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Hi

 

I have submitted my first images and failed QC (which isn't a great surprise as I'm quite new to this!). The reason given for 2 of them was that they are soft or lacking in definition, but no reasons given for the others.

I have been shooting in JPEG format as this seems to give acceptable results, but I'm wondering if I need to switch to RAW to pass QC. I thought I had a lot of good photographs, but on closer inspection I can see problems on a lot of them! Would shooting in RAW help a lot with the image quality?

 

I use a 18-55mm lens, but I'm wondering if I should invest in a more powerful one.

 

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Edited by honeymonster

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No need to invest in glass at this point, invest in knowledge and experience.

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When you're new to this, it can come as quite a shock to see the flaws in your images when you need to view them at 100% for the first time. I think I'm right in saying that for the initial four, if there are no faults given for any of the images then those images would pass. So a starting point would be to compare one of the failed images with one of the good ones at 100% and you may start to see where the problem lies.

 

For me, the golden rule with regard to sharpness has been that if there is any doubt whatsoever, don't submit. It's easy to persuade yourself that something is sharp if you really like the image; I've done that twice and each time was punished with a fail as a result. With 65 million pics in the collection one good image is not going to make a difference - you need thousands of good images to make an impact.

 

Alan

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I submitted jpegs for years with no problems per se. RAW isn't a get-out-of-jail-free card and it won't compensate for other failings, but it can help at high ISOs and it handles brightness range far better- no more blown-out skies. For the record I now shoot RAW after finding out it wasn't much different to handle in LR where you are exporting a copy anyway. The only minor issue is storage space. RAWs are pretty huge.

I wouldn't go back.

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I have two flaws! One, (as my school reports always stated), "must pay more attention to detail!" And the second is that I suffer from "Tremor Syndrome" in my hands. That means my hands permanently shake so I have camera shake before I even press the shutter! I carry either a monopod or tripod wherever I go as if I don't I can delete 95 out of every 100 images I take. So check, check and check again before pressing the button!! And keep soldiering on. Regards, Davey

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Welcome honey monster,

The above advice is sound. Many contributors are using the 18-50 kit successfully. Bear in mind that lenses generally do not perform best at their maximum aperture, so try to close down by one stop from this if possible and larger than f22 where diffraction will soften the image.

If you shoot RAW in 16bit it will give you more options for manipulation without degradation of the image. Play with the sliders in RAW to see the effect they have and you will find a workflow which is both right for you and the image and get through QC.

Good luck

Joe

 

If you feel the need to spend cash then I would recommend a colour calibration device for your monitor, I use a Spyder every month but other products are available.

Edited by Joe Gaul

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Hi

 

I have submitted my first images and failed QC (which isn't a great surprise as I'm quite new to this!).  The reason given for 2 of them was that they are soft or lacking in definition, but no reasons given for the others.

I have been shooting in JPEG format as this seems to give acceptable results, but I'm wondering if I need to switch to RAW to pass QC.  I thought I had a lot of good photographs, but on closer inspection I can see problems on a lot of them!  Would shooting in RAW help a lot with the image quality?

 

I use a 35mm lens, but I'm wondering if I should invest in a more powerful one.

 

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. 

Remember that with the initial 4 images, and in fact with all future submissions, if Alamy QC find a problem with one they will fail the lot. What that means is the 2 images they didn't comment on may or may not be good enough either

 

Kumar

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Remember that with the initial 4 images, and in fact with all future submissions, if Alamy QC find a problem with one they will fail the lot. What that means is the 2 images they didn't comment on may or may not be good enough either

 

Kumar

 

 

Not true for tests. Each image is looked at. Two without reasons would've passed.

 

Thanks,

 

Alamy

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Hi

 

I have submitted my first images and failed QC (which isn't a great surprise as I'm quite new to this!).  The reason given for 2 of them was that they are soft or lacking in definition, but no reasons given for the others.

I have been shooting in JPEG format as this seems to give acceptable results, but I'm wondering if I need to switch to RAW to pass QC.  I thought I had a lot of good photographs, but on closer inspection I can see problems on a lot of them!  Would shooting in RAW help a lot with the image quality?

 

I use a 35mm lens, but I'm wondering if I should invest in a more powerful one.

 

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. 

I take it you've seen the advice in the other threads to take four photographs (well, you need 2 now) without particular regard for subject but just to make sure you hit the technical threshold? Don't take any risks.  Of course you'll have to keep the standard up in future to continue passing QC.  And I don't think that it is inevitable that you fail with your test images - you just need to read through the requirements and check over the images very carefully, any doubts, then don't submit - as pretty much everyone else on Alamy does for every image.

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Hi

 

Thanks for all the replies. As each image listed had a fail next to it I assumed they had all failed individually, but maybe this isn't the case.

 

I think I was probably a bit too keen to submit my images so selected from ones I already had, rather than working on new ones with the technical specifications in mind. I did check them first at 100% as advised, but there were obviously some areas where there were quality issues.

 

I agree it's probably a good idea to just concentrate on the technical requirements for now rather than the subject. I'll try to get my QC pass first, then work on interesting subjects!

 

Is there a limit to the number of times you can do your test submission?

Edited by honeymonster

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Hi

 

Thanks for all the replies. As each image listed had a fail next to it I assumed they had all failed individually, but maybe this isn't the case.

 

I think I was probably a bit too keen to submit my images so selected from ones I already had, rather than working on new ones with the technical specifications in mind. I did check them first at 100% as advised, but there were obviously some areas where there were quality issues.

 

I agree it's probably a good idea to just concentrate on the technical requirements for now rather than the subject. I'll try to get my QC pass first, then work on interesting subjects!

 

Is there a limit to the number of times you can do your test submission?

 

 

You definitely have the right attitude now - learn good technique first - it will serve you right through your photographic journey. I would recommend shooting raw always - it won't make your images sharper but it will force you to learn about post-processing which is a really important part of modern photography. It will also give you far more options now and down the line.

 

I don't know what camera you have but I would recommend learning to use a standard prime lens ( 50mm for full frame or 35 mm for cropped frame). Working with a prime lens allows you to develop a greater understanding of depth of field and it forces you to move about rather than change focal length with a zoom. These lenses are generally not very expensive and the quality jump is massive from a basic kit zoom.

Edited by MDM
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I don't think there is a limit for test submissions, but if you keep failing, then it may be wise to take a course. It won't bode well for your future with QC if failing is more common than passing, as once you do pass your test submissions, if one image fails, then they whole lot in your submission fail. And if it happens a couple of times, you will be sent to the "Sin Bin" for a month. 

 

Perfect your images, perfect your technique. Get to know your equipment, and yes, shoot RAW. Don't do your PP on a laptop, get a good calibrated monitor.

 

Adobe has Photoshop week coming up with tons of free courses to watch. Assuming you use either Photoshop or Lightroom, this week of classes could be invaluable. There are a lot of good courses on the Adobe Creative Live channels and YouTube as well is full of great tips on PS and LR.

 

This course, Digital Photography 101 is currently running right now here: https://www.creativelive.com/courses/digital-photography-101-erin-manning

 

Jill

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Don't want to be rude, and it's a general remark aimed at LOTS of newbies recently.

Don't you think one should master the craft FIRST and then step into the professional world?

 

Sorry to say, but I don't think you will apply for lifeguard if you can barely swim. So why the need to step into the stock business if one 1) doesn't master the basics 2) doesn't have any pictures?

I don't get it :wacko:

 

If people think "stock" is a pleasant and easy way to earn money, there are in for a  G R E A T disappointment. Count on many, many thousands of excellent images before money starts rolling in.

 

Cheers,

Philippe

 

 

I fully agree and I would advocate that anybody trying to sell images develops sound technique and expertise in a few areas of photography. Learning photography is an incredibly rewarding activity whether the knowledge gained is ever used professionally or not and the endless journey is exciting and fulfilling.

 

However, I can understand why people with little photographic experience try to join Alamy. The general bar for published images has been lowered to a very low level since I (and undoubtedly you) first started taking pictures seriously. Back in the day, a high level of skill was required to get consistently good pictures, whether slides or black and white prints. Nowadays it is possible to get pictures suitable for publication using very basic equipment (even a phone camera) and it may even be possible to get such pictures consistently. That is not to say that they will necessarily be technically good pictures or that they would pass Alamy QC but they get used in the media (often for free of course).

 

I would guess that what we see here on the forum is just the tip of the iceberg. Alamy does have an open invitation policy to potential contributors and they don't specify anything about professionalism. This is part of the Alamy model. Obviously images that are being made available for sale should be of a professional standard but there are vast amounts of images on Alamy that do not fit that criterion and I would guess that a not insignificant number of these were taken by professionals. We only have to really concern ourselves with ensuring that our own work is of a high standard (and yours certainly is)

 

At least in the case of the OP here, they seem to have accepted the genuine advice in a genial way - it is the ones who kick up a fuss and refuse to accept what they are being told that I tend to find a bit annoying. 

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Don't want to be rude, and it's a general remark aimed at LOTS of newbies recently.

Don't you think one should master the craft FIRST and then step into the professional world?

 

Sorry to say, but I don't think you will apply for lifeguard if you can barely swim. So why the need to step into the stock business if one 1) doesn't master the basics 2) doesn't have any pictures?

I don't get it :wacko:

 

If people think "stock" is a pleasant and easy way to earn money, there are in for a  G R E A T disappointment. Count on many, many thousands of excellent images before money starts rolling in.

 

Cheers,

Philippe

Hi

 

I understand what you're saying, but I certainly never expected to just be able to upload any old photo and make a fortune. 

 

I have been working on improving my photography for a while now so I hope I have mastered the basics.  I do have lots of images, but it was only on zooming in to check the quality for my test submission that I noticed the technical issues on some of them.  I have sold photos before, but smaller prints so a lot of the possible quality issues wouldn't have been apparent.  Stock photography is new to me though, so I'm still learning.  I realise that even after passing the test submission there is no guarantee of sales.  I have looked at the photos on the site and there are obviously a lot of excellent photographers on there.

 

I perfectly get the point you are making though, I'm sure some people do think it would be an easy way to earn money, but I'm not one of them.  

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I don't think there is a limit for test submissions, but if you keep failing, then it may be wise to take a course. It won't bode well for your future with QC if failing is more common than passing, as once you do pass your test submissions, if one image fails, then they whole lot in your submission fail. And if it happens a couple of times, you will be sent to the "Sin Bin" for a month. 

 

Perfect your images, perfect your technique. Get to know your equipment, and yes, shoot RAW. Don't do your PP on a laptop, get a good calibrated monitor.

 

Adobe has Photoshop week coming up with tons of free courses to watch. Assuming you use either Photoshop or Lightroom, this week of classes could be invaluable. There are a lot of good courses on the Adobe Creative Live channels and YouTube as well is full of great tips on PS and LR.

 

This course, Digital Photography 101 is currently running right now here: https://www.creativelive.com/courses/digital-photography-101-erin-manning

 

Jill

Thanks, this looks really useful.  I have taken a photography course a couple of years ago which helped me to learn more about the different functions of my camera, but learning more about Photoshop would certainly be useful.

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You will find Lightroom invaluable, not to say essential, if you are to process images in any significant numbers in a reasonable amount of time.

Although many manage without it, I can't imagine having to give it up.

Edited by spacecadet
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Thanks, I have seen a lot of praise for Lightroom so that might be something I look into.

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Thanks, I have seen a lot of praise for Lightroom so that might be something I look into.

 

Adobe TV has lots of tutorials on both PS and Lightroom. TBH, you might get some mileage out of posting images to a critique site - even here if you develope a thick skin... (or thicker fur ;) )

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Yes, do post some 100% crops if you like. We'll be nice.

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Don't want to be rude, and it's a general remark aimed at LOTS of newbies recently.

Don't you think one should master the craft FIRST and then step into the professional world?

 

 

Your argument is sound, Philippe, but I should just point out that before joining Alamy I had been licensing transparencies for 30 years but I was shocked when I discovered that most of them, including many that had sold more than once, would fail QC. The first time you see your images on a screen at 100% can be a big shock even to an experienced stock photographer.

 

Alan

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Last Monday on University Challenge:

 

Who said: The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool ?

 

wim

 

 

(answer: physicist and modern day homo universalis Richard Feynman)

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Don't want to be rude, and it's a general remark aimed at LOTS of newbies recently.

Don't you think one should master the craft FIRST and then step into the professional world?

 

 

Your argument is sound, Philippe, but I should just point out that before joining Alamy I had been licensing transparencies for 30 years but I was shocked when I discovered that most of them, including many that had sold more than once, would fail QC. The first time you see your images on a screen at 100% can be a big shock even to an experienced stock photographer.

 

Alan

 

I've just Illumitranned a lot of my slides and negs. Guess how many had camera shake or poor focus. (OK, an embarrassing percentage). That's why if they ever get on Alamy it's got to be as archival. They haven't a prayer with QC.

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Don't want to be rude, and it's a general remark aimed at LOTS of newbies recently.

Don't you think one should master the craft FIRST and then step into the professional world?

 

 

Your argument is sound, Philippe, but I should just point out that before joining Alamy I had been licensing transparencies for 30 years but I was shocked when I discovered that most of them, including many that had sold more than once, would fail QC. The first time you see your images on a screen at 100% can be a big shock even to an experienced stock photographer.

 

Alan

 

I've just Illumitranned a lot of my slides and negs. Guess how many had camera shake or poor focus. (OK, an embarrassing percentage). That's why if they ever get on Alamy it's got to be as archival. They haven't a prayer with QC.

 

 

 

For sure, scans from typical desktop film scanners (including the best Nikons) are not going to match the quality of a raw image from a good digital camera but the major differences are noise and poor dynamic range resulting in blocky shadows and washed-out highlights. Good desktop film scans are a little less sharp than an average digital capture but not significantly so. Film scans do need a bit more sharpening than images from a good DSLR and they do look fairly grim on screen at 100% in terms of noise after sharpening which is why I have never submitted any slide scans to Alamy. However, they should easily be printable at A3+ size from 35 mm if properly focused and free of camera shake. 

 

You appear to be saying that you never checked your pre-digital shots for sharpness. That doesn't make sense - image sharpness is not a discovery of the digital age - loupes, enlargers and projectors have been around for a long time. And why would you want to put unsharp images due to either poor focus or camera shake on Alamy unless they are of exceptional historical value? 

Edited by MDM

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