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How does alamy QC determine whether a photo is "in focus"?


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How does alamy QC determine if a photo os "in focus"? I'm somewhat new to making higher quality photos, however, I am familiar with photography in the general sense.  

I also know that a photographer can make a photo unique by putting the plane of focus through one object, or another in the same frame. (e.g. focusing the background or the immediate foreground instead of the main subject.) In my test submissions I have received failures for being "out-of-focus" when there is indeed an object in the plane of focus. How does the QC team know what I am trying to focus on in the photograph? 

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If you are shooting a flower, but a leafy bush is in near background, the flower should be sharp, not the bush. Every image usually has a subject, other than landscapes where the whole image is the subject.

QC, when they look at an image, looks for the subject, not just something in the image that is in sharply in focus. If there I’d a child in the foreground eating an ice cream, but a bicycle is barely behind, they’ll look at the larger subject, the child, as the subject. So if the bicycle is in focus, they’ll usually fail it. 
Now, if the bicycle is more or less centered, the child incidentally off to the side and out of focus, they’ll most likely assume the bicycle is the subject, so that’s what should be in focus.

I’ve taken a few shots where my camera grabbed focus at the wrong place and I immediately bin those images. Often it will be a tiny bug I’m after and the leaf it’s on is sharp, but not the bug. Cameras on autofocus often seem to want to snap focus onto edges and that creates problems. That’s when you turn to manual focus or put your focus box, dot or whatever on your subject.

If you must always shoot autofocus, (which I pretty much always do, then if your camera allows it, choose the “spot” or “center” focus, so you can put the spot on the subject you want sharp. I shoot Fuji, and I have a toggle that allows me to put the focus box where I want it. Very handy. I use it pretty much with every shot.

I’m not saying QC always gets it right. They’re only human. They may consider a certain thing the subject when you meant something else to be. But what you mean the subject to be should be worthy as a subject.

Betty

Edited by Betty LaRue
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So what if I have a photo that requires me to calculate and apply its hyperfocal distance? In one interpretation, the background and the foreground would be slightly blurred when the entire landscape is the subject; the idea being to get as much of the landscape in focus as possible. Would alamy reject this image for being out of focus?

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3 minutes ago, ChrisIris said:

So what if I have a photo that requires me to calculate and apply its hyperfocal distance? In one interpretation, the background and the foreground would be slightly blurred when the entire landscape is the subject; the idea being to get as much of the landscape in focus as possible. Would alamy reject this image for being out of focus?

 

For most landscapes I focus about 1/3rd of the way into the scene, usually at f11, which should offer sharpness at distance (though anything close-up will be out of focus, of course). Don't overthink your first submissions. Just send shots which have an obvious subject, and render it in crisp focus...

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7 hours ago, meanderingemu said:

regardless of all of this,  test images are probably better being safe standard flat images, what you are showing is that you have the competency and equipment to produce good clean images.  

I agree. Don’t submit anything complicated. A muffin, a cookie, a bicycle, a tree, focusing on the bark. A cat, your dog. Any person or animal, focus on the nearest eye. The far eye, ear, paw, may be out of focus if the subject is turned somewhat, but if that near eye is sharp, your good.

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Not sure if the above is what the OP was looking for in an answer but I would say, "Someone looks at them on a screen".

 

Allan

 

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