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As a newbie I find myself fumbling in the dark.

 

Re QC's comments about white and black points

What about a portrait with a deliberately over exposed white background?  This is a recognised technique, but does such an image fail the Alamy 5% white point test?

 

Re images must be sharp

How much must be sharp? The entire image from front to back?

In some circumstances, it seems not possible to ensure tack sharpness throughout the image.  Take the case of a close up of a small subject. To get the entire image sharp from front to back would require a very small aperture.  However, going smaller than F11 often means increasing diffraction effects, which makes it impossible to obtain crystal clear sharpness, anyway.  Therefore, one is left with only the option to focus on a zone within the frame and let the rest go soft.  Does that mean a QC failure on account of a soft image.

 

Then take the case of an extreme close up of a portion of a model's face, possibly on full zoom.  If the nearer eye is clear, but the other eye is outside the depth of field, does this mean the image fails QC?

 

Then take the case of a screw on lens diffusion filter which covers the entire frame, including the model's eyes. Does that deliberate skin-kind softness automatically mean a QC failure?

 

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I'm my experience, depth of field has nothing to do with sharpness, I've got lots of macro shots on here with limited dof, very little in focus but it's sharp where it matters

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As a newbie I find myself fumbling in the dark.

 

Re QC's comments about white and black points

What about a portrait with a deliberately over exposed white background?  This is a recognised technique, but does such an image fail the Alamy 5% white point test?

 

Re images must be sharp

How much must be sharp? The entire image from front to back?

In some circumstances, it seems not possible to ensure tack sharpness throughout the image.  Take the case of a close up of a small subject. To get the entire image sharp from front to back would require a very small aperture.  However, going smaller than F11 often means increasing diffraction effects, which makes it impossible to obtain crystal clear sharpness, anyway.  Therefore, one is left with only the option to focus on a zone within the frame and let the rest go soft.  Does that mean a QC failure on account of a soft image.

 

Then take the case of an extreme close up of a portion of a model's face, possibly on full zoom.  If the nearer eye is clear, but the other eye is outside the depth of field, does this mean the image fails QC?

 

Then take the case of a screw on lens diffusion filter which covers the entire frame, including the model's eyes. Does that deliberate skin-kind softness automatically mean a QC failure?

You really need to look at similar threads that have gone over this before - a quick search in this forum should do it.

 

Also, look at the instructions that Alamy have put out - very good and detailed.

 

You're arguing a case that shouldn't be argued. QC is what it is. You just need to read the requirements in detail and do what they ask. I only have a small number of images but have never had a fail, so it can't be that difficult!

 

Good luck and let us know how you get on.

Edited by TokyoM1ke
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If it's out of focus because of camera shake then don't submit. If it's out of focus due to depth of field then it must be obvious to the buyer this is so. Alamy don't want buyers coming back with an image after purchase complaining about it being unsharp. If your not sure of a borderline image, don't submit it. Move on. 

Edited by Sultanpepa
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Alamy mentioned on the blogs even that not accepting low dof is a myth. You can have a extreme low dof and will be still accepted as long you hit the right point that makes sense. If you use low dof on a insects head and only the neck is sharp then it is a fail. If however the head is sharp then it make sense. But like Phillipe said....this is basic. If you dont first learn this the next fail will come. People often sand landscapes where only a small part is sharp. If the landscape by itself is the subject then obvious all area must be sharp.

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Definitely a valid question, 

For sharpness/blurriness I recommend to have a read of these two threads:

 

http://discussion.alamy.com/index.php?/topic/5282-the-case-for-unsharp-images/

http://discussion.alamy.com/index.php?/topic/5283-your-favorite-blurry-image/

 

Black and white points, with what you describe you are inside the requirements, black / white being within 5% of actual / real black / white

Edited by hdh
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Thank you for the responses.

 

My latest submission has now passed QC, which clarifies some of the points for me as an individual, but I feel the limits of the QC parameters will not become clear until more submissions have been assessed.

 

I understand, (and agree with), the need for technical excellence, but do wonder if it would be advantageous to cut newbies some slack until they get a full understanding of what is required.  I refer here to the 30 day penalty for several QC failures.

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Thank you for the responses.

 

My latest submission has now passed QC, which clarifies some of the points for me as an individual, but I feel the limits of the QC parameters will not become clear until more submissions have been assessed.

 

I understand, (and agree with), the need for technical excellence, but do wonder if it would be advantageous to cut newbies some slack until they get a full understanding of what is required. I refer here to the 30 day penalty for several QC failures.

There are plenty of discussions about QC on the forum, many of which rehash old ground. One point that always comes out consistently is that the forum members are happy to give a considered opinion on any image you are doubtful about - provided it's made accessible to forum members as a 100% crop so they can judge at pixel level. That is what Alamy is doing and it's pointless looking in any less detail.

 

Alamy will never cut newbies slack. Why should they. They are selling into a commercial marketplace and require all stock images to have acceptable technical standards, no matter who has produced them. It's part of their business model and I don't see it changing. It's also worth remembering that the QC process is examining the suppliers QC. In other words can you, as a contributor, quality control your own work to standards acceptable to Alamy. If you can't then it's your QC that has failed, not the Alamy process.

 

Edit: You've obviously taken the heart the oft stated advice to submit 4 technically good images for your initial submission. Welcome to Alamy.

Edited by John Richmond
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I understand, (and agree with), the need for technical excellence, but do wonder if it would be advantageous to cut newbies some slack until they get a full understanding of what is required.  I refer here to the 30 day penalty for several QC failures.

 

Cutting newbies some slack aka judging them by a different standard would be a really bad idea. Any images that entered the library this way would be joining a professional collection including some of the best photographers in the world. The client needs to have confidence that any image they buy meets a certain standard.

 

I don't mean that to sound harsh to new contributors but there can only be one standard.

 

Contributors inevitably do worry about QC fails and possibly attracting time in the sin bin. However it does stop sub standard work being repeatedly submitted and makes contributors extra careful. If there were no sanctions then I think there would be an upsurge of submissions that were dubious QC wise, rather than ones that contributors were really confident about.

Edited by Armstrong
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I understand, (and agree with), the need for technical excellence, but do wonder if it would be advantageous to cut newbies some slack until they get a full understanding of what is required.  I refer here to the 30 day penalty for several QC failures.

 

Cutting newbies some slack aka judging them by a different standard would be a really bad idea. Any images that entered the library this way would be joining a professional collection including some of the best photographers in the world. The client needs to have confidence that any image they buy meets a certain standard.

 

I don't mean that to sound harsh to new contributors but there can only be one standard.

 

Contributors inevitably do worry about QC fails and possibly attracting time in the sin bin. However it does stop sub standard work being repeatedly submitted and makes contributors extra careful. If there were no sanctions then I think there would be an upsurge of submissions that were dubious QC wise, rather than ones that contributors were really confident about.

 

 

 

+1  (If you can't do the time, don't do the crime.)

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When I joined, gosh, 8-10 years ago, it seems like, in the dim recesses of my mind, the penalty for failure was shorter.7-10 days? (Help me out here).

That was back in the days when Alamy had 60,000 images. And I have no idea how many contributors, but you can bet the farm it was way, way fewer than now.

As image and contributor numbers grew, it probably required much more work for Alamy to do proper QC. After all, if you more routinely submit inferior images with not a big penalty, people just keep on keeping on.

When the 28 or is it 30? day penalty was implimented, there was a lot of squawking by the contributors. Even I thought it was a bit unfair. I've come to accept it and see the wisdom of it.

Do I check my images more carefully now than then? Yes. Does something I think is good but isn't sometimes get past me? Yes. Usually the old soft and lacking definition reason. And that is a subjective thing where I think it's sharp enough but QC doesn't. Or a tiny bit of CA I just didn't notice at 100%.

 

Did Alamy's new penalty make me more careful? You bet. A bunch of what I think are good images get deleted now whenever I have to ponder if they are sharp enough. I quit pondering and just toss them.

Does that make QC's job easier? You bet X10.

 

One of the most important things a newbie needs to set as his/her mantra is this. Don't fall in love with your images. Just don't. When you get that special shot that you absolutely can't replicate, the tendacy is to blindfold yourself to its faults. And taking that path leads to the sin bin. I'm very familiar with it and was made chief cook my last stay.

Betty

Edited by Betty LaRue
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I would guess from your accepted images that you know how to make excellent images and I suspect that you wouldn't want them marked as "Beware... this is a new contributor so may not be up to snuff". I think you will do fine.

 

Paulette

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I understand, (and agree with), the need for technical excellence, but do wonder if it would be advantageous to cut newbies some slack until they get a full understanding of what is required.

 

Never going to happen I'm afraid. Alamy is running a business, not a nursery for aspiring stock photographers. I don't think Sainsburys would allow a new supplier to slip in a few rotten apples until they get the hang of things.

 

Alan

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As for the "sin bin" that some talk about - If you fail occasionally you aren't going to go in there. It's only those who fail consistently who have been put in there.

 

Geoff.

 

Correct . . . and I don't think anyone has ever posted here that they have had their upload privileges removed (which is what I call a real sin-bin) because of persistently uploading unsatisfactory images.

 

dd

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I understand, (and agree with), the need for technical excellence, but do wonder if it would be advantageous to cut newbies some slack until they get a full understanding of what is required.

 

Never going to happen I'm afraid. Alamy is running a business, not a nursery for aspiring stock photographers. I don't think Sainsburys would allow a new supplier to slip in a few rotten apples until they get the hang of things.

 

Alan

 

 

I certainly hope that Alamy don't - it would undermine its reputation and backfire on everyone.

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And while we're at it, the caption for your mannequin head photo starts off with "A butterfly lighting...", but I don't see any butterfly. Leftover part of the caption from another photo?

Edited by Bill Kuta

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And while we're at it, the caption for your mannequin head photo starts off with "A butterfly lighting...", but I don't see any butterfly. Leftover part of the caption from another photo?

 

No, the caption is correct: "butterfly lighting"

 

The "butterfly" you should be looking for is the shadow directly under the mannequin's nose.

 

dd

Edited by dustydingo
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And while we're at it, the caption for your mannequin head photo starts off with "A butterfly lighting...", but I don't see any butterfly. Leftover part of the caption from another photo?

 

No, the caption is correct: "butterfly lighting"

 

The "butterfly" you should be looking for is the shadow directly under the mannequin's nose.

 

dd

 

Learn something new every day  :)

Edited by M.Chapman

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To me this is an extremely basic 'newbie to photography' question.

 

Of course Alamy QC will accept images with bokeh, as long as the point of interest is sharp, the image will be accepted.  Just take your photographs and upload them.  If they're technically spot on, no problem.  Don't over-analyse...

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As aforesaid shallow DoF is fine and we all probably have dozens of examples. An image should be sharp where needed and QC can tell the difference- they are aware of technique where required.

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Sharp is considering the focus point, so an image is unsharp if there is movement either from the subject or the photographer, bad lens, difraction or is not focused on the subject.

The use of less or more DOF must be a conscient decision, if you want everything in focus or if you want emphasize one plane against the others, but wont be rejected unless you are not making the right decision, so, using high DOF in portraits with distracting backgrounds or low DOF in images with important multiple planes.

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Guest

The confusion here, (for me), is when a full face image has the nearer eye and that side of the face in the DOF, but the farther eye is softer. I suspect that no matter how appealing the image is, QC would fail it.

 

When you've already had three fails, it's not worth the risk.

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Appealing has nothing to do with it.

If you want an opinion, submit a 100% crop.

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The confusion here, (for me), is when a full face image has the nearer eye and that side of the face in the DOF, but the farther eye is softer. I suspect that no matter how appealing the image is, QC would fail it.

 

When you've already had three fails, it's not worth the risk.

QC would NOT fail such an image, what you've described is basic photography.

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As several of us have said already, QC will not fail a good image that has a particular focal point - Why would they? It's just normal photography. If you are getting fails you need to look at what's causing them. If you're told it's lack of focus or definition, then they mean at the sharpest point it's lacking in focus or definition.

 

This is one of my own examples of a face, with the nearer eye sharply focused and the far eye blurred, that passed QC. You'd be hard pushed to get an image like this with both eyes focused anyway, unless you used a wide angle or stood back and did a heavy crop.

 

 

 

 

Geoff.

Thank you for that succinct explanation. Your post exactly clarifies the position.  I can now consider some images that were hitherto considered too risky.

 

Thanks again.

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