly, for using their service to sell my prints with various options for prints and frames.

I must state that my review of Imagekind prints and their customer service is certainly not comprehensive: I only ordered two prints and possibly had an aberration with regard to receiving a print refund. Still, my review isn’t the only negative review of Imagekind you will find on the internet. I am sure there are hundreds, if not thousands, of customers quite happy with their experience (both in print order fulfillment and customer service) with Imagekind. Unfortunately, based on my experience, I will hold off offering the ability to purchase my prints via Imagekind, and I will continue looking into other alternatives.

Your Thoughts?
If you’ve had experience buying from Imagekind and/or offering customers the ability to buy prints/frames with Imagekind, feel free to chime in with your thoughts in the comments.


June 5, 2009 Posted by | prints, reviews | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Spring Prints Sale: 8″x12″ and 8″x10″ Prints Sale

UPDATE: The spring prints sale concluded on May 31, 2009. The unsold prints (see below) are still available for sale, but the prices for these prints are yet to be determined.

It’s been a while since I’ve had a print sale, so it’s about time for another one.

I’ve been thinking for a while what my latest prints sale should entail, and I have decided that it will revolve around selling prints which I already own. You see, over the last two years or so, my prints collection has been steadily increasing. A lot of the prints have been framed, but most of the prints reside in a folder. When I travel, I bring along these prints as a showcase of my work. So, these prints are looking for a good home. Following is a brief Q&A regarding this sale.

Q: What is this sale/promotion all about?
A: The sale is for 8″x12″ and 8″x10″ prints which I own. All of the images may be found on my photoblog, Erudite Expressions.

Q: What kind of prints are they?
A: The prints were printed at a professional printing lab, Mpix. Most of the prints have a metallic finish; as I mentioned before, I think the metallic finish is amazing. There are a few prints in this sale which have a matte (non-metallic finish).

Q: I thought you didn’t offer 8″x10″ prints on your photoblog?
A: Yes, that is correct. Normally, an 8″x10″ print is not offered because it would require cropping from the standard 3×2 format in which I post the majority of my images. However, in order to frame some of the 8″x12″ prints I own, I’ve been searching for 8″x12″ frames for a long time. I shopped at Hobby Lobby, Michael’s, Wal-Mart, and a few other stores searching for 8″x12″ frames, but in all of my searching, I’ve only found this one store in Pasadena, CA that carried 8″x12″ frames. So, even though most of the photos presented on my photoblog are in a 3×2 format (which would correspond to a 12″x8″ print), for a lot of the prints, I cropped the photos so that they are in a 5×4 format and can thus fit in a standard 8″x10″ frame. So I have more than fifty 8″x10″ prints which I custom-cropped, and these prints are part of the sale.

Q: Which prints are available for sale?
A: Scroll down to see which images are available.

Q: What’s the process for ordering one print?
A: If you want to order one image, please find the link to the image (each image below is hyperlinked to the respective photoblog entry) and select “purchase a print” at the bottom of the post. Payment is done via Paypal, as it is easy and secure (note: you don’t need to own a Paypal account to order; all that is required is a valid credit card).

Q: What’s the process for ordering more than one print?
A: If you want to order more than one print, I ask that you follow the procedure above (but select the appropriate option for how many prints you want to order). Then, please e-mail me at elbelbelb2000[at]gmail[dot]com which (other) images you want to receive. Alternatively, you can just email me the prints you want to order and send me the appropriate funds via Paypal to my address, elbelbelb2000[at]gmail[dot]com.

Q: How will I know which prints are still available?
A: Since this is a first-come, first-serve promotion, I will keep a close watch to my e-mail inbox. As soon as an order is through, I will cross out those images which are no longer available. If you scroll down below, you’ll notice that one of the images is no longer for sale.

Q: Can I combine multiple orders?
A: Sure, you can order a mix of 8″x10″ and 8″x12″ prints if you wish.

Q: But what about…
A: If there is anything I didn’t cover, please send me an email.

Q: So which images are for sale as prints?
A: The following is the list of images (linked to the respective photoblog entry in which the image appears). An asterisk (*) next to the image title represents an image which has a matte rather than a metallic finish.

Continue reading

March 13, 2009 Posted by | prints | , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Announcing: Pay-as-You-Wish for Prints

I’ve been reading some success stories about pay-as-you-wish pricing schemes (such as “What the Bagel Man Saw”, available as a PDF here, an interesting “no cash register” approach at a bakery in a Canadian city, and an awesome success story of a coffee store in Seattle; all those stories have been linked in the freakonomics blog, which I read daily).

So, the big announcement: I’ve decided to try out this business model for purchasing prints on my photoblog, Erudite Expressions. And so, à la Radiohead, you’ll be able to pay whatever you want for an 8″x12″ metallic print which you may order from my photoblog, Erudite Expressions. For now, this will be an experiment I am trying out. Consequently, this pay-as-you-wish offer will be valid only from Thursday, October 16, 2008 to Sunday, October 20, 2008 (with a possibility for an extension, depending on how things turn out). Additionally, the offer will be valid to the first twenty customers which place their order in the three days this promotion is running. Once the three days are up or the first twenty customers have purchased a print (whichever comes first), the promotion will terminate and I’ll re-implement my regular pricing structure for prints.

I’ve come up with an FAQ which will hopefully answer all your questions:

Q: What’s pay-as-you-wish pricing?
A: It means what it says, basically. You pay whatever you think the product is worth to you. You can pay as much as you can afford. You can pay as much as you want. You can pay (almost) nothing if you want. It’s your choice.

Q: What’s does the offer entail?
A: The offer is for one 8″x12″ metallic print. The metallic print has a glossy finish; if you hold the print under the light, it appears as though you’re holding a thin sheet of metal due to the way the print reflects the light. The images are printed in a professional lab; all the prints are printed on a Kodak Endura professional paper, which offers natural looking flesh tones, sharp details, and beautifully saturated colors. Also, the really cool thing: the paper on which the image is printed will be resistant to tearing! (I’ve tried tearing one of my 4″x6″ prints, and I couldn’t do it – the finish is very strong!). Click here to see an example of how the 8″x12″ prints look like when they are printed.

Q: Who is eligible for this offer?
A: If you live in any of the fifty states of the U.S.A. (and also District of Columbia), you are eligible to order a print. Only one order per customer and (home) address (i.e. I am imposing a restriction to send only one print to the same home address; for instance, it wouldn’t be fair if a large family (with different names, thus technically corresponding to different customers) in Utah ordered ten or more prints to the same address).

Q: Which images are eligible for this offer?
A: There are two basic limitations. First, only those images which have the PURCHASE link enabled (at the bottom of the image) are available for sale. The images that don’t have the purchase option are not on sale for various reasons (small resolution, noisy image, etc.) The second limitation is that the image size should have an aspect ratio correspond to 8″x12″ print – namely a 3:2 or 1.5:1 aspect ratio. Most of my images are presented in 3:2 aspect ratio (i.e. the images have dimensions of 800×533 pixels, 900×600 pixels, or 467×700 pixels). There are many ways to check the dimensions of an image. I’ve covered a simple way to check the dimensions of an image in a previous entry. If you are running Mozilla Firefox as your internet browser, you can just right click on the relevant image, click on properties, and you’ll see the dimensions of the image in the dialog box.

Q: What is the suggested price I should pay?
A: There is no suggested price. You can pay as little or as much as you wish. That’s the whole point of this promotion.

Q: But isn’t there a rough guide how much we should pay if we have no clue?
A: Well, if you insist. For your consideration: the regular price that I charge for a metallic 8″x12″ print shipped and delivered to your door is $35. When I was running my two-year anniversary promotion, the price for one 8″x12″ metallic print was $10.

Q: All right, I want to order a print. How do I order?
A: I’ve implemented an online payment system that is very easy to use. The only requirement is that you need to have a paypal account (if you don’t have a paypal account, you can get one for free if you have a credit card). To order a print: click the PURCHASE link (found at the bottom of the image whose print you want to buy) which is enabled for those prints which are available for purchase. Below is an image of an entry dated July 19, 2008 titled “old door” for which I’ve highlighted the PURCHASE option:

illustration of where the purchase option is located for photoblog entries

The purchase option is highlighted

After you click the PURCHASE link, you’ll see a dialog box that has a radio button with “pay-as-you-wish 12″x8″ metallic print @ 0.00 US Dollars” as the only option. Click submit.  You’ll be taken to the paypal page which should look similar to the image shown below:

paypal order form; unit price can be adjusted to name your own price

Paypal order form (in this case, for the "old door" image seen above); Unit Price can be adjusted to name your own price

From here, you can choose how much you want to pay for the print. By entering an amount into the “Unit Price” dialog box (as seen above), you’ll be able to select the price you want to pay for the metallic 8″x12″ print once you click the “Update Totals” box. Since you are ordering one print, the “Quantity” will be locked at 1, and the total amount will be updated in USD once you click the “Update Totals.” Important note: Paypal won’t let you get away with leaving the “Unit Price” at $0.00, so if you want to get the print for free, your best available option is to change the “Unit Price” to $0.01 or something like that. Below, I’ve created a price of $20.08 (reflecting the current year; you can be creative in dollar amounts) to pay for a print:

A print to be purchased for $20.08

Q: Can’t you potentially lose a lot of money running this promotion?
A: Yes, it is possible. That’s why I’ve implemented a cap on twenty customers. I’ve also set aside around $200 to fund this project. In other words, if everyone chooses to get a print for free (hopefully that won’t happen, but that’s the extreme scenario), I’ll use the $200 I set aside to print and ship the prints.

Q: So why take the risk? Why not implement a “minimum” price, such as $10?
A: If one is going to implement the pay-as-you-wish pricing structure, it goes against the principle to set a minimum price (I don’t consider the one cent minimum as a true minimum, but rather an unavoidable technicality that paypal requires). Also, I know a few people that wanted to order prints from my photoblog, but for whatever reason haven’t done so (this is their chance!). My regular print prices are quite affordable, but I wanted to give people the choice of owning one of my prints if they thought my regular print prices have been the limiting factor from them deciding to buy a print.

Q: Who benefits from this pricing scheme?
A: I hope I benefit and the customer benefits. I envision the mutual benefit because the customer has a beautiful print which he or she can then frame in their apartment or home (which will make me happy). Also, I don’t think some people realize the quality of the prints which they will receive. By allowing the customer to name their own price, it allows them to receive the print basically risk-free. Finally, I am a huge advocate that images are meant to be seen on paper rather than on the computer screen (the prints are printed at 300 dots per inch whereas your computer monitor most likely displays only 72 dots per inch). Even the largest monitors on the market today, whose native resolution is 2560×1600 pixels, would compress the full-resolution images (4368×2920 pixels) of my Canon 5D by a factor of more than two and a half on their screens. The point is this: images are meant to be seen printed.

Q: Will you use my personal data in any way?
A: Of course not! I am using the paypal structure because it allows the easiest way for customers to input their price and address to which I ship the prints to. I don’t sell or otherwise use any of your contact information.

Q: Are you a verified paypal seller?
A: Yes.

Q: Will you release statistics about who ordered which prints and at what-price?
A: By participating in this promotion, I might disclose information regarding your order in an aggregate manner; I will never disclose personal information regarding your order. In other words, I may publish what the average or median price for a print turned out to be. I won’t ever use your name or any identifying information with regard to your order. So, for instance, if there are two customers who chose to get the print for a penny, I might cite that “Two persons ordered the print for one cent” but I will never disclose names and any other personal information behind these purchases.

Q: How will I know if I am one of the first twenty customers to submit an order?
A: I will be monitoring the promotion closely. As soon as the twentieth customer has sent in their order, I will shut down the pay-as-you-wish purchase option. Basically, if you’re able to put in the order through, it means you should be set on receiving the print (barring a totally unprecedented event in which my photoblog gets thousands of hits and hundreds of customers trying to order a print in a very short amount of time – a highly unlikely event).

Q: Are there particular kind of images which would look great on a metallic print?
A: Any sort of image (landscapes, portraits, etc.) can look amazing when printed with a metallic finish. However, from my experience, any of the images in my HDR gallery would look especially striking when printed with a metallic finish.

Q: Can I tell my friends about this promotion?
A:
Of course.

Q: I wasn’t able to get my hands on this promotion. Will you run something like this promotion in the future?
A: I am not sure. It depends on the success of this promotion. Best way to find out is to subscribe to this blog, in which I will make all major announcements regarding prints.

Q: I still have more questions! Can you answer them?
A: Sure, either post a comment to this blog entry or send me an e-mail to elbelbelb2000[at]gmail[dot]com.

October 15, 2008 Posted by | prints | , , , | Leave a comment

These Prints are Amazing!

I just received some prints of my HDR images. I ordered the prints from Mpix; the prints have the metallic finish, and these prints look absolutely astonishing. Seriously, it’s like nothing you’ve ever seen before in a print. Best way to describe the metallic finish is to imagine a very thin sheet of aluminum or other metal, and then imagine how it reflects light from its shiny surface – this is how these prints feel in your hand, and how they look when you glance at them from the side.

I went ahead and arranged six of the 8″x12″ prints on my bed, and then I captured a photo. Here they are:

six HDR prints

I’ve included an iPod Touch (dimensions: 4.3″×2.4″) in the image just so you can get an idea the size of the prints. The HDR prints are of the following images (click on the links to see the images in larger size and to read their description):

Top left: “The Forbidden Temple”
Top Center: “Two Sides to a Story”
Top right: “The Ship Inside”

Bottom left: “A Different Vision”
Bottom center: “Poseidon’s Fury”
Bottom right: “Winged Obelisk”

Again, you can order prints just like the ones above from the promotion currently ongoing on my photoblog. The sale is for 8″x12″ prints (just like the ones seen above) plus 4″x6″ prints for only $20 (shipping in the United States included in that price). The sale lasts through June 15, 2008.

June 11, 2008 Posted by | prints | , , , , , , | 6 Comments