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Betty LaRue

I was clicking right along, then.....

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And another time for fluffy white clouds in blue sky. Has anyone seen a sharp cloud?

 

Allan

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I try downsizing to minimum file size (thanks to DK for this advice) with slightly soft-looking images like these. It can sometimes make a big difference. Personally, I think that Ed's Freedom Tower image would have passed a couple of years ago.

Edited by John Mitchell
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I had to bin a lot from Shanghai because the air pollution made them appear unsharp.

 

Did you upload any shots of the Shanghai air pollution itself? There are some pretty hazy looking ones on Alamy.

 

I have air pollution shots of Mexico City that I was afraid to upload to Alamy, so I put them elsewhere.

Edited by John Mitchell

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I put up a few but not as examples of pollution per se.

We never saw the sun- too much smog.

In Dubai it was the sand in the air, but fortunately an LR preset latterly called 'dubaicreek'. took care of it. Come to think of it that would probably have taken care of Shanghai.

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I put up a few but not as examples of pollution per se.

We never saw the sun- too much smog.

In Dubai it was the sand in the air, but fortunately an LR preset latterly called 'dubaicreek'. took care of it. Come to think of it that would probably have taken care of Shanghai.

 

My concern with shots intentionally showing air pollution is that the QC inspectors won't read the caption (apparently they don't) and not know what they are looking at.

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And another time for fluffy white clouds in blue sky. Has anyone seen a sharp cloud?

 

Allan

 

No, but I'll let you know if I do.

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There was no heat haze that day, guys, although we do get our share in NYC.

 

We had a bright blue sky, a temperature of about 26 C, with some cumulus clouds and a light breeze. The "effect" you see has to do with the glass facade of the subject, the light and my PP.  I could have made it look very different . . . and perhaps I should have. I see the Tower as sharp at 100%. The trees on the bottom are not sharp at 100%--they are one block closer to me than the Tower--but this is not an image of trees. 

 

The light was bouncing around through the clouds and hitting the glass-surfaced skyscraper causing the effect you see. I like it as is, but I guess Alamy does not.  I could possibly have made the image darker, got rid of some of the burned out highlights . . . but I didn't.  So there it is. 

 

I will not be contacting Alamy about this image. They will just give me a PR answer. Anyway, the damage is already done; I've lost my leg-up on the timing, being the first with this important submission. I won't be "fixing" or submitting this image to Alamy.

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There was no heat haze that day, guys, although we do get our share in NYC.

 

We had a bright blue sky, a temperature of about 26 C, with some cumulus clouds and a light breeze. The "effect" you see has to do with the glass facade of the subject, the light and my PP.  I could have made it look very different . . . and perhaps I should have. I see the Tower as sharp at 100%. The trees on the bottom are not sharp at 100%--they are one block closer to me than the Tower--but this is not an image of trees. 

 

The light was bouncing around through the clouds and hitting the glass-surfaced skyscraper causing the effect you see. I like it as is, but I guess Alamy does not.  I could possibly have made the image darker, got rid of some of the burned out highlights . . . but I didn't.  So there it is. 

 

I will not be contacting Alamy about this image. They will just give me a PR answer. Anyway, the damage is already done; I've lost my leg-up on the timing, being the first with this important submission. I won't be "fixing" or submitting this image to Alamy.

 

Given that you were no doubt using a wide angle lens -- and an excellent one at that -- and were shooting from a couple of blocks away by the sounds of it, I don't see how the tower could have looked much sharper. Anyway, hate to say it, but stock agencies inadvertently shoots themselves in the foot sometimes. Too bad you hadn't uploaded this one via the live news feed.

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Just now released from my cell. This is the image that put me in the sin bin:  http://fineartamerica.com/featured/freedom-tower-ed-rooney.html

 

"Soft and lacking definition," they say. 

 

Glad to hear you're back on the outside. Do you agree with QC on this one?

 

 

I do not agree with QC on this image. It's a picture of the Freedom Tower, arguably the most important building in the Western Hemisphere taken on the first clear day right after it was finished.  In the link you can use the FAA 100% detail view. 

 

Ed, thanks for posting a link to a full-size version (I hit the green arrows on your posts :)). I think the quality of this image is similar to one I had rejected ages ago for SoLD in my test submission.

 

In my case the lens was good, the focus was good (contrast based AF) but the combination of tiny sensor pixels (Canon G10), poor processing (NR in particular), and submission at 48 mpix produced a result that just gave the impression that fine detail had been lost with a slightly "smeary" quality to the pixels. If I'd downsized to 24 mpix and used the latest version of LR I think I'd probably have got away with it.

 

Out of interest what camera and lens were you using? Might be worth reprocessing, downsizing and resubmitting?

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Here's a summer haze one that I had rejected for both SoLD and noise. I focused on the sailboat (looks OK to me -- see number on sail at high res) and thought the dreamy background, which I like, would be acceptable. But obviously it wasn't. I've considered doing the three R's (Reprocessing, Resizing, and Resubmitting) but never have. Too risky.

Edited by John Mitchell
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Here's a summer haze one that I had rejected for both SoLD and noise. I focused on the sailboat (looks OK to me -- see number on sail at high res) and thought the dreamy background, which I like, would be acceptable. But obviously it wasn't. I've considered doing the three R's (Reprocessing, Resizing, and Resubmitting) but never have. Too risky.

Excellent, another full-size posting of a QC Fail, very informative thanks! It does look noisy to me but the focus is bang on. I'd have been wary of submitting.

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Here's a summer haze one that I had rejected for both SoLD and noise. I focused on the sailboat (looks OK to me -- see number on sail at high res) and thought the dreamy background, which I like, would be acceptable. But obviously it wasn't. I've considered doing the three R's (Reprocessing, Resizing, and Resubmitting) but never have. Too risky.

Excellent, another full-size posting of a QC Fail, very informative thanks! It does look noisy to me but the focus is bang on. I'd have been wary of submitting.

 

 

Yes, there is a little sky noise. I suppose I should reprocess it. Shall give it a try. Won't be resubmitting here, though. This was shot from a moving ferry, which I guess didn't help matters.

Edited by John Mitchell

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Here's a summer haze one that I had rejected for both SoLD and noise. I focused on the sailboat (looks OK to me -- see number on sail at high res) and thought the dreamy background, which I like, would be acceptable. But obviously it wasn't. I've considered doing the three R's (Reprocessing, Resizing, and Resubmitting) but never have. Too risky.

Excellent, another full-size posting of a QC Fail, very informative thanks! It does look noisy to me but the focus is bang on. I'd have been wary of submitting.

 

 

It's almost certainly focused at infinity.  I checked everywhere and found it to be sharp everywhere. Okay, it is a hazy day and the sky has noise . . . but it's a nice shot and a useful stock image. As with mine, it should not have failed QC. 

Edited by Ed Rooney

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I'd be more worried about the noise in the darker areas (mountains and sea) than the sky. It is a good stock image, but I feel the quality (noise) doesn't suit a 40mp upload. Might have been OK at 24mp with some clever NR?

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I'd be more worried about the noise in the darker areas (mountains and sea) than the sky. It is a good stock image, but I feel the quality (noise) doesn't suit a 40mp upload. Might have been OK at 24mp with some clever NR?

 

Yes, in retrospect, I should have downsized to 24MB. It was shot at ISO 200, so I wasn't really worried about noise. Should have looked more closely. This was taken in 2012, I now shoot mainly in JPEG or RAW+JPEG and leave NR on "auto" at all times. I find that my current camera does a nice job of cleaning up minor noise while not affecting detail much.

 

P.S. You're right about noise in the water. I missed that altogether at the time. My bad.

Edited by John Mitchell

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Here's a summer haze one that I had rejected for both SoLD and noise. I focused on the sailboat (looks OK to me -- see number on sail at high res) and thought the dreamy background, which I like, would be acceptable. But obviously it wasn't. I've considered doing the three R's (Reprocessing, Resizing, and Resubmitting) but never have. Too risky.

Excellent, another full-size posting of a QC Fail, very informative thanks! It does look noisy to me but the focus is bang on. I'd have been wary of submitting.

 

 

It's almost certainly focused at infinity.  I checked everywhere and found it to be sharp everywhere. Okay, it is a hazy day and the sky has noise . . . but it's a nice shot and a useful stock image. As with mine, it should not have failed QC. 

 

 

Thanks for the encouragement, Ed. But now that I look at this shot two years on -- I'm older and wiser (?) now -- I see that it has more problems than I had originally thought. Probably not a good one for Alamy. But if I work on it a bit more, I think it will be OK to leave on FAA. Too bad, because I believe it might have had some sales potential here, and I quite like it.

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Betty, I've been there and got the t-shirt many times!

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Betty, I've been there and got the t-shirt many times!

John, if your t-shirts are frayed, I have a drawer full and will share. 

 

No matter what I tell myself when I get a fail, it still smarts.  The last one was of trees along the street all wrapped in Christmas lights. A blue one, a red one, a white one.... Soft and lacking definition.  Yet another, virtually just like it, a tiny viewpoint change, passed. The same parts were sharp, the same parts were a bit OOF.  Like Ed's trees, he said.  I studied them both at great length after the fail, and could not see that one was better than the other. I deleted the failed one and reuploaded the other.

That's why I get discouraged.  Sometimes I do see why, (like the one with a bit of CA in the upper left corner, I just missed seeing that bit) other times, I'm left scratching my head and wondering how I can judge my images. If I can learn by it (CA) fine, but when I can't discern, I'm confused. What am I missing???

 

I probably missed something Alamy saw, so I won't complain. Well, just a bit of mewling.  Yikes!  I just discovered I'm a slow learner! :o

 

 

Betty

Edited by Betty LaRue

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It has taken me many years to get to where I am today. B)

 

Allan

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I promise this is my last word on this Tower image of mine: :)

 

I reworked the PP on my last Freedom Tower image, the one that landed me in the sin bin. I moved the tiff into Nikon NX2 and worked on a few small areas, bring back a little detail in the white-cloud refections. Doing most anything midway in PP in NX2 seems to add noise, so I again reduced noise on the tiff in PS. I also cropped the image and reduced the size to 25MP. Here it is: http://fineartamerica.com/featured/freedom-tower-again-ed-rooney.html

 

No, I'm not planning to submit the "fixed" image to Alamy. I see a need to be more conservative with QC.

 

Having calmed down some, but still not happy with having that Freedom Tower image rejected by QC, I see the real problems in getting a good capture of this landmark subject. It is a deceptively difficult subject to capture for a number of reasons. (1) The shot calls for a tripod (I did not use one), but using a tripod down there presents another set of problems. (2) The Ground Zero area, where I was shooting from, is about 3 or 4 square blocks. The trees between me and the Tower are inside the "park." The Tower itself in just north of the park. The two pools, north and south, are in the footprints of the fallen towers. This is a big area, people. (3) The light is always very tricky with the sun and the clouds reflected on the glass facade of the Tower creating burned-out hotspots. (4) I have a night shot now on FAA too and that shows the trees as black globs--yet another problem. They didn't think to light the trees at night. 

 

I'm gonna get this right. It's now a matter of pride.  B)

Edited by Ed Rooney

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Ed, I'm not sure that reducing the file size to 25 MB / 8 MP (guess that's what you mean) helped all that much. The slight softness -- which doesn't bother me -- is still there to my eyes. Were you using multi-point AF? I find that it sometimes yields unexpected results with difficult subjects like this one. Playing around with centre-weighted and flexible spot focusing can often help matters IME. Anyway, buona fortuna with your tower project. It sounds like a worthwhile one. Keep us posted. 

Edited by John Mitchell

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Used Flexible Spot, John. I do use Multi Point, if that's what they call it, on my NEX cameras, per DavidK's advice. I'm going to bring my D700 and 14-24 down to the WTC next time . . . and another Nikon lens or two. And my tripod . . . and my tablepod. 

 

Ohmygod, I broke my promise!!!  :o

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Used Flexible Spot, John. I do use Multi Point, if that's what they call it, on my NEX cameras, per DavidK's advice. I'm going to bring my D700 and 14-24 down to the WTC next time . . . and another Nikon lens or two. And my tripod . . . and my tablepod. 

 

Ohmygod, I broke my promise!!!  :o

 

Promises, promises ...

 

Something else that David mentioned, which I found interesting, is that -- with Sony mirrorless cameras, anyway -- you have to use Program shift rather than Aperture mode in order to the get the camera to focus with the lens wide open. I've been experimenting with that as well.

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Yeah, I sort of remember that. I don't normally shoot wide open, but I do consider it an option. (That's what promises are for, to be broken.)  ;)

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Yeah, I sort of remember that. I don't normally shoot wide open, but I do consider it an option. (That's what promises are for, to be broken.)  ;)

 

I seldom shoot wide open as well. I believe David was referring to focusing only. For example, if you shoot at f/8 in Aperture mode, the lens will close down and then autofocus at f/8; but if you use Program shift, the lens will remain wide open to focus, and then close down to f/8 (or whatever) when you release the shutter. At least, that's how I interpreted it. 

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