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Author Topic: More than usual rejections from Dreamtime  (Read 22754 times)

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lisafx

« Reply #50 on: January 05, 2010, 17:14 »
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i don't believe acceptance rate affects sales. no way. i never said my sales are directly affected by latest moths acceptance ratio. if some of you got it this way - YOU'RE WRONG. forget it.

Actually, it is Serban in Dreamstime's forums who has repeatedly said that acceptance ratio is a factor in search placement.  Better search placement = better sales, and the reverse is also true...

FWIW I am surprised that top sellers like you and Yuri are getting these types of rejections for "similars".  I figured that was mostly directed at newbies who will upload dozens of nearly identical images. 

I haven't submitted anything anywhere in a month or so, but now I am nervous I may face the same type of issue.


« Reply #51 on: January 05, 2010, 17:30 »
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The issue is that DT has recently started to reject images that are just similar but are very far from being "nearly identical".

I am trying to avoid similar images in my uploads, but I also saw that a few times.

« Reply #52 on: January 05, 2010, 17:33 »
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EDITED for comment response:

... we cant pick 1 or 2 best images as recommendedd, since our best wont necessarily coincide with a particular reviewers notions and sometimes, a series of similar shots ARE accepted eg, what if I had only submitted the 4 shots that were rejected?  Instead we have to submit any shots that are technically correct and not dupes of others, resulting in more work for all of us, and reducing sales when salable images are rejected
steve

to answer your comment, i once again refer to a response i once received from Mr Locke (shown here in CAPS), which i took to heart and from then on based my editing decision NOT TO SUBMIT TOO MANY SIMILAR IMAGES... but instead, NO MORE THAN 2,  3 AT THE MOST.

to further answer your last part of your comment, not paraphrased here for sake of brevity, i paraphrase a contributor and buyer, whose name evades me at this moment,
BE OBJECTIVE AND EDIT YOUR OWN WORK. IF YOU CANNOT DO THAT, THE BUYERS WHO ARE MOSTLY EDITORS WILL CONSIDER YOU DON'T HAVE THE ABILITY TO CHOOSE WISELY.

neither of these are my ideas. i wish it were. but i kept these wise words which in turn have increased my approval rating substantially .
 

lisafx

« Reply #53 on: January 05, 2010, 17:34 »
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The issue is that DT has recently started to reject images that are just similar but are very far from being "nearly identical".

Obviously.  Which is what I find surprising.

red

« Reply #54 on: January 05, 2010, 17:38 »
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Here is the Approval Ratio discussion on the DT forums (from 2007, time flies!):
http://www.dreamstime.com/thread_7419

« Reply #55 on: January 05, 2010, 17:58 »
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The issue is that DT has recently started to reject images that are just similar but are very far from being "nearly identical".

Isn't that what Veer has been doing consequently ever since they started?

Continuing on the OP's thread:

DT still seems pretty lenient from my POV, and their level - price based system would endorse such a policy. Microstock agents, in general, seem to be gradually diversifying their target audience; either by luring people into exclusivity, or by trying to maintain a unique collection of images (and thus rejecting images for various reasons). In doing so, it looks to me like they're creating collections which are not available elsewhere. I see it as Dreamstime's - or any other agents - prerogative to be selective in a market which is overly saturated on the supply side. Microstock is changing, and so must we.



« Reply #56 on: January 05, 2010, 18:01 »
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1 - Yuri claimed that DT doesn't accept the generic Getty release. Probably he used it unchanged, as to the country of jurisdiction (where Getty is represented).
Quote
Based on the English Model Release form and with a few insignificant changes in style and some fonts, and replacing the countries of jurisdiction by "(...)", I made a blank MS-Word 1997-2003 doc format version that you can download clicking this link.
(quoting myself)
For myself, I changed (...) by my country of legal residence, which is Belgium. DT and SS accepted  this form already for several models and several photos.

2 - Of my last 14 uploads, just before new year, 13 were accepted. One rejected was an editorial for "bad framing". So, not everybody seems to have the same experiences.

3 - It has been mentioned that level 1 images just give 30%. Well, first of all, IS gives 20%, and then, the level treshold has been lowered and starting at level 3, you'll get much more. And those are selling more.

WarrenPrice

« Reply #57 on: January 05, 2010, 18:05 »
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The issue is that DT has recently started to reject images that are just similar but are very far from being "nearly identical".

Isn't that what Veer has been doing consequently ever since they started?

Continuing on the OP's thread:

DT still seems pretty lenient from my POV, and their level - price based system would endorse such a policy. Microstock agents, in general, seem to be gradually diversifying their target audience; either by luring people into exclusivity, or by trying to maintain a unique collection of images (and thus rejecting images for various reasons). In doing so, it looks to me like they're creating collections which are not available elsewhere. I see it as Dreamstime's - or any other agents - prerogative to be selective in a market which is overly saturated on the supply side. Microstock is changing, and so must we.




Good observations and (it seems to me) these observations support the need to remain independent.  With so many images being rejected, being exclusive certainly limits the sale of your images.  What is to be done with all those rejects. 


« Reply #58 on: January 05, 2010, 18:27 »
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Good observations and (it seems to me) these observations support the need to remain independent.  With so many images being rejected, being exclusive certainly limits the sale of your images.  What is to be done with all those rejects. 


If it only were that simple... :) It obviously is either - or, and the grass is always greener on the opposite side of the fence. I've considered exclusivity, but Dreamstime's terms are too restrictive to seriously consider (at least for me). The scale isn't just quite tipping towards iStock either, as I've got too many assets elsewhere to forfeit.

Indeed, I'm staying independent, and revising my strategy of sending everything I shoot everywhere. FT obviously has its preferences, and so does 123 - they've become obnoxiously random, recently, too. DT is nicely joining the club. Because of the painfully precise inspections at iStock, they might as well get the finest niches. In the end, everything I shoot will be accepted somewhere, and considering StockXpert still sells images of me that remain unsold elsewhere, a fair deal will be eventually sold.

To throw in another cliche: Reading the posts in the active threads suggests it's the same ball game with many of us. Either to put all your eggs in one basket, or go with the flow. Either way, I really think it's about time to quit making guesstimates - the mirror ball is just foggy, at the moment.

Just a fuzzy generalization, here. Back to the OT, please?

« Reply #59 on: January 06, 2010, 07:14 »
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Guys, do you understand that submitting similars will dillute dramatically your RPD? Others may accept them, as they don't have our pricing system. But if you submit two files you will see less revenue, as your RPD will fall down. Not due to search placement, but because 5 sales will be split between these 2 and the file will not reach level 2 so fast.
Also, subscriptions have a thirst for similars. You will receive more sub downloads, because buyers will download them "just in case". This is not bad, it's additional revenue but keep it in mind when comparing RPDs.
More here:
http://blog.dreamstime.com/2009/09/02/similar-images-how-to-upload-and-how-much-is-too-much_art30298

It's much much more difficult for an editor to refuse files than to accept them. Especially when they don't come in batches to allow us to get the best-selling files from a session. Please understand that refusing good files is a tough decision and is applied only when the similarity will lead to lower revenue (lower $ not less downloads).

The alternative is to allow users to submit very few images. That will make them self-selective and will remove any similarity burden from our side. If this is preferred, we can definitely do it.

As for acceptance, it has a role in the placement algorithm along with other quality factors. Acceptance ratio defines a lot the contributor. I realize is not obvious from outside but is very visible when you compare two users: 20% vs 80%. This is not the most important role though.

« Reply #60 on: January 06, 2010, 07:45 »
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Some of my "similars" that have been rejected aren't really similar to anything in my portfolio and when I do a search, DT has nothing similar on the site.  They also sell on the other sites.  I do work in some niche areas and try to build up a collection because I have observed that this works well.  Buyers often buy several images from my niche, increasing my sales.  Some of the best selling contributors do this.  Should I change the way I work just for DT?  I wouldn't mind the rejections so much if it wasn't detrimental to my search placement, DT have the right to do whatever they want and overall I still like the site but this has become a problem.

« Reply #61 on: January 06, 2010, 08:08 »
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As a buyer, I was searching yesterday for an image to use in a project I am working on. I came across multiple downloads, and I mean about 20 photos, from one contributor. All the same subject, all practically identical. I was searching the DT site and one other, but I don't recall which site it was on. Whichever site it was, I was amazed that they all got through. There was no way a person would download more than one or two of this series, they were that close. The rest of the shots were just taking up reviewers time, space on the site, and my time sorting through them.

Not insinuating that yours are that way, sharpshot, just relating the frustration for buyers that comes when contributors are allowed to upload a ton of similar images.

I got a rejection one time for a photo being similar to something else in my portfolio. I accidentally named it exactly the same as one already in there. The shot was the same subject as some already uploaded, but the angle, etc. was way different than others. As soon as I renamed it and resubmitted, it was accepted.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2010, 08:11 by cclapper »


« Reply #63 on: January 06, 2010, 08:50 »
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to Achilles: I see your point about the RPD and it is great that you bring it to our attention. But why don't you allow us to decide what is good for our income and what is not? In my case: I do not care RPD nor the RPI - the only measure what counts for me is the Return per Portfolio (RPP?).
I am not sure you saw my early post in this topic so I repeat it. Woman is sitting at the office working on laptop (what a great unique idea :) ). She looks at the laptop, looking away and thinking, looks at the camera, she looks troubled, she looks happy, she looks busy. These are variations. Because of the different customer needs you may want all of these in horizontal and in vertical format as well. If I upload these I'll get more than of them rejected. Customer wants the horizontal one where the woman is looking away - but it got rejected because it was too similar to another one what the customer doesn't need. No problem he/she will find one from another contributor... but why is this good for my income?

My second thought... Every single image costs money: model, editing, keywording, uploading. Other agencies accept the whole series so I will not decrease the number of selects from a shooting session. After spending a lot of money on a session I want to see all the best images online. Maybe they are similar but they are not identical - the only identity is the fact they all cost money. So every image you reject is a significant loss.
Additionally... I do not want to spend even more time/money for another extra super-selection process in my workflow just for DT. If I can not upload the whole series I'll upload a random selection and not the bests, and I'll still get similarity rejections because of that randomness. This leads to frustration and the failed upload is a loss of time/money again.

What I am affraid of: if DT keeps this policy some contributors may stop uploading. Please keep in mind that even if I love DT for a lot of reasons it makes less then 10% of my income. FTL, SS or IS is making 3-4 times more so the annoyance factor (and extra expense) they can reach is higher. They can have more annoying upload process or a more nitpicking reviewing - IS is a perfect example :)

My next point is the size/exclusivity of your collection. It is clear that many agencies are trying to build an exclusive collection of images to differentiate themself from the competition. DT's new rejection policy leads to the opposite direction: you are on the way to build a 'black out' collection: collection of high quality good stock images can be find anywhere EXCEPT Dreamstime. Are you sure this is the best way to differ from others? I see how your strategy may work in theory because the collection is more tight so it is easier to browse. It is true. But, if I translate it to a simple message it sounds like that: 'DT is great and better than others because they have less images to choose from'. Hmmm... And you are not tightening the collection by quality (this is what IS is trying to do) but by similarity. If this is the case you shouldn't accept any more 'woman with laptop' or happy business people isolated on white' kind of images. I am absolutely on your side if you want to raise the level of quality. I agree if you reject images because of bad lighting... etc. But I can not agree this 'too similar' policy at all.


« Reply #64 on: January 06, 2010, 09:18 »
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^^^ That's an excellent post NitorPhoto __ my thoughts exactly.

Serban - I appreciate you have a lot of confidence in the judgement of your reviewers but my own 5 years experience tells me otherwise. I've simply lost count of the number of times that an image of mine has been initially rejected for 'not stock' or 'too many', which I've then slipped back in under the radar, for it then to go on to achieve the higher levels, EL's. etc.

If you remember, Istock announced that "Too Many has left the building" some years ago and it doesn't seem to have done them any harm as they remain the market leader by a country mile.

Of course Istock have the self-editing protection of the upload limits and personally I would far rather have upload limits than the relatively random rejection system in place now. Give us upload limits based on total sales, downloads-per-image, or some other reasonable factors and less us do our own editing as far as 'too many' is concerned. If that upsets the 'photo factories' then so be it as they are mainly responsible for the problem of massive numbers of similar images in popular subjects (because that's virtually all they produce). Upload limits will give DT a far more diverse, tightly-edited and higher quality collection than the current system.

Xalanx

« Reply #65 on: January 06, 2010, 09:24 »
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Excellent points, gostwyck and NitorPhoto - I couldn't have said better. In my opinion the "too similar" rejection should go for photos that are mostly identical. Guy facing the camera with red cup in his hand and same guy facing the camera in identical position, with yellow cup in his hand. Those that differ only by irrelevant aspects. The shot examples given by NitorPhoto with the woman in the office are perfectly acceptable in my view.

« Reply #66 on: January 06, 2010, 09:31 »
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Sharpshot, you may believe they weren't different, but editors check your portfolio for older files. Probably they found similars. Their tolerance to similarity depends on the subject. If it's sellable they are more tolerant.

Achilles, as an example for strange rejections: in December I uploaded 3 high resolution relief maps of Austria, Azerbaijan and the Balearic Islands. All 3 were rejected because of "Too many photos/illustrations on the same subject or from the same series".

If I search for 'austria relief map', 'azerbaijan relief map' or 'balearic relief map' there are NO images which are even remotely similar to mine, in effect you have no relief maps of these countries at all.

So, is a buyer who needs a relief map of Austria supposed to use one from Switzerland instead (which was previously approved and is in my portfolio)?

It seems to me that some reviewers don't quite understand what the sense of the 'too similar' rule is.

« Reply #67 on: January 06, 2010, 09:39 »
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Achilles, what about this: http://www.dreamstime.com/chode_info

He has a HUGE number of similar accepted


and he: http://www.dreamstime.com/Antoniomp_info

and he: http://www.dreamstime.com/Hugofelix_info  the same dog in different angles


Are we reviewed under the same light bulb?
« Last Edit: January 06, 2010, 09:46 by PedroV »

« Reply #68 on: January 06, 2010, 09:53 »
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in December I uploaded 3 high resolution relief maps of Austria, Azerbaijan and the Balearic Islands. All 3 were rejected because of "Too many photos/illustrations on the same subject or from the same series".

My impression is that some inspectors are checking thumbnails only. Relief maps of different countries may look quite similar from the thumbnail perspective. I have the same rejection experience with my pictures.

« Reply #69 on: January 06, 2010, 09:58 »
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I'd like to add my voice to the chorus.  Ignoring the expense of working with a model and the desire to recoup that expense with as many good images as possible, I believe that offering a large number of poses of the same individual in the same outfit and setting is of value to buyers.  It permits them to find the pose that's the best fit for their concept, something even small differences in images can affect. 

Perhaps the problem is that your search mechanisms don't offer a set of related images in a way that's convenient for the buyer, giving a few representatives on the first pass but then delivering the rest when he or she dives in.  But however they're presented, I'd argue that a larger number of similar is a good thing for the buyer.  By discouraging it, indeed, by reducing my ability to upload based on an acceptance percentage damaged by "too similar" rejections, you are doing clients and submitters a disservice.

« Reply #70 on: January 06, 2010, 10:04 »
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in December I uploaded 3 high resolution relief maps of Austria, Azerbaijan and the Balearic Islands. All 3 were rejected because of "Too many photos/illustrations on the same subject or from the same series".

My impression is that some inspectors are checking thumbnails only. Relief maps of different countries may look quite similar from the thumbnail perspective. I have the same rejection experience with my pictures.

Perhaps... But the Balearic Islands have an ocean around them, and even from a thumbnail you could see that Austria has not   :D

« Reply #71 on: January 06, 2010, 10:18 »
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Guys, do you understand that submitting similars will dillute dramatically your RPD? Others may accept them, as they don't have our pricing system. But if you submit two files you will see less revenue, as your RPD will fall down. Not due to search placement, but because 5 sales will be split between these 2 and the file will not reach level 2 so fast.
Also, subscriptions have a thirst for similars. You will receive more sub downloads, because buyers will download them "just in case". This is not bad, it's additional revenue but keep it in mind when comparing RPDs.
More here:
http://blog.dreamstime.com/2009/09/02/similar-images-how-to-upload-and-how-much-is-too-much_art30298

The alternative is to allow users to submit very few images. That will make them self-selective and will remove any similarity burden from our side. If this is preferred, we can definitely do it.
ortant role though.



Hello Achilles, Happy 2010.  good to hear your insight to this.
I've edited to quote two of your points for emphasis in agreement.
the first one, as I kept echoing SJLocke  who explicitly told me the same thing.
the second, which I think is a good idea. Same way that IS restricts our upload . At first, it may appear to be that IS does not want us indies to overwhelm their exclusives. But now that this matter of similarities and the need to be able to edit your own work objectively, I can clearly accept IS's limit , which in the long run also decreases the ratio of rejection.

Whatever the reason , mostly guesstimates here , that DT , FT, etc.. have now so viciously started to reject "similar" images, I think it is a good idea. This will definitely prevent a contributor from flooding the pages with one thousand and one rendition (colour change only) of golden men, lol..
of same poses different dresses, whatnot.

Specifically in your case, I can also see the value of not giving the subscriber too many choices. I agree that less is more in this sense, esp when an image attains a higher Level with more dls.
Although I am not sure if  a higher level actually brings more future dls,as in my case, I noticed the higher the level the less dls it seem to attract. maybe it's just my imagination, or just my specific upper level images.

anyway, i digress. Quite honestly, I have to admit , like many here, there has been a conspicuous lowering of dls lately. here's hoping this is just a seasonal occurence rather than the shapes of things to expect from DT. I have in fact increased my uploads to DT as my acceptance ratio has consistently iincreased. Hopely, this higher approval and consistent increasing portfolio , still small comparatively speaking, will reflect in an equal increase in my dls.

Happy 2010 to you , Carmen and all at DT.

« Reply #72 on: January 06, 2010, 10:39 »
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After thinking a lot, reading other posts and trying to be as open to the opposite opinion as possible I am going to think the problem is not on the conceptional level but in the practice how DT is implementing it in a day-to-day practice.
I can accept that identical images are being rejected. I also had some and I can accept it.
But I can not agree in the definition of identity. DT's current definition is something like this: if it is the same model and outfit and the image is communicating the same conceptual message in a similar composition then the image is too much similar. It still could work in theory but in practice - how the reviewers are trying to use it during that very short time they have for judging one image - it leads to unwanted rejections. This is why I think the definition is not good. Even if the conceptual message and the composition are the same the images can be very different in important details and in interpretation of the same concept. For example a model can role play a situation/concept on many different ways/facial-expressions. Some are authentic for one customer while the others seem perfect for another. While a cut/framing is suitable for one it might be useless for others. I base my opinon on rejections happened to me.

« Reply #73 on: January 06, 2010, 11:09 »
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Quote
In my opinion the "too similar" rejection should go for photos that are mostly identical. Guy facing the camera with red cup in his hand and same guy facing the camera in identical position, with yellow cup in his hand. Those that differ only by irrelevant aspects. The shot examples given by NitorPhoto with the woman in the office are perfectly acceptable in my view.

Ditto this.

The photos I saw yesterday had MINOR changes, like four fingers were showing on a hand instead of three. It reminded me of that game where you get 2 photos and you have to pick out 10 differences between them. I had a hard time figuring out how one photo was different than another.

By the way, I was searching again this morning. I searched on DT for female AND wrist AND watch. I ran across another portfolio with a ton of similars. There were differences, but from a buyers perspective, the differences were not that great. I could easily pick out a better of the two or three similars.

I do agree that the reviewers do not always do the right thing. I also know that some contributors flood the system, in the hopes that quantity puts them farther up in the search results, percentage wise. Many good points on both sides of this discussion.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2010, 11:14 by cclapper »

dbvirago

« Reply #74 on: January 06, 2010, 11:24 »
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First, thank you, Achilles for checking in here and clarifying some of the issues.

My problem with which similars to upload comes from an experience of mine a few years a go. I went through a nice neighborhood and shot about a dozen houses. All similar, but different. I had my favorites, but that regardless, uploaded all of the shots.

Across all sites, one of these images (and it wasn't my favorite) outsold all the rest of them by a huge margin. I still don't know why. The point being if that was the similar I decided to not upload, would it have cost me hundreds in revenue?

Or to put it another way, if I always knew which image was the most marketable, I'd be a lot more sucessful at this.


 

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