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About chicagonature

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  • Joined Alamy
    23 Nov 2004

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  1. Here's a very insightful article that every photographer should read the debunks the myth about Diffraction Limited Apertures (DLA): https://jonrista.com/2013/03/24/the-diffraction-myth/. As the author (Joh Rista) writes and proves with images, "IQ from a photo taken at f/22 can frequently be restored to such a degree that it rivals the IQ of a photo taken at f/4." My work is real-world proof that DLA does not tell the full story, given that I've been shooting between f/22 and f/32 for over two decades, and I produce prints that go as large (or larger) than 40x60". One client produced a 6x9-foot mural in their visitor center from medium format film image shot at f/32. To shoot at f/8 or f/11, as you suggest, would result in horrendously out-of-focus areas in the foreground and background, which would be far worse that what is seen in the image of the bluebells. And, as Jon Rista suggests, diffraction is easier to correct because it's uniform across the entire image. Software focus stacking is impossible for highly detailed landscape images like these. Unfortunately, just the slightest whiff of air will move the flowers a couple of pixels and cause hundreds of artifacts from software. However, I occasionally Manually focus stack, as long as the foreground flowers don't cross into the middle-ground or background. Images shot at higher f-numbers are often easily restored in post using proper micro=contract techniques, like the Clarity and Texture tools in Adobe Camera Raw. And the then there's actual sharpening that should not be applied to the "master" image. Sharpening should only be applied after the image is resized and ready for output, and this is what Alamy calls for. Just minutes ago, I went into my living room to view a 28x42" print of the bluebell image on the wall. Viewing at just 18 inches away (40% of a common viewing distance equal to the print diagonal), it's very hard to see any blurriness on the sharpened image. It's crazy that Alamy does not take viewing distance and future sharpening into account when assessing IQ. That's just standard optical theory using the Circle of Confusion. Nobody looks at a billboard up close. If they did, the dots would be an inch in diameter! Rather, Alamy should be assessing sharpness at "Print Size," probably at 240ppi to 300ppi. This would take into account the viewing distance and the subsequent sharpening. Therefore, I may need to apply some Adobe PS Smart Sharpening (using Lens Blur) before submitting to Alamy. Mike
  2. No you don't need to work an image. But photographers aren't supposed to sharpen an image until after it has been resized. Alamy confirms this standard practice in their instructions for image preparation. If you're publishing pictures in print form, sharpening is one task. Another important task is the conversion from RGB to CMYK which can often change/flatten the rich RGB colors that you see on your monitor. Good luck with your book! Mike
  3. Hi, Alan! Thanks for the analysis. Yeah, this new image is world away, for sure. That's the kind of stuff I shoot. And it was captured digitally. I started asking about the skunk cabbage image because it was rejected and I was submitting closeups. Take care! Mike
  4. Hi, Brian! Yes, it's about re-calibrating for stock. And I think I'm going to make my life easier, as you suggest, by providing smaller files. What is the smallest and largest pixel dimensions that you'recommend? Thanks! Mike
  5. Hi, James! Yes, it's all about calibrating. I wonder if you could take a peek at the new landscape image of Virginia bluebells that I posted a few minutes ago, and let me know your thoughts on QC? That'll help me calibrate. Thanks! Mike
  6. Hi, Alan! It wasn't that one batch was rejected. Several batches were rejected and only one image from one of the batches was referenced in the email. Question: Is the QC process done manually or is Alamy using software? This entire thread is about me trying to understanding what the QC standard is. Do you think the attached image would pass QC? Thanks for the advice! Mike
  7. Hi, Brian! That's the original file size after scanning the 35mm slide. There's a little bit of grain, but minimal. I don't understand the standard, given that I'm used to really big files. I never sharpen images until it's ready for output, and that's what Alamy says, too. But I wondering if Alamy really does want some pre-sharpening. These rejected images may be a little soft at 100%, but they're just really, really big files. After sharpening for final output on the customer's end, the picture's great. There's a 6x9-foot mural of a highly detailed prairie hanging in a visitor center using the same techniques here. This is why I don't know what's happening. I can easily make the images smaller, and the pixel averaging will reduce the noise and sharpen the image. A tiny bit of softness is normal 100%, especially with landscapes. For best results, some sharpening is always required. Please let me know your thoughts. Thanks, Mike
  8. How does the submission system work? Yesterday, every single submission failed due to "One or more images have failed QC...." I made about 10 submissions, many with only one or two images that I thought were safe from QC issues. From all of the rejected submissions, I only received one email that stated that one image from just one of the submissions was "Soft due to size." Shouldn't I be receiving an email for each failed submission telling me why an image in that submission failed? Does one failed image in one submission affect other submissions? Below, I've inserted the one image from yesterday that I was told via email that it failed due to "Soft due to size." The size is 8348x5937 pixels that was scanned from 35mm film. The only slightly soft part is the tip of the "spathe" of the left skunk cabbage plant, but acceptable that should be acceptable for close-ups. Maybe I should be just downsizing the picture to make the Alamy system happy. It's not this image is likely to be used in a really large size, anyway. Thanks for your help! Mike
  9. Hi! I'm having big problems with the Alamy QC system. I'm an internationally published photographer with 26 years of experience. When I submit my perfectly detailed, sharp, and high-res images, some get rejected, as well as the entire batch! In fact, these are the same image files that I use to make huge prints in sizes up to 40x60. So you can understand my frustration. Thus far, I've found that the Alamy QC system has problems with highly detailed shots of prairies (which is my specialty) and images of flowing water with wonderful motion blur. I can only imagine what it'll do with my fog shots. To make it even more frustrating, the entire batch gets rejected and I can't move forward with keywording the accepted ones. If you have experience with this issue, please let me know how to solve the problem. Thanks so much! Mike
  10. Hi, I'm can't find images that I sent to Alamy back in 2006. How do I find those images and update keywords, etc.? Thanks! Mike
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