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Just when things were going so well...

 

I've put off uploading new images since early December to avoid annoying holiday delays and overworked QC reviewers but I finally prodded myself into starting up again.  So Sunday and Monday I uploaded approximately 50 images in three smallish batches, all as clean and sharp as I've ever uploaded.  I was so proud of myself.  I was running late when I rushed to upload the last batch of eight images and decided to throw in an "experimental" image that I hoped would qualify as Creative.  Unfortunately I somehow picked up an earlier draft of the image by mistake that was embarrassingly rough and more than deserving of failure. 

 

Result: three batches failed QC for "Noticeable Retouching" of the one image, a very kind way of saying "incredibly sloppy". 

 

So is there any hope or do you suppose I'm permanently banished?  Do you suppose they'll forgive and forget in a few months? 

 

I post this as a warning to other new contributors to never, ever rush when uploading. 

 

Sigh. :( 

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Hi, Lynn! 

 

I'm sitting right here next to you in the sin bin. Want to play cards or something?

 

Here's the quick version of my story: From 2007 to late 2013 I never had a QC failure. Then last September I made a mistake in my workflow and got a big red failure notice. I guess because I had been so nearly perfect, there was no punishment and I was allowed to upload again the next day. Then on January 14th I uploaded 5 images. The next day when they had not gone through, I uploaded 7 more. I made two more attempts of one image each and suddenly the penny dropped. I failed again. This time I will serve the 28 days before I can upload again. (It was a bowl of soup with too large an area that was unsharp.) 

 

So count the days, dear.  :)

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I think QC is really checking everything over with a fine tooth comb lately. Might be because of so many complaints about the quality of some of the home page photos a few weeks back. What ever the case, I'm in the dog house too.

Edited by K. L. Howard
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I vote we change the name "Sin Bin" to "QC Rehab." It sounds less judgmental and more therapeutic. 

 

And, hey, you never know whom you might bump into in rehab (not Justin Bieber or Rob Ford, hopefully).

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Guys, misery doesn't really love company now does it?  Cards sound good Ed, but until I sell enough for an Alamy distribution I'm broke. B)

 

K.L., they didn't need a fine tooth comb, this was a rough draft in every sense. I'm mortified that it was seen.

 

John, if I bump into the Bieb I'm pulling my portfolio and going home!

 

I suppose I should try and upload the other images again if they'll have me.  If not, I'm go back to refining my new portfolio website (started it over Christmas and it needs a lot more work).

 

Lynn

 

www.lynnpalmerstudio.com

 

+1 greenies for all that commisurated.

Edited by Lynn Palmer
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Lynn, I did the same thing back in September when I took photos of a horse pull competition. I had friends with their horses in there, so of course I took a bunch for them. One of the photos I took of my friend and his horses was distinctly out of focus (at 100% anyway) but I accidentally left it in the upload file and realized the mistake not 5 minutes after I uploaded the photos.

 

I emailed MS to ask if that particular photo could be removed from the queue, but was told nope. I waited with my fingers crossed and the lot passed QC. Obviously it was not selected for scrutiny. I deleted it from my Manage Images section right away.

 

Jill

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When I first started uploading I had a loss of service on my DSL line. I thought the batch was lost and re uploaded it.  Later I realized both batches were there and asked them to delete the duplicates.  Their solution was to fail the entire batch.  As a result I never bring errors to the attention of the powers that be, like you I pray they pass and voluntarily delete later.  Later I had an image of a hamburger cooking in a frying pan fail for SOLD.  I honestly think the softness was the hot vapor rising up from the pan but now I try to avoid any images that can be misinterpreted.  I guess this won't be the last time.

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Sniff, Sniff this makes me want to become a panda Sniff, Sniff. All my QC went perfectly fine, running out of images, second batch this year FAILED, I hate small birds which are flying in the distance.......

 

 

 

I'm sitting right here next to you in the sin bin. Want to play cards or something?

 

 

If Lynn doesn't take you up, I will. Can we play bingo as well?

 

I vote we change the name "Sin Bin" to "QC Rehab." It sounds less judgmental and more therapeutic. 

 

And, hey, you never know whom you might bump into in rehab (not Justin Bieber or Rob Ford, hopefully).

If alamy finds out there'll take us all to the tower or who knows (in the distance some crowd shouts off with his head)

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Take heart folks!

 

I had a spell in the sin bin back in 2011, and during that period I had my largest ever single sale which led to that being the largest ever month's sales.

 

I hope it goes likewise for you....

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I know exactly how you feel. I failed last week for the first time in 5 years and I felt utterly gutted (bot not "literally gutted", as some people would say). I was so enjoying watching the green lines pile on top of each other page after page that my immediate thought was "This is the end of my Alamy career. I can no longer face the world".

 

24 hours later I went through the five upload batches that were still in my waiting room and pulled about 20% that were borderline, and I'm now accumulating green lines again. So I guess we all start to get a sense of false security over time and the rigorousness of our checking dulls slightly in the glow of satisfaction from pass after pass.

 

Alan

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... and of course QC expectations and standards raise the threshold inexorably as well. As they should of course.

 

After all the technology continues to improve steadily.

Edited by Martin P Wilson
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If you automate your workflow, and process in batches, it should impede sending unfinished files to Alamy.

 

I have a series of folders starting with a folder titled "raw edit and process" used for editing and processing raw files.

 

I place a days shoot in the first "raw edit and process" folder.  When finished editing and processing the entire folder of raws, I open all the edited final raw processed files in Adobe Camera Raw and automatically save a TIFF to another folder named "Tiff process in photoshop".

 

I then use photoshop to open, one at a time, every tiff file in the "Tiff process in photoshop" folder. After each tiff file is final processed in photoshop, I use a photoshop action to save, one at a time, each final processed tiff file into a folder named "prepare agent". Using the action means that I always save the finished tiff in the proper "prepare agent" folder.

 

When I am through processing the entire batch of tiffs in photoshop the folder "prepare agent" will be full of final processed tiffs. Then I run a photoshop action entitled "Alamy" that opens and automatically processes every tiff in the "prepare agent" folder to Alamy JPG specs, and automatically saves the new Alamy JPG in a folder called "Alamy".

 

This means that once a file arrives in the "Alamy" folder, and only when it arrives in the "Alamy" folder, it is a finished JPG file output to Alamy specs and ready for uploading.

 

If I break into an editing and processing session to do something else, when I return I know the processing status of every file by their folder location.

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Take heart folks!

 

I had a spell in the sin bin back in 2011, and during that period I had my largest ever single sale which led to that being the largest ever month's sales.

 

I hope it goes likewise for you....

 

A good point, Peter. The only thing we can't do while in "QC Rehab" is upload new images. Views, zooms and sales continue as usually (LOL!). We can still shoot everyday and work on PP and keywording. We can even do some planning. Okay, let's not go nuts here. 

 

People make mistakes. In the early part of my retirement I had a great PT job as a copyeditor. If there were no mistakes there would be no copyeditors. 

Edited by Ed Rooney
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I also had my first failure for ages last week. However, it was for 'over manipulation' on a very obviously, deliberately, creatively (I thought) over-manipulated image. The failure came through in two days and all the re-submitted images passed two days after that.

I think they were telling me not that I had failed the standards through sloppy workflow but it was the kind of image they just don't want.

 

Wrist-slashing was not an option I considered and neither should you. Even if you are 'banished' it will be for a maximum of a month. Just keep working and submitting as usual and they'll pass when they pass. (or fail, but I'm sure they won't)

Edited by Phil Robinson
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... and of course QC expectations and standards raise the threshold inexorably as well. As they should of course.

 

After all the technology continues to improve steadily.

The technology continues to improve, but whether or not the photography does is an open question IMO. All I can say is that I'm glad I uploaded all those images a few years ago that wouldn't have a hope in Hades passing QC now. Interestingly enough, they keep on selling, and I haven't heard any clients yelling, "Soft and lacking definition! I want a refund!".

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Problem is John, Alamy only judges the technical quality and the standard available continues to improve. However as you say it is a VERY NARROW view, clients actually take a much more rounded view of suitability of content and technical quality appropriate to their use (mostly small).

 

For most uses Alamy's requirements are well over the top, but of course there are some where it is not. Alamy (and the rest of us) do not know what that use will be or when so I guess they need the best they can get and have to draw a line somewhere.

Edited by Martin P Wilson
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I understand we are all professionals and should only submit work of the highest standards but I believe as John suggested, the minimum standards are ever evolving upward with improved technology.  Of course improved imagery and higher standards naturally equates to more earnings...right?  

 

To answer Jeff, nearly all of my submissions have been approved quickly, usually within 2-4 days so I probably will survive this episode with only wounded pride.  I always strive to improve my work and I can see definite improvement from year to year in the quality of my imagery.  My QC failure this week is entirely my fault, I dared to try something new and rushed to add one more image but grabbed it from the wrong file folder.  It was late, I was tired and I made a mistake.  Unfortunately the Alamy system is stringent and has no latitude whatsoever built into it.

 

What's depressing is that presumably Alamy wants it's contributors to provide creative images that sell better but as a result of this episode I've not only eliminated the draft file but I've decided not to upload a corrected file.  After all, why would I put myself at risk for little if any return.  I wonder how many other contributors make the same safe choice?  So today, I uploaded the other 48 other images which are similar to my 1600+ approved images that so far are only occasionally zoomed and sell every once in a while.  My CTR went up to 0.78 over Christmas but has since sunk to new lows.  Will it eventually even out close to Alamy's CTR, who knows but if I believe other recent discussion threads it won't and I'm wasting my time.

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I understand we are all professionals and should only submit work of the highest standards but I believe as John suggested, the minimum standards are ever evolving upward with improved technology.  Of course improved imagery and higher standards naturally equates to more earnings...right?  

 

To answer Jeff, nearly all of my submissions have been approved quickly, usually within 2-4 days so I probably will survive this episode with only wounded pride.  I always strive to improve my work and I can see definite improvement from year to year in the quality of my imagery.  My QC failure this week is entirely my fault, I dared to try something new and rushed to add one more image but grabbed it from the wrong file folder.  It was late, I was tired and I made a mistake.  Unfortunately the Alamy system is stringent and has no latitude whatsoever built into it.

 

What's depressing is that presumably Alamy wants it's contributors to provide creative images that sell better but as a result of this episode I've not only eliminated the draft file but I've decided not to upload a corrected file.  After all, why would I put myself at risk for little if any return.  I wonder how many other contributors make the same safe choice?  So today, I uploaded the other 48 other images which are similar to my 1600+ approved images that so far are only occasionally zoomed and sell every once in a while.  My CTR went up to 0.78 over Christmas but has since sunk to new lows.  Will it eventually even out close to Alamy's CTR, who knows but if I believe other recent discussion threads it won't and I'm wasting my time.

I tend to agree. I now have a growing list of subjects that I dare not submit to Alamy. On the plus side, it's usually the more mundane images that sell the best anyway.

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I tend to agree. I now have a growing list of subjects that I dare not submit to Alamy. On the plus side, it's usually the more mundane images that sell the best anyway.

 

 

DARN! THATS where I'm going wrong. :mellow:

 

Allan

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I tend to agree. I now have a growing list of subjects that I dare not submit to Alamy. On the plus side, it's usually the more mundane images that sell the best anyway.

 

 

DARN! THATS where I'm going wrong. :mellow:

 

Allan

Me too. Rolls of toilet paper, stacks of dishes and folded linens are all fair game. Travel expenses drop to zero and equipment wear and tear is nearly nonexistent. With a tripod and studio lighting the post processing is simpler too.

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I tend to agree. I now have a growing list of subjects that I dare not submit to Alamy. On the plus side, it's usually the more mundane images that sell the best anyway.

 

DARN! THATS where I'm going wrong. :mellow:

 

Allan

Me too. Rolls of toilet paper, stacks of dishes and folded linens are all fair game. Travel expenses drop to zero and equipment wear and tear is nearly nonexistent. With a tripod and studio lighting the post processing is simpler too.

 

 

Sounds boring though.

 

Allan

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Yup!  I haven't quite brought myself to implementing the "commonly found around the house" stock photography plan.  I keep praying I'll strike it rich with pictures of Florida tourist destinations, people fishing, university students and FedEx delivery drivers but hope is dwindling.

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Don't give up hope Lynn. I was in that position a while ago, near the bottom of the ratings, but have found that things have started to pick up lately with images I've had on here for quite some time. For how long I don't know - just hope it keeps rolling along.

 

Allan

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I tend to agree. I now have a growing list of subjects that I dare not submit to Alamy. On the plus side, it's usually the more mundane images that sell the best anyway.

 

 

DARN! THATS where I'm going wrong. :mellow:

 

Allan

 

Mystery solved. Actually, I'm probably wrong about this. Perhaps all those adventurous photos really are potentially big sellers. I'm having trouble getting even my mundane ones past the QC gates these days, so I wouldn't know. 

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