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Hi guys,

This is my first post, so I'll present myself: I'm Nico an amateur photographer from Switzerland, as you can tell, I'm new to shutterstock. So... at first, when I submitted my firsts pics in January, SS accepted a good part of them, and as I'm still learning hot to take good shots, I didn't complain about the rejected pics. But now ALL my last shots were rejected, mainly for the same 2 reasons: noise/film grain and compression artifacts. Now...I know I'm not an amazing photographer, but rejecting all my photos seems like overkill. I check them all out 100%. I'm attaching a few here, so I can get some of your feedback. If I'm wrong, however, I'd love some advice on how to improve these two issues. Thank you very much!

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I am afraid to say that the reviewers were right to reject your photos in all cases. They all have severe noise and compression artifact issues.

 

About the noise I can give you some advice: First of all, shoot with low ISO. It is possible that maybe your camera/lens just isn't good enough to produce good results if you are already shooting with low ISO. Second, remove noise from areas with lots of noise (usually skies, dark areas, etc...) in post procession. Don't run a noise reduction over all of the image, that will lead to soft focus. That's what I do with most of my images, even when I shoot with high quality equipment and low ISO. However, unfortunately in your photos the noise is really everywhere in your photo, so that alone won't solve the problem. You really need to reduce your noise issue when taking the photo already and can then just correct very noisy areas. Third, downsize your image as much as possible. For shutterstock 2500 pixel on the wide side will be enough. The smaller the image size is, the less noise will be visible.
But in your case you really need to work on the issue of not taking photos with so much noise to begin with.

I am not sure how to help you with the compression artifact issues, because I don't know what is causing it. Really poor camera equipment? Wrong post-processing? Maybe someone else has some ideas here.

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Thank you for your kind response. I actually understand what you are saying. Maybe the main problem is in postprocessing? The attached photo of the Spruce branches is the original one, and it seems to me that there is less noise, am I right? I shoot with a sony a6400 and a Canon EOS 70D, so I think I'm the problem and not the equipment :)  Moreover, I have the habit of aggrandizing my photos...didn't know that was a problem!

IMG_3222.CR2

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18 minutes ago, Nico Valsangiacomo said:

Thank you for your kind response. I actually understand what you are saying. Maybe the main problem is in postprocessing? The attached photo of the Spruce branches is the original one, and it seems to me that there is less noise, am I right? I shoot with a sony a6400 and a Canon EOS 70D, so I think I'm the problem and not the equipment :)  Moreover, I have the habit of aggrandizing my photos...didn't know that was a problem!

IMG_3222.CR2 23.74 MB · 1 download

I am afraid the raw file also has the noise issue, at least when I look at it in Adobe's Camera raw (won't let me open it in Lightroom):

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I looked at the file data and you made this with ISO 800 with your Canon EOS 70D. ISO 800 is already very high. I usually shoot at 100-200, never above 400 and that with much better camera equipment than the Canon 70D and even then I have to reduce noise in some areas in post processing, so I am not surprised about the noise in your images.
I think if you lowered your ISO to  not more than 300 and resized your images to 2500px before submitting, that would already help a lot.
Just can't make sense of the strange artifacts.

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Thanks Firn for your replies, in fact this particular photo at ISO 800 I think was taken in automatic mode, and I didn't pay attention to that... But thanks to your advices I was able to improve, and I got some new pictures accepted, and others are waiting :) It was just a matter of details I wasn't paying attention to.

Concerning the artifact problem I noticed that there are only in photos taken with my Sony alpha 6400, is it possible that there are because it's a mirrorless?

Moreover.. is it normal that I can write only two post per day on the forum? Or it's just because I'm new?

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28 minutes ago, Nico Valsangiacomo said:

Concerning the artifact problem I noticed that there are only in photos taken with my Sony alpha 6400, is it possible that there are because it's a mirrorless?

They look like jpeg artifacts which means there's something either wrong with the jpeg settings on your camera or if you've shot RAW and processed the file, something went wrong during processing. I've shot many images with the 6400 and have never encountered this issue.

Typically, it's never a good idea to process your image too much. Do very basic adjustments to make your images pop just a little. Usefulness matters more than beauty in stock.

You also don't need to upload full resolution files which amplify noise and artifacts. Reduce the resolution to 10 or 8 MP or maybe even lower. You won't have problems even with files shot in 1600 or 3200 ISO if you do that..

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