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spacecadet

SoLD- who can see it? I can't

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Definitely SOLD and sin bin material. If that is the standard that you are uploading i would stop and evaluate your quality and not just change your workflow but your camera equipment as well,

especially if you want to take night shots like that a tripod would be a must. If this is your living then invest in some better kit that has better capabilities. A few years ago i went from a DX system to FX 

which gave a dramatic increase in picture quality (Nikon D80 to Nikon D700) If you don't' make a change your frustration will only increase and boil over. As others have said download some tack sharp detailed example images and compare yours side by side thentake time to reflect on what you are seeing.

 

 

Regards

Craig

I'm sure you mean well but I will not be changing equipment which has served me well on the whole, except maybe new reading specs.

There is a range of opinions from 'probably a bit soft' through 'marginal' to 'a mess' so it's not so, er,  black and white.

I will be reviewing the sort of images I submit- perhaps the low noise at high ISO I get from the A55 has led me astray a bit.

I've got plenty of tack-sharp images of my own to compare with but there is a range of acceptability which I think has narrowed in recent years.

Edited by spacecadet

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There are many things the OP can do, if, like most people here, he wants to pass QC and see no more failed submissions. When I had trouble passing QC, a few years ago, due to softness, I tried to isolate the source of the problem (camera shake? poor focus? poor lens? non-pro camera body? etc). It made me tighten up on my technique. I decided to use a tripod most of the time, kept to low ISO settings, and started to be more critical… in subject matter, treatment, technical criteria, etc. In this way, I submitted about 10,000 pix to Alamy, mostly taken with a Nikon D200 and a cheapo-cheapo 80-70 kit lens (I’ve upgraded my equipment since then, which makes a tripod optional rather than mandatory). I suppose many people here will have gone through a similar process, and emerged, at the end of it, as more proficient photographers.

To the OP I’d say “have more pride in your work”. Just my opinion (and worth no more than what you paid for it), but I reckon your attitude is mostly to blame for QC failures. You’re blaming QC, and suggesting they've 'tightened up' their criteria, when you should be scrutinising your work. You posted a pic taken at night, with on-camera flash; the result, predictably, looked horrible. You say you can’t afford a proper flashgun. But, as others have pointed out, this kind of pic just requires a tripod and appropriate lighting (which might, in this instance, be an overcast sky). I have a tiny built-in flash on my Nikon 610, but I can't imagine any scenario in which it make be useful... except to, say, trigger another flash.

In short: stop feeling like a ‘victim’, stop blaming other people and either make a commitment to produce quality stock imagery… or give it up altogether.

Edited by John Morrison
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There are many things the OP can do, if, like most people here, he wants to pass QC and see no more failed submissions. When I had trouble passing QC, a few years ago, due to softness, I tried to isolate the source of the problem (camera shake? poor lens? non-pro camera body? etc). It made me tighten up on my technique. I decided to use a tripod most of the time, kept to low ISO settings, and started to be more critical… in subject matter, treatment, technical criteria, etc. In this way, I submitted about 10,000 pix to Alamy, mostly taken with a Nikon D200 and a cheapo-cheapo 80-70 kit lens (I’ve upgraded my equipment since then, which makes a tripod optional rather than mandatory). I suppose many people here will have gone through a similar process, and emerged, at the end of it, as more proficient photographers.

 

To the OP I’d say “have more pride in your work”. Just my opinion (and worth no more than what you paid for it), but I reckon your attitude is mostly to blame for QC failures. You’re blaming QC, when you should be scrutinising your work. You posted a pic taken at night, with on-camera flash; the result, predictably, looked horrible. You say you can’t afford a proper flashgun. But, as others have pointed out, this kind of pic just requires a tripod and appropriate lighting (which might, in this instance, be an overcast sky).

 

In short: stop feeling like a ‘victim’, stop blaming other people and either make a commitment to produce quality stock imagery… or give it up altogether.

It seemed to me the direct informal style suited the subject of street art. Daylight wouldn't have been the same, even if I'd been there in daylight. But I wasn't asking for a stylistic debate. Sorry but there isn't much I can divine technically from 'horrible'.

I'm not blaming, not complaining, not a victim, just asking. Commitment over 6 years and 5000 'lucky' images with kit lenses. I'm not giving up either. I'm repeating myself now. My 'pride' is a matter for me.

Thanks to those who offered a considered opinion on the image.

Edited by spacecadet

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Definitely SOLD and sin bin material. If that is the standard that you are uploading i would stop and evaluate your quality and not just change your workflow but your camera equipment as well,

especially if you want to take night shots like that a tripod would be a must. If this is your living then invest in some better kit that has better capabilities. A few years ago i went from a DX system to FX 

which gave a dramatic increase in picture quality (Nikon D80 to Nikon D700) If you don't' make a change your frustration will only increase and boil over. As others have said download some tack sharp detailed example images and compare yours side by side thentake time to reflect on what you are seeing.

 

 

Regards

Craig

I'm sure you mean well but I will not be changing equipment which has served me well on the whole, except maybe new reading specs.

There is a range of opinions from 'probably a bit soft' through 'marginal' to 'a mess' so it's not so, er,  black and white.

I will be reviewing the sort of images I submit- perhaps the low noise at high ISO I get from the A55 has led me astray a bit.

I've got plenty of tack-sharp images of my own to compare with but there is a range of acceptability which I think has narrowed in recent years.

 

 

With all due respect to all on the thread, the opinions are probably as varied as the experience of the posters..from people who have hardly sold any images to those who have licensed thousands of images and work with clients week in week out. Add to that that even I was trying not to really be as hard as I really should have been, and the situation really isn't as marginal as you seem to think.

 

It's not about equipment, it's about the old 'throw in the numbers' mentality which pervades this forum. if you wanted to shoot the statue with a hope of actually licensing it, and not just making up the numbers, you need to spend the time on getting the best picture you can. That one is a million miles away from the best. The next photographer will come along and spend the time and get the license.

 

I do commend that you have posted the image and I hope you take away some positives from the thread - my advice is to get away from the 'battle' with QC - you won't win and it can become almost a sole purpose.

 

HTH.

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Thanks for posting a 100% crop. I agree with Alamy QC, it's SoLD. I wouldn't have uploaded.

 

In my opinion it looks like there's a couple of things that have eaten away at the detail.

 

1) The combination of higher noise at ISO 1600 with the in camera NR reduction has caused some smearing.

 

2) To my eyes, the point with most sharpness seems to be near to the statue's hands. The head appears soft, either because of increasing softness towards the edge of the frame from the lens at F5.6, or because the head lies beyond the plane of focus. At F8 or F11 you'd probably have got away with it, but that may have needed a more powerful flash.

 

If I downsize (resample bicubic) your jpg to 2000 x 3000 pixels (just over the 17MB limit) in Photoshop,  I think you might just get about away with it. The hand sharpness is then fine but the head is still a bit marginal.

 

Mark

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Th

 

Thanks for posting a 100% crop. I agree with Alamy QC, it's SoLD. I wouldn't have uploaded.

 

In my opinion it looks like there's a couple of things that have eaten away at the detail.

 

1) The combination of higher noise at ISO 1600 with the in camera NR reduction has caused some smearing.

 

2) To my eyes, the point with most sharpness seems to be near to the statue's hands. The head appears soft, either because of increasing softness towards the edge of the frame from the lens at F5.6, or because the head lies beyond the plane of focus. At F8 or F11 you'd probably have got away with it, but that may have needed a more powerful flash.

 

If I downsize (resample bicubic) your jpg to 2000 x 3000 pixels (just over the 17MB limit) in Photoshop,  I think you might just get about away with it. The hand sharpness is then fine but the head is still a bit marginal.

 

Mark

Thanks, that's helpful. I'd cry off the 1600 altogether if I hadn't had a couple of good licences from it, images I wouldn't have otherwise got. But I wouldn't have submitted them today. It does seem a bit variable though.

At the moment I'm struggling in LR to make some RAWs actually appear sharper than their simultaneous jpegs.

I do downsize to 4500 already, maybe I need to squeeze some of them down a bit more.

Edited by spacecadet

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Mark, I can't look at the image properly at the moment because I am on an iPad on slow public wifi.

 

However having read the thread (and other times you have commented on QC) I wanted to post. I mean this with the best of intentions,

 

If you step back from this specific thread what you have said is you have recent issues with repeated QC failures.

This phrase came to mind:

 

"If you always do what you always did, you always get what your always got"

 

Why not just try the technique and post processing suggestions given to you? What's the worst that could happen?

 

Michael

Edited by Armstrong
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Viewing at 100% always reveals the full extent of problems. I first looked (last night) at your image using the magnify tool but that didn't fully reveal the full extent of softness. Viewing at 100% again this morning does. I'm surprised that a shot with flash comes out soft which would suggest looking at equipment and settings again. What I would say is that I couldn't have submitted that image given the colour noise which was obvious straight off. Any buyer looking to produce a large image wouldn't be best pleased with the results. Saying that they probably wouldn't licence it in the first place. I think you need to be a harsher critic of your own work as a starting point to eradicating the QC failures. QC are looking at images every day, they can spot problems from a mile off. Good luck with future uploads.

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Mark, I have had my own problems with QC. While I do agree that I think QC has tightened in recent times, I have seen the problem for my fail each and every time. The CA I missed in a tiny part of the image, upper left. Camera shake on one. SoLD.

 

I've uploaded over 250 images in the past 3 weeks that have sailed through QC. And I guarantee, because of my fails, that they were scrutinized. Why did they pass? Because of my X-T1 and good lenses. Those always sail through. The ones taken with my Sony? The source of most of my fails. Even though the camera can take some great images.

 

The main reason I got these through was my many inspections of my images. I do think when one is reviewing a lot of images, the eyes, and most importantly, the brain gets tired, and faults slip through the net. So I did about 3 ( maybe 4) inspections at 100%, and every time, I found some images that had slipped through my net. I binned them. I waited between inspections so my eyes would be fresh.

When I finally had a clean, no-bin inspection, did I consider them ready. Did I resent spending more time inspecting than I did developing? YES! But it paid off.

 

I won't tell you that your image is a horrible image. What I will suggest is that you need to change the way you look at your images so that you recognize what is a good one and what is not. Try to divorce yourself from the uniqueness of the image and what you went through to get it. That was stage 2 of my problems. I would have a unique image that couldn't be replicated. Study it, be undecided if it were technically "good enough" and go ahead and upload it. (Darn, I hate to fall in love with an image for the wrong reasons).

 

QC don't care that it is unique. They only care about image quality. They don't care that you passed through the area once, never to go back again.

I suggest you forget about what passed before. Go at it like you just joined. The slate is clean. You've been told QC is rigorous. Look at each image as if it was shot by someone else and see if it truly has merit.

Some of my images I have recently binned was like a knife to my heart. Brutal. But one has to do it.

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Mark, I have had my own problems with QC. While I do agree that I think QC has tightened in recent times, I have seen the problem for my fail each and every time. The CA I missed in a tiny part of the image, upper left. Camera shake on one. SoLD.

I've uploaded over 250 images in the past 3 weeks that have sailed through QC. And I guarantee, because of my fails, that they were scrutinized. Why did they pass? Because of my X-T1 and good lenses. Those always sail through. The ones taken with my Sony? The source of most of my fails. Even though the camera can take some great images.

The main reason I got these through was my many inspections of my images. I do think when one is reviewing a lot of images, the eyes, and most importantly, the brain gets tired, and faults slip through the net. So I did about 3 ( maybe 4) inspections at 100%, and every time, I found some images that had slipped through my net. I binned them. I waited between inspections so my eyes would be fresh.

When I finally had a clean, no-bin inspection, did I consider them ready. Did I resent spending more time inspecting than I did developing? YES! But it paid off.

I won't tell you that your image is a horrible image. What I will suggest is that you need to change the way you look at your images so that you recognize what is a good one and what is not. Try to divorce yourself from the uniqueness of the image and what you went through to get it. That was stage 2 of my problems. I would have a unique image that couldn't be replicated. Study it, be undecided if it were technically "good enough" and go ahead and upload it. (Darn, I hate to fall in love with an image for the wrong reasons).

QC don't care that it is unique. They only care about image quality. They don't care that you passed through the area once, never to go back again.

I suggest you forget about what passed before. Go at it like you just joined. The slate is clean. You've been told QC is rigorous. Look at each image as if it was shot by someone else and see if it truly has merit.

Some of my images I have recently binned was like a knife to my heart. Brutal. But one has to do it.

+1

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Very nice said by Betty. Actually i always like to read your posts (without sliming). :) .

 

I have to say that i always agree with you but now found something where i don't. I really don't believe it is camera that changed it. You just improved. I am almost sure that if you take you Sony now you will pass also.

 

I am shooting all the time with Sony including sometimes with a kit lens. I don't have any problem with QC and images are passed within 24 hours. I only want to say don't throw the poor Sony on the side  :( . I check every image if it is sharp. If i doubt i exclude it directly from uploading. It is like love in the first sight. If a image is sharp i am directly convinced. Next to that off course noise, dust etc. It works for me very well. I am sure you are doing something similar also and would work with your Sony too.

 

Mirco

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Thankyou , Betty. That helps me. I can always drop by Trier again on the way to our usual wine festival and try again.

 Mirco,I think I may have an occasional focus repeatability problem, it's always apparent though. I will photograph the same subject twice a few seconds apart and one will be off. It looks like spherical abberation or an alignment problem.

Edited by spacecadet
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Thankyou , Betty. That helps me. I can always drop by Trier again on the way to our usual wine festival and try again.

 Mirco,I think I may have an occasional focus repeatability problem, it's always apparent though. I will photograph the same subject twice a few seconds apart and one will be off. It looks like spherical abberation or an alignment problem.

 

I must say i had in the past a similar problem with my Sony Alpha 77. I made 10 photos and 1 or 2 where without reason not sharp. I brought it for repair and there was some problem in the lens mount. I am less technical so i dont remember what exactly the problem was but simple said the connection between lens and mount was not correct. I dont know if you find the same issue.

 

Mirco

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I seldom get good results from on-camera flash. I also don't like the harsh look. The only time I use flash these days is if I want to fill in shadows. A touch of flash from the small pop-up one on my camera usually does the job. Today's cameras and processing software offer so many options that flash seems unnecessary most of the time for general walk-around photography (specialty work is another story, of course).

 

P.S. I don't think that equipment is the problem. The Sony a55 got excellent reviews when it came out (almost bought one myself). Also, as long as things are in focus in all the right places and CA has been dealt with, it doesn't matter if you use kit lenses. At least that has been my experience. 

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Hmmm. There is a rumour that Sony may be dropping camera and lens production in order to consolidate their business.

 

Allan

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Ok, ok, I get you all don't want to hear about my Sony, lol. I'm talking about the RX100. It isn't mirrorless like my Fuji, so right off the bat the Fuji output is sharper. Because of being used to evaluating mirrorless images ( most of my output) which are sharper than the Sony ones, which isn't mirrorless, it is harder for me to evaluate what is "sharp enough" with the Sony. They just look different. Judgement error.

 

Sometimes, even though I love the tiny size of the RX, I think it is easier to get camera shake because of the lack of weight.

User error.

 

:) :). Thanks for the greenies!

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Hmmm. There is a rumour that Sony may be dropping camera and lens production in order to consolidate their business.

 

Allan

 

Where did you hear that, Allan? Sony has already closed all its retail stores in Canada, so it wouldn't surprise me. You just can't trust these big corporations. They're all ruled by their bottom line.

 

UPDATE: I found this online. It claims that Sony's "imaging division" is doing fine and won't be affected by other changes in the company.

Edited by John Mitchell

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Ok, ok, I get you all don't want to hear about my Sony, lol. I'm talking about the RX100. It isn't mirrorless like my Fuji, so right off the bat the Fuji output is sharper. Because of being used to evaluating mirrorless images ( most of my output) which are sharper than the Sony ones, which isn't mirrorless, it is harder for me to evaluate what is "sharp enough" with the Sony. They just look different. Judgement error.

 

Sometimes, even though I love the tiny size of the RX, I think it is easier to get camera shake because of the lack of weight.

User error.

 

:) :). Thanks for the greenies!

 

Not at all, Betty, I love hearing Sony stories. Photographers have been entertaining each other with arguments over camera brands for decades. The Nikon Vs. Canon war still rages on in some circles.

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Ok, ok, I get you all don't want to hear about my Sony, lol. I'm talking about the RX100. It isn't mirrorless like my Fuji, so right off the bat the Fuji output is sharper. Because of being used to evaluating mirrorless images ( most of my output) which are sharper than the Sony ones, which isn't mirrorless, it is harder for me to evaluate what is "sharp enough" with the Sony. They just look different. Judgement error.

Sometimes, even though I love the tiny size of the RX, I think it is easier to get camera shake because of the lack of weight.

User error. :) :). Thanks for the greenies!

 

 

Not at all, Betty, I love hearing Sony stories. Photographers have been entertaining each other with arguments over camera brands for decades. The Nikon Vs. Canon war still rages on in some circles.

'Some circles' I think you'll find that the Canon/Nikon argument will eventually put the Hundred Years War to shame.

 

Canon will win, by the way!

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> change your workflow. Start to shoot RAW...

 

Crikey, there's plenty of successful JPG shooters out & about,

why won't some of yous bloody RAWbies let them be...???!!!!!

 

No problem with hard flash here, it could be niche

style some 2016 hipster photo editor is looking for...

No one else doing it = no competition = that's the ticket!!!

Dictating style, are we? What's next? Tellin' van Gogh to blend his strokes?!!

 

Try resubmitting image at small end of submission size range,

what is it now, 25mb? 51/49 on it passing, I says...

 

...... Ah, don't think I'll bother to react  :rolleyes:

 

Cheers,

Philippe

 

 

Jeff is probably correct, though. There's always a new niche to be unearthed somewhere.

 

Also, if Mark resized his image to 17 MB (about 3000 pixels) and cleaned up the noise, it would probably pass QC. Small can still be beautiful, maybe even profitable.

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Perfect Stockimo material.

 

wim

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Perfect Stockimo material.

 

wim

 

Except it wasn't taken with a cell phone. :)

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Perfect Stockimo material.

 

wim

:)

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Hmmm. There is a rumour that Sony may be dropping camera and lens production in order to consolidate their business.

 

Allan

 

Where did you hear that, Allan? Sony has already closed all its retail stores in Canada, so it wouldn't surprise me. You just can't trust these big corporations. They're all ruled by their bottom line.

 

UPDATE: I found this online. It claims that Sony's "imaging division" is doing fine and won't be affected by other changes in the company.

 

 

Pleased you found good contradicting material to the rumor I read in a photo mag.

 

allan

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I have around 6000 spread over 4 agencies so mybe i know a little something. I do beleieve QC is getting pickier due to the increasing quality of submissions and cameras. I do believe the bar is raising. Shots that they accepted from me a few years ago probably wont pass now. Looking at your shot it does look soft to me and the statue mterial coupled with flash makes it look softer than it may be.

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