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As Alamy approaches the 40 Million mark, I was wondering if others had noticed the abundance of sub standard work being submitted by people who seem to have very little knowledge of photography, or the stock business.

 

I might be getting on a bit, and my images are average rather than spectacular, but I would not dream of submitting some of the new work to be seen on Alamy recently.

 

Sorry, just having this little "rant" because my sales are down, my computer is going on the blink and the weather forecast for the week-end is dreadful!

 

Never the less, have a good one.

Edited by David Davies
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Thanks Philippe, i missed that one, I was too busy submitting new work at the time.

Seems it has all been said before.

 

(Also expecting some red points!)

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Unedited collection + unlimited number of contributors = the Alamy collection.

 

I'm baffled by the number of photographers who, while able to pass QC, seem unable to take a decent pic.

 

Alamy could have changed the rules of engagement, years ago. But, crucially, they didn't.

 

Of course, this vast collection of imagery can be brought down to a manageable few dozen just by typing two or three words: that's pretty remarkable too...

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I think keywording is one of the biggest culprits of useless photos showing up in searches.  When cruising through the "All of Alamy" search list, I would click on one of the searches and notice that sometimes 25% of the photos coming up had absolutely nothing to do with the search term the customer used. And they images seemed so scattered. Very relevant images would be pages in where totally irrelevant (to me anyway) images would be on the first pages.

 

I also notice that the sorting of the keywords makes no sense to me.

 

I will find pictures where the caption or main keywords don't have the search term in them, yet they show up before pictures that have those keywords in their caption or main keywords. This I don't understand. Shouldn't this be the way pictures are sorted, by the relevance of their keywords?

 

On searching the term "cruise ship", on the first page (I sort at 120) is a picture of a cats face and the words cruise or ship are not in the caption or main keywords. How did this pic get in that search?

 

I think better keywording parameters would help customers, even with large selections of photos.

Edited by Jill Morgan
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Looking at "cruise ship" results, I must say the standard is pretty good (don't know how Felix got in there), maybe researchers should enter "cruise ship NOT cat" in searches ;)

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I turfed about 60 images from a possible upload because I personally couldn't find a reason why I'd buy it, so why do I expect someone else to? My newest images, have hopefully set me on the right path. i'm going for quality not quantity for now. :) Also I can't believe the amount of down votes you guys are getting for this. I set taser to Malky! 

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Looking at "cruise ship" results, I must say the standard is pretty good (don't know how Felix got in there), maybe researchers should enter "cruise ship NOT cat" in searches ;)

 

Not my best example, I just grabbed on from the recent list.  But I figured the cat got there because he is included in a group, and within that group is a cruise ship, so it seems all photos in a group will show up in a search that simply relates to only one item in a group.

 

Getting photographers to be better at filtering their images is tough. I like to think mine have good composition and have market value. And my keywords are relevant to my photos. Personally, I love taking pics of trees, but I know not the most marketable, so a few is fine. Sometimes It's difficult to filter out the artistic from the commercial.

 

And lets face it, its just as easy to upload an extra pic, and we are all afraid that the one we leave out (because we don't think it has merit) will be the oddball one that some soul out there is desparately looking for.

 

I know I have read posts where people have mentioned they sold a pic they thought would never sell.  So we all have that fear we will leave out that one pic we should have uploaded, because one man's garbage is another man's treasure.

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Oh, thank God it's AoA!  I thought the thread was about JG upping his workload yet again :D !

 

Have a good weekend, too - wellies on & weather pics for the newsfeed?

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Gave me a giggle, Danny. Good one. I am disturbed when new people are looking at how many images they need to get in order to sell. They would do much better thinking about quality and good keywording. Not to mention finding subjects that are not overdone. I'm afraid I am a sinner in that department.

 

Paulette

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I turfed about 60 images from a possible upload because I personally couldn't find a reason why I'd buy it, so why do I expect someone else to?

 

Good philosophy. Perhaps this line should be quoted in the submission guidelines.

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I turfed about 60 images from a possible upload because I personally couldn't find a reason why I'd buy it, so why do I expect someone else to?

 

Good philosophy. Perhaps this line should be quoted in the submission guidelines.

I wonder how many of those 60 would have sold?

 

Just because you couldn't find a reason to buy them, doesn't mean to say that other people wouldn't. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, its always the one I don't think will sell that sells. One of mine, that I didn't expect to sell sold 6 times in one year and grossed near on $500. Go figure.

 

I have had 4 pictures sell this year for fairly good money that surprised me.

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I turfed about 60 images from a possible upload because I personally couldn't find a reason why I'd buy it, so why do I expect someone else to?

 

Good philosophy. Perhaps this line should be quoted in the submission guidelines.

I wonder how many of those 60 would have sold?

 

Just because you couldn't find a reason to buy them, doesn't mean to say that other people wouldn't. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, its always the one I don't think will sell that sells. One of mine, that I didn't expect to sell sold 6 times in one year and grossed near on $500. Go figure.

 

I have had 4 pictures sell this year for fairly good money that surprised me.

 

Yes, there's that too, which I guess is one of the main reasons that Alamy is so successful. There are millions of images here that can't be found anywhere else, and plenty of them find buyers. One person's "sub standard" can be another one's masterpiece.

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I've never had a sale with "dross." But then I don't submit sub-standard images.

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I turfed about 60 images from a possible upload because I personally couldn't find a reason why I'd buy it, so why do I expect someone else to?

 

Good philosophy. Perhaps this line should be quoted in the submission guidelines.

I wonder how many of those 60 would have sold?

 

Just because you couldn't find a reason to buy them, doesn't mean to say that other people wouldn't. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, its always the one I don't think will sell that sells. One of mine, that I didn't expect to sell sold 6 times in one year and grossed near on $500. Go figure.

 

I have had 4 pictures sell this year for fairly good money that surprised me.

 

 

I sold a picture of my condensing boiler. That surprised me. 

 

It was a set of 60 that QC failed 3 times. I couldn't risk uploading them again. In all honesty they were snapshots, and I've been getting away with it too long now. Also been guilty of the weather pics for the news feed. 

 

I had a bump on the head and realised that I have the potential to make my time on alamy a success. If it's a failure then it's my fault. There's no better critique of your work than zero sales. I've had 5 sales and I want to do better. :) 

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Perhaps the OP, David, could explain what he means by "sub standard." Otherwise this conversation has no meaning. The only standards used by Alamy are the technical ones set out in its submission guidelines. Therefore, by definition, no image that has passed Alamy's QC can be considered sub standard.

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Thanks Philippe, have just logged in and thought I would have to explain what I was thinking.

 

You have done it for me, ...exactly what I meant. Photos that look as if someone just picked up a camera and started in photography 30 mins. ago.

Sometimes it works and you can call it "art", but these ones don't.

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Maybe Alamy should put a report feature for unprofessional images. Alamy dont need to loik for them themselves. I agree also with you. It is irritating to find 8 images in a row from the same photographer with small diference of angle or bad composition.

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I was trying (obviously failed) to not contribute my opinion to this thread.....

 

In my opinion, part of what makes Alamy strong as a "picture library" is

the UNEDITED collection.  I come from a background where "working"

photographers made fun of "stock" photographers and now I am sort of

one of them?  As usual I agree with Ed's post on page 1 of this thread.

 

In an earlier post in another thread on the forum I wrote: “I think that it has

become too easy to create images and find ways to put those images

out into the public via libraries with the hope of someone “buying” them.”

 

In closing I will add that if you spend much time doing a detailed search, which

Most picture buyers should do, you will find a large number of exceptional

Images on Alamy.  If you do a quick general search, unfortunately what a lot

of picture buyers do, you will see a huge number of images that are

not exceptional.

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Thanks, Chuck. A funny thing happened on the way to the forum . . . (sorry, I couldn't resist that). I was mindlessly looking through some Alamy collections, and I found an image that was taken right in front of my building: C5GGCP

 

As you can see, it is captioned as Chinatown. But Chinatown is behind the photographer two blocks south. The camera is pointed north and we see Little Italy's Mulberry Street and the Empire State Building north of that. How can people get their research and captions and keywords this wrong and still expect to have sales? And, yes, I see this all the time. Since I'm dissing this shooter, I'll add that the image is RF although I can see more than 4 people in the frame.  :unsure:

Edited by Ed Rooney

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Maybe Alamy should put a report feature for unprofessional images.

 

Crap pix... Misleading captions... Keyword spamming... It's what happens when you set up an unedited collection. End of story...

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I wish my local paper would use alamy, even the bad pics on alamy must be better than the junk that the newspaper uses. Most of which look like they were taken

on a dodgy camerphone, and then blown up to become massively over pixelated.

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I wish my local paper would use alamy, even the bad pics on alamy must be better than the junk that the newspaper uses. Most of which look like they were taken

on a dodgy camerphone, and then blown up to become massively over pixelated.

 

Cheapskate news, like my local paper asking for readers pics to fill the pages. They will not pay for a good photo.

 

Allan

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I wish my local paper would use alamy, even the bad pics on alamy must be better than the junk that the newspaper uses. Most of which look like they were taken

on a dodgy camerphone, and then blown up to become massively over pixelated.

 

Cheapskate news, like my local paper asking for readers pics to fill the pages. They will not pay for a good photo.

 

Allan

I am seeing an increasing use of images from Google streetview in certain newspaper websites. Generally not the best, but, the customer is always right and if there is nothing better....

 

With regard to selling dross, I have, in unguarded moments, uploaded some less than satisfactory shots, and, while contemplating their extinction, had one sell!  

 

Likewise I had started proceedings to delete what I felt was the weakest in a series of similars, when the shot was searched for by its code - twice!  Rapidly restored to full health by member services, thank you kindly.

 

I presume that I am not alone here?

 

I'm not advocating a lowering of standards, but maybe we need to see things more from the customer's perspective. It matters to me that the sun is shining on that building so that the stonework glows like gold, but, to a harassed picture editor, a picture, any picture that illustrates the story, is better than nothing. 

 

I think that you need to explore new ideas in this game, suck it and see. That way you may find a niche and make some cash. I have now licensed a particular shot 3 times for decent money. It's technically fine, but breaks one of the established stock shooters' rules.  Nothing illegal or morally dubious, rather a case of "You should avoid -------" , but I didn't, and it worked.

Edited by Bryan

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I wish my local paper would use alamy, even the bad pics on alamy must be better than the junk that the newspaper uses. Most of which look like they were taken

on a dodgy camerphone, and then blown up to become massively over pixelated.

 

Cheapskate news, like my local paper asking for readers pics to fill the pages. They will not pay for a good photo.

 

Allan

I am seeing an increasing use of images from Google streetview in certain newspaper websites. Generally not the best, but, the customer is always right and if there is nothing better....

 

With regard to selling dross, I have, in unguarded moments, uploaded some less than satisfactory shots, and, while contemplating their extinction, had one sell!  

 

Likewise I had started proceedings to delete what I felt was the weakest in a series of similars, when the shot was searched for by its code - twice!  Rapidly restored to full health by member services, thank you kindly.

 

I presume that I am not alone here?

 

I'm not advocating a lowering of standards, but maybe we need to see things more from the customer's perspective. It matters to me that the sun is shining on that building so that the stonework glows like gold, but, to a harassed picture editor, a picture, any picture that illustrates the story, is better than nothing. 

 

I think that you need to explore new ideas in this game, suck it and see. That way you may find a niche and make some cash. I have now licensed a particular shot 3 times for decent money. It's technically fine, but breaks one of the established stock shooters' rules.  Nothing illegal or morally dubious, rather a case of "You should avoid -------" , but I didn't, and it worked.

 

I am not happy with some of my images either, from a pictorial quality perspective not QC, and am in the process of reshooting some at the moment while on holiday.

 

Perhaps I had better leave the originals on Alamy when I upload the new images and give the buyer even more choices.

 

Allan

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