iStock rejected my submissions.

The stated reason for each of the three was:

This file contains artifacting when viewed at full size. This technical issue is commonly created by the quality settings in-camera, in post-processing or in RAWsettings. Artifacting may be the result of other factors such as excessive level adjustments.

I said “no way – those images are great”. Couldn’t believe they found “artifacts” – these were RAW images, never seriously compressed or post-processed.

After being dejected for a while I went on the iStock forum and did some searching on the subject. I realized there were two possible reasons for their response:

  1. Sharpening. I tend to like to sharpen, sometimes a bit heavy-handedly. It improves the pop when printed on my Epson, and helps maintain crispness when resized smaller for the web.
  2. Chromatic aberration (CA). CA is a by-product of the way light bends as it passes through glass. Different wavelengths (colors) of light bend differently when they pass through the air-glass boundary. This is how white light separates into a rainbow when it passes through a prism [illustrated in classic rock style here]. CA is more likely to occur in inexpensive lenses, but it happens in good ones too. These photos were shot with a Nikon 18-200 zoom – a flexible and useful lens for walking around, and considered very good (both Thom Hogan and Ken Rockwell like it a lot), but obviously it suffers from a little CA.

So I re-opened the raw images, didn’t sharpen them at all, and did some careful correction to minimize the CA. Resubmitted them and now…well…I guess I have to wait another 4 weeks.

Kind of an enthusiasm damper.

On the other hand, anything worth doing is worth doing well. I should probably be glad iStock is kicking my butt.

One Response to “Rejected!”

  1. Janet Breeden Says:

    An enthusiam damper but look at all you learn. It is easy to not submit and say my photos are good, but the brave but risky thing to do is to submit the photos. I always thing how brave artists must be to put their stuff out there for all to see and risk the criticism, but it is how we grow, learn and prosper.

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