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QC failure - excessive similars


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1 hour ago, Betty LaRue said:

Maybe QC has been told to watch similars to hold down the numbers explosion with little variety. Who knows. Maybe QC each have their own criteria re: similars, and a few aren’t using the best judgment.

Keep your chin up. Develop a plan, (a new one) follow it meticulously and hope for the best. You won’t be able to work the numbers as your used to, but....

 

 

but if this is the case, why not publicise it,  Instead we get a contributor video extolling the greatness of increasing the number of images in portfolio, which no regards to quality.  They should have been grateful at Ian for helping them mean this great key goal.

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32 minutes ago, meanderingemu said:

 

 

but if this is the case, why not publicise it,  Instead we get a contributor video extolling the greatness of increasing the number of images in portfolio, which no regards to quality.  They should have been grateful at Ian for helping them mean this great key goal.

Have you ever been able to figure out most of Alamy‘s moves and reasons? I haven’t.  That’s why I’m full of “maybe” guesses. They do have departments. People who are given discretion in performing their duties. Sometimes something said to be meant done one way by a higher up is taken another way by someone down the chain of command. Or they are simply given the freedom to do it their way.

The only way to know the inner workings of a company is to work in it ourselves, and sit in on the meetings. The video barely scratches the surface.

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1 hour ago, Betty LaRue said:

Have you ever been able to figure out most of Alamy‘s moves and reasons? I haven’t.  That’s why I’m full of “maybe” guesses. They do have departments. People who are given discretion in performing their duties. Sometimes something said to be meant done one way by a higher up is taken another way by someone down the chain of command. Or they are simply given the freedom to do it their way.

The only way to know the inner workings of a company is to work in it ourselves, and sit in on the meetings. The video barely scratches the surface.

 

 

It's  not a matter of quality vs. quantity.  It's a matter of both and variety.   Similar photos that Alamy has multiples of can be all very good, but some people are looking for things that aren't represented here or are represented poorly.   

 

Someone a while back said that if you had one good photo of something, the risk you take posting a handful more of technically decent photos that aren't as good is that one of your less good photos may show up in the first pages of a search and keep your better photo from being seen. 

 

Some photographers here have relatively small portfolios but have excellent photographs of a specialty area (one I looked at specialized in English architecture, the other in plants, and others do underwater photos of marine animals, which isn't something an average semi-professional is likely to be able to afford to do). 

 

The rule against too many similars is against the idea of volume over all, so I'd guess that Alamy is concerned about variety as well as quality photography.  I'd also like it if tagging spamming was curbed and if Alamy wouldn't stem single words in tag phrases or captions for searches.    Do an Alamy search on "construction" to see a whole lot of similar photos with minor variations that have nothing at all to do with construction of buildings.   Reminds me of the photographers who saw searches for Nicaraguan Sign Language and posted commercial signs in Spanish and labeled them Nicaraguan Sign Language.   This was dumb at a level I find incomprehensible.  Google what's being asked for.

 

If searches don't find what's wanted at all, the quality of other photos doesn't matter.  I'm sure there are ways to do database sorts of the back pages of All of Alamy to figure out where the holes are or when it was just misspelling. Some of those holes are close to impossible to fill other than finding archive collections with photos of now extinct freshwater Chinese dolphins.   Some of them are probably only available from scientific research teams (some very rare insects, mammals, deep sea fish). 

 

Yeah, some places and some people will be searched more than others but those may have hundreds or thousands of photos up on Alamy.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Betty LaRue said:

Have you ever been able to figure out most of Alamy‘s moves and reasons? I haven’t.  That’s why I’m full of “maybe” guesses. They do have departments. People who are given discretion in performing their duties. Sometimes something said to be meant done one way by a higher up is taken another way by someone down the chain of command. Or they are simply given the freedom to do it their way.

The only way to know the inner workings of a company is to work in it ourselves, and sit in on the meetings. The video barely scratches the surface.

 

no i haven't,and this is why i have issues when the go on in the year end video that they want to provide "the best  possible experience for contributors".  To me this would entail being taken as partners, not just a side thought.  We all want Alamy to be successful- if this means only upload a maximum of X-similar image, why not share it, especially since the QC process does not look at every submission.  I might be hurting competitiveness with what i don't know.   

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5 minutes ago, MizBrown said:

I'd also like it if tagging spamming was curbed and if Alamy wouldn't stem single words in tag phrases or captions for searches.    Do an Alamy search on "construction" to see a whole lot of similar photos with minor variations that have nothing at all to do with construction of buildings.   Reminds me of the photographers who saw searches for Nicaraguan Sign Language and posted commercial signs in Spanish and labeled them Nicaraguan Sign Language.   This was dumb at a level I find incomprehensible.  Google what's being asked for.

 

If searches don't find what's wanted at all, the quality of other photos doesn't matter.  I'm sure there are ways to do database sorts of the back pages of All of Alamy to figure out where the holes are or when it was just misspelling. Some of those holes are close to impossible to fill other than finding archive collections with photos of now extinct freshwater Chinese dolphins.   Some of them are probably only available from scientific research teams (some very rare insects, mammals, deep sea fish). 

 

Yeah, some places and some people will be searched more than others but those may have hundreds or thousands of photos up on Alamy.

 

 

 

 

I feel the lack of QC, even a posteriori,  on Keywording and Captions is a big problem.  

 

Alamy will once in a while tweet that X number of image KW "desert"  are images of desserts.  If you are able to provide that information, Why not change it? 

 

Though one of the big problem is brought on itself by Alamy themselves with the discoverability indicator.  Most contributors don't come to these forums to know it should be ignored, so they will add marginal words just to get that Green light.  

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1 minute ago, meanderingemu said:

 

 

I feel the lack of QC, even a posteriori,  on Keywording and Captions is a big problem.  

 

Alamy will once in a while tweet that X number of image KW "desert"  are images of desserts.  If you are able to provide that information, Why not change it? 

 

Though one of the big problem is brought on itself by Alamy themselves with the discoverability indicator.  Most contributors don't come to these forums to know it should be ignored, so they will add marginal words just to get that Green light.  

 

Misspellings, yeah.   And going for the Green, yeah.  I think it would have been better to suggest 20 to 30 if the words all fit, and make sure any subsequent ones also fit the photo.

 

Some people fantasize that they have interesting photos that will be licensed for something just because and so want to get as many eyeballs on them as possible. They believe that someone will see their fantastic photo and decide to use it despite searching for "guppy fry."   At least one person made that argument in this forum a while back.  

 

Dunno with the volume Alamy has that keyword blunders and out and out misinformation can be fixed in a cost effective way. 

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16 minutes ago, MizBrown said:

 

Misspellings, yeah.   And going for the Green, yeah.  I think it would have been better to suggest 20 to 30 if the words all fit, and make sure any subsequent ones also fit the photo.

 

Some people fantasize that they have interesting photos that will be licensed for something just because and so want to get as many eyeballs on them as possible. They believe that someone will see their fantastic photo and decide to use it despite searching for "guppy fry."   At least one person made that argument in this forum a while back.  

 

Dunno with the volume Alamy has that keyword blunders and out and out misinformation can be fixed in a cost effective way. 

there is an easy way to improve, but we might not like it, quickly push down images that don't generate zooms or sale,, aggressive use of CTR.  if you put it in tandem with giving me the information, I am willing to be a partner.  Give me a report that shows X views , no client interest, i'll make sure my images are optimised.  

 

 

when i thought these ratings had an actual impact, you can make sure i noticed all the search for "Blue train South Africa" that i got dinged with, and made sure to remove "Blue sky" as KW on the one that were more marginal image of "abandoned Train station in South Africa"

 

Yes you will still get my image of "Oaxaca, City centre, Mexico" for someone searching "Mexico City",  but i'll delete most of the "city" from other images of Oaxaca, which i had included to differentiate from the State, since no one seem to search for "Oaxaca City"   (same for Puebla, and Tlaxcala, etc....)

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31 minutes ago, MizBrown said:

Dunno with the volume Alamy has that keyword blunders and out and out misinformation can be fixed in a cost effective way. 

 

Years back, I wrote twice to Alamy to report a contributor who used to spam his images with all the main cities in Australia. My little coastal town was labelled 'Melbourne', 'Sydney', you name it. They assured me that they had contacted him but he kept uploading new images with the same spam. Months later, nothing had changed. I don't have the heart to check again. 

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1 hour ago, MizBrown said:

 

 

It's  not a matter of quality vs. quantity.  It's a matter of both and variety.   Similar photos that Alamy has multiples of can be all very good, but some people are looking for things that aren't represented here or are represented poorly.   

 

Someone a while back said that if you had one good photo of something, the risk you take posting a handful more of technically decent photos that aren't as good is that one of your less good photos may show up in the first pages of a search and keep your better photo from being seen. 

I once said that in a post. Others may have, too. In fact, I went into some of my sets of five that each and every one were different, and deleted at least two of them. For the very reason that when I did a search, sometimes the lesser image came up first rather than the most appealing one.
It is a hard thing to only take a couple of shots. I, for one, am afraid there might be camera shake, or a bit OOF, (which has happened and makes me over-cautious) so I tend to take more, then have the intention to weed them down to the best. Sometimes they all seem worthy, and there’s when the rubber meets the road. Upload too many or fighting your instinct to do that, and upload only a couple. I fight that battle constantly.

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Just to clarify my frustration is that I thought there was a rule in place which I have been following over the years - its actually the way I shoot a subject. Up to five similars, shots from different angles, different elements, slightly different compositions. I might take a few more than five RAWs and then when editing I will narrow that down to five. If I am going to take more than that of a specific location I will try and switch to another compete set of five. 

 

That is how I have been working for years - ever since this rule was there. Obviously I don't do five shots of everything, but when I feel that it is necessary to provide options I do a maximum of five. Sometimes three of four would probably be sufficient but what is the harm of working to the maximum allowed by the rules?

 

https://geographyphotos.photoshelter.com/gallery/Bedwyn-train/G0000GtV6FOMOjLI

 

https://geographyphotos.photoshelter.com/gallery/Tin-house/G0000FfxlZW8kX4o

 

https://geographyphotos.photoshelter.com/gallery/Ramsholt-river/G0000po6fir7CzDE

 

https://geographyphotos.photoshelter.com/gallery/Warwick-church/G0000mSukRfkyIC4

 

https://geographyphotos.photoshelter.com/gallery/Sanctuary/G0000xvJGOBlAq80

 

 

 

So in simple terms I have become used to thinking in terms of maximum of five. 

 

And now that can be a QC fail. So I can't just carry on as before.

 

Also, as Betty reminds us once you have the evil eye on you they seem to find fault everywhere. Then once that eye moves away the contributor with 5 stars can do what they like  until next time they come under scrutiny. 

 

My frustration is simply that if Alamy change what are well established rules it would be wise, efficient, fair, sensible etc etc to actually inform contributors and perhaps show a degree of leniency for a first 'offence'.

 

But I guess through me this new situation has now been communicated. 

 

No doubt I can adjust to thinking in threes but I am not sure that is an improvement in terms of choice and variety. With some of the sets above (tin house) I can certainly do that and probably not so hard, with others it is harder

 

I also might want to resume submitting elsewhere. And there they like the choice. So is it worth following what Alamy want given the falling revenue here and ever-increasing competition? Having to narrow down and select, leaving out what I regard as perfectly good images will be hard for me. 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by geogphotos
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3 hours ago, geogphotos said:

Just to clarify my frustration is that I thought there was a rule in place which I have been following over the years - its actually the way I shoot a subject. Up to five similars, shots from different angles, different elements, slightly different compositions. I might take a few more than five RAWs and then when editing I will narrow that down to five. If I am going to take more than that of a specific location I will try and switch to another compete set of five. 

 

So in simple terms I have become used to thinking in terms of maximum of five. 

 

And now that can be a QC fail. So I can't just carry on as before.

 

Also, as Betty reminds us once you have the evil eye on you they seem to find fault everywhere. Then once that eye moves away the contributor with 5 stars can do what they like  until next time they come under scrutiny. 

 

My frustration is simply that if Alamy change what are well established rules it would be wise, efficient, fair, sensible etc etc to actually inform contributors and perhaps show a degree of leniency for a first 'offence'.

 

But I guess through me this new situation has now been communicated

 

 

 

 

Totally understand, and support your frustration.

 

and my frustration will continue to be that I still want to work in partnership with Alamy, so even as a 5 Star now with privileges i try to do what they feel is best, but if They don't tell me the rules, clear and consistent,  i can't apply them, and it needs to be a level playing field.  How many contributors will this now be communicated to?  100-200  (according to the stats they're is 113 people currently in Forum, but how many will dig through to get to the info... 

 

I was looking forward to hearing what Alamy's plans were on communication, after an extremely challenging year, and to be honest i haven't heard anything to make me think it will improve. 

 

I keep going back to the Montage side by side  QC Fail.  Someone posted a clear message from Support, that "we don’t accept these kinds of 'montage' images", and that the ones already in database were because "In regards to the "montage" images already online, we don’t check every image in a submission so it is possible that some problematic images slip through". No one from Alamy jumped in to clarify, so since Alamy actually continually refers to the Forum as a "Source of Information for Contributors" (James does it again in the year end review), I abode by these, and I skipped my plan to do some, and now i see that it isn't as black and white and that they will even promote some through their Twitter feed....  

 

On the Similars i could bury all your images because i have less chance of review, or do the even more sneaky of doing a subject under the guise of weather, marginal news, reportage which won't go through QC process, with little chance of repercussions- worse by apparent lack of impact on my position in search.  Where is the equality- See all the PA hospital images....

 

Black boxes rarely work in partnerships 

 

 

 

insert Old man yelling at clouds GIF

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28 minutes ago, meanderingemu said:

 

 

 

On the Similars i could bury all your images because i have less chance of review, or do the even more sneaky of doing a subject under the guise of weather, marginal news, reportage which won't go through QC process, with little chance of repercussions- worse by apparent lack of impact on my position in search.  Where is the equality- See all the PA hospital images....

 

Black boxes rarely work in partnerships 

 

 

 

insert Old man yelling at clouds GIF

 

Thanks for your empathy.

 

Even easier to 'cheat' by sending a set of 5 in two Subs a few days apart, or even hold back all the extras and send as one big submission at the end of the month - all the twos and threes that have been held back. Or potentially use the Reportage route for images of low quality. 

 

The reply I had from QC is not worth thinking about any further. Meaningless and so patronising as to be unreal. 

Edited by geogphotos
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12 hours ago, gvallee said:

 

Years back, I wrote twice to Alamy to report a contributor who used to spam his images with all the main cities in Australia. My little coastal town was labelled 'Melbourne', 'Sydney', you name it. They assured me that they had contacted him but he kept uploading new images with the same spam. Months later, nothing had changed. I don't have the heart to check again. 

I did a search for Gary Snyder today, meaning the poet.  Most of the photos were not of Gary Snyder the poet.   A huge number were of Berkeley riots with "Allen Watts," "Gary Snyder" and "Amiri Baraka" among the keywords.   My guess is that what anyone doing that search wanted was a first rate portrait of Gary Snyder, the poet.   I think some of this needs to be handled by a Wikipedia style differentiation page: Gary Snyder the poet; Gary Snyder the whatever else, but that wouldn't stop people from spamming "Gary Snyder" into every single photograph remotely related to some period of Snyder's life, but not a photo of Snyder.   Google's image search for Snyder is far more relevant and with better pictures.

 

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17 hours ago, meanderingemu said:

there is an easy way to improve, but we might not like it, quickly push down images that don't generate zooms or sale,, aggressive use of CTR.  if you put it in tandem with giving me the information, I am willing to be a partner.  Give me a report that shows X views , no client interest, i'll make sure my images are optimised.  

 

 

when i thought these ratings had an actual impact, you can make sure i noticed all the search for "Blue train South Africa" that i got dinged with, and made sure to remove "Blue sky" as KW on the one that were more marginal image of "abandoned Train station in South Africa"

 

Yes you will still get my image of "Oaxaca, City centre, Mexico" for someone searching "Mexico City",  but i'll delete most of the "city" from other images of Oaxaca, which i had included to differentiate from the State, since no one seem to search for "Oaxaca City"   (same for Puebla, and Tlaxcala, etc....)

 

Couple of problems.   Do the search for Alamy images using "construction."   If people are licensing other images and then, because they have high rank, push out other images from being seen at all, how is that fair for the images that don't get seen because someone is spamming the tag word "construction" (unless that's a different word for photographic composite) on a series of nearly identical composites where only the flags and the side of the house are changed?   Someone who has a very large portfolio might be selling more, but not particularly selling more as a percentage of total portfolio size, but that does put them in a position to flood out other contributors. 

 

Second problem is Alamy taking individual words out of tag phrases and captions and recombining them.  That worked for me with a search for "livebearer fry" but against me on all other occasions.

 

Mexico City is turned into "Mexico" or any city becomes Mexico City if both words are in the caption.   Hillsboro, Virginia becomes both Hillsboro, VA and Hillsboro WV.

 

 

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MizBrown,

 

Huge respect and all that but what are you on about in relation to the thread?

 

Feel free to start your own thread about anything you want. I have no idea about Gary Snyder, Mexico City tags....

 

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On 18/12/2020 at 11:40, geogphotos said:

 

 

Thanks for the sympathy Allan, I do get disheartened at Alamy treating me like a naughty child. 

 

Don't get disheartened geogphotos. Think of QC as someone trying to help you with your photography and  your portfolio.

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50 minutes ago, Cee Dee Dickinson said:

 

Don't get disheartened geogphotos. Think of QC as someone trying to help you with your photography and  your portfolio.

 

Edited by geogphotos
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1 minute ago, geogphotos said:

 

We have a genius amongst us. And a Yorkshireman too.  What a surprise!

Thank you again. 

There is lots of information online about architectural photography  btw. Read some it,  as it may  give you some ideas how to reduce  QC rejection.

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1 hour ago, John Morrison said:

 

And this from a "soft, southern bed-wetter" (perhaps we can do without gratuitous 'insults' of this kind, Ian)...

 

Cee Dee Dickinson 

 

 

I0000s.g8gxSya.s.jpg

Edited by geogphotos
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  • 2 weeks later...

Yes sympathy for your rejections, I find it strange as you are a very experienced contributor with a large portfolio, I would have thought that Alamy would exercise benefit of the doubt to you because of your years of contributing.

 

I often get things wrong, but for some reason I thought similars were limited to 3, not sure where I got that from but have always stuck by that.

 

Just to show how crazy things are I searched “Hot Chocolate Bomb” there are 22 similars extremely similar. This chocolate thing is meant to be a trending subject.

 

Hope things get better for you in the New Year.

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