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Rose Thayer

Problem With Photos Uploading Blurry

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Hi, so I'm new to Shutterstock and wanted to start uploading photos. When submitting my photos I got feedback that my photos were out of focus and had noise issues. I know my photos are very clear on my Mac, on Lightroom, and on my iCloud photos. Trust me it is not an issue with my camera or my photography skills. All the photos were taken with a shutter speed of at the very least 1/90 if not 1/125 or higher. When previewing them on Shutterstock I did notice they were less in focus.

Does anybody know how to fix this issue? Does Shutterstock compress photos, making them more blurry? I know I always have this same issue with Instagram and Facebook lowering the quality of my images, but does Shutterstock have the same issue as well? Wondering if it's just the Shutterstock software that's having issues.

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On 7/25/2020 at 10:13 PM, Rose Thayer said:

Hi, so I'm new to Shutterstock and wanted to start uploading photos. When submitting my photos I got feedback that my photos were out of focus and had noise issues. I know my photos are very clear on my Mac, on Lightroom, and on my iCloud photos. Trust me it is not an issue with my camera or my photography skills. All the photos were taken with a shutter speed of at the very least 1/90 if not 1/125 or higher. When previewing them on Shutterstock I did notice they were less in focus.

Does anybody know how to fix this issue? Does Shutterstock compress photos, making them more blurry? I know I always have this same issue with Instagram and Facebook lowering the quality of my images, but does Shutterstock have the same issue as well? Wondering if it's just the Shutterstock software that's having issues.

And of course, it's SS, the ugly duckling who sabotages the images of the nice little contributors. What a pretension to believe that ...
At no time did you think that it was your images that were badly taken ...?

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3 minutes ago, Jacky D said:

And of course, it's SS, the ugly duckling who sabotages the images of the nice little contributors. What a pretension to believe that ...
At no time did you think that it was your images that were badly taken ...?

My goodness, just wanted a serious solution to my problem instead of a rude response. I've been taking photographs for 9 years. I think I know a thing or two about photography and if my photos are worth selling. I have a 24.2 MP camera and know how to use my camera settings so I don't get blurry photos. I also know how to edit to make photos look even sharper. Sure, I don't have a $3,000 or more camera, but I do take relatively good photos. Check my website if you want to see the quality of my photos and judge for yourself (rose.thayerfolks.org). My website is nothing amazing or professional, but it does showcase some of my photographs. Sure, not all my photos are perfect, but I do have some quality photos in my portfolio. 

I have noticed that the quality of my photos when I uploaded them to Shutterstock became lower quality. I just don't understand why it is doing that. I can line the photo uploaded on Shutterstock and on my iCloud photos on my laptop and see a considerable difference in quality. Not sure if this is a Mac to Shutterstock issue. Or maybe a chrome to Shutterstock issue. Or whatever... but I would like to hear some serious input on why this is happening. 

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Rose -

the approved images you see on Shutterstock with the watermark are just previews, they are not the actual "full quality" images. You can see this especially with videos, but the same goes for photos. I'm sure the same goes for the images waiting for review, I never paid any attention to it as it's not relevant.

 

 

If you DO get rejections for focus and noise, you need to be sure you're checking your images at 100% and making sure they're in focus at the appropriate spot in the image, and if you have visible noise (grain), you need to clean it up before submitting it.

If you're shooting handheld (no tripod), your shutter speed should be at least 2x your focal length to avoid unintended motion blur. Of course, that's just a guide number, so it also depends on the person and circumstances. Just something to keep in mind and possibly experiment with.

Every stock site has their own requirements for quality, and you can't compare one to another and say "so and so approved it, so it should be good".

 

 

 

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Yep, you've got to zoom into your photos at 100% to confirm that they truly are sharp and in focus. One thing I have noticed is that the previews of panoramic photos appear especially blurry. Another contributor was commenting about that too with their panos.

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11 minutes ago, Sari ONeal said:

Rose -

the approved images you see on Shutterstock with the watermark are just previews, they are not the actual "full quality" images. You can see this especially with videos, but the same goes for photos. I'm sure the same goes for the images waiting for review, I never paid any attention to it as it's not relevant.

 

 

If you DO get rejections for focus and noise, you need to be sure you're checking your images at 100% and making sure they're in focus at the appropriate spot in the image, and if you have visible noise (grain), you need to clean it up before submitting it.

If you're shooting handheld (no tripod), your shutter speed should be at least 2x your focal length to avoid unintended motion blur. Of course, that's just a guide number, so it also depends on the person and circumstances. Just something to keep in mind and possibly experiment with.

Every stock site has their own requirements for quality, and you can't compare one to another and say "so and so approved it, so it should be good".

 

 

 

Trust me I do save my photos at 100% quality and make sure my shutter speed is high enough for the subject matter. For animals I do a higher shutter speed than I do for landscapes. I’ve been taking photographs for a while now. I know how to use the settings on my camera. I’ve seen the photos on Shutterstock and believe I have photos good enough for the site. I’ve just noticed that when I upload my photos they look less quality when I open the photo up when I put the photo for review. 

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Just now, Rose Thayer said:

Trust me I do save my photos at 100% quality

I believe that Sari is referring to zooming in on your photos at 100% in a program like Photoshop etc, to check focus.

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Sorry to say, Rose, but, like in many cases where contributors blame their rejections on the reviewers and don't take an objective look at their photos, the problem is your photos and not Shutterstock.

I did take a look at the photos on your website like you suggested and unfortunately even in the small size you offer there I can see that you have both a severe focus and noise problem. The focus I can't always judge as you only offer small size images there, but the noise problem is visible in most of your photos even in small size.

Just some examples of noise and focus issues with your photos:

grainfocus.jpg

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Il y a 5 heures, Rose Thayer a déclaré:

Mon Dieu, je voulais juste une solution sérieuse à mon problème au lieu d'une réponse grossière. Je prends des photos depuis 9 ans. Je pense que je sais une chose ou deux sur la photographie et si mes photos valent la peine d'être vendues. J'ai un appareil photo de 24,2 MP et je sais comment utiliser les paramètres de mon appareil photo pour ne pas avoir de photos floues. Je sais aussi comment éditer pour rendre les photos encore plus nettes. Bien sûr, je n'ai pas d'appareil photo à 3 000 $ ou plus, mais je prends des photos relativement bonnes. Consultez mon site Web si vous voulez voir la qualité de mes photos et jugez par vous-même (rose.thayerfolks.org). Mon site Web n'a rien d'extraordinaire ni de professionnel, mais il présente certaines de mes photographies. Bien sûr, toutes mes photos ne sont pas parfaites, mais j'ai des photos de qualité dans mon portfolio. 

J'ai remarqué que la qualité de mes photos lorsque je les ai téléchargées sur Shutterstock est devenue de moins bonne qualité. Je ne comprends tout simplement pas pourquoi il fait cela. Je peux aligner la photo téléchargée sur Shutterstock et sur mes photos iCloud sur mon ordinateur portable et voir une différence considérable de qualité. Je ne sais pas s'il s'agit d'un problème Mac vers Shutterstock. Ou peut-être un problème de chrome vers Shutterstock. Ou peu importe ... mais j'aimerais avoir des commentaires sérieux sur les raisons pour lesquelles cela se produit. 

REJOIGNEZ
- VOUS samedi à 21h48
------------
Je vois que vous avez rejoint SS samedi, et que vous contestez SS 3 jours plus tard ....
Vous n'aimez pas ma réponse, c'est un fait, mais vous n'êtes ni le premier ni le dernier à prétendre tout faire correctement. Pour ma part, je fais des photos depuis 50 ans (40 ans en amateur et 10 ans en tant que pro.
Sur SS quand j'ai commencé j'ai eu beaucoup de refus, puis avec le temps très peu.
Même aujourd'hui, je suis confronté à les nouvelles normes de SS, j'analyse les 6 ou 7% de retour (Licence inacceptable, mise au point du sujet principal, ou vitesse trop faible (intérieur sombre), je les jette, les autres avec du bruit / atefact, je les corrige car je me trompe dans de nombreux cas, et après avoir été revus, ils passent en 10 minutes.
Je n'ai JAMAIS critiqué ceux qui refusent, j'essaye de comprendre, et ce n'est pas facile. SS semble prendre ou reprendre une qualité maximale, et c'est très bien. En lisant le forum et ces contributeurs de qualité, on m'a appris à être humble, et je ne pourrai jamais les remercier assez.
Mes excuses pour la langue qui n'est pas la mienne ...

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You are a beginner. 

How do I know?  You defend your claim that your images are in focus by talking about the shutter speed. Shutter speed only affects motion blur, NOT focus or grain.

Photography is harder than most beginners think.  It's important to consider exposure, focus, and composition all at the same time.  Composition involves paying attention to the entire frame, not just your subject.  What's in front of it, behind it, and off to the side.

Instagram and Facebook are not "about" photography.  They don't care about image quality.  They compress uploaded photos to reduce their weight (size in MB).  and you should be glad they do, if you wish to be a professional photographer.  The compression reduces image quality, so you are not giving away high quality images.  Be aware that any photos you upload on social media are easy for anyone to just copy and use. 

Yes, Shutterstock accepts a lot of crappy photos, but you should not set your goals so low. When selling stock, don't worry about what nonsense someone else may be getting away with, because you'll go nuts. 

Unless you really don't care about improving your skills?

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9 hours ago, Rose Thayer said:

Trust me I do save my photos at 100% quality and make sure my shutter speed is high enough for the subject matter. For animals I do a higher shutter speed than I do for landscapes. I’ve been taking photographs for a while now. I know how to use the settings on my camera. I’ve seen the photos on Shutterstock and believe I have photos good enough for the site. I’ve just noticed that when I upload my photos they look less quality when I open the photo up when I put the photo for review. 

 

I already addressed that - the images on SS are PREVIEWS, not full quality images. This is not an art gallery; the buyers know that those are previews, and the quality control's (review crew) job is to make sure that the ACTUAL approved images are good quality in terms of lighting, sharpness and noise (noiseless).

 

You said in your OP:

On 7/25/2020 at 3:13 PM, Rose Thayer said:

When submitting my photos I got feedback that my photos were out of focus and had noise issues

 

So, you're getting rejections based on OOF (out-of-focus) images and noise. This should tell you that you're doing something wrong. OOF comes from either camera shake (shutter speed too low so when you push the shutter, you make the camera move, which causes shake blur), or you're not focusing on what the focal point is, or should be.

You can't fix OOF, you have to shoot your images sharp. If you're unable to get sharp images hand held, use a tripod and make sure your focal point is tack sharp.

Noise (grain) comes from underexposure, and you either avoid that by proper exposure, or fix it in post process, or both. Shutterstock doesn't like noise, so don't waste your own time by submitting noisy images. Fix them before submission.

ALWAYS open and check your images at 100% size in Photoshop (or whatever you use for post process) to make sure they're SHARP at the focal point, and NOISE FREE throughout the image. If there is noise, remove it.

 

Nine years of shooting in general has nothing to do with shooting for stock. Stock images may be your every day images, nothing fancy as long as the subject matter or concept is saleable, but they must be technically good quality. They sell images for publications, commercials and everything you can think of, in all sizes, and blur, noise and underexposure will not cut it. Lots of people have the eye for it, but the technical skills and through that, the quality, need work. You can fight it and not get it, or learn from what doesn't work, and improve. It's up to you.

I started shooting at the ripe age of five, that was 50 years ago. I've been shooting for stock for 10 years, and I've seen many changes in that time in Shutterstock's expectations. I know what flies here, and what doesn't.

I've seen people come here who claimed their pics were flawless, and quit before long because they couldn't leave their ego at the door. I've also seen people who realized they had to go through the learning curve for stock specifically, and go on being better in every way.

 

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40 minutes ago, Sari ONeal said:

 

I've seen people come here who claimed their pics were flawless, and quit before long because they couldn't leave their ego at the door. I've also seen people who realized they had to go through the learning curve for stock specifically, and go on being better in every way.

 

That's very true. I used to be one of those who, when I made the transition from the like/fav world of flickr and insta to stock, was too proud to admit to the obvious technical errors in my images because I had been "shooting for 15 years". So the one true benefit of uploading to Shutterstock has been to learn how to swallow my pride and work on noise, focus and sharpness. So yeah, the review system maybe eccentric and income's probably going to plummet in the future but it has at least taught me how to edit and process my pictures better than I did before.

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Rose,

Welcome!  Regrettably, you've chosen to begin submitting to Shutterstock at a bad time.  As  you may or may not know, SS recently chose to dramatically reduce the commission they pay to their contributors.  This has generally given we contributors a "bad attitude" and you may have been a recipient of some of that.  Secondly, you began your question with the declaration that neither your photos, skills or even your equipment could not possibly be the problem.  Admittedly, SS's reviewers do have a poor reputation but to claim that the problem couldn't be yours is a red flag and is often perceived as an indication that the poster "knows it all" and will be unwilling to accept any reasonable suggestions or critique.  Your ongoing post haven't done much to change that perception.  Sorry!

Stock Photography standards, were and still are at times much more demanding than what is acceptable on the the typical photo sharing site.  You are often competing with long time professional photographers that had to meet the expectations of "paying clients".  This is a very high standard, one that has to be learned and consistently applied to all your submissions.  To admit that your photos may not meet that standard now (or consistently in the future) should not be considered an insult but an opportunity to learn.  We've all had to learn what is acceptable here and at other stock sites but it takes a willingness to listen and accept the possibility that we need to improve.  Any other attitude will be met with a "bit of resistance".

There a number of people that are willing to help (even those that have already replied) but you might want to add a hint of humility to your responses and a willingness to discuss all possibilities, even those that might include an "adjustment" on your part.

  

 

 

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Rose,

I went to your website and overall I have to say, I was very impressed.  However, a very high percentage of your photos do suffer from an unacceptable amount of noise (by stock standards).  Without knowing your settings, I would guess a lot of this noise is the product of a high ISO setting (above 400 ISO).  The ability to increase the ISO is a great advantage (especially when shooting moving wildlife) but without considerable post processing, the noise in the out of focus background (on high ISO Images) will be unacceptable to most stock sites. 

I also shoot wildlife and sometimes those great high ISO shots just won't make the cut in stock photography.  If you can't reduce the noise in post processing, this is something you will just have to accept.  I would suggest you reduce the ISO on future images you wish to submit to SS or any other stock site.

Out of focus, first of all you need to know Shutterstock reviewers are notorious for claiming an image is out of focus.  I'm sure most if not all of the people that have commented in your post, have fallen victim to an "out of focus rejection" on a "perfectly good photo".  Make sure the focus is on the eye of the animal or the most important portion of the subject,  then give it a few days and resubmit.  It usually is accepted on the second submission.  It's part of the game we have to play.  We get use to it after a while, or we quit submitting. 

If you don't mind getting paid 10 cents per image, try these suggestions and those offered by previous posters.  In my opinion, you have great potential as a photographer.   We all experience some negative feedback or comments, don't quit, learn from it .       

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10 hours ago, Firn said:

Sorry to say, Rose, but, like in many cases where contributors blame their rejections on the reviewers and don't take an objective look at their photos, the problem is your photos and not Shutterstock.

I did take a look at the photos on your website like you suggested and unfortunately even in the small size you offer there I can see that you have both a severe focus and noise problem. The focus I can't always judge as you only offer small size images there, but the noise problem is visible in most of your photos even in small size.

Just some examples of noise and focus issues with your photos:

grainfocus.jpg

This

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On 7/25/2020 at 10:13 PM, Rose Thayer said:

All the photos were taken with a shutter speed of at the very least 1/90 if not 1/125 or higher.

Rose - the shutter speed is way too low for hand hold camera imo. You get blurred images because of camera shake. You have to go to 300+ depending of the camera.

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21 minutes ago, oleschwander said:

Rose - the shutter speed is way too low for hand hold camera imo. You get blurred images because of camera shake. You have to go to 300+ depending of the camera.

I usually have shutter speed of 200+ when shooting hand held.

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11 minutes ago, Travers Lewis said:

I've heard that it's best to use a shutter speed of double the focal length to reduce shake. I mainly shoot with a 35mm prime so keep it above 1/80.

That used to be the case five or ten years ago, but modern IBIS and lens OIS means you can go as low as 1/10s handheld and still get sharp photos. You can take handheld shots on modern Olympus cameras with IBIS at 2.5 seconds shutter speed and still get tack sharp images. Fujifilm's X-T4 has great stabilisation too, with up to 6.5 stops.

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14 hours ago, Darla Hallmark said:

You are a beginner. 

How do I know?  You defend your claim that your images are in focus by talking about the shutter speed. Shutter speed only affects motion blur, NOT focus or grain.

Photography is harder than most beginners think.  It's important to consider exposure, focus, and composition all at the same time.  Composition involves paying attention to the entire frame, not just your subject.  What's in front of it, behind it, and off to the side.

Instagram and Facebook are not "about" photography.  They don't care about image quality.  They compress uploaded photos to reduce their weight (size in MB).  and you should be glad they do, if you wish to be a professional photographer.  The compression reduces image quality, so you are not giving away high quality images.  Be aware that any photos you upload on social media are easy for anyone to just copy and use. 

Yes, Shutterstock accepts a lot of crappy photos, but you should not set your goals so low. When selling stock, don't worry about what nonsense someone else may be getting away with, because you'll go nuts. 

Unless you really don't care about improving your skills?

You are absolutely right. 

If someone here just ask, not listen, it's just meaningless.

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6 hours ago, Charles Lewis said:

I usually have shutter speed of 200+ when shooting hand held.

I usually take 200 or up as well. My photography teacher told us only the person who hold the camera very firm can use below 100, otherwise better to use higher shutter speed. 

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