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I'm a new member of the contributor community, and look forward to a long and prosperous relationship with all of you. Prior to submitting my first images, and to that end, I have read the instructions entitled "Failed Image Reasons." Doing so has raised some questions in my mind, which are as follows (referencing the Failed Image Reasons sections by name):

Poor Exposure - In general, I can understand the requirement for having the black and white points "pinned" at 0 and 255, but wonder if this is a bit restrictive when it comes to artistic expression. I think specifically of cases where a dark, somber mood (or its opposite) is the desired effect, in which case such requirements would be detrimental. I would hope such requirements are flexible in such instances. Your thoughts?

Number of Images - The instructions mention "test submissions," but nowhere else, at least not that I can remember. I probably missed something in the process of studying the site's online enrollment documentation. Please help me by filling in this gap in my knowledge or directing me to the appropriate place(s) on the site.

Orientation - What exactly is meant by "Make sure your image is the right way up," and does this apply to every and all submissions?

Size - I assume (since I don't deal with these subjects often enough) that by "Uncompressed (opened) file size," they mean a file's pixel dimensions multiplied together, not the number that is displayed in the "Size" column by the file manager, correct? If so, then sadly, there are a few of my prized images that fall just a hair under the 17MB limit... ūüė쬆

Unsuitable Material - I'm insanely curious as to the definition of the word "glamour" as applied in this context. Certainly, pornography and infringement of rights are quite clear and are to be absolutely avoided, but "glamour?" What exactly is the concern here?

No metadata - This one has me scratching my head. The aforementioned question regarding "test submissions" not withstanding, this item is confusing, even self-contradictory to me. Help!

Thanks in advance for your patience in consideration of and assistance with these questions. I hope to hear from you soon, and to begin uploading images to Alamy in the near future!

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Alamy is primarily an editorial agency rather than a creative one. In most cases (though not all) artistic expression is not the main point of a photo. However, it's perfectly possible to submit creative shots and the lack of a full spectrum will not usually be penalised provided that the effect is relevant to the subject. A good photographer can easily tell the difference between a poorly exposed photograph and an atmospheric one.

 

A test submission is three photos, no more, no less. Once this has passed QC, you are free to upload as many you like, in batches of your own choosing. However you should be aware that if one photo in a batch fails, the whole batch will be rejected together with any other batches that are currently in the QC processing queue.

 

I'm surprised you need to ask about orientation. Surely it should be obvious if a picture is upside down, or rotated at 90 degrees? Basically this means don't submit a portrait format photo in landscape format, or vice versa. (Yes, people sometimes do).

 

You're correct about size. If your pics are just under the limit you should be able to get away with upsizing them by a small amount in Photoshop (but check them carefully at 100% after doing so). In the old days when the minimum size was much larger and many cameras were 6 or 10 MP, it was quite common to upsize pics by quite a sizeable amount before submission.

 

Alamy doesn't supply glamour. Their choice. We follow their rules. There are a billion other subjects available that don't exploit women.

 

Alan

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15 hours ago, RDDPhoto said:

I'm a new member of the contributor community, welcome and look forward to a long and prosperous relationship with all of you. Prior to submitting my first images, and to that end, I have read the instructions entitled "Failed Image Reasons." Doing so has raised some questions in my mind, which are as follows (referencing the Failed Image Reasons sections by name):

Poor Exposure - In general, I can understand the requirement for having the black and white points "pinned" at 0 and 255, but wonder if this is a bit restrictive when it comes to artistic expression. I think specifically of cases where a dark, somber mood (or its opposite) is the desired effect, in which case such requirements would be detrimental. I would hope such requirements are flexible in such instances. Your thoughts?

It's up to QC if they think it's deliberate or not. You can always email them if they've failed you on an image you've deliberately darkened or lightened for artistic reasons.

Number of Images - The instructions mention "test submissions," but nowhere else, at least not that I can remember. I probably missed something in the process of studying the site's online enrollment documentation. Please help me by filling in this gap in my knowledge or directing me to the appropriate place(s) on the site.

You need 3 images for your first submission. Don't try submitting anything really unusual or heavily edited, just low noise well edited images.

Orientation - What exactly is meant by "Make sure your image is the right way up," and does this apply to every and all submissions?

Ditto what Alan says!

Size - I assume (since I don't deal with these subjects often enough) that by "Uncompressed (opened) file size," they mean a file's pixel dimensions multiplied together, not the number that is displayed in the "Size" column by the file manager, correct? If so, then sadly, there are a few of my prized images that fall just a hair under the 17MB limit... ūüė쬆

There's a lot of confusion about this and threads in the Forum. File size when open in editing software should be minimum of 17MB, image size produced a minimum of 6MP (3000x2000 pixels assuming you don't crop)

Unsuitable Material - I'm insanely curious as to the definition of the word "glamour" as applied in this context. Certainly, pornography and infringement of rights are quite clear and are to be absolutely avoided, but "glamour?" What exactly is the concern here? Ditto Alan's comment.

No metadata - This one has me scratching my head. The aforementioned question regarding "test submissions" not withstanding, this item is confusing, even self-contradictory to me. Help! Your camera will automatically produce files with metadata. Make sure your editing software doesn't strip it out (it won't unless you've deliberately set it to)

Thanks in advance for your patience in consideration of and assistance with these questions. I hope to hear from you soon, and to begin uploading images to Alamy in the near future!

 

It's good to prepare like you are. Have a look at some of the threads on the Forum, particularly portfolio critique, there's a lot of useful information there. Comments in Green above.

Steve

Edited by Steve F
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- and don't try to show off with the first three images, only the technical quality is scrutinised. Lots of opportunities to show all your skills later on.

Edited by Niels Quist
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Since you are looking at the 'reasons for failure' section, the issue about metadata is that your processing workflow should not involve any process which strips out metadata from the image file. It is unlikely that you would do so in the process of normal preparation for submission, but it does happen sometimes.  Indeed, as I'm sure you know metaata is important and when you begin submitting in quantity, prefilling the caption and keywords fields will save to time after passing QC and get images on sale more quickly.

 

I would reinforce what Niels said about your first three images, three and only three. Just show that you know how to take a good photo. Three shots taken in good light, well framed and focussed, possibly on a tripod to avoid any possibility of camera shake. 

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And when you get round to keywording, make sure you find the topics on here about the Discoverability Bar which is a rubbish tool that you should ignore. Its been discussed on half a dozen threads in the last few months. Do find and read those threads, there is good information in them.

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The alamy QC guidelines actually state that white/black should be "within 5% of" 0/255 respectively, which is perfectly realistic. Remember, this is referring to white/black values, it doesn't mean that an image largely composed of shadows or bright areas needs the exposure artificially pulling to satisfy the histogram. As long as the image has good dynamic range, good exposure and doesn't have large swathes of clipped blacks/whites it will be fine.

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Several years ago Alamy gave their reasoning for not allowing 'glamour'. Someone could be doing a live search with their client looking over their shoulder (eg a design agency with the marketing manager from a big client). It would be unprofessional for badly keyworded NSFW glamour images showing up in the search results. As glamour is not a major subject for Alamy customers then it's easiest all round to just not accept it.

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21 hours ago, RDDPhoto said:

Size - I assume (since I don't deal with these subjects often enough) that by "Uncompressed (opened) file size," they mean a file's pixel dimensions multiplied together, not the number that is displayed in the "Size" column by the file manager, correct? If so, then sadly, there are a few of my prized images that fall just a hair under the 17MB limit...

You're correct Alamy's 17MB (MegaBytes) is based on the image pixel dimensions trebled (there are 3 bytes for each pixel, one each for red, green and blue)

As a rough guide, if an image contains 6 million pixels (6MP) or more it will meet Alamy's minimum size requirement. So a 3:2 ratio image with 3,000 x 2,000 pixels, for example, is fine. Many here use the Alamy Size Checker app from Braeside as a pre-flight check, but I notice the webpage it could be downloaded from has now gone. ūüėě

 

Mark

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  • 4 weeks later...

You've all been extremely helpful, and I thank you so very much for your time and expertise!

 

I've passed my initial test, and have also been able to get a few more images accepted as well. Until my skills and my focus become a whole lot better, I think I must keep my submission batches small, so as to keep the total number of rejections small.

 

From all of the study and image review I've done over several months time recently, it seems my greatest hurdle is going to be finding my stock photography "voice" or "niche," as it were. Any suggestions from those of you that have found it for yourselves?

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You have to be your own harshest critic. For each subject that you upload, look at the competition already on Alamy and ask yourself why would a buyer choose yours over the competition. For well known places, look for an alternative viewpoint or less photographed subjects. For example Paris or London - so many pictures of the Eiffel Tower or Tower Bridge as if they are the only buildings in those cities. And search on alamy for places near you or where you are likely to go, or subjects that you have easy access to - you have a database of 200 million images at your fingertips. Look at them all and learn how you can beat them. My dream destination might be your back yard and vice versa.

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+1 to Colin's comments above. I recently took a macro image of a damselfly that I was pretty happy with. I then checked the competition on Alamy for that species of damselfly and realised what was already there was definitely superior to mine and so I decided not to upload it. It is worth considering what you can do better or differently if you are photographing subjects already covered on Alamy.

 

I've only been with Alamy a short time and my sales cover four different subjects - a macro image of wildflowers, the exterior of a craft brewery business, an historic disused railway tunnel, and a beach landscape with surfers in the distance. In terms of finding a "voice" or a "niche" I think it might be best keeping yourself as open to variety as possible, but also photographing what you enjoy as that keeps you inspired and interested.

 

With Alamy it takes a while for sales to build up so being patient helps. Generally it seems to help to have a few thousand images to see regular sales, from what others report, though I think there are a few people here with smaller portfolios of about a thousand images who have mentioned getting regular sales.

 

I had a look at your port and particularly like your two pier images. Good luck and all the best!

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8 hours ago, RDDPhoto said:

 

From all of the study and image review I've done over several months time recently, it seems my greatest hurdle is going to be finding my stock photography "voice" or "niche," as it were. Any suggestions from those of you that have found it for yourselves?

 

 

Do what you love. Being passionate about something gives you a better feel for its possibilities and a greater insight into its nuances.

 

Alan

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RDD,

 

When you've a few more pictures uploaded you'll see what people like about what you're supplying.  It might take 100's of pictures, it might take more.

 

If you learn and enjoy the experience as you go, well that might be niche enough.

 

ūü¶Ē

 

 

Edited by Mr Standfast
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to add to Colin's comment, when you have access to a certain subject, go look through AoA searches see if there was any Angle, Variable that were searched recently that seemed to have a gap. 

 

also take some chances.  find views most don't take and see impact, yes that means you now have images of roadkill, and rotten fruit in your portfolio, but hey....  

 

 

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