8 Replies Latest reply on Mar 13, 2018 8:59 AM by joanh22203655

    Are humans or computers rejecting the contributions?


      I have successfully uploaded, and had accepted, hundreds of images - but I have also received quite a few rejections that would appear to be incorrect or in error.

      If I upload a portrait image that has a model's eyes critically sharp but the background rendered blurred by the f/1.4 aperture. I then receive a rejection because my image is 'blurred' - well yes 90% of the image has beautiful 'bokeh' - which my commercial clients usually describe at 'the professional look'. Likewise I get images rejected because of copyright, because there is some graffiti on a wall that is actually art in a public space and not product branding. As Melbourne's alleyways are famous for its prolific street art it makes uploading potential travel photography images (that would be in demand by travel agencies) captured in my home city a complete nightmare.


      I have therefore, and regretfully, come to the conclusion that no human at Adobe is actually looking at my uploaded images. I believe a computer is rejecting them because it finds a word or determines that there are no sharp edges in the majority of the image surface.


      This will essentially devalue Adobe Stock as a useful stock resource if users cannot find images that have certain qualities (bokeh) or subject matter because a poorly programmed computer is rejecting them.

        • 1. Re: Are humans or computers rejecting the contributions?
          whatevertheexcuse Level 1

          I have the same question, Mark. Although I don't think I am operating at the same level you are, I've received rejections that make no sense. For instance, one photo -- which I gave the description of "A park bench in snowfall at night" was rejected as "too grainy"! Of course it was "grainy", it was the snow! Either Adobe is using algorithms or the humans who are reviewing them are applying such arbitrary and inconsistent standards that it makes it hard to tell beforehand what will make the cut and what will be rejected. I would say this applies to half of the photos I submitted that were rejected. It is something Adobe needs to address if they are to be better regarded as a stock service.


          In case anyone from Adobe actually reads any of this, some suggestions on how the service can be improved.

          1. Be more specific in the rejections. Say EXACTLY what you find wrong with a photo. For example, saying "technical issue" without indicating what the technical issue is doesn't really help anyone. If we can take the time to submit, you can take the time to give short but useful feedback.

          2. Have a link on the rejection explanation for each photo that allows a contributor to appeal the rejection if the contributor feels the reviewer has made a mistake.

          • 2. Re: Are humans or computers rejecting the contributions?
            stefans47550826 Level 1

            Guess it happens more and more! I have my doubts about the qualification of the reviewers too. They rejected some pictures with the arguments of no commercial value even though pretty similar images are my best sellers. I wonder too what is going on and if the reviewers have such a very limited outlook of what can be utilized commercially . The reasons for rejection are often very suspect and it appears that the review is extremely subjective. I had images shot at ISO 100 with best light in the studio and set-up with a Sekonic light-meter rejected because of noise or incorrect exposure!!! Hello but I check the histogram for every image regarding blown out highlights or underexposure! Some reviewers should definitely be disqualified by Adobe or is the review just window dressing and an excuse for selecting only the best raisins?

            I hope Adobe Staff actually reads this and corrects the on-going incompetency!

            • 3. Re: Are humans or computers rejecting the contributions?
              ricky336 Adobe Community Professional

              Street art graffiti is unfortunately a copyright issue. Other stock sites will reject if graffiti is present -unless you have a release. (At least in the States it seems to be a problem, and cars are a problem as well if they are in the photo)!

              This topic on rejections appears a lot on here. This question has been asked many times. Adobe says that human eyes are doing the reviewing, not by a computer algorithm - I believe them.

              They do give information on reasons for rejection:  Quality and technical issues rejected at Adobe Stock

              However, you may not find it very informative, (I guess you have looked at this) but it is a good guideline. If you really understand photography, and Adobe give a brief reason for rejection, then you should be able to work out what to look for - although it can be a bit hard at times. Adobe shouldn't have to indicate all the reasons. Also, if they were to write the reasons for rejection, then the review process could take ages, and then contributors will complain that the review process is taking too long! Not to mention that the photo may have more than one rejection category!

              Adobe have their standards - most other stock sites accept almost anything! Therefore a lot of people get surprised when their images get rejected here!.

              As for the appeal process, I think this would be opening Pandora's box!

              Bearing in mind Adobe wants high quality images, they HAVE to have a review process in order to 'select the best raisins'. Isn't that the point of reviewing?

              I am a contributor and have been uploading for a year and at first I also found some of their rejections frustrating - it still is. It just teaches you to submit better raisins!

              2 people found this helpful
              • 4. Re: Are humans or computers rejecting the contributions?
                Sherwood.Martinelli Level 1

                I find myself wondering if a real human is looking at our work....I got 46 rejections tonight out of 55-60 images, all of them for Grain/Noise.  3/4 of my total submissions have been rejected, most for the Grain/Noise issue, or Artifacts.  Many of them good sellers at small gallery shows.  I am guessing Adobe is using an Algorithm of sorts...that, or is humans are doing the review, have to wonder if they are just RACING THROUGH to meet a Quota or Bonus number of images reviewed.   When I was a field inspector for the insurance industry this was an issue...company offered bonus money when you hit X inspections a day, which led to many inspections not being done properly, thus requiring a second inspection of the properties.   Wondering if this could be a part of the problem.

                • 5. Re: Are humans or computers rejecting the contributions?
                  oleschwander Level 3

                  I have also had perfectly good images in snow rejected because of grain here on Adobe - I definitely think it’s a computer’s rejection.

                  • 6. Re: Are humans or computers rejecting the contributions?
                    joanh22203655 Adobe Community Professional

                    I completely agree with

                    I also know how difficult snow photos are to capture and still follow the guidelines set forth in the beginners' information for your submissions. If you do get any of your snow shots accepted, check the differences you find when comparing the two. Present only things that are your best work and always make sure the white is not too intense in spots. Keep learning all you can.


                    Computers are not usually the problem. I would almost prefer a programmed scanner being used to catch the general flaws and then final screening by professional people eyes. This is the best of both worlds working together. JH

                    1 person found this helpful
                    • 7. Re: Are humans or computers rejecting the contributions?

                      I haven't played with stock in many years and recently I uploaded a number of 1x-5x macro shots of butterfly wings. After nearly a week they were all rejected. Either due to what was termed "artifacts/noise" - (which would likely be the very subject itself, butterfly wings are like feathers that close) or for "focus" (DOF at 1x is thin, at more than that is razor thin, and these were focus stacked where needed). That tells me that a human didn't look at those images, just a bot. I'll take my stock explorations elsewhere for now.

                      • 8. Re: Are humans or computers rejecting the contributions?
                        joanh22203655 Adobe Community Professional

                        Just wondering, did you check the submission guidelines - size and Res.? Updated information would be a start to understand. I too love butterflies and have had my best rejected but still, others accepted and sold. I am resizing and "fixing" several for resubmission now. Looking at my photo at magnification 100%, I see the few less than sharp spots in the center wing.  I also found the background had to be muted a bit. The white area was too intense. Best of luck.JH

                        1 person found this helpful