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Rejection soft and lacking definition...


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http://photocatseyes.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/SteinsWebGallery/index.html

 

Is where the photographs are. I had a huge discussion with QC this morning because we all know it: scrutinize at 100 percent is the norm. 

I took those photographs on a recent trip (last week) to New Mexico and Arizona, in 107 degrees, inside without flash because I wanted to shoot with available light to emphasize the atmosphere of the place. Which is dark and gritty with a very magical light. Tripods are not allowed in most public places and I will certainly not log one around in 107 degrees...

So I knew that I was going to need some extra luck and a bit of common sense from Quality Control. 

Of course, they did scrutinize them on 100 percent, and of course, they did not pass. 

To say I am peeved is the least. 

I KNOW that the pics need 100 percent viewing for quality control, as we all do. But is it really too much to ask to get this batch in as is, with available light shots and as I see them in my photographic mind? 

 

I wonder if the people who do use pics of ghost towns really look at them like we and Alamy do... I worked for a newspaper for 15 years and never, ever, never saw one photo editor look at the pics they wanted in at a 100 percent. 

 

Stock is nearly dead, and it is gasping even more for breath in situations like these... Am I the only one to disagree totally with Alamy's QC team in this particular case? 

Shall I go kill myself? 

 

Also, the pics are shot with a Nikon D800, and I find that the machine performs magically well in low light conditions... I was so happy with these pics untill I talked to QC... 

 

Now see if this post gets to the forum... 

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Which one failed?  I am seeing some purple fringing around light sources.  Also the DOF is very shallow on the ones I looked at. Not that I am saying the shallow DOF does not contribute to the atmosphere, but I did not look at all of them.  If the fail was for SLD, perhaps QC felt the point of focus should have been elsewhere.  It only takes one to fail a whole batch, so it matters which one failed.

 

Louise

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I also see CA on a lot of the images. If you took them at full resolution on D800 did you consider downsizing to 24 MB for these images if they were taken under less than ideal circumstances?

 

 

BTW I think the shallow DOF gives a lovely ethereal look - especially with the dress in the first image.

Edited by JohnB
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Hi, on the few images I looked at, nice subject by the way, the focus seemed to be off. Not sure what part of the image you actually focused on but, to my eye only, it appears the lens/camera combination is either front or back focusing.This will be more apparent with a large aperture.

 

My Canon had back/front focus issues originally with one of my lenses but was corrected using the microfocus facility. Don't know wether Nikon have this facility.

 

Allan

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Just out of interest, what lens did you have on the D800?

 

I was discussing this related problem as I see it re: Nikon 50 mm AFS G just recently. I wound up ditching quite few shots taken with this lens hand held ( in good light I might add ) because of focusing, dof and resultant softness. On a D800.

Edited by Gervais Montacute
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Haunting images. Unfortunately, a few do look a wee bit too soft for Alamy's QC. I now downsize shots like these to 24 MB (thanks to a suggestion by David Kilpatrick on another thread), and it can make a real difference. Earlier this year, I had some images taken (with a Sony NEX, handheld) inside an old Mexican hacienda. The dim light and rough textures made them look soft; so I downsized some to 3600 pixels, and they passed QC.

 

Also, I think that the intended main point of focus might be questionable to QC in a couple of your images (e.g. the one of typewriter). After two recent "soft and lacking" failures, I now do not submit anything that might trigger a debate over main POF, even if I think that there is nothing wrong with the image. It's a bit like the "please the teacher" strategy that we all learned to use back in elementary school.

 

Good luck with your next try.

Edited by John Mitchell
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Quote "Tripods are not allowed in most public places and I will certainly not log one around in 107 degrees...

 

So I knew that I was going to need some extra luck and a bit of common sense from Quality Control. "

 

I shot in Arizona last year during a heat wave and brought my tripod. All it took was nicely asking, before I went in, if it would be OK to use it, and if not, back it would go into my vehicle, but most places said go ahead...

 

Sorry, your images have SoLD and CA faults and you knew exactly what you were trying do to get past QC when you were hoping for "extra luck." Why are you complaining?

 

Dave

Edited by OneWay
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Thanks for all the input guys. I guess what I needed was the fact that more people get it... Why I shot without tripod and with existing light conditions. My point is that some photographs DO do have a story, even if they are not a hundred percent seen on hundred percent. 

Most of you cheered me up. Except for Dave who had to rub my nose in the dirt Inside the cabins there is hardly any place to put a tripod in the first place. There seems to always be one co photographer who has to say something that is no constructive feedback at all. Even if the pics are indeed not good enough for Alamy, I still have my memories and I know that the pics can reach a public. 

Dave, why I am complaining is that technical merit is taken over the story of a possible flawed (not bad) picture. What if Alamy CQ had gotten the iconic images from the landing on the beaches of Normandy by Robert Capa... They would have rejected them... Right???

Does it mean that his pics don't have a story and are worthless? Maybe a possible buyer would be willing to pay 400 dollar for one off my Steins pics. I can dream right? Now I will never know... Both Alamy and myself loose on this. 

I in the same breath do need to add that I am in no way to compare with Robert Capa. 

Still, it would have been nice to see the Stein pics in my portfolio, all the more because the day after I was there, the family decided to stop keeping the museum open. 

Now I need to find another source to try to do something with the pics... I am just totally bummed that they were indeed rejected. 
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Why you shot without a tripod is not the issue. Whether or not the pics tell a story isn't the issue. What Alamy would have done with pics of the Normandy landing, the parting of the Red Sea or Bambi taking out Godzilla isn't the issue either.

 

The simple issue is, as over half the posters above have pointed out, the required technical quality has not been met (the hint is in all the comments, which you have not acknowledged in your post at all, pointing out that the point of focus is at the very least "questionable" in at least one pic, and one pic is all it takes). It's really simple, and if you think having that pointed out isn't constructive, or you'd rather just be "bummed" and not at least try to adapt to the environment you are in, you'll not get far along this particular road.

 

dd

Edited by dustydingo
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After a quick look I would reject more than half for submission to Alamy. There are I think maybe 15 - 20 which should pass.

My judgement being made on the size as viewed on the link at a size which is obviously smaller than 100%.

 

If they were mine I'd go through them carefully again and only submit the ones which have a sharp point at a place of interest.

The rest may be acceptable elsewhere, but we all know how Alamy QC rules work!

 

My 2cents worth!

 

Phil

 

PS: Love the dress photos, and the boots, and typewriter!

Edited by Phil Crean
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Dave, why I am complaining is that technical merit is taken over the story of a possible flawed (not bad) picture.

It's just a consequence of the Alamy model - as long as it is tecnnically flawless by Alamy critertia, it can go on sale (notwithstanding the fact that they only check a subset of images on each submission after the first). This is why there are huge amounts of poor quality images on Alamy in terms of composition, cropping, lighting, exposure, aesthetics, etc etc. Content of the image is not considered apart from the basic rules. It's up to the buyer to sort through the results of a search and discard the rubbish. It's a pretty good model really but it would be much better if many contributors were more discerning about what they are submitting. Your images may be very interesting but unfortunately they don't fit the Alamy model.

Edited by MDM
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 What if Alamy CQ had gotten the iconic images from the landing on the beaches of Normandy by Robert Capa... They would have rejected them... Right???

They would have gone by the news route. Alamy accept anything that way. :D

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OK, OK... This whole thread can be stopped now because MDM is right: they don't fit the Alamy model. Guess I will go back to the other shots of the trip and forget about Steins... I have read all the comments and suggestions, and taken them in. And I do care about what people write. But can I at the same time still be totally bummed because the pics did not come out good enough for Alamy? And I do know that I have only one person to blame for that: me. 

Why is it that when someone is looking for some kind of comfort about rejection, there's always a pope or 3 that needs to rub salt in the open wound by stating to the poster that the pics were indeed crappy and lousy... To finish the rub in with "Alamy is always right". 

Maybe I am just naive, the forum might not be the right place to find such comfort. 

All I wanted to do was share with fellow photographers and to have a sound board. 

I shall now retreat in my cave and lick my pride wounds... It just sucks so much to be rejected. DogOnIt. 

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You asked for advice and it was given to try and help you pass QC in the future. No-one, as far as I can see, was rubbing salt in your wounds.

 

You seem to have a very thin skin for someone who has worked as a newspaper photographer for fifteen years, :)

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I shall now retreat in my cave and lick my pride wounds... It just sucks so much to be rejected.

 

It's a drag when a favourite pic (or set of pix) prove to be unsuitable for Alamy. I try to separate my own feelings from Alamy's QC requirements... and move on to the next pic...

 

DA8BKJ.jpg

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Whenever I'm in a situation of low light and not able to use a tripod, I will take images, but never would expect them to be good for print/stock. Perhaps I'll still love them soft/blurred, yet that doesn't mean they are acceptable quality outside my own album of the trip. ;)

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You asked for advice and it was given to try and help you pass QC in the future. No-one, as far as I can see, was rubbing salt in your wounds.

 

You seem to have a very thin skin for someone who has worked as a newspaper photographer for fifteen years, :)

 

Indeed, thin skin and long toes.... I shall move on now. Best thing to do. Wise idea to separate own feelings from QC...

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Hello, Cat...I also shoot with the D800 and it is a fine camera.  But it is a heavy camera, especially with a quality lens. In your situation with the D800, I would have my Nikon 24-70 mounted, and it's no lightweight.  Add a tripod while walking about for any length of time and it does become quite painful. For me, anyway.

 

That said, I recently bought the RX100, which i call my "spy" camera. (lol)  I took this camera when I accompanied my sister to her eye exam.  This image (hand held) was taken in a dim room, even though it looks well-lit.  If you see the little blue light reflected in the monitor in front of the lady, that's my focus light. :)  So much for "spy" as she whirled around to see where that light came from, lol! I did get by with a dozen other shots because the light didn't reflect in anything noticeable.  

I set the camera on iAuto and with auto ISO, high end 800 ISO. Check Alamy ref. # DA28M0. On iAuto, the one thing I don't like is I can't put a spot focus on, it puts a number of focus points on the screen. But the camera seems to render everything sharp anyway.  If I were shooting a bird, for instance, I would prefer to switch to A or S so i could put the point of focus on the bird's eye. But I don't shoot birds with this camera, I use my D800.

 

The noise in these images gave a grainy look much like high speed film I used to use, with no color noise.  The images are sharp in spite of the noise, and everything taken indoors, without flash, has passed QC.

The camera has vibration control which works nicely.  And per David Kilpatrick's suggestion, most of these particular 20 mp images were reduced in size for additional sharpness.

 

You might think about adding this camera to your kit. You can shoot in RAW.  I guess the new version of this camera is out or will be shortly, so consider it. I think it might have a tilt screen and man, I would love that. I've not read the specs because I didn't want to make myself sick since it was announced right after I bought mine!

 

 I develop them in LR4 and CS6. I've added a bit of noise reduction to a few of my images in LR4.  I trust this camera for these kind of situations, and it would have been perfect for your indoor images and easy on your body.  Most of these guys, with their strong muscles, don't quite get what women go through. Not their fault, you know what you know.  

 

The camera is so tiny it and it in its case fits in my handbag and I don't notice the weight.  I can get quite a bit of distortion with the wide end, especially if I don't hold the camera straight and tilt it up or to one side a bit, but I correct that in post.

 

I know this post is a bit off topic since I am extolling the virtues of another camera, but hey, if you decide to go that route and it works for you, then you're happy and I'm happy for you. This camera does not replace my D800, it only adds another dimension, because I can always have the RX100 with me for those shots I come across.  For instance, I don't lug my big dude shopping with me, or to a restaurant.

 

 

 

 

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Thank you so much Betty for your insights. Yes, the D800 is heavy, and I also have the battery grip on it. I do like heavy camera's, they give me some extra support to handhold. Funny enough I often have more blur when shooting with smaller camera's then with the big ones. 

I had a look at your image and it does look wonderful. It makes you wonder at times why we DO actually take our heavy guns out there... Who knows, maybe I even could have had better results with my iphone... ;o))

This subject was out of my league though, it's not that often that I shoot in such dark circumstances and want to keep the perfect atmosphere as is, without wanting to add flash and tripod to the equation. I sincerely hoped that they would have come out better. It's a lesson learned. 

I had the 50mm on, 1.8, a very very good lens. My equipment was OK, maybe I overcredited the camera a little, thinking that with a beast like it I could not go wrong. Well I did obviously. An experience to learn from. And hey, I can still use the pics for a personal memento book.

It's worth thinking about a small spy camera. Thank you for the advice. I appreciate your words. 

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I know that if I were a sports or wildlife photographer I would feel differently, but I don't really see much point in lugging around heavy equipment any longer for the kind of eclectic photography that I do. The new generation of mirrorless, interchangeable lens cameras and large-sensor compacts like the RX 100 can do just about everything their big brothers can do (and more in some instances). Also, you are able to use a lightweight tripod with these cameras. Since I went mirrorless, my great hulking Manfrotto is gathering dust in the cupboard and will probably be heading for craigslist soon. I now take a featherweight Slik travel tripod along with me. 

 

BTW, some of those ghost town shots will make lovely prints, so all is not lost. I've sold large prints of images that would never have made it thru Alamy's QC. Their model works well for them but it isn't everything.

 

Just my two pixels' worth...

Edited by John Mitchell
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Actually the D800 with a 50mm1.8 Nikkor is quite a light bit of kit (for a professional quality DSLR) and should be a supersharp combination. In the right circumstances, the images should be so sharp that small crops can make usable images. It is quite feasible to use it handheld at high iso for highish shutter speeds and get very decent results. Getting sufficient depth of field with this combination is a lot more tricky, especially indoors at close subject distances, given the reduced depth of field of the D800. Downsizing the images would help increase apparent depth of field. So while the D800 is certainly not the ideal camera for handheld spontaneous photography, I wouldn't rule it out if used . The superb dynamic range is a major advantage.

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Thank you so much Betty for your insights. Yes, the D800 is heavy, and I also have the battery grip on it. I do like heavy camera's, they give me some extra support to handhold. Funny enough I often have more blur when shooting with smaller camera's then with the big ones. 

I had a look at your image and it does look wonderful. It makes you wonder at times why we DO actually take our heavy guns out there... Who knows, maybe I even could have had better results with my iphone... ;o))

This subject was out of my league though, it's not that often that I shoot in such dark circumstances and want to keep the perfect atmosphere as is, without wanting to add flash and tripod to the equation. I sincerely hoped that they would have come out better. It's a lesson learned. 

I had the 50mm on, 1.8, a very very good lens. My equipment was OK, maybe I overcredited the camera a little, thinking that with a beast like it I could not go wrong. Well I did obviously. An experience to learn from. And hey, I can still use the pics for a personal memento book.

It's worth thinking about a small spy camera. Thank you for the advice. I appreciate your words. 

 

You are very welcome.  I use my D800 for planned shoots in the house such table top stuff, and on a monopod on my patio to shoot birds.  That said, I have grabbed the RX100 a few times to shoot food in the house!  It's just so handy!  No tripod, just zero in and shoot!  I use the D800 while using my car for a blind, or step out of the car to set up a landscape shot.

Portraits, just lots of stuff.

But I cannot carry it plus another lens or two any distance. Or even the camera and monopod alone.  If I'm going to walk about, like you at a ghost town, or when I want to walk any distance to shoot birds, I develop pain within 15 minutes or so.  What I need is a personal assistant to schlep around with me and carry the kit, lol!

After using a sling bag at the San Diego zoo, I think I had a D200 then, I had to cut the visit short because of pain.  I now have a roller case, and I use it for zoos now.  As long as I have sidewalk, I'm OK.

 

I'm amazed at how many photographers are going light, now.  I'll never give up my big camera, but I do realize there is a time and a place for a small one.  As we age, get aches and pains (me), sometimes the thought of carrying a big rig any distance makes us think "ouch".

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