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Hi Bridget,

 

They don’t seem underexposed to us, I wouldn’t worry too much about it.

 

Thanks,

The Alamy QC Team.

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25 minutes ago, BidC said:

Hi Bridget,

 

They don’t seem underexposed to us, I wouldn’t worry too much about it.

 

Thanks,

The Alamy QC Team.

Some of your images are a little on the dark side. More than one person has commented on it they're using calibrated monitors so it's a fact. The advice to calibrate yours or adjust your workflow is for you to take or leave. Alamy has also offered a general opinion, but it's also a fact that brighter looking images look better on the screen, and they may sell better- if a buyer's choice is between your image and a brighter one, it's not hard to guess which one he's going to pick. This isn't the place for camera club chiaroscuro or low-key masterpieces- it's a marketplace.

Advice on the forum is invariably authoritative and is given in good faith,  but if you're going to second-guess that advice, why should anyone bother to help you?

Edited by spacecadet
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Bleedin' heck, we have a tsunami . . . it's probably time for Alamy to put a sticky at the head of the Portfolio Review forum along the lines of:

 

If you want an honest review of your images from a stock-photography perspective, from a wide selection of Alamy contributors who in many cases have been there, done that, and got the t-shirt to prove it, this is the place. However, if you are of a delicate disposition, or are precious to the point of not accepting anything that isn't gushingly positive, this is defnitely NOT the place--perhaps Flickr or your local camera club may better suit your needs.

 

Just a thought . . .

 

DD

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3 hours ago, BidC said:

 

Actually Steve -  I have no faith or trust in anything you may say.

 

 

Well I hope you'll trust what I have to say Bridget. Some of your pics, including the two that Steve highlighted, look seriously underexposed. On the other hand, many of them are just fine (although you should take on board Kumar's point about dull lighting). So what I don't understand is this: if the underexposed ones look fine on your monitor, surely the correctly exposed ones will look horribly washed out?

 

If you take a look at the portfolios of other posters in this thread, you will see lots and lots of perfectly exposed photos, with a full dynamic range and bristling with life and colour. Some of yours look dull in comparison and a few look hopelessly underexposed. I don't think, and clearly the other people who've made similar comments don't think, that these are ever likely to sell. Having said that, your pics of events and demos are full of life and well exposed. You asked for criticism and the contributors who have responded want to help. They wouldn't have bothered otherwise.

 

Alan

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5 minutes ago, Inchiquin said:

 

Well I hope you'll trust what I have to say Bridget. Some of your pics, including the two that Steve highlighted, look seriously underexposed. On the other hand, many of them are just fine (although you should take on board Kumar's point about dull lighting). So what I don't understand is this: if the underexposed ones look fine on your monitor, surely the correctly exposed ones will look horribly washed out?

 

If you take a look at the portfolios of other posters in this thread, you will see lots and lots of perfectly exposed photos, with a full dynamic range and bristling with life and colour. Some of yours look dull in comparison and a few look hopelessly underexposed. I don't think, and clearly the other people who've made similar comments don't think, that these are ever likely to sell. Having said that, your pics of events and demos are full of life and well exposed. You asked for criticism and the contributors who have responded want to help. They wouldn't have bothered otherwise.

 

Alan

 

All I will say is that there are ways and means of saying most things.

 

I have recalibrated my monitor, checked the Adobe calibrations, and the images look nothing like the ones on the postings. 

In fact after doing all the above, the displays look better than they did before.

 

Anyway, thank you for your comment.

I appreciate you taking the time.

 

However, I'd now rather not participate any further --- 

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, dustydingo said:

Bleedin' heck, we have a tsunami . . . it's probably time for Alamy to put a sticky at the head of the Portfolio Review forum along the lines of:

 

If you want an honest review of your images from a stock-photography perspective, from a wide selection of Alamy contributors who in many cases have been there, done that, and got the t-shirt to prove it, this is the place. However, if you are of a delicate disposition, or are precious to the point of not accepting anything that isn't gushingly positive, this is defnitely NOT the place--perhaps Flickr or your local camera club may better suit your needs.

 

Just a thought . . .

 

DD

 

 

it's one thing I've noticed, that many people asking for opinions don't like them coming from opinionated people, and dismiss any input ... would they rather a "all looks good, keep on uploading". as some of mentioned, I find this forum refreshing as the opinions are usually related the sellability of the offering- not photoclub, not my mother....  

 

and this is not on Bridget, she actually has been one of the most accepting of the input

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24 minutes ago, meanderingemu said:

 

 

it's one thing I've noticed, that many people asking for opinions don't like them coming from opinionated people, and dismiss any input ... would they rather a "all looks good, keep on uploading". as some of mentioned, I find this forum refreshing as the opinions are usually related the sellability of the offering- not photoclub, not my mother....  

 

and this is not on Bridget, she actually has been one of the most accepting of the input

 

Thank you - thats very kind.

 

All I will say is there are ways and means of telling someone - you actually don't have to shame someone in order to illustrate a point.

That actually doesnt mean someone has to be petted on the back with their cheeks pinched - tow extremes to be honest.

 

I also 'invited' the person to comment.

 

I've seen the 'gung ho' comments made to others on here myself, and have tried to offset them.

I would now say that it is no surprise that this is quite an enclosed group - a handful amongst the thousands of contributors. 

 

I once worked with a doctor who told a patient 'you are going to die' - to be honest, it wasn't the best way to go about it, and the patient's death was not all together peaceful as a result.  A tsunami to say the least. 

 

Sure - put up a warning sign.

Probably the camera club really is the best place - some people do thrive more in those environments. 

 

I wish all of you the very best.

 

I made myself vulnerable and thereby take the consequences.

 

 

 

Edited by BidC

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24 minutes ago, BidC said:

 

I have recalibrated my monitor, checked the Adobe calibrations, and the images look nothing like the ones on the postings. 

In fact after doing all the above, the displays look better than they did before.

 

 

Just one more thing to say and then I'm off. Your photo of the red fishing boat that Steve highlighted: firstly, I can't see that it's red at all on my screen. Secondly, below is the histogram for that photo. If that's not underexposed I don't know what is!

 

Alan

 

histogram.jpg

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Thank youAlan,

 

I wish you no disrespect, but it is red (*maroon* red) on my screen.

 

It is supposed to be a contrasted image.

I accept - it has been classified as a poor image.

It has other possible 'faults' that haven't been mentioned.

But I'm not taking it down.

It will stay as a reminder never to ask an option of people who will probably tear me limb from limb, and for which I need to be grateful.

And to remember that, on Alamy at least,  life must be altogether sunny and bright.

 

Alamy say it is acceptable.

It is taking up their webspace.

That will be enough for now.

 

I'm taking a break.

I won't be back here, but wish you all the very best.

 

Thank you again for all your comments.

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by BidC
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41 minutes ago, BidC said:

related the sellability of the offering- not photoclub, not my mother....  

 

A small thought : - maybe its Alamy that are playing 'mother' by accepting non sellable items onto the site.

 

 [ PS I'd be happy to trade mothers in regards to voicing opinion ;) ]

Edited by BidC
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Alamy looks for in focus, reasonably exposed (some of my earliest submissions now look dark to me, though they were phorographed inside dimly lit buildings; I'd go for brighter now).  The trick is to attract attention to your photo over all the other photos submitted that show up with a particular keyword search.  My highest paid photo was searched on "cichlid," which rather amazed me.  The two things that my photo had that others didn't have were a mated pair of cichlids in breeding coloration, both in focus, one not broadside to the lens.  The cliched fish shot, apparently, is a single fish broadside to the camera, not doing anything in particular, nice for identifications, but not tremendously interesting as a photograph rather than a fish mug shot.

 

I've since looked for pairs of birds where both were in focus and only one was broadside to the lens.  Don't know if that's going to work or not, but I have one pair in my portfolio now. 

 

One of the other things is sometimes the photo editors pick the strangest things.  I had one photo of water running in the gutter of the pavement in front of my house, and just submitted it because for some dim reason, I liked the composition.  Someone else apparently did, too, but for not much money.

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On 02/10/2019 at 17:10, Steve F said:

Hey Bridget,

I don't know what proportion of the photographers on Alamy are amateurs/hobbyists, but I suspect it's a lot. I'm not sure if I'd class myself as a (part part part time) semi-commercial photographer as I do some professional work sometimes or just a hobbyist really, but regardless, I'm completely self taught. Reading the Alamy Forum has helped improve my photography a lot. As has looking out for stock photography images online, in books and magazines etc, and reading photography magazines and books.

 

I'm a bit confused that your images look so dark when you're editing them on a screen with only 25% brightness. That should mean they look way overexposed on a screen that's near 100% bright, but they actually look very dark... Hmmm...

 

I'm going to try and make this as quick as possible, hopefully it doesn't sound too daunting. Once you've done it a few times you can get quite fast. Most of it's just moving sliders. I sometimes do some extras, but the following is what I do for most photos. There are videos on YouTube for this too. I'm hoping you have Lightroom (LR), or can edit with some equivalent software. This is just my personal processing, I'm sure other people have got different ways of doing it.

 

  • You urgently need to calibrate your screen. You can do this with something like Color Munki easily, it just does it for you. Maybe see if you can get hold of a second hand copy, or borrow one off of someone.
  • You can batch edit your photos in Lightroom in the "Library" but I like to do mine individually.
  • Processing in Lightroom under the "Develop" tab:
  1. Lens corrections - apply correction for your lens - if you're lucky, LR does it automatically for you. Remove chromatic abberation.
  2. Transform - make sure horizon is straight and buildings are not leaning at funny angles. You can get away with "Auto" in a lot of cases.
  3. Adjust the exposure. I do it by eye so it looks "right" to me, but you can also try and get the histogram so the 'bell shape' is in the middle and not skewed to the left or right.
  4. Adjust contrast by eye.
  5. Adjust the whites and blacks so that the histogram goes all the way to the left and right with no clipping. But check by eye as well, sometimes you don't want to go all the way to the edge.
  6. Adjust shadows and highlights by eye (sometimes necessary).
  7. Adjust the White Balance as necessary. Default is "as shot". Change it to "Auto" to see what it looks like. See what you think, adjust by eye as you see fit.
  8. Adjust vibrance and saturation. By the way, increasing the overall exposure a lot seems to automatically increase the saturation so you might actually need to apply negative saturation.
  9. Adjust saturation and luminance on individual colours if necessary, i.e. if one colour looks really garish or flat.
  10. Check for dust bunnies with the spot removal tool, and click on "visualise spots". It's a bit hit and miss though so I just tend to zoom in on the photo by eye and remove them.
  11. Sharpening - I just leave it as default and I believe that is alright for Alamy.
  12. Export as highest quality jpeg with sRGB or AdobeRGB colour space - don't apply additional sharpening.
  13. Congrats, you're done, next photo!

I hope this helps,

Steve

 

p.s. positives - sorry, I don't normally bother! I'm not trying to rip your portfolio to shreds. You do have a lot of good photos and I agree with what Matt has said that you can take good shots and have talent. I don't think you're too far off. Keep it up when you have time and keep learning, you'll get there.

 

p.p.s I'm a civil engineer by day, my work regularly gets reviewed and red penned - hopefully not so much ripped to shreds as when I was a graduate!

 

p.p.p.s. I took your images in the post above from the thumbnails - I think the thumbnails look a bit darker than the originals, but your images are still often very dark.

 

Thanks for taking the time to type this up Steve.
It's almost identical to my workflow, but I wish I had had it available when I started to submit stock.
What a shame that your effort was thrown in your face by such a delicate flower, but it's the reason I very rarely critique anyone who is a stock beginner as it seems that they just want a back slapping session to boost their ego.

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3 hours ago, MizBrown said:

Alamy looks for in focus, reasonably exposed (some of my earliest submissions now look dark to me, though they were phorographed inside dimly lit buildings; I'd go for brighter now).  The trick is to attract attention to your photo over all the other photos submitted that show up with a particular keyword search.  My highest paid photo was searched on "cichlid," which rather amazed me.  The two things that my photo had that others didn't have were a mated pair of cichlids in breeding coloration, both in focus, one not broadside to the lens.  The cliched fish shot, apparently, is a single fish broadside to the camera, not doing anything in particular, nice for identifications, but not tremendously interesting as a photograph rather than a fish mug shot.

 

I've since looked for pairs of birds where both were in focus and only one was broadside to the lens.  Don't know if that's going to work or not, but I have one pair in my portfolio now. 

 

One of the other things is sometimes the photo editors pick the strangest things.  I had one photo of water running in the gutter of the pavement in front of my house, and just submitted it because for some dim reason, I liked the composition.  Someone else apparently did, too, but for not much money.

 

Thats very interesting :) 

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1 hour ago, mickfly said:

 

Thanks for taking the time to type this up Steve.
It's almost identical to my workflow, but I wish I had had it available when I started to submit stock.
What a shame that your effort was thrown in your face by such a delicate flower, but it's the reason I very rarely critique anyone who is a stock beginner as it seems that they just want a back slapping session to boost their ego.

 

Wow - I have no words. 

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10 hours ago, Steve F said:

 

Hi Bridget,

I was trying to help, I'm sorry you took it this way.

 

Best wishes,

Stephen

 

p.s. I think the get rich quick scheme was from another user

 

Thank you Steve - lets just forget it. 

 

I do have my own workflow (and it very similar to the above but defendant upon the image).

It was my CTR (over the last year) that I was wondering about - I really wish I'd never asked.

 

I am not sure why the images seem dark suddenly - only that I have been editing in a different house with different lighting 

My monitor is also internally calibrated, and I have been advised there is no need to buy a calibrator (not worth me spending money on).

 

Anyway - I really am leaving the forum now.

I hope notifications will be turned off tomorrow.

 

Thank you anyway for trying to help.

 

'The delicate flower' (couldn't resist- though I know it wasn't you that called me that 😉- just trying to find the funny side)

 

Edited by BidC

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2 hours ago, mickfly said:

 

Thanks for taking the time to type this up Steve.
It's almost identical to my workflow, but I wish I had had it available when I started to submit stock.
What a shame that your effort was thrown in your face by such a delicate flower, but it's the reason I very rarely critique anyone who is a stock beginner as it seems that they just want a back slapping session to boost their ego.

 

My life experience tells me that it is usually the bullies that need their ego boosting.

But the 'delicate flower' bit - no the 'such a delicate flower'  bit-  well, I don't think you've met me .... 

 

Edited by BidC

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11 hours ago, Steve F said:

 

Hi Bridget,

I was trying to help, I'm sorry you took it this way.

 

Best wishes,

Stephen

 

p.s. I think the get rich quick scheme was from another user

 

Thought I'd replied to this, apologies.

 

Lets just put it behind us.

 

Thank you for trying.

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Just thought I would give a more enlightened summary and ending to this –

 

Each person has contributed pieces of wisdom here – but in the end the ‘rule’, if there is one, applies to the individual making it in many ways.

 

Sorry to disappoint the ‘elders’ but no one should say, ‘I’ve been doing this longer and thereby I know best’ 'you must listen to me to your detriment' – life today gives thoughtful expression to everyone. Trying out different approaches is good, as is ‘discussion’. 

 

Becoming het up about ratings and rank (for me certainly) I can see is a fruitless action. In the end I personally only wanted an explanation. And a possible ‘opinion’ on a portfolio. Anything further is up to an exploration obvious in terms of responses.

 

The world nowadays is full of people ‘urgently’ spinning, rather than mindfully considering, to its detriment (imo). 'Stock' is (imho) a slow burner, rather than a race to the finish line.

 

There may be many contributors to Alamy, but each is in a different part of the world and has a unique perspective. In a sense (taking the 'uniqueness' of each person and thereby image style and category into consideration) - then the rest is often down to need, taste and trends (and yes, how well a thumbnail stands out). 

 

For me the art of photography is far more important than the science, the technical, or how many images someone uploads in a month – for some it will be different, or a balance. All have their place.

 

Some images will mellow, or become of interest (perhaps) over time. Not expressing myself very well - but that's just my own world view.

 

Better to strive to make images as good as possible, and the rest is up to the need at the time. There is a space for trying different approaches, and for every taste (imo) – even ‘dark’ and ‘rainy days’ have their uses. I will probably put those back at some point.

 

I’m leaving it all for a few months – some of the forum talk has been useful, but only in reflecting in this way has this ‘chat’ been useful to me. Thanks to all nonetheless.

 

Btw ‘@mickyfly’ – ‘flower’ and ‘petal’ are forms of endearment in Yorkshire – maybe you didn’t even know you cared 😀😂😀 [btw - a friendly and gentle warning t0 you - if I had wished, I could have reported you for offensive and derogatory language toward women. I won't, because I understand your ignorance in these matters. But I could have ].

 

Edited by BidC
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7 hours ago, BidC said:

 

 

Each person has contributed pieces of wisdom here – but in the end the ‘rule’, if there is one, applies to the individual making it in many ways.

 

Sorry to disappoint the ‘elders’ but no one should say, ‘I’ve been doing this longer and thereby I know best’ 'you must listen to me to your detriment' – life today gives thoughtful expression to everyone. Trying out different approaches is good, as is ‘discussion’. 

 

Becoming het up about ratings and rank (for me certainly) I can see is a fruitless action. In the end I personally only wanted an explanation. And a possible ‘opinion’ on a portfolio. Anything further is up to an exploration obvious in terms of responses.

 

The world nowadays is full of people ‘urgently’ spinning, rather than mindfully considering, to its detriment (imo). 'Stock' is (imho) a slow burner, rather than a race to the finish line.

 

There may be many contributors to Alamy, but each is in a different part of the world and has a unique perspective. In a sense (taking the 'uniqueness' of each person and thereby image style and category into consideration) - then the rest is often down to need, taste and trends (and yes, how well a thumbnail stands out). 

 

For me the art of photography is far more important than the science, the technical, or how many images someone uploads in a month – for some it will be different, or a balance. All have their place.

 

Some images will mellow, or become of interest (perhaps) over time. Not expressing myself very well - but that's just my own world view.

 

 

 

 

i know you have moved on, so i am leaving this for future newcomers like me who will come through these thread as they try to soak in as much of the information to help them get started.  

 

The main issue is the comment about "art of photography is far more important than the science, the technical, or how many images someone uploads in a month".  No one should argue with this, and i don't think anyone argued against. The forum however is not about the art of photography, it's about the art of stock photography, as it relates to Alamy, and this is where the veterans bring their value....  

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3 hours ago, meanderingemu said:

 

 

i know you have moved on, so i am leaving this for future newcomers like me who will come through these thread as they try to soak in as much of the information to help them get started.  

 

The main issue is the comment about "art of photography is far more important than the science, the technical, or how many images someone uploads in a month".  No one should argue with this, and i don't think anyone argued against. The forum however is not about the art of photography, it's about the art of stock photography, as it relates to Alamy, and this is where the veterans bring their value....  

 

What brings buyers to the photos is first the keywords, then the photographs.  The buyers have a hole to fill in their ads, articles, or presentations, and are looking for photos that are specific to the subjects of those things.   Artistic qualities help only if the subject is appropriate for the space the buyer is trying to fill, if the photos illustrate something in the article, ad, or presentation. 

 

One of the more experienced people here said that stock photographers need to think "what is this an illustration of?"   Then say that in the caption and keywords. 

 

The reason for uploading a lot of varied photos is that different photo editors will be looking for different subjects using keywords more or less skillfully.   Nobody is going to turn down an absolutely beautiful picture if it fits the words it will illustrate, but nobody will license it if it doesn't.

 

 

 

 

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Gee, I was about to offer some advice, but I see now that it would fall on deaf ears. 

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On 13/08/2019 at 03:03, Inchiquin said:

 

That's what has kept me hooked on photography since I was a teenager. I can look at a photo I took 40 years ago and remember the feeling the prompted me to take it in the first place.

 

Alan

Alan, a song does that for me, too. I hear an oldie, and I remember my feelings, the smells, and everything about a certain day or time the song was playing. Actually, more so than photographs. The music recalls more senses, where the photo recalls the activity.

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49 minutes ago, Betty LaRue said:

 

Alan, a song does that for me, too. I hear an oldie, and I remember my feelings, the smells, and everything about a certain day or time the song was playing. Actually, more so than photographs. The music recalls more senses, where the photo recalls the activity.

 

 

That's so interesting Betty, because it's exactly the opposite for me! Although I love music (more than visual art) and 'feel' a piece of music in my soul, when I hear something from the past it reminds me of what I was doing at the time, whereas a photograph reminds me of what I was feeling.

 

Alan

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1 hour ago, Colin Woods said:

Me too. This https://www.oliversacks.com/books-by-oliver-sacks/musicophilia/ is a recommended and fascinating read into music and the human brain. 

I think that must be a fascinating book. But yes, I have been brought to tears by music, felt elated, revisited my past, and been prodded to get up and dance a bit of disco, all by particular music pieces that I love. The first time I heard “River of Tears” by Eric Clapton...it was amazing the emotions I felt. Thrills, sadness, sorrow, soul touching.

 Sorry for going off topic. I tend to do this way more than I should.

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