Alamy Reduces File-Size Requirement

Posted on 5/27/2010 by Julia Dudnik Stern | Printable Version | Comments (0)

Alamy has changed its minimum submission guidelines to introduce a 24-megabyte minimum uncompressed image size. Judging by comments in online forums, the move is meeting with contributor approval.

The U.K. company gave several reasons for making the change. One of these was that eliminating the need to upsize would simplify photographer workflow. Other factors included a review of customer requirements and competitors’ submissions standards.

According to head of content Alan Capel, Alamy sees many quality-control failures as a result of poor upsizing. “This move gives photographers an opportunty to submit images at their native resolution,” he said, adding that those who shoot in a larger native size should not downsize.

Capel also stressed that the company is not relaxing its views on recommended cameras or quality in general. “Clearly a high-quality 48+MB file is still the ideal solution for customers; it offers the full range of file sizes and gives end users greater scope… The difference now is that it’s not a mandatory requirement,” Capel said.

The 48-megabyte minimum of traditional agencies has long baffled stock photographers, particularly in light of newer microstock businesses that do not require such large files (but some accept them if available). During a discussion on business networking Web site Linkedin, Roel Loopers, owner of Profile Photography, asks: “In the past the agencies were happy to accept 35mm slides, so why all the fuzz now?”

Others, including photographer Michael Halberstadt, bring up ethics: “Requiring photographers to up-res digital files seems quite dishonest to me… why can’t we just be honest—if the clients ask, we can u-pres for them, but at least they should know we aren’t trying to deceive them… I commend Alamy for making that decision.”

On the agency side, Lynn Eskenazi—formerly of Jupiterimages, now with Citizen Stock—responds: “The file size required had a lot to do with what clients were requesting (in some cases, demanding). Most clients wanted large files, so they had they option to crop the image in a variety of ways to suit their needs. From an agency point of view, keeping the file size the same makes it much easier to sell—everything is uniform.”

Copyright © Julia Dudnik Stern. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz


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