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migib

What's in a Name?

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Hi,

I am new to this forum, so forgive me if this question has been answered elsewhere.

I would like to know if the name of an image infuences QC?

For example, I have some images that I have deliberately added a lot of noise to, and changed the colours, altering the hue.

If I was to upload the image, I suspect it would just fail QC, but if I changed the name to 'noisey, grainy blue hue photo of buildings', for example, would the image be more likely to pass QC?

 

Any advice on how to get 'these types' of image through QC is also welcome!

 

Thanks

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Hi,

I am new to this forum, so forgive me if this question has been answered elsewhere.

I would like to know if the name of an image infuences QC?

For example, I have some images that I have deliberately added a lot of noise to, and changed the colours, altering the hue.

If I was to upload the image, I suspect it would just fail QC, but if I changed the name to 'noisey, grainy blue hue photo of buildings', for example, would the image be more likely to pass QC?

 

Any advice on how to get 'these types' of image through QC is also welcome!

 

Thanks

 

Nope. Whatever you call the image it will fail if not technically up to Alamy's standards. The file name doesn't make any difference at all.

 

http://www.alamy.com/contributors/alamy-qc-failure-reasons.pdf

 

Especially the "out of focus" issue can be tricky for newcomers. (SoLD - Soft or Lacking Definition).

Edited by Niels Quist

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I don't think they look at anything other than the image itself.

 

Paulette

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You only get to add captions, descriptions and keywords after the images have passed through QC so your idea of adding a description wouldn't work as you are essentially 'trying to shut the stable door after the horse has bolted.'

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Personal experience here. I have had some digitally altered, artistic images accepted.

 

Then I did one of an antique teacup full of tea. I used a filter that gave it an old world nostalgic look, added grain, and really liked it. I could actually envision it used for advertising. My bad. It failed for noise.

 

Don't try it, they don't "get" it. Especially what you've done.

Betty

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Thank you all for your replies.

I will take the advice given and wait before trying. I am on a little run of successful submissions at the moment!

This may be heresy, but is the another stock photo site which is more open to these types of images?

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Thank you all for your replies.

I will take the advice given and wait before trying. I am on a little run of successful submissions at the moment!

This may be heresy, but is the another stock photo site which is more open to these types of images?

We are not supposed to promote competing agencies here. I mistakenly ran afoul of that. If there is a mistake to be made, look in the dictionary under "screw up" and you'll see my picture. ;)

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Images that goes to general stock libraries tend to be rather "clean". Rightly so I think, as they are not necessarily the end-product/end version. We're often giving designers a starting point with our images, designers that are very capable of tuning/playing/filtering/adding noise/vignettes or whatever as needed to suit their particular need and/or vision. If Alamy were to open up to to use the full range of Nik, VSCO, Topaz etc. and more "artistic freedom" it will be even more of an influx of images and also harder for image buyer to find a good image as a starting point.

 

So I guess each one of us makes a choice what approach to take, but my general view is that we're supposed to give Alamy good, clean, technically correct "stock images" that in turn can be used for to do all those "crazy" things on if needed. Despite that I still think there is plenty of wiggle-room to change the aesthetics within Lightroom, Photoshop and careful use of for example Nik , but still the image is to be clean and open for further work. That is the also the nature of stock in general. When it comes to general stock I've always find myself thinking that I'm providing an intermediate product, not the the end-product - not editing too heavily to reduce the ability for further work. 

 

Is stock photography art?

Edited by Martin Carlsson
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You only get to add captions, descriptions and keywords after the images have passed through QC so your idea of adding a description wouldn't work as you are essentially 'trying to shut the stable door after the horse has bolted.'

I add captions etc in LR so they are already in the files when uploaded. That is not to say that QC looks at them, just that your statement is rather misleading.

 

Pearl

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My view of Alamy QC is that they are usually very good at distinguishing between an artistic photo, and sloppy technique.

 
I think you should push the artistic technique as much as possible, because most art directors do not have the time to manipulate images. If they see a heavily manipulated image that exactly meets their needs, they will use it. They do not have the time, vision, or ability, to do the manipulation. Their bosses, who give the final approval, want to see the final product before doing so.
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My view of Alamy QC is that they are usually very good at distinguishing between an artistic photo, and sloppy technique.

 

I think you should push the artistic technique as much as possible, because most art directors do not have the time to manipulate images. If they see a heavily manipulated image that exactly meets their needs, they will use it. They do not have the time, vision, or ability, to do the manipulation. Their bosses, who give the final approval, want to see the final product before doing so.

Plus one. With this comment. I had no problem with my artistic images going through with the exception of the one where I added grain. It is my belief QC looks upon this as noise. That was the listed reason for failure.

So I'd be very careful about adding grain. Somebody else besides me had a failure for added grain.

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Plus one. With this comment. I had no problem with my artistic images going through with the exception of the one where I added grain. It is my belief QC looks upon this as noise. That was the listed reason for failure.

So I'd be very careful about adding grain. Somebody else besides me had a failure for added grain.

 

 

 

Added grain for artistic purposes is not a failure, it is just a difference of opinion with QC. Don't let it stop you.

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@ Betty and Bill

 

Sounds like I'm being too stringent/careful and that Alamy at least is more allowing than I thought, which is good to know.

 

Putting Alamy and QC to the side, I was under the impression, not talking about CGIs, composites or any other images that demands heavy manipulation, but only heavily processed/filtered, was something that was very popular for a while, stemming from the popularity of iPhones/Instagram/VSCO, was a trend for a few years, but now "people" are kind of tired of it and it has lost a lot of appeal and we're moving back towards "simpler".

 

Question to anyone (answer if you feel comfortable). In the case where you can actually compare, whether it be because of a series of images or two versions of the same image, one being neutral/accurate/conservative and the other one more "pushed"/artistic/processed - do you find interest (view & zoom) and/or sales leaning more towards one than the other. Or in simpler words, are the "artistic images" measurably more worth the effort than neutral/accurate/conservatively processed ones?

Edited by Martin Carlsson

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I have never had one single zoom of any of my artistic images. Natural images win the day. Or month. Or ever. I have another place to put those and they do well.

It is a difference in the class of buyers who shop Alamy. They come here for editorial, with the occasional advertising. I have sold one for advertising and it was a straightforward image cutout. White background, nice price. That is if you call packaging advertising.

Edited by Betty LaRue

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I have never had one single zoom of any of my artistic images. Natural images win the day. Or month. Or ever. I have another place to put those and they do well.

It is a difference in the class of buyers who shop Alamy. They come here for editorial, with the occasional advertising. I have sold one for advertising and it was a straightforward image cutout. White background, nice price. That is if you call packaging advertising.

:) I call "packaging" all sorts of things . . . "lucrative" mainly springs to mind . . . :)

 

A few contributors in the past have reported very nice license fees for packaging--I think Sheila had a major one (tissue boxes?) some time ago, and there have been others.

 

dd

Edited by dustydingo
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Thank you again for your replies. I can see where the 'simpler' type image camp is coming from, and if that is what Alamy are primarily interested in, then that's ok, so long as I know. Regarding my images, I like them. I can see where they might run foul of QC. The original image was shot with a 300mm lens from a very tall landmark. As quite usually happens, I found the image to be more interesting if cropped. Then, I played around with various colour settings, and finally put way too much noise on it. But I liked it. Ah, well! But once I have a few clean images uploaded, I'll upload the noisey, arty one and see what happens.

Edited by migib

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I have never had one single zoom of any of my artistic images. Natural images win the day. Or month. Or ever. I have another place to put those and they do well.

It is a difference in the class of buyers who shop Alamy. They come here for editorial, with the occasional advertising. I have sold one for advertising and it was a straightforward image cutout. White background, nice price. That is if you call packaging advertising.

:) I call "packaging" all sorts of things . . . "lucrative" mainly springs to mind . . . :)

A few contributors in the past have reported very nice license fees for packaging--I think Sheila had a major one (tissue boxes?) some time ago, and there have been others.

dd

Yes, mine sold for $700. Nothing to sneeze at. It was probably a small size for a small box in the baking aisle of supermarkets, considering the subject.

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it´s not only the fact that stock photography might be used by designers to do something else, but also what people expect from an image in those digital days.

After digital, people tend to look at images that are not perfect as not a good image, even if it is what the place really looks like.

Let me try to explain better.

I was looking a film where this couple was walking in New York and it was so obvious the guys used some effect so the building shadows were not there, which is impossible in New York with those skyscrapers,

But people get used to this "fake world" and tend to think this is normal and so they don´t like anymore the heavy shadows, even though they are natural.

So old vintage looks like film, grain, etc, are perceived as, guess what?, fake pictures!

And that ultra clean shadowless, a bit HDR look is perceived as what reality is.

Are we doomed to live in a "plastic" world?

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it´s not only the fact that stock photography might be used by designers to do something else, but also what people expect from an image in those digital days.

After digital, people tend to look at images that are not perfect as not a good image, even if it is what the place really looks like.

Let me try to explain better.

I was looking a film where this couple was walking in New York and it was so obvious the guys used some effect so the building shadows were not there, which is impossible in New York with those skyscrapers,

But people get used to this "fake world" and tend to think this is normal and so they don´t like anymore the heavy shadows, even though they are natural.

So old vintage looks like film, grain, etc, are perceived as, guess what?, fake pictures!

And that ultra clean shadowless, a bit HDR look is perceived as what reality is.

Are we doomed to live in a "plastic" world?

 

It is why Don McCullin was so unhappy about digital. He said something to the effect it as too easy to fake, that it is a lie, especially for photojournalism. From the Guardian:

 

He (McCullin) said photography had been “hijacked” because “the digital cameras are extraordinary. I have a dark room and I still process film but digital photography can be a totally lying kind of experience, you can move anything you want … the whole thing can’t be trusted really.”

Edited by Martin P Wilson

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it´s not only the fact that stock photography might be used by designers to do something else, but also what people expect from an image in those digital days.

After digital, people tend to look at images that are not perfect as not a good image, even if it is what the place really looks like.

Let me try to explain better.

I was looking a film where this couple was walking in New York and it was so obvious the guys used some effect so the building shadows were not there, which is impossible in New York with those skyscrapers,

But people get used to this "fake world" and tend to think this is normal and so they don´t like anymore the heavy shadows, even though they are natural.

So old vintage looks like film, grain, etc, are perceived as, guess what?, fake pictures!

And that ultra clean shadowless, a bit HDR look is perceived as what reality is.

Are we doomed to live in a "plastic" world?

 

It is why Don McCullin was so unhappy about digital. He said something to the effect it as too easy to fake, that it is a lie, especially for photojournalism. From the Guardian:

 

He (McCullin) said photography had been “hijacked” because “the digital cameras are extraordinary. I have a dark room and I still process film but digital photography can be a totally lying kind of experience, you can move anything you want … the whole thing can’t be trusted really.”

 

 

Its a trend Martin, but it will change over time, the recent phenomena of the instagram with its vintage filters shows that people eventually get bored of so much "too perfect" pictures and want to connect again with the feeling transmited from the images.

What I love about digital is that you can always go back to your "darkroom" and reprocess the images with a different look and feel and get some freshness out of your old work.

But, as stock photographers we need to be connected with what the market is asking for our product, or at least, a bit connected, so your images don´t look completely different than what is selling.

Say, if you take only portraits with an oval frame in Black & White (like I remember in my grandmas house), some people will find interesting that vintage look, but I dont think this would be a best seller nowadays.

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