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Author Topic: Composition rejection  (Read 6978 times)

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ShadySue

« on: December 06, 2011, 15:23 »
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I seem to have had a few 'composition' rejections recently - other than a couple when I started, this is new for me.

I'd appreciate some feedback on this one. It's an editorial, so under iStock rules, no 'altering' of elements allowed, just a choice of position and cropping. Bear in mind that they're specifically requesting 'go local' and 'create authentic-looking imagery' this very week (two discussion forum threads by RogerMexico).
http://www.lizworld.com/comp.jpg
This is a jpg of a jpg, I took the submitted image and stuck a watermark over it. Specific comments about the composition as an editorial image welcome.

TIA


« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2011, 16:10 »
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Well when a microstock says "authentic" I hear "self-consciously plastic-y authentic".  

But, if I had to guess, maybe it looks like the photo is supposedt to be about food prices, but there are only a couple of price signs in the photo they're not front-and-center.  

Or something else that escapes me entirely.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2011, 16:14 by stockastic »

« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2011, 17:37 »
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I'm not crazy about the way the image is cut off.  You have a sign and two of the produce bins cut off on the left, and the signs cut off at the top.  Maybe if it was framed a little higher and to the left, sacrificing some of the bamboo on the right.  Or pull back a little to find a more natural frame on those two sides.  Feels snapshotish to me.

« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2011, 18:04 »
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I don't think there's too much wrong with the composition of the image, as basic illustrative stock rather than 'art'. I'd have more of a problem with the 'composition' of the stall itself which is a bit untidy with lots of different and cheap containers being used. That oversized pumpkin thing dominates the foreground rather too much for example. I'd think better organised and prettier stalls could be found to illustrate 'produce prices' for editorial purposes.

Ed

« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2011, 19:34 »
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It's a great stock image for Alamy...and it will sell.

The micros will accuse it of being a "snap shot" depending on the reviewer who looks at it.

RacePhoto

« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2011, 05:04 »
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I Know, I Know...




authentic-looking imagery.  :) Does not mean actually authentic.

Those bins may be real and the location, vegetable, produce, and everything perfect with the shot, but composition is kind of helter skelter. (real maybe but they don't want real, they want real LOOKING. Have we had this discussion before?)

I agree, Alamy.

lagereek

« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2011, 05:43 »
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So what?  most editorials are snapped on the fly, Magnum agency calls it snatch and grab shots. I mean for all the millions of shots that IS house of ex; workers, standing smiling stupidly into the camera ( instead of doing something), well hardly authentic, is it.

Give it to Alamy as suggested, the guys there are far more experienced when it comes to this.

Microbius

« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2011, 05:47 »
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I would say they probably want it cropped tighter (just showing the boxes of fruit and veg) or wider (the whole store)
It looks maybe a little messy with the edges of stuff showing at the border (?) I can't think what else it would be.

ShadySue

« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2011, 06:40 »
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Thanks everyone. Seems the pic is an 'epic fail'. I hadn't thought of it representing 'food prices' at all (they're too ephemeral). I was thinking more of usage in an Italian language textbook where there is almost always a 'market' chapter (an of course many more photos needed nowadays for IWB) or guidebook (likewise).

The thing that annoys me is the plastic around the sugar cane. However, I kept it in as 'sugar cane' is, to Scots, remarkably 'exotic' (I haven't even seen sugar cane in a Glasgow deli, but I've never really tried).

Yup, I'd have automatically sent it to Alamy except I had to crop tightly from the original and downsize it for high ISO. I don't know where you all live, but I thought this stall was remarkably tidy - I have dozens of pics from the same market which are far more 'natural' than this one.

Thanks again.   :)

Ed

« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2011, 11:16 »
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I wouldn't consider it 'epic fail' at all.  I think it's just a matter of taste - and a lot of the reviewers at the micros don't have a taste for this sort of image.  That's not a bad thing...if every agency accepted the same image, then the only thing they would have to compete on is price...and we all know that leads to lower commissions.

Take a look at the image at 100% again.  Clean up any noise in Lightroom...and downsize to 3604 on the long edge.  It may still be a candidate for Alamy.  I agree with you about usage and I've seen much worse images of grocery stores sell.

If you can't upload it to Alamy, send it to one of the other lower tier agencies....how about Mostphotos?  I keep saying, there's a market for every image.

...and for those that don't agree with my market for every image comment I keep making.  Think of it this way.  If you are a photo buyer looking for images for a book on photography and wanted examples of bad images, and you went to various stock agencies (micro or otherwise) and did a search on the following terms:

poor composition
bad lighting
chromatic aberration
chrominance noise
luminance noise

how many images would you find?  Try it - search results will be nil or next to nil

ShadySue

« Reply #10 on: December 07, 2011, 15:54 »
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 If you are a photo buyer looking for images for a book on photography and wanted examples of bad images, and you went to various stock agencies (micro or otherwise) and did a search on the following terms:

poor composition
bad lighting
chromatic aberration
chrominance noise
luminance noise

how many images would you find?  Try it - search results will be nil or next to nil

I needed them recently for a beginners' class I was teaching: specifically I wanted accidentally focussing between two objects and how to recognise the difference between subject movement and camera shake, and I had to take them myself, on a dark, rainy day.
Someone else here said the same thing, and there's a thread on exactly that in the Alamy forum just now.
Many years ago, in pre-digital age, I remember seeing a request from an agency looking specifically for all that sort of images for e.g. photo magazines.
I suppose no agency wants people saying, "Look at this image I brought from X - it's not even in focus".

digitalexpressionimages

« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2011, 16:19 »
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Bad photos are a lot easier to find than good ones. In fact Photoshop is killer at turning good shots into bad ones:

motion blur
gaussian blur
add noise
crop
rotate
saturation
levels

all basic filters and tools that can take the best photograph ever taken and turn it into the worst.

I don't mind your photo, I like it and can see value and uses in it. Reviewers often lack judgement in that department.

« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2011, 16:26 »
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It's a great stock image for Alamy...and it will sell.

Wow! I wish I could predict Alamy sales with such certainty!

« Reply #13 on: December 07, 2011, 16:30 »
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I once took my camera to a farmer's market, thinking I'd get some stock shots.  When I really started looking at the grower's tables I realized everything was an ugly mess - although the vegetables themselves look good.  In fact the messiness is part of what sells at these markets, because it looks "authentic" and earthy.  But it won't get approved as stock.

« Reply #14 on: December 07, 2011, 16:33 »
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But it won't get approved as stock.

Won't get approved as MICROstock.

Alamy's biggest single sale ever was a mucky, badly-composed fish stall, with the heads of the staff cropped off.

Sue's isn't even in the same ballpark for "poor composition".

« Reply #15 on: December 28, 2011, 15:34 »
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Yep, the photo / composition needs more space. This one looks a small part of a big stall, and cut sharp! They rejected one of my hair curling machine photo because of cutting the cable. Some reviewers are strongly against cutting objects in any way! They don't care your opinion or preferences, they just need suitable photos for designers.  ;)

Some photos lost their charm when they are shot at a long distance to keep every part of it in frame! I'm not sure about thisone, because I don't kow the rest of stall. :)

ShadySue

« Reply #16 on: January 24, 2012, 15:10 »
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Last week I took a mad impulse to Scout it, and the rejection was just overturned.
Thanks all.

ruxpriencdiam

    This user is banned.
  • Location. Third stone from the sun
« Reply #17 on: January 24, 2012, 18:33 »
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It's way to busy there is no one central area of interest to focus on and it makes your eyes wander around looking for the main point of interest in the shot.

Also it is what is known as a snapshot because of the way it is taken.

anyone could have walked up and took the same shot standing up shooting down onto them it would have been better composed to have lowered yourself down and to have shot across the stand instead of shooting down onto it.

There is no space for designers to use.

You cut things off as well.

And there is a copyright/trademark visible in the shot as well.

There is also nothing that is what would be considered newsworthy about the shot.

Reviewer was right. :(
« Last Edit: January 24, 2012, 18:36 by ruxpriencdiam »

ShadySue

« Reply #18 on: January 24, 2012, 18:41 »
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It's way to busy there is no one central area of interest to focus on and it makes your eyes wander around looking for the main point of interest in the shot.

Also it is what is known as a snapshot because of the way it is taken.

anyone could have walked up and took the same shot standing up shooting down onto them it would have been better composed to have lowered yourself down and to have shot across the stand instead of shooting down onto it.

There is no space for designers to use.

You cut things off as well.

And there is a copyright/trademark visible in the shot as well.

There is also nothing that is what would be considered newsworthy about the shot.

Reviewer was right. :(

It's an editorial shot as clearly indicated in the OP. No issue with copyright/trademark, and no need to leave space for designers to use.
It wasn't intended to be newsworthy. I've already indicated I don't see any value in putting newsworthy images to sell at micro prices.
However, having taught for over 30 years, I have a reasonable idea of the textbook market, which I indicated above was my intention.

Thanks for your input.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2012, 19:22 by ShadySue »

RacePhoto

« Reply #19 on: January 25, 2012, 11:27 »
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Last week I took a mad impulse to Scout it, and the rejection was just overturned.
Thanks all.

I suppose if I cared I'd write to Scout when I get something rejected, but I've become bored wasting their time.

Nice in the case of your shot which shouldn't have been rejected as Editorial in the first place.

Score one for the little guys (and girls)  :)

« Reply #20 on: January 25, 2012, 11:29 »
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I suppose if I cared I'd write to Scout when I get something rejected, but I've become bored wasting their time.

do it very often and it does work but I need to be sure of what I am doing too

rubyroo

« Reply #21 on: January 25, 2012, 13:30 »
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Last week I took a mad impulse to Scout it, and the rejection was just overturned.
Thanks all.

Glad to hear it Sue.  Congrats :)

Ed

« Reply #22 on: January 25, 2012, 14:29 »
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It's a great stock image for Alamy...and it will sell.


Wow! I wish I could predict Alamy sales with such certainty!


I can say it with certainty because Ive licensed this image



Twice for a total of $70.  Its awfulnot stockworthywould not be accepted at the microsand its only 4 months old.  I wonder how much more it will bring me  ;D

Its a snapshot I took while walking home from the train station.

gillian vann

  • *Gillian*
« Reply #23 on: January 28, 2012, 00:58 »
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 I think it's just a matter of taste - and a lot of the reviewers at the micros don't have a taste for this sort of image.  

bugger! my most absolute fav thing in the whole world is to shoot f&v at farmer's markets... *sigh* I'm still forcing myself to grasp the notion of "natural/authentic" and accept that I have to change if I want to make successful images.

ShadySue

« Reply #24 on: January 28, 2012, 06:51 »
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 I think it's just a matter of taste - and a lot of the reviewers at the micros don't have a taste for this sort of image.  

bugger! my most absolute fav thing in the whole world is to shoot f&v at farmer's markets... *sigh* I'm still forcing myself to grasp the notion of "natural/authentic" and accept that I have to change if I want to make successful images.

At the risk of being stereotypical, I noticed that in Germany (could easily be different now), many years ago, that even outdoor food markets were all about the presentation. The fruit and veg were regimented into very strict arrangments. They were even watered from watering cans during the day. You greeted the seller cursorily, bought your food and went away with it.

In Italy it's all about the food - and the arrangements were as they were - to some stockers' eyes 'untidy'. Customers talked for ages to the stallholders about the food, discussed its provenance, what they wanted to do with it, sought advice; only the tourists in the queue got annoyed: the locals accepted the long wait, as they'd be able to do the same when it was their turn.

An authentic photo must show these characteristics - the iStock editorial rules state clearly that we must not change reality, which tidying up a stall (or cloning out faults in e.g. fruit) would also be. And what would be the point of making a veg stall look like a German veg stall if it was Italian/whatever?

it's the difference between main collection and editorial. Take Bananas - most of the best match bananas on iStock, for instance, are yellow or yellow-green; yet eating them like that would be likely to give you indigestion and the taste wouldn't be as good. Perception and reality. (Try finding a ready-to-eat banana in a shop around here: don't get me started!)


 

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