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In 2006, when Alamy insisted on upscaling DSLR images when were then (almost) all below 17 megapixels up to 17 megapixel size, I filed a 2004 shot taken on a camera which was permitted then but now is not - Sigma SD9 or 10. I had a good number of sales and the 5000 pixel+ images looked just a touch softer than 6 megapixel DSLR shots on Bayer sensors treated the same way.

 

Yesterday I made a $400 travel brochure cover sale from one of these and decided to look at the image, as I was curious to see if I remembered the origin of it correctly - and I had considered, last year, trying to locate the shoots on this and several other early 2002-2004 camera choices. My standards today are so high I expect to see pin-sharp detail at pixel level. Boy, was/is this image different. I know it will reproduce perfectly well on an A4 cover, as repro and print are my business in effect and I'm aware of the potential for quite soft large files to look perfect when correctly handled.

 

But I am a little worried about what the client may think if Alamy provides the full size file from these early images - pretty much all my output from 2002 to mid 2006 being sub-10 megapixel. Then again I do not want to remove images when sales like this, $400 ten years after the (visible to the client) capture date, can still happen. Weighing the risks - of refund, versus of no sale at all?

Edited by David Kilpatrick
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I don't know for sure of course, but my guess is that most refunds are not due to perceived technical flaws such as a touch of softness at 100%. So I'd keep those old money-makers up there. I certainly intend to.

Edited by John Mitchell

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David, I had the same dilemma a couple of years ago.

 

In the early days of Alamy, I uploaded a lot of images from a Nikon D1 (2.7MP?) upscaled to 50mb! They've actually sold very well and just a couple of years ago, one was used in a billboard campaign for a fee of $4000. However, I've always been worried that a client might be disappointed in the quality, but I didn't want to remove them - not with license fees of $4000 coming in!

 

I resolved it by putting a disclaimer in the description field reading:

 

"Please note that this image is from an early Pro DSLR and may not contain the resolution for very large repro sizes."

 

I now feel much happier about not misleading the client and the images continue to sell.

 

Ian D

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When I started with Alamy, it was with a D70 6.3 mp.  Some of those images are great, and some aren't.  The ones that aren't is due to my early learning curve of how to expose them properly, and the fact that the software used then doesn't hold a candle to what we have now, considering noise reduction.

 

I started a process of deleting many of those sub-par images, because frankly, I was ashamed to call them mine.  A few hundred in, I made a couple of sales of those waiting for the 90 days to be up.  I quit deleting, asked MS to restore them.  Of course, the earlier ones had expired, so I did lose a couple of hundred.

 

I just ask that you all don't dig into my early stuff and cause my face to get red. :)

 

Betty

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Betty, I'm with you on this. I've been deleting images that I'm ashamed of by today's standards. There are also a bunch that I'm just sick of.

 

On a more professional note, back in the film days, we used to submit huge numbers of similars - a habit that's been very hard for me to break. Getting rid of these goes a long way towards improving my rank, so I'm happy to do that.

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I shot slides until 2006, so my old images are all scans. They still sell very well (several this month). I also haven't submitted many similars. So no pruning for me.

Edited by John Mitchell

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Interesting response. I have occasionally used the description or even the caption field to mark out extremely large files or images with exceptional resolution, but never to note that an image may be softer than today's standards. That is a good idea as is it ethical. In the case of my shot, t featured a really good blue sky and this was something the early Foveon sensors did superbly (especially compared to Nikon) - the image was much better for colour (shot at ISO 100) than typical digital files of that date. And it's probably the colour which attracted them as i have many later examples of the same subject (duplicates? not exactly, but similars separated by several years, certainly).

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If a client gets in trouble with one of your images, for any reason, it will have a negative effect on your reputation.

 

Some old images are rare and still useful to clients, so I always point out any borderline flaws if selling direct to the client. I also point out any possible other problems in my Alamy caption. Like the very realistic eagle in this image captioned, "Photo Illustration of Bald Eagle. The eagle is rendered from a detailed 3D model."

 

E4M9WW.jpg

 

I am repositioning a collection of old best selling 20 year old images from a former agency over to Alamy. The Alamy thumbnail can only impart a minimum of information, so I am being very quality careful with the images that I am resuscitating. I also have many best selling 20 year old images that, for 20 year old quality reasons, I am sending into retirement.

 

Click on my images number to see some recent 20 year old image submissions that still passed the quality test. First 60 images at this point in time.

 

Bill B

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Fortunately, I've had very few refunds over the years, and usually the same image gets resold at a lower  -- or sometimes higher -- price to the same buyer. Just wondering, has anyone ever heard from Alamy about why a specific image was refunded and not resold?

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Fortunately, I've had very few refunds over the years, and usually the same image gets resold at a lower  -- or sometimes higher -- price to the same buyer. Just wondering, has anyone ever heard from Alamy about why a specific image was refunded and not resold?

 

What?  What?  Hear a reason for a refund?  John, Are you the optimistic one or what?  The shoe just drops.

Of course, of the couple I ever had refunded, I never asked MS. Maybe I would have received a reason? I assume not, though, so I just moved on.

 

David, if I were you, I'd be very careful when you consider deleting anything. I would expect your older images are 10 times better than my old ones.  Especially if it is of something you can't duplicate, and especially if it has sold previously. That screams, "worthy of keeping".  If your image still looks good by today's standards, I would assume a buyer would discover the mp count and proceed accordingly.

Betty

Edited by Betty LaRue

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I put my old non performing pics into a separate pseudo. If subsequently they sell I have the option of reintegrating them in my main pseudo, if not, they do not pull down my ranking. With regard to the image quality I get the impression that we are more sensitive to this than the clients.

 

 

dov

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As if to emphasize the point, the very next sale I've made is from a 2002 Dimage 7 shot uploaded as 'archival' in 2010 - $133 for an image captioned, and clearly identified, as recording the food shortages caused by the winter freeze of 2002 in Scotland.

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I too have been thinking about this subject.   My move into submitting to FAA a couple of months ago had me delving into old images - I seem to have taken more scenic pictures back in 2005-6 before I learnt the kind of images that make stock sales.   I found quite a few where the technical quality seemed to me to be poor compared with what I produce now.

 

Then in the last month I have had two sales from images shot in 2005 on an Olympus E1 5MP DSLR albeit with very high quality lenses.  These were upsized to meet the 48MB requirement.   I took another close look at these two images and both look very good, and I would submit them now.

 

So my conclusion is to leave the old images, because the quality of images accepted by Alamy then seem to satisfy the customers today.

 

I am reluctant to cull images on the grounds that I think they are "bad" pictures.   Customers often seem to buy images that I think are terrible, so how would I judge which ones to cull?

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I just leave everything!

 

You never know what might sell!!

 

John.

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While I realise this discussion relates to stock images, it may be interesting to note that many of the original prints I sell through various galleries and privately, (I mean proper prints - selenium toned silver/gelatin, through proper galleries, for proper money) I sell are from what might laughingly be called my 'vintage' collection. (Just means I'm old!) Many taken fifty years ago sell to both private and public collections. Luckily I have always kept my negatives safely and easily accessed so it forms a substantial part of my income. 

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I just leave everything!

 

You never know what might sell!!

 

John.

 

John

 

Yes exactly!   Of course those in favour of culling often cite the idea of "improving ones rank".  

 

The problem I have with that idea is that to make a statistically effective improvement in ranking, I imagine one would have to remove, say, 20% of the images, for me that would be about 1600 images.  I would not know how to choose 160 let alone 1600.

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Actually, anything that now looks sub-par to you, put up for deletion.  You will be guaranteed to make a few sales from that lot, then email MS and put them back in your collection again.  :P

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After the recent sale of one of my old (2004) shots I took another look. I was a little embarrassed by the quality especially for a calendar shot. So I improved the image substantially using Lightroom for the raw conversion. No problem with QC on the resubitted 6Mpixel image (from the original Canon Rebel). I may remove the old one since the colour, detail recovery and sky rendering is so much improved in the new shot, but perhaps the buyer liked the special look of the original upsized shot, so I'll probably leave them both. I worry more about sales than rank. Most of my sales don't even show up in the search stats.

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After the recent sale of one of my old (2004) shots I took another look. I was a little embarrassed by the quality especially for a calendar shot. So I improved the image substantially using Lightroom for the raw conversion. No problem with QC on the resubitted 6Mpixel image (from the original Canon Rebel). I may remove the old one since the colour, detail recovery and sky rendering is so much improved in the new shot, but perhaps the buyer liked the special look of the original upsized shot, so I'll probably leave them both. I worry more about sales than rank. Most of my sales don't even show up in the search stats.

 

I'd leave the unimproved one up there. It's all in the eye of the beholder. The popularity of iPhoneography attests to that.

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Just had another sale which confirms my policy of leaving the old ones.   Only $6 Editorial website so it will not make me rich.

 

Picture is of a queue to board a plane on the tarmac at Malaga Airport.  A quick search shows there are about 4000 images for "plane boarding".   Mine was taken on 7 January 2007, and has never sold before.    

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Just had another sale which confirms my policy of leaving the old ones.   Only $6 Editorial website so it will not make me rich.

 

Picture is of a queue to board a plane on the tarmac at Malaga Airport.  A quick search shows there are about 4000 images for "plane boarding".   Mine was taken on 7 January 2007, and has never sold before.    

 

You're right, you won't be getting rich from that one. 2007 is relatively new in my book. I've got lots of images from the 90's that still sell well.

Edited by John Mitchell

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Just had another sale which confirms my policy of leaving the old ones.   Only $6 Editorial website so it will not make me rich.

 

Picture is of a queue to board a plane on the tarmac at Malaga Airport.  A quick search shows there are about 4000 images for "plane boarding".   Mine was taken on 7 January 2007, and has never sold before.    

 

You're right, you won't be getting rich from that one. 2007 is relatively new in my book. I've got lots of images from the 90's that still sell well.

 

 

I am only a newcomer, joined Alamy 30 September 2005.    I never went in for scanning previous stuff although I do have transparencies going back to the '70's if I ever think it is worth doing.

 

As to the Malaga plane shot, I have no idea how the customer found and chose that.  I took me half an hour to find it (searching as a customer) and I knew what I was looking for.

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