I'm looking for feedback


I’m looking for critical opinions about my photos.
I’ve submitted several photos to a photo stock.
About half of my photos were rejected, mostly with the reason “Technical issues”.

I took these photos in RAW format using the built-in Camera app on the Samsung Galaxy S8 phone. I process them only in darktable 3.8; only one photo was initially sharpened in Topaz SharpenAI (the statue of woman’s head).
I’ve attached example photos along with the resultant JPEGs and XMP files.

Could you please point me to the concrete problems I have with processing the attached photos?
Thank you very much in advance!

2022-05-29 13.49.47.dng (23.8 MB)
2022-05-29 13.49.47.dng.xmp (8.9 KB)

2022-05-29 15.20.13.dng (23.8 MB)
2022-05-29 15.20.13.dng.xmp (9.9 KB)

2022-06-05 12.16.00.dng (23.8 MB)
2022-06-05 12.16.00.dng.xmp (9.2 KB)

2022-06-05 15.11.03 SharpenAI.dng (70.0 MB)
2022-06-05 15.11.03 SharpenAI.dng.xmp (10.2 KB)

Maybe too much denoising

@Dmitry FYI - some of your DNG and JPG files didn’t upload properly. I also changed the thread category to Critique.

I would say it isn’t so much the denoising as it is the splotchy grain that results from it. Also, you should be careful with the edges. The outlines, gradient reversals and haloing are unnatural and distracting, e.g.:



Lastly, there are colour casts in your images that result in them looking flat. Perhaps it may be due to the lack of light. Try taking the photos at times with less cloud cover with more interesting cloud formations, sun light and angles.

I see sharpening artifacts.

@afre Thank you very much for pointing me out that the images were not uploaded correctly; I haven’t noticed it, my bad :slight_smile:

By “color cast” do you refer to the 3rd and the 4th images? Do you mean they look blueish?

P. S. I had to replace the 2nd image with a similar one, as I have realized that it was not RAW but JPEG originally.

@betazoid Do you mean, sharpening problems on all images? I have processed one of them with the SharpenAI app because it was slightly out of focus. For others images, it was just automatic Sharpen from darktable that I did not adjust.

More noticeable in them. Generally, I prefer more colour contrast (and differences) in images.

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I mean the head sculpture.

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Without asking the stock company you will most likely never know. Some issues were pointed out already, but these might or might not be the reasons for the rejection. It’s all guesswork. It would even make a difference if this was tested by a human or by a computer-implemented heuristic.

The feedback you got is by no means adequate, as I think, treating people with respect means giving useful feedback, which this company is obviously not interested in.

To be frank, I see issues more on the creative side: The first two images are missing a subject, the third is not straight and the light, sky and colour are not too interesting, and the statue is slightly off center, which gives a strange perspective, and it lacks separation from the background. Also colors etc. as in # 3. But all of this is my subjective view.


@chris, thank you for the feedback! I actually did not notice myself before that the statue is off center.

@afre, Thank you for the feedback!

@betazoid thank you for the feedback!

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Seeing things in your own photos is the most difficult task, it’s much easier for photos of others. I struggle so much with my own work, but often others just find the obvious mistake I made. Even simple things such as lack of contrast.

It’s not so much the statue itself that distracts me, it’s the block that looks a bit distorted, as if the lower right corner is lower than the lower left, while the upper corners match in height. It’s just at the edge of noticeable, but that’s probably why it bothers me. It’s easier to photograph at an obvious angle than directly from the front. For the latter, one has to be extremely precise.

rejected, mostly with the reason “Technical issues”.

Would it be possible to get “them” to be somewhat more
explicit? A standard computerized rejection-slip may well
be caused by wrong dpi, odd proportions, or whatever.

It was Adobe stock. They point to a long document with possible technical issues but do not give any concrete detailed feedback.

Aha! Then my semi-educated guess would be that the main reason for refusal was that you used a camera phone. Seems to be a very common reason for refusal.

Have fun!
Claes in Lund, Sweden

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