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Out of curiosity how much editing do you guys do to photos before submitting them?  So you crop and tweak things or do you try to keep it close to the original and let the buyers edit things how they like.

 

I was looking at cropping some of my photos to remove some of the surrounding landscape but I found if I get too liberal with the cropping I wont make the required sizes on the photos... for instance if I used say the 16x10 preset in lightroom cropping then I cut sizes awfully close.. if it makes any difference my initial photos are 5184x3456.... as for what I would want to crop em to depends a lot on the photos of course... the closer I can get to the subject the less I would want to crop

 

I imagine a lot of this will come with more experience but for now Im taking a tactic of less editing is better, just not sure if thats the right move or not.

 

Also will adjusting say the exposure get me rejected?  for instance I was taking pictures on a sunny day and a cloud came overhead and I failed to adjust my camera settings... if I adjust say the exposure to brighten things up a bit is that wrong?

 

Another issue Ive had, spot removal... say I got a picture of some wildlife playing and a piece of wood was close to them that looked terrible... honestly it looked like a turd lol but it was part of a branch.... it was in a nice grassy area.  Can I use spot removal to get rid of that stick and make it look like just more grass or will that get me disqualified as well?   Yes I know I should try to adjust things when I take pictures so I dont run into these problems but sometimes wildlife just wont cooperate with my plans...wont let me get too close, sitting in the wrong spots, etc....  the jerks :)

 

So yeah, how much pre submission editing do you guys actually do?

 

at the moment I do most my work in lightroom but I also have photoshop if I need it.

 

 

Thanks.

 

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In my case it varies widely, depending on the image.

 

Spot removal - I always use to remove any spots (sensor dust, flies etc.) in skies, and cloning often used to remove items of litter or sometimes small figures in distance (if they contribute nothing to the picture)

 

Exposure adjustment - I very frequently use to set white and black points, open up the shadows. Need to be careful this is done on 16 bit image to avoid banding in skies, also watch out for increasing noise in the shadows.

 

Cropping/rotation etc. - I always level horizons and correct verticals where appropriate.  I sometimes crop further to improve composition (e.g sometimes make square format out of 4:3) or to "zoom in" a little on key subject. But never go too far bearing, in mind the final image must contain over 6 mega pixels. Also don't crop too close to leave space for picture editor to make adjustments or add text (copy space).

 

Always, always check final images at 100% for focus, chromatic aberration, noise and dust spots.

 

I note you have no images on sale. If you haven't made your first test submission yet, keep that one simple. Sharp all over, correctly exposed, taken in good light.

Edited by M.Chapman
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Out of curiosity how much editing do you guys do to photos before submitting them?  So you crop and tweak things or do you try to keep it close to the original and let the buyers edit things how they like.

 

I was looking at cropping some of my photos to remove some of the surrounding landscape but I found if I get too liberal with the cropping I wont make the required sizes on the photos... for instance if I used say the 16x10 preset in lightroom cropping then I cut sizes awfully close.. if it makes any difference my initial photos are 5184x3456.... as for what I would want to crop em to depends a lot on the photos of course... the closer I can get to the subject the less I would want to crop

 

I imagine a lot of this will come with more experience but for now Im taking a tactic of less editing is better, just not sure if thats the right move or not.

 

Also will adjusting say the exposure get me rejected?  for instance I was taking pictures on a sunny day and a cloud came overhead and I failed to adjust my camera settings... if I adjust say the exposure to brighten things up a bit is that wrong?

 

Another issue Ive had, spot removal... say I got a picture of some wildlife playing and a piece of wood was close to them that looked terrible... honestly it looked like a turd lol but it was part of a branch.... it was in a nice grassy area.  Can I use spot removal to get rid of that stick and make it look like just more grass or will that get me disqualified as well?   Yes I know I should try to adjust things when I take pictures so I dont run into these problems but sometimes wildlife just wont cooperate with my plans...wont let me get too close, sitting in the wrong spots, etc....  the jerks :)

 

So yeah, how much pre submission editing do you guys actually do?

 

at the moment I do most my work in lightroom but I also have photoshop if I need it.

 

 

Thanks.

 

How long have you been a professional photographer?  

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Thanks for the help guys,  as for how long I've been professional... not long at all but I have been taking pictures for myself and family for awhile now... the jump to selling has me intimidated and second guessing everything though :)  but even if i waited another 10 years I still would be intimidated in 10 years and second guessing everything then instead of now so... no time like the present I guess.

 

As for what I take them in, I take em in raw format but sometime ago I was taking some pictures and made the comment in front of an aunt of mine who is professional that if my settings weren't perfect I could edit em later and thus started a very long lecture on why I should aim to do the least amount of editing possible...while her and I don't exactly get along, that lecture stuck with me and ever since I try to set up photos and settings as much as possible to come out right from the start... if she was right or wrong I dunno but that is where I got that idea of having everything perfect at the camera level.

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as for removing litter heres an example of a photo of mine... its not my best nor my worst but a good picture to ask my question with.

 

http://tinypic.com/usermedia.php?uo=bpRy0IYlPgNVxTS0XKqp5oh4l5k2TGxc#.WPObK4jyvmU  is the original

 

http://tinypic.com/usermedia.php?uo=bpRy0IYlPgO4MXb%2BN%2BhgN4h4l5k2TGxc#.WPObcYjyuUk is one I edited to remove an annoying stick... would it be safe to pull out the leaves and such as well or would that be pushing it?

 

I made things a lil brighter as well but I havent done a close 100% look yet, I just wanted to have an example 

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yeah if I was going to try to make that picture for sale I would want to edit the green hue some, I just grabbed a picture that had junk laying around though  to illistrate my point.

 

I wasn't setting this pic up for publishing Im just playing with lightroom some seeing what I can do and what I cant... out of curiosity if I did wnat to make this greener would you do it with camera calibration and adjust the green primary there in lightroom or is it better to do it in the HSL/Color/B&W section?  or doesnt it really matter as long as the effect is right when your done?

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http://tinypic.com/usermedia.php?uo=bpRy0IYlPgMcjXyRb%2FnEcYh4l5k2TGxc#.WPOwBYjyuUk

 

 

thats probably where I would crop it if I were going to submit this one, it would give me 23.5m uncompressed so it would make size restrictions I think, least as far as I can see on restrictions.

 

I may of sharpened it too much and am still playing with colors and whatnot... I can tell you one thing though, one of my first purchases will be a new monitor lol I calibrated not 4 months ago and had to do it again today.

 

I really like spot removal

Edited by TRACHR

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If you have anything white or supposed to be white in the image, the white balance eye dropper placed on it will get rid of color cast. That's the second thing I do in LR. The first being to correct any exposure imbalance.

 

I've seen a lot of muddy blue skies in older images on Alamy, some of them mine, before I developed my editing skills.

But yeah, I remove things like your stick, cigarette butts, distant birds in the sky and such. If there's a bit of branch or leaves barely intruding at the edge, I remove those. I also do selective noise reduction if warranted.

In Photoshop, if my sky is too bright, I make a duplicate layer, reduce lightness, making the sky more blue and giving blown clouds more definition. Then I take a soft black brush and brush off the lightening effect on my foreground. I guess similar can be done in LR with adjustment brushes, but I developed those skills long before using LR. I usually make a mess of it in LR. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. My motto.

When you can, think copy space while setting up the shot.

Betty

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http://tinypic.com/usermedia.php?uo=bpRy0IYlPgMhaiOTjl2Gnoh4l5k2TGxc#.WPPWbIgrKUl

 

there is me doing it with just the white dropper and not adjusting the green its also above the 17mb size restriction, and cropped decently.... I know it probably wouldnt pass inspection but what about it sticks out to you guys as bad? the only thing that really catches my eye is I missed a leaf just to left of em in the blurry background but other than that nothing jumps out as horrible anymore

 

but I am still learning so my eye isn't as good as most of yours

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yeah your right, http://oi66.tinypic.com/23mndrb.jpg does look better... I added more color

 

This isnt so much for getting past my first QC, I have a few pictures I am pretty sure will pass... thsi is more for me learning how to get Lr to make a sub optimal picture closer to what I will need.  and just practice.

 

I wont be able to set up wildlife pictures to have perfect poses in perfect light with no clutter and whatnot, so this stuff will need to be done at some point as long as I want to take wildlife pictures.  If that makes sense... thats why Im beating this photo to death.

 

apparently my issue will be sharpness cause to me the fox and the grass they are playing on does not look THAT bad to me... the closest grass I have issues with and the grass in the distance is obviously less sharp and focused but that is unavoidable isn't it?

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Very good advice from Philippe. I need to take that on board myself.

Edited to add.

One thing you must guard against is falling in love with an image to the exclusion of ignoring what is wrong with the image.

Sometimes we take a shot of something that may never come our way again. We are excited. The image, in reality, is sub-par. So we spend endless time editing to try to save it. It ends up perhaps looking better than it did originally, so we think it is Alamy worthy. But it is still sub-par. We upload it and get a fail.

I know ALL about this because I used to do it more than I like to admit. We have to take those rose-colored glasses off. Accept the failure of it being a worthy image, ignore the stab to our hearts and toss it. It's hard, but necessary.

Betty

Edited by Betty LaRue
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Thanks for the help,  I dont mind not subitting that photo, like I said its more for practice so I don't accidentally screw up one that I do want to submit later :) Especially as I have probably thousands of fox photos as for the last 3 years a male and a female has taken residence on my property lol  I still cant get REALLY close to them since I don't want to teach em not to fear people.  Id hate to see someone in town walking around with a fox tail after I taught em not to fear me and thus people. 

 

Still I can get close enough for a 400 lens to get good shots.  

 

As for the falling in love with photos there is one that just fore cuteness factor I love that I had to leave just for personal amusement... but considering what can be done with lightroom I'll post it quick and get your take on it too.

 

http://tinypic.com/usermedia.php?uo=bpRy0IYlPgPzMK%2BzjNiebIh4l5k2TGxc#.WPUCAYgrKUk

 

If you look to the left theres a cloud around one of the pine cones, it wasn't a dirty lens cause that cloud only showed up when I took pictures of that tree... is it possible I got whatever it is that pine cones let off... like pollen or whatever it is called for evergreens?  Drives me nuts cause really liked the picture

 

So do you know what happened so I don't do it again or is there a way to get LR to fix it?

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Simple, I do enough editing so the image is saleable. That could be adjusting contrast, colour, saturation and removing dust bunnies but might also require more drastic moves. I might encounter a scene which is far from ideal but in which I see potential after running it through Photoshop, so I take the shot anyway.

 

HMEGT9.jpg HMEGTJ.jpg HMEGWM.jpg

 

HMEGYM.jpg F15985.jpg

HN5GD9.jpg

 

N°1 original shot with out of focus disturbing background removed

N°2 with added background and room for copy space (cover)

N°3 & 4 with added snow to improve saleability (image on offer with and without snowflakes)

N°5 chamois turned into true silhouette, boring grey sky replaced with thunderclouds to improve interest and thus saleability

N°6 hunter turned into true silhouette, dull sky heavily saturated to improve interest and thus saleability

 

I've seen most of these images before in other threads. I realised 5 and 6 were edited when I saw them before. I hadn't realised 2, 3 and 4 were edited (testimony to Philippe's photoshop skills!).

 

Thank you for sharing this advice Philippe. This is good advice which I need to look to follow a little more myself.. I think there are a number of times when I would be better off changing a sky.

I guess you build up your own stock collection of skies!

Edited by Matt Ashmore
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Thanks for the help,  I dont mind not subitting that photo, like I said its more for practice so I don't accidentally screw up one that I do want to submit later :) Especially as I have probably thousands of fox photos as for the last 3 years a male and a female has taken residence on my property lol  I still cant get REALLY close to them since I don't want to teach em not to fear people.  Id hate to see someone in town walking around with a fox tail after I taught em not to fear me and thus people. 

 

Still I can get close enough for a 400 lens to get good shots.  

 

As for the falling in love with photos there is one that just fore cuteness factor I love that I had to leave just for personal amusement... but considering what can be done with lightroom I'll post it quick and get your take on it too.

 

http://tinypic.com/usermedia.php?uo=bpRy0IYlPgPzMK%2BzjNiebIh4l5k2TGxc#.WPUCAYgrKUk

 

If you look to the left theres a cloud around one of the pine cones, it wasn't a dirty lens cause that cloud only showed up when I took pictures of that tree... is it possible I got whatever it is that pine cones let off... like pollen or whatever it is called for evergreens?  Drives me nuts cause really liked the picture

 

So do you know what happened so I don't do it again or is there a way to get LR to fix it?

That one looks good, at least at the size I'm seeing. I can't be sure what a 100% view would reveal. Your subject is sharp. Possibly the blur in the tree would be ignored by QC.

But..it makes me nervous enough to crop it out, unless you've already cropped it a lot.

Fixing it would require skills above my pay grade. :D I can't see cloning or other methods working with all those pesky pine needles!

But then, Philippe, Mr. Superman, could probably do it in Photoshop. :)

Betty

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Downsizing your images to say 4000 pixels on the long side can help with images taken with long lenses. You might want to give it a try with some of your fox pics to see if it improves the sharpness at 100%. The "blur" in the needles looks as if it could be some kind of lens flare (?) or something similar. Tough to say what QC would think of it.

Edited by John Mitchell

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yeah I'll probably end up cropping it out, that picture hasnt been cropped yet so I have some room to work... I just am confused by what caused that lol  I have no clue if its something I did or if it was something being put off by the tree or what... just odd is all

 

so last picture to show for awhile I think is this one: http://tinypic.com/usermedia.php?uo=bpRy0IYlPgO7P9FF0HWuuIh4l5k2TGxc#.WPUaCIgrKUk

 

I'm posting this one just to clear up sharpness....again Im working with an amateurs eye still but to me that looks good, other than the brightness of course... when I look at a picture like that I don't want to see a sharp background cause that would take away from the subject itself.  Am I wrong in that belief?  I ask cause that will directly affect my picture taking.

 

I  mean I understand that if I focus wrong, or have a bad shutter speed, or am just moving when I take the picture all would affect sharpness on the subject itself, but is the background a problem as well?

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I'll give that a try john, thanks

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Funny I like the one with the single fox in the pines just as it is.

 

The second one of the two playing, has this linear affect with the black on top and the black across the bottom.  Might bring out the shadows a bit on the bottom half just to alleviate that.

 

Jill

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I shoot everything RAW, and as a rule, I never even show people unprocessed images, let alone let them go out to clients or off to an agency.  

 

You can white balance from something white in the image, but keep in mind that that it will only get you into the general ballpark for colour balance.  Even with a high end colour checker, you still need to tweak the colour balance to get it right.  Keep in mind that you're not trying to get the colour to tonal perfection, but to where it's athletically pleasing.  If you shoot something in nice evening light, balancing from a grey or white source is going to blow out all that nice light.  Avoid auto WB settings as well, you can see in your test image that the camera has read all the green grass as a colour cast and turned it magenta trying to correct it.  I usually leave the camera set to the 'cloudy' setting, about 5,800K, for almost everything.  Generally, that gets it pretty close most of the time.

 

Most of my sales on Alamy are editorial, so you want to watch how much photoshop you do to the image.  I actually couldn't find a useful guide line from any of the main photojournalism associations (the NPPA's dated from 1991!), so no wonder there is a lot of confusion on the issue.  Generally, fixing spots, dust bunnies, minor lens flairs, and other stuff is considered acceptable, while removing image elements or backgrounds are strictly forbidden.  

 

Keep in mind that a saleable photo is a product that someone will want to buy.  Not to be too harsh about your test photo, but not only is it really loose (i.e. it needs a lot of cropping), but a photo of a dog catching a stick isn't really of much interest.  

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Dog Catching a Stick?   My original test photo was 2 foxes playing but yes I have agreed from the start that it wasn't one I would submit, but it was one I wanted to practice editing on

 

And maybe you are right that no one will be interested in fox photos, or any other of my wildlife pictures, but that wont stop me from submitting the ones that look the best. I may do good, or I may fall on my butt and fail but the only sure thing in life is if you don't put yourself out there and try then you never will succeed in anything. So I'll give it my best and see what happens.

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we seem to of gone off topic as this was mainly about editing pictures  but either way   Thanks everyone for the advice

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