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george

mobile phone images slipping through QC

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Further to someone (do not recall who) mentioning on one of the forum posts recently that he had sent and had accepted some mobile phone images (onto Alamy not S******O) I just noticed someone saying on a FB page for A**** contributors that they have been sending images from a Samsung mobile and they have been getting through not problem. Which will no doubt lead to others doing the same.

Has Alamy changed the rules? I always thought these were pulled up immediately on upload.

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10 minutes ago, george said:

Further to someone (do not recall who) mentioning on one of the forum posts recently that he had sent and had accepted some mobile phone images (onto Alamy not S******O) I just noticed someone saying on a FB page for A**** contributors that they have been sending images from a Samsung mobile and they have been getting through not problem. Which will no doubt lead to others doing the same.

Has Alamy changed the rules? I always thought these were pulled up immediately on upload.

 

As far as I am aware, there has been no change in the rules.  it could be that those with a good (5*) QC rating, are able to circumvent the rules, (I personally haven't - and wouldn't - try) because most submissions will not be checked, but, I would have imagined that the software would automatically check on upload for suitability.  Curious.  I haven't looked at the FB site for ages; were the mobile images uploaded for Live News?  It may be that a news contributor with an important event could have been given special permission in this regard?

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Posted (edited)

That is not good for the business. Perhaps Alamy should spot check.

 

Edited by Niels Quist
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4 minutes ago, losdemas said:

 

 were the mobile images uploaded for Live News?  It may be that a news contributor with an important event could have been given special permission in this regard?


I got the impression that it was 'normal' stock. I had a quick look on her portfolio and could not see any recent stuff as live news, but it was a quick look. she said she had been taking images whilst out on walks during the lock downs, so recent stuff. And I recall the other contributor who had mentioned it here had just loaded via the normal stock route. I was surprised because I did think the software automatically checked on upload as you say. 

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I will ask Alamy and post the response, as someone else has just posted on the same FB page that they have just had some accepted too. 

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This is not a good thing. People need to stop trying to get phone photos, no matter the latest model of the phone, past QC. It will hurt everyone, in the long run.  Clients may not be happy with the product and it may make QC not trust any of us and will have to spot check many more photos, only slowing down the process for everyone.

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18 minutes ago, george said:

I will ask Alamy and post the response, as someone else has just posted on the same FB page that they have just had some accepted too. 

Thanks

6 minutes ago, Michael Ventura said:

This is not a good thing. People need to stop trying to get phone photos, no matter the latest model of the phone, past QC. It will hurt everyone, in the long run.  Clients may not be happy with the product and it may make QC not trust any of us and will have to spot check many more photos, only slowing down the process for everyone.

Hear, hear!

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5 minutes ago, Michael Ventura said:

This is not a good thing. People need to stop trying to get phone photos, no matter the latest model of the phone, past QC. It will hurt everyone, in the long run.  Clients may not be happy with the product and it may make QC not trust any of us and will have to spot check many more photos, only slowing down the process for everyone.


I have emailed and asked, obviously it will take time for a response at the moment, but will post when I hear back. If other people are 'testing the water' after reading that post, it is not good.

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This is the response I received from CR. Note the wording "uploads from mobile phones" I wonder, from this, if the issue is when mobile phone images are uploaded via a computer and not the phone itself, then they are not being  blocked. Anyway, we have an answer of sorts.
 

 

There has been no change in policy. Upload should block all uploads from mobile phones, if some have gotten through then there could have been a temporary fault we are unaware of.

 

Regards

 

Alamy CR

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Posted (edited)

 

On 24/04/2020 at 09:42, george said:

I was surprised because I did think the software automatically checked on upload as you say

If you upload to S then it has to be directly from your phone app, if you download the images to your computer then that gives you the option to strip out the EXIF, and you don't need to include that apart from your first 3 submissions. Might this be what's happening here? Then it would be a matter of judging them on quality alone which might not be so easy given the low 3000 x 2000 pixel threshold. It does seem that Alamy still operate a check on camera model from the EXIF as some recently have been excluded in error, but if there's no EXIF...

Edited by Harry Harrison
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1 hour ago, george said:

This is the response I received from CR. Note the wording "uploads from mobile phones" I wonder, from this, if the issue is when mobile phone images are uploaded via a computer and not the phone itself, then they are not being  blocked. Anyway, we have an answer of sorts.
 

 

There has been no change in policy. Upload should block all uploads from mobile phones, if some have gotten through then there could have been a temporary fault we are unaware of.

 

Regards

 

Alamy CR

 

 

i don't think the "from" means the source, as i have regularly uploaded camera taken images from my phone (was having technical issues with my laptop).  

 

So i do thing Alamy has an issue currently that images are being put through that they don't think is appropriate, and now with the information out there, this is bound to be abused by those who believe "if it goes through, it must be a fine image" mentality  

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Drifting off topic it appears that Stockimo remains limited to iPhones, I would give it a try if it were to be opened up to include Android. As a latecomer to smartphone technology I have been impressed by the quality of images from my phone, they are certainly good enough for newspaper web use if not more demanding applications. Perhaps the income from Stockimo to date has been insufficient to justify the development of new apps to extend the coverage.

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Complaining about people uploading images captured with a mobile phone is silly.  If the image can pass QC I don't really think that it is important.

AS LONG AS IT PASSES QC.  Years ago I worked with an image that appeared in all the major news magazines and on every major news broadcast

and it was shot with a disposable film camera.

 

Chuck

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i think the issue, is that Alamy says they should automatically be rejected by the system, and people say they are making it true.  So a clarification is warranted

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12 hours ago, Chuck Nacke said:

Complaining about people uploading images captured with a mobile phone is silly.  If the image can pass QC I don't really think that it is important.

AS LONG AS IT PASSES QC.  Years ago I worked with an image that appeared in all the major news magazines and on every major news broadcast

and it was shot with a disposable film camera.

 

Chuck

 

Indeed. Mobile phone cameras have improved significantly in recent years. Given that Alamy has been happy to mix images from both iPhones (submitted via St....mo) and conventional DSLRs etc. (submitted via regular Alamy QC) in it's library and in search results, with little distinction between them (image ref just prefixed with an S), illustrates that, for many applications, mobile phone images are perfectly adequate. However, it does seem inconsistent that the standard required for regular Alamy QC is typically an APSC sized sensor or above whereas  mobile phone images can be submitted via another route. It's possible/likely? that Alamy offers a special search filter (which excludes mobile images from the results) to customers who insist on higher quality images.

 

Mark 

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, Chuck Nacke said:

Complaining about people uploading images captured with a mobile phone is silly.  If the image can pass QC I don't really think that it is important.

AS LONG AS IT PASSES QC.  Years ago I worked with an image that appeared in all the major news magazines and on every major news broadcast

and it was shot with a disposable film camera.

 

Chuck

 

Have to agree with Chuck on this one. Go ahead, red arrow.

 

Came across this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7WdTwiQZtTs.  So although these 'new' phones cannot compete with 'some of the new' DSLRs or any of the pro gear, but maybe and if the image quality is better than some of the old DSLRs, my once upon a time Nikon D80 or other older camera models on Alamy's accepted camera list, well then?  It is kind of sad that technology is moving ahead at such a pace, I worry now, the A7III which I was so excited about and everything else that is sitting in the camera bag.  Two, three years from now will there be any point, and all agencies might be accepting images from mobile phones anyway.  Haven't added anything useful to this thread, I know, just thinking out loud.

 

Helen

Edited by hsessions
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Hey,

 

My most licensed image on Alamy was shot with a KODAK / NIKON DCS-620 at 1600ISO.  Almost any

mobile camera is above the resolution of the 620.  It is about the image, not the tool.

 

Chuck

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, Chuck Nacke said:

It is about the image, not the tool.

So you're suggesting that Alamy should allow general uploads from any compact digital camera made over the last 10 years say? Maybe QC should be stood down.

 

In fact you're making a different point, clearly if you have a very saleable news picture, such as presumably your most licensed shot, then it doesn't matter what it was taken with, Fisher-Price would be fine.  As it happens the camera you were using then was a state of the art professional camera costing many thousands of dollars and I'm sure you were proud to call yourself a professional then just as you are now, so it's a different thing really. I would think that the Alamy News team would be very interested in a stand-out News image if it was taken on a mobile phone, why wouldn't they be?

 

The main Alamy library intake is concerned with a certain minimum technical quality and a mobile phone, for clear technical reasons, is unlikely to meet that. The sensor is probably no more than a third of the size of the already small sensor of the Sony RX100 for instance, and people have to deal with images from that camera quite carefully, which itself falls below the standard Alamy themselves suggest.

 

I'v no idea why Alamy don't allow Android phone uploads to their S library, it does seem like they're missing a trick. As far as these mobile phone images that are rumoured to have made it on to the main library site by the normal route then surely it's a question of them having slipped through, only a small sample of images are actually inspected and now with the '5 star' rating they are imparting a degree of trust on to the photographers so it would be a shame if that experiment fails.

 

 

Edited by Harry Harrison
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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, Chuck Nacke said:

Hey,

 

My most licensed image on Alamy was shot with a KODAK / NIKON DCS-620 at 1600ISO.  Almost any

mobile camera is above the resolution of the 620.  It is about the image, not the tool.

 

Chuck

 

But the images should definitely measure up to Alamy's  quality requirements. If some sort of loophole has been used to evade these, it should be stopped. Also a threat to the five star system for all of those who do their best to keep the standard.

 

- and mobile phone images don't, but a great shot can become a great seller on the S library where these images belong.

Edited by Niels Quist
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Niels,

 

My point is simply that I do not believe that it is up to contributors to tell Alamy how to handle "Other People's Pictures."

That is Alamy's business. 

 

Chuck

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Not sure why they haven't opened up to Android phones. 

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To be honest I don't really understand why Alamy don't just accept mobile phone images via normal upload. I don't really understand how uploading them via Stockimo makes any difference (apart from maybe being able to pay the contributors less). At the end of the day, images end up in the same marketplace whether they are uploaded via the Alamy website, via FTP or via Stockimo.

 

The reverse is also occurring though...  I often see images with an ID beginning in 'S' which look too good to have been taken with a phone.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Marvin McAbee said:

Not sure why they haven't opened up to Android phones. 


You can use any phone but the S app is for iPhone only so you have to use that for upload. I guess it costs significant money to develop an app and that is probably why it has never happened for other operating systems. 
 

2 hours ago, Matt Ashmore said:

To be honest I don't really understand why Alamy don't just accept mobile phone images via normal upload. I don't really understand how uploading them via Stockimo makes any difference (apart from maybe being able to pay the contributors less). At the end of the day, images end up in the same marketplace whether they are uploaded via the Alamy website, via FTP or via Stockimo.

 

The reverse is also occurring though...  I often see images with an ID beginning in 'S' which look too good to have been taken with a phone.

 

The quality of phone images can be surprisingly high now so it could be difficult to judge at the size of a preview display on Alamy. Cameras are a big selling point now in the fiercely competitive phone market as well and they are getting better all the time. I reckon it might not be too long before they start accepting phone images through normal upload, particularly as the majority of images licensed now are for online usage. 

Edited by MDM
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Posted (edited)
On 04/05/2020 at 14:41, MDM said:


You can use any phone but the S app is for iPhone only so you have to use that for upload. I guess it costs significant money to develop an app and that is probably why it has never happened for other operating systems. 
 

 

The quality of phone images can be surprisingly high now so it could be difficult to judge at the size of a preview display on Alamy. Cameras are a big selling point now in the fiercely competitive phone market as well and they are getting better all the time. I reckon it might not be too long before they start accepting phone images through normal upload, particularly as the majority of images licensed now are for online usage. 

 

Maybe this is kind of what I was trying to say in a round about way.  So wasn't there a thread not long ago about the quality of an image on Alamy's home page, how did it get past QC and all that it was the Com'n Alamy...thread of Jan 22nd; Alamy posted their response to that(kinda supports what Chuck is saying).  We do still strive to produce and deliver the best images, out of sheer professionalism and self respect and buying the best gear for it, but just as an example then, how do you feel about an 80MB image licensing for a PU at full size, not necessarily an art print? As Michael has said most images are being used online now, I can understand photographers who do commercial work for clients that do large prints, but your regular stock submitter?  Not suggesting for a minute that we should all submit mobile phone photos taken on any old mobile phone and see if they can 'slip through QC' but just saying, this could be the future, very soon, might as well embrace it.  Also Passing QC and Slipping through QC are two different things.  If a mobile phone image is reviewed and passes QC do we really have a reason to complain?  Never mind whether it is fair or not fair because you or I have better quality images.  There will always be those who can produce better images with more expensive equipment that others might not be able to afford.  And I will be keeping my eye on that phone I posted about, next thing to add to the collection.  Okay took a risk posting this...

 

Helen

Edited by hsessions
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