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Ed Rooney

The Case for Unsharp Images

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I was just listening to a jazz station on my computer called Jazz24. Sometimes they show the cover of the album being played, and there was a head shot of the singer/pianist, Diana Krall, and it was blurred and clearly out of focus. 

 

It reminded me of Jay Maisel's famous cover shot of Miles Davis for Kind of Blue, the best selling jazz album of all time. That image was also unsharp.

 

Neither one of these images would have passed Alamy QC. Blur-for-motion is a technique recognized by QC . . . but unsharp head shots? Hmm. What do you think?

 

 

one-of-the-newer-hybrid-yellow-taxi-cab-

 

Edo

 

 

 

 

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p1654617860-5.jpg

 

Do you know this geezer?

 

Phil

Edited by Phil Crean

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Alamy QC does not seem to mind unsharp head shots, I got the below in my portfolio, and it is unsharp, or soft if you want to call it positively ;)

 

soft-focus-portrait-of-asian-woman-looki

 

Tack sharp would've looked different - personally I like the first more than the below :)

portrait-of-asian-woman-smiling-F50G4M.j

 

Edit: typo

Edited by hdh

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Kind of Blue is still one of my favourite albums.

 

I tend to be a fan of fuzzy, but I don't think that I would be brave enough to submit a soft-focus head shot to Alamy.

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Kind of Blue is still one of my favourite albums.

 

I tend to be a fan of fuzzy, but I don't think that I would be brave enough to submit a soft-focus head shot to Alamy.

It took me quite a while to make the decision to upload and was frightened I may get suspended for that. 

On the other hand this is one of my personal favourites, which I really wanted to share.

That finally drove me uploading it and the process to QC pass took several days, if it was due to that picture or just accidental I do not know. 

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Kind of Blue is still one of my favourite albums.

 

I tend to be a fan of fuzzy, but I don't think that I would be brave enough to submit a soft-focus head shot to Alamy.

 

Forgot to say, if you have good soft focus head shots, I believe there is no reason to not upload them. 

At the time befpre I uploaded the above I read somewhere that Alamy accepts unsharpness as long as it is artistic and/or intentional. 

I do now not remember where that was but my picture passed QC, I do not believe it sneaked through. 

Edited by hdh

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Kind of Blue is still one of my favourite albums.

 

I tend to be a fan of fuzzy, but I don't think that I would be brave enough to submit a soft-focus head shot to Alamy.

 

Forgot to say, if you have good soft focus head shots, I believe there is no reason to not upload them. 

At the time befpre I uploaded the above I read somewhere that Alamy accepts unsharpness as long as it is artistic and/or intentional. 

I do now not remember where that was but my picture passed QC, I do not believe it sneaked through. 

 

 

Unfortunately, my soft-focus head shots (such as they are) are unintentional, so I wouldn't upload them, which doesn't mean that I don't like some of them. 

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Unfortunately, my soft-focus head shots (such as they are) are unintentional, so I wouldn't upload them, which doesn't mean that I don't like some of them. 

 

 

I'd keep that a secret ;) 

 

I started another thread on this topic in "Lets talk about the pics": http://discussion.alamy.com/index.php?/topic/5283-your-favorite-blurry-image/

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81O-f8VghNL._SL1500_.jpg

 

This is not border-line sharpness, like your image of the young woman (Cambodian?), hdh. The woman is not tack sharp, true, a little soft, but nothing like this image, and even less like the image of Diana Krall I mentioned. 

 

John: Kind of Blue was a very positive musical movement, modal harmony. Unfortunately, there were a few other new paths being explored in 1959, one being Free Jazz by Ornette Coleman, the musical equivocate of action painting.

 

I knew Miles well throughout the '50s, 'cause he and my sister lived in the same small apartment building at 881 Tenth Ave. I was very young, naive, white, and a trumpet player, but Miles was alway civil to me, despite his fiery reputation. 

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And people wonder why I don't do social media. 

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That iconic shot of Miles Davis is ingrained on my brain. The fuzziness just adds to the jazziness.

 

Much preferred the early to the late Miles. He was a huge talent, though. Sketches of Spain is another favourite of mine.

 

I was just a little kid in the 50's, but during the late 60's and early 70's, I used to head down to the Village jazz clubs from Montreal whenever I could. Yusef Lateef, Pharoah Sanders ...

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I very  much like that Miles Davis shot. It would not be the same if it were tack sharp. 

In the 70s and 80s people put also soft filters on their lenses, to get a fuzzy and dreamily look in their pictures. 

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<...snip....>

This is not border-line sharpness, like your image of the young woman (Cambodian?), hdh. The woman is not tack sharp, true, a little soft, but nothing like this image, and even less like the image of Diana Krall I mentioned. 

 

<...snip....>

Yep, probably Cambodian, I took that picture on street in Sisophon/Cambodia, on a street with a lot of little food stalls.

She was there with her daughter, to give some context to the picture above:

 young-asian-girl-with-her-mum-in-food-st

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<...snip....>

This is not border-line sharpness, like your image of the young woman (Cambodian?), hdh. The woman is not tack sharp, true, a little soft, but nothing like this image, and even less like the image of Diana Krall I mentioned. 

 

<...snip....>

Yep, probably Cambodian, I took that picture on street in Sisophon/Cambodia, on a street with a lot of little food stalls.

She was there with her daughter, to give some context to the picture above:

 young-asian-girl-with-her-mum-in-food-st

 

 

 

Take note that the scarf I'm wearing in my portrait is Khmer . . . Cambodian.  :)

 

But to get back to my original point: would you submit a blurry image to Alamy stock? I don't think I would . . . unless the subject was very famous or very important. 

Edited by Ed Rooney

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Take note that the scarf I'm wearing in my portrait is Khmer . . . Cambodian.  :)

 

But to get back to my original point: would you submit a blurry image to Alamy stock? I don't think I would . . . unless the subject was very famous or very important. 

 

 

Dont think it hould depend on the subject, for me the overall artistic relevance makes the difference between uploading and not. 

I also happen to have a lot of (unintentional) unsharp pictures and hardly any is worth uploading.

The normal process is for these 

a) I like the thumbnail

b ) look at 100% ... discard

 

There are though 1 out of 1000, where discarding would really hurt. 

That are the ones that come into my "maybe upload" folder from where it may take weeks for the picture to move.

I may also show these to some people to get more opinions. 

Edited by hdh

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Another famously blurred album cover (also the first gatefold sleeve... also the first album I ever bought. Good taste, eh?)...

 

bob.jpg

  • Upvote 1

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Another famously blurred album cover (also the first gatefold sleeve... also the first album I ever bought. Good taste, eh?)...

 

bob.jpg

 

For the second time this week:

 

Indubitably!

 

dd

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And even the most iconic image can be nothing more than a simple mistake! It was Dylan, apparently, who chose the blurred shot from the set of pix.  http://www.theguardian.com/music/2015/oct/28/bob-dylans-blonde-on-blonde-sleeve-was-a-mistake

Edited by John Morrison

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I have a number of fuzzy(ish) shots of of some of the big bands of the '70's. I used to take pics for the promoters at some big outdoor concerts, sometimes in horrendous weather. Several Nikons, (handheld), Ektachrome film, stage lighting, rain on lenses etc. etc. The pics were used well by the promoters however. One very rainy concert I was soaked to the skin and the 'last photographer standing' when Freddie Mercury took pity on me and 'posed' all over the place for me in his now soaked and almost transparent white leotard every time he drew level with me just below the stage runway. I got some great shots. On the same bill were Manfred Mann, 10cc, and others. Backstage afterwards was fun too but that's another story.................

  • Upvote 2

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And even the most iconic image can be nothing more than a simple mistake! It was Dylan, apparently, who chose the blurred shot from the set of pix.  http://www.theguardian.com/music/2015/oct/28/bob-dylans-blonde-on-blonde-sleeve-was-a-mistake

 

It may not always be the process of creating or taking the image, art sometimes is the process to select from the shots taken. 

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