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Hi guys,

So I decided to make my first attempt of submitting images to Alamy. Per the requirement, it was only 4 images. I had done it about 24 hours ago and have got their QC report, here it is:

Hello Shashank

Unfortunately, your test submission has failed.

We found the following errors:

Filename                              Rejection reason

Watercock_Male_Female.jpg             Camera shake
                                      Soft or lacking definition

We need 4 images to pass our initial quality check before you can submit more.

Am I correct in understanding this is a partial failure i.e. 3 of the images were found acceptable, but the entire submission was rejected because of this one image? Please guide.

Also since the issue pointed out was softness, I'd like to share a few screenshots for your review: 

I'm using a Nikon D5300, and a Nikkor AF-S 80-400G ED VR. I had done minimal post-processing on this and no sharpening, but I had honestly thought a little bit of sharpening done by a prospective client (as pointed out in the QC guidelines) was all that would be needed for the image, as there was a fair bit of detail.

I considered doing a little of sharpening on the image post the report, but have decided to chuck it all together and try another image. Thoughts?


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Yes it would seem the other three passed QC and having taken a look it does seem the image that failed is a little soft at 100%. Upload the same three images that passed with another surefire certainty and they should pass OK. Always check your images at 100% and take no chances. It sometimes helps to downsize an image if it's borderline.

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Personally, I would start again with four easy shots taken under controlled conditions, camera on tripod, nothing fancy.  Although the water hen shots may be OK (but probably not) it seems an unnecessary gamble to include them in a first submission.  Keep it simple.


Just my opinion, for what it's worth.



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I found when using the Nikon 80-400 that if it weren't on at least a monopod, the images weren't quite sharp enough. That's a heavy lens, and all it takes is the tiniest bit of camera shake when you press the shutter to cause an unsharp image, especially at the long end.

For wildlife/birds, I used a monopod with that lens which allowed me some movement to swivel in order to follow the action, yet stop the up and down movement, however tiny, when I pressed the shutter. I often used a remote trigger, also.

Always be sure to focus on the eye. If the wing is sharp as a tack but the eye isn't, it will fail QC.

I recommend using a lens with a shorter focal length and shooting something that doesn't move. Use a high shutter speed or tripod.

Watch for chromatic abberation. You should pass just fine, then.

I'm not sure I ever got a sharp image with that lens hand held, although I tried. Lesson learned, for me.


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In Watercock-50%.png the focus appears to be on the reeds behind the bird. None of these samples look particularly sharp to me.

I would definitely take Betty and Chris' advice. Shoot something that's not moving, with a shorter lens, and plenty of depth of field.

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Thank you Sultanpepa, Chris, Betty, fotoDogue for the helpful advice.

I shall upload a safer image where there is not such scope for softness/questionable focus. Most of my images are based on wildlife, so the overwhelming majority of images are on long lenses, with a few wide angles so generally, images tend to be more towards the shallow end though using shorter lenses and a wider DOF makes sense starting up. Thank you for the helpful tip on downsizing as well.

@Betty: Yes, no doubt about the fact that having support helps with this lens, image sharpness as a ratio of images has improved whenever I've used a beanbag or tripod. In this case, I was a little constrained, since I was squatting in a patch of reeds, was generally quite boggy, and I had to keep adjusting my view through the reeds. The VR on this lens isn't too bad, and certainly helps but as you have rightly pointed out, there are limitations.

@fotoDogue: I have re-checked, even the closest reeds are much softer compared to the male watercock, but as pointed out, the male bird itself may be a little soft, especially around the head, that may have led to this image getting rejected. Will go with a safer subject starting up.

Thank you all once again for your guidance. Shall keep you notified as I make an attempt again. 

P.S. I hope there isn't a case that when an image is accepted once (in this case the three images that were), and gets rejected later when one is re-submitting.

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Thank you Geoff, Phillipe for the helpful guidance.

New to this, so it really helps to have more experienced perspectives on the forum. Shall try and incorporate along the lines you have suggested in my submissions.

@Geoff: Thanks for the perspective given, another experienced photographer I was recently speaking to gave similar advice. I do shoot in RAW, and export the file from Camera RAW to Photoshop CS6. 


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Hi all,

Just thought I'd let you all know, I made another submission of 4 images, and this time it's a pass from QC :)

Have done keywording and set the attributes for the images.

In case you feel I may have missed anything, do let me know. Once again, thanks to everyone for the guidance!

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