Yagil wrote:Sometimes I also get "soft and lacking definition" on pictures which are pixel-sharp. Other similar pictures passed. I tried changing my workflow - ie, agressive noise reduction from the blank areas - but the results are inconclusive yet. I'd like to know, from other Alamy photographers, How do you prepare your pictures for Alamy, common mistakes you've learnt not to make. and what is the highest ISO that you've managed to pass the QC.
Welcome! I have several thousand pix on Alamy, from all models from the D7D to A700, and I have only ever encountered one set of rejections - for 'soft and lacking in definition'... it turned out that they meant the contrast was too low, and the images fell too far short of the ends of histogram. It had nothing to do with sharpness! So, do not assume that Alamy QC rejection reasons are always easy to understand.
Your sample is very crudely processed, and a good setup through Adobe Camera Raw with the right use of CA corrections, NR and capture sharpening should just look better than that. However, it's probably well up to Alamy QC requirements provided the overall picture looks good. Alamy uses 24 inch LG monitors, and when your images arrive, they appear like a big lightbox. They will click any thumbnail which looks a bit poor and view it at 100%. If they find it's not right, they will click a few more, and if they do not stand up to 100% viewing, they reject the submission. You may only be given one or two filenames as rejects, but they probably have looked at a few more before deciding to reject.
The secret to getting QC is to send in under 50 images at a time, and make sure they have plenty of variety, colour, contrast and impact. I've got all possible ISO speeds, degrees of sharpness and 'faults' through QC on the strength of good pix in which such faults are acceptable - have noise and lack of sharpness in a night-time carnival parade at ISO 1600, and it may get through. Photograph an ordinary daytime street scene with the same quality, and it probably will not.