How to submit photos to Alamy

12th April 2009
Like most things on Photoshop you just need to know the step-by-step process, as jargon tends to bamboozle you if the instructions aren’t clear. So I hope this will do the trick for you.

Alamy want the photos you supply them with to meet the following criteria:

JPEG's saved at a high quality setting (i.e. Photoshop level 10 or above)
Alpha-numeric file names ending in .jpg
RGB files, not single channel greyscale or CMYK
Uncompressed file sizes of between 48 MB and 200 MB. This means you should make your JPEG file from an 8 bit TIFF file that is at least 48MB. Our maximum size for the uncompressed file is 200MB.

If you are shooting JPEGS, the 8-bit file is probably only 4 to 10 megabytes in the normal compressed form that JPEGS have. If you open/uncompress the file it is much larger (a 6MP camera creates a JPEG file that opens to about 17.5 megabytes), but that is still well below Alamy's standards. Even a 12MP camera only creates a file that opens to about 35 megabytes (9x14 inches at 300dpi) as an 8-bit file, so don’t worry, it’s not that your camera doesn’t have enough mega pixels.
What you need to do is interpolate (digitally enlarge) you file.


1. Whether your original photo was taken as a RAW file, or a JPEG, start by saving it as a TIFF file. Now, carefully edit your file until it looks exactly the way you want it to look.

2. Now click on ‘image’, ‘resize’ and then ‘image size’ like this:

At the bottom of the box it will say one of the following: Bicubic, bicubic smoother, bicubic sharpener, nearest neighbour or bilinear. I told you there was a lot of annoying jargon! Just set it to bicubic smoother, if it’s not already, like this:

3. Increase the image size to a width or height of 5128 on the largest side, the other figure will change to the correct dimension automatically. If your original photo was shot in RAW format your 16-bit TIFF file will show as a 100MB file (approximately). If your original shot was a jpeg then you will have an 8-bit TIFF file that will be around 50MB. You can see this at the top of the resizing screen before you click on ‘OK’.

3. If you shot in RAW format then change the file to 8-bit (from 16-bit) by clicking on 'Image', then the 'Mode selection' and then check the 8 Bits/Channel selection. Your file will now be about 50 MB.

4. Now you save the file as a JPEG at level 12 in Photoshop (highest quality). It will be a 4 to 15mb compressed JPEG that opens up to an 8-bit 50 megabyte file likew this:

You now have a photo that meets Alamy’s specification. However, this does not mean they will automatically accept the photo. This is because the photo needs to look good too. Simply sending a poor photo with the right specification isn’t enough and rightly so. After all your photo may be blurred or poorly exposed. For details about the kinds of things Alamy will be assessing click here:


Photo comment By Nick Edwards: Hey Dan, Thanks for your info about uploading to Alamy. I am new to this and am totally bamboozled by the process. I have been shooting in RAW for many years and as such all my files are stored as raw on the computer. DOes this mean I have to go through each one I want to submit to Alamy and change to a tiff file and then compress back to jpeg? cheers nick
Photo comment By Dan Waters: Hi Nick, The good news is that you're absolutely right - the bad news is, yes it does take a long time. That's part of the reason why I gave up with photo libraries and started selling photos through my own website. It's so much quicker to get a large number of photos available for sale. You must also thoroughly check all your photos for dust marks and softness. The great thing about having photos on your own website is that most of the smaller anomalies don't show up which means you only have to to a rigid check of a photo once you make the sale. I hope that helps. All the best Dan Waters
Photo comment By Vivienne Albiston: Hi Dan, I too am new to this and thinking of sending to Alamy. I usually only do macro and am confused about the term `softness` . Often the edges of my image are softly blurred cos of technique but is part of pictures overall effect. Does this mean I have to crop it out leaving only pin sharp central area.Hmpph..this would really change the feel and effect I try and get. Your info above is really clear and even I could do it! Regards Viv
Photo comment By Dan Waters: Don't worry, areas that are meant to be blurred are fine. The softness they don't want is only relating to areas that look like they're meant to be sharp. All the best - Dan.
Photo comment By Dan Waters: Don't worry, areas that are meant to be blurred are fine. The softness they don't want is only relating to areas that look like they're meant to be sharp. All the best - Dan.

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