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I have fallen afoul of QC more times than I like since QC was tightened up.  How I used to evaluate images all of a sudden seemed to be worthless.  

I think my biggest fault (not including missing CA or dust a time or two ) is looking at a suspect image, thinking, "Is it sharp enough?"  Then deciding it is, and submitting it, when clearly it wasn't sharp enough by a gnat's eyelash.

 

I've come to the conclusion that when I look at my images at 100%, if I immediately know it is sharp enough, it is.  If I have to ask myself if it is sharp enough, why then, toss it.  I have an idea I have been tossing some lately that would have passed, but I'm not willing to serve up meals in the Sin Bin to find out. And I need to quit falling in love with some of the images to the point I give them the benefit of the doubt. 

 

This morning, I looked over my submission again before uploading.  I tossed 4.  One had CA in upper right corner that I missed the first go-around, the rest I asked myself the question, and tossed them.

 

I did have a scare this week.  My images had been sailing through in 24 hours or less, but the small batch I uploaded Sunday didn't pass until Wednesday.  I had already begun planning my menu. Whew!

 

Betty

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Using the proverbial fine-tooth comb seems to be the only surefire method. The devil really is in the details.

 

Regarding softness, as long as an important area of the frame is sharp, QC is happy IME. A little fuzziness here and there is usually unavoidable.

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A positive method? Well, here's a few tips: Take one of your all-time sharpest images, duplicate it, and let it sit on your desktop. When you come up with a new 'maybe,' open both at 100% and compare them. I think of an image that you love as a 'wishful-thinking image.' You don't in fact love the result; you love the image you almost got. 

 

I had a lot of trouble getting images past QC from spring to fall in 2014. When I cooled down, I examined the failed images, and there was only one that I think QC made an error on. The rest were mistakes I made . . . and you know what? I don't want any questionable images in my collection.  QC knows what their doing. 

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One of the images I tossed was a closeup of a couple. She was sharp, he was not quite so. Sometimes I use the method, before converting to JPEG, of applying some sharpening to see if the image can be made sharp. I don't save the sharpening, just look. If it sharpens up nicely like a buyer might do, I'm more apt to use the image.

My problem is I'm still working on some images taken with the RX100, and my Nikon. As far as sharpness goes, they look soft compared to the mirrorless Fuji X-T1.

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A positive method? Well, here's a few tips: Take one of your all-time sharpest images, duplicate it, and let it sit on your desktop. When you come up with a new 'maybe,' open both at 100% and compare them. I think of an image that you love as a 'wishful-thinking image.' You don't in fact love the result; you love the image you almost got. 

 

I had a lot of trouble getting images past QC from spring to fall in 2014. When I cooled down, I examined the failed images, and there was only one that I think QC made an error on. The rest were mistakes I made . . . and you know what? I don't want any questionable images in my collection.  QC knows what their doing.

 

Good idea, Ed. Like comparison shopping, one of my favorite activities. Really, though, I can see that work, except for the nikon and RXes going against the T1. Maybe duplicate the sharpest from each camera.

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One of the images I tossed was a closeup of a couple. She was sharp, he was not quite so. 

 

She probably fell for other of his qualities  :)

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This morning, I looked over my submission again before uploading.  I tossed 4.  One had CA in upper right corner that I missed the first go-around, the rest I asked myself the question, and tossed them.

 

 

 

Betty

 

You can fix the CA in most photos. Even the stubborn stuff. I am totally in love with my defringe slider in ACR. Gets rid of some of the stubbornest CA.

 

Also, for images that you hem and haw about, downsizing quite often will sharpen them right up.

 

Jill

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:) Ed.

Yes, Jill, I do downsize those. And I use the remove CA in LR and PS, depending on which program I'm using. Sometimes, almost always, if I'm left with anything, it's the nasty purple stuff. And when I work on that, sometimes there are grey edges left instead. Ruins the image.

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Have you tried the defringe slider in ACR? Its removed some tough stuff for me

 

Jill

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I've started using DxO OpticsPro for processing my RAW files. It does an excellent job on eliminating regular CA and the dreaded purple fringing. The "lens softness tool" is also really useful. It is based on DxO lab test results for individual lenses and corrects sharpness across the frame accordingly. There are downloadable lenses modules for most popular lenses out there. I have had to do very little downsizing since I started using DxO. Would definitely recommend. 

Edited by John Mitchell
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One of the images I tossed was a closeup of a couple. She was sharp, he was not quite so.

She probably fell for other of his qualities :)

 

 

 

 

This morning, I looked over my submission again before uploading. I tossed 4. One had CA in upper right corner that I missed the first go-around, the rest I asked myself the question, and tossed them.

 

 

 

Betty

You can fix the CA in most photos. Even the stubborn stuff. I am totally in love with my defringe slider in ACR. Gets rid of some of the stubbornest CA.

 

Also, for images that you hem and haw about, downsizing quite often will sharpen them right up.

 

Jill

I've started using DxO OpticsPro for processing my RAW files. It does an excellent job on eliminating regular CA and the dreaded purple fringing. The "lens softness tool" is also really useful. It is based on DxO lab test results for individual lenses and corrects sharpness across the frame accordingly. There are downloadable lenses modules for most popular lenses out there. I have had to do very little downsizing since I started using DxO. Would definitely recommend.

 

So you don't use either Adobe product? Edited by Betty LaRue

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I've started using DxO OpticsPro for processing my RAW files. It does an excellent job on eliminating regular CA and the dreaded purple fringing. The "lens softness tool" is also really useful. It is based on DxO lab test results for individual lenses and corrects sharpness across the frame accordingly. There are downloadable lenses modules for most popular lenses out there. I have had to do very little downsizing since I started using DxO. Would definitely recommend.

So you don't use either Adobe product?

 

That's right. I'm currently using DxO for processing RAW files, PS Elements for minor stuff like resizing and removing dust blobs, plus Photo Mechanic for captions, keywords, etc. I'm a man on a tight budget. A recent $1500 dental bill isn't helping matters either.

Edited by John Mitchell

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I've started using DxO OpticsPro for processing my RAW files. It does an excellent job on eliminating regular CA and the dreaded purple fringing. The "lens softness tool" is also really useful. It is based on DxO lab test results for individual lenses and corrects sharpness across the frame accordingly. There are downloadable lenses modules for most popular lenses out there. I have had to do very little downsizing since I started using DxO. Would definitely recommend.

 

So you don't use either Adobe product?

 

That's right. I'm currently using DxO for processing RAW files, PS Elements for minor stuff like resizing and removing dust blobs, plus Photo Mechanic for captions, keywords, etc. I'm a man on a tight budget. A recent $1500 dental bill isn't helping matters either.

On the dental bill. Remember when I got the gig shooting jewelry? This enterprise was started by my dentist. Because of how I went above and beyond with what I did for his business, when it failed, he told me I'd never have to pay out of pocket again.

So....I thought, sure, right.

I had to have a crown this past month. Dental insurance took care of half of it, he wrote off the rest. It pays, sometimes, to let someone take advantage of your kindness.

Have you thought about a trade in services? Offer to take pictures of his office and staff to update his/her website? I did that. That was one of the perks he extracted from me.

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:) Ed.

Yes, Jill, I do downsize those. And I use the remove CA in LR and PS, depending on which program I'm using. Sometimes, almost always, if I'm left with anything, it's the nasty purple stuff. And when I work on that, sometimes there are grey edges left instead. Ruins the image.

 

The first thing I do in LR5 is click the box for Remove CA. I do this every time. Once in a great while, when viewing at 100%, inch by inch, left top to right bottom in PS, I find some purple fringing. That's rare. Most of the time it's in the top of a backlit tree. Sometimes I can crop that out without causing damage. 

 

If I find a difficult image that needs extra work in PP, and it's a subject of average stock value, I'm likely to delete it. Last week I captured a design detail of a red Ferrari. (I have a  fondness for car details, bicycles, and food.) Well, the surface of the car was dusty (NYC dust is a fact of life). I spent hours spotting out the dust. Ridiculous. I will never do that again. 

 

red-ferrari-with-horse-logo-ENG7RW.jpg

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:) Ed.

Yes, Jill, I do downsize those. And I use the remove CA in LR and PS, depending on which program I'm using. Sometimes, almost always, if I'm left with anything, it's the nasty purple stuff. And when I work on that, sometimes there are grey edges left instead. Ruins the image.

 

The first thing I do in LR5 is click the box for Remove CA. I do this every time. Once in a great while, when viewing at 100%, inch by inch, left top to right bottom in PS, I find some purple fringing. That's rare. Most of the time it's in the top of a backlit tree. Sometimes I can crop that out without causing damage. 

 

If I find a difficult image that needs extra work in PP, and it's a subject of average stock value, I'm likely to delete it. Last week I captured a design detail of a red Ferrari. (I have a  fondness for car details, bicycles, and food.) Well, the surface of the car was dusty (NYC dust is a fact of life). I spent hours spotting out the dust. Ridiculous. I will never do that again. 

 

red-ferrari-with-horse-logo-ENG7RW.jpg

 

 

Do you not use the "Dust and Scratches" filter?

 

Jill

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I like the shot, Ed. I would want to save that one, too.  In fact, I have done the same thing before, lol.  Jill, I didn't know about the Dust and Scratches filter.  Tunnel vision, I guess.

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I like the shot, Ed. I would want to save that one, too.  In fact, I have done the same thing before, lol.  Jill, I didn't know about the Dust and Scratches filter.  Tunnel vision, I guess.

 

Another trick I learned from one of those Adobe classes for really older photos with all kinds of specs was use the "reduce noise" filter. Does a great cleanup.

 

Jill

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I don't know that filter either -- boy, could I use an Adobe class.  :wacko:

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I didn't know about it either. I think I may have seen it, but thought it was to add dust and scratches for a vintage effect.  Well, now I'll have to look again. 

 

Thanks for mentioning it Jill.

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I didn't know about it either. I think I may have seen it, but thought it was to add dust and scratches for a vintage effect.  Well, now I'll have to look again. 

 

Thanks for mentioning it Jill.

 

I'm not familiar with LR, but filters like this can sometimes soften images IME. Be careful.

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There's no Dust & Scratches filter in LR; there is one, however, in PS (CS5 I'm using) in the Filters > Noise section. And I agree with John: using that would almost surely be trading one problem for another. 

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Betty,

 

You answered your own question when you said, " I look at the image and is it sharp, if it is, it is and that is all."  I know that is not a direct

quote, but the paste function is not working in the Forum on my machine today.  Keep in mind that not once in over ten years have I had an

image fail QC for sharpness or any other reason,  maybe that is why I have so few images on Alamy.  After taking ten years off to stay home

and raise children, I am now a working photographer again and I am turning down work.  One of the reasons that client LOVE me is that I

finish all images to the same standards that I use for Alamy.  There are not many photographers that deliver images that would pass Alamy's

basic standards.  It is normal for me to spend 1 to 4 hours working on a finished 16bit TIFF and then JPEG for a client and they pay me good

money for it.

 

Chuck (Still the original one)

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I don't specifically check for sharpness. The moment I enlarge a pic to 100% in PS, any softness is immediately apparent; the pic just doesn't have that 'snap'. It's not uploaded. If a pic is borderline, if I'm asking myself if it's sharp enough, that's not uploaded either...

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Chuck, John, exactly my point. It took me long enough to come to that conclusion.

 

I believe new contributors ( past couple of years) have an advantage over some of us older ones in one regard. They don't have the old QC standards stuck in their heads. They entered the fray after QC tightened up.

 

People like me had to have a brick fall on their heads (repeated QC failures) to finally realize what passed 5 years ago will no longer pass today.

 

Alamy is quite smart in this regard. Considering how many millions of images are on sale now, it's only those uploaded since QC tightened uo that are consistently really good. I'm not saying the older photos are bad, there are really great older ones, but maybe a bigger percentage of questionable ones.

 

I also realize QC doesn't check every single image (except mine, lol) so some questionable ones can still slip through. Overall, though, Alamy's recent collection is superior to the older one. The good thing is the filters provide buyers the ability to look only at the newer images if they choose, but they can still dig deep for gems in the older ones.

 

Betty

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