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03/01/2008 12:52:10 AM · #1
Hello all,

I'm about to send in some pics to try and get approved by Alamy and had some questions for you blessed few who have been accepted. I've scanned the 'Alamy Challenge' topic, but that's a lot of pages to dig through for these questions... Sorry - I'm lazy

Alamy seems pretty picky about the process and what they accept so...

1) Which is better for upsizing... Camera Raw or Photoshop's resampling (and which type of resampling?)

2) They say not to sharpen, but is sharpening just once going to keep you from being accepted? And everyone I talk to says that even with good glass that some sharpening needs to be done, and how could they tell anyway. If limited sharpening is acceptable, which is better for sharpening... Camera Raw or Photoshop's Smart Sharpen?

3) I don't want to step on any toes, but is anyone willing to upload or email a full-res image (even with a big nasty watermark) that was one of your initial images accepted so we can see what an acceptable image looks like? I want to see how picky they are on the quality and sharpness of the images they accept.

4) Can anyone upload a full-res image that was rejected so we can see what they don't like? I don't mean to embarrass anyone though :)

Sorry for all the questions... just want to make sure my test submission has the best chance of being accepted.



Message edited by author 2008-03-01 01:06:25.
03/01/2008 01:18:46 AM · #2

I don't know that I can help with all of your questions, but I will try to throw in my two bits. First of all, I am with ALamy and had to go through this process a while back.

Yes, they do need to have their requirements met, but I find as far as accepting pictures that meet their technical requirements, they are in some ways less picky than some of the micros. Although, some say and i feel it too that some of the micro rejections seem a bit inconsistent.

Question 1) I haven't ever heard of anyone using Camera RAW to upsize. I personally use the Neat Image plug-in to upsize, but I have read that many have used PhotoShop's Bicubic Smoother to upsize with no problems.

Question 2) I know they say not to sharpen, and I am very careful about what sharpening I do, but I usually sharpen a little bit though PhotoShop.

When you submit, make sure your photos are the correct size they ask for 48 MB. If not , they will reject you right off. I know in reading through all of their material, it seems a bit complex. It was more so a while ago because you needed to mail them a CD and make sure everything was labeled correctly and, of course, verify that none of the files got corrupted when they were copied onto the CD. In general, after you upsizee your pictures, review them carefully and look for any problem areas. Sometimes problems that that you normally would not notice jump out after upsizing. If your pictures are technically good, you have a good chance.

I hope this helps.
03/02/2008 11:55:18 PM · #3
Thanks for the feedback... I went ahead and sent in some images - guess we'll wait and see. But, if anyone else has some hints, I'm all ears!!
03/04/2008 04:14:44 PM · #4
I could use some help as well getting into Alamy.

I submitted 4 pictures and they got rejected because of Interpolation due to resizing. However I used their recommended process for resizing and I have a 8MP dSLR that I shoot in RAW.

I made my adjustments to RAW, exported to Tiff, resized with bicubic and then sharpened a little. Saved to Jpeg and submitted. Checked everything at 100% very carefully, but still got rejected from their QC.

Not sure what else to do to the image.

03/04/2008 05:14:35 PM · #5
Originally posted by Litl:

Question 1) I haven't ever heard of anyone using Camera RAW to upsize. I personally use the Neat Image plug-in to upsize, but I have read that many have used PhotoShop's Bicubic Smoother to upsize with no problems.

I open my files in ACR, apply needed/doable corrections there where I have the most data to work with. I make sure the workflow options are showing at the bottom of ACR and then select my color space, bit depth and set size to 17.5mp and then open image in PS where its already resized to ~50mg uncompressed. Make any additional changes in PS, convert to 8bit jpg and save file. Upload to alamy and wait :)

Message edited by author 2008-03-04 20:56:26.
03/06/2008 04:43:16 PM · #6
Well, that was relatively painless... I'M IN! :)

For what it's worth, here's what I did with my submission:

1) I shoot with a Canon 20D in RAW. I have been shooting with the in camera sharpening set to max, but these where older prints so I don't know if they were set to that or not (I can't find that info in the EXIF data - am I missing it somewhere?)

2) I open the file with Camera RAW and play with the exposure settings to what I like, *but turn the the RAW sharpening to '0'*- from what I've read the PS sharpening is better than in camera and Camera RAW sharpening.

3) When I open the file in PS from Camera RAW I set the work flow options on the bottom to
Space: ProPhoto RGB
Depth: 16-bit
Size: 3504 bt 2336 (8.2 MP) - this is the default size setting for the 20D, you can upsize here, but I've been told doing it in Photoshop is better.
Resolution: 300 pixels/inch

4) When the file is open in PS I cleaned up any dust, played with any other settings to get it looking juuuuuust right.

5) Use Neat Image, Noise Ninja, etc - or Smart Sharpen to slightly sharpen the image. This one they seemed to be paranoid about.

6) Change the image to 8-bit

7) Now I upsized: I followed this tutorial (which uses a 20D RAW file) for the upsize - //nugar.com/wordpress/2007/12/29/resizing-images-for-alamy-using-photoshop/

In a nutshell it says: Go to Image Size, uncheck 'Resample Image', set the resolution to 300dpi. Click 'OK' then go to Image Size again. Check 'Resample Image' and set to Bicubic Smoother. Change 'Pixel Dimensions' height and width to 'percent' and make sure they are linked (using percent let's you make an action and batch resize). Now, increase the percents until the MB size next to 'Pixel Dimensions:' (will say something like ##.#M) reaches 48M - this is that magical number they like, NOT THE FILE SIZE OF THE SAVED IMAGE. Once 48M is reached, click OK. Recheck image for issues (dust, artifacts from sharpening, etc)

8) I saved the final image as a JPG at 12 quality. Not sure if they are picky on names, but I used hyphens and not spaces.

9) Uploaded the images.

So - that's what I did and They liked 'em :)

Here's a link to one of the full resolution (7MB) images so you can check the sharpness/artifacts against yours. It's got a big 'ol watermark on it, so NO STEALING!! :)

high-res sample

Good luck!
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