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Improving your workflow

© David Cook / blueshiftstudios / Alamy
© David Cook / blueshiftstudios / Alamy

We’ve put together a list of tips that we hope will help solve some of the most frequent reasons contributors fail Quality Control (QC).

Get the best from your camera and shoot in RAW – Even though the quality of ‘in camera’ JPEG files has progressed leaps and bounds in recent years, we still recommend that you shoot in RAW. Shooting in RAW means that you have much greater control over your images. This is especially important when you are using a camera with a smaller sensor.

Using Compact/Mirrorless/Micro 4/3rds cameras with interchangeable lenses? You still need to clean your sensor, much like DSLR cameras they are susceptible to dust and the sensor needs to be cleaned on a regular basis. Yes, many of the automatic sensor cleaning settings achieves great results, but they are not going to get rid of any oily residue that might have got onto the sensor, like a wet clean can. If you are unsure of how to do this then leave it to the professionals.

Using a Nikon D800/800E? See here for how to obtain the best results.

Help with Photoshop and Lightroom – We recommend both Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop for use in preparing your images for submission to us. See here and here for excellent Lightroom and Photoshop blogs.

Upsizing your images? Our minimum file size is 17MB. If your camera produces an uncompressed 8 bit file that’s more than 17MB then leave it at that size.

Chromatic Aberration – Make this a thing of the past. Both Lightroom and Photoshop have brilliant tools for removing this and it can now be done at almost the press of a button.

Taking long exposures/night time shots? Make sure you turn the Image Stabilisation OFF when using your camera mounted to a tripod or you’ll get a blurry image. You should also use “mirror lockup” to achieve pin sharp results.

Images with shallow depth of field or selective focus – There seems to be some confusion that we don’t accept this kind of imagery. Well, we do! So long as there is an obvious point of focus in the image when viewed at 100%, they’ll be acceptable.

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