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Rejection based on "focus" problems


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I gave up on Shutterstock a couple years ago because I felt like the review process was arbitrary and extremely frustrating.  I just tried again, and now, while the review process is faster, I find the rejections just as frustrating.  I shot some photos of empty Times Square the other week, just about every single photo was rejected for "focus".  I resubmitted and they tagged on "noise" on top of focus for some, and just rejected others again for focus.  I shot the attached rejected photo on a tripod at F16 and ISO 200.  I'm attaching also a 1:1 zoom of the distant parts of the photo.  This photo is out of focus?   I mean it's a long exposure so some people walking are blurry, and it's at night in a crazy lighting environment so it really can not be tack sharp like a studio product shot.

Also, while I was away they removed the ability to comment to the reviewers?  Why? 

I'm a storm chaser and when I was here before I would often get rejected for things like "color temperature" problems on lightning photos and so on.  What is the "correct" color temperature if you have lightning and low pressure sodium streetlights in the same frame?  I just got a bunch of storm photos of a severe storm approaching Manhattan rejected for being "blurry".  CLOUDS ARE BLURRY!   And the few storm photos over the years that have snuck through the review have been my biggest sellers (lifetime earnings around $1000), even though many have had "focus" or "noise" issues.  How am I supposed to sell anything through this channel if they won't let it in?  In the meantime, I have sold directly some of those exact same rejected photos to a major weather calendar sold in stores like Target. 

If they don't like a photo, or don't want it, that's fine.  But I feel like I've had so many compelling images rejected for reasons I don't understand.

Meanwhile, images I shot the other day of a protest were accepted and sold in the same day.  And with the new royalty structure I got 10 cents.  Why exactly am I bothering?

John

www.johnhuntington.photography

JH-20200523-DSC_8244.jpg

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Understand totally John the review process is so flawed now and on top too the price drop does nothing to inspire me to upload my best images here...in fact am removing many that have been regular sales as 10 cents is too low...will leave the iPhone stuff and editorials for now ( sold 2 now for 10 cents) and get to my payout level and see if anything good is forthcoming...btw have had my first upload to DT and AS accepted and will be interesting if they will pass images consistently rejected here for multiple reasons...wish they would actually hit the button ... "not what we want"  then at least it saves me time uploading again...

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14 hours ago, John Huntington said:

I gave up on Shutterstock a couple years ago because I felt like the review process was arbitrary and extremely frustrating.  I just tried again, and now, while the review process is faster, I find the rejections just as frustrating.  I shot some photos of empty Times Square the other week, just about every single photo was rejected for "focus".  I resubmitted and they tagged on "noise" on top of focus for some, and just rejected others again for focus.  I shot the attached rejected photo on a tripod at F16 and ISO 200.  I'm attaching also a 1:1 zoom of the distant parts of the photo.  This photo is out of focus?   I mean it's a long exposure so some people walking are blurry, and it's at night in a crazy lighting environment so it really can not be tack sharp like a studio product shot.

Also, while I was away they removed the ability to comment to the reviewers?  Why? 

I'm a storm chaser and when I was here before I would often get rejected for things like "color temperature" problems on lightning photos and so on.  What is the "correct" color temperature if you have lightning and low pressure sodium streetlights in the same frame?  I just got a bunch of storm photos of a severe storm approaching Manhattan rejected for being "blurry".  CLOUDS ARE BLURRY!   And the few storm photos over the years that have snuck through the review have been my biggest sellers (lifetime earnings around $1000), even though many have had "focus" or "noise" issues.  How am I supposed to sell anything through this channel if they won't let it in?  In the meantime, I have sold directly some of those exact same rejected photos to a major weather calendar sold in stores like Target. 

If they don't like a photo, or don't want it, that's fine.  But I feel like I've had so many compelling images rejected for reasons I don't understand.

Meanwhile, images I shot the other day of a protest were accepted and sold in the same day.  And with the new royalty structure I got 10 cents.  Why exactly am I bothering?

John

www.johnhuntington.photography

 

When I look at the first one full size, I feel the reviewer was right to reject it. It looks slightly out of focus and a bit noisy. I'm not looking at the people or sky, I'm looking at the buildings.

But the real problem might be camera shake, even on a tripod. Did you use a remote release and mirror lockup with a long enough delay to allow vibration to settle?

Also, f/16 is pretty small, and diffraction may be a big part of the problem. On my D800, I notice quality drops quickly if I go smaller than f/8, and the photos are mostly unusable at f/16.

 

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My "focus" problems are blown away since the beginning of June. I don't "focus" on shutterstock anymore, because I don't upload anymore. Try it too - it works!

Till the end of June I'll "focus" on the decreasing income here. If it stays like this, I'm going to deactivate my images. But I want to see facts an figures before.

Meanwhile shutterstock shouldn't "focus" on "focus" problems but on transparency for their capital - their contributors. They should finally provide some tables and facts about the price models that customers can choose from, so that we can see whether we are really being paid correctly here. Because trust has been destroyed.

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11 hours ago, Doug McLean said:

When I look at the first one full size, I feel the reviewer was right to reject it. It looks slightly out of focus and a bit noisy. I'm not looking at the people or sky, I'm looking at the buildings.

But the real problem might be camera shake, even on a tripod. Did you use a remote release and mirror lockup with a long enough delay to allow vibration to settle?

Also, f/16 is pretty small, and diffraction may be a big part of the problem. On my D800, I notice quality drops quickly if I go smaller than f/8, and the photos are mostly unusable at f/16.

 

Well this isn't a landscape shot, I was shooting in the in the middle of 42nd street dodging cars so I didn't have much time to compose the photo. This is the kind of shot I like to do.  It's pretty sharp given the circumstances.  and in my searching they don't seem to have anything else like this.  And, it's an editorial shot which would likely run at 300 pixels wide or something.  But I've had much "softer" shots accepted before, and there seems to be no objective measure which is what I object to, and no way to clarify anything other than people commenting on the forum who are not the actual reviewers. 

But in the end I think I'm done with Shutterstock, why go through all this aggravation for 10 cents?  

John

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 6/6/2020 at 2:33 AM, John Huntington said:

But in the end I think I'm done with Shutterstock, why go through all this aggravation for 10 cents?  

hi John just as a try out loaded up 3 from my iPhone today of feet in a long queue set apart by the yellow space markers in a well known store...as I took them just infront of me and deliberately took the bottom of the legs with shopping etc seems current and a fresh take on the news articles we are seeing at the mo...like you the content was of interest...news on the run so to speak...and reviewed in couple of hours by the AI bot and chucked out for focus noise artifacts...so that is my final offering for a 10cents return rather water the garden hey ho and will remove more of my best images for AS and DT...feel you frustration 

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my 10 cents :P

First photo looks in focus enough to me, although there is a problem with artifacts, probably from the compression process.  What software are you using to export the JPG?  

However, it does seem the focus was on the ads in the foreground, and maybe the reviewers thought it should've been in the center (background).

Of course, you can always shrink the output by 20-30% to make it appear more crisp.

Finally, I suspect reviewers often reject things out of hand just because they don't like them.  Perhaps morale is especially low after the recent 60% pay cut?

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On 6/5/2020 at 12:33 AM, John Huntington said:

I gave up on Shutterstock a couple years ago because I felt like the review process was arbitrary and extremely frustrating.  I just tried again, and now, while the review process is faster, I find the rejections just as frustrating.  I shot some photos of empty Times Square the other week, just about every single photo was rejected for "focus".  I resubmitted and they tagged on "noise" on top of focus for some, and just rejected others again for focus.  I shot the attached rejected photo on a tripod at F16 and ISO 200.  I'm attaching also a 1:1 zoom of the distant parts of the photo.  This photo is out of focus?   I mean it's a long exposure so some people walking are blurry, and it's at night in a crazy lighting environment so it really can not be tack sharp like a studio product shot.

Also, while I was away they removed the ability to comment to the reviewers?  Why? 

I'm a storm chaser and when I was here before I would often get rejected for things like "color temperature" problems on lightning photos and so on.  What is the "correct" color temperature if you have lightning and low pressure sodium streetlights in the same frame?  I just got a bunch of storm photos of a severe storm approaching Manhattan rejected for being "blurry".  CLOUDS ARE BLURRY!   And the few storm photos over the years that have snuck through the review have been my biggest sellers (lifetime earnings around $1000), even though many have had "focus" or "noise" issues.  How am I supposed to sell anything through this channel if they won't let it in?  In the meantime, I have sold directly some of those exact same rejected photos to a major weather calendar sold in stores like Target. 

If they don't like a photo, or don't want it, that's fine.  But I feel like I've had so many compelling images rejected for reasons I don't understand.

Meanwhile, images I shot the other day of a protest were accepted and sold in the same day.  And with the new royalty structure I got 10 cents.  Why exactly am I bothering?

John

www.johnhuntington.photography

JH-20200523-DSC_8244.jpg

zoomed.png

this should have been accepted. Fire the reviewer. I've had night shots accepted which I thought wouldn't be even though they were shot at 1600 iso. yet had daytime photos rejected because of noise in blue skies at 100 iso on an excellent Sony camera. Nuff said. Then to cap it all had 1 download today for one dime I thought it was a joke.  

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On 6/5/2020 at 3:26 PM, Doug McLean said:

When I look at the first one full size, I feel the reviewer was right to reject it. It looks slightly out of focus and a bit noisy. I'm not looking at the people or sky, I'm looking at the buildings.

But the real problem might be camera shake, even on a tripod. Did you use a remote release and mirror lockup with a long enough delay to allow vibration to settle?

Also, f/16 is pretty small, and diffraction may be a big part of the problem. On my D800, I notice quality drops quickly if I go smaller than f/8, and the photos are mostly unusable at f/16.

 

its not out of focus just a little soft due to higher ISO. Why should people bother now anyway at a dime per download? SS want pro quality they should pay for it. Why to they have f16 on lenses if it's unusable?

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