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Paulstw

QC Fail - Having a change of heart.

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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.

 

 

I see. Totally acceptable fail in that respect. 

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Paul, if it's any consolation, Alamy's QC appears to be much pickier than it used to be. At least that has been my experience during the past two years.

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I have a 7D and I'm not a lover of it at a high ISO . With your track record with QC I wouldn't have risked that shot .

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I haven't read through all of these comments, but Paul have you ever thought of switching from Stock to News? If you have such enthusiasm it just seems like a great fit for you. I don't think the news cares about 'soft and lacking definition' when it's a photo of Miley Cyrus twerking. Go take your camera to a sold out popular concert some weekend and see if those sell. 

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I haven't read through all of these comments, but Paul have you ever thought of switching from Stock to News? If you have such enthusiasm it just seems like a great fit for you. I don't think the news cares about 'soft and lacking definition' when it's a photo of Miley Cyrus twerking. Go take your camera to a sold out popular concert some weekend and see if those sell. 

 

I do enjoy the news side of things and all my images of late have been via that route, I think you need to devote a lot more time to the news images than the stock in terms of getting to a location, getting your shots, uploading and moving on to the next job. It seems that the more successful photojournalists are constantly working each day and all day. I'm no Keith Morris by a long shot. I couldn't even clean the guys camera. 

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Sorry Paul, but at 100%, it's just not sharp.

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Sorry Paul, but at 100%, it's just not sharp.

 

Appreciate that :) 

 

Mirco said that very thing one second after viewing it too. I shall conquer this. 

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Paul, have you tried a prime lens?

I used to use a canon 28mm & a sigma 30mm for a walkabout lens & found it oddly liberating to be free of a zoom.

Much lighter, good low light capability & sharper.

Good used ones are easily available & it might help to get back on track with QC.

ann

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Paul, have you tried a prime lens?

I used to use a canon 28mm & a sigma 30mm for a walkabout lens & found it oddly liberating to be free of a zoom.

Much lighter, good low light capability & sharper.

Good used ones are easily available & it might help to get back on track with QC.

ann

 

I do have a wee 50mm 1.8 mkii. I did like the Sigma 30mm 1.4 when I used it too. Maybe a wee change of lenses would do no harm. I could borrow my pals 30mm 1.4 for a bit. 

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I'm no Keith Morris by a long shot. I couldn't even clean the guys camera. 

ha....i have a junk D4 you could try on....

 

km

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I'm no Keith Morris by a long shot. I couldn't even clean the guys camera. 

ha....i have a junk D4 you could try on....

 

km

 

Been following that situation you're lucky it was just a camera that was trashed with the size of that wave. I can rip laptops apart in 10 mins. I don't know about D4's lol 

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Hi Paul,

I know where you are coming from, someone trying to undergo a lifestyle change and make photography more than just a serious hobby. I have been taking pictures seriously since a teenager, but didn't pursuit it as a career. I was a research scientist for over 20 years with a PhD in neurobiology/zoology but had to change after all those years of being taken advantage of. I thought I could make it a go as a photographer, but naively thought that with a website and a few freebies that clients would start pouring in. So as reality set in I had to take to truck driving to keep my family from starving while I try to find a way to make photography a go. I just got back from a horrible trip to Yellowknife in the far north of Canada, with snowstorms, a broken down truck and having to stop for 2 hrs on the highway as it was rededicated the Highway of Heroes. So I am even more encouraged to make photography work.

Alamy is I hope going to be one of a number of revenue streams and as I take the very helpful advice that can be found on these forum pages, I hope that my no sales so far will be translated into some sales as I get more images online that attractive to the average picture buyer and won't end up in searches that yield thousands of results.

 

Luckily I have yet to have a batch of images rejected by QC, but I have been very cautious. Lately I have started to submit images from scans from 35mm transparencies and only will send in these in small batches as I hope using these will be acceptable to QC. But it sounds like you have the knowhow to be successful and with nearly 1000 images online, have been. So like me its just going to be how to learn the business to provide the right kind of images and edit them ruthlessly.

 

By the way, in regards to the image posted, it was always going to be a tall order to catch splash droplets, while preserving the movement of the car, perhaps with rear curtain flash, but the flash would show up on the shiny car.

 

While I am not in the position to offer advice, I hope you will persevere and keep looking for advice.

Chris

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Hey Chris, so is it safe to say you're an Ice Road Trucker? I watch that all the time and its such a dangerous part of the world. 

 

I don't want to take a living away from other people, but I would like to earn enough to buy gear. Daft things like better flashes, lighting set ups, and lenses. I can understand why you would want to turn it into a career though.

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I see this gray car image is at 100%. Can I then assume that the image you shot covers a much wider area?  That would mean that a much larger area than we see here is not sharp and we have a large picture where everything is soft and blurry excerpt a very small detail of the water.  Sorry, but that's not going to pass QC.   :(

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Paul, I may be talking out of tern here as you have more accepted images than I do, but get the feeling that you need to be your own critic a little more before submitting photos. We are all freelancing in the dark and it is often frustrating when images fail and there is no definite reason. A while ago I had similar problems getting through QC and gave up submitting to Alamy for a while even having studied photography and worked with most formats pre-digital. In the intervening period, as well as submitting to microstock agencies where feedback on image failure is often more positive as they are used to dealing with photographers who are passionate but not too knowledgeable, I upgraded my camera from a 20d to 60d and learnt on-line from the likes of Yuri Arcurs and the excellent Adobe tutorials. 

I now often work on an image for a while and then think "this really aint good enough" and move on to the next one. As long as we learn why it isn't good enough and adapt our technique accordingly it has been worthwhile. Your image is one of those. Move on. Don't blame the gear just make sure your technique is right and your photoshop skills are up to the mark and images will be accepted.

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Hi Paul,

Haven't quite been out on THE ice roads, just icy, snowy roads ;) They might let me out on them though this winter.

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Paul, I took a look at the failed image at 100% (double clicking on Flickr at full screen mode) and the image is out of focus.

 

I think the thing you need to concentrate on is learning to use the camera.  I had a 7D for about a month and a half and I absolutely HATED that camera body.  This when the body first came out.  Other people absolutely love the camera - especially wildlife photographers.  Jeff Greenberg is currently using that camera and he gets things through QC.

 

I have two pieces of advice...and they contradict each other.

 

1) The problem isn't going to be resolved by throwing gear at the problem.  Going from one camera to another camera to one lens to another lens isn't going to fix the problem.  Getting to know the quirks of your gear is going to fix the problem

2) You need to find a system that makes you confident in what you're doing...if you are not confident in the kit you have, then you need another kit.

 

I only give those two pieces of advice from my own experience.  I hated the 7D.  I've owned two 24-105L lenses and I hated both.  I have a 100-400 that I use on occasion for wildlife...and I hate that lens but can't afford the alternative.  What I've found works for me and gives me the most confidence - fast glass.  If it's f/2.8 or faster, I'm happy with it.  I'm a pixel peeper - I like full frame camera bodies and I shoot 5D MK III bodies that I use for reportage and portraits.  I have two Fuji X system cameras when I want to be discrete - but focus is awful on both.  The bottom line, is you have to find what works for you or you have to learn to use what you have and what you can afford.

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Paul,

 

You're getting good advice here. Take it. However, if it makes you feel any better, even though I can't remember the last time I failed QC, my sales are in the dumper. The year started great but now things have dwindled to a trickle.

 

Hang in there.

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Paul, this is probably just restating the bromides, but:  Is it possible that you've fallen in love with the sharpness, contrast, etc. of your grand new lens? That everything you shoot with it looks like a good photo to you? Like when you first get an HDTV, everything looks so better that you just sit and watch anything for a while.

 

If so, the honeymoon is over. It's time to accept the new lens as another one of your tools, and get back to selecting good subjects, in best light, and edit carefully.  (Run-and-gun style can work, but you have to edit ruthlessly and expect a low hit rate.)

 

And as others have said, really learn your new equipment. When I first got a good DSLR, the good shots weren't coming like I thought they would. It turned out that the more options and potential precision you have, the more mistakes you can make. Just don't submit any mistakes to Alamy.

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Hi Paul,

 

after so many failed submissions, you are most probably on the "black list". Whenever a batch from you comming in, all QC monitors become red, and every image gets checked pixel by pixel. A vicious circle, you have to escape. I can imagine, that´s easier said, than done.

 

I would start to submit flat, non moving objects (road signs, house fronts, ...), in small batches. Hopefully, sooner or later, the red alert changes to orange, and then to green again. 

 

Colin

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If I was having trouble with QC, this kind of image would only make the problem worse... not better. I can't even see how it's possible to 'freeze' the water while rendering the car a bit blurred. You're asking your camera to do two contradictory things; it's like patting your head and rubbing your belly at the same time. As Philippe says, some skillful PP might render the image you want. But, really, what are you doing trying to get shots like this passed by QC, when your record is so poor?

 

You should be acquainting yourself with the look of a sharp image, when viewed at 100%. It does have a certain 'snap', and anything just slightly off should immediately be obvious... like that first sniff of rancid milk...

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Hi Paul,

 

Sorry to hear you are feeling disheartened, but dont give up - you have had a lot of good advice here - follow it, but the most important thing is that you are enthusiastic and have good equipment. You should stop trying to produce images which might conceivably fail QC, and start uploading standard editorial type photos at least till you have a better QC record (at least whole page of QC passed uploads). I have learned that when I am examining an image, if I start wondering whether it may fail QC, then it usually does! Discard it - no matter how good an image you think it is, or how much thought went into it.  - Its hard to do, but you have to do it!

 

Keep going with that new 70-200 lens - its a fabulous lens and you will only lose money ( and confidence) by selling it.

 

Just "keep getting on with it" as one of our co-contributors has for his tag-line!

 

Good luck

 

Kumar

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Is he talking about selling his 70-200L? That's not a great idea.

 

Most of my fails have been through my 70-200 2.8G. I wouldn't dream of selling it. Ironically because it's razor sharp. No the fails came because I didn't track well enough, didn't use the correct settings given the light and did not take into account the speed the things I was shooting were moving well enough. And probably a lot more. I became enamoured with some of the photos and lost concentration because there were so many of them.

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