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 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). 

I agree with this especially regarding Landscape mode. I don't have a Canon but I'm guessing that it selects the autofocus points. As MDM says this won't help you with sharpness.

 

My focus points for this sort of shot are set up so that there is one single autofocus point. I can then move it around using the back paddle (dial on Canon??). I have set it up for single focus (not continuous).

 

In your photo I would have focussed on the Chapel Building on the sports field at F8.

 

You don't necessarily need to crop the foreground bush out to remove it. Content aware fill in PS would likely do a good job on this. Just remember to tick 'digitally altered' if accepted by QC. 

Edited by Armstrong

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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.

Hi Mark

 

Yes they are RAW+JPG from the same exposure. But my Alamy submission as a JPG did not come from the RAW file it came from the JPG produced by the camera.

 

I'll clarify.

The picture was shot RAW+JPG with the camera set to highest quality for the JPG.

The RAW was filed and took no further part in the process.

The JPG (produced by the camera) was loaded into Aperture and tweaked (including, I agree, the awful colour change).

It was then "Exported" to JPG from Aperture with the default setting and sent to Alamy.

 

Thanks to all for helping me out.

 

Perhaps I should have another go and ask here before sending to Alamy as I want to avoid another failure.

 

Regards

 

Robert

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How do you view at 100%?

 The thumbnail should be clickable and link to my Photobucket page. You should be able to get the full size file from there. Let me know if it doesn't work!

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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.

 

Perhaps I should have another go and ask here before sending to Alamy as I want to avoid another failure.

 

 

That's a great idea!

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The options button doesn

 

 

How do you view at 100%?

 The thumbnail should be clickable and link to my Photobucket page. You should be able to get the full size file from there. Let me know if it doesn't work!

 

The options button doesn't include download.

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The options button doesn

 

 

How do you view at 100%?

 The thumbnail should be clickable and link to my Photobucket page. You should be able to get the full size file from there. Let me know if it doesn't work!

 

The options button doesn't include download.

Thanks Mark. Try this:

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

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The options button doesn

 

 

How do you view at 100%?

 The thumbnail should be clickable and link to my Photobucket page. You should be able to get the full size file from there. Let me know if it doesn't work!

 

The options button doesn't include download.

Thanks Mark. Try this:

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

 

Wow! That's a totally different picture. Thank you!

 

Seems I need to get to grips with Aperture and if that fails look at something else.

 

Robert

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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.

 

Perhaps I should have another go and ask here before sending to Alamy as I want to avoid another failure.

 

 

That's a great idea!

 

Then that I will do!

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That's just about what I get with my LR RAW defaults. perhaps I can turn up my vibrance a bit.

OP, I and others now downsize a bit, in my case to 4000 long side, still plenty big enough for Alamy but helpful for sharpness.

Aperture may be doing things you don't know about. That jpeg would have been OK for a webpage, but Alamy is a different ballgame.

As an aside, I usually export at 90% quality but I played with this image a bit and viewing at 100% I can tell the difference between 90 and 100% quality at 5184px, but not at 4000px. The filesize is nearly halved, however.

Edited by spacecadet
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Robert, I would suggest starting by processing your raw files in Canon's own converter and then experiment with Lightroom. A couple of years from now, you may well be a raw processing guru. Remember, most of us started at the same place.

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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

 

 

I hope my post didn't come over as harsh criticism but I lean towards the call a spade a spade club as I think this is most helpful in the longer term. I didn't read all the posts in this long thread but I peeped in here this morning and had a look at the images you posted when I saw the links. The in-camera JPEG, which was the first thing I saw, is fairly horrendous in terms of colour, sharpening and CA, so maybe you had some strange settings on your camera. This will be irrelevant in any case if you continue to shoot raw.

 

If your image is anything to go by, I do think you need more than a bit of tweaking as Armstrong puts it, to bring your photography up to a professional standard. There is a lot to learn in bringing one's photography up to a professional standard - learning how to process raw images is just one part of it and not a small part at that. If you are going to take it seriously, then you may be better to invest in Lightroom as Apple are no longer supporting Aperture. If you do go that way, then I highly recommend Martin Evening's book as an amazing source of information and an excellent learning guide. There is a huge amount of useful info about digital  photography in there.

 

My reference to depth of field was based on the fact that you have used landscape mode on your camera which has resulted in the foreground being out of focus - in my opinion this is the main unsharp area in the image, the background is probably fine. It is very important to learn how to control depth of field if one is aiming for professional quality images. This is more difficult with zoom lenses than with primes but, in my opinion, it is vital to be in control of your equipment rather than the other way around. With landscapes, manual focusing is the way to go, or if using autofocus, then you need to know where to focus for a given aperture. Simply focusing on infinity will often put the foreground put of focus.

 

There is no problem cropping as others have said. Alamy say no sharpening and I tend to follow that guidance but others wil say default capture sharpening at the raw stage is ok.

 

Best of luck

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Robert, I would suggest starting by processing your raw files in Canon's own converter and then experiment with Lightroom. A couple of years from now, you may well be a raw processing guru. Remember, most of us started at the same place

Thank you Brian, the idea of using the Canon software is a good one that I hadn't though of. However I am not too keen on Adobe products so I will continue with Aperture for a while as it's bought and paid for. I have looked at Capture One Pro which could be a possibility in the future.

 

Robert

Edited by Robert Bailey
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As promised here is a revised JPEG and an 8 bit TIFF for comparison.

 

The only thing I did was tweak the colour aberation.

 

Robert

 

JPEG: https://app.box.com/s/cdihw1nmv4tkqtz5owcnbcgbj9jots42

 

TIFF: https://app.box.com/s/q114myezwg6d1juy73smjvdsc0vizopc

 

As you have only tweaked the CA,  have you uploaded these as an example of how you are saving them (as per your chat with Mark/spacecade re size? Are these as you would upload?

 

Without going too much further my first observation on download is how small the JPG is (3.3mb). That is way too small for an image which is over 5000 on it's longest.

 

I opened your TIFF in PS and saved as a Level 12 JPG. That gave me a 9mb JPG.

 

I then did the same with the TIFF but at Level 10 JPG. That gave me a 3.5mb JPG.

 

That 6mb difference is missing pixels which is all image detail!

Edited by Armstrong

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As promised here is a revised JPEG and an 8 bit TIFF for comparison.

 

The only thing I did was tweak the colour aberation.

 

Robert

 

JPEG: https://app.box.com/s/cdihw1nmv4tkqtz5owcnbcgbj9jots42

 

TIFF: https://app.box.com/s/q114myezwg6d1juy73smjvdsc0vizopc

 

As you have only tweaked the CA,  have you uploaded these as an example of how you are saving them (as per your chat with Mark/spacecade re size? Are these as you would upload?

 

Without going too much further my first observation on download is how small the JPG is (3.3mb). That is way too small for an image which is over 5000 on it's longest.

 

I opened your TIFF in PS and saved as a Level 12 JPG. That gave me a 9mb JPG.

 

I then did the same with the TIFF but at Level 10 JPG. That gave me a 3.5mb JPG.

 

That 6mb difference is missing pixels which is all image detail!

 

I only tweaked the CA but after posting I noted that Aperture had added some sharpening.

 

I have uploaded these with as little manipulation as possible to estabish a baseline with regard to getting my pictures through QA. They failed at my first attempt due to SaLD.

 

I found the following on an Apple Aperture forum with regard to Alamy and used that:

 

Create a new export preset

 

JPEG - image quality 10 or 11

Color space Adobe RGB (1998)

Size fit within pixels 5200

300 DPI

 

you will get uncompressed size about 51MB, but JPEG's will be 3-20MB size as they are compressed

 

I noted the small file size and tried both 10 and 11; the difference was 0.3Mb

 

When I next have the Mac running I will try 12.

 

Robert

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I personally think that with storage getting ever cheaper and broadband getting faster these days there are less reasons to compress the file size. I upload at level 12 so the client has the option of the biggest possible file.

 

My recommendation would be to not try and submit from that particular RAW file. 

 

There is another thread running about using Aperture. There is nothing wrong with it but as it's a legacy product other products will quickly surpass it.

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That's quite a big difference! I'd stick to Level 12 until you have your workflow established and are passing QC each time. 

 

What's really important now is to be working from a sharp RAW file. You could go back through your archives or you choose to shoot some new ones for your next submission. 

 

Usually the forum recommend removing as many variables as possible to help you. So... think about using a tripod, having a really strong focal point that isn't moving and try and exclude that moves naturally like leaves. Shoot in good light, in RAW, use a low ISO, cable release. Focussing manually with Live View in manual can really help.

 

The bottom line is that any images you submit have to pass QC but this way you are setting a baseline of sharpness that you know is acceptable for Alamy. Once you've got this established in your mind it makes going through your previous images much easier. You'll know straight away if an image is worth processing.

 

Hope that helps!

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Edited by spacecadet

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That's quite a big difference! I'd stick to Level 12 until you have your workflow established and are passing QC each time. 

 

What's really important now is to be working from a sharp RAW file. You could go back through your archives or you choose to shoot some new ones for your next submission. 

 

Usually the forum recommend removing as many variables as possible to help you. So... think about using a tripod, having a really strong focal point that isn't moving and try and exclude that moves naturally like leaves. Shoot in good light, in RAW, use a low ISO, cable release. Focussing manually with Live View in manual can really help.

 

The bottom line is that any images you submit have to pass QC but this way you are setting a baseline of sharpness that you know is acceptable for Alamy. Once you've got this established in your mind it makes going through your previous images much easier. You'll know straight away if an image is worth processing.

 

Hope that helps!

Thank you Michael, your help has been encouraging, supportive and constructive, it's appreciated.

 

I'll take it from here and perhaps post to a new thread when I have moved it on.

 

Thanks again.

 

Robert

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That's quite a big difference! I'd stick to Level 12 until you have your workflow established and are passing QC each time. 

 

What's really important now is to be working from a sharp RAW file. You could go back through your archives or you choose to shoot some new ones for your next submission. 

 

Usually the forum recommend removing as many variables as possible to help you. So... think about using a tripod, having a really strong focal point that isn't moving and try and exclude that moves naturally like leaves. Shoot in good light, in RAW, use a low ISO, cable release. Focussing manually with Live View in manual can really help.

 

The bottom line is that any images you submit have to pass QC but this way you are setting a baseline of sharpness that you know is acceptable for Alamy. Once you've got this established in your mind it makes going through your previous images much easier. You'll know straight away if an image is worth processing.

 

Hope that helps!

Thank you Michael, your help has been encouraging, supportive and constructive, it's appreciated.

 

I'll take it from here and perhaps post to a new thread when I have moved it on.

 

Thanks again.

 

Robert

 

 

Thanks Robert, You're very welcome.

 

I've had lots of help from the forum before!

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Hi Robert - I thought I'd add my 2 cents worth or pence depending on where you're from  :P

 

I hope I make sense because I haven't had anywhere near enough coffee this morning to get my brain fired up.. but here goes anyway..

 

The 600d is a great camera, its what I have but to be honest, it's noise performance is rubbish. For that reason I'm about to upgrade to a 6D... so my advice with your camera when you're out shooting is this:

 

Taking the shot:

1. Shoot in RAW only.

2. Keep your ISO set to 100 - no more than 400, although if you go that high you will need to apply noise reduction and do it without it being noticeable <-- not so easy because you'll kill details and if your image is already soft focus, this only exacerbates the problem. 

3. Focus - even if you have acquired good focus - your technique is critical to a sharply taken picture. Don't mash the shutter button, roll your finger gently till the camera fires. Make sure you hold the camera steadily, take a breath and hold it when you take the shot. Or use a tripod and continue breathing as normal :)

4. I assume you use the kit lens?  maybe the 18-55?  If so, it suffers from very bad CA so whatever editing software you have, you need to be diligent looking for CA, and killing it. I ended up buying the 18-135 which is a damn good lens, but still suffers from distortion and CA, no where near as bad as the kit lens though - and it's tack sharp too! But my favourate lens, the sharpest I have is my nifty fifty.. best lens ever. I also had an EF 24-104 f4L (mostly because I'll have a 6d soon)  but it has a manufacturing fault so I returned it. My 50 was sharper lol 

5. Whatever lens you use, work out its sweet spot - usually around f8 - you'll get the most out of it there and avoid the extreme focal lengths.. To get accepted into Alamy, and others for that matter, the images must be technically perfect, so keep it simple at least until your technique improves and you can push the camera more. 

 

Workflow:

1. Import your RAW files into editing software, seriously - get lightroom. RAWs from your camera will look flat and lack luster straight out of the camera so they will need editing.

2. Edit your files, exposure, contrast.. white's and blacks and if you need to tweek white balance - its a raw file so you can do that to your hearts content.

3. Boost vibrance. Not too much.. edit so that your edits aren't noticeable. 

4. Magnify to 100% and look for spots, sensor dust, noise and any brand names or IP issues that you didn't notice when you took the shot. If any of those are present - remove them. If you took the shot at 100ISO and it wasn't under exposed, you wont have noise. 

5. If you absolutely have to apply noise reduction, apply as little as possible. For me, if there's noise and I have to use anything more than a bees dick of NR, the image won't be used. 

6. DONT SHARPEN.  The camera does a little bit of sharpening anyway, even though its a RAW file, it still applies some. 

7. Export as JPG to a folder on your harddrive, 100% quality, sRGB, no output sharpening, original file size. 

8. Upload to Alamy. 

 

After Upload:

1. Smoke a cigarette. 

2. Have a shower. 

 

I think I've covered the main things - if you follow those suggestions, you'll be as sound as a pound - so far I've had no rejections on Alamy, although it's still early days for me too. 

 

That's the technical stuff covered anyway - content is a different matter!  :unsure:

 

Hope this helps - don't give up on Alamy, it's a great agency and worth sticking with in the long term if all the advice on this forum is genuine - which it is I think. 

 

Oh and forget flikr in your workflow - I'm still not sure why you'd use flickr?

Edited by David Hewison
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Thank you David, that is a very comprehensive reply.

 

I've taken what you say on board, and it makes sense. But if this "simple" digital photography gets any more complicated I think I may go back to my Pentax M kit and scan the films :-)

 

I use Flickr to choose the shots, that's all.

 

Regards and thanks.

 

Robert

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