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Jill Morgan

Shots taken in the fog

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I have a few early morning shots I took last weekend of the cows grazing in the field before I headed out to a dog show.

 

They all of course have this great ethereal look to them and you can tell they were taken in fog. At 100% they have this OOF look because of the mist of the fog, and have a slight grain look due to the fog. I keep tossing back and forth whether to submit them for fear of a failure.

 

Am I being paranoid?

 

Jill

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Jill,

 

I would say you're being cautious, not paranoid. I used to be the same because as well as stock I also do exhibition stuff and don't mix the two because some of my non-stock stuff would never get past QC.

However, I do have some foggy pictures that have been accepted on Alamy and if they are 'obviously' foggy then go with them. If it will help here's three of mine you can look at that are online - BJT8JF, CWGM8B, and CWGM93.

 

Good luck,

 

Jim.  :)

Edited by Broad Norfolk

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It is a tough call, if there are no technical defects it should by all accounts be passed, unfortunately Alamy has become over sensitive with there QC to the point where they have made many of their photographers paranoid.

Today photography has become all to technically perfect, agencies and suppliers are losing the ability to notice a great image for the technical forest they put before images, sure if a image shows strong technical problems it should be failed, however in your case there is probably no fault, because your image  may not jump off the screen with bright sharp colors and clear background QC might say lacking definition.

If you are not sure don't submit it, unless you are willing to take a chance on a 1 month break, then again it could get through.

Being paranoid here can save you time.

My tip would be to send it to another supplier if you have one that also has QC, if it passes then it may have a chance with Alamy.

Paul.

Edited by Paul Mayall

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I submitted some images with fog a while ago and they where rejected because they did not exhibit the full range of black to white. Now to me an image of fog tends to be generally greys with no definitive blacks or whites. This of course depends on the depth of fog and other conditions at the time of taking the image.

 

Going back to the rejected images I boosted the whites and blacks in those images and resubmitted them. They subsequently passed QC. However those foggy images did not look true to life IMO.

 

You will have to go with your own thoughts on this one Jill. It would help too if there is a definite sharp area, so many foggy images do not have sharp areas and could fail QC as SoLD.

 

Sorry not to be able to give you a definitive answer.

 

Allan

Edited by Allan Bell

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I'm going to go for it. You can tell they are in the fog and I am probably being overly cautious. Have a couple of others of the sun through fog between the trees on the farm driveway. Uploading those as well. I took tons of shots at the dog show, but only a couple of those are going up. Seemed to keep missing getting the dogs eyes in focus while they were jogging with their handlers. Something I have to perfect yet. Motion shots of living things, as the eyes are usually the key to the shot.

 

If I get a 1 month break, so be it. I am so busy with my other two businesses right now anyway, I haven't had a lot of time for photography. Just been doing some wherever I go on business. I think its been almost a month since I uploaded last.

 

Allan:  I don't want to make the shot unrealistic looking either. Some of the ones I checked on Alamy are older shots, when QC didn't seem to be as stringent.  Getting tired of binning shots all the time from QC fear. Shots I am pretty sure would pass, but not absolutely positive.

 

Jill

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As a rider to the above I remember recently submitting these two DHWK32 and DJ213M among others that were taken in early morning mist (Fog?) and they passed first time.

 

Allan

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I did a couple of very foggy shots a while ago, which passed no problem see C30ARA

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Speaking to you from the Sin Bin, Jill, I'm hardly a voice to pay attention to . . . but what on earth would be wrong with an image taken in fog? Now driving around in the fog looking for subjects might not be the best idea. 

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I used to fret with the natural softness of my underwater images like this one E5N1YN- they effectively look like fog and lack crisp definition, however I've never had a problem with QC on them.

 

Currently in the process of rebuilding the Alamy library so not many other examples uploaded yet.

 

I do however make sure the RAW images have reasonable contrast and clarity before publishing.

 

BTW, the image mentioned is also used as an Exhibition display poster at 6 feet by 4 feet by one of the local dive centres.

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Interesting topic, especially for those of us in the "paranoid" category. Here is an image that I'm concerned about (see link below). It obviously doesn't have a full range of tones. Am I at risk submitting this to Alamy? Opinions appreciated. Thanks.

 

http://2-john-mitchell.artistwebsites.com/featured/lone-kayaker-vancouver-john-mitchell.html

 

Here is the histogram. I've adjusted the contrast as much as I can without blowing the details and highlights out of the water, so to speak. The image actually looked more true-to-life before I made any adjustments, but the tones were all clustered at the centre of the histogram -- i.e. very limited range and apparently a no-no for Alamy.

 

Histogram1.jpg

Edited by John Mitchell

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I would submit John, looks fine to me. 

 

If that was taken with your Sony 55-210, you've got  a sharper copy than mine!

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I would submit John, looks fine to me. 

 

If that was taken with your Sony 55-210, you've got  a sharper copy than mine!

 

Thanks, Bryan.

 

Yes, it was taken with the 55-210 and NEX-6. This lens/camera combo works in mysterious ways, I find. Sometimes the results are tack sharp, and other times barely useable. :):(

Edited by John Mitchell

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I submitted some images with fog a while ago and they where rejected because they did not exhibit the full range of black to white. Now to me an image of fog tends to be generally greys with no definitive blacks or whites. This of course depends on the depth of fog and other conditions at the time of taking the image.

 

Going back to the rejected images I boosted the whites and blacks in those images and resubmitted them. They subsequently passed QC. However those foggy images did not look true to life IMO.

 

You will have to go with your own thoughts on this one Jill. It would help too if there is a definite sharp area, so many foggy images do not have sharp areas and could fail QC as SoLD.

 

Sorry not to be able to give you a definitive answer.

 

Allan

 

Allan, I had similar experiences back when I was scanning slides. I would "set the points" as Alamy required, only to find that it would make some images look "unnatural" IMO. They all subsequently passed QC, however, which of course was what I was aiming for.

 

I don't really have any foggy images on Alamy. But here is a misty one that passed a few years ago. I would probably have to pop a Valium before submitting it today, though. I think your advice about having something sharp in the frame is sound.

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Interesting topic, especially for those of us in the "paranoid" category. Here is an image that I'm concerned about (see link below). It obviously doesn't have a full range of tones. Am I at risk submitting this to Alamy? Opinions appreciated. Thanks.

 

http://2-john-mitchell.artistwebsites.com/featured/lone-kayaker-vancouver-john-mitchell.html

 

Here is the histogram. I've adjusted the contrast as much as I can without blowing the details and highlights out of the water, so to speak. The image actually looked more true-to-life before I made any adjustments, but the tones were all clustered at the centre of the histogram -- i.e. very limited range and apparently a no-no for Alamy.

 

Histogram1.jpg

It looks to me as though there are some traces of highlights right at the top end of the spectrum so I would have thought that would pass without any problem at all.

 

Here are two misty ones I have: DRRJG1 and BDAXPW. Neither would look right with the histogram expanded and I took the view that Alamy would recognise that fact.

 

Alan

Edited by Inchiquin

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Interesting topic, especially for those of us in the "paranoid" category. Here is an image that I'm concerned about (see link below). It obviously doesn't have a full range of tones. Am I at risk submitting this to Alamy? Opinions appreciated. Thanks.

 

http://2-john-mitchell.artistwebsites.com/featured/lone-kayaker-vancouver-john-mitchell.html

 

Here is the histogram. I've adjusted the contrast as much as I can without blowing the details and highlights out of the water, so to speak. The image actually looked more true-to-life before I made any adjustments, but the tones were all clustered at the centre of the histogram -- i.e. very limited range and apparently a no-no for Alamy.

 

Histogram1.jpg

It looks to me as though there are some traces of highlights right at the top end of the spectrum so I would have thought that would pass without any problem at all.

 

Here are two misty ones I have: DRRJG1 and BDAXPW. Neither would look right with the histogram expanded and I took the view that Alamy would recognise that fact.

 

Alan

 

 

Thanks, that's what I figured. There seem to be a few white pixels -- probably from the kayak -- that migrated to the right of the histogram when I set the white point.

 

I like your misty ones. Again, you have areas in focus -- the fence and the boat, which I guess is what Alamy is looking for.

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I'm going to go for it. You can tell they are in the fog and I am probably being overly cautious. Have a couple of others of the sun through fog between the trees on the farm driveway. Uploading those as well. I took tons of shots at the dog show, but only a couple of those are going up. Seemed to keep missing getting the dogs eyes in focus while they were jogging with their handlers. Something I have to perfect yet. Motion shots of living things, as the eyes are usually the key to the shot.

 

If I get a 1 month break, so be it. I am so busy with my other two businesses right now anyway, I haven't had a lot of time for photography. Just been doing some wherever I go on business. I think its been almost a month since I uploaded last.

 

Allan:  I don't want to make the shot unrealistic looking either. Some of the ones I checked on Alamy are older shots, when QC didn't seem to be as stringent.  Getting tired of binning shots all the time from QC fear. Shots I am pretty sure would pass, but not absolutely positive.

 

Jill

 

Have you got one that you can post, Jill?

 

P.S. Perhaps you don't want to let the cows out of the field (so to speak) prematurely. If so, understandable.

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I'm going to go for it. You can tell they are in the fog and I am probably being overly cautious. Have a couple of others of the sun through fog between the trees on the farm driveway. Uploading those as well. I took tons of shots at the dog show, but only a couple of those are going up. Seemed to keep missing getting the dogs eyes in focus while they were jogging with their handlers. Something I have to perfect yet. Motion shots of living things, as the eyes are usually the key to the shot.

 

If I get a 1 month break, so be it. I am so busy with my other two businesses right now anyway, I haven't had a lot of time for photography. Just been doing some wherever I go on business. I think its been almost a month since I uploaded last.

 

Allan:  I don't want to make the shot unrealistic looking either. Some of the ones I checked on Alamy are older shots, when QC didn't seem to be as stringent.  Getting tired of binning shots all the time from QC fear. Shots I am pretty sure would pass, but not absolutely positive.

 

Jill

 

Have you got one that you can post, Jill?

 

P.S. Perhaps you don't want to let the cows out of the field (so to speak) prematurely. If so, understandable.

 

 

 

Just haven't had the time. but the full images can be seen here:  http://jkmorganphotography.com/store/index.php?language_count=0&module=search&pId=100&keyword=fog&imageField.x=51&imageField.y=4&cat_id=0&m_type%5B%5D=1&m_type%5B%5D=2&media_type%5B%5D=RM&media_type%5B%5D=RF

 

 

Here are some full resolution cuts from them:

 

full-resolution-crop-cows.jpg

 

full-resolution-crop-cows-horse.jpg

 

full-resolution-crop-driveway-fog.jpg

 

full-resolution-sun-in-fog.jpg

 

I've probably made this scroll on peoples screens, so will take out the full resolution shots in a couple of days.

 

Jill

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Jill, I quite like the soft-focus look of your fog images, but I'm not sure how Alamy would react. Personally, I wouldn't be brave enough to upload these myself.

 

No doubt, there will be expert opinions to follow...

Edited by John Mitchell

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I'm no expert on fog images but pretty familiar with the sin bin and not wishing a return visit I would be very wary of submitting those images. If the fog was thicker or maybe just hanging that would make a difference. As it is, I feel QC would see the images as SoLD.

Edited by ReeRay

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DE16XM.jpg

I got away with this, but it was 2 years ago,  possibly the strongest fog image i have that is on Alamy, not sure if i would re-submit today.

 

Paul.

Edited by Paul Mayall

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I submitted some images with fog a while ago and they where rejected because they did not exhibit the full range of black to white. Now to me an image of fog tends to be generally greys with no definitive blacks or whites. This of course depends on the depth of fog and other conditions at the time of taking the image.

 

Going back to the rejected images I boosted the whites and blacks in those images and resubmitted them. They subsequently passed QC. However those foggy images did not look true to life IMO.

 

You will have to go with your own thoughts on this one Jill. It would help too if there is a definite sharp area, so many foggy images do not have sharp areas and could fail QC as SoLD.

 

Sorry not to be able to give you a definitive answer.

 

Allan

 

Allan, I had similar experiences back when I was scanning slides. I would "set the points" as Alamy required, only to find that it would make some images look "unnatural" IMO. They all subsequently passed QC, however, which of course was what I was aiming for.

 

I don't really have any foggy images on Alamy. But here is a misty one that passed a few years ago. I would probably have to pop a Valium before submitting it today, though. I think your advice about having something sharp in the frame is sound.

 

 

John I have similar images like BWYC67.jpg

 

If there are a full range of tones in colour (color) or mono and something in the foreground which is sharp as in your image it will pass QC.

 

Allan

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Just looked at Jill's images, the last one in particular is very grainy, and removing the grain might further damage the sharpness.

 

I tend to agree with the naysayers on this.  :(

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This dilemma is always going to be a problem within any picture library that does not edit images on photographic or saleability merit, only on strict technical  guidelines. While we all agree that technical excellence is necessary, there are times when it has to be measured alongside the creative intent and outcome of a particular image. These judgments are then, of necessity, subjective. Alamy has decided to remove subjectivity from its image quality control as far as possible, so these issues will remain for photographers to ponder over when submitting certain images.

 

I have had the privilege to work with some wonderful, gifted picture editors over the years, both in a gallery context and the publishing world. The best are a rare and gifted breed. Proper editing also takes time, thought, care and patience. Alamy has chosen, as its business plan, not to expend time (and therefore finances) on this but to measure images against fixed, measurable technical criteria. It seems rather a cold, heartless approach but rightly or wrongly that's the way this library operates. There are many other libraries who take a different approach so I suppose it's always open to submit certain work to those.

  • Upvote 4

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Well, I uploaded them, so we will see what Alamy says. I like the shots, and yesterday, I was just getting tired of questioning almost every photo I was working on. I see the fog shots as similar to an intentional OOF shot or motion blur shot. Alamy certainly passes those as they know the blur was intentional to magnify the motion. The fog needs to have that OOF look or it doesn't look like fog. Can't have sharpness in the fog.

 

If I end up in the sin bin, I shall survive. Just save up my shots till I am released. If they decline them I can always send them to microstock. 

 

I am getting to the point where I refuse to live in QC fear, especially on shots that can't be in sharp focus due to fog. Can't be both.

 

Jill

Edited by Jill Morgan

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This dilemma is always going to be a problem within any picture library that does not edit images on photographic or saleability merit, only on strict technical  guidelines. While we all agree that technical excellence is necessary, there are times when it has to be measured alongside the creative intent and outcome of a particular image. These judgments are then, of necessity, subjective. Alamy has decided to remove subjectivity from its image quality control as far as possible, so these issues will remain for photographers to ponder over when submitting certain images.

 

Dyn Llun says it well, and I would add that QC rejections are not Alamy's fault.
 
Both photo clients and Stock libraries will usually evolve a technical "House Style", and as suppliers we have to work to that "House Style".
 
With photo clients on assignment you can shoot to their "House Style" and then, if you have some extra time and money, you can shoot additional images to a different style that you think may be better for the subject matter. You then have the opportunity later to sell the client on moving outside their "House Style".
 
At Alamy a QC fail is a QC fail. I have had a couple of QC fails based on softness recently, and I accept that Alamy has been correct in enforcing their needs for sharpness.
 
Jill looking at your 100% examples I would say that they are all QC fails based on softness and noise. Fog usually requires a low ISO, tripod, and focus on a foreground object. The vast non detail areas of a fog image make any noise painfully obvious. If you try to remove the noise, you will make the detailed areas of the image even softer.
 
These shots are not wasted if you treat the entire batch as a learning experience.
  • Upvote 1

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