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First, a 30 second exposure on the best of gear is inviting camera shake through ground vibration.  You can't control that.  A car or truck driving by on the road could cause it, or even a small gust

No, it's not just you Kirk. I also used to upload with around 85%+ acceptance rate here in the past (93.2% at DT and about 95-96 at iS). Not so any more. If I get half of them accepted here at the fir

I just had two rejected for focus.  This seems to be especially problematic on landscape shots, where if everything in the frame isn't perfectly tack sharp, it will get rejected.  I don't generally co

Posted Images

The camera?...

Particularly, I don't see problems with focus. What I see is a possible limitation of equipment. After all, these parameters are not exactly the easy type to achieve with any sensor, lens or whatever (although, in my opinion, the result was not that bad this time).

But don't take my guess too seriously, after all, despite having doubled the amount of files available in my port the last 2 or 3 months and although I am very happy with my sales until December 31, 2019, I opened the first 20 days of 2020 with only 1 sale so far here on SS. :)

 

If you are interested (or, who knows, interests the SS staff)...

https://forums.submit.shutterstock.com/topic/99039-rejection-reason-focus/

https://forums.submit.shutterstock.com/topic/98994-curation-process-acting-atypically/

https://forums.submit.shutterstock.com/topic/98766-main-subject-out-of-fucus/

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David,

Given the DPI dimensions, I assume that this image is also a panorama of at least two images, correct?  If so and depending on what program you use to combine the images that may also contribute to the "soft focus" of this image.  Did you lock down the mirror when taking this "image", assuming you aren't using a mirrorless camera?  On a long exposure, the movement of the mirror can have an effect on focus even on a tripod. Backing off a bit on your f-stop might also help a little (possibly to f8 or slightly lower) depending on the quality of your lens 

Like Leonardo suggested, this is going to be a tough shot for almost any camera.  You may have reached the limits of your equipment or at least the weakest link in your "kit".

What advantage do you see in having an image with the dimension of 9000 X 4000?  Do you feel it will be in higher demand due to it's size?  SS upsizes images substantially via a computer program so I'm not sure the buyer would see any benefit to an image of this size.  If you have done some comparison uploading different size images and your research substantiates uploading very large images, I stand corrected but from my experience a "huge" image does not improve sales.

Great looking portfolio!  Keep up the excellent work.   

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First, a 30 second exposure on the best of gear is inviting camera shake through ground vibration.  You can't control that.  A car or truck driving by on the road could cause it, or even a small gust of wind, and because you're using a telephoto focal length, even the slightest vibration could register in your image, causing softness.  Forget 30 second long exposures for this kind of work.  

At f/11, you may also be getting some diffraction: light bending around the aperture blades instead of going straight to the sensor.  You could have shot this at ISO 400, opened your iris up to f/5.6, and shot the scene at @ 3 seconds and gotten the sane exposure.  

But I suspect that no small contributor to this image's softness is simply the air between your camera and the subject.  Dust, heat, and humidity can all negatively affect your images, and the farther you are from your subject, the more of these light difracting and diffusing elements you have between subject and lens. This is especially true in cities at night, where the "heat island effect" keeps things warmer than areas with less concrete and asphalt.  I've had shots taken with a 600mm lens ruined because the camera picked up the heat waves coming off water between me and the subject.  The only fix for too much distance is to get closer to your subject.

Hooe this helps..

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1 hour ago, Phil Lowe said:

First, a 30 second exposure on the best of gear is inviting camera shake through ground vibration.  You can't control that. 

You can if you use a good quality wooden tripod. Wood absorbs more vibrations than either aluminum or carbon fiber.

Wood is the way to go. I do long exposures all the time (very often minutes) and never a problem.

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4 hours ago, lennystan said:

yep there seem to be large scale of focus rejection going on SS right now, had whole batch of photos rejected today, funny enough I uploaded one of that SS reject photos earlier to alamy and it was good enough for them? always though A had higher standard compare to SS....

Alamy rarely rejects one of my pics. I am not bragging, just proving that's not true.

3 hours ago, Steve Bower said:

What advantage do you see in having an image with the dimension of 9000 X 4000?

Good question. I thought there wasn't but something recently made me change my mind. It could be a coincidence though. I'll prove my theory now that the image has been approved without reducing size.

3 hours ago, Steve Bower said:

Great looking portfolio!  Keep up the excellent work.   

Thank you :D 

1 hour ago, Phil Lowe said:

At f/11, you may also be getting some diffraction:

I just wanted to get an image as sharp as possible getting advantage of the absence of wind... Guess reducing ISO at 100 and lowing to f11 is not the way to do so. And  I didn't know about diffraction. 😊 It's always nice to learn new things.

4 hours ago, Leonardo Castro said:

The camera?..

Could be. It's a Nikon D5300 with a cheap 70-300 lens. That's all I can afford with SS subs.

 

Thanks everyone :D 

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46 minutes ago, Phil Lowe said:

At 70mm?

Large format, extended bellows. f64,  70mm is nothing. If you do use aluminum with longer lenses and longer shutter speeds, take the battery grip off and use a lens collar if possible. Don't even think about the center column. (I know you know Phil, but just in case somebody else might read this)

I have one vintage camera with a 4 inch wide cloth roll up focal plane shutter. (once you hear that shutter, you will never forget)  If I use an aluminum tripod with that camera, the whole camera shakes. Even though I use an overweight heavy duty ball head. Wood? no problem.

 

That particular camera was actually designed to be handheld. The human body absorbs vibrations and all that much better than aluminum or carbon fiber too.

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39 minutes ago, Rudy Umans said:

Large format, extended bellows. f64,  70mm is nothing. If you do use aluminum with longer lenses and longer shutter speeds, take the battery grip off and use a lens collar if possible. Don't even think about the center column. (I know you know Phil, but just in case somebody else might read this)

I have one vintage camera with a 4 inch wide cloth roll up focal plane shutter. (once you hear that shutter, you will never forget)  If I use an aluminum tripod with that camera, the whole camera shakes. Even though I use an overweight heavy duty ball head. Wood? no problem.

 

That particular camera was actually designed to be handheld. The human body absorbs vibrations and all that much better than aluminum or carbon fiber too.

Thanks for that very useful hint 🙂

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The simplest answer to the OP's problem is that his "cheap" (his words not mine) 70-300mm is simply soft to begin with (especially at the extremes) and in that case, one can cement the camera/lens in concrete and that still wouldn't change anything.

Also his 9000 x 4000 px is upsized from the camera's native resolution, which is 6000 x 4000px I believe. Isn't that against the SS rules?  If this is true, you have your reason for rejection(s) right there. Unless his 9000 was a typo, then see answer number 1

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I have just had a rejection for not in focus which I resubmitted without changing the photo - although I added focus on the bee to the description - and it was accepted.  Being me I am now questioning whether the rejection was correct or the acceptance.

I know the front of the flower is out of focus - it is the bee that is the subject.

A honey bee apis mellifera with visible pollen baskets visiting the flower of a butterbur Petasites hybridus in winter.  Main focus is bee not flower.

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I think there are lots of issues going on.  I didn't know that the lens was a 70-300 on an APS-C camera, for instance, when I wrote my tome.  So revisiting my first point:

5 hours ago, Phil Lowe said:

...a 30 second exposure on the best of gear is inviting camera shake through ground vibration.  You can't control that.  A car or truck driving by on the road could cause it, or even a small gust of wind, and because you're using a telephoto focal length, even the slightest vibration could register in your image, causing softness.  Forget 30 second long exposures for this kind of work.  

Turns out that the 70mm on a crop sensor camera is the FF equivalent of a 105mm lens, and should be shot as such.  Reducing the potential for camera shake is critical for nighttime photography: sturdy tripod and head with weighted bags, if needed, mirror lock-up, and remote shutter release are all important factors, as are shorter shutter speeds, again to reduce the amount of time the sensor is exposed to light.  Now, here's a shocker: you can get nighttime telephoto images approved here using even marginal lenses with these other techniques.  This is a nighttime shot of the Mackinac Bridge, taken in July of 2013.  It has sold for me a few times.

stock-photo-mackinac-bridge-at-sunset-20

And here's the EXIF data on it:

1039479922_1-20-20204-40-24PM.jpg.503c0d6a75202bf63b9d953277740370.jpg

The point is this: it might've been entirely possible to get a shot with your lens approved taking care that it was completely stable, that you used good technique, and that you upped your ISO a couple of stops and opened your aperture up so that you could shorten your exposure.  I shot this using mirror lock-up with a remote shutter release to eliminate mirror slap: vibration caused when the mirror snaps open and closed.  When post-processing, I needed to add only slight noise reduction.  Given that the 5D MkIII was/is about a stop-and-a-half better on ISO performance over a Nikon D5300, your shutter speed would probably be about 3 seconds to get a similar result.  Certainly, there is no reason to shoot a scene like yours at 30 seconds.  As I noted, for me it's just inviting trouble.

This image was shot with the "gold-banded" Tamron 70-300, supposedly much sharper than their earlier 70-300 models.  In the interest of full disclosure, I sold that lens a couple of weeks later and replaced it with a Canon EF 100-400 MkI, because the Tamron was just too short and soft at 300mm for my wildlife work.  The Canon was much, much sharper at 400mm wide open (f/5.6) then the Tamron was at 300mm at f/5.6. 

However, going back to my original point: no glass, no matter how good, will work for nighttime photography without extreme care taken to eliminate or reduce - as much as humanly possible - camera shake.

Hope this helps. 

 

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22 minutes ago, Phil Lowe said:

I think there are lots of issues going on.  I didn't know that the lens was a 70-300 on an APS-C camera, for instance, when I wrote my tome.  So revisiting my first point:

Turns out that the 70mm on a crop sensor camera is the FF equivalent of a 105mm lens, and should be shot as such.  Reducing the potential for camera shake is critical for nighttime photography: sturdy tripod and head with weighted bags, if needed, mirror lock-up, and remote shutter release are all important factors, as are shorter shutter speeds, again to reduce the amount of time the sensor is exposed to light.  Now, here's a shocker: you can get nighttime telephoto images approved here using even marginal lenses with these other techniques.  This is a nighttime shot of the Mackinac Bridge, taken in July of 2013.  It has sold for me a few times.

stock-photo-mackinac-bridge-at-sunset-20

And here's the EXIF data on it:

1039479922_1-20-20204-40-24PM.jpg.503c0d6a75202bf63b9d953277740370.jpg

The point is this: it might've been entirely possible to get a shot with your lens approved taking care that it was completely stable, that you used good technique, and that you upped your ISO a couple of stops and opened your aperture up so that you could shorten your exposure.  I shot this using mirror lock-up with a remote shutter release to eliminate mirror slap: vibration caused when the mirror snaps open and closed.  When post-processing, I needed to add only slight noise reduction.  Given that the 5D MkIII was/is about a stop-and-a-half better on ISO performance over a Nikon D5300, your shutter speed would probably be about 3 seconds to get a similar result.  Certainly, there is no reason to shoot a scene like yours at 30 seconds.  As I noted, for me it's just inviting trouble.

This image was shot with the "gold-banded" Tamron 70-300, supposedly much sharper than their earlier 70-300 models.  In the interest of full disclosure, I sold that lens a couple of weeks later and replaced it with a Canon EF 100-400 MkI, because the Tamron was just too short and soft at 300mm for my wildlife work.  The Canon was much, much sharper at 400mm wide open (f/5.6) then the Tamron was at 300mm at f/5.6. 

However, going back to my original point: no glass, no matter how good, will work for nighttime photography without extreme care taken to eliminate or reduce - as much as humanly possible - camera shake.

Hope this helps. 

 

That helps a lot Phil. Thank you!

 

14 minutes ago, MJD Graphics said:

If you use PhotoZoom they can't tell.

o. O amazing. thx for the info :D

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26 minutes ago, David Moreno Hernandez said:

That helps a lot Phil. Thank you!

No problem, David.  One more thing: if those numbers don't work for you as they did for me, because every scene is completely different, experiment to find the best combination of shutter speed, ISO, and aperture that works for your situation.  The key is not going too extreme on any one of the legs on the exposure triangle, as it will force you to go extreme on one of the others or even both.  Not many camera/lens combinations are optimized to work at extreme exposure settings, and the ones that are, are a great deal more expensive than a Nikon D5300 with 70-300 kit lens.  ;)

P.S. But if all else fails, as Rudy noted, invest in better glass, and even better gear, if you plan on doing a lot of this kind of work.

 

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