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Jose DN

Shallow depth of field confused for out of focus ?!

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Posted (edited)

Hello. Can you guys confirm that I'm not going insane here. I choose the shallower DF on purpose and the focus is on the lower part of the roof around the cat and the cat himself. Are they using some kind of automated software to review this ? This was a small test on my part and I'm considering not submitting my other work here and just continue on some of the other sites I'm already on, even though I don't have a large portfolio yet. At least over there I get a consistent reason why my work is not accepted even if some can be even stricter...

Anyway, what you advise me to do ? This DF was obviously chosen as an artistic choice..

By the way, is there a risk of the photos we put were on the forums being stolen with less legal protection ?

Cheers

Jose

EDIT: I forgot to say, the reason for the rejection was out of focus, but I guess you guys had that figured out anyway...

SmallerTest.jpg

Edited by Jose DN
Addendum for refusal reason

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Yes. My macro insects are sometimes rejected for the reason that the background is out of focus. They don't say what is not in focus but it's definitely not the subject. It's becoming increasingly frustrating. And yes I think images posted on the forum could be stolen.

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First, I can’t see, in this example, if the cat is in focus. Second - in my view - if you make a photograph with shallow depth of field the background should be much more blurred. Third, it’s a god idea to mention shallow focus in the caption. Fourth, there are a number of other reasons why this image should be rejected. Just my opinion on your issue.

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1 minute ago, oleschwander said:

if you make a photograph with shallow focus the background should be much more blurred.

100% agree, I can understand why the rejected. 

On 5/1/2020 at 4:26 AM, Jose DN said:

This DF was obviously chosen as an artistic choice..

You never should think about "obvious" when submitting to SS. 

And you never should think about "artistic" when submitting to microstock in general. 

By the way, they accept intentionally OOF:

parts-blue-slippers-raised-feet-600w-170

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Usually, from my experience, they accept shallow focus, but the main subject of the image still needs to be in focus, in this case that would be the cat's face. If the cat's face is not in focus, they will reject the image and rightfully so.
I often submit images of my dogs where just the eyes are in focus, but the nose is already out of focus. Never had a problem with that. But if you submit an image like this, and the focus is on the roof in front of the cat and not on the cat's face, it's most likely not what a potential customer is looking for and he can't tell where the focus is from the preview and will assume it is on the cat.

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We can't see the image at 100%, you need to check for focus at it's full size to be sure focus is sharp in the right place. 
They will accept shallow DOF images if they are done correctly with sharp focus on the point of interest. 
If the DOF is very shallow mention it being so in the description to show both the reviewer and buyer that it is intentional.

On the issue of image security on the forum, well as soon as someone buys a licence to use an image they can put it up full size on their website with no security, so it's pointless worrying about it imo. 

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In this case the focus should have been on the cat eyes. If those are even slightly OOF then the rejection is correct. Hard to tell from the small thumbnail you posted.

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"Playing" with DF, as at first round it goes to AI for review, this is a sure reject. AI just doesn't understand your intent. If at 2nd submit you explain it better in the description (selective focus, focusing technique, etc.), it may pass. But in your case it seems that the focus is more on the front clay tiles than on the 🐈. So it's not a winner in that sense. If however the intent would have been of old, decaying roof with "accidental" cat sleeping on it)?? Who knows. It may pass. Incidentally, if there were no cat at all, and a slightly different frame with more sky for copy space and more of the chimney shown, this photo could (would) sell. Just my humble opinion. 

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One other thing to remember when it comes to depth of field and images for most stock work is to make sure that the image is done in such a way that the eye of the viewer falls first on the object of attention. In your case, the cat. The problem with your shot is the chimney on the roof is so large that the eye goes to that.

This can be fixed in a couple of ways when taking the shot. First, to use a DOF that is sufficient to properly blur out the background and not just make it a bit blurry. Second, is composition. Compose the shot in a way that other objects do not compete with your object of intention.

To answer your basic question, SS does take images with a shallow DOF without problem. I have been doing it for over a decade here but as I said it needs to be done properly.

What the others said about the focus on the cat is true as well. The object of attention needs to be properly focused. I always suggest zooming in 100% and check the focus that way. Many think their images are in focus when they are not.

OOF images is one of the biggest problems many have with taking images. OOF images can be caused by many things; improper tripping of the shutter, too slow a shutter speed, improper holding of the camera which can cause camera movement when the shutter is tripped. Good technique will go a long way in helping get the focus just right.

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Thanks all for the replies. Well, the title of the image was "Rustic Roof with a Rustic Cat". There's no way I'm going to get that cat posing like that again, and note the similarly of it's fur spots with the roofs old semi dead lichen and moss spots.

I guess stock photography has a particular intent so that the images are more generally useful for everyone. I did zoom to 100%. The right eye turned out in some shadow and can't be seen but I think the left one is sufficciently in focus. Besides "Rustic roof ..." is what comes up first in the title.

I did not make a note to the reviewer about the DF as some suggested, maybe next time...

Taking / moving the chimney would have interfered with the light coming from the Sun, so it was a compromise... Maybe I should have taken another angle, but I don't know, I tried various and the cat was about to run from me. I think he was hunting birds which makes it kind of iconic given his furs resemblance to the roof :)

Maybe I'll try to take another one without the cat.

Ah, another thing, I'm using a sharp and good lens but it's MFT, so I can't go to a shallower DF (this was at 2.8). I do think that taking the rest of the roof /chimney off (shallower DF) would have taken it a bit out of context ...

Cheers

 

Eyes.jpg

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I see the problem from a different perspective. When one is having one living subject (animal here) and a non living subject (the roof here) in a single frame, it is human nature that we will try to see the living subject first and in focus. From here what I see, the depth of field stops before the cat and it's eyes.

Sorry but I think the rejection was proper.

Regards,

Rudra

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On 4/30/2020 at 10:26 PM, Jose DN said:

 

EDIT: I forgot to say, the reason for the rejection was out of focus, but I guess you guys had that figured out anyway...

SmallerTest.jpg

 

except if SS has changed review, the rejection would not be for OOF, but for Main subject being OOF.  What was your caption?  Why do you have a cat in image if you are illustrating roof tiles?  What is the use for customer?

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53 minutes ago, Rudra Narayan Mitra said:

I see the problem from a different perspective. When one is having one living subject (animal here) and a non living subject (the roof here) in a single frame, it is human nature that we will try to see the living subject first and in focus. From here what I see, the depth of field stops before the cat and it's eyes.

Sorry but I think the rejection was proper.

Regards,

Rudra

 

 

not only eyes, but buyers....  why would a purchaser looking for a image of a tile rook top for commercial use want an OOF cat on it?

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13 hours ago, Jose DN said:

Thanks all for the replies. Well, the title of the image was "Rustic Roof with a Rustic Cat". There's no way I'm going to get that cat posing like that again, and note the similarly of it's fur spots with the roofs old semi dead lichen and moss spots.

I guess stock photography has a particular intent so that the images are more generally useful for everyone. I did zoom to 100%. The right eye turned out in some shadow and can't be seen but I think the left one is sufficciently in focus. Besides "Rustic roof ..." is what comes up first in the title.

I did not make a note to the reviewer about the DF as some suggested, maybe next time...

Taking / moving the chimney would have interfered with the light coming from the Sun, so it was a compromise... Maybe I should have taken another angle, but I don't know, I tried various and the cat was about to run from me. I think he was hunting birds which makes it kind of iconic given his furs resemblance to the roof :)

Maybe I'll try to take another one without the cat.

Ah, another thing, I'm using a sharp and good lens but it's MFT, so I can't go to a shallower DF (this was at 2.8). I do think that taking the rest of the roof /chimney off (shallower DF) would have taken it a bit out of context ...

Cheers

 

Eyes.jpg

 

 

what is the commercial use of the image?

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1 hour ago, jean-francois me said:

 

 

what is the commercial use of the image?

To be fair I think that is an unfair question - I quite often have images of which I cannot answer that sell, and sell for more than subscription value.  I do even attempt to answer what commercial use for an image is there, if it is sharp and high quality I caption it and keyword it.  I would rather have a few that do not sell than miss the sales of those I would not have uploaded if answering that question.

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14 minutes ago, Starsphinx said:

To be fair I think that is an unfair question - I quite often have images of which I cannot answer that sell, and sell for more than subscription value.  I do even attempt to answer what commercial use for an image is there, if it is sharp and high quality I caption it and keyword it.  I would rather have a few that do not sell than miss the sales of those I would not have uploaded if answering that question.

It was rightly rejected because of technical defects. As far as its use:
my roof pictures are among my best sellers. I don't know who buys them, but there must be many different users. And they very often buy photos of roofs. Even if both the roofs and the photos are ugly. 
So the idea for this photo is good, the implementation less so.

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16 hours ago, Jose DN said:

Well, the title of the image was "Rustic Roof with a Rustic Cat".

The subject is the roof and the cat.

 

The roof is not in focus.

 

The subject is not in focus.

 

Case closed.

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On 5/2/2020 at 9:46 AM, David P. Smith said:

One other thing to remember when it comes to depth of field and images for most stock work is to make sure that the image is done in such a way that the eye of the viewer falls first on the object of attention. In your case, the cat. The problem with your shot is the chimney on the roof is so large that the eye goes to that.

This can be fixed in a couple of ways when taking the shot. First, to use a DOF that is sufficient to properly blur out the background and not just make it a bit blurry. Second, is composition. Compose the shot in a way that other objects do not compete with your object of intention.

To answer your basic question, SS does take images with a shallow DOF without problem. I have been doing it for over a decade here but as I said it needs to be done properly.

What the others said about the focus on the cat is true as well. The object of attention needs to be properly focused. I always suggest zooming in 100% and check the focus that way. Many think their images are in focus when they are not.

OOF images is one of the biggest problems many have with taking images. OOF images can be caused by many things; improper tripping of the shutter, too slow a shutter speed, improper holding of the camera which can cause camera movement when the shutter is tripped. Good technique will go a long way in helping get the focus just right.

Hi Dave...haven't heard from you in a long time.  How are you?  How is our buddy Laurin doing?  Hope you guys are being safe in these crazy times.

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I love taking photos of stray cats and have many in my port, so I happen to like the photo. I would have been exciting seeing a cat blended in/camouflaged like this with the roof. I would have titled it "Mottled cat blends in with rustic tiled roof on a home (or whatever) in ____________. Selective focus on cat". That spells it out in more detail and places the focus on the cat even more. I use "selective focus on _____" quite a bit and I usually don't have problems.

On a shallow depth of field, I've found it helpful on occasion to accentuate it even more. You can add a radial filter (carefully, so you don't get a portion of the cat), and decrease the sharpening AND lighten it up where it's defocused. This may help.

From the photo it is still a little hard to tell if the cat is enough in focus for the reviewers, but if you try submitting again with those remarks, it may go through. It's a unique enough photo due to the cat's coloring and the tie in with camouflage, blending, etc. that it's worth giving a try. It's too bad you don't have either the whole cat or the whole chimney (I assume it's not cropped this way on purpose).

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No need to apologise (for the one who did), I appreciate your all honest opinions. But I disagree that the cat's head/eyes are OOF, maybe just not super sharp..[EDIT I just recked it and it is in focus]
Yap, ""Mottled cat blends in with rustic tiled roof on a home (or whatever)..." probably better describes it... it's just a photo that I found special and that I couldn't compose, if I did I would have missed it. .I think I'm going to try with a different title.

 

 

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On 5/2/2020 at 12:39 AM, oleschwander said:

First, I can’t see, in this example, if the cat is in focus. Second - in my view - if you make a photograph with shallow depth of field the background should be much more blurred. Third, it’s a god idea to mention shallow focus in the caption. Fourth, there are a number of other reasons why this image should be rejected. Just my opinion on your issue.

I agree.  The background needs to be more blurred.  With this photo, I’m not sure where to direct my attention.

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I made a mistake, that's more than 100%... Here's 100%:

Question, are you sure the forum engine is not resizing the image ? [EDIT] Seems to be ok...

Eyes2.jpg

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You might also like to use the 'Rule of thirds' and in your image the rear of the cat in the shot missing while the cat is the main focus and it's head is in the centre vertically, so the whole image is out of balance. If you where just going for the cat's head against the tiles you should have zoomed in a little more. You might like to try cropping the image just so that the cat's head is in the left upper third of the image but I don't know if this will help with OOF.

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