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In a recent discussion with a friend of 30 years in the agency business, it was suggested that a QC checking program would be a good way of helping Alamy photographers and make money by offering such a program/ service.

 

Either develope a software program or start your own small business offering photographers a service to QC images before sending to Alamy.

 

Perhaps a former Alamy QC person or persons could start such a business.

 

Something to think about!

 

Paul.

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There are already stock library ready services - Red Imaging for example.

 

Can't see that the costs would be covered by imagery producing small returns.

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I remember when I visited Bali. I joked that the place was so lovely I could send the cameras out by themselves. The truth is we need more human interaction, not less. 

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On the surface, this sounds like an interesting idea, but I doubt that such a complex program or service (using real live humans) would be foolproof. This could result in some very unhappy customers.

 

OTOH, a simple (?), third-party "Alamy Focus Checker" (similar to the "Alamy Size Checker") program might be helpful if it could determine whether or not the overall sharpness of an image is OK for Alamy.

 

Any software geniuses out there?

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"OTOH, a simple (?), third-party "Alamy Focus Checker" (similar to the "Alamy Size Checker") program might be helpful if it could determine whether or not the overall sharpness of an image is OK for Alamy."

 

On the other, other hand, it would also have to determine which parts of the image are supposed to be in focus.  ;) 

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"OTOH, a simple (?), third-party "Alamy Focus Checker" (similar to the "Alamy Size Checker") program might be helpful if it could determine whether or not the overall sharpness of an image is OK for Alamy."

 

On the other, other hand, it would also have to determine which parts of the image are supposed to be in focus.  ;) 

 

For sure, Catch 22 strikes again!

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There are many tasks way beyond the capacities of software. QC checking, in all its vagaries, is one of them. I'll stick to human intervention (me, myself, I) thanks :-)

 

dd

Edited by dustydingo
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I think the cost would be prohibitive. And what happens if the QC service says a batch is fine and Alamy fails it anyway? Two different people looking at the same image = two different opinions.

 

Cost wise, I used to have my work QC'ed externally to an agency, for £2 an image plus VAT - at the time, the agency operated no internal QC and contribs paid the fee (from sales). That would be a bulk rate but they would also sort out problems (if they occurred) for a very small fee. That wouldn't be economic here but for commercial agencies, the fee wouldn't be a major cost versus sales.

 

Most retouching bureau that offer a stock service give a guarantee, the work will pass or it's not paid for.

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Got to admit I agree with dustydingo and Philippe, as I think I am the best person to check my images prior to Alamy QC and if a image doesn't look 100% to me it wont go in

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I see DIY QC as part of the Alamy 'package' - commission rate, no content editing, kewording, image checking. Other agencies do it differently and charge accordingly.

Unless someone is willing to check all my submissions, reliably, for 3c an image, I'll continue to do my own checking.

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One agency I supply provides a free script to embed in PS which does some basic checking: that the white points and black points are where they should be and a few other things.  Another provides a script that does admin jobs.

 

Scripting for Photoshop isn't rocket science, and it ought to be possible to write one that does at least some of the basic checks required for Alamy.

 

A program wouldn't replace human judgement, just assist.  It may even help some to overcome QC neurosis, where contribs become terrified of subbing perfectly decent images.

Edited by Robert Brook
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There are many tasks way beyond the capacities of software. QC checking, in all its vagaries, is one of them. I'll stick to human intervention (me, myself, I) thanks :-)

 

dd

 

I've done quite a bit of scripting, but not for PS. Putting a bit of knowledge together with some guessing I would surmise that a script would actually be better at mechanical tasks than a human brain.  That leaves the brain free for all the higher level judgements.

 

 

 

On the other, other hand, it would also have to determine which parts of the image are supposed to be in focus.  ;) 

 

No, just whether something is in focus.  If it's the door knob five feet behind the lady's left hip, and we can't decide whether that's a fail or a pass, we need to attend a few evening classes.

Edited by Robert Brook
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There are many tasks way beyond the capacities of software. QC checking, in all its vagaries, is one of them. I'll stick to human intervention (me, myself, I) thanks :-)

dd

 

 

I've done quite a bit of scripting, but not for PS. Putting a bit of knowledge together with some guessing I would surmise that a script would actually be better at mechanical tasks than a human brain.  That leaves the brain free for all the higher level judgements.

 

 

On the other, other hand, it would also have to determine which parts of the image are supposed to be in focus.  ;) 

 

 

No, just whether something is in focus.  If it's the door knob five feet behind the lady's left hip, and we can't decide whether that's a fail or a pass, we need to attend a few evening classes.

I think the programme would need to know which bits of the image should be in focus. I assume that Alamy QC makes some sort of judgement on point of focus (but as a newbie, I stand to be corrected). If the doorknob is in focus, but not the lady, someone has to decide whether it's an image of a lady, or a doorknob?

 

I guess that this would be impossible, hence the need for evening classes.

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OTOH, a simple (?), third-party "Alamy Focus Checker" (similar to the "Alamy Size Checker") program might be helpful if it could determine whether or not the overall sharpness of an image is OK for Alamy.

 

Any software geniuses out there?

So, no more motion blurred images? :huh:;)

I agree with dustydingo: "stick to human intervention".

 

DBGGGF.jpg D1B4J8.jpg DYMR4D.jpg

 

Cheers,

Philippe

 

 

True, you wouldn't need to use a focus-checking program with intentionally blurred images. However, there are many other types of photos where it might come in handy, especially if it were possible to mouse over specific areas to check if the focus is acceptable. Some human intervention would of course be necessary in order to identify the main point of focus, assuming that a human and not the monkey mentioned in another thread composed the picture. B)

Edited by John Mitchell
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There are many tasks way beyond the capacities of software. QC checking, in all its vagaries, is one of them. I'll stick to human intervention (me, myself, I) thanks :-)

dd

 

I've done quite a bit of scripting, but not for PS. Putting a bit of knowledge together with some guessing I would surmise that a script would actually be better at mechanical tasks than a human brain.  That leaves the brain free for all the higher level judgements.

 

 

On the other, other hand, it would also have to determine which parts of the image are supposed to be in focus.  ;) 

 

No, just whether something is in focus.  If it's the door knob five feet behind the lady's left hip, and we can't decide whether that's a fail or a pass, we need to attend a few evening classes.

I think the programme would need to know which bits of the image should be in focus. I assume that Alamy QC makes some sort of judgement on point of focus (but as a newbie, I stand to be corrected). If the doorknob is in focus, but not the lady, someone has to decide whether it's an image of a lady, or a doorknob?

 

I guess that this would be impossible, hence the need for evening classes.

 

 

Should it not be based  on your intentions, and should they not be readable to anyone who views the image?  Look at the photos of Robert Frank or Gary Winogrand and technique (as it was understood back then in the 1950s and 60s) seems to have gone out of the window.  You assume, because their work was displayed in prestigious galleries and published in expensive books, that they knew what they were doing, and all the messing with composition and apparent inability to hold the camera straight or wait for passersby to get out of the way of the subject was a kind of game.  Now in the days of Flickr we all understand how that works. But I remember just ten years ago a distinguished US photographer of my acquaintance getting a pasting for suggesting, on a forum, that there might be something profound in their work.  What has changed is that with automation and digital imaging we have now all become much more creative in the way we use, and think about the medium.  But what this means is that we are much freer to make the judgements that count, not that we let machines make judgements for us.

 

I get the impression that some are not subbing some of their most interesting images, or getting afraid to experiment, because they have got their knickers in a twist regarding QC. 

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"I get the impression that some are not subbing some of their most interesting images, or getting afraid to experiment, because they have got their knickers in a twist regarding QC."

 

Unfortunately, this is no doubt true. But that has all been discussed to no avail.

 

Is there a program that untwists knickers?

Edited by John Mitchell
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There are many tasks way beyond the capacities of software. QC checking, in all its vagaries, is one of them. I'll stick to human intervention (me, myself, I) thanks :-)

dd

 

 

I've done quite a bit of scripting, but not for PS. Putting a bit of knowledge together with some guessing I would surmise that a script would actually be better at mechanical tasks than a human brain.  That leaves the brain free for all the higher level judgements.

 

 

On the other, other hand, it would also have to determine which parts of the image are supposed to be in focus.  ;) 

 

 

No, just whether something is in focus.  If it's the door knob five feet behind the lady's left hip, and we can't decide whether that's a fail or a pass, we need to attend a few evening classes.

I think the programme would need to know which bits of the image should be in focus. I assume that Alamy QC makes some sort of judgement on point of focus (but as a newbie, I stand to be corrected). If the doorknob is in focus, but not the lady, someone has to decide whether it's an image of a lady, or a doorknob?

I guess that this would be impossible, hence the need for evening classes.

 

Should it not be based  on your intentions, and should they not be readable to anyone who views the image?  Look at the photos of Robert Frank or Gary Winogrand and technique (as it was understood back then in the 1950s and 60s) seems to have gone out of the window.  You assume, because their work was displayed in prestigious galleries and published in expensive books, that they knew what they were doing, and all the messing with composition and apparent inability to hold the camera straight or wait for passersby to get out of the way of the subject was a kind of game.  Now in the days of Flickr we all understand how that works. But I remember just ten years ago a distinguished US photographer of my acquaintance getting a pasting for suggesting, on a forum, that there might be something profound in their work.  What has changed is that with automation and digital imaging we have now all become much more creative in the way we use, and think about the medium.  But what this means is that we are much freer to make the judgements that count, not that we let machines make judgements for us.

 

I get the impression that some are not subbing some of their most interesting images, or getting afraid to experiment, because they have got their knickers in a twist regarding QC.

I can't find anything to disagree with in what you say.

 

I saw the Andy Warhol show at the Photographers Gallery in London recently, and couldn't help thinking that I had discarded images which were better than his. I have yet to decide if I am a Philistine or if I was right. Time will tell, I guess.

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"I saw the Andy Warhol show at the Photographers Gallery in London recently, and couldn't help thinking that I had discarded images which were better than his. I have yet to decide if I am a Philistine or if I was right. Time will tell, I guess"

 

No certainly not Ian.  A Philistine would never even go inside the Photographers Gallery.

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I think the cost would be prohibitive. And what happens if the QC service says a batch is fine and Alamy fails it anyway? Two different people looking at the same image = two different opinions.

Exactly. Everybody who offers a service like this, has to state in their terms of use. "Because I am not the Alamy reviewer who is checking your batch, I can´t give ANY guarantee if my judgement is right!" And that would make it wothless.

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If someone will do QC checking for free for me I'll give you a credit and tell all my friends about you. Paid work will then flow in and you will live forever in the land of milk and honey :)

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