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Graham

SOLD in night shots - current Alamy homepage image

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As I sit here waiting for the QC results for 10 submissions with over 300 images made between 30 December and 6 January, and fretting in case I might have missed something and be held up for a QC fail instead of in the New Year backlog, I was surprised to see the latest Alamy home page image (the Houses of Pariament at night with streaks of tail lights).

 

As I understand Alamy's quality requirements, pictures should be clear and sharp, and in particular not suffer from camera shake. The Houses of Parliament image is without doubt a striking picture, but as I look at it, I cannot see anything that is sharp, at least not in any area of interest.  It looks to me as if both Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament are soft: either out of focus or suffering from camera shake, or maybe both.  Even the parapet of the bridge does not look sharp to me.  The sharpest part of the picture seems to me to be the drain cover on the very right hand side of the picture: hardly a key focal point, or some parts of the light streaks (which do not really need to be bitingly sharp for this type of effect).

 

Personally, however striking the picture is, I would not have submitted this because I would not have expected it to get through QC.  But not only has it passed (or slipped through) QC, but presumably Alamy is holding this up as a shining example of acceptable image quality by having it as its greeting to the world logging into the Alamy website today.

 

What do others think?  Have I been unduly nervous in not submitting pictures with slight blurriness, akin to this one? Does artistic merit trump technical quality in the case of striking images?

 

Subject to what happens to my currently delayed sumissions, since my initial test submissions several years ago, in nearly 200 submissions comprising over 3,000 pictures, I have only had one QC fail, nearly 2 years ago.  Ironically, this was a night-time picture which failed for SOLD (and noise): actually it was tack shark, the main subjects unusually being two carved stone monuments, one on either side of the picture near each edge, with a deliberately out of focus central area, but I guess whoever was doing QC that day did not appreciate the composition, and there was no point in complaining: I simply resubmitted the others, which passed with no problems.

 

Would others have submitted this image to Alamy's QC and have expected it to pass?

 

Graham

Edited by Graham
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I thought the same. I would not have submitted that image for fear of it failing QC.

 

I have submitted some night shots that passed QC which were a lot sharper than that one, and even then I was afraid they might fail.

 

I might have to have a look at some of the shots I rejected in the light of the home page image being acceptable.

 

John.

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Same here, Big Ben clock tower is not sharp at all,  imagine how this image looks at 100%.

 

Can't help but feel that QC is a bit of a hit and miss at times.

 

Paul.

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I also thought that when I saw it. I would never have sent it in, in fact I would have just deleted it and not even kept it as a non-alamy shot. It has camera shake aplenty. Also, if I were there I would get a frame with the clock face not just a white disc. Then I would go to the pub.

Cheers

Col

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Yes, it looks quite nice at first glance, but the traffic vibration has shook it up badly and the clock face is blown out! I have many 'artsy' shots which are spot on, but I would worry about submitting them still, for fear of the compositional or deliberate focusing elements being misconstrued as the OP mentions happened to one of his own which failed.

I am a bit miffed when I spend hours removing every bird and dust bunny from my skies and don't submit anything which is blown, camera shaken or out of focus and this shot is promoted on the front page!

Edited by mickfly

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The thing is the image is in the library, whether anyone in the forum thinks it deserves to have passed QC is largely irrelevant..

 

I'm seeing a few threads started because of the lead-in image for the website and most are either critical or the technical quality or the subject matter. But I'm not sure that is the point of them being placed there - these are meant to catch attention and encourage the visitor to explore the library. Pin-point sharpness throughout the frame isn't necessarily always the most engaging aspect of a creative image.

 

I doubt that many of my images which are largely editorial RM stock images are going to make it and I suspect that this is the case for a vast proportion of the 43m+ images. I'd suggest we are unlikely to see an image of a man posting a letter gracing the front page even if it sells every month.

 

Rather than deflating us surely this is encouraging us to be more creative and fill some more gaps in the collection ? .... it might be a risky strategy to put some in for QC but doesn't that get outweighed by the potential benefit ?

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If you look closely at the photo it looks as if the camera focused on the passing bus.  The roadway in the foreground appears to be sharp and the back ground out of focus

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I still find QC very confusing at times. But wouldn't the image in question be considered a "blurred motion" shot, in which case having a sharp centre of focus would not necessarily be a big issue. I would have been too nervous to submit this one myself given the fact that I had some QC failures last year and I'm trying to "get straight." But I'm glad it passed. I quite like the effect. 

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If you look closely at the photo it looks as if the camera focused on the passing bus.  The roadway in the foreground appears to be sharp and the back ground out of focus

 

Yes, such a shot should be made by using a tripod,  therefore giving time to asses the shot and focus on a object that is not going to move,  if the shot was made by a pro, a serious mistake was made,  a novice photographer can be forgiven for such a mistake.

 

The shot could have been made by a double exposure without using a remote trigger, then i am not sure as the woman on the other side of the bridge has not walked off,  unless she is modelling as part of the image.

 

We could discuss this all weekend!

 

Paul.

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No tripod...just hand held panned this ambulance with a short fast lens,...pure luck that the bus was going the opposite way!

BYD026.jpg

Parm :P

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It's also an RM image listed on several Micro sites as RF. Not a good look as a front page image for Alamy.

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Was discussing this elsewhere.

 

Obviously is a tripod shot. Overall thoughts seems to be vibrating bridge (nearer object less blurred during to shake than further objects)..,

 

The movement would only need to be very very minimal to get that kind of result...

 

Criticism is the easiest part of photography.... ;-)

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I'm pretty sure it's focussed on the bus. If I had taken that I'd have done the same. It gives the light streaks relative sharpnes in te vertical direction. It's a picture of light streaks not of the Houses of Parliament. IMO

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I don't have a problem with this image. I was just about to say that the light trails are sharp which is the main point of the photo, and the H of P are merely part of the background, then I saw that JohnB had beaten me to it.

 

Alan

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It's also an RM image listed on several Micro sites as RF. Not a good look as a front page image for Alamy.

Agree.

IMO, this is more imp issue then the SOLD.

BTW. it's a copycat kind of work. Not necessarily by the tog, but there are many likes. Definitely spread all over the microstock world.

Wonder why the licence fees are in freefall....

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