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Author Topic: Shutterstock - downsizing to 6mp - thoughts?  (Read 28961 times)

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« on: April 11, 2014, 01:24 »
0
Hello all, quite new to all this and would welcome some input.  I am trying (second time) to get accepted at Shutterstock.  The first time, I submitted full-size images (from Canon 60D and 6D) and there were a number of rejections for focus and/or noise.  Since then, I have uploaded to a number of other sites and am trying with a fresh set of images - to the extent it helps, selected from those which have been accepted by the other top 3 - hoping odds are with me  ;)

A question:  Shutterstock's guidelines say not to upsize or downsize, yet I seem to have read lots of posts where people seem to do this.  I gather for two main reasons:  1.  to minimise technical rejections and 2. because subscription means all sold for same price no matter size so leave larger sizes with other agencies.

I was planning to downsize my 60D and 6D to about 6MP, bigger than the minimum, but relatively small.  Thoughts?  What do others do?


« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2014, 02:31 »
+1
That's what I would do. The only reason I don't always downsize when submitting to SS is that it means the bother of having two differently sized files to upload to different agencies. I wasn't even aware that they said anything about not downsizing, it makes no sense that they would be happy with a shot from a 5MP camera at 5MP but would have a problem with a 20MP image downsampled to the same size.
20MP images are at far greater risk of being rejected for "focus is not where we like it" than 5MP ones are.
However, if they do have a rule about not downsizing, they might object to you doing it on the entrance test - though they would have no way of knowing it was a downsize rather than a crop.

« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2014, 02:42 »
+11
I downsize many files from 24 Mp to 6 MP only for SS. It stopped all those rejections for focus. I use shallow DOF a lot and SS doesnt seem to like it. So now they get nearly everything downsized.

Id rather have a small file online, then a large file rejected.

Beppe Grillo

« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2014, 03:38 »
+30
I resize almost all my 25 Mpix images to 12 Mpix > better (apparent) focus, less noise/artifacts, etc
They don't deserve to have 25 Mpix images if then the revenue is $0,38 for one sale

« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2014, 03:44 »
+1
I have a different opinion on this. Looking from the buyers perspective - the probably want the highest resolution they can get. So if they buy some images from KerinF and realize that all the images they get from him are too small - the might remember that and go for another contributor next time (if they have the choice). I think you should strive to make the image buyers happy.. A happy customer is likely to return!

A couple of months ago I sold 8 extended licenses from a specific shoot on one day. It was sold to a beauty magazine because they loved the series of images that much. I don't think that would have happened if all the files wasn't high res.

On the other hand - if a good image gets rejected due to focus issues then I think it's worth trying to downsize and reupload. But only on rejections!

« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2014, 04:26 »
+1
thank you all - some interesting viewpoints.  At this stage, I'm trying to get past the initial admission hurdle with these 10, so will go for around the 6mp mark for these ones and see how I go.  Such a steep learning curve trying to understand what each agency will accept and what they won't, and best approach.

« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2014, 05:20 »
+4
I agree that having high resolution files is better for the customer. So with new work I often shoot two versions, a boring one that has a lot of things in focus for ss and fotolia and one image that I like with shallow dof. I still often downsize to 12mp. I really have no time to reupload things for them, it is too confusing to always check what got accepted where.

For the micros I am really not going to fiddle on single images, I need to produce volume.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2014, 05:32 by cobalt »

Beppe Grillo

« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2014, 05:36 »
0
I have a different opinion on this. Looking from the buyers perspective - the probably want the highest resolution they can get. So if they buy some images from KerinF and realize that all the images they get from him are too small - the might remember that and go for another contributor next time (if they have the choice). I think you should strive to make the image buyers happy.. A happy customer is likely to return!

A couple of months ago I sold 8 extended licenses from a specific shoot on one day. It was sold to a beauty magazine because they loved the series of images that much. I don't think that would have happened if all the files wasn't high res.

On the other hand - if a good image gets rejected due to focus issues then I think it's worth trying to downsize and reupload. But only on rejections!

I understand your point of view and in part I agree with it.
But consider that a 12 Mpix image is enough big to print a double page @300dpi in most of the magazines (how many times do you see photos on double page in magazines?).
Giving a bigger image can give the possibility to use only a part of it, and this could be a valid reason to upload/download bigger images, but not all images are made to be cropped/reframed then (probably most of them).

The 25 Mpx image, if not cropped, will be in most of the cases resized (reduced) automatically by the software who will generate the pdf for printing. This will lead to a lack of quality (generally a lose sharpness/details), because it is better to resize the image correctly and acurately in Photoshop before to insert it in InDesign of other DTP software, and most of the designers in magazines dont do it because they have not the time to do it

But obviously bigger can be better in the sense that "he who can do more, can do less"
« Last Edit: April 11, 2014, 05:50 by Beppe Grillo »

Ron

« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2014, 07:03 »
+2
I downsize all my files from 20mp to 12 mp and when rejected I downsize further to get accepted.

lisafx

« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2014, 12:33 »
+9
Maybe you shoot under tough conditions, but my suggestion is to try and limit the need for resizing by adopting techniques to minimize noise and increase sharpness in your original image capture.

Generally, if you keep ISO to 100, or no more than 200, or 250 tops, and use good glass with a properly focusing camera, and either a tripod or faster shutter to minimize camera shake, you shouldn't have to resize the majority of your images.  In some conditions this might be difficult withiut adding light, such as a reflector or speedlights.

Also helps to shoot raw and use a good raw processor.  Lightroom is great at getting rid of minor noise in the raw to tif conversion.

Good photo capture should really eliminate the need to resize most of your images to get them accepted.

« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2014, 14:52 »
+2
For the initial application, downsize as much as you need to, so the flaws are gone. But I suggest you keep a couple of photos in full size, so they can see you can do it.

For me. I downsize if I have to, if there are flaws I need to cover up, else not, and  I do not make special sizes for different agencies, - they all get the same.


« Reply #11 on: April 11, 2014, 15:46 »
+1
lisa

shutter refuses my 24mp images, tripod, 2sec self timer, iso 100, +0,7ev, f8, noise rejection, jpeg  especially

lisafx

« Reply #12 on: April 11, 2014, 16:16 »
+1
lisa

shutter refuses my 24mp images, tripod, 2sec self timer, iso 100, +0,7ev, f8, noise rejection, jpeg  especially

Strange.  Without seeing images its hard to understand the problem.  I dont think SS automatically rejecting images because they are 24mp.  They accept 5D2 images unresized all the time.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2014, 16:19 by lisafx »

« Reply #13 on: April 11, 2014, 21:31 »
+13
studio shots with SS are not a problem, but for outdoor (non people) shots they are really strange and inconsistent. Coming from iStock exclusivity back to SS I had them reject shots (beach, landscape) that were in flames on IS for focus or composition or incorrect white balance (usually that would be sunrise or sunset shots when the light isn't neutral).

These were 21MP shots from L glass and they were in focus, well composed and with correct white balance. I can't explain what SS's review process is or why they do what they do.

I sometimes resubmit with a note - recently pointed out that a shot was pre-sunrise, hence the color and they accepted it. But it wasn't any sort of mystery that required an explanation.

I don't complain because they don't seem to have any interest in changing anything they do.

Ron

« Reply #14 on: April 12, 2014, 01:39 »
0
By the way, SS doesnt say anything about downsizing not being allowed

https://submit.shutterstock.com/guidelines.mhtml

Quote
Images
Images must be at least 2.5MP (2.5 Megapixels/2.5 Million Pixels). To calculate the number of pixels in a photo - multiply the width by the height. For example - a photo that's 1700x1300 is 2.21 million pixels. The minimum size for new photographers is now 4.0MP.

Images may not be upsized more than 5% -- we perform an interpolated upsize to sell the 'supersized' version - if you upload upsized images, you risk your account being suspended.

Images should be correctly exposed and in-focus.

Images can be submitted in digital form only. If you would like to submit film/negatives, you must scan them into a digital format before you submit them. Modern scanners can scan both negatives and positives at a very low price. Do not send physical negatives or positives to Shutterstock.

Quote
DON'Ts:

Don't send images with date stamps or copyright notices.
Don't "frame" your work. We don't take any framed images.
Don't send snapshots. We do not accept photos with heavy shadows from the on-camera flash. Make sure your images have a clear topic and focus.
Don't send 10 pictures of your family pet.
Don't send dark or muddy travel pictures.
Don't send the same image with slight variations on the angle.
Don't send the same image in color, black and white, sepia, and blue tone. Color is enough. If any variation on color actually enhances the image, then you may submit it separately, but we do not want a batch of photos where each is submitted in four different ways.
Don't send similar shots when only one is your favorite. Edit on your own. Keep batch sizes of similar subjects down to the bare minimum.
Don't send flower pictures labeled "Flower" or "Spring Scene". We only accept photos of flowers that are labeled with the scientific or common name. Labeling plants and animals with their scientific names may increase your sales (*Please avoid sending images that we already have a lot of such as sunsets, flowers, nature, etc.*).
Don't submit photos taken from inside an airplane or moving automobile. Consider your composition carefully.

« Reply #15 on: April 12, 2014, 02:39 »
+3
I guess if they didn't offer a "supersized" version they wouldn't need to be so iffy about "focus is not where we like it" etc.  I see one of my latest uploads is being offered as a 47MP version, from an original which is about 12MP in size, so if you upload a 6MP file they will resize it to 24MP.  In effect, that means that what you and I see at 72MP  has to be pristine if resized to 300MP.
Now I've got to go and resize a batch of landscape shots they just rejected for "focus is not where we like it".

Ron

« Reply #16 on: April 12, 2014, 02:44 »
-1
I always thought they doubled the size from originals up to 15mp or so, and for larger than 15mp they dont


« Reply #17 on: April 12, 2014, 03:01 »
0
It looks as if they double both dimensions producing a four-fold multiplication.
It's odd to think they would turn a 4MP image into a 16MP one, but leave a 15MP one unchanged but if that's what they are doing then you give the customer the maximum size choice if you upload at 14MP to provide a 56MP "supersize" download. A 22MP original would be at a disadvantage in comparison (at a disadvantage against anything of 6MP or more, come to that).
« Last Edit: April 12, 2014, 03:08 by BaldricksTrousers »

ruxpriencdiam

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« Reply #18 on: April 12, 2014, 12:20 »
0
You should be able to get a noise free tack sharp image at full resolution, and if you are not you need to work on your technique.

And for those who missed it.

Quote
Hi everyone,

Just to chime in on this one point: downsizing will only hurt your sales and the overall community.  I'll explain why.   

Shutterstock has over 550,000 customers, ranging from freelance graphic designers working with a variety of clients to high-end advertising agencies and publishers who buy images in volume.   Some of those customers buy individual images, some buy image packs and others buy images via the subscription model.

The point of uploading large (or your original) file sizes is to make sure that your images are suitable for the widest variety of customers and widest variety of uses, irrespective of how the image was purchased.

For example, some advertising agencies will buy images under agreements that allow for a royalty of up to $120 per download.  If you upload smaller images that fail to meet an advertising agency's requirements, you'll either leave them frustrated or turn them off to your portfolio.

As others have pointed out, it's in your interest to try to capture the widest variety of sales from customers already transacting at Shutterstock, which means providing high quality files suitable for the widest variety of end uses.

Best,

Scott
VP of Content
Shutterstock
Last Edit: January 20, 2013, 12:26 by scottbraut

« Reply #19 on: April 12, 2014, 12:37 »
+17
A downsized photo that is selling is better than a rejected photo sitting on your hard drive.

Ron

« Reply #20 on: April 12, 2014, 13:31 »
+2
You should be able to get a noise free tack sharp image at full resolution, and if you are not you need to work on your technique.



Enlighten me Barry, how do you shoot noise free at a concert when flash is not allowed?

PS: CanStockPhoto has a zoom option, dont use it, because you might find out you want to downsize some images of yours.

fritz

  • I love Tom and Jerry music

« Reply #21 on: April 12, 2014, 18:32 »
-5
You should be able to get a noise free tack sharp image at full resolution, and if you are not you need to work on your technique.



Enlighten me Barry, how do you shoot noise free at a concert when flash is not allowed?

PS: CanStockPhoto has a zoom option, dont use it, because you might find out you want to downsize some images of yours.
Very easy! Set iso 100-200-400 use tripod,fast prime lens and wait for good light than press the button and camera will do the rest.

« Reply #22 on: April 12, 2014, 23:52 »
+8
Does SS pay the same regardless of the image size? Cause i seem to be getting. 0.25$ a pop on all downloads.

I'm such a case why would i upload hi res files to them?

Sent from my GT-I9300 using Tapatalk 2


« Reply #23 on: April 13, 2014, 00:15 »
+1
When you're working for authenticity, things like tripods and total perfection get in the way. If I have to downsize from 36 mp to 18 or 12 or even 6, I'm going to do it. My current hottest seller that has sold more than 1,400 times on just Shutterstock in the past 10 months was downsized from 16 to 6 megapixels because getting a 5 year old kid and a dog in a perfect pose at the same time is really, really hard. Capturing the right moment is a higher priority. If I hadn't downsized it, it would have been rejected and I would have lost about $1,000 and counting.

Ron

« Reply #24 on: April 13, 2014, 00:50 »
+2
You should be able to get a noise free tack sharp image at full resolution, and if you are not you need to work on your technique.



Enlighten me Barry, how do you shoot noise free at a concert when flash is not allowed?

PS: CanStockPhoto has a zoom option, dont use it, because you might find out you want to downsize some images of yours.
Very easy! Set iso 100-200-400 use tripod,fast prime lens and wait for good light than press the button and camera will do the rest.
tripod at a concert?  Wait for good light? Sorry that's just silly.


 

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