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Ed Rooney

The Case for Downsizing

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Yep I have, a few weeks ago... I sent a number of images that I had strong grain in, it was intentional.. all got through.

 

I was partly testing the envelope, but I really liked the photo's so I was hoping they'd feel the same way lol

 

Some of them were single uploads, so would definitely have been QC'd.

Edited by David Hewison

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I have never downsized, just glad we don't have to upsize anymore.  Would a image from a 24mp camera downsized to 12mp look better than an image from a 12mp camera?  

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I uploaded one a few months back that I deliberately added grain to. It was obvious and all over the image. It was an image where I used a nik filter. It failed.

That one sparked a conversation about creativity not being accepted well. Alamy has accepted some of my creative images, just not the grainy one that had an all-over nostalgic old-photo effect.

It makes me a bit leery not knowing where the line is, or the fact the line moves from time to time. I think sometimes it depends on the person doing the QC. One QCer may be a hard-liner, another may have creative bones of his/her own and sees the merit and intent in those images.

Betty

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I uploaded one a few months back that I deliberately added grain to. It was obvious and all over the image. It was an image where I used a nik filter. It failed.

That one sparked a conversation about creativity not being accepted well. Alamy has accepted some of my creative images, just not the grainy one that had an all-over nostalgic old-photo effect.

It makes me a bit leery not knowing where the line is, or the fact the line moves from time to time. I think sometimes it depends on the person doing the QC. One QCer may be a hard-liner, another may have creative bones of his/her own and sees the merit and intent in those images.

Betty

 

Betty, not commenting on your image in any way I must stress, but I have seen some examples of filter-added grain that looked truly atrocious . . . not as bad as faux-HDR or Elvis-on-black-velvet mind you, but . . . :) , which leads me to suspect the variability in opinions of what is acceptable is much, much greater within the photographic community (and by association I assume within the Alamy contributor community) than it is within the ranks of Alamy QC folk.

 

dd

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I uploaded one a few months back that I deliberately added grain to. It was obvious and all over the image. It was an image where I used a nik filter. It failed.

That one sparked a conversation about creativity not being accepted well. Alamy has accepted some of my creative images, just not the grainy one that had an all-over nostalgic old-photo effect.

It makes me a bit leery not knowing where the line is, or the fact the line moves from time to time. I think sometimes it depends on the person doing the QC. One QCer may be a hard-liner, another may have creative bones of his/her own and sees the merit and intent in those images.

Betty

 

Betty, not commenting on your image in any way I must stress, but I have seen some examples of filter-added grain that looked truly atrocious . . . not as bad as faux-HDR or Elvis-on-black-velvet mind you, but . . . :) , which leads me to suspect the variability in opinions of what is acceptable is much, much greater within the photographic community (and by association I assume within the Alamy contributor community) than it is within the ranks of Alamy QC folk.

 

dd

 

 

 

I tend to agree, although  the Nik filters are very good and can look great if used well.

 

When it comes to grain, it's too easy for it to be failed here so I would only submit them to agencies that embrace that level of creativity and don't ban you for a month if they decide it's not to their taste. They also tend to have a space to add comments so you can say, "This has added grain & colour balance effects" so the reviewer is aware it isn't a fault but a creative decision. Maybe with all the tweaks Alamy are doing they could include something like this?

 

I don't believe anyone should be sidelined for 30 days for trying to be creative, even if Alamy don't want the image. After all, it isn't a technical fault that you've failed to pick up, it's a creative decision to add something that they personally don't like. It's hard to ban someone for 30 days for doing something that you don't like but others do. That's like banning someone for having a different opinion to you. It's subjective. If they don't want it, don't accept it but don't sideline contributors for non-technical fault issues. It is a test for quality/technical competence after all.

 

That said, if you see a load of uneven grain and the image has a high ISO, that's a different matter. That would be a technical issue. I would imagine most people though apply filters to their better images. Most of mine tend to be ISO100 - 400. So Alamy should be able to see that the level of grain doesn't match the ISO.

 

As for downsizing. Only to tighten an image slightly, reduce 7900 to 7000. I mainly use the extra pixels to crop if need be or keep it as is for extra $ potential.

Edited by Duncan_Andison
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Maybe has been mentioned before but, for those wishing to submit "Creative" images, I think Alamy should introduce a Creative images upload channel which could easily be monitored separately and images directed to a true creative section within the library.

 

I still have the originals of creative images I submitted to POD sites, which I have now left after removing the images from them, and would like to put them up with alamy but do not wish to be given the 30 day failure by submitting through the regular channel.

 

What say you Alamy?

 

Allan

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Maybe has been mentioned before but, for those wishing to submit "Creative" images, I think Alamy should introduce a Creative images upload channel which could easily be monitored separately and images directed to a true creative section within the library.

 

I still have the originals of creative images I submitted to POD sites, which I have now left after removing the images from them, and would like to put them up with alamy but do not wish to be given the 30 day failure by submitting through the regular channel.

 

What say you Alamy?

 

Allan

 

They did, Allan. It's called Stockimo. All you have to do is use an iPhone camera. It makes me wonder about what Alamy considers important: the image, the camera, or the app?

 

I spent the first decade of my involvement with photography shooting mostly B&W, doing all my own darkroom work. I settled into shooting Tri-X film and developing it in Acufine, instead of D76. Acufine produced a tight, even grain. D76, the Kodak standard, produced a softer, clumpy grain that I didn't like. I don't consider grain/noise in itself creative, but I liked the look of what I was doing with B&W back then. 

 

On the other hand, I never liked any of the high-speed color film they had back then, and that's what high-ISO noise tends to look like.  

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Maybe has been mentioned before but, for those wishing to submit "Creative" images, I think Alamy should introduce a Creative images upload channel which could easily be monitored separately and images directed to a true creative section within the library.

 

I still have the originals of creative images I submitted to POD sites, which I have now left after removing the images from them, and would like to put them up with alamy but do not wish to be given the 30 day failure by submitting through the regular channel.

 

What say you Alamy?

 

Allan

 

They did, Allan. It's called Stockimo. All you have to do is use an iPhone camera. It makes me wonder about what Alamy considers important: the image, the camera, or the app?

 

I spent the first decade of my involvement with photography shooting mostly B&W, doing all my own darkroom work. I settled into shooting Tri-X film and developing it in Acufine, instead of D76. Acufine produced a tight, even grain. D76, the Kodak standard, produced a softer, clumpy grain that I didn't like. I don't consider grain/noise in itself creative, but I liked the look of what I was doing with B&W back then. 

 

On the other hand, I never liked any of the high-speed color film they had back then, and that's what high-ISO noise tends to look like.  

 

 

I meant a channel for uploads of creative images from REAL cameras. Hard hat on here comes the flack. :)

 

I too started in B&W developing and printing in my own darkroom. I even bought film in bulk and loaded my own 35mm cassettes. I tended to experiment a lot with different films and chemicals though and did not settle on any particular combination.

 

Allan

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I think it would be great to have a venue for creative images - a dedicated upload method where rejections don't count against you - just like with Stockimo - I've gotten a few past QC but I hesitate to upload many because I don't want to end up in the sin bin. Filtered images are trendy at the moment and it would be great to be able to upload good ones from a DSLR rather than grab shots from my iPhone. 

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I think it would be great to have a venue for creative images - a dedicated upload method where rejections don't count against you - just like with Stockimo - I've gotten a few past QC but I hesitate to upload many because I don't want to end up in the sin bin. Filtered images are trendy at the moment and it would be great to be able to upload good ones from a DSLR rather than grab shots from my iPhone.

 

Right on, Allan and Marianne. Yes, I have my creative on POD, but I feel Alamy is missing the mark, here. Some of my creative images would be perfect for greeting cards and calendars.

The difference from Stockimo:

 

Higher end cameras

More sophisticated effects from higher end apps

More and better artistic choices

Separating them from the normal QC without punishment from non-acceptance would encourage more uploads, and give Alamy a trend-setting draw from certain buyers that none of the other traditional stock agencies have.

Edited to add...I was surprised to see a recent post about Alamy allowing purchases for personal use, so it seems only natural that we should be able to do the above- mentioned suggestions.

Edited by Betty LaRue
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I think it would be great to have a venue for creative images - a dedicated upload method where rejections don't count against you - just like with Stockimo - I've gotten a few past QC but I hesitate to upload many because I don't want to end up in the sin bin. Filtered images are trendy at the moment and it would be great to be able to upload good ones from a DSLR rather than grab shots from my iPhone.

Right on, Allan and Marianne. Yes, I have my creative on POD, but I feel Alamy is missing the mark, here. Some of my creative images would be perfect for greeting cards and calendars.

The difference from Stockimo:

 

Higher end cameras

More sophisticated effects from higher end apps

More and better artistic choices

Separating them from the normal QC without punishment from non-acceptance would encourage more uploads, and give Alamy a trend-setting draw from certain buyers that none of the other traditional stock agencies have.

Edited to add...I was surprised to see a recent post about Alamy allowing purchases for personal use, so it seems only natural that we should be able to do the above- mentioned suggestions.

 

 

Right on Betty.

 

Allan

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If Alamy were to introduce something like Allan proposes, they would have to use a different terminology, as "Creative" according to Alamy is something along the lines of images suitable for use by creative designers with a strong flavour of advertising or at least that is what they said more or less when they introduced it - I don't think it quite worked out like that (understatement of the day).

Edited by MDM

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From a commercial perspective, there is nothing stopping folk being creative to the max but still technically excellent . . . and as they don't look at content per se, such images would be (and in fact are) accepted without any changes required of Alamy.

 

There are countless ways of being creative in addition to the application of plug-in filters/effects. I'd have thought, especially in a very crowded marketplace like Alamy, creative juices could be very well spent at the time of taking the photo, thereby feeding both creative urges AND Alamy QC.

 

Some of the most creative photos I've seen were technically "perfect" . . .

 

dd

Edited by dustydingo
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The trouble with creative right now is that those heavily filtered, composites, or painted images are thrown in with everything else. Harder for a searcher to find, because everyone has a different idea of creative. Just labeling them creative in the keywords doesn't go far enough.

 

Creative manipulated vs creative unmanipulated divisions?

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An apology to Ed for morphing his thread into something else.

 

Allan

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Not a problem for me, Allan -- I do it so much myself.  ;)

 

Conversations do and should find their own direction, no? Regarding "creative" and Alamy, I see a lot of what I consider creative images on Alamy now. Creative is a subjective term.  B)

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Now is anybody prepared to test the theory? ;)

As I suggested I decided to to test the theory that avoiding SoLD requires the blur or whatever to be decisive and visible at preview 1300px size  not just at 100%. So for my first experiment I uploaded this image as it deliberately uses many different SoLD potential failure modes. Bear in mind although there is not really anything bitingly sharp it was still taken on a modern 16Mpixel camera (Fuji X-T1) and the original raw is razor sharp where it needs to be. And yes I have marked it as digitally altered!

summer-dreaming-honfleur-france-FA6DK5.j
Edited by Martin P Wilson

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Best I can tell is your shoes are sharp. :D

 

Looks like a Stockimo image to me. Did you put Alamy logo on there yourself? Or don't you do Stockimo?

 

Merry Christmas,

 

Allan

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Actually my shoes aren't entirely sharp but the boats are! And it was genuinely accepted by Alamy in last 48 hours. No kidology!

 

I don't do Stockimo as My phone is Android and I don't have a tablet at all.

 

Merry Christmas

 

Martin

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Actually my shoes aren't entirely sharp but the boats are! And it was genuinely accepted by Alamy in last 48 hours. No kidology!

 

I don't do Stockimo as My phone is Android and I don't have a tablet at all.

 

Merry Christmas

 

Martin

 

Nice image. Had the opposite been true -- i.e. sharp shoes, blurry boats -- do you think it would have passed QC?

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Actually my shoes aren't entirely sharp but the boats are! And it was genuinely accepted by Alamy in last 48 hours. No kidology!

 

I don't do Stockimo as My phone is Android and I don't have a tablet at all.

 

Merry Christmas

 

Martin

 

Nice image. Had the opposite been true -- i.e. sharp shoes, blurry boats -- do you think it would have passed QC?

 

I think so John, although the story it told would have been slightly different. It should be said that nothing is VERY sharp in the image even though it started off sharp before post-production. If it had come from a small compact sensor a similar result it might have been as sharp (the processing would probably have had to be different to maintain sufficient sharpness) but would it have been accepted? I don't know. I will be doing other, more specific tests but I will not be using images from a camera that is unacceptable to Alamy as my starting point.

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interesting discussion. Using mainly Sony A6000 with Sony zoom lenses and RX100M3 for walkabout I rarely find a need to downsize except when having a degree of shadow to be lighten up a bit with the shadow slider in PS. Difficult to get totally rid of luminance even from RAW without affecting sharpness at 100% so a little bit of downsizing is in place then. I might go to 4000 on RX100M3 or 5000 on A6000 both on long image side. Not had a rejection since May 2014 and that was for other reasons. I often wonder what level of quality would pass and looking at the new guide lines I think I am probably too cautious, but better that than having failures.

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Trying again to get my first comments uploaded, this time using Mozilla Firefox rather than Win7/IE11. This is an interesting issue. I have also been "gripped" by the pixel peeping disease. I think rightly or wrongly that Alamy have tightened their requirements, but at the same time I have wondered at the reduction in file size from 48Mp TIFF to 17Mp Jpeg (and now apparently saved at level 8). I use mainly the Sony A6000 with Sony zooms and RX100M3 for wherever I go. These are excellent cameras an I still wonder at the quality of these 1" sensor images at 100%. There is only one issue where I downsize. During winter months a lot of shadow protrudes into the images and getting rid of the luminance in these dark areas without affecting sharpness too much is a challenge at full image size (at least for me). There I would typically go for 5000 on the A6000 and 4000 on the RX100M3. Never below 24Mp. If the image does not look "right" at 100% at min 24Mp opened it goes into spam. I still submit saved at level 12. With an image uploading in around 30 seconds I go for max. quality.

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