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Author Topic: Isn't upsizing nonsense?  (Read 13383 times)

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« on: December 02, 2009, 15:37 »
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I just signed up to Alamy and wanted to give it a try. As you know they have a 48MB uncompressed file size minimum. Now I read here that some of you scale your pictures up to reach this minimum size.

I honestly don't understand the reasoning behind this. This does not go against you, but Alamy. Upsizing a picture adds no information whatsoever. Anyone who buys a smaller picture can do this him-/herself in a matter of seconds, so why should they pay more for it? Don't buyers expect higher quality when they buy the maximum file size? If I bought a picture at maximum size only to find out it has been scaled up, I would not be very happy.

Don't Alamy notice upsizing or don't they care?


eyeCatchLight

  • Imagination is more important than knowledge.
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2009, 16:15 »
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I also find it nonsense - I don't know why they do it like this...
 ???

« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2009, 16:31 »
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When I first got interested in stock, I checked out Alamy and when I saw the upsizing requirements I said - forget it. Life is too short to spend it cranking out those giant files and uploading them, for no purpose.

The upsizing not only makes no sense, it costs Alamy money, in disk storage and bandwidth.  Even if you believe that their customers still see value in it, the upsized files could be generated on Alamay's servers, on demand. 


Dook

« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2009, 16:50 »
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Just buy Canon 5D Mark II and you will not be upsizing anymore.

eyeCatchLight

  • Imagination is more important than knowledge.
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2009, 16:55 »
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i guess not everyone has that amount of money at hand  ::)

ShadySue

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« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2009, 17:27 »
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Agree it's weird, but it's often done for Getty, and presumably other macros too.

lisafx

« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2009, 17:50 »
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Just buy Canon 5D Mark II and you will not be upsizing anymore.

Actually, since uploading images with my 5DII I find I have to shrink them a bit.  The 60.2 MB files produced by the 5DII exceed their limits.

Uprezzing or downrezzing is equally a PITA.  I agree it is a concept that has outlived its purpose.

« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2009, 18:14 »
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Just buy Canon 5D Mark II and you will not be upsizing anymore.

I make 3D graphics, so picture resolution is more a problem of time than of hardware for me. So far my pictures are between 3000 and 4000 pixels wide. I could make new renders for all of my pictures, but this would take ages because some are quite complex. And it will keep me from new creative work as well.

I guess I will make new renders for my first approval batch and then switch to upscaling and see if they accept it.

« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2009, 19:07 »
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It's been like this for a long time. It was deemed that 50M at 8bits was the optimum size to offer long ago and only recently have cameras exceeded these resolutions plus files used to come from scans and 50M was the standard applied. It should be noted that a great effort was made to get the files clean at this resolution.

reckless

« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2009, 19:18 »
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Maybe I am wrong, but I thought working on the file and upsizing it while it was a tiff before saving as a jpg created a better photo. If the customer or anyone upsized after it was saved as a jpg, some quality was lost.

PaulieWalnuts

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« Reply #10 on: December 02, 2009, 19:45 »
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It's gotta be frustrating for buyers to need to sift through the inconsistent image sizes of microstock. They find the perfect image and when they go to download it it's a 2MP file and they need something a lot bigger. But hey, that's what you get with cheaper images.  

If I was a buyer looking for an image I'd rather go to a place where I know all of the images are a minimum larger size and are acceptable quality at that size.

And an image is best upsized when it's in something like a TIFF or PSD format. If the buyer tried upsizing a smaller JPEG it probably wouldn't work out too well.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2009, 19:47 by PaulieWalnuts »

« Reply #11 on: December 02, 2009, 21:04 »
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Fine. So let people upload TIFFs then, and Alamy can upsize/downsize with their own high-buck software, on their servers, to whatever the users want, at the time they purchase the file. 

Either Alamy is just way behind the curve and running on autopilot, or they like the idea of leaving a few pointless hoops in place, to discourage the riff-raff.   

Or, they live in a cold climate and enjoy all the heat given off by their massive storage systems and saturated network cables.



 


« Reply #12 on: December 02, 2009, 23:16 »
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The only thing I care about is that Alamy sells, more than micros (for me) on a monthly average and upsizing only takes a few seconds per image with a Photoshop action (you can even automate the whole process).  If it is a leftover of the older days I dont care, for me they sell very well.

PaulieWalnuts

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« Reply #13 on: December 02, 2009, 23:25 »
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Fine. So let people upload TIFFs then, and Alamy can upsize/downsize with their own high-buck software, on their servers, to whatever the users want, at the time they purchase the file. 

Either Alamy is just way behind the curve and running on autopilot, or they like the idea of leaving a few pointless hoops in place, to discourage the riff-raff.   

Or, they live in a cold climate and enjoy all the heat given off by their massive storage systems and saturated network cables.

I just compared a file in different formats. As a JPEG it's 3MB. As a 8-bit TIFF it's 60MB. 16-bit would probably be 120MB. Not real upload-friendly.

So if Alamy (and Getty who does upsizing too) are behind the curve, what's the new standard?

« Reply #14 on: December 03, 2009, 02:57 »
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Maybe I am wrong, but I thought working on the file and upsizing it while it was a tiff before saving as a jpg created a better photo. If the customer or anyone upsized after it was saved as a jpg, some quality was lost.

Upsizing will never increase the quality of the image, regardless of the file format. All it does is interpolating neighboring pixels. All added pixels are just calculated from the existing ones. You will never see more detail than in the original size, even with the most expensive software. Better software only produces less scaling artifacts. It can't magically add details that were not present in the image before.

RT


« Reply #15 on: December 03, 2009, 04:21 »
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50mb has been the standard in macro agencies for many years, one of the reasons that Alamy and others require a file of that size is because any inherent flaws will be highlighted even more, if a file is good enough at 50mb then it is good enough for any of the proposed uses or size a buyer may have, and as pointed out this dates back to the age of film.

Some microstock agencies do the exact opposite which from a buyers point of view is a down side, how many times have you seen (or done it yourself) an image rejected only to be resubmitted at a smaller size and then accepted, when a buyer buys a maximum size of that image the agencies upsize it, so the buyer is getting an upsized version of a file that wasn't good enough at the native resolution, from an Alamy (and other macro agencies) they know that whatever file size they buy will be of a suitable quality for their intended usage.

@Stockastic - A few years ago you did submit your files to Alamy as tiffs by CD, although they did still need to be 48mb, jpeg submissions only came by with the advent of their upload system.

Most of this is irrelevant now or will be soon because most peoples cameras are capable of a native file size big enough to suit the minimum requirements.

« Reply #16 on: December 03, 2009, 07:43 »
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The size limit is from good ol' scanning days. It has nothing to do with current digital cameras, NOTHING.
About 50MB is a good size, about enough to fill a magazine spread, it's the fault of digital cameras not being able to produce such large files without interpolation. Alamy doesn't want to change this because they don't want their clients to find an image and then see that it isn't large enough (yes, this could be solved with some checkboxes or such, but that could get complicated if they are able to do some cropping etc.)

My 5D mk II (~60MB 8bit) makes much sense Alamy-wise and makes life easier :)

PS. Don't you kids forget that all colors are interpolated in a bayer-sensor, there is no "real" resolution. The images are always interpolated some way. The color resolution of a sensor is only half of what they claim to be. A 20MB sensor is really a 5MB sensor (color-wise).
Didn't Nikon buy Foveon technology from Sigma? A 12mpix Foveon would be very, very top-notch...
« Last Edit: December 03, 2009, 07:50 by Perry »

graficallyminded

« Reply #17 on: December 03, 2009, 10:05 »
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I honestly have always wondered why they just don't upsize on the site's server end, like most other agencies do.  That would be a lot simpler for everyone. Thankfully higher megapixel camera bodies solve this problem :) In the meantime I have a sweet droplet I made to upsize.  Haven't uploaded to Alamy in forever.  I need to give that place some more attention soon.

« Reply #18 on: December 03, 2009, 10:43 »
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I worked at a high-end offset printing co. for 10 years and learned that upsizing any photo, even a tif or psd, is really a bad idea. Alamy shouldn't accept upsized photos at all if they want top notch quality.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2009, 14:03 by epantha »

« Reply #19 on: December 03, 2009, 12:33 »
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Maybe I am wrong, but I thought working on the file and upsizing it while it was a tiff before saving as a jpg created a better photo. If the customer or anyone upsized after it was saved as a jpg, some quality was lost.

Upsizing will never increase the quality of the image, regardless of the file format. All it does is interpolating neighboring pixels. All added pixels are just calculated from the existing ones. You will never see more detail than in the original size, even with the most expensive software. Better software only produces less scaling artifacts. It can't magically add details that were not present in the image before.

I think he meant better to upsize at the tiff stage and then convert to jpg, rather than have to resize a jpg at the agency (or after download).  Less artifacts that way !  Better to leave as is though really ;-)

graficallyminded

« Reply #20 on: December 03, 2009, 12:50 »
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General rule of thumb in graphics design, is to try not to outstretch any graphics for print past 300dpi.  You learn along the way that in extreme cases you can push the limits to 200, even 150 if you're daring, especially when a stock photo you're trying to use isn't quite the size you need it to be.  Any lower than 150-200 dpi range, and you're going to look like a moron when it prints.  I don't understand why upsizing is even encouraged...it's definitely better to leave the resolution native.  Designers know how to upsize, if they absolutely have to.  The also know that resolution doesn't matter so much when printing large format billboards and displays, seeing they're viewed from a reasonable distance anyway.

vonkara

« Reply #21 on: December 03, 2009, 13:47 »
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  The also know that resolution doesn't matter so much when printing large format billboards and displays, seeing they're viewed from a reasonable distance anyway.
Exactly,

You can easily print a 4 feet by 6 feet billboard with only 12mpx. Highway billboards, even if they are the 8 feet by 12 feet, you watch them at minimum 30 feets of distance. That's approximatively like watching the image at 50% in photoshop.

Upsizing was used back when the best cameras were 6mpx. Dinosaur habit

« Reply #22 on: December 04, 2009, 18:42 »
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I believe their size comes from scanning 35mm slide or negatives in pro equipment.

vonkara

« Reply #23 on: December 04, 2009, 19:49 »
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LOL That's why they need to stop doing this it's almost embarassing

« Reply #24 on: December 04, 2009, 23:26 »
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I believe their size comes from scanning 35mm slide or negatives in pro equipment.

With very pro Film and very pro scanner you image will maybe pass at 4Mpix size at microstok eventually on 6 Mpix.


 

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