would you be able to help please with any feedback on the photo I've taken.

I've tried to submit it to the Shutterstock but it was rejected with the following comment: Noise / Film Grain: Content contains chrominance noise, luminance noise, sharpening noise, or film grain that detracts from the main subject.

Down under enter image description here

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    The linked version is a bit jpeggy/blocky. Is that the original or a downsample? – Tetsujin Jan 24 at 10:17
  • I think that flickr shouldn't do downsampling – Math_manul Jan 24 at 10:23
  • If that's the original, then yes, it's barely borderline acceptable for noise. – Tetsujin Jan 24 at 10:29
  • Is it possible due to the fact that I didn't use tripod? Would appreciate any suggestions. – Math_manul Jan 24 at 11:15
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    I don't see any shake in it, it's just compressed a bit hard. If you shot RAW, go back to that & be less aggressive with the final compression. I managed to prise the picture out of Flikr & ran a little smoothing on it - I'll add an answer so you can see the effects... – Tetsujin Jan 24 at 11:33

The image is a bit "jpeggy", there is artefacting in the flat colour areas & at high contrast edges which a machine AI system might reject.

Example of jpg artefacting at contrast edges
enter image description here

The image size is also a bit small for a modern stock library; it's about 3mp compared to the 20mp or more that they might be expecting to see these days.

I picked one area of the photo to concentrate on - plain sky with one small cloud - where it's easy to see what's going on.
These are screenshots from Adobe CameraRAW, showing the controls on the right.

Click any of these to see full size, too small to see detail in here. Had I noticed it earlier, I'd also have healed out the obvious dot in the middle ;)

Original pic as uploaded
enter image description here

With added Sharpening - this really picks out the 'jpeggy' edges, something an AI might do to see how much compression was used (this would also pick out other issues such as film grain on analogue-sourced images or colour aberration in any image).
enter image description here

Removing the sharpening & adding some smoothing (noise reduction) instead has the unfortunate side-effect of also removing detail from the cloud
enter image description here

You could perhaps try to balance the two together to retain some detail whilst flattening the broad coloured areas (this isn't perfect, just a hint in the right direction)
You could also get in there with a more detailed brush approach to smooth & sharpen specific parts.
enter image description here

There's also some colour aberration - a lens defect - which is giving green & purple fringing to the image edges.
Again, CameraRAW can have a go at trying to reduce this effect…

enter image description here enter image description here

enter image description here enter image description here

If your original photo was shot RAW rather than jpg & also if it was shot at a higher resolution than 3mp, then go back to that & see what it looks like. When exporting to jpg, save at full size & 100% quality (or save as png) if the site will accept that file size (they ought to do.)

  • Thank you so much for your detailed feedback! I am an amateur and it helps heaps! – Math_manul Jan 24 at 22:04

Based on my observation SS use kind of AI to judge the photos (or use very low qualified persons). So this is expected as well as other very odd comments when reject photos.

The best you can do is to upload the photo(s) after day or two.

P.S. Based on SS rates maybe will be better to consider other stock agency.


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