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Are there technical standards for submissions?

Community Beginner ,
Nov 15, 2018 Nov 15, 2018

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I'm getting some really mixed messages out of which images I submit are accepted and which rejected. I'm looking for some better instruction on what to submit than I've been able to find combing the site.

I know this:

  • Submit images in JPEG format.
  • Minimum image resolution: 4 MP (megapixels)
  • Maximum image resolution: 100 MP (megapixels)
  • Maximum file size: 45 MB (megabytes)
  • No watermarks or timestamps
  • Do not upsample your files; submit the maximum file size that your camera can produce.


But are there, I don't know, EV values, or hardline ISO parameters, is there anything other than "Make sure your photo isn't over or underexposed" to me know what is worth submitting?
Because I've submitted photos I was sure would pass that didn't, and I've had photos I was unsure of which did. It's proving hard for me to figure out what to do based on experience and research alone.

Thanks in advance for any help!

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Community Beginner , Nov 19, 2018 Nov 19, 2018
For future folks, the answer is no. All guidelines for submissions are exactly that, guidelines.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 15, 2018 Nov 15, 2018

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Hi ashtonf

There are some guidelines that Adobe recommends we all get familiar with. They are discussed in Everything Rejected . Be sure to read all the information of all the links and sub-links of the selected correct answer, so that you can get a broad understanding of what Adobe requires. You will also see an example of the quality exposure recommended.

There is no hard and fast rule regarding what ISO to use. This is so because depending on the lighting of where you shoot you may have need to change your ISO setting. For example you may need higher ISO to shoot at nights or in dark areas than what you'd use at day or well lit areas. The general recommendation is under normal circumstance, use mainly the lowest ISO on your camera, or to try not to exceed 400. That again depends on the camera you use. For example a smaller camera will produce more artifacts at 400ISO than larger cameras. If there's need to increase ISO, (for example shooting in poorly lit area) you should know that increased ISO results in more noise/grain.

Depending on the camera you use, you might be able to set aperture and shutter speed. In terms of  those settings, that depends on the lighting (intensity of sunlight, cloudiness, shade, sky shot, indoor, outdoor, etc). For example I live in the tropics. On a sunny day at ISO100 I might get a good shot of an object outdoor with 1/250 shutter speed and F7.1 aperture, however to take a sky pic I might need to set my shutter speed at 1/800 and aperture at F10 or F11.  Some cameras however, have other methods of exposure compensation settings.

You will also note that minimal post processing is allowed to correct noise, grains, contrast, and exposure.

You'll also need to download the manual of your camera and learn all there is about its operation. Then you need to practice. Please note that shooting in manual mode in a lot of cases produces better quality pictures. Also is the use of a tripod.

I hope you found this helpful

Best wishes

JG

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 15, 2018 Nov 15, 2018

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Thank you for your time Jacquelin!

Alas, I'm pretty familiar with my camera, I shoot in manual with minimal ISO (as much as I can get away with given the light), and I quit submitting edited photos, just take my RAWs, convert to JPEG, make sure the white balance is reasonable, and submit.

I've also read through the Adobe recommended reading, and I implemented what I needed to based on that before choosing what to submit. I'm still struggling to form a mental map of what's going to be accepted and what won't before I invest the time to keyword and title photos.

I was looking for measurable things because I'm getting an unclear message. If I was only getting "exposure problem" rejections, I would think my means of measuring my exposure was malfunctioning, either my shutter speed, aperture, or ISO were being reported back to me by my Sony body incorrectly. But instead, photos out of the same set might be accepted, rejected for exposure, rejected for artifacts (if I resized the image down below 45mb), rejected for being out of focus despite the object of the image being in focus (I shoot a lot of animals with a wide open aperture, so I have submitted shots with face in focus and body not as much), rejected for technical issues, and rejected for aesthetic appeal. Again, photos from the same set which wouldn't look out of place beside each of those rejects have been accepted. It's beginning to feel like I'm at the mercy of the moderator du jour.

The MP and MB parameters provide me concrete, actionable decision protocols when I'm going through my photos (not that any of my photos falls outside of 4-100MP), and the rest of what I've been able to find from Adobe hasn't changed my experience when I submit photos.

I'm a little dejected,
Ashton

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 16, 2018 Nov 16, 2018

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It's obvious that the resolution or the size are parameters that can be handled automatically. All other criteria are human checked and the feedback is not a critique but only a simple message pointing out to the rejection reason. And that would not mean the sole possible rejection reason, but the one the moderator choose. And yes, it surly depends on the moderator if a picture passes or not if there is only a small flaw in the picture.

But I found that the quality related rejections are more or less understandable. At least, when I get a picture rejected I normally see what disturbed the moderator. Sometimes it takes 3 or more iterations to really hit the point. Sometimes I do not resubmit, because I do not want investing more time in the picture I did. What is clear is that Adobe is the most picky of the stock providers. But it's also the one with the highest returns.

Here are some of my findings:

  • Artifacts are very often (if they are not real artifacts)  blurred background elements that in most of the cases are an easy touch-up.
  • out of focus: if the eyes (and the face) are in focus, I get my pictures accepted. But it depends on the situation.
  • Commercial appeal is the rejection reason I have most of the problems with. But I know that this reason is used mostly for pictures, where there is an abundant choice (flower pictures, sun-rise/sun-set, pets, food), the image is OK, but the whole set-up is a little bit flat. It's not a "wow"-image. But just to say: It is possible to get a lot of pet, flower or sunrise images accepted.

You should post one or the other of your rejected pictures here, with the rejection reason and we can analyze the pictures. This helps a lot to understand the reasoning behind the rejections, even that we also just do intelligent guessworks. It also helps first to submit small batches to see what gets rejected and what passes. And looking carefully at the rejection reason and then at the image will help a lot. Most of my rejections are because of IP reasons, when I did not see a tinny logo somewhere in the picture...

BTW: no photographer will be able to tell you what shutter speed, ISO, aperture is the correct one before you take the picture, when he or she is not on the set. The only thing someone can say is: High ISO is bad for the noise level, low shutter speeds are bad to freeze movements and the aperture influences the DoF.

ABAMBO | Hard- and Software Engineer | Photographer

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 16, 2018 Nov 16, 2018

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Thank y'all again for you time.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but the answer to my question is No, there aren't technical standards of any kind for submissions except megapixel and megabyte.

The point of being a stock contributor for me was to hopefully enjoy some passive income with a relatively low up-front time investment, considering I had a library of post-processed, 'correct' exposures of interesting content ready to go, and I see my naivete in thinking 'convenient' was possible in an established market.

Abambo I wasn't asking for anybody to tell me how to take a photo, I was asking to be told what kind of photo is worth submitting in terms of an objective metric because, while your findings sound reasonable to me, they don't match my experience. I don't want a photo critique, which is why I didn't ask for one; my confusion comes from a pattern over multiple photos that seems not to be consistent. Thanks for the offer and the time it took to write.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 16, 2018 Nov 16, 2018

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ashtonf74863711  wrote

Correct me if I'm wrong, but the answer to my question is No, there aren't technical standards of any kind for submissions except megapixel and megabyte.

Well.. there are technical standards as outlined here: Quality and technical issues rejected at Adobe Stock

And these are the guidelines that we should use! And what I use...

As for exposure - that's where your histogram comes in useful...

' I don't want a photo critique, which is why I didn't ask for one; my confusion comes from a pattern over multiple photos that seems not to be consistent.'

Well, this is how it can appear at times.

The only thing to do in this situation is to post here and let others give some comment. However, you can get a variety of different opinions - most of the time they're pretty good, and sometimes a comment can be made pointing something out which you didn't notice yourself.

Over time you'll get to see a pattern of what will be accepted and what won't and sometimes it's 50 - 50.

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 16, 2018 Nov 16, 2018

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ricky336​ by technical standard, I mean a number against which to compare from the privacy of my office. None of the links provided have been to such a page. Sorry to have wasted your time, I posted my question when frustrated and I should have saved us all by assuming if I couldn't find numbers, they didn't exist.

Again, I was looking for passive income off existing work. I was not looking to do a bunch more work. I was willing to do some, and came to y'all when that didn't pan. Nobody has said anything which incentivizes me to spend more time with Adobe in any capacity. So I won't. Thanks, bye.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 17, 2018 Nov 17, 2018

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There are no numbers because there can’t be. There are tools to measure the noise level, to analyze the sharpnes of a picture etc. But at no point, someone will say 1/50s, apperture 4.5, ISO 350 is good enough.

ABAMBO | Hard- and Software Engineer | Photographer

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 19, 2018 Nov 19, 2018

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Not looking for specific shutter speeds, aperture, or ISO dude. Sorry if I keep saying that too broadly, but I do keep saying that.

Looking for specific noise level allowed (if there's tools to measure noise level, then there's probably a standard, also known as a measurement, you know, a number), or anything else that my DSLR body doesn't display to me as I'm taking the picture.

If i'm right about the process being entirely subjective, feel free to not respond. You don't need to have the last word just because you think I'm asking a stupid question, you have made that fairly clear.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 16, 2018 Nov 16, 2018

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Hi ashton

It sounds as though you do no post processing at all. I started out without post processing; some approved, but most didn't. I've found that some post processing is required. My observation is that no matter the lighting, even when the subject is overexposed, the image ends up with some level of grains. I currently do not do a lot of adjustments. If I select an image of the subject I want to post, that I consider is reasonably exposed, all I do is to inspect it at 100 to 200% to check for noise and use Photoshop noise reduction tool to reduce the noise, and do the necessary sharpening and upload. Of course like you I now shoot in RAW. To be honest with you, I do not fully understand how to read the histogram, so with the exception of clippings, I ignore it, yet I still get increasing approvals. It was the illustration at Create better photos for Adobe Stock with 7 tips for success   that gave me an idea of what exposure that is likely to be accepted. In terms of figures, that is kind of impossible to set a figure, since different circumstance determines the camera setting required. I read somewhere on another site that a figure for aperture and shutter speed was suggested. I tried it; yes it worked for some circumstances, but for most of my shooting, it would either produce over exposure or under exposure.

It sounds as though you're an experienced photographer. If you are it is possible that the images you shoot only requires noise/grain/artifacts corrections.

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 19, 2018 Nov 19, 2018

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I'm not a veteran photographer, I'm self taught which is why I don't really know what other people look at for sure, and part of why I came to the forums to see if I was missing something. I definitely do post processing on when I'm distributing my own photos, but I was getting such mixed feedback on here that I quit doing more than simply converting from RAW and checking the white balance. I'm definitely not about to zoom stuff to 200% and spend ten minutes scrolling through one photo for a stock site, but I appreciate the clarity that that's what it would take. Thank ya for your time!
Ashton out

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 16, 2018 Nov 16, 2018

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I understand your problem wondering why some are accepted and some are not. It does seem to be a bit hard to predict.

BUT, most of the time there is a reason and most of the time I can see what they are refering to when I get a rejected image.

'...is there anything other than "Make sure your photo isn't over or underexposed" to (let) me know what is worth submitting?'

YES! There actually is. Your histogram! It is invaluable. Really learn to read your histogram. It can tell you A LOT!! You need to look where your highlights and shadow areas are. How much detail is there?

As, I'm sure you know, shutter speed, aperture and ISO work together to give you your exposure. Adobe doesn't give gudielines on what shutter speed, aperture and ISO to use. That's up to the photographer.

Nothing is a hard and fast rule. Adobe can only give generalisations.

'...I quit submitting edited photos, just take my RAWs, convert to JPEG, make sure the white balance is reasonable, and submit.'

You 'should' always do some post-processing, Adjusting exposure, white balance, white and black points, tweaking the tone curve etc. To get it 'right in the camera' isn't a good reason not to do post processing. (Even with films, there are a number of development adjustments you have to do apart from slide film).

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 19, 2018 Nov 19, 2018

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For future folks, the answer is no.
All guidelines for submissions are exactly that, guidelines.

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