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PHOTO: Blurred traffic lights at night: Lighting issue

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Member is a contributor and has less than 250 Photo downloads
Posted Thu Feb 7, 2013 11:55AM

I could use some help understanding why this image was rejected. I've seen blurred traffic lights on iStock, so I'm wondering why mine isn't as good. It is is on

Here is the rejection email:

We regret to inform you that we cannot accept your submission, entitled Neon movie theater marquee in evening with blurred traffic ( for addition to the iStockphoto library for the following reasons:

We found the overall composition of this file's lighting could be improved. Some of the technical aspects that can all limit the usefulness of a file are:

-Flat/dull colors
-Direct on-camera flash and/or flash fall-off (bright subject, dark background)
-Harsh lighting with blown-out highlights that lack details and/or distracting shadows
- Distracting lens flares
-Incorrect white balance


Thank you so much!

(Edited on 2013-02-07 12:25:42 by donald_gruener)
Member is a Diamond contributor and has 25,000 - 199,999 Photo downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Illustration downloadsExclusiveForum Moderator
Posted Thu Feb 7, 2013 12:37PM
We're pretty picky with traffic light blurs. There has to be a good reason for the blurred lights in the first place, and it should make a positive contribution to the feel & composition of the image.

This image is dominated by the blown-out headlight blurs but which don't really provide a benefit to the image - on the contrary, they rather distract from the cozy main-street feel. There's not a real message's not a rush-rush urban scene (this is Bend, Oregon, right?) which could be enhanced by speeding streaking lights. The streaks themselves are awkward, some start/stop mid-image, there are some jagged crazily curved just doesn't really come together.

Not helping with your case are the other issues which I assume were also mentioned in the rejection (names/logos, artifacting, identifiable people).

(Edited on 2013-02-07 12:37:57 by donald_gruener)
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