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I agree with Sari and Ackab above. 

For stock photos, you should never use noise reduction over the whole photo. Only use it selectively in areas such as backgrounds where noise is a problem. Or use the blur tool and softly go over the backgrounds only. Never over the main focus area.

As for focus, the shot is either in focus or not. Unfortunately if its not in focus, you will have to reshoot. Don't use sharpening for stock photos. It doesn't fix the problem and only makes it look worse when viewed at 100%.

Judging from the size ratios of your photos, if you haven't cropped them, it looks like you may be using a smartphone. And looking at Sari's 100% crop, this is a common problem with smartphone pics. 

The problem with smartphones is that they are auto-adjusting for everything, and you, as the photographer,  don't have any control over the shot. One of the main problems is when there is insufficient light, and that's when you will get the most noise. If you still want to use a smartphone, then you will probably need to carry around with you some additional lighting sources, such as portable flash lights. 

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14 minutes ago, Milleflore Images said:

I agree with Sari and Ackab above. 

For stock photos, you should never use noise reduction over the whole photo. Only use it selectively in areas such as backgrounds where noise is a problem. Or use the blur tool and softly go over the backgrounds only. Never over the main focus area.

As for focus, the shot is either in focus or not. Unfortunately if its not in focus, you will have to reshoot. Don't use sharpening for stock photos. It doesn't fix the problem and only makes it look worse when viewed at 100%.

Judging from the size ratios of your photos, if you haven't cropped them, it looks like you may be using a smartphone. And looking at Sari's 100% crop, this is a common problem with smartphone pics. 

The problem with smartphones is that they are auto-adjusting for everything, and you, as the photographer,  don't have any control over the shot. One of the main problems is when there is insufficient light, and that's when you will get the most noise. If you still want to use a smartphone, then you will probably need to carry around with you some additional lighting sources, such as portable flash lights. 

I absolutely agree.

A few days ago I was out and about taking pictures. My son was there and took pictures with his latest generation smartphone. I asked him to send me his photos and I viewed them in Photoshop at original size.

At first sight they were very good - amazing. At 100% magnification not at all. The photos looked in detail like a watercolor painting. Every detail was blurred.

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35 minutes ago, Wilm Ihlenfeld said:

I absolutely agree.

A few days ago I was out and about taking pictures. My son was there and took pictures with his latest generation smartphone. I asked him to send me his photos and I viewed them in Photoshop at original size.

At first sight they were very good - amazing. At 100% magnification not at all. The photos looked in detail like a watercolor painting. Every detail was blurred.

Hi Wilm! How are you?

I agree with you wholeheartedly. I have GoPro cameras, with similar technology to the smartphone, which I use for driving pov videos, and sometimes I want to take one of the frames and upload as a photo. But it needs a heck of a lot of work to get them to stock quality. In the past, when SS was a lot more lenient, it wasn't so bad, but nowadays its almost impossible.

Yes, I would say the OP's pics are smartphone ones. I just checked. They are not 3:2 or 16:9 like DSLR's, but instead 4:3 like these. 

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I thought I would add some tips here for the OP or anyone else using smartphones and GoPro cameras on how you MAY get them accepted for stock agencies.

1. Only shoot with a lot of light  to lower noise. 

2. Do not add any additional post processing. Most of the time these sort of cameras look good anyway. But do not increase saturation or lighten the photos because this will exaggerate all the imperfections.

3. Do not use noise reduction filters or sharpening tools for the same reason.

4. Use the blur tool in PS or similar software and go gently around all areas EXCEPT the main focus area to smooth out all the noise. This will give the appearance of a much more smoother surface and often helps with reviewers.

5. Try and really nail the main focus area. 

6. Downsize your photo. Photos always look better and imperfections less noticeable when photos are smaller. 

  

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55 minutes ago, Milleflore Images said:

Hi Wilm! How are you?

I agree with you wholeheartedly. I have GoPro cameras, with similar technology to the smartphone, which I use for driving pov videos, and sometimes I want to take one of the frames and upload as a photo. But it needs a heck of a lot of work to get them to stock quality. In the past, when SS was a lot more lenient, it wasn't so bad, but nowadays its almost impossible.

Yes, I would say the OP's pics are smartphone ones. I just checked. They are not 3:2 or 16:9 like DSLR's, but instead 4:3 like these. 

Hello, Annie,

I'm fine. However, the year was marked by ups and downs. Corona did not leave me without a trace, even if it was only for my job and not for my health.

I really hope that you are doing well too! Have you reached the 100,000 in the meantime? In my opinion, it can't be that far for you anymore. But that is completely secondary - as long as you are healthy!


Many greetings to Down Under,


Wilm

P.S.: And of course I apologize to the OR for posting irrelevant contributions here.

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My tiny bit of advice to the OP is this, food is stationary and unlikely to move. If you are continually rejected for focu , but do not know why (although I agree with the other posters here about these specific images), try this:

Try an overhead shot of a plate of food, straight down. it puts your subject matter at one focal depth (unless you have really lumpy food ) and use a tripod or other stabilizer for your camera. If you are still rejected, then it is an equipment/software issue like noted above.

I like the food arrangement you have though, maybe next time take the lid off the sauce, just for the shot. It changes a piece of plastic into an ingredient.

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