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Selective Focus Guidelines


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Please add an "improper selective focus" category to the contributors' submission guidelines showing examples of what would be considered inappropriate use of this technique as far as Alamy's QC is concerned.

 

Hope this is a constructive suggestion. Thanks.

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I agree. Guidelines for selective focus and QC would be very helpful.

 

Thanks for the support, Brian. I think this is something that Alamy needs to address more thoroughly. Their blog post about selective focus wasn't adequate IMO.

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John, most of my images are selective focus and I worked long and hard to come up with my own guidelines for both Alamy and Getty.

 

I find that I need a band of real sharpness that goes across at least a third of the frame. QC seems to judge sharpness in the sharp areas.

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Its a bit lens specific sometimes, for example,  I've just submitted some close-up macro images of flowers. These types of lenses have a shallow DOF by definition. (Mind you I am a little bit nervous about these getting through QC even though they have been carefully checked).

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Its a bit lens specific sometimes, for example,  I've just submitted some close-up macro images of flowers. These types of lenses have a shallow DOF by definition. (Mind you I am a little bit nervous about these getting through QC even though they have been carefully checked).

 

Good luck. I don't think that macro photos are a problem. IME the difficulty lies in determining what Alamy wants with regular photos where some kind of interpretation is often necessary and large blurry (or partially blurred) areas may not be acceptable. Hopefully, Alamy will expand their guidelines with some examples of what they don't want.

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Yeah, good point John. Its not something that I have run into trouble with so far personally. But I do sit and scratch my head sometimes wondering whether to upload or not. Might be good to have a bit of guidance. Although, how we read it and how QC read it might be two very different things!  :blink:

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Yeah, good point John. Its not something that I have run into trouble with so far personally. But I do sit and scratch my head sometimes wondering whether to upload or not. Might be good to have a bit of guidance. Although, how we read it and how QC read it might be two very different things!  :blink:

 

Yes, therein lies the rub, especially since QC inspectors reportedly don't have time to read caption info.

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Something that I would really like to see clarified by Alamy is how the location of the center of focus (COF) within the frame will affect QC's decision. For instance, if the COF is at the bottom or top of a vertical shot or near the left or right edge of a horizontal one,  this will leave large areas of the image blurry. Is this acceptable? Most of the selective focus shots that I've looked at on Alamy seem to have the COF fairly close to the middle of the frame. Is this what QC wants? A clarification (preferably with examples) would be very helpful and appreciated.

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I shoot a lot of images with narrow fields of focus (using macro lens with extensions for studio work and 300mm f/2.8 telephoto for press/location work). A greater than average number of the images I sell on Alamy and elsewhere are from this category. I have had no problem with selective focus shots passing Alamy QC, so do not really understand why guidelines are required. If the important area of the image is in sharp focus then the shot will pass QC. Designers (and I was one for more than 35 years) like selective focus images because the blurred background makes a good area for running text or headlines particularly on dps layouts, covers or large exhibition panels and posters. If the main subject of the shot is in sharp focus, then QC is not an issue, why have guidelines?

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We do of course accept images with a shallow depth of field (DOF). It's a technique that, if carried out well makes the difference between a good and a great shot.

 

The reason that we don't give visual examples as to what kind of shots would/wouldn't work is because there are so many scenarios that you could apply it makes this almost impossible.

 

When we QC images that have a shallow DOF, we are looking for an obvious point of focus. So long as that point of focus is clear it will pass QC. What we don't want is imagery where the focal point has been missed or it is not obvious enough. The best way for you to check this is to check the image at 100%.

 

Alamy

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I shoot a lot of images with narrow fields of focus (using macro lens with extensions for studio work and 300mm f/2.8 telephoto for press/location work). A greater than average number of the images I sell on Alamy and elsewhere are from this category. I have had no problem with selective focus shots passing Alamy QC, so do not really understand why guidelines are required. If the important area of the image is in sharp focus then the shot will pass QC. Designers (and I was one for more than 35 years) like selective focus images because the blurred background makes a good area for running text or headlines particularly on dps layouts, covers or large exhibition panels and posters. If the main subject of the shot is in sharp focus, then QC is not an issue, why have guidelines?

 

I agree, macro shots and "design" images do not pose problems when it comes to selective focus. I'm thinking more of "content" images, where the photographer might choose to selectively focus on something significant for reasons that might not be obvious to the QC inspector because he/she hasn't read the caption info. Anyway, I guess that Alamy is correct about there being too many scenarios to include in guidelines. Guess I will just continue withholding images I'm not sure about. Having to wait a month or more to find out if they are acceptable just isn't worth the risk.

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