not very similar in their similarity?!

Just my two cents in the whole similarity discussion: not a proposal, just a reflection about it and some possible practical ways out of it. It's just that lately I noticed 2 batches of similar images can be very different regarding their similarity ;-)

The hardest thing won’t be applying this to future submissions, but to get rid of the ‘historic’ similar uploads…

Here we go ;-)

1.Are there duplicates in this batch of “similar images”?

YES → limit number of duplicates to one image; tell the contributor not to submit duplicates ever again and to behave like a good boy or girl from now on; go to step 2

NO → no actions in this step; go to step 2

2.Are the images strictly subject-related similars without any concept attached to it? (for example: landscape, same building or food dish taken from 34 angles, the same isolated object, illustrations of the same subject with minor color changes, model shoots with no or minor differences in angle nor background nor concept)

YES → limit SUBJECT-similars to 3 distinctive images; go to step 3

NO → no actions in this step; go to step 3

3.Do the images share the same concept or feel but don’t have the same style or appearance? (for example: “going to the dentist”, “clean environment”, “seductive looking woman”, “retirement”)

YES → limit CONCEPT-similars to 5 distinctive images; go to step 4

NO → no actions in this step; go to step 4

4.Do the images share the same style but with different subjects/concepts (same model, same setting, same lighting, but with different concepts or expressions / isolated objects / graphical or near-graphical lookalikes but with completely different subjects and/or concepts)

YES → limit STYLE-similars to 20 images, no limits for isolated objects; go home, relax and be kind to everyone.

NO → you have been a fool to waste your time on examining this batch, there were no similars to be found here in the first place ;-)

Step 1 is obvious.

Step 2 in order to prevent 30+ images taken from 30+ slightly different angles of the same plate of celery soup or the same lame office building or the same model, however good-looking she or he is.

Step 3 in order to limit uploading of images with a green-minded model with an apple in her hand (same model, same apple, but different angles, poses or backgrounds). Or limit uploading illustrations of a robot walking to the dentist with a clearly aching tooth (and passing the bank, the office, the bakery, the supermarket, the garage and whatever before reaching the dentist)

Step 4 in order to encourage striking styles, but with very different subjects or concepts. Like these ones:

Thank You note

Drawing smiley

Well anyway, just of few thoughts of mine.

Cheers, Alain.

Photo credits: Maigi.
Alain Lacroix
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  • Icefields
  • Leuven, Belgium
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March 22, 2011

This is an old debate. I certainly don't agree with eliminating similar images. I'm speaking as a buyer though so what do I know. Perhaps if the DT programmers added a button for "series" to the upload process that could be selected so that only one shot would show up in search results but with a liitle button "more like this" that could be clicked so that buyers could then see everything in that series. Limit series to 12 similar images so that contributors would have to select the best of the lot and then it wouldn't cost DT sales. And it does, I know that for a fact. Designers, like me, sometimes need just that one shot, but from a slightly different angle. If we can't find what we need here, we go somewhere else. I don't like doing that so it would be nice if that policy could change.


March 22, 2011

"But what makes me so very sad is the fact that perfectly fine new CONCEPT/STYLE-similars tend to have a hard time getting accepted, while at the same time the database is cluttered with 'historic' SUBJECT-similars."

I think the reality is that older files, similar or not, will get dropped from the searches if they don't sell.

The issue is that DT wants contributors to handle the decision on which are the best of a lot and trimming it down to one or two selects, not the reviewers. It constantly surprises me that given the level system here which clearly favors one or two strong images over 20, contributors still complain that they sell sets of images on other sites. But other sites also payout 0.25 per sale, or 15% royalties, etc. Don't people who sell on lots of sites want each to target different buyers, not the same? DT has a good model in the sense that they quickly price good selling images higher. This makes sense - one of the problems inherent in microstock is that images sell for cheap regardless of complexity to produce them. DT raises those images that sell, up in price. Other sites have a different approach.


March 22, 2011

It goes without saying it will remain hard to draw the exact line, let alone implement the whole thing. But what makes me so very sad is the fact that perfectly fine new CONCEPT/STYLE-similars tend to have a hard time getting accepted, while at the same time the database is cluttered with 'historic' SUBJECT-similars. It's not logical, it's frustrating for contributors, it's limiting possibilities for buyers, it presently causes very low upload limits, it just doesn't make any sense.
I could live with a "maximum 3 shots for all similars" from now on, if only the database were to be cleaned from the similarity bonanza of the past ;-)
Such a clean-up would be a sensible thing to do and take some pressure off of the present uploading and acceptance issues. Not to mention enhancing the overall quality of the database (and its portfolios)
I just tried to put it into perspective in this blog.
I will go and have a nice bowl of celery soup now, very similar to the one I had last night ;-)


March 22, 2011

This is an interesting concept, Icefields. But even saying that we follow this (just theoretically, of course) then someone's portfolio is going to have a huge number of sort of similars in it. Seems like they usually cut the limit off at three, if I remember correctly. :)

Maybe we should encourage diversity instead of similars. I am guilty of similars when I was starting out and had no clue. I got a lot of rejections for this, too. Now I try not to do it at all.

I enjoyed your theories. :)


March 22, 2011

Great blog!


March 22, 2011

Great photos, and very interesting! thanks for sharing!


March 22, 2011

Thanks for sharing!


March 22, 2011

Thanks for sharing,nice blog and beautiful portfolio!


March 22, 2011

Very interesting, thanks for sharing, I wish you good luck!


March 22, 2011

nice pics