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Author Topic: Confusion about submitting to Alamy - question, please?  (Read 20583 times)

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« on: November 12, 2008, 00:26 »
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I was reading the guidelines for submitting to Alamy, but perhaps I'm just "duh" - a couple of things confuse me, so if I may ask for clarification from contributors please?

1)  Let's say I'm submitting using images from a Canon 40D (10MP).  It's my understanding that it's now ok to submit in JPG format online and you do not have to convert to TIFF, correct?

2)  It's saying the image file has to be 48mb in size?  So, I should upsize the 40D image until it reaches that size?   If I'm using CS4, what pixel dimensions should then give me around that file size?    Gee, even with a speedy DSL connection, a 48mg upload might take a while!  I guess I'm reading this right.  I can't just upload the 10MP 40D image as-is in it's native size then, huh?

Thanks ahead for clarification.


« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2008, 00:43 »
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Alamy has a great forum.  On a real quick search, I found this, you might wanna read thru it... will answer the questions you'll ask after you do something and it's not right yet :D
http://www.alamy.com/forums/Default.aspx?g=posts&t=3557

Do a search thru their forums, they're full of good stuff :)

lagereek

« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2008, 02:20 »
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Here are some guidelines. Upsize the file to approx. 48-52 TiF,  after that you convert to jpg for uploading.
You can use two techniques for upsizing, either use General-Fractals ( program) or use PS, but dont mess with the Pixel-size. Go to picture-size in PS and just change the 100% to 110% ( Bicubic soft) and then in steps increase by 110% until you reach a size of around 50m TIF.
Above precidure is the very last you do and stay well clear of any USM sharpening, they dont really like that.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2008, 02:22 by lagereek »

« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2008, 09:45 »
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Go to picture-size in PS and just change the 100% to 110% ( Bicubic soft) and then in steps increase by 110% until you reach a size of around 50m TIF.

Thanks to both of you for your help.

One thing, though.  In your example lagereek, it sounds like "stepping" when you upsize the image. 

Here is a blurb I found on Alamy's site under their submissions area:

"We advise that you do not use step or incremental interpolation. Check your softwares default settings to ensure that all sharpening is turned off."

Also, I was once reading in a forum (not specifically about Alamy though) where someone who claimed to be a Photoshop tester said that the resizing algorithms had been redone as of CS3.  He claimed at least, that if you actually used "bicubic sharper" (what you normally use when reducing size), that this produces BETTER results when *upsizing* now, due to the way the last programmers tweaked it.  It was something not advertised by them but supposedly tested and found to be true.  I'm assuming if it IS true, it carried over to CS4 (which I recently got).  Heard anything about this?

hali

« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2008, 12:37 »
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i used to shoot with a 7 MP camera. i shot in RAW then open the ORF file in photoshop and select the largest size for Alamy's purpose. which will be 5000 px on the longer side. you can process the raw file to sharpen and reduce any noise,etc...
then you save it as tiff. in 16 bit it will be about 100 -110 mb, in 8 bit tiff
it will be 49 -50 mb.
this is the size that you read as requisite for Alamy.
when you save this in jpeg, it will be much smaller, so it will upload faster.
do all your post processing on the raw, or tiff format.
don't save to jpeg until you are completely satisfied.

i hope i explained it as simple as i can. i can understand your confusion.
i was lost too at the beginning when i first join Alamy. but i contribute to Alamy first of all.
of course, if you want to make life easier, borrow or get a 14MP or higher camera. then your image will only need a little to upsize (increase in size).

yes, Alamy does not want you to upsize, no sites encourage this.
but without a high resolution camera ,you still need to upsize.
i hear some people have a software that actually increase the size without loss.
i have not tried it, so i can't tell you whether they work or not.

good luck. Alamy is a great place to join. sales are slow, but don't forget, the money is bigger, so you need less sales to earn the same .

hali

« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2008, 12:39 »
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oh, i forgot.  shoot in ISO 100 (200 at the most). this will make it easier to increase the image size.
hope this helps. not an expert at anything, just telling you what i learn from others here.

« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2008, 14:15 »
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Thanks for the additional info, hali.

« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2008, 14:26 »
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another point on submissions -- for whatever reasons, alamy prefers 300 dpi to 72 -- i had a lot of trouble with acdceptances until i read their faq in detail and it's been better since   -- at 300 dpi a std image will have a long side of abourt 5000 pixels

« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2008, 17:32 »
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I find it funny, and it may actually cause part of the sizing issues at Alamy, if you state a size as uncompressed 48 mb, the resolution does not matter.  But they do state the 300 dpi in their specifications which is kinda dumb in my opinion.

Scott

RacePhoto

« Reply #9 on: November 13, 2008, 00:39 »
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I find it funny, and it may actually cause part of the sizing issues at Alamy, if you state a size as uncompressed 48 mb, the resolution does not matter.  But they do state the 300 dpi in their specifications which is kinda dumb in my opinion.

Scott

True, I never look at the DPI I just set the longest side to 5025 and many others say 5100 just to be safe. File ends up 48.2 for landscape with long side 5025. Don't go bigger just because it's bigger, you just lose more.

Yes, leave bicubic on. They are talking about the Sharpen Tool when it says Do Not Sharpen, not the part that runs during resample.

If you are using anything from Elements on up to CS4 the file size and file size (I did that on purpose) listed down on the bottom. Photo file size (DOC SIZE) is one number, file size on disk is the smaller one. It's confusing until you figure it out the first time and then it's simple. Once you resize the first time and see the numbers on whatever editor you use for the Doc Size, you'll know where to look.

General rule is open the original, convert to TIF, do all your editing on the TIF, save it as a jpg. If you open as a jpg and edit that, then save, you actually lose a little bit of quality. I still use Elements because it does what I need to do and isn't as slow or bulky as PS6, CS2 or CS3 or Lightroom. I save the files as <filename>-al.jpg so I know it's one of my Alamy files, which I'll probably never need again, since only Alamy wants these monster upsizes?  ;D

lagereek

« Reply #10 on: November 13, 2008, 03:36 »
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Yes but frankly. General-Fractals is the best program for uprezing, thats the one used by the Graphic industry.
When uprezing in PS, you can use steps or do the whole thing in one. Bicubic soft is to uprez and Bicubic sharp is for down-rez.

« Reply #11 on: November 13, 2008, 15:51 »
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A friend run some tests with GF versus two other tools and frankly I prefered the results of a very unknown program called ClearerZoom.  I even posted samples here once.  These were 640x480 pix images upsized to 1280x960 and the "new" details looked better in CZ than GF.

Regards,
Adelaide

lagereek

« Reply #12 on: November 13, 2008, 15:57 »
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A friend run some tests with GF versus two other tools and frankly I prefered the results of a very unknown program called ClearerZoom.  I even posted samples here once.  These were 640x480 pix images upsized to 1280x960 and the "new" details looked better in CZ than GF.

Regards,
Adelaide


Hi!

Only CZ  can render more artifacts then GF. You see only because it " looks " better,  doesnt mean much, in fact a good sharpener looks more or less as if it hasnt sharpend. If you know what I mean. It sound a bit funny doesnt it.

hali

« Reply #13 on: November 13, 2008, 16:05 »
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Only CZ  can render more artifacts then GF. You see only because it " looks " better,  doesnt mean much, in fact a good sharpener looks more or less as if it hasnt sharpend. If you know what I mean. It sound a bit funny doesnt it.
true , sort of like in the old film days, when many beginners mistook grain for sharpness, and claim that kodachrome 25 is not as sharp as the faster ektachromes. i'm sure some of your elder photographers recall that too.  and now, you get the same thing, people saying their jpegs look sharper than their raw images. only because there's jpg sharpening and or noise.

lagereek

« Reply #14 on: November 13, 2008, 17:01 »
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Yep Hali!  you got it in one.  Good observation.

lisafx

« Reply #15 on: November 13, 2008, 17:15 »
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Good thread!  Another question about Alamy submitting.  I just had my first four test images pass QC.  Not sure how to proceed...

Is it better to upload in small batches, or to upload a lot of images at once? 

Am I understanding right that they only check a few images in a batch and if one of those is bad they fail the whole batch?  If so, I am wondering if I should upload in small batches.


RT


« Reply #16 on: November 13, 2008, 18:20 »
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Lisa,

Firstly I don't think you should upload to Alamy at all, but if you are going to insist on trying to take some of my sales away my advice would be not to worry how many you upload in what size batches, your work is more than up to quality for Alamy.
But in answering your question yes they select random batches and dip check some of the images, the more you upload and the more batches you get passed the less they check as time goes by.
The real point you should consider is the time factor involved once they pass QC, because in order to succeed on Alamy you need to manage your images correctly and the way they're keyworded, and that takes a fair bit of time.
Good luck and I hope you don't sell anything  ;)

hali

« Reply #17 on: November 13, 2008, 18:27 »
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again, yes i have to agree with RT. the keywording is quite different and maybe i haven't learn to use it effectively. but i wrote Alamy to say what's wrong with my portfolio, and they did look at them and said there is nothing wrong, just get more images in, and yes, like you said, pay more attention to the keywording.
Lisa, good luck with Alamy. but really, with your record, i don't think you need to worry. just make sure to leave some sales for me  ;)

« Reply #18 on: November 13, 2008, 18:31 »
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I don't know if it is sharpening or the algorithm.

In this image, Blow-up is at left, GF at center, CZ at right:


Do you see anything in GF image that justifies its cost compared to US$25 CZ?  I didn't say CZ was perfect, but that GF is over-rated.

Regards,
Adelaide

RT


« Reply #19 on: November 13, 2008, 18:44 »
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Hi hali, Alamy is a macro agency and you need to keyword in macro language which is quite different to microstock, for example before I started in microstock the only time I'd use the word 'isolated' to keyword an image is if I had a shot of a small farmhouse set amongst some rolling hills in the middle of nowhere, if I had a shot of a banana on a white background it's a 'cut out' and 'cutout' .
And yes as you pointed out the folks at Alamy are a breed apart from some of the microstock sites, and if you ever ring them you'll get just as good service.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2008, 18:46 by RT »

RacePhoto

« Reply #20 on: November 13, 2008, 19:00 »
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I'll second that from RT  ;D but since you are already there and we don't really compete with content, I'd say, start out with smaller batches, say 24 photos in your case and see what happens. The idea at Alamy is  you are your own reviewer and if you find a photo that is on the edge, don't risk uploading it, because everything you have in QC, even if from different pending uploads, will be rejected. One photo fails, everything fails!

I started with 4 or 5 at a time, moved up to 15 and when I got the feel for self regulation, increased batch sizes. My last upload was 124 photos. I've only had one batch rejected and it was some throwaway group of four that I wasn't sure about, and I sent it in by itself. They weren't that bad, but the first motorcycle was a little soft on the number plate and I suppose the reviewer had to do what they do. I may re-submit the other three some day, but for now they are on Featurepics.

Everything I have on Alamy is exclusive, except one RF photo and 95% of my photos there are editorial.

I still use Elements 5 to upsize and have had no rejections because of that. I got accepted with my 6mp 10D, first batch,  and now I'm shooting a 40D. I think that some people have trouble with the big size because they tend to overprocess their photos which can add artifacts. I have never used any noise reduction software like Noise Ninja or Neat Image because I don't like what it does to the sharpness. Could be I don't know how to use it, but when I remove noise, I personally think it makes the pictures look like crap.  :)

Just pointing out that you don't need to go out and buy something special to resample images. Open the JPG, convert to a TIF, resample... do whatever else you might want to do, save as a JPG.

Might as well mention that sometimes I have saved as Max 10 and sometimes Max 12, and haven't been able to see any difference except in file sizes. I'm open to anyone else's experience with this. I can't tell them apart.

Want some more? Should I start a different Subject about what data fields Alamy reads from ITPC and where they end up? It could save you some time. Once you have photos passed, the process of keywording, clicking licenses and adding data is somewhat time consuming. Another reason to start with smaller batches and get used to the buttons, three different keyword fields (Essential 50 characters, Main 300 characters, Comprehensive 856 ranked by importance), description 2000, location 100, caption 128, all of which are read in searches!

Maybe it's just me but no matter what software I use, the Keywords are truncated at 54 characters, and all keywords get dropped into the Comprehensive field, which means I have to cut and paste them into Essential and Main while I add the words that got hacked off from the original upload.  :D

« Reply #21 on: November 13, 2008, 21:43 »
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I just sent them 4 images few days ago and I passed the test so I think I will spend some time building a portfolio there from now on.

But I'm still a bit confused with few things there like..

I do my keywording before uploading ,so when my keywords show up in editing  and I decide which are the most important ones , should I delete those same keywords from the less important field or should I leave them there too ?

Is there a link to your gallery or to your pseudonym gallery or something like on micros cause I just cant find something like that ?

Thanks



 

lagereek

« Reply #22 on: November 14, 2008, 02:54 »
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Hi Lisa!

If it can be avoided: dont use any sharpening at all, I dont.  As we all know, sharpening can render other wonky things called artifacts and it takes a lot of graphic trickery to get rid of them.
RT is right! theyre a breed apart here and some of the micro language doesnt really suit Alamy ( weve all experienced what happens when a Micro tries to imitate an RM agency! ( Getty-IS ). Blimey, we dont want that pharaphernalia again.
Upload in two batches instead of one big one, because of the QC, anything else you can mail me.
It will be good to have you at Alamy!! We need competition. RT needs FIERCE competition.

PS. Ive always advocated: if possible, stay away from all sharpening, even in PS. Leave that to the client.

best.  Christian
« Last Edit: November 14, 2008, 03:00 by lagereek »

RT


« Reply #23 on: November 14, 2008, 09:18 »
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It will be good to have you at Alamy!! We need competition. RT needs FIERCE competition.

Thanks Christian, now where's my nearest oil refinery  :D

AVAVA

« Reply #24 on: November 14, 2008, 10:49 »
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 Hi All,
 
 I was once told by a math nut that the best step up for PS to make images bigger is 112%. I don't know from adam myself but this was someone doing a lot of upsizing in the old days before GF. If I was you I would use Genuine Fractal, they rock. Are there some math nuts out there that might know why the number would matter. Thanks.

Good Luck,
AVAVA

lagereek

« Reply #25 on: November 14, 2008, 11:25 »
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It will be good to have you at Alamy!! We need competition. RT needs FIERCE competition.

Thanks Christian, now where's my nearest oil refinery  :D


OH! thank God !!!!!!!!!!!  Lisa doesnt photograph these things.  Joking apart shes gonna be one hell of a competitor.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2008, 11:26 by lagereek »

lisafx

« Reply #26 on: November 14, 2008, 11:50 »
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Wow, thanks for the warm welcome and the great advice!  I am actually joining based on your kind encouragement Christian :)
(sorry RT, LOL)

I got overly ambitious with my first batch and sent 118.  It failed QC. 

My second batch of only 25 passed though, so it looks like the advice here to take my time and do smaller batches is right on the money.

Actually, I am really excited about this!  Happy about having someplace to upload the concepts concepts and editorial images I don't want to put on the micros.  Wow, it opens up whole new vistas!!

If I can only manage to come up with the time to devote to building a portfolio there....

Thanks again for the help guys! :D

« Reply #27 on: November 14, 2008, 12:02 »
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I got overly ambitious with my first batch and sent 118.  It failed QC. 

My second batch of only 25 passed though, so it looks like the advice here to take my time and do smaller batches is right on the money.

From what I read on Alamy forum, they suggest batches from 10 to 20/25 images to minimise QC fails. I usually submit 8/10/12 cause my production is very small. I find the QC process of Alamy pretty easy to pass once you follow the few rules.

lagereek

« Reply #28 on: November 14, 2008, 13:40 »
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Youre more then welcome Lisa! we can keep an eye on you there. Glad you got accepted and RT is really happy!!  Right now hes looking for an oil-refinery for you.

all the best  Christian

RacePhoto

« Reply #29 on: November 15, 2008, 02:10 »
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I got overly ambitious with my first batch and sent 118.  It failed QC.

My second batch of only 25 passed though...
 

Wow that was fast on both accounts.

Let me guess, "sharpness" as in they thought something was soft or out of focus? Just wondering.

vonkara

« Reply #30 on: November 28, 2008, 20:59 »
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I'm pretty curious on how you do things. You all shoot RAW images and then convert them to TIFF and to jpg. But do there's a way to upsize a JPG isolated shot of 4mb and achieve the 48mb limit???

« Reply #31 on: November 28, 2008, 21:17 »
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I'm pretty curious on how you do things. You all shoot RAW images and then convert them to TIFF and to jpg. But do there's a way to upsize a JPG isolated shot of 4mb and achieve the 48mb limit???
they mean the uncompressed file size should be at least  48mb. your 4mb file size its compressed  jpg's file size. so if you open it in photoshop and go to image size menu on the top of the dialog box you will see the uncompressed file size, which  should be higher then 4mb.I usually up size my   8mp files  about 45%  to achieve the required  file size.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2008, 21:19 by stokfoto »

vonkara

« Reply #32 on: November 28, 2008, 21:45 »
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Hey thanks! Now it make sense

DanP68

« Reply #33 on: December 04, 2008, 06:39 »
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Glad to see many of you are already in Alamy, or headed in.  I have had an empty account there for about a year, and I am finally getting around to doing something with it.  I believe I will start with editorial sports, and then start testing concepts once I've passed the initial QC and gotten a few batches online.

Racephoto, are you doing RM or RF for your editorial sports?  And could you lend some advice to me on keywording editorial sports properly for macro?

Much obliged!
Dan



RacePhoto

« Reply #34 on: December 06, 2008, 01:28 »
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Glad to see many of you are already in Alamy, or headed in.  I have had an empty account there for about a year, and I am finally getting around to doing something with it.  I believe I will start with editorial sports, and then start testing concepts once I've passed the initial QC and gotten a few batches online.

Racephoto, are you doing RM or RF for your editorial sports?  And could you lend some advice to me on keywording editorial sports properly for macro?

Much obliged!
Dan




Oops, just caught the message, you can PM me for more and I'll give you my email address and some links.

Bottom line, everything racing is Editorial.

Drivers right to his or her own image, car design, all logos, advertising signage, sponsors names, service marks, trademarks, sanctioning body rights, track or facility rights, if there are any workers or spectators, and probably more reasons, you can't sell copies of the photos you take, to anyone, anywhere. (except those uses that fall under editorial, educational, news Etc.)

I put in the racing series, event, the location, track name, drivers name, make/model/year/color of car. (or whatever vehicle sometimes cycles or go karts) Unlike micro, it's data intensive more than descriptive. Talk about keywording, I have files and stacks of printouts and have to wade through them for each event. Something to keep in mind while you are at the event, because it's much harder to find some things on the web. Over ten years worth of race results filling a filing cabinet and I don't really know why?  ;D

One years media guides and results will fill a legal size bankers box maybe a couple of them with the team guides, programs and promotional materials.

The usual, you'll need a request for credentials on a letterhead or at least have an accredited website or publication, faxing in a request, to get you into the hot areas beyond the catch fences. There's much more but that's the basic info. Most tracks and events, more and more because of liability and people who just try to score a free ticket, Freelance Photographers are refused access. Some points around the track are limited to media outlets that qualify, not all photographers get all access. Pits are limited the same way. Then victory lane is more restricted to the need to be there because it's small and crowded.

Photo meetings are usually at 7:30 am, even if the race is at Noon or later. If you don't attend you don't get the vest or tag for that day. There's talk that certified fire suits will be required in some areas for 2009 for some events, so that's tightening up. ALMS already required them for the pits during races, the IRL is very likely to do this according to a safety source. They had virtually no access during races because it's way to dangerous. I don't do NASCAR which means I don't have a clue about their standards or requirements, but I expect it's even more difficult to get media access because of the higher demand.

12 hour days are not unusual, three day weekends not uncommon, sometimes editing until Midnight (sometimes in a tent!  :D) up again at dawn. I can't be sitting inside editing during the day, if I'm going to be outside shooting. Some publications want photographers to write articles also, race changes and laps for passes, which is a good trick being in three places at once.

It's really something I enjoy. I love it and it's great fun.

« Reply #35 on: December 06, 2008, 16:50 »
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What I still don't understand about Alamy: are you allowed to upload microstock RF images to their RF category? I have a few images there already but those are completely different images and they are in the RM. But I would be happy to upload my RF images as well.

« Reply #36 on: December 06, 2008, 19:28 »
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Valaaami,

This has been discussed in many other threads already, such as these three:
http://www.microstockgroup.com/index.php?topic=6311.0
http://www.microstockgroup.com/index.php?topic=5738.0
http://www.microstockgroup.com/index.php?topic=5092.0

Many people do, many people don't and won't do. Alamy doesn't say you can not do it, I think it's up to you to do it or not.

Regards,
Adelaide

« Reply #37 on: December 06, 2008, 20:48 »
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What I still don't understand about Alamy: are you allowed to upload microstock RF images to their RF category? I have a few images there already but those are completely different images and they are in the RM. But I would be happy to upload my RF images as well.

 You will be despised by all the original and most other Alamy contributors, if you do.. Up to you =)..


 

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