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Paulstw

QC Fail - Having a change of heart.

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Since July I have had 13 batches of images fail QC. This was due to two or three images that failed the rest of the batches. I currently have a batch sitting there that's been there for over two weeks now. It's certainly a fail. One picture in particular, is likely to blame. A shot of a car tyre (motion in the wheel) splashing through a water filled pot hole in the road. The focus is on the water splashes and that's exactly how I wanted the image to look. 

 

Lord knows why it will fail (if it does) however, based on my recent shocking history of uploads, I'm seriously re-thinking why I've spent nearly £2000 on a lens. I sincerely thought that buying one of the best canon lenses would yield better results in terms of IQ, time spent editing, and snappier opportunities based on it's speed. While the IQ is miles in front of anything else I own, I scratch my head for a reason why I'm having so much trouble with it. 

 

"equipment doesn't make you a good photographer" Yip, I'll get that said to me. 

"If you thought a lens would help your Alamy portfolio, then you're a fool" Yip expect that one too. 

etc, etc..

 

However, the point is. I make no money from Alamy. I'll be honest about it. So, I can't really afford to keep swapping about equipment to suit their picture requirements. Most successful people are not using DSLR's, and have switched to smaller mirrorless cameras. I could sell the 70-200 and probably do the same thing. However, it still won't cure the issue at hand. 

 

I have to admit that I don't seem to be able to translate the ideas and images I have in my head into real world money earners. It frustrates the life out of me. 

 

Have I made the critical mistake of trying to run before I could walk? 
 

I fear that if this keeps up, I'll be punted off Alamy. I'm not looking for help, or sympathy either. Time served photographers have probably been through worse and came out the other side. I'm just getting to the point where, holding down a full time job, and trying to be semi-successful in this industry are clashing. The job funds the photography, but the photography suffers because of the job. 

 

Sorry for the wee blow out, it's just sometimes an eye opener when you write things down and give yourself a boot up the backside. 

 

Paul 

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Paul,

 

1.Have a look at your work flow is it rigid and consistent?

2. Do you check your images at 100%?

3. After having a few QC fails myself and processing my way through over 11k of images i know what won't make the cut and i never move away from my workflow for every image submitted.

 

I too have a full time job, 50 hours a week including traveling time. I am frustrated by lack of sales at the moment and my course of action is to slow down and in particular take more time and care with my key wording.

 

On reflection i have also tried to "run before i can walk" by machine gunning images onto Alamy in the last 3 years.

 

Regards

Craig

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Paul,

 

1.Have a look at your work flow is it rigid and consistent?

2. Do you check your images at 100%?

3. After having a few QC fails myself and processing my way through over 11k of images i know what won't make the cut and i never move away from my workflow for every image submitted.

 

I too have a full time job, 50 hours a week including traveling time. I am frustrated by lack of sales at the moment and my course of action is to slow down and in particular take more time and care with my key wording.

 

On reflection i have also tried to "run before i can walk" by machine gunning images onto Alamy in the last 3 years.

 

Regards

Craig

 

You've done well to build that portfolio with working 50 hours a week. I only work 35. 

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I think that your main problem is that you are submitting images that deep down in your heart you know are not of a quality suitable for a QC pass. If you already know why it is going to fail then that alone is reason not to upload.

 

Because of your poor QC record on Alamy your images would flag up for extra scrutiny. After a year or so of good QC you 'may' get away with the odd borderline image but that is as far as it goes.

 

Although I have been a pro photographer for about 30 years my initial toe in the water on Alamy gave me a few failures and to honest to attain good QC was a learning curve for me. I soon learnt to listen and take note of what is mostly good advice from this forum to follow the submission guidelines to the letter. I now upload my holiday snaps without any fear of failure because if I have doubts I don't upload it.  I have not had a fail since january 2010.

 

Good lenses coupled with that fantastic imac means no more excuses so follow the submission rules and results will follow.

 

By the way, good glass is everything so don't go selling quality kit.

 

Andy

Edited by AndyMelbourne
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I think that your main problem is that you are submitting images that deep down in your heart you know are not of a quality suitable for a QC pass. If you already know why it is going to fail then that alone is reason not to upload.

 

Because of your poor QC record on Alamy your images would flag up for extra scrutiny. After a year of so of good QC you 'may' get away with the odd borderline image but that is as far as it goes.

 

Although I have been a pro photographer for about 30 years my initial toe in the water on Alamy gave me a few failures and to honest to attain good QC was a learning curve for me. I soon learnt to listen and take note of what is mostly good advice from this forum to follow the submission guidelines to the letter. I now upload my holiday snaps without any fear of failure because if I have doubts I don't upload it.  I have not had a fail since january 2010.

 

Good lenses coupled with that fantastic imac means no more excuses so follow the submission rules and results will follow.

 

By the way, good glass is everything so don't go selling quality kit.

 

Andy

 

That's some pretty sound advice Andy. I appreciate that. If my images are going into a "beady eyes" check then maybe it's worthy of a tightening of the processes on my part. 

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I think that your main problem is that you are submitting images that deep down in your heart you know are not of a quality suitable for a QC pass. If you already know why it is going to fail then that alone is reason not to upload.

 

Because of your poor QC record on Alamy your images would flag up for extra scrutiny. After a year of so of good QC you 'may' get away with the odd borderline image but that is as far as it goes.

 

Although I have been a pro photographer for about 30 years my initial toe in the water on Alamy gave me a few failures and to honest to attain good QC was a learning curve for me. I soon learnt to listen and take note of what is mostly good advice from this forum to follow the submission guidelines to the letter. I now upload my holiday snaps without any fear of failure because if I have doubts I don't upload it.  I have not had a fail since january 2010.

 

Good lenses coupled with that fantastic imac means no more excuses so follow the submission rules and results will follow.

 

By the way, good glass is everything so don't go selling quality kit.

 

Andy

That's some pretty sound advice Andy. I appreciate that. If my images are going into a "beady eyes" check then maybe it's worthy of a tightening of the processes on my part. 

 

The word 'maybe' is the problem.

 

Good advice is only good if you heed it.

 

Experience is a series of mistakes that you learn from.

 

Andy

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For the time being until you get out of that vicious circle of failing QCs, you need to be very definite about what to upload and what not to. 

 

I know it's easier said than done.

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The word 'maybe' is the problem.

 

 

 

Good advice is only good if you heed it.

 

Experience is a series of mistakes that you learn from.

 

Andy

 

I am trying to run before I walk. With only 18 months under my belt. I am rushing things. I've actually taken this week and last week off from doing anything photographic as the constant pressure to produce has left a bitter feeling. 

After reviewing the submission guidelines this morning, there is a couple I didn't even know where in it. 

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For the time being until you get out of that vicious circle of failing QCs, you need to be very definite about what to upload and what not to. 

 

I know it's easier said than done.

 

I disagree with just one little bit of that . . . it's not just "for the time being" . . . being definite about what to upload and what not to should ALWAYS be the aim/practise.

 

dd

Edited by dustydingo

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At first, I wanted to reply with the usual advice about careful editing, post-processing, etc... Instead though, I want to compliment Paul; the original poster, on his enthusiasm. Yes, you can learn all that stuff. What you can't learn or buy is the enthusiasm you currently possess.

 

I for one am inspired.

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At first, I wanted to reply with the usual advice about careful editing, post-processing, etc... Instead though, I want to compliment Paul; the original poster, on his enthusiasm. Yes, you can learn all that stuff. What you can't learn or buy is the enthusiasm you currently possess.

 

I for one am inspired.

 

Thanks for that :) I wish I was as determined at my Alamy portfolio as I have been to capture pics of kingfishers. I have been following a breeding pair now for about 6 months. Today I got a wee shot of one. 

 

10799795723_7cb396a711_z.jpg

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Oh my.... honestly that is not a great image and I'd doubt it would pass QC.... it's soft, lacking definition, dull and has lots of noise to my eye.


 


Yes enthusiasm is great to have, but one needs a whole lot more than that to succeed in this industry no? 


 


Paul, I mean no offense, but this isn't the first time you've posted something similar and have gotten virtually the same advise. Meaning you don't heed it, so why keep being redundant in your mistakes and posts? 


 


On my 27" iMac that is calibrated with Spyder Elite 4, many of your images look dark and dull to my eye. Overall, I don't see strength compositionally, but perhaps that doesn't mean much in stock. As we all know equipment doesn't make a good photographer and not everyone will succeed in the industry no matter how much they may love it. Especially with the market so flooded with those who think they're good and are not. Hell I could very well be one of them, yet only time will tell. Say 5 years or so, but in the mean time I won't worry on if I'm making money or not.


 


This career takes commitment, dedication, hard work, a lot of unpaid time and putting out money that is useful to the level one is on with no guarantees one will be successful. I don't have real expensive equipment except for my iMac and programs, as learning at university, Lynda.com or other venues, taking trips and entering contests is where I decided to put my money. It has been worth it to me, as I improve my craft every day and have gained a tiny wee bit of recognition as an award winning photog that has been published. I may or may not become successful, yet I move forward with open eyes and know that I'm just an ok photog hoping to get good one day with a lot of committed effort. 


 


I'd suggest entering some contests (be choosy though and read the rules very well), take a class or two, ask well known photogs what they think of your work and come up with a plan and workflow that works for you, not against you as is the case now.

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Oh my.... honestly that is not a great image and I'd doubt it would pass QC.... it's soft, lacking definition, dull and has lots of noise to my eye.

 

Yes enthusiasm is great to have, but one needs a whole lot more than that to succeed in this industry no? 

 

Paul, I mean no offense, but this isn't the first time you've posted something similar and have gotten virtually the same advise. Meaning you don't heed it, so why keep being redundant in your mistakes and posts? 

 

On my 27" iMac that is calibrated with Spyder Elite 4, many of your images look dark and dull to my eye. Overall, I don't see strength compositionally, but perhaps that doesn't mean much in stock. As we all know equipment doesn't make a good photographer and not everyone will succeed in the industry no matter how much they may love it. Especially with the market so flooded with those who think they're good and are not. Hell I could very well be one of them, yet only time will tell. Say 5 years or so, but in the mean time I won't worry on if I'm making money or not.

 

This career takes commitment, dedication, hard work, a lot of unpaid time and putting out money that is useful to the level one is on with no guarantees one will be successful. I don't have real expensive equipment except for my iMac and programs, as learning at university, Lynda.com or other venues, taking trips and entering contests is where I decided to put my money. It has been worth it to me, as I improve my craft every day and have gained a tiny wee bit of recognition as an award winning photog that has been published. I may or may not become successful, yet I move forward with open eyes and know that I'm just an ok photog hoping to get good one day with a lot of committed effort. 

 

I'd suggest entering some contests (be choosy though and read the rules very well), take a class or two, ask well known photogs what they think of your work and come up with a plan and workflow that works for you, not against you as is the case now.

 

I only took that image about 20 mins ago and would never upload such a poor, noisy snapshot to alamy. The image I was talking about failed today with "Soft or Lacking definition" You are right, I have been going through a rough patch of late with my imagery and I note the dark images, but your the first one to point it out. I calibrated my mac a few weeks ago and no-one else has uttered a word about my images being dark so that's a new one. 

 

I do hear what your saying though, about it only being for certain people and maybe your right. 

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many of your images look dark and dull to my eye. Overall, I don't see strength compositionally, but perhaps that doesn't mean much in stock.

 

To be fair here, 'dullness' and composition have nothing to do with QC. Image noise, on the other hand, is a cause of failure...

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I was a Canon user for most of my time on Alamy and have had a number of failures from "quality" glass, even quite recently.

 

A while ago I bought a Sony RX100 just to keep in my pocket all the time for when it wasn't possible to take or use my Canon gear.

 

Using the same workflow for both cameras I have never had a failure from the RX100.

 

Can't figure, don't want to. Just keep plugging away and it all comes right in the end.

 

Allan

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"The image I was talking about failed today with "Soft or Lacking definition" You are right, I have been going through a rough patch of late with my imagery and I note the dark images, but your the first one to point it out. I calibrated my mac a few weeks ago and no-one else has uttered a word about my images being dark so that's a new one." -- Paul


Really, Paul? I thought I had mentioned that. It's glaringly obvious. But I lived in the UK, remember, and I know how hard it is to find some sunshine . . . particularly at this time of year. I'm having the same trouble here in NYC, trying to find some sun to go up to shoot in Central Park. I've gone up twice, but lost the good light both times. 

 

But John is right: dull lighting and even a slightly under exposed image will not cause a QC failure . . . it will effect your sales, however. 

 

It's hard to know where the center of your QC problem lies, but it's certain that you should not submit any image that you do (or should) have any doubts about: 'good enough' is never good enough. 

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I only took that image about 20 mins ago and would never upload such a poor, noisy snapshot to alamy. The image I was talking about failed today with "Soft or Lacking definition" You are right, I have been going through a rough patch of late with my imagery and I note the dark images, but your the first one to point it out. I calibrated my mac a few weeks ago and no-one else has uttered a word about my images being dark so that's a new one. 

 

I do hear what your saying though, about it only being for certain people and maybe your right. 

 

First I get you wouldn't submit the image to Alamy, but why on earth would you post any image that wasn't exceptional quality? Do you want people to see work of yours that isn't great? 

 

Mac's are a bit tricky to calibrate or at least that was in my case. They are very bright out of the box and if you edit an image at such brightness it will look dark to one with a calibrated computer more often than not.

 

I'm by no means tell you to give up, but rather to slow down and come up with a plan to better your craft to one day make money at. Perhaps that day will never come for either of us, but we won't know unless we do all we can to see if we have what it takes. ;)

 

 

To be fair here, 'dullness' and composition have nothing to do with QC. Image noise, on the other hand, is a cause of failure...

 

John, I understand that, but will it not dullness and poor composition effect sales?

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Thats all of my fails been for Soft or Lacking focus, so maybe there's a link. Aye, a duff link between me and the camera lol. 

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I only took that image about 20 mins ago and would never upload such a poor, noisy snapshot to alamy. The image I was talking about failed today with "Soft or Lacking definition" You are right, I have been going through a rough patch of late with my imagery and I note the dark images, but your the first one to point it out. I calibrated my mac a few weeks ago and no-one else has uttered a word about my images being dark so that's a new one. 

 

I do hear what your saying though, about it only being for certain people and maybe your right. 

 

John, I understand that, but will it not dullness and poor composition effect sales?

 

Well, the thread is specifically about failing QC... rather than selling... which is another can of worms altogether...

 

 

Thats all of my fails been for Soft or Lacking focus, so maybe there's a link. Aye, a duff link between me and the camera lol. 

 

Do you look at every pic at 100%? I hear people talk about "sharp lenses" (usually in the context of saying "How can I be failing QC?"), but there are at least half a dozen ways of losing the crispness, even with the best, most expensive lenses.

 

I had these SoLD issues when I started here. I didn't know if it was camera... lens... or my old eyes. But I tightened up every aspect of my picture taking, and learned what 'sharp', at 100%, actually means...

Edited by John Morrison

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S or LD, eh? So are you using the best f-stops, 5.6 or 8? Are you using a controllable shutter speed? Can you up your ISO without lowering the quality? Are you using a fast enough shutter speed on the tele end of your zoom? You need the tele shutter speed to be faster than at wide angle, you know?  :huh:

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First I get you wouldn't submit the image to Alamy, but why on earth would you post any image that wasn't exceptional quality? Do you want people to see work of yours that isn't great? 

 

The image means more to me on a personal level than anything I've done lately. It's a milestone on a 6 month tracking mission to find Kingfishers on a river that has been so polluted for years that it wasn't able to support any life, let alone a rare bird. I've spent close to 2 hours a day over that period learning about this particular birds habits and where it goes. We're far too immune to images of Kingfishers these days. Man made perches, fish tanks full of fish and someone in a hide for 8 hours waiting. I would challenge anyone to actually find a kingfisher, let alone photograph one. It's a lot harder than anyone gives credit for. If you're into that sort of thing of course. I for one, love Wildlife photography, and when you live in a busy city like Glasgow, you appreciate when it comes to visit. 

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S or LD, eh? So are you using the best f-stops, 5.6 or 8? Are you using a controllable shutter speed? Can you up your ISO without lowering the quality? Are you using a fast enough shutter speed on the tele end of your zoom? You need the tele shutter speed to be faster than at wide angle, you know?  :huh:

 

This was the image Ed that failed. 

 

Canon 7D

200mm

f/3.5

ISO1600

1/320th 

 

10801495156_a2a2d45e79_z.jpg
 
In hindsight, it was a rough wet day. However, even at 10:55 in the morning it was still quite dark. I wanted the splashes in focus and for the most part it looked the part to me. Obviously not :) 

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I'm surprised that QC would fail that image . . . very surprised. Your intent is obvious to me, and it works. Of course I'm not seeing it at 100%. It is a puzzlement. 

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Paul, without seeing it at 100% it's all just a bit of a guess, but my thoughts: in such images, it's not unreasonable to think the aim was to freeze the splash. If so, it would be expected to be just that . . . frozen . . . and sharp (as against deliberately blurred splashes, which obviously is not the aim in this image). Now, I may be wrong, but in my experience at similar, 1/320th ain't anywhere near fast enough for what is truly a high speed event. I have similar shots (one daughter splashing a bucket of water onto the other daughter's head), and to get the necessary frozen, pin sharp splash, I used flash. I could have used 1/4000 of course, but I wanted to keep the ISO down.

 

So it might just be that the attempt to freeze didn't quite make it due to nothing more than shutter speed leaving the splash just that little bit soft around the edges

 

dd.

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Guest GPK

...

Edited by GPK

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