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New contributor here.

I recently uploaded a small batch of photos to 'test the waters' and no surprise all but one were rejected. Some where rejected due to Noise/Film grain, but in most cases the problem was with the Focus. I've attached one of the pictures as an example and would be really grateful for any advice on what I can do to improve in future.

I'll investigate post-processing software to reduce noise, but I'm really curious about where I should be setting the focus in pictures like this.

 

DSCN7038.thumb.JPG.a8ea61a25e8f2739984c22b555b957ad.JPG

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Landscape photos, they want pretty much everything in focus. Try setting your f-stop at around 8 or 9 and putting your focus about a third of the way into the scene.

But beyond that, rejections for focus and noise have been given out lately at random, many people here are very frustrated with it. Sometimes entire batches are rejected within minutes, and then they all go through without any issue the next day. Very annoying waste of time.

I just submitted 5 images of a shoot with a model. 4 of the 5 were rejected for focus / noise issues. Makes no sense at all, because it's basically the same scene and I used the same camera settings for each shot.

So I resubmitted those 4. This time they were rejected for invalid model release. Say what?? The same model release that was good yesterday? It's very frustrating. And many people here will tell you not to bother with Shutterstock anymore, because they just changed the payment structure, and most of us are seeing a considerably loss in earnings.

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Your entire image is full of noise, reducing noise in post process would only make it worse because it would just smudge it up further.

This type of landscape doesn't really have much of a focal point, or "point of interest", but the switch between the dark forest and the lighter ground should at the very least be in focus. Now, with all the noise (from underexposure, or possibly phone camera with s small sensor?) there really is nothing sharp in this image.

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While all the advises above are valid and good, just to give you something on the "positive side" and not to discourage you to the point that you would not touch a camera again, or cell phone (which is totally capable of making a "good enough" quality photo to get it through review with a touch of postprocessing): the so called noise can be drastically reduced by software in pp (postprocessing). If they truly rejected the photo for that (sometimes they just slap a reason random). It's a one minute exercise and it does work!! But images with dark tones are really prone to noise. Keep in mind. Keeping your ISO the lowest possible (try 80) might be the cure for noise. Your sample image above is very difficult from that perspective. The other obvious problem I see with it is that it's leaning to the right by a "healthy" 1.5 or 2 degrees. The horizon is not horizontal. And I also realize that it is the reflecting pink clouds that caught your eyes! and the no details in the rest of the image is all "secondary" from your angle. But artificial intelligence doesn't get that. In that sense this is a rather difficult subject to take and to put it thru review. Also look at your competition!! With the millions upon millions of breathtaking similar type of images already in the database, do you really feel you have the energy/skills to start competing with them? Try to find special subjects where you do stand a chance to sell. Just my opinion. Or if you insist on this subject, hardware could make the difference. But all that for 10 cents??

p.s.: as Sari ONeal suggested above, noise reduction is a delicate operation! get enough to pass but do not overdo it cuz the image quickly becomes "detail-less" thus no good. You have to experiment with the amount to keep the details. 

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