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If we had to do everything at 200% I think we would in a lot of trouble.   :o

200% of some of the prices being paid would be good ;)

 

Phil

 

I'll drink to that.

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I see that several forum members here have accused Alamy QC of making decisions based on a 200% look at images. I've never hear Alamy say they do that. They say they make their decision based on a 100% view.

 

Regarding the image from the OP: The sky is suspect; it looks wrong to me, too dark, and not a real or natural blue . . . and that would have caused me to take a closer look and then found the artifacts. 

 

Ed, I never accused Alamy of viewing at 200%, I was only suggesting taking a look at 200% to be on the safe side. I also believe that QC views at max. 100%. :)

 

This help video suggests that Alamy views images at 100% only.

 

http://www.alamy.com/contributor/help/Help-videos.asp

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I have revisited this 6d raw image in LR 5.3 and other blue sky images from a 650d. With zero sharpening you can still see minor artifacts at 200% but in all honesty they would not be visible in any image output. Applying NR does not seem to help. So how do you avoid this situation in exported images from raw ?

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Don't know if this helps, Colin, but here (link below) is a 100% crop from an image (not interpolated) that failed due to "interpolation artifacts." I actually went back to retake the photo, and the building had been torn down to make way for condominiums, a common problem here in Vancouver. As mentioned, QC was very good about getting back to me about the perceived problem (i.e. too soft, looks like interpolation artifacts). I think your image might (?) have a similar look to it at 100%.

 

http://cdn.c.photoshelter.com/img-get/I0000vhP1Lekqhc0/s/860/860/Vancouver1310009.jpg

 

P.S. In my case, Alamy did not mention artifacts in the sky area.

Edited by John Mitchell

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I have just had a look at the Colin’s image at 100%, and added unsharp mask(500/0.3/0) in Photoshop, and noticed that the sharpened edges of the masonry blocks just above the Latin inscription appears similar to interpolation artifacts, due to the way the masonry edges have sharpened.  I wonder whether this has caused the QC fail?  

Before I submit to Alamy I try a trial sharpening in Photoshop, on a copy layer to check the image for excess noise, areas that may look like interpolation artifacts,  soft areas in landscapes caused by heat haze, etc. If a problem shows up, I reduce the size of the tiff image (after the sharpened layer has been discarded) to 24MB and re-check with a fresh sharpened copy layer.  If the image still looks suspect it is rejected, and if all looks well I submit to Alamy, after discarding the trial sharpened layer and saving as a jpg.  

I have noticed that sometimes if I zap up saturation of a blue sky on a raw image in Lightroom, a very slight fringe can appear between the sky and foreground subject.  When  a tiff is checked in Photoshop, with a copy layer sharpened, the fringe can appear like interpolation artifacts.  If this occurs, I go back to Lightroom and tone down the sky’s saturation until the fringe disappears.

I still submit scans of transparencies – mostly from 5x4 and 6x6, but also from 35mm.  The grain in the skies on the 35mm scans looks huge in comparison to the noise in the sky of the Colin’s picture.  I sometimes get a bit concerned about noise in the skies of my digital images – until I remember the grain on the 35mm scans .

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I have just had a look at the Colin’s image at 100%, and added unsharp mask(500/0.3/0) in Photoshop, and noticed that the sharpened edges of the masonry blocks just above the Latin inscription appears similar to interpolation artifacts, due to the way the masonry edges have sharpened.  I wonder whether this has caused the QC fail?  

 

Before I submit to Alamy I try a trial sharpening in Photoshop, on a copy layer to check the image for excess noise, areas that may look like interpolation artifacts,  soft areas in landscapes caused by heat haze, etc. If a problem shows up, I reduce the size of the tiff image (after the sharpened layer has been discarded) to 24MB and re-check with a fresh sharpened copy layer.  If the image still looks suspect it is rejected, and if all looks well I submit to Alamy, after discarding the trial sharpened layer and saving as a jpg.  

 

I have noticed that sometimes if I zap up saturation of a blue sky on a raw image in Lightroom, a very slight fringe can appear between the sky and foreground subject.  When  a tiff is checked in Photoshop, with a copy layer sharpened, the fringe can appear like interpolation artifacts.  If this occurs, I go back to Lightroom and tone down the sky’s saturation until the fringe disappears.

 

I still submit scans of transparencies – mostly from 5x4 and 6x6, but also from 35mm.  The grain in the skies on the 35mm scans looks huge in comparison to the noise in the sky of the Colin’s picture.  I sometimes get a bit concerned about noise in the skies of my digital images – until I remember the grain on the 35mm scans .

Wow! This sounds quite labour-intensive. Do you / would you go to all this trouble for any agencies other than Alamy?

Edited by John Mitchell

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I have just had a look at the Colin’s image at 100%, and added unsharp mask(500/0.3/0) in Photoshop, and noticed that the sharpened edges of the masonry blocks just above the Latin inscription appears similar to interpolation artifacts, due to the way the masonry edges have sharpened.  I wonder whether this has caused the QC fail?  

 

Before I submit to Alamy I try a trial sharpening in Photoshop, on a copy layer to check the image for excess noise, areas that may look like interpolation artifacts,  soft areas in landscapes caused by heat haze, etc. If a problem shows up, I reduce the size of the tiff image (after the sharpened layer has been discarded) to 24MB and re-check with a fresh sharpened copy layer.  If the image still looks suspect it is rejected, and if all looks well I submit to Alamy, after discarding the trial sharpened layer and saving as a jpg.  

 

I have noticed that sometimes if I zap up saturation of a blue sky on a raw image in Lightroom, a very slight fringe can appear between the sky and foreground subject.  When  a tiff is checked in Photoshop, with a copy layer sharpened, the fringe can appear like interpolation artifacts.  If this occurs, I go back to Lightroom and tone down the sky’s saturation until the fringe disappears.

 

I still submit scans of transparencies – mostly from 5x4 and 6x6, but also from 35mm.  The grain in the skies on the 35mm scans looks huge in comparison to the noise in the sky of the Colin’s picture.  I sometimes get a bit concerned about noise in the skies of my digital images – until I remember the grain on the 35mm scans .

Wow! This sounds quite labour-intensive. Do you / would you go to all this trouble for any agencies other than Alamy?

 

 

Yes, it seems a bit labour intensive, but it is part of the workflow I have developed over the years, so is not too time consuming.  I started checking with a sharpened copy layer just after I joined Alamy in 2005, when I had a couple of QC fails for ‘dirt or dust or other blemishes’, for blemishes I hadn’t noticed on scans.  Using the sharpened layer was a good check to help emphasise blemishes I hadn’t seen.  I have continued with a sharpened copy layer test even with digital capture, as it seems an ideal way for me to hopefully avoid a QC fail, which fortunately I haven’t had since 2009, when an error slipped through on a scan I hadn’t checked with a sharpened layer.

 

Generally, I submit the same images to Alamy and other agencies, so the same workflow is used.  But I do submit images to other libraries that I have not submitted to Alamy due to me thinking it borderline for Alamy QC.

 

I have been tempted ease standards when submitting images via the Archival route, when QC is bypassed, but have followed my usual workflow to try and get the best possible technical quality.

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well said philippe...

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All this extreme nitpicking and scaring each other made me decide to shrink all my pictures into maximum 12 megapixel images from now on. Just to be on the safe side. Why the hell did I buy a 20 MP camera for ....???? Yeah, why?

I'm sick and tired of risking whole batches to fail because some guy might perhaps notice a purple pixel peeping from behind a tree trunk in a forest, photographed at 100 hundred meters away :wacko:

 

Quality control should be strict and severe. I totally agree. After all, we're delivering pictures for the professional market. But there are limits. Don't exaggerate! How do these QC people look at pictures in magazines? With microscopes? How do they look at paintings in a museum? With binoculars? Could we please keep both feet on the ground and keep a minimum sense of reality? It's becoming ridiculous lately what I read what people do out of fear of being sent to the "sin bin".

What I experience here, lately, I don't experience anywhere else! And I submit to quite a few agencies. Better take a closer look at blue grass and green skies because those seem to pass with flying colours.

 

Cheers,

Philippe

I totally agree!

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All this extreme nitpicking and scaring each other made me decide to shrink all my pictures into maximum 12 megapixel images from now on. Just to be on the safe side. Why the hell did I buy a 20 MP camera for ....???? Yeah, why?

I'm sick and tired of risking whole batches to fail because some guy might perhaps notice a purple pixel peeping from behind a tree trunk in a forest, photographed at 100 hundred meters away :wacko:

 

Quality control should be strict and severe. I totally agree. After all, we're delivering pictures for the professional market. But there are limits. Don't exaggerate! How do these QC people look at pictures in magazines? With microscopes? How do they look at paintings in a museum? With binoculars? Could we please keep both feet on the ground and keep a minimum sense of reality? It's becoming ridiculous lately what I read what people do out of fear of being sent to the "sin bin".

What I experience here, lately, I don't experience anywhere else! And I submit to quite a few agencies.

Better take a closer look at blue grass and green skies because those seem to pass with flying colours. (even my half-blind grandma would notice that AND THAT would annoy her, NOT an invisible purple pixel :angry:)

 

Cheers,

Philippe

 

Well said Phillipe, couldn't agree more! Have a few beers at the weekend, I know I will.

 

Cheers

David

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This thread has run it's course. Our QC team reviewed this case and agreed it was borderline and the issue has been resolved.

 

Our QC pass rate for last month was actually 96% so even though it can seem we are sometimes being harsh, the vast majority of submissions pass with flying colours.

 

Have a great weekend.

 

Alamy

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