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Good evening to you. I believe many of us react the same way you do until we look very closely at our photos to identify the reason for rejection. Additionally, I can appreciate your vast experience in photography, however in whatever we do, and no matter how experienced we are, many times it's the advanced experienced audience that identifies the flaws we don't see. Adobe moderators are our experienced audience; the more photos they review, and the more photos with need of rejection, the better they get. They will see what you don't initially, but with careful inspection find it. Zoom in on your photo. Take it to about 100% and look carefully at the bottom left corner in the shadows, especially on the leaves. There I can identify some grains. Take a look at the photos in the Adobe Stock Contributor Guide at tagproducts_SG_STOCK-CONTRIBUTOR_i18nKeyHelppagetitle . That's your target.
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Hello, Besides the out of focus areas, there is grain and noise in both feeders. Exposure is also not the best for these shots. Take both into camera raw filter and play with the sliders. And do take a look at Adobe Stock bird feeders to compare the light and sharpness of your work with those accepted. Lots to learn. Regards, JH
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I'm afraid you do have some grain/noise problems - especially in the shadow areas:
Remember sharping is not always a good idea and you may have applied too much. (Of course, some sharpening is needed, but you have to be careful not to over sharpen - this is very easy to do.)