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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 06 Feb 2007 (Tuesday) 07:37
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Stock Agencies And The Noise Factor

 
nitekatt2006
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Feb 06, 2007 07:37 |  #1

Stock agencies like ShutterStock reject more photo submissions for image noise and artifacts than about anything, no matter how well a photo is conceived, composed etc. Doing a variety of venues myself, in many dark and substandard lighting situations and with the no flash rule, how can we shoot at ISO 800-3200, even with f2.8 and larger aperture lenses and get our images noiseless? Of course utilities like NoiseNinja or NeatImage are helpful to clean up the images, but usually not enough to be acceptable by the stock buyers.

I have seen some very nice images in the critique sections or rejected submissions catagories that were not accepted due to noise. In the film days of pushing film, it was the same issue.

Anyone have any insight on how to keep noise at a minimum, enough to be accepted by stock houses?

Thanks katt


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narlus
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Feb 06, 2007 07:46 |  #2

use primes.


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nitekatt2006
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Feb 06, 2007 08:41 |  #3

Primes like 50mm, 85mm etc. are a given. But even on Dwight's fine work, there is sometimes noise in the shadow areas or backgrounds. That is unavoidable sometimes and I'm sure he has the same concerns, but worries more about getting the shot rather than concern with tech crap. For me personally, I am more interested in the emotion he or any of us captures of the image and the occasional noise that can be unavoidable doesn't matter to me at all. It only matters to vendors who buy images. In fact they spend most of their time looking for the negatives rather than the positives. I know, because one of the reviewers at another stock house responded to me personally and explained how they use special software and the best monitors to check the 1000's of images they have to review.

I have been seeing noise and film grain in images for years, even in some of the images we saw at an Ansel Adams exhibit, but it was when digital cameras became the norm is when the stock agencies began more stringent paramters in accepting or rejecting images based upon technical issues

Many great concert images get rejected for this reason and nothing more. Photographers are trying to get the agencies to grant exceptions for concert and low light event work and hopefully the agencies will lower their standards for these venues. Ballet, jazz concerts, etc are all included.

And yes, noise can occur even using prime lenses. it just depends on how good the lighting engineer is and the photographer's position near the subject. And of course that doesn't mean that all low light events are going to reflect noisy images.

katt


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narlus
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Feb 06, 2007 09:08 |  #4

so how can Noink users ever be considered for stock? ;)

seems like an awfully anal-retentive bunch. the best you can do i suppose is to nail the exposure, and/or use a 5D.


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nitekatt2006
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Feb 06, 2007 09:20 as a reply to  @ narlus's post |  #5

Yeah, anal retentive bunch and you are being nice at that description. Most stock houses who are accepting concert images are for editorial use only, because they would require model releases for other usage.

Some of the most prize winning images in history were "noisy." I bring this issue up here because hopefully if any of you are considering marketing your work with any stock houses, try to get them to understand that there has to be some exceptions made on the technical issues if some great work has a drop of noise. And a drop is just enough to get a rejection.

I have some nice images, IMHO anyway, that could qualify for usage, but I won't even bother submitting them becasue they have some noise and I have seen other concert/event photographers rejected with great stuff where I can't see or barely see any noise, and that is only in darker shadows or background, not the performers themselves.

katt


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narlus
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Feb 06, 2007 09:44 |  #6

kinda related question, but how does one go about submitting work for stock use?


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nitekatt2006
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Feb 06, 2007 11:19 |  #7

Well narius, i'll tell ya this, it ain't easy baby getting your first submissions accepted by the leading stock vendors. The first thing is to make sure they are technically as clean of noise, artifacts, pixelization at 100%, etc. I thought I can some stock oriented images and my first 10 were rejected for noise, the standard rejection that most newcomers face. once you get in though, they aren't as picky. I looked at my images, checked and double checked and i couldn't find any and some of the images I have seen that were rejected, the noise was so obvious that I can't believe the photographer didn't catch it before submission.

If you check some of the business forums on the boards here, it has some tips for getting into the stock biz.

We have to also accept the stock vendors point of view, in that they are trying to sell images to designers and such to stay in business. Not all images, no matter how great they are can or will work as a stock image. I see things on the various stock sites and I am wondering myself how they ever got approved, but they must be selling somewhere.

And as I stated before, most event images are going to be used in an editorial sense and editorial images don't sell as common as commercial images. Google stock agencies and start researching the requirements, they are all different katt


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johnstoy
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Feb 06, 2007 12:01 |  #8

If you could post some samples of the grain/noise pics and some of your stock submissions...it would help some...this thread might get moved if it is without pictures...the moderators have been on the prowl lately...


John Stoy

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Stock Agencies And The Noise Factor
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