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Unless you post the images or crops at 100% we can't really give an opinion.

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  • The files (JPG) were uploaded to Flickr for backup and to aid selection.
  • The files were selected on Flickr and downloaded.

 

Why involve Flickr in this workflow?

 

 

km

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I wonder if I can ask for a little help. I have been a member here since the "send in a CD" days but have never sent in any pictures as my camera was not up to spec. (a Canon PS G5). I now have a camera that is "on the list" (a Canon 600D) and have been procrastinating about sending in pictures since I was given it 2 years ago.

 

Yesterday I "bit the bullet" and sent in 4 pictures. I must admit I did it fairly quickly as I just wanted to get the ball moving after hanging about for so long.

 

All four pictures failed QC for Soft or Lack of Definition. To me a very subjective criteria.

 

I would like to describe my process below and perhaps some of you would point out where I might be going wrong.

 

The pictures:

  • Were taken with the standard Canon lens using the Auto (flash off) setting.
  • Were taken in good daylight, the shutter, aperture and ISO were all in the normal range.
  • The files (JPG) were uploaded to Flickr for backup and to aid selection.
  • The files were selected on Flickr and downloaded.
  • The files were imported to Aperture 3.6
  • Some of the files were straightened and slightly cropped with a small amount of exposure correction.
  • The files were exported from Aperture and uploaded to Alamy.

The only thing I can think of is that:

  • I should have used the RAW files rather than the JPG. This had been my intention but I quite simply forgot.
  • There may be some export setting in Aperture that I'm not aware of. There was no "quality" setting in the export dialogue box as there is in other programs such as PS.

 

Any help would be appreciated, thank you.

 

Robert

 

As Mark h

as said you do need to post 100% Crops for the forum to be able to have an opinion. Most people find it a very helpful thing to do.

 

It's really important to put to one side the notion of QC being a subjective process. That's immaterial because  no ones opinion other than Alamy's counts. I can't recall a time on the forum where someone has posted a 100% crop of a failed image and the forum hasn't been able to see the reason why.

 

As Keith (Red Snapper) has said you need to get rid of Flickr out of your workflow. There could be all sorts of compression/image degradation occurring as a result of that step. Also you are shooting JPEG so every time you press Save you are degrading the image somewhat.

Edited by Armstrong
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QC rules say the image must be inspected at 100% so that every pixel is visible. This is not necessarily the same requirement as a good quality 16" x 20" print, depending on the number of pixels in the submitted image and the viewing distance of the print. Also bear in mind that the end user may crop and blow up a small part of the submitted image and so may really need all those pixels (even if they aren't all visible on a 16" x 20" print viewed at arms length).

 

Alamy's rule is simple and effective. So long as you can see the pixels on your monitor you can make a judgment (although this can be tough on the latest Apple Retina displays with their tiny pixels). There's no need to make a print.

 

 

 I had a fail for the first time in years back in July and when I reviewed the image in question on my iMac I scratched my head and wondered why I had even tried uploading it - I was traveling and working from my Macbook with Retina display and just took a look now and it looks so much better on here (the laptop) - I have just learned a very valuable lesson here. I thought that with the Retina display I'd see detail better since my 13" screen has more pixels than my 27" screen but now realize that means just the opposite is true. More pixels compressed on a tiny screen means the image looks much sharper on here. Duh! Thanks for pointing that out.

 

And I've made gorgeous 16 x 20 inch prints from photos that would never pass QC at 100% - pigment inkjet printers are far more forgiving than even magazine pages, let along pixel peeping at 100% on a large monitor. 

 

While I can easily spend more time than I should on photography forums, I usually learn something valuable. In fact, that's how I first learned about stock photography in general and Alamy in particular. I'd have more photos online if I spent less time here and on similar boards, but I'd probably know less too.  B)

 

For Robert: If you have the RAW files start with them and you may see a big difference. Compression artifacts can quickly degrade a jpeg especially if you're downloading it from online and saving a few times before you even start your workload. Use Photoshop layers and don't save as a jpeg until all your work is complete. Don't use the default noise reduction and sharpening setting either, this can cause all kinds of problems, you need to tweak them so they work for your camera/lens combo, and for the particular lighting conditions etc. Congrats on biting the bullet. Feel free to share the photo crops here and good luck!

Edited by Marianne

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Thanks for the feedback so far!

 

To clarify:

 

When I said:

 

  • The files were selected on Flickr and downloaded.

and

  • I should have used the RAW files rather than the JPG. This had been my intention but I quite simply forgot.

 

The downloading from Flickr was an aberation (it shouldn't have happened), Flickr wont accept RAW so by implication if I had used the RAW they wouldn't have come from Flickr.

 

Can someone explain waht is meant by 100% crops?

 

Thank you.

 

Robert

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I was having failures using my full frame canon and L lenses so i took the forum advice and bought a sony RX100. Havent had any failures even on those I thought had marginal sharpness. It goes with me everywhere on my belt. I'm having way more fun now and hopefully getting saleable shots. Its so easy to shoot and upload. Bye bye full frame. Toooooooooooooo much work and lugging! THANKS for the advice guys!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Amazing how free you can feel, and how much fun can come back into photography. I get that with the RX100 and my Fuji kit.

 

 

Have you tried Stockimo? I just got the app to work yesterday at last - uploaded a bunch of grainy tweaked fun images - all but one of which passed - they only failed the un-vintage-processed ones LOL and the fails are by the image and don't count against you. Very freeing to be creative and not worry that a fun saleable image will fail on technical grounds and land you in the sin bin for weeks. Very very freeing! Just wish I could find my images online. Maybe it takes 48 hours and it's been about 36. 

 

With the kind of fine art work you do Betty, you could really have fun with it. 

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Can someone explain what is meant by 100% crops?

 

 

 

It's a way of allowing the forum to view an image or sample of an image at 100% view (actual pixels). Some people don't want to paste the whole image so some make a crop of that image. Ideally as much as the image as possible should be available but definitely the area you feel is sharpest.

 

I use Photobucket to upload to the forum. You can embed a thumbnail that clicks through to the full file. You could also post a Dropbox link etc.

Edited by Armstrong

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Thanks for the feedback so far!

 

To clarify:

 

When I said:

 

  • The files were selected on Flickr and downloaded.

and

  • I should have used the RAW files rather than the JPG. This had been my intention but I quite simply forgot.

 

The downloading from Flickr was an aberation (it shouldn't have happened), Flickr wont accept RAW so by implication if I had used the RAW they wouldn't have come from Flickr.

 

Can someone explain waht is meant by 100% crops?

 

Thank you.

 

Robert

 

Why would you want to upload RAW files to Flickr in the first place? Alamy wants JPEGs, as I'm sure you realize.

Edited by John Mitchell
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Thank you Marianne

 

My intended process was to review the pictures on Flickr Magic View and then find my choice as RAW files from my local drives, but in the excitement of the moment it just didn't happen. I ended up using the JPG's and remember thinking "humm, perhaps that was not the best thing to do". But by then it was too late.

 

I suspect that not using RAW and accepting Apertures defaults may be the cause of my probem. These issues are in my control and could be rectified easliy. If however feedback suggested the problem is with my camera or lens then, well, goodbye Alamy!

 

My post and request was about asking anyone who had better knowledge what the most likely step in my process would have caused the problem.

 

Thanks again for all feedback and I will post one of the pictures soon.

 

Regards

 

Robert

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Robert, in my experience, it's almost never the camera or lens (unless the individual piece of gear has been damaged). Workflow is a learned skill and by posting your experiences, you've contributed to the learning of everybody here.

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 If however feedback suggested the problem is with my camera or lens then, well, goodbye Alamy!

 

Robert

It won't be the 600D that's a problem.  I've uploaded a couple of thousand images from this camera without a single failure.  Even the kit lens (18-55mm?) should be good enough although I do tend to use my macro lenses or other primes.  Work in RAW, keep the ISO down to avoid excessive noise, process lightly, check every image at full size (100% zoom in whatever editor you're using), discard any that look unsharp where they should be sharp, watch for dust bunnies, and save as JPEG at the highest possible settings and you'll be fine.

Edited by John Richmond
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I note the OP of this thread appears to have neither withdrawn his portfolio nor posted 100% crops of the images he believes were mistakenly failed by QC . . .

 

dd

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Hi Everyone

 

...and thanks for your time.

 

I have put my Alamy submission and the coresponding RAW file on Box.

 

JPG: https://app.box.com/s/qhczutfmxrc5jsniwpwvmk11ln2pa1ik

 

RAW: https://app.box.com/s/im3m9ht09cj9x4rbgrjocx9mhyjqus5n

 

Regards and Thanks

 

Robert

PS The shot is of the Chichester (West Sussex, UK) Guildhall taken from the old city wall with the Cathedral spire in the background. It was taken a couple of weeks ago.

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I can't view the CR2 file, but the jpeg is noticeably unsharp so I don't think the raw would be better, I find the difference marginal at low ISO.

Brick detail and signs should be clearly rendered.

The filesize is a little small for 18MP- could it be overcompressed, or has it been resaved a few times? I'm guessing.

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Firstly, Thank you for posting a 100% crop.

 

I agree this is SaLD. Have a look at the trees. There is no real detail and they have a painterly effect. 

 

There is also CA in the trees - have a look at the far right.

 

The colour also seems muddy.

 

Here is a sample of one of my images already on sale (EYN43G):

 

th_AlamyForumWUpload_zpslfqafbxp.jpg

 

 

Hope this helps - thank you for letting us critique.

Edited by Armstrong

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Robert - would you it be okay for me to have a go at editing your RAW file and letting you know the results? If it is let me know - I can post a sample on the forum or send to you privately via PM.

Edited by Armstrong

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The JPEG is very over-sharpened and the colour is way off in comparison to the RAW (JPEG has a strong green or cyan cast). The JPEG shows haloing from over-sharpening and there is strong CA. Bin the JPEG and go back to the RAW for a start.

 

In relation to the raw, the foreground is out of focus whereas the background is reasonably in focus (the sign on the pub is legible and the buildings look ok after a bit of sharpening). Trees are hard to judge because there may been wind for one thing but they do not look unacceptable to me in the raw file). I judge sharpness by applying a bit of sharpening and then removing it before preparing images for Alamy. Going by this image, you need to learn the basics of raw conversion (including calibrating your monitor), improve your composition and how to control depth of field (using landscape mode in camera is not the way to go really - the foreground is out of focus). Some judicious cropping would help - the tree in the bottom right is out of focus and irrelevant to the image. Enjoy the learning.

Edited by MDM
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I think a small tweak to your technique and improved processing will have you in a position to be fine with Alamy QC. 

 

I think you are losing some sharpness due to diffraction. My cropped sensor Nikon DSLR is sharpest at F8 and starts to diffract at F11.

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Robert - would you it be okay for me to have a go at editing your RAW file and letting you know the results? If it is let me know - I can post a sample on the forum or send to you privately via PM.

Michael

 

That is a very kind offer, thank you. I would appreciate it. By all means post it here.

 

Thanks

 

Robert

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Earlier I said the RAW was probably no better but that's quite wrong.

Yours looks fine with my usual LR settings. A little soft, but no worse than some of mine.

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The JPEG is very over-sharpened and the colour is way off in comparison to the RAW (JPEG has a strong green or cyan cast). The JPEG shows haloing from over-sharpening and there is strong CA. Bin the JPEG and go back to the RAW for a start.

 

In relation to the raw, the foreground is out of focus whereas the background is reasonably in focus (the sign on the pub is legible and the buildings look ok after a bit of sharpening). Trees are hard to judge because there may been wind for one thing but they do not look unacceptable to me in the raw file). I judge sharpness by applying a bit of sharpening and then removing it before preparing images for Alamy. Going by this image, you need to learn the basics of raw conversion (including calibrating your monitor), improve your composition and how to control depth of field (using landscape mode in camera is not the way to go really - the foreground is out of focus). Some judicious cropping would help - the tree in the bottom right is out of focus and irrelevant to the image. Enjoy the learning.

Thanks for your feedback.

 

Just to clarify the JPG is not from a processed RAW, it's the JPG that came off the camera and then processed (minimally) in Aperture. As I said in an earlier post, that was a mistake.

 

From days gone by I seem to remember that Alamay wanted files with minimum processing including cropping and NO sharpening, that is why this particular picture isn't cropped. Has that changed?

 

Regards

 

Robert

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Earlier I said the RAW was probably no better but that's quite wrong.

Yours looks fine with my usual LR settings. A little soft, but no worse than some of mine.

Thanks Mark, that has allayed some fears :-)

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So they are not RAW+JPEG from the same exposure?

Then whatever Aperture did, it did a lot. My jpegs in good light are much better than that. In fact until a few months ago I didn't use RAW at all.

Cropping isn't forbidden unless it makes the image too small which isn't an issue nowadays. RAWs need some sharpening and NR. LR defaults are a good starting point.

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Robert - would you it be okay for me to have a go at editing your RAW file and letting you know the results? If it is let me know - I can post a sample on the forum or send to you privately via PM.

Michael

 

That is a very kind offer, thank you. I would appreciate it. By all means post it here.

 

Thanks

 

Robert

 

 

th_IMG_1092_zpsbsrkhhvi.jpg

 

Alternate link: https://www.dropbox.com/s/w9szdica47zbtqs/IMG_1092%20Edited.jpg?dl=0

 

Processed in Lightroom CC. That took a quick couple minutes work in LR - faster if you use a preset as a starting point. 

 

Issues such as CA in the trees were solved by a simple click of a tick box.

 

Your JPG is 3.4mb. This one is 9.5mb which means much more detail if submitted.

Edited by Armstrong

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