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Struggling with Acceptance


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Hi

 

I am struggling.  For some years now I have submitted images to Alamy.  I have taken the pictures with the same camera, Canon 450d, and over the years I have a very mixed response regarding acceptance.  Generally the failed QC is based on 'too soft'  but those that are accepted don't appear to me to be better than those that aren't, even at 100%.  I have just seen a post suggesting the writerhas had 3000 images accepted,  What am I doing wrong.  I don't sarpen because that is what the advice says, and yet other advice elsewhere says sharpen because digital is not as sharp as film?!   Why do thos that d get accepted get accepted at a drop of a hat whereas those that don't take ages to be rejected?  

Somewhat confused!

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The fact that some of your images appear to be accepted while others are not is a red herring, because Alamy only checks a selection from each submission (that's what quality control is all about, in any industry). If one is found to be soft the whole batch fails, so it's not possible to conclude from that that the others would have passed.

 

In order to give you any useful feedback we would need to see a 100% crop of one of the failed images - just a small section please, not the whole image because some of us have bandwidth limits.

 

Alan

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Hi

 

I am struggling.  For some years now I have submitted images to Alamy.  I have taken the pictures with the same camera, Canon 450d, and over the years I have a very mixed response regarding acceptance.  Generally the failed QC is based on 'too soft'  but those that are accepted don't appear to me to be better than those that aren't, even at 100%.  I have just seen a post suggesting the writerhas had 3000 images accepted,  What am I doing wrong.  I don't sarpen because that is what the advice says, and yet other advice elsewhere says sharpen because digital is not as sharp as film?!   Why do thos that d get accepted get accepted at a drop of a hat whereas those that don't take ages to be rejected?  

Somewhat confused!

 

With only 12 images up, its hard to say. I find when using my zoom lens (70-250) I can get soft images from the 200-250mm. They are also more likely to have some CA as well (especially if there are tree branches) so I either ditch them, or downsize if the softness is oh so questionable. Downsized they usually look very sharp. That is why I would love to upgrade my glass, but the budget isn't there for it

 

So you have to deal with what you have.

 

Jill

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If you've been submitting to Alamy for "some years," 12 images is an awfully small collection. Are those the only ones that have managed to pass QC in all that time? Or have you done a lot of deleting?

Edited by John Mitchell
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He may simply have two or more accounts.

 

dd

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I have only got 12 images through over the years.  I submitted my first batch and got acceptance and then found I was being rejected which resulted in me taking stock and wondering what I was doing wrong.  I the submitted a few more that were accepted and then a few more that got rejected.  I effectively gave up on Alamy as I didn't understand what they wanted and what I was doing wrong...but going back spasmodically.  Hence only 12 shots accepted.

Thanks Jill Morgan on the heads up regarding 2zooms at the extremes"  and also the trick of downsizing to get sharpness.  I intend to go back and review all submitted images and do my own QC to compare with Alamy and get a measure of what is required.

Thanks guys.  You have been a great help.

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Martin, there are some expert pixel-peekers on this forum who have helped me in the past. If you can figure out a way to post some links to 100% crops of some of your images, it might be worthwhile. Good luck.

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Hi

 

I am struggling.  For some years now I have submitted images to Alamy.  I have taken the pictures with the same camera, Canon 450d, and over the years I have a very mixed response regarding acceptance.  Generally the failed QC is based on 'too soft'  but those that are accepted don't appear to me to be better than those that aren't, even at 100%.  I have just seen a post suggesting the writerhas had 3000 images accepted,  What am I doing wrong.  I don't sarpen because that is what the advice says, and yet other advice elsewhere says sharpen because digital is not as sharp as film?!   Why do thos that d get accepted get accepted at a drop of a hat whereas those that don't take ages to be rejected?  

Somewhat confused!

 

It might be helpful to know what lenses you're using. A 450D shouldn't have any trouble producing acceptable images. I had one (Rebel XSi) several years ago and even with the kit 18-55 IS lens, it produced more than acceptable results, many of which are on Alamy. Check all your images at 100% and don't submit any that aren't sharp.

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Good advice, here by others.

 

1. Check at 100%  While in that mode,

a. check for sharpness

b.check for CA. That is any purple, red or green/turquoise looking tree limbs, or edges of roofs and buildings. Usually shows up against a bright sky or next to whites.

c. check for dust spots. Clone out distant birds in sky, as QC often thinks they are dust spots.

d. check for noise.  It is apparent in the darks and in the sky.  But if the image is really noisy, it is everywhere. Be careful with noise reduction...it can soften the image or give a plastic appearance.

 

Go outdoors on a clear, bright day, preferably morning or late afternoon.  Find subjects that you can "imagine" would be used to accompany a newspaper article, or used in a textbook, or a magazine. The image will tell a bit of a story. For instance, the front of a popular chain store.  If that chain gets bought up by another corporation, it is news, and your image might be chosen.

Nature does sell, just not a lot. More often in textbooks.  I have lots of birds and butterflies in my port, seldom do any sell.

 

If you have family members willing to model, then take pictures of them doing something.  Cooking outdoors on a grill in good light.  Children playing.  Pictures of seniors doing things...gardening, reading, praying, walking, etc.

Get pictures of those people as they are active, don't have them necessarily looking at the camera in a posed position.  Make it natural.  Focus in on two people holding hands, old, young, whatever. Long shot, closeup of the arms/hands. Get releases when possible, but they will sell without, too. Offer a portrait and landscape orientation of the same subject.  Don't upload 10 pictures of the same subject only slightly different. Keep two of the best for upload.

 

Looking at your 12, you have several general landscape/scenics. Those usually won't sell unless they are a destination for travel/tourism.  A spot easily recognizable.  For those, try to make your image stand out from the other thousands on Alamy...a different, unusual perspective, lighting, weather condition, or whatever. Competition is hard on destination places.  A general nice landscape, who would buy it as "part of a story?"  Trees and snow, not so much.  People fighting their way through an ongoing blizzard, trudging against the wind, maybe.

 

I need to take my own advice. :)

 

Good luck.

 

Betty

Edited by Betty LaRue
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Thanks everyone for your interest, help and tips.  I am really a 'hobby photographer' but getting images selected on Alamy on a regular basis could demonstrate an improvement in my photographic skills.  Getting some purchased would be amazing!!!

I realise having reviewed some of my submissions, passes as well as fails, that I have been guilty of using my lens at the extremes of zoom and often wide open.  Probably not the best for sharpness.  However light in the UK is not often bright enough and hence shutter speed may be a bit slow leading to potential softness.  I also tend to shoot in raw and convert to jpeg before submission.  So there is no 'in camera sharpening'.  Maybe that contributes to softness? I shall have to check.  I resolve to spend some time ensuring shutter speed is at least the focal length and also looking out for opportunities, so thanks for the tips.  I have also had a browse through some of your images and that is giving me some insight into what Alamy is expecting.

Many thanks

Martin

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Thanks everyone for your interest, help and tips.  I am really a 'hobby photographer' but getting images selected on Alamy on a regular basis could demonstrate an improvement in my photographic skills.  Getting some purchased would be amazing!!!

I realise having reviewed some of my submissions, passes as well as fails, that I have been guilty of using my lens at the extremes of zoom and often wide open.  Probably not the best for sharpness.  However light in the UK is not often bright enough and hence shutter speed may be a bit slow leading to potential softness.  I also tend to shoot in raw and convert to jpeg before submission.  So there is no 'in camera sharpening'.  Maybe that contributes to softness? I shall have to check.  I resolve to spend some time ensuring shutter speed is at least the focal length and also looking out for opportunities, so thanks for the tips.  I have also had a browse through some of your images and that is giving me some insight into what Alamy is expecting.

Many thanks

Martin

 

It may be worth joining a Photo or Camera Club - although some can be obsessed with equiment, but in the best clubs you will find experienced photographers doing technical, and often artisitically, excellent work. They and the club competitions will enable you to really appreciate what is possible on the technical front. Bear in mind camera club photography is subjectively different from professional stock photography but it is often highly accomplished. The advice and mentoring you will get from a couple of hours a week will stand you in good stead in really getting your technical skills up to scratch. It certainly helped me many years ago.

Edited by Martin P Wilson
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Thanks everyone for your interest, help and tips.  I am really a 'hobby photographer' but getting images selected on Alamy on a regular basis could demonstrate an improvement in my photographic skills.  Getting some purchased would be amazing!!!

I realise having reviewed some of my submissions, passes as well as fails, that I have been guilty of using my lens at the extremes of zoom and often wide open.  Probably not the best for sharpness.  However light in the UK is not often bright enough and hence shutter speed may be a bit slow leading to potential softness.  I also tend to shoot in raw and convert to jpeg before submission.  So there is no 'in camera sharpening'.  Maybe that contributes to softness? I shall have to check.  I resolve to spend some time ensuring shutter speed is at least the focal length and also looking out for opportunities, so thanks for the tips.  I have also had a browse through some of your images and that is giving me some insight into what Alamy is expecting.

Many thanks

Martin

 

It may be worth joining a Photo or Camera Club - although some can be obsessed with equiment, but in the best clubs you will find experienced photographers doing technical, and often artisitically, excellent work. They and the club competitions will enable you to really appreciate what is possible on the technical front. Bear in mind camera club photography is subjectively different from professional stock photography but it is often highly accomplished. The advice and mentoring you will get from a couple of hours a week will stand you in good stead in really getting your technical skills up to scratch. It certainly helped me many years ago.

 

 

+1  When I restarted my serious interest in hobby photography in the 1970's I learned a great deal from the members of the Hull photographic society. (Still have the lapel badge). I even went on to win and be well placed in some of the club competitions.

 

They had regular portrait sessions within their premises which was very good experience with follow up competitions/appraisal for the best portrait photo. Entering in the pictorial section competitions/appraisal was also very rewarding with subjects being set the fortnight previously. 

 

Yes they did talk about equipment, as that was a time of great advances in photography, but the emphasis was on the image. Don't forget we had out own darkrooms then and did all our own film processing and printing too.

 

Allan

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Hi Martin

 

We can't really comment without seeing a crop from a failed image at 100%. And a better idea of the lenses that you are using. When people show me soft images and want an opinion they are usually soft because of camera movement (shake), no tripod or a shutter speed that is too low.

 

However "I am really a 'hobby photographer" says it all, if you had to pay your mortgage and feed your family by supplying sharp photographs I bet they would be very sharp.

 

"However light in the UK is not often bright enough" What! use a tripod.

To be brutally frank you need to learn the technical side of photography before you should be messing about in a professional market place.

I strongly recommend the City and Guilds Photo and Digital Imaging Level 1 Certificate

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Hi Martin

 

We can't really comment without seeing a crop from a failed image at 100%. And a better idea of the lenses that you are using. When people show me soft images and want an opinion they are usually soft because of camera movement (shake), no tripod or a shutter speed that is too low.

 

However "I am really a 'hobby photographer" says it all, if you had to pay your mortgage and feed your family by supplying sharp photographs I bet they would be very sharp.

 

"However light in the UK is not often bright enough" What! use a tripod.

 

To be brutally frank you need to learn the technical side of photography before you should be messing about in a professional market place.

I strongly recommend the City and Guilds Photo and Digital Imaging Level 1 Certificate

 

I was wondering when somebody would mention the word "tripod".

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Philippe has said out loud what many of us will have thought- that one works one's passage and achieves technical proficiency before, or at the very least whilst, putting one's images up for sale.

Alamy is a business and for most of us submitting images is a business too-we have hundreds or thousands of images meeting the technical standards and have invested a good deal of time and money getting them there. As a result our returns are not negligible.

Look at some of the numbers under posters' names. It's not unusual for a contributor here to have 1000 images a year accepted. A few routine images a year with unspecific captions will not cut it and will not make sales in a month of Sundays.

We mean well but we speak as we find. Good luck.

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Something to keep in mind is that we all struggle for acceptance (at least I do) every time we upload a batch images. There's a steep learning curve if you want to build a decently sized collection on Alamy. It's certainly possible, though.

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Hi

 

I am struggling.  For some years now I have submitted images to Alamy. 

 

In the words of the great John McEnroe: "You can't be serious!" Twelve images? Years? Struggling? Struggling doing what? You want some ruffled feathers? I'll ruffle you're feathers, sonny. You're not a photographer. Go write a bad poem. Compose a song that has "la la la" in the lyrics. Toss some paint at a canvas. Give your camera to someone who might learn how to use it. Oh, and have a nice day. 

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Ruffled feathers, maybe but there was some useful advise as well ie

 

I strongly recommend the City and Guilds Photo and Digital Imaging Level 1 Certificate

 

Alamy's submission guidelines aren't a bad place to start either, although they are a bit dated at this point.

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Good advice, here by others.

 

1. Check at 100%  While in that mode,

a. check for sharpness

b.check for CA. That is any purple, red or green/turquoise looking tree limbs, or edges of roofs and buildings. Usually shows up against a bright sky or next to whites.

c. check for dust spots. Clone out distant birds in sky, as QC often thinks they are dust spots.

d. check for noise.  It is apparent in the darks and in the sky.  But if the image is really noisy, it is everywhere. Be careful with noise reduction...it can soften the image or give a plastic appearance.

 

Go outdoors on a clear, bright day, preferably morning or late afternoon.  Find subjects that you can "imagine" would be used to accompany a newspaper article, or used in a textbook, or a magazine. The image will tell a bit of a story. For instance, the front of a popular chain store.  If that chain gets bought up by another corporation, it is news, and your image might be chosen.

Nature does sell, just not a lot. More often in textbooks.  I have lots of birds and butterflies in my port, seldom do any sell.

 

If you have family members willing to model, then take pictures of them doing something.  Cooking outdoors on a grill in good light.  Children playing.  Pictures of seniors doing things...gardening, reading, praying, walking, etc.

Get pictures of those people as they are active, don't have them necessarily looking at the camera in a posed position.  Make it natural.  Focus in on two people holding hands, old, young, whatever. Long shot, closeup of the arms/hands. Get releases when possible, but they will sell without, too. Offer a portrait and landscape orientation of the same subject.  Don't upload 10 pictures of the same subject only slightly different. Keep two of the best for upload.

 

Looking at your 12, you have several general landscape/scenics. Those usually won't sell unless they are a destination for travel/tourism.  A spot easily recognizable.  For those, try to make your image stand out from the other thousands on Alamy...a different, unusual perspective, lighting, weather condition, or whatever. Competition is hard on destination places.  A general nice landscape, who would buy it as "part of a story?"  Trees and snow, not so much.  People fighting their way through an ongoing blizzard, trudging against the wind, maybe.

 

I need to take my own advice. :)

 

Good luck.

 

Betty

Good advice Betty and I think many people think they need to do extensive processing to get through.  I think shooting JPEG large fine from my D90, and D3200 in good light gets through QC just fine.  I do check each one in LR at 100% before submitting.  I think you gave some good advice on subject matter also.

Marvin 

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