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Author Topic: Poor Lighting--Poor or uneven lighting, or shadows. White balance may be incorre  (Read 8527 times)

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« on: November 14, 2011, 19:03 »
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Most of my rejections in SS are due to "Poor Lighting--Poor or uneven lighting, or shadows. White balance may be incorrect.". Most of the times I don't understand them since the histogram looks good and I use a grey card for WB. I'm lighting with a 100x80cm softbox, 45 left of the subject and a reflector right so fill shadows. So could you help me understand this problem and correct it?

Here's an exemple of a rejection:



Thanks


« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2011, 19:24 »
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It's not so much the WB but the shadow below the subject, the lack of contrast and definition between the edges of the subject and the background, the dirty grey background itself and the low CV of the composition. It's not a good stock image.

« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2011, 19:36 »
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SS doesnt like most images taken midday, on an overcast day,stormy weather, etc, or buildings partly in shadow - sometimes you can fix these by increasing highlights or leveling, and adding saturatiion -  but it seems to also be one thoose "not-sure-but-i-dont-like-it" reasons

« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2011, 19:44 »
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you need to have a clean background, pure white or gray or other, looking at your port I see you have done it already, try to light it from below a little, also use a glass surface like plexiglass or regular glass, it will be easier to get pure white

« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2011, 19:57 »
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Thanks for the input. I'm familiar with isolation but I was trying to get away from that since I thought it could be boring if I over did it. I was looking at portfolios from other stock photographers I there are a lot of photos that are not isolated and that I liked. I mean the cigarettes are not floating on mid air, their are on top of a white table. :) I guess it doesn't work that way, at least with SS.

« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2011, 22:18 »
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One thing we are all up against is that these agencies are now trying to enforce higher standards on new submissions, but aren't removing old images that don't meet the new standards.   And without being very clear on what the new standards are.  

In many cases, I think someone just didn't like the image but didn't have a rejection 'reason' that directly applied.  White objects on a white background are tough.

Your image has a slight blue cast.  You might try completely desaturating everything that should be white or gray.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2011, 22:22 by stockastic »

« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2011, 05:28 »
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Your image has a slight blue cast.  You might try completely desaturating everything that should be white or gray.

Nice tip. Thanks. I didn't noticed that. I really need to start color calibrating my monitor again. My calibrator stoped working when I installed Windows 7...

« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2011, 05:50 »
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Your image has a slight blue cast.  You might try completely desaturating everything that should be white or gray.

Nice tip. Thanks. I didn't noticed that. I really need to start color calibrating my monitor again. My calibrator stoped working when I installed Windows 7...

I have tried that at times for architecture photography of white rooms and find that it leaves the room looking cold and lifeless.  There are always slight colors hiding in the image - a subtle blue in the shaow or a warmer tone in the highlights.  Desaturating can work to remove a bit of a color cast but 100% is too much.

« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2011, 10:15 »
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Desaturating can work to remove a bit of a color cast but 100% is too much.

It depends on the subject.  I've used this (partial desaturation) on some images that have sold well. 

« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2011, 10:18 »
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I'll try it and see if it works. It's not a great image but the WB rejection could really be due to the blue color cast, I guess.

« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2011, 11:18 »
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Shutterstock doesn't officially allow resubmission, but I think it's actually ok if you add an explanatory note.  Is that right?

What Leaf said is correct - it only works if the color cast shouldn't be there.  In a mostly white room, the shadows have real color due to reflections from objects.  A white cigarette on white paper should ideally have pure gray shadows.  

I guess if it were me, I'd also take out that loose speck of tobacco laying on the table.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2011, 11:21 by stockastic »

« Reply #11 on: November 15, 2011, 11:24 »
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Shutterstock doesn't officially allow resubmission, but I think it's actually ok if you add an explanatory note.  Is that right?

I think you can if you have a reason. If you correct something the inspector mentioned, I think it's ok to correct, resubmited and mention that on the explanatory note. On the past I complained to SS support about some silly rejections and they told me to resubmit the image and write in the explanatory note "Contact support regarding issue number ##" or something like that, so I guess it's ok. What is not ok is to resubmit the same image that was rejected without any correction just to try out luck with a new inspector.

RacePhoto

« Reply #12 on: November 15, 2011, 15:16 »
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Shutterstock doesn't officially allow resubmission, but I think it's actually ok if you add an explanatory note.  Is that right?

What Leaf said is correct - it only works if the color cast shouldn't be there.  In a mostly white room, the shadows have real color due to reflections from objects.  A white cigarette on white paper should ideally have pure gray shadows.  

I guess if it were me, I'd also take out that loose speck of tobacco laying on the table.


They have that brief rejection but here's the full "Lighting" answer:  http://www.shutterstock.com/buzz/rejection-reasons/why-photos-get-rejected-for-poor-lighting

Also yes, you can re-submit if the image is altered and with a note to the reviewer. Some reviewers are much more helpful and responsive than others. I don't know if it's optional, or if they are contract employees or just higher up? But I have received a helpful answer to a rejection now and then.

Guidelines Page which isn't always easy to find directly:  http://submit.shutterstock.com/guidelines.mhtml

Look under reasons for warnings:

5. Submitting an image that has already been rejected without writing a note to the reviewer explaining why the image(s) is being resubmitted. Resubmitting an image without making the appropriate corrections.

I found this interesting, even though I don't shoot anything that fits this, it may be fair warning:

People - If it has a person or body part in it, the image should be in this category. Groups of people also go here. *If you are posting a photo of a child DO NOT EVER USE KEYWORDS NUDE OR NAKED. Nor can you use "teen", "nude", or "sexy" as keywords or in the description of a single image. You will be warned the first two times you violate this rule; the third violation will cause you to be banned from the site, your past earnings will be forfeited, and your current images will be removed permanently.*

This one cracks me up:  9. Uploading repeat images that are in abundance (i.e. sunflowers, one office building, etc.)

Business handshake? Girl with headset? Sliced vegetables... Pet Cat? LOL

« Reply #13 on: November 15, 2011, 17:47 »
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>>>>>People - If it has a person or body part in it, the image should be in this category. Groups of people also go here. *If you are posting a photo of a child DO NOT EVER USE KEYWORDS NUDE OR NAKED. Nor can you use "teen", "nude", or "sexy" as keywords or in the description of a single image. You will be warned the first two times you violate this rule; the third violation will cause you to be banned from the site, your past earnings will be forfeited, and your current images will be removed permanently.*

a bit off topic - one of the most annoying things about BigS 'helpful ' keyword guesser is that it automatically adds 'SEXY' as a category to any image that has the word man or woman in it!  ESP'LY ANNOYING  since you then have to explicitly delete the stupid category

« Reply #14 on: November 15, 2011, 19:46 »
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Rejection reasons of big agencies become a puzzle to solve. Since they have several reasons to use, the editor simply picks the most appropriate.
In the majority of the cases, poor lighting is translated as: "I don't like this image" or "The overall look of the image is too poor". They simply can't write this there, because sounds ugly.

Looking at your example, I found too cropped. Also the filter part of the cigarettes looks extremely short. Regardless of the fact that the filter continues in white, it simply gives the whole image an unpleasant look.

The best answer to this would be like this: please take a fresh look at your image after a weekend/holiday/another-non-photographic-activity and you may see the real image, not the image you wanted to make.
Looking back in my portfolio, well, I have a LOT of images that look different compared to what I wanted... Those images had a lot of rejections at different agencies.

If you upload your images months after it was submitted to the first agency and it was also sold several times, you may be angry on stupid rejections. Somehow, some editors have a very good sense to reject exactly those images that sell best. Of course, in the same batch they accept all the crap. Generally speaking...
« Last Edit: November 15, 2011, 19:51 by icefront »

« Reply #15 on: November 15, 2011, 20:29 »
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icefront's advice is good, especially the part about waiting a few days and taking a fresh look.   

However, I liked this photo; the stark composition and narrow DOF, focusing on the ends of the cigarettes, show them for what they really are: delivery vehicles for tobacco.   A buyer might be looking specifically for an image that makes cigarettes look unglamorous and exploitive.

Like icefront said: we really never know why an image was rejected.

« Reply #16 on: November 15, 2011, 20:41 »
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Great advices from everyone, thanks. Bottom line is I should stop trying to figure what a did wrong regarding lighting and concentrate more in producing better composed images.


rubyroo

« Reply #17 on: November 16, 2011, 07:25 »
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Also the filter part of the cigarettes looks extremely short.

I thought that too, at first glance.  But now I think it's a band that looks like a filter, and the (white) filter extends beyond the band.  It's the only way it makes sense to me.

To the OP:  I agree with others about the blue tinge.  Very visible in the shadows. 

Paulo M. F. Pires

  • "No Gods No Masters"
« Reply #18 on: November 16, 2011, 08:06 »
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I see a blue cast too.

« Reply #19 on: November 16, 2011, 09:07 »
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I thought that too, at first glance.  But now I think it's a band that looks like a filter, and the (white) filter extends beyond the band.  It's the only way it makes sense to me.

You are right. The cigarette is all white and it has that thin band that looks like a filter. Now that it was mentioned, it looks a bit confusing since most cigarettes are not like that but I don't smoke and those were the only cigarettes I had available. But don't stress too much about that photo. This thread was not about that particular image but more on the cause of that rejection category. That image was made on the spur of the moment and I was trying to understand if there was a problem with the way I was lighting stuff.

What I got from this thread:
- Be careful with color casts
- Uninteresting images can get that kind of rejection

Carl

  • Carl Stewart, CS Productions
« Reply #20 on: November 16, 2011, 19:25 »
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Yes, the blue caste is there.  Get over it.  Some clients want that.  Yes, the shallow depth of field is there.  Get over it.  Some clients want that.  Yes, there are shadows.  Get over it.  Some clients want that.  If anyone doesn't want the clients to want things like that... get over it!   :P

« Reply #21 on: November 17, 2011, 16:57 »
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It turns out your tips paid off. Thanks.


rubyroo

« Reply #22 on: November 17, 2011, 17:59 »
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Congrats!  ;D


 

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