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Why Images Get Rejected for Noise

Rejection Reasons #7 Noise -- those unwanted pixilated, grainy spots that often appear in photos. Those annoying color speckles that appear where there should be none. If you have dealt with noise, you have probably seen this rejection reason:

Noise. Noise, film grain, over-sharpening, or artifacts at full size.

This rejection reason combines some very common issues together. If you see this reason, the issue may be one of four issues or combinations of any of the four. During a review, we tend to see issues that you may not see or even want to see in your images. Look, learn and correct or improve the quality of your submissions and your images should be accepted the next time around.

If you‘ve ever shot photos containing many shadows or a brilliant patch of a pristine sky, you are probably aware of this issue.

noise
noise

Lots of sky, lots of buildings… and lots of noise

Noise can be one of the more frustrating obstacles in putting together a great image, due to its frequency. The good news is that there are things you can do to address this.

Please note, these suggestions are entirely pragmatic and in many cases, you may have already been heeding these recommendations. Remember to always view your images at 100% prior to submitting. If you see noise, artifacts or too much oversharpening in your image, we will as well.

Shoot with a digital SLR instead of a point and shoot. Noise tends to become more problematic in an image as pixel sizes decrease on a sensor, so try to choose the best camera that you can afford with the best sensor available to minimize noise.

Use the lowest ISO possible. ISO/ASA, which deals with measuring the sensitivity of the image sensor, should almost always be set low for stock photography purposes, as any grain found in the image will likely cause it to be rejected. There are cases where a photographer wants a certain amount of noise in a photo, but this should be minimized for stock photography purposes.

Avoid longer exposures. Longer exposures tend to lead to noise issues in your images.

Get the right exposure – as you shoot. Use a light meter to ensure that the image is properly exposed. If you have to significantly lighten the image in an image editing program, it‘s likely the midtones and shadows will contain a great deal of noise.

Lastly, you should also consider software to address noise. While there are lots of software programs out there that can assist with noise reduction, planning your shot in advance is the best way possible. The less time you spend in post production of your images, the better and more efficient your workflow.

Is there a rejection reason you‘d like to see addressed in a newsletter? Email atlarge@shutterstock.com.