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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

Edited by chicagonature
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You don't tell us the reason for failure, which is necessary.

Often this could be the reason, but perhaps not in your case: "No point of focus, or out of focus when we feel it’s not artistically intended to be."

Probably only a minor adjustment on your side is necessary to fly through QC at nearly all  times.

 

You are not the only professional photographer who had to adjust to sell on Alamy.

 

And, yes, one faulty image will fail your whole submission - (waiting number of images)..

 

We are quite a lot who prefer the system at Alamy which enhances our self-control and leaves more money to contributors.

 

 

https://www.alamy.com/contributor/how-to-sell-images/guidelines-for-submitting-images/?section=3

 

https://www.alamy.com/contributors/alamy-how-to-pass-qc.pdf

 

 

https://www.alamy.com/contributor/how-to-sell-images/alamy-quality-control/?section=5

After your first submission has passed:

Send us as many images as you like as often as you like

We’ll just spot-check a few of your images per submission

If the images we check are ok, your whole submission will pass

If we find a problem with one image, your whole submission will fail

You’ll receive a pass or fail email and we’ll update the submission in AIM

 

Niels Quist

 

 

Edited by Niels Quist
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From what you say it is hard to tell.

Maybe you can upload  a 100% crop of a sharp region to your webpage or other accessible internet area that does not alter images.

Share it here in the thread along with the reason QC gave you for the failure. 

If one image fails, the entire batch fails, there is no such thing as an accepted picture in a failed batch - these are the rules you signed up to. 

 

As for me, no problems at all and I am still convinced QC works flawlessly. 

I had one QC fail for an understandable reason and I knew the image was borderline before I uploaded. 

Edited by hdh
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Hello Mike,

 

I'll try and go through your points one by one.   I won't dress it up too much because you are not a rookie.

  • Experienced photographers having problems with ALAMY QC is not unknown, it's just an adjustment issue.  Your clients  and buyers have aa appreciation of what is good and you are used to working to that paradigm. ALAMY have a opinion of what their customers expect from a contributor and QC ask contributors to work to that standaard.  It's no refelection on you, just what ALAMY want.
  • The whole batch being rejected is part of the QC method, it is well documented in the help pages, blog and forum. It is what it is and won't change.
  • When you identify what the QC issue is, you can re-upload the pictures hwich do not exhibit the proble and move forward.
  • The forum may/will try to help you fix or workaround the QC issue, to do this it needs to know what the problem is.
    • What was the reason for the QC failure, it is mentioned on the email.
    • Can you upload an example to the forum, for people to look at an comment upon.

 

I like your pictures and I'm sure the others will as well. Good luck

 

James

 

 

 

 

Edited by Mr Standfast
Fixed format...

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I really like your images as well but I see problems with keywording and captioning with the first image. It is beautiful with ghostly deer visible but it is captioned as a coyote and some keywords are completely inappropriate. If you solve your problems with QC and continue here I suggest going over the keywords to remove any that are incorrect. In the long run you are going to want to establish a ranking that puts your images on the first page of a search and very specific and accurate keywords can accomplish that.

 

Paulette

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I just want to sum up and remind you that learning what counts for Alamy and its clients is what counts here. If you can please those other customers, you can learn to please Alamy too. I for one have to deal with different specs from different buyers and do so. I see it as being professional. I encourage you to approach this the same way.

 

We will do our best to help you here because it's in everybody's best interests to have a great and technically cohesive collection. When you upload to Alamy, you're one of us.

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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

Flowers-Skunk%20Cabbage-0030.jpg

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7 minutes ago, chicagonature said:

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

Flowers-Skunk%20Cabbage-0030.jpg

 

I would resize it to approx 3800 pixels longest side.

 

You need to post a 100% crop for people to judge the image

 

 

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I agree with Alamy QC, the picture is soft due to the size (scan resolution). 

You need to follow the QC quidelines and look at your pictures at 100% and then pan &check the entire picture.

 

Downsizing, as geog says, may help, still you need to check every single image at 100% on screen before submitting it.

 

good luck. 

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11 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

 

You need to post a 100% crop for people to judge the image

 

 

 

Click on the image and it will open in a new tab. Click on it in the new tab to see it at 100%. 

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If you have a bunch of submissions waiting I'm afraid they do fail them all if there is a bad one in the first batch they look at.

 

Paulette

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I'm seeing a soft image with a bit of noise too. Why is this file so big? 

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1 hour ago, geogphotos said:

 

I would resize it to approx 3800 pixels longest side.

 

You need to post a 100% crop for people to judge the image

 

If you right click and copy the image, you can get 100% 8348 x 5937 version.

At this high resolution the image is too soft. Downsizing to 3,000 x 2,134 and removing some of the shadow noise should get it through QC IMHO.

 

Mark

Edited by M.Chapman

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12 minutes ago, Brian Yarvin said:

I'm seeing a soft image with a bit of noise too. Why is this file so big? 

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

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1 hour ago, chicagonature said:

 

The only slightly soft part is the tip of the "spathe" of the left skunk cabbage plant

 

 

Sorry, but this is not correct. If you view the picture at 100% (which Alamy does) the whole image is VERY unsharp.

 

As described earlier, if one fails the whole batch automatically fails. It's exactly the same as QC in any other industry - if you supply a supermarket with apples and one of them is rotten, the whole batch will be rejected. This is why the batch is shown as a failure but the email only listed one image. This doesn't mean that all the other images would have passed - it's up to you to implement your own pre-QC quality control to ensure that all submitted images are good enough.

 

You could try downsizing it as suggested above, but you must still check it very carefully at 100% and I'm inclined to think that this particular one is so wide of the mark that downsizing will not help.

 

Alan

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If you have a slide and do a print form that, the outcome is different to scanning. 

How noisy or sharp the resulting electronic image is, does not only depend on the original slide but also the quality of the scanner and scanning software that you used. 

 

As in real life, each processing step add flaws and they sometimes do not just add up but multiply.   

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43 minutes ago, Inchiquin said:

 

Sorry, but this is not correct. If you view the picture at 100% (which Alamy does) the whole image is VERY unsharp.

 

As described earlier, if one fails the whole batch automatically fails. It's exactly the same as QC in any other industry - if you supply a supermarket with apples and one of them is rotten, the whole batch will be rejected. This is why the batch is shown as a failure but the email only listed one image. This doesn't mean that all the other images would have passed - it's up to you to implement your own pre-QC quality control to ensure that all submitted images are good enough.

 

You could try downsizing it as suggested above, but you must still check it very carefully at 100% and I'm inclined to think that this particular one is so wide of the mark that downsizing will not help.

 

Alan

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

April-in-Blue-Master.jpg

Edited by chicagonature
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6 minutes ago, chicagonature said:

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.

Thanks!
    Mike

 

If any one of your images in the QC inspection queue fails, then all your images in the queue (even if they are in different submissions) will be failed. You will only get a failure reason for the one image. QC is manual, but I imagine that if they fail one image, then rejection of all the others in the queue is automated.

 

I assume you've seen this? https://www.alamy.com/contributors/alamy-how-to-pass-qc.pdf

 

Mark

Edited by M.Chapman
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Mike, QC is manual. I agree with the others comments on sharpness

 

Go through your batches, and reject the soft ones, upload the rest and you will be back on track.

 

We've all gone through this learning process, once you are tuned into the ALAMY QC standard then QC fails will be rare.

 

Have a good read of the links in Niels post, the answers to your questions are there.

 

James

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2 minutes ago, Mr Standfast said:

We've all gone through this learning process, once you are tuned into the ALAMY QC standard then QC fails will be rare.

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

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16 minutes ago, chicagonature said:

 

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?

 

 

This one is a world away from the skunk cabbage picture. I think it would stand a chance of passing as it is, but if you downsize I think it would sail through.

 

Alan

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1 hour ago, chicagonature said:

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.

 

You'll find that this group can be really great - I've known some of the people in it (online at least) for more than two decades - longer than Alamy itself has been around. We all learn from each other's mistakes and are here to help. Take some time to re-think things. Upload smaller files, see how you can increase sharpness without software sharpening, and do what you can to learn one more perspective on what makes a good digital photo. 

 

Mike, in stock photography, there's a lot to be gained from smaller files. Uploading them that large does nothing but make life harder for you. Surely you can do it.

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4 minutes ago, Brian Yarvin said:

Take some time to re-think things. Upload smaller files, see how you can increase sharpness without software sharpening, and do what you can to learn one more perspective on what makes a good digital photo. 

 

Mike, in stock photography, there's a lot to be gained from smaller files. Uploading them that large does nothing but make life harder for you. Surely you can do it.

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

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45 minutes ago, Inchiquin said:

 

This one is a world away from the skunk cabbage picture. I think it would stand a chance of passing as it is, but if you downsize I think it would sail through.

 

Alan

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

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I suspect it's easier for a novice photographer to improve their skills to pass Quality Control than for a professional to alter their style to meet the needs of the site.  Once you know what you're doing, you get ideas of the correct way to do things and it takes a lot of adjusting to understand a new correct way.

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