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Paulstw

QC Fail - Having a change of heart.

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I sincerely appreciate all the time you folk have taken to comment on my bad run. I'll take on the advice. I'm going back to what I tried at first, and this morning went out to grab some cleaner shots. I'll spend more time working on getting them right, and keep my gear. I understand what Ed was saying about the 7D AF system. It does tend to baffle me sometimes, and why not, it's a 'pro' camera and I'm not a 'pro' 

 

I want to succeed at this. I have not been devoting the time that it requires for success. I think research into what's going to work will be best in the long run. 

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Paul, okay, now I want to join the crowd and offer advice. I don't believe time is your issue - it seem to me that your entire problem is that you're real job here is to impress QC with your ability to create solid, viable images. When I was in the exact same situation, I started submitting only still lifes shot with the camera on a tripod. It worked perfectly, those images passed (and sold better than anything else I do) and set a new standard. After a few months of nothing but still life, I started moving other subjects into my submissions after carefully checking them.

 

It turns out that my still life work taught me what I needed; I could now check focus with much more confidence. This hasn't led to perfection - certainly not! And now I try new things more frequently, but I have a base of Alamy (and now Getty) skills.

 

Yes, it was worth it.

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Paul, you've had a lot of advice, most of it very good.

 

So what is your specific plan going forward? 

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Paul, you've had a lot of advice, most of it very good.

 

So what is your specific plan going forward? 

 

Coupled with Brian's plan of changing things around, I too will go back to trying some still life set ups. Some things around the house with good lighting. I'm going to review my PP techniques. I'm only using the MAC for Alamy work and doing it at home. All my fails have resulted from my work PC, and I've never calibrated the screen. I'm also probably under pressure more at work so not giving it my best attention. 

 

I've also been doing some research on All Alamy and search results. Finding some gaps, and learning how to fill them. The last 24 hours have been a bang on the head so to speak but well needed. 

 

Cheers, Paul 

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Paul, this sounds good. I for one am cheering for you and hope you turn things around.

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This sounds very familiar. I had a number of initial uploads fail and was wondering why QC was doing so. Then I started to get more serious about this (even though I have not been able to put time to upload a large number of images), just to ensure that my pass rate increases. These are some of the stuff that I did (and a number of these have already been mentioned):

 

- I had colleagues who were good photographers. I asked them to look at photos that failed, and they were able to point out problems that I had been missing, especially the 'soft' ones. One of them told me that if there is any text in the photo, look at it in 100% and see whether you can read it. If that works, then it is reasonably sharp (Depth of field however can ensure that the text part may be the part of an image that is not in focus). But if I have any road images where cars are present, I try to ensure that I can read the number plates.

- The thing about reviewing at 100%. I would do that randomly, but now look at it very carefully in 100% for every image. This can be through opening the image in PS by opening it fully; earlier I would use viewers such as the Picasa viewer or Irfan view at 100%. In a couple of images, I found some small dust marks on the images that I would have missed and QC would have stopped.

- If I had some doubts over an image, even though I liked the image, I would remove it (the 28 day penalty can be a serious pain)

- After a QC failure, I would submit some safe images such as street photography to give the boost up again, since such images were easily passed

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Yeah I went down to the Hydro in Glasgow today to get some "safe" images. The Hydro has featured highly in the media of late and I only had pics of when it was being built, and some of it lit at night. I reckon that's safe enough. A big huge solid building with a clear blue sky. I'll still check them for errors and punt the unnecessary ones. 

 

The advice has been very helpful indeed. Thanks a lot :) 

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I just spent 10 days as a vendor at the Royal Winter Fair in Toronto.  Thought I could get some good shots but as I went through them all, I have only found 2 that I think would pass QC. And that is out of about 200. With the livestock they don't like you using flash, so had to use ISO1600 and the shots just weren't good enough. It pained me to trash them all. Couldn't get a high enough shutter speed in the dark barns, Was using that nice Canon lens (the 2.8) but with such a shallow depth of field and high ISO, the photos sucked at 100%. Oh well, got a couple of good shots of a Toyota Tundra.

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I just spent 10 days as a vendor at the Royal Winter Fair in Toronto.  Thought I could get some good shots but as I went through them all, I have only found 2 that I think would pass QC. And that is out of about 200. With the livestock they don't like you using flash, so had to use ISO1600 and the shots just weren't good enough. It pained me to trash them all. Couldn't get a high enough shutter speed in the dark barns, Was using that nice Canon lens (the 2.8) but with such a shallow depth of field and high ISO, the photos sucked at 100%. Oh well, got a couple of good shots of a Toyota Tundra.

 

If you haven't got enough light to make sharp pictures at a decent ISO, shoot with longer shutterspeeds and go for nice looking motion blurs accentuating the motion. Use a tripod (if possible) or some other support you find on the terrain (fence, wall, table, etc.) to steady your camera. With some imagination, you could end with a nice series of images.

 

CX77E1.jpg

 

As Johan Cruijff said: "Ieder nadeel heb zijn voordeel" (Every disadvantage has an advantage or something like that ;) )

 

Cheers,

Philippe

 

There wan't really much action going on in the barns. With having the vendor booth, I could only shoot before the show started at 9 in the morning, as I would be stuck in my booth till 9 at night.  So its very quiet in the barns then.  Just people grooming their cattle prepping for the upcoming show classes.

 

Would have loved to have been able to do some shots over in the horse show arena, but no chance to go there, and tickets for the horse show were $55 - $75.

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I've been following the work of a photographer called Bryan Peterson. I think his 'Old School' approach to everything has really opened my eyes. I have all the gear I need. It's time to look at my world from a different perspective. Bryans stuff is pretty amazing, and with the tuition from his media I think there could be a swift change on the horizon :) 

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".  Just people grooming their cattle prepping for the upcoming show classes."

 

 

ideal photos....preperation/backstage images are, if anything, more useful than mainstage pictures

 

km

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I submitted 9 images yesterday at 12pm. Passed two mins ago. That was under 24 hours. Cheers guys :) A less risky approach until I'm more confident should also do the trick. Cheers again 

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I submitted 9 images yesterday at 12pm. Passed two mins ago. That was under 24 hours. Cheers guys :) A less risky approach until I'm more confident should also do the trick. Cheers again 

 

If you can be, say, 5% stricter about image quality than QC, you should never have another failure

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".  Just people grooming their cattle prepping for the upcoming show classes."

 

 

ideal photos....preperation/backstage images are, if anything, more useful than mainstage pictures

 

km

 

Those were the pics I took, (close to 200) but just couldn't get quality pics that would pass at 100%. Just not enough light in the barn area, even with pushing the ISO. I was disappointed, but such is life. Maybe next year I will take a tripod in with me. I don't think the exhibitors would be bothered, as long as I don't use a flash.

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or invest in an inexpensive 50mm f1.4 for these situations.....

 

km

 

A great idea. Hopefully by next year I will have increased my stock of glass. My current lenses both only go to f4, and I occasionally get to use the Canon f2.8 70-200 from my son's college. That is the one I was using that morning.

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I've been following the work of a photographer called Bryan Peterson. I think his 'Old School' approach to everything has really opened my eyes. I have all the gear I need. It's time to look at my world from a different perspective. Bryans stuff is pretty amazing, and with the tuition from his media I think there could be a swift change on the horizon :)

 

I chose Bryan Peterson's photography school to send in images for critique for an honest opinion of my work and asking if I should stay a hobbyist or move forward. They told me my strengths and the one thing I was weak on. I never signed up for the class they recommended for me, as I had received a 6 mo. gift subscription to Lynda.com from my daughter to help my frustration. lol So many great photog workshops on there, especially by Ben Long, and on other programs/the like. :) I'd recommend that site to anyone starting out or needing a refresher who didn't wish to drive to a school or preferred learning at their own pace. They have a 7 day free trial Paul and I'd say watch the entire Photography series by Ben which I believe is in 4 parts. The workshops each are like 9-11 hrs. in length yet sectioned in smaller vids to watch when you have time. For I think $25 per month w/o a contract you can watch any and everything on their site; photography, Lightroom, Photoshop, Business stuff, Adobe Illustrator, WordPress, Office, etc.

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I've been following the work of a photographer called Bryan Peterson. I think his 'Old School' approach to everything has really opened my eyes. I have all the gear I need. It's time to look at my world from a different perspective. Bryans stuff is pretty amazing, and with the tuition from his media I think there could be a swift change on the horizon :)

 

I chose Bryan Peterson's photography school to send in images for critique for an honest opinion of my work and asking if I should stay a hobbyist or move forward. They told me my strengths and the one thing I was weak on. I never signed up for the class they recommended for me, as I had received a 6 mo. gift subscription to Lynda.com from my daughter to help my frustration. lol So many great photog workshops on there, especially by Ben Long, and on other programs/the like. :) I'd recommend that site to anyone starting out or needing a refresher who didn't wish to drive to a school or preferred learning at their own pace. They have a 7 day free trial Paul and I'd say watch the entire Photography series by Ben which I believe is in 4 parts. The workshops each are like 9-11 hrs. in length yet sectioned in smaller vids to watch when you have time. For I think $25 per month w/o a contract you can watch any and everything on their site; photography, Lightroom, Photoshop, Business stuff, Adobe Illustrator, WordPress, Office, etc.

 

After about 4-5 videos this morning from Bryan I was hooked, so maybe signing up to this rather than photoshop CC will help in the short term for a longer term stay. Cheers

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Jill:

 

I live in Toronto, the home of the Royal Winter Fair, but gave up there because the barns are so dark.

 

You live in Lindsay where the barns at the Lindsay Fall Fair are a photographers delight.

 

There is more than one way to skin a cat, and a Fall Fair is a Fall Fair.

 

Here is an image shot in the Lindsay barns. Wonderful easy to shoot light.

 

Bill Brooks

 

ANA1CM.jpg

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Jill:

 

I live in Toronto, the home of the Royal Winter Fair, but gave up there because the barns are so dark.

 

You live in Lindsay where the barns at the Lindsay Fall Fair are a photographers delight.

 

There is more than one way to skin a cat, and a Fall Fair is a Fall Fair.

 

Here is an image shot in the Lindsay barns. Wonderful easy to shoot light.

 

Bill Brooks

 

ANA1CM.jpg

I took lots of pics at Lindsay Fair this year. You can see them in my photos. Put one in for the October Harmony photo competition.

 

I love the Royal. Been a vendor there for 10 years and went every year with my Dad when I was a kid. Has changed a lot since then. Just need faster lenses for the barns, so as Keith suggested, will probably add a 50mm f1.8 to my collection for just such low light issues.

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I submitted 9 images yesterday at 12pm. Passed two mins ago. That was under 24 hours. Cheers guys :) A less risky approach until I'm more confident should also do the trick. Cheers again 

 

If you can be, say, 5% stricter about image quality than QC, you should never have another failure

 

 

Aye, and there's the rub.

 

I'm definitely stricter on my images than QC judging by my QC stats but it means that my port is growing stupefyingly slowly because whilst I'm aiming for 5% stricter, my "strictness index" is quite a bit higher than that and end up *not* submitting likely acceptable images because of the Damoclean QC sword. 

 

I guess the balance will improve once my port is up in the thousands rather than the hundreds but it's going to to take me an age to get there at this rate.

 

I suspect I'm not alone in this...

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Russell, pix have to be pin sharp, for QC, where they're supposed to be sharp. Which might be anything from a narrow band of focus, to a landscape where everything, from a few feet away to infinity, is in focus.

 

If you're saying that a lot of your pix are failing this test, then your problem presumably lies with your basic technique. Slight camera shake, inappropriate shutter speeds, wrong-placed point of sharp focus, etc, can make the difference between focus that 'snaps' at 100% and slight softness that will fail QC.

 

I cured my own QC problem, a few years ago, by using a tripod for most of my shots. It worked... especially by getting the best out of what most people here would consider quite modest equipment (my go-to lens is still the cheap 'n' cheerful 18-70 kit lens, on an old Nikon D200). 

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Russell, pix have to be pin sharp, for QC, where they're supposed to be sharp. Which might be anything from a narrow band of focus, to a landscape where everything, from a few feet away to infinity, is in focus.

 

If you're saying that a lot of your pix are failing this test, then your problem presumably lies with your basic technique. Slight camera shake, inappropriate shutter speeds, wrong-placed point of sharp focus, etc, can make the difference between focus that 'snaps' at 100% and slight softness that will fail QC.

 

I cured my own QC problem, a few years ago, by using a tripod for most of my shots. It worked... especially by getting the best out of what most people here would consider quite modest equipment (my go-to lens is still the cheap 'n' cheerful 18-70 kit lens, on an old Nikon D200). 

 

Thanks for replying John. 

 

I trust my judgement on sharpness, and my basic technique.

 

My problem is because of my anally retentive-Aspergeroid personality, not technical shortcomings. 

Edited by Russell Watkins

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I may have missed the comments I am about to make in all the pile of good advice above Paul, in which case apologies!

Alamy Member Services were VERY helpful to me in the past and happy to send a 100% blow up to show specifally why failure occurred. Try them?

 

Also, work the lens to get the OPTIMAL detail/sharpness etc out of it. I have a 17-55mm Nikon lens (DX) and find much sahrper results from around f10 than around f22 - for instance.

 

I have so been where you are - so GOOD LUCK and keep at it.

 

Nick J

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