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Autumn Sky Photography

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  1. Michael: First of all, this is great photo. Yes there is HDR, some things are embellished in post-processing, yes there are some issues in trees on pixel level, but it is still great photo. Any agency should be glad to have it in their library. Reason it got rejected for "posterization" is because QA is done by AI, and this example illustrates best all that is wrong with "streamline the process and cut the margins" approach. But my question to you is: Is it really worth the effort?? How much time did you spend on it already -- took a photo, post-processing, uploading, keywording -- and now frustration with machine rejections? All this to get compensated 10 cents (maybe)? QA is nonsense if left to AI. I had superb pano, technically spotless on pixel level, rejected for "posterization" (AI algorithm doesn't seem to like stitching). Then change file name and 1 or 2 keywords, re-submit, gets accepted. (In the meantime same pano fetched extended license on AS). This is like kids playing in the school yard. It is not photography and it is not quality; it is ping-pong game with machine algorithms, or rather software developers that implement these algorithms. It simply does not make sense. I was very loyal to SS, even saw some rationale with payment restructuring, but nonsense QA is the lost drop & I am not contributing here anymore. Best of luck. Fantastic photo again, really like it.
  2. +100000 I don't know nowhere as much as some of you guys that have been here for a long time, but to me key is to be able to do something in a way that others can't or didn't think about. That's the first part. Second part is Technical side / keywording --> necessary tools of the trade. Combine the two and you have product that somebody wants and will be willing to pay for. This principle applies not just in (stock) photography but in other areas of human endeavour. Also I don't believe in "hiding your niche". I mean no offense, but to me this is backward and narrow minded. There always were and always will be parasites that will try to live of someone else's work. Specially now with Internet -- anything you put up to public domain someone will try to copy, idea or otherwise, no matter how you well you try to "hide it". Key is to keep reinventing yourself and using your brain; that way you will always be ahead of the game.
  3. Duncan, I don't dispute anything you said. I am aware of these glassdoor reports too. Yes, software got released earlier than it should -- but then again this is often the case in software industry in general. Main reason for dilution of earnings is not because of that; it is because industry is over saturated -- just look at every day post "what is wrong with my port, please help" and what kind of things are exponentially pouring in. bottom line in my view -- it is their business and they are supposed to run it the way they see fit. Fact that they are still micro leader says they are doing at least something right. From my side I'd like to see strategy that effectively fights sub-standard images, keywords/metadata spamming and in general promotes quality over quantity.
  4. Same here. I contribute to 5 agencies including SS, and SS beats all of the rest combined in typical month. My new images sell here -- just had DL of photo that was approved 24hrs ago. Image rankings are 100% proprietary to the agency. We can guess, complain all we want, but at the end of the day it is their right to do as they feel works best for their business. There is reason why SS is and will continue to be best micro around (btw I am amazed DT is working for some people. That place is dead for me. Just shows that certain image types sell differently on different agencies IMHO)
  5. exactly, how are you going to produce 70-100 unique, well-shot, technically sound and properly keyworded images per day?? I can see 4 photos in the port now and they are all quite poor. Adding 100 like that every day is not going to get you anywhere; you will waste time, get frustrated for getting no sales, then post here "what is wrong with my portfolio, please help" and eventually quit. Way, way better approach is to focus on quality. Don't worry about payment, don't worry about "stock photography is number game". Worry about quality and uniqueness. Rest will follow. Right now you are trying to build 10th floor of the highrise building but you haven't cast the foundation yet and the ground is sinking
  6. I can see carved Halloween pumpkin on top, then "Sympathy for the Devil" Lucifer head in the middle. Yes, what's the diagnosis Dr. Freud? ;=)
  7. This is not reviewer Phil, but bot. There is amount of pre-processing, including checking the file integrity (on binary level). Network errors happen occasionally on Internet everywhere, so this is not that surprising considering amount of traffic SS system gets. Just re-upload
  8. Sure. But people change their minds with time. So acceptance criteria is: Let's make sure you understand how to use our platform in its entirety, not let's just learn part of it (you think) you will be using most. But this is separate discussion. Point is that initial QA should be tight IMHO. Right now there is large quality dilution in library content. We get daily these "I am new, I have no sales. What is wrong, help". And for each one of these that comes here, there are probably 100 others that don't.
  9. Echo what others said I really believe initial acceptance criteria should be much, much more strict. This just does not help anyone -- agency, customers, contributors. Sub-standard technical quality, metadata problems, etc. Why not make it 5 images initial acceptance instead of 1. Technical side must be very sound -- no vignetting, no chromatic aberration, in focus, not sharpened, etc etc. Evaluate caption and keywords too! One of 5 must be editorial (because of very specific caption requirements), and one of 5 must be released (property release document). All 5 must pass (not 7 out of 10 like before). This evaluation would be performed by internal staff (not contract QA inspectors) that also understands the agency and its needs. Each repeated failure 10 days freeze. Etc. This sounds very very harsh but at the end it would help new contributors to join when they are ready, not like this getting frustrated because there are no sales.
  10. Totally true, 100% agreed. Instead of blaming conspiracies, search patterns and who knows what else, best (only) way forward is increased quality and uniqueness of submitted material.
  11. Not my video, but this went viral this week in Western Canada. It's in Whistler, BC. Check it out, well worth
  12. Yes. I think new contributors sometimes make this mistake. It might be beneficial, from QA standpoint, to have reviewers instructed to pay a bit more attention initially to submissions of new contributors. Often mistakes will not be made out of malice, but simply because of not knowing what is right thing to do. This applies to keyword spamming as well, at least to some extent.
  13. See, this is what I don't necessarily understand. I imagine there would be some sort of reviewer manual, accessible 24/7, online, that can be consulted as needed: .... Chapter x.x.1 -- What constitutes the property and requires editorial license .... .... Chapter x.x.2 -- What can not be licensed even as editorial ...... Images taken inside the museum ..... Editorial caption clearly requires "who/what/where" My caption clearly states "Lone Pine Film History Museum" for where. So there, in theory, should be no room for individual interpretation, no? Or is this too naive to expect? (btw, for anyone interested reading this, photographing inside Lone Pine Film History Museum is allowed and free, I even asked at entrance. Several people were taking pictures with their smartphones)
  14. +1000000000 Yes, very nice travel portfolio, but frequent non-relevant keywords. For instance: "wild horses" "marco polo" "genghis khan" "festival" "tent" .... Another issue with this port, everything is editorial -- incl. this image with the dog.
  15. It all depends what kind of feeding. I live in Banff National Park and am witnessing over and over how tourists feeding wildlife, against explicit Parks Canada rules, are indirectly contributing to their extinction. Animals become domesticated, expect food from humans and are less able to tend for themselves. Bears have to be put down because they get attracted to campsites with unproperly stored food and become aggressive. List goes on. On the other hand this example of caring for thirsty birds during drought is fantastic and something we should all learn from. So it is a relative thing
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