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Prepare images

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Prepare images

To sell your images on Alamy you must prepare them according to our submission guidelines, outlined below. Our customers like the depth and breadth of Alamy’s content and want to see images of the highest standard. So, whilst we welcome diversity and do not edit, our Quality Control Team check the technical quality of your images to ensure they meet our criteria.

The process

  1. Prepare your images according to our submission guidelines below.
  2. For your “test” submission, please send FOUR images. Once your “test” submission has passed Quality Control (QC) you can send as many as you like.
  3. We check your images for quality, reporting back with the result.
  4. If your images pass QC, you can annotate them to make them available for sale.
  5. You can track, annotate and manage your images in My Alamy .

Submitting News images?

Please visit our News picture Guidelines

Want to submit Vectors?

Email memberservices@alamy.com

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Submission guidelines

We need:

We do not want:

We reject images for (Show all):

  1. Camera shake

    The image is blurred or soft because the camera moved when the picture was taken. We reject images with this characteristic if we feel it was not artistically intended or it is unsaleable. Try using a faster shutter speed, steady hand, or a tripod.

  2. Chromatic aberration

    ExampleChromatic aberration
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    Chromatic aberration or ‘coloured fringing’ is shown as magenta/green or red/cyan fringing in areas of an image that have greater contrast. Poor quality optics and extreme wide-angle lenses tend to show Chromatic Aberration especially towards the edge of the frame. To remove this you can use the Chromatic Sliders in the Lens Correction Tool in Photoshop, most RAW conversion software has a similar tool.

    ‘Purple fringing’ is a similar phenomenon, found in some digital cameras. It is caused by the optical characteristics of the camera sensor, and can extend right across the frame.

  3. Colour cast

    Example
    Magenta colour cast
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    The image is tinted with an unwanted colour caused by incorrect white balance on your camera or scanner. Calibrating your monitor regularly can also help prevent colour casts. Although some colour choices can be seen as artistic, we will reject an image if we feel its colour cast makes it unsaleable.

  4. Compression artifacts

    ExampleCompression artifacts
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    The image has a blocky or patchy appearance caused by excessive compression. It is particularly noticeable in areas of flat colour such as skies and can appear as Jpeg "bubbles" around the edges of the image (see example). To minimise these artifacts work on your images in RAW or TIFF format and save as a Jpeg once only.

  5. Data loss or corruption

    ExampleData loss or curruption
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    The image shows areas of subtle pixilation or zero data. To reduce the risk of this problem burn your CD or DVD at the slowest speed possible and make sure it is verified. Also check the first and the last few images on the disc for problems, as this is where most occur.

  6. Digital camera not suitable for Alamy

    Images from a digital camera which is below our recommended specification will show problems such as intrusive coloured (chroma) noise, degradation of image detail and/or interpolation artifacts. We recommend using a pro-level camera with a “true” (non-interpolated) resolution of at least 6 megapixels. Recommended camera list This will give an uncompressed, 8 bit file size of at least 17MB. For more information, please see images from digital cameras.

  7. Blemishes - Dust, scratches or sensor dust

    ExampleSensor dirt
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    ExampleDirt and scratches
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    Small dark circles on the image are a common characteristic particularly noticeable in areas of flat colour such as skies. To reduce the risk of this occurring, clean your camera’s sensor or the material you intend to scan. You can also remove unwanted marks using the healing brush or clone tool in Photoshop .

  8. Excessive sharpening

    ExampleExcessive sharpening
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    The image appears “edgy” or unsightly artifacts are visible. Sharpening should be applied only once and this is best done at the repro stage.

  9. Excessive similars

    A series of similar images which have almost identical compositions or only slightly different exposures. We will only accept a series if the images have very different angles, framing or model’s expressions etc. However, you must tightly edit your images otherwise they will appear further down search results. Customers do not want to spend time editing through your work.

  10. Film rebate or border

    ExampleFilm rebate visible or not cropped
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    We do no accept any images with borders, whether they have been deliberately been put there or are from film scans. These must be cropped out.

  11. High contrast

    ExampleHigh contrast
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    The image highlights are blown out and shadow detail is crushed.

  12. Interpolation artifacts

    ExampleInterpolation artifacts
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    The image exhibits rather intrusive artifacts and degradation of detail resulting in an overall soft look, a “mottled” texture or "jaggies" on edges. These symptoms occur when you interpolate an image beyond the capabilities of the camera from which it came. Our advice for images from digital cameras may help you track down the problem.

  13. Newton’s rings or interference patterns

    ExampleNewton’s rings
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    The image has a circular “rainbow” effect caused when scanning film. The scanning light reflects off of millions of small moisture particles on the surface of the film or glass carrier. Try to clean dirt and moisture off the film or carrier before you scan. The “Fine” setting in digital ICE can also cause this effect.

  14. Noise

    ExampleNoise
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    Chroma noise gives a mottled, distorted effect that usually contains green and pink/purple colours. It can particularly cause problems on skin tones, skies and shadow areas. Electronic chroma noise is the appearance of distortion within a digital image usually caused by using high ISO levels when shooting. Different cameras are better at reducing the appearance of noise than others, but you should always try and shoot on as low an ISO level as possible.

  15. Noticeable retouching

    ExampleNoticeable retouching
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    ExampleNoticeable retouching - cut out
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    Retouching is obvious in the image. We recommend that you retouch at 100% and double check to ensure that it is not visible. 100% or 1:1 means one screen pixel displays one image pixel. Also retouching at more than 100% is problematic as the image is too enlarged to see any image detail or mistakes.

  16. Orientation

    The image is not the right way up for viewing on a screen. It may be inverted, upside down or at an angle.

  17. Out of focus

    We will reject an image if we feel that is not artistically intended to be out of focus. Also, it must look out of focus at comp size so that it is obvious to our customers.

  18. Over manipulated

    ExampleOver manipulated
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    The image is clearly over manipulated. Examples are the excessive use of “levels” or “curves” which leave an image looking posterised, “blocky” or with distorted colour.

  19. Poor exposure

    ExamplePoorly exposed image / histogram
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    The image appears rather flat or washed out. Correct exposure ensures maximum tonal range in an image. You can check and adjust the exposure using the histogram in Photoshop (Under Image > Adjustments > Levels).

    With very few exceptions, we expect the black point of your images to be 0 and white to be 255. However, we will accept images where they are within 5% of this, i.e. Black at level 12 or below, white at Level 243 or above.

  20. Scanning artifacts
  21. Size

    The uncompressed file size of the image is under 24MB. The uncompressed file size needs to be 24MB or above. If you have a camera that is capable of producing an uncompressed 8 bit file of over 24MB then leave it that size. For more information, please see images from digital cameras.

  22. Soft due to size

    ExampleSoft due to size
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    This is caused by over-interpolating (upsizing) images beyond their capabilities. We suggest you interpolate images to 24MB. If you have a camera that is capable of producing an uncompressed 8 bit file size of over 24MB then leave it that size..

  23. Soft or lacking definition

    The image may appear soft and / or lacking definition for one or more of the following reasons:

    • The image has been interpolated beyond its limitations / an unsuitable camera has been used.
    • The image is slightly out of focus.
    • The image has been over-manipulated (such as overuse of noise reduction) causing degradation in image quality.
    • There is slight camera shake / shake that was not evident before the image was upsized.
    • A lens with poor optics has been used resulting in loss of fine detail.
    • A dedicated film scanner has not been used / poor quality film scanned / image scanned poorly.
  24. Unsuitable material

    Although the technical standard of your work maybe be fine, certain material is not suitable for our target market. This includes, but is not limited to glamour, pornography and images which infringe the rights of any third party. If you shoot this type of content you may have more sales success from an alternative outlet.
    This failure reason also applies to watermarked images.

  25. Watermark

    We do not want images that contain a watermark.

Notes

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Quality Control (QC) policy

We fail images which do not meet our submission guidelines. Check the quality of each image before you submit.

Test submissions

Ongoing submissions

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Further help

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