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Radical QC Suggestion


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I agree about complacency and it is all too easy to slip into in the chase for numbers here at Alamy especially with no one looking over your shoulder. I recently had it pointed out by a fellow contributor (for which I am grateful) that I had let some bad (let's not beat about the bush) images through even though they were technically OK so passed QC. I knew in my heart I had and was going to delete them anyway. As a result of that wake up call I am raising my sights so that my work is good enough (technically and subjectively) for any agency or client.

 

My aim is to continuously improve my work, to stay ahead of the market demands. I am currently taking a long hard look at all aspects of my work - there are a lot of changes to make if I am going to earn a satisfactory income.

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At the risk of making myself very unpopular, I would like to make a radical suggestion, namely that after almost 14 years (I believe) of operation, Alamy should consider reassessing its QC policy. The essence of my suggestion is that Alamy should think about doing what every other stock agency that I know of does  -- i.e.  simply reject images that don't meet its standards from submissions and let the others pass through the gate right away. I realize that this would probably mean more work for QC because they would have to check more individual images. But surely this could be overcome by limiting the number of images that could be submitted at once to a rational maximum number (100 images say). If this system works for so many others, I'm sure it would work for Alamy.

 

There, I've gone and said it. Shall now run for cover.

 

-John M

 

I signed up with Alamy several years ago, but just recently started to contribute.  I have used several micro-stock companies, in the past, that do just what John is talking about.  It makes it easier on the photographer, but, I'm not sure it does the photographer a favor.

 

I have thought about this long and hard as I waited to clear QC, knowing that I may be spending the next 28 days or so just banking images, waiting to be allowed to contribute again.  However, I feel this has really had an impact on the technical quality of my images.  I am so afraid of spending a month in the "sin bin" that I meticulously go over my images at 100%, knowing my entire submission might be nixed because of just one image.

 

The only changes I would like to see is immediate notification of failure rather than having to wait and start another thread about slow QC or "am I just back in the sin bin".  I also think the idea of a trial submission regarding style issues is a great idea.  Being new here I am not sure just how far I can go, for example, with the stylistic use of luminescence noise (grain) in a submission, etc.

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I have a fair bit of material from a recent trip to Scotland relating to a topical constitutional issue but by the time I am out of the sinbin it will be as dead as mutton.

 

Hi Mark, I believe, from another thread, that you are allowed to upload images that are "newsworthy" via the news upload even while in the bin.

 

Allan

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I have a fair bit of material from a recent trip to Scotland relating to a topical constitutional issue but by the time I am out of the sinbin it will be as dead as mutton.

 

Hi Mark, I believe, from another thread, that you are allowed to upload images that are "newsworthy" via the news upload even while in the bin.

 

Allan

 

So you are and I've done it but it wasn't news as such, just all the 'yes' and 'no' posters. Bit late now though.

And yes, i'm still in.

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  • 7 months later...

Sorry to bump an old thread here. Some people have already elucidated what I am going to say. What needs to be done is inform QC fails as soon as is reasonably possible. Contributor can then correct and plan ahead. Waiting in the dark for a week, two weeks, then three weeks, then four weeks is utterly frustrating. This is the very least common courtesy. I doubt anyone is willingly trying to pass sub-standard images. Secondly, the 28 period is just too long. It's long enough to make you start seeking out other agencies. The workflow cannot stop for a month! My third idea would be to have a limited editing policy in restricting similars. I am often flabbergasted to see 12 pictures of a boring shop front, say, from all angles. It just clogs up the search results and that can't be good for anyone.

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The time waiting to clear QC failure, wether notified earlier or later, could also be used to moderate your portfolio by checking keywording, weeding out similars and weak images to be replaced by more of the better images when you are allowed to start uploading again.

 

Allan

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It would be great if the sin bin time was shortened especially so that you're not risking a month of lost upload time for trying to upload more stylish current work - the kind of contemporary stuff that sells well elsewhere. Two weeks will still make people think twice about the quality of their work but it is short enough to let you risk trying something different.

 

It's easy to pass QC with serviceable images but if you're trying to be more creative in your processing it can really be a problem. I hadn't been in the bin for about two years and uploaded some work that I've licensed to a calendar company (and had to upsize for them - did not have to upsize it here). My "fail" was on that sharp image - though there were also some in the batch with a grungier modern feel and I'm thinking those were the ones that really failed and they just put the little "i" by the first photo in the batch. So, now I know not to try and upload that type of thing here again, but it would have been nice if the technically "perfect" photos were online. Waiting a month to upload again has me tempted to put a lot of my new and technically sound work elsewhere instead.

 

Alamy, maybe you'll consider two weeks instead of a month in the bin?  

 

Don't get me wrong, I get the QC thing. When I started out here as a new photographer - back in the days when I had to uprez a 6 MP image to 48MB  I really learned to perfect my technique - those old images from my D70 are still selling - but a month for a longtime contributor with a good current record seems like a lot. 

 

I knew I was taking a risk with some of those photos but as creatives I think we should be encouraged to take risks sometimes. IMHO, it makes for better photos.

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For a contributor with a previously good record is it straight to a month lock out for the first QC fail after many greens? 

 

Not in my experience….I had a fail years ago when the camera I was using which was 6 meg slipped onto the banned list unnoticed by myself. I had a clean run until a few months ago when an image shot in low light failed for some colour noise in a tiny area of shadow. Deleted it, re uploaded the batch again and carried on as normal. Mark is probably correct in that if you drop below a % pass rate, sin bin it is. 

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For a contributor with a previously good record is it straight to a month lock out for the first QC fail after many greens? 

 

Not in my experience….I had a fail years ago when the camera I was using which was 6 meg slipped onto the banned list unnoticed by myself. I had a clean run until a few months ago when an image shot in low light failed for some colour noise in a tiny area of shadow. Deleted it, re uploaded the batch again and carried on as normal. Mark is probably correct in that if you drop below a % pass rate, sin bin it is. 

 

Thanks Mark and Martyn - much appreciated.

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For a contributor with a previously good record is it straight to a month lock out for the first QC fail after many greens? 

 

There is no "lock out", unless you continually submit sub-standard images.

 

dd

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