I checked out 21sextury this month, and the biggest (and most annoying) surprise was how small all the easily accessible images are. I mean, the ones you can view or download individually are tiny by today's standards. The only way, it seems, that you can obtain larger versions is to download an entire zip file of the gallery -- and that's only available on a few sets. It took AN HOUR to download one of these zips on broadband, then a further 30 mins or so to unzip it, etc... and all I wanted was about four shots in HD. Totally unacceptable.
And the content? Well, I don't know what all the fuss is about. Of all the bizzare categories, there's not even one for regular gals with bush.
OK AW, here's the thing. I have posted reviews of your site before. But nothing ever changes. I really want your site to succeed, because the concept appeals to me -- natural young girls without silly makeup and silly clothes.
But endless shots of just a pussy (or more often, a hand covering a pussy) are not appealing unless you can see the girl who it belongs to... in reasonable focus. You so rarely get both clearly in the same shot.. unless she's 50 yards away. No, I don't want you to shoot with wide angle -- it obviously distorts the body and faces. But I think you should be shooting at f16 in acceptable ISO ranges (below 400). This, of course, means you need strobes. Oh, just think of it... the wonderful, natural girls you get with the technical clarity of Sean R. People would be signing up around the world!! But as it is, sure, you can quote some good comments, just as any movie publicists can quote a good review from at least somewhere. Use lights! It doesn't make the girls less natural -- it just takes them out of the grainy, murkiness and makes them more real.
I suspect this review is a plant by Abby Winters. Either that or perhaps you've never visited many porn sites! The photography is absolutely awful; it lacks fine detail in most sets, and shot without decent lighting. It is true that the models are great, but that's not much use if the pictures are worthless. Often, the only clear in focus unobstructed picture of both face and pussy is the last one in the set where the model is standing.
From what I can gather, most of the photography is by ex-models from the site. They seriously, and I mean SERIOUSLY need some professional photographers on the site. If they did that, and increase new sets by about 400 percent, then they'd be a good site.
I would rate AW much lower than "81" these days. I did a month recently to see if things have improved, but alas, they're worse. Yes, they use a lot of "Euro-girls" now, many of which are very hot. It's just that every other site uses them too, so AW has lost one of the few advantages they once had: unique models. Furthermore, updates are very, very poor for the price they charge. They try to fill in with those (low res) behind-the-scenes sets, and recycled "one year ago" sets, but sites like met-art or ATK have more sets in one day than AW has in a week... and the photography's better on those other sites too. Now that AW has more sets in bigger sizes, it's much more obvious how aweful their photography is, riddled with poor focus, grainyness, motion blur, etc. And as always, the "goods" are only seen properly in those closeups where the girl's face is missing. There's usually a hand or a dildo in the way. Sorry, AW, never again.
AW webmaster: Depth of field is one issue on AW, and continues to be. But that's not what I was talking about in this thread.
Yes, all other sites I compare to are viewed on the same monitor which is well-calibrated, and 1920x1200 resolution. I am a keen photographer myself, so I'm not talking out of lack of experience or judgement.
I can't point to a specific set, since I'm not a member any more, but if you look at the largest size images and think they resolve detail well for their size, then there isn't much hope. I'm not sure what you mean by "moderate compression", but if they're more compressed than 10 on Photoshop's scale, then that may be contributing to your problems. In addition, a lot of the shoots don't seem to pay attention to where the focus point is; you have the wall behind the model in sharp focus, but the model is not. Also, many shots appear to have slight motion blur due to too low shutter speed, so that may be contributing to the overall lack of resolution and quality too.
Honestly, I'd love to see a big jump up in image quality on AW because I've really liked the type of models used in the past. I'm not mouthing off for no reason. Perhaps you could show your large images to an unbiased professional photographer to get their opinion and advise.
I too just completed another subscription, which I think will sadly be my last. I'm not into the videos -- I've always joined for the pictures which, while not always very big, were often hot.
Sadly, the picture sets have actually got worse. More sets have a larger size option now, but there's no point offering larger images when the quality is as low as it is on Abby Winters. Unlike quality sites such as Met-Art, AVErotica, Explicite-art, etc, the Abby sets look like they were shot with a cell phone! There's just no fine detail at all. Each picture looks either out-of-focus or shot with a shutter speed that's too low to retain sharpness. I'm not exactly sure what AV does to their pics to make them so soft and lacking detail, but it's true of every set.
They made a lot of fuss about the new web page design, but hey, if the content isn't any good, then who cares.
I'd like to point out that although some picture sets have a large size option, the majority do not -- even recent sets. Abby Winters likes to tease you with only making some sets available in a larger size. Also, the pictures are not up to the count-every-pore quality that some sites give.
Regarding the bank problems, I've been told the same thing by AW before, but Wells Fargo Visa still gets rejected through GMBill. I've given up now, and it NEVER offers CCBill as an alternative.
Regarding the new site with big, high quality pics on every set... it is now mid February and it looks exactly the same to me with just the small pics on most sets. So when exactly will all this change?
Current Member for over 3 months (at the time of review).
- Lots and lots of content accumulated over the years, which is great if you're a first-time member
- The girls are young, natural, and generally very cute. Most have pubic hair like REAL young girls -- not shaved like the window dummies on most other sites
- The girls wear REAL (but still very sexy)clothes, not ridiculous costumes that distract you and make the experience unreal
- Lots of videos, with a choice of how to view them. Personally, I can't be bothered to spend an hour downloading a video that's the size of a postcard, but I quite like the style of some AW shoots.
- The majority of picture sets are a frustrating tease. Either the lighting and photography aren't up to showing the details (see below) you want, or the model doesn't pose very explicitely. Some sets DO get it right, and then it's a special pleasure
- My biggest complaint: image quality. Unlike several major sites these days, Abby Winters refuses to provide the option of large (e.g. 3000x2000 pixel) images on all sets. Instead, they only offer larger images on occasional sets, which means the ones you REALLY want bigger are only available in their "standard" size of 1472x981 pixels. The standard size wouldn't be TOO bad if the resolution and compression were handled well, but Abby's pics lack the fine detail of sites with similar image sizes, like ATK Hairy. I'm not sure what they do wrong to the images, because apparently the cameras used are professional Canon SLRs.
- Depth of field: Big problem on AW. They usually have the important "bits" out of focus.
AW has some great content accumulated over the years, and the girls are uniquely natural and beautiful. If you're a first-time member, there's a lot of good stuff. But for returning members, I now find little new picture content worth saving; AW focuses far more on videos these days, with just one new picture set every couple of days. Of those sets, most don't have the resolution of sites like AVErotica.
Sadly, AW accepts feedback, but seems to not listen unless it is praise. I've given suggestions about depth of field in the past, and just get "maybe you should go elsewhere" responses. In most sets now, it's just page 5 on a 6 page set that offers some modest nudity. If they could at least offer higher quality images, then the few shots that are good would be golden!
Oh, and AW currently doesn't offer membership through the normal trusted brokers like CCBill, only through their own billing system... so some U.S banks refuse the transaction. Wake up AW!!
I, too, checked out this site recently since it gets good ratings here (and like messmer says, there are so few natural pubes sites that one is forced to these shaved-like-window-dummies" sites to get any variety.)
Anyhow, to give ALS some credit, a lot of the images are quite good quality. But the thing that struck me the most was that every single model (aside from all being shaved) has almost exactly the same figure and face. Sure, some are brunettes and some are blondes, but as I looked back through their catalog, I kept thinking that I'd already seen each new model because they are all interchangeable. So boring! This was pretty much confirmed in a couple of sets called "Prague Auditions" (or something like that) where the site posts models that auditioned for the site, stating which were rejected or hired. It seemed that only the ones who fitted their tiny range of looks got through... and all the ones that I found interesting and a little different got rejected.
Oh well, nice if you like that exact look repeated over and over, but it wasn't for me.
I'd have to agree with your review. What you say is also true of ATK Galleria -- despite the larger image sizes that they now offer, ATK's images often lack detail and look processed. I think at least part of this is due to over-compression.
ATK Hairy is probably the best quality, but it's still a mixed bag, some photographers being pros, while others are clearly amateurs.
I'm guessing this disappointment comes mostly from the video perspective. As a photos man, let me give you a different perspective...
The image quality at ATK Galleria is very good (on average) and the girls are HOT with a wide variety of niches every month. There are also more galleries each day on Galleria than ANY site I'm aware of. What really confuses me is how Nubiles gets such higher ratings than Galleria, when Nubiles has fewer updates, lower image quality, and hands in front of the pussy on almost every shot. I guess it's down to videos again, but I'd prefer Galleria any day of the week.
Yes, they're claiming that "there's a shortage of unshaved girls", which sounds absurd. I did read elsewhere that ATK weren't paying their photographers on time, so perhaps those contributors are now holding back their work. Of course, we don't know the full truth of this, but my guess is that photographers like Sean R have a whole stash of great new sets ready but won't send them till ATK hands over the money.
Well said, Messmer. I hope that ATK are reading this, because so many of us loyal members of their site are now pretty pissed off that so many of the girls are like circus freaks with gorilla hair everywhere, tattoos and piercings all over their bodies,too. ATK have a category called "Scary Hairy." These types of women should appear there only.
While we're on the subject, one GOOD thing about the new comment feature is that ATK gets to hear how bad its members feel about the amateur quality of the photography (Sean R excepted.) So much of it is badly lit, badly focused, and not especially well resolved, despite the larger image sizes now.
Yes Bish, I've seen those gals, and agree that some are gorgeous. It's just that in the last 3 months or so, they generally haven't been, or else it's someone we've seen far too much of already. But I look forward to when there are!
Yes, I think that Sean R remains the only true professional photographer used by ATK. Sadly, most of his more recent sets are either of models that we've seen a million times already, or they're tattooed slags with makeup like a hooker. I'm hoping he gets some fresh, young, unspoiled talent again soon.
Oh, and I find it strange when people refer to hairy content as "niche", since most of the women in the real world have pubic hair. It's only niche in the porn world where models feel they have to be shaved like window dummies -- that's the REAL niche as far as I'm concerned. But everyone to their own fetish :-)
Just finished another month on Hairy. It's getting even more repetitive; how many identical sets of the same model can a guy sit through, no matter how nice she is? Just when you think a model has gone away, she comes back a couple of months later for yet more endless sets of the same poses.
Sadly, Sean R remains the only photographer turning in sets with pro quality. All the others are either falsely-sharpened, have bad depth of field, bad lighting, or the images are overcompressed, giving unrealistic images.
And the models? A few occasional cuties, but still too many bizarre tattooed skanks with body piercings and weird makeup.
Totally agree about the Sean R review. But I would add that, in my view, he needs to drop the hideous makeup and lipstick in so many shots. It completely spoils it for me when the model looks like a clown! And the clothes? I know some guys like the fantasy outfits, but do we have to have high-heel shoes in EVERY set? I find the clothing so, so corny which also takes me out of the shoot.
I have to agree with the various comments here. To add some of my recent thoughts (late 2009):
1. Although there are several new sets each day, most are of the same models who appeared in multiple sets over the last month. The only difference in a model's many sets are the clothes she wears on page 1. The poses, etc, are almost identical, which gets tedious.
2. Quite a few models used to have at least one peeing set, which gives some variety and excitement. But now, ATK keeps the pee sets for its "watersport" section on ATK Galleria, so we almost never see a model's peeing set on the Hairy site. Bring them back!
3. Apart from the hideous tattoos, piercings, bizzare makeup, wrinkled grandmothers... we also have to get high-heel shoes in most shots. It's so corny! Please ATK, give us more natural girls in NORMAL clothing who don't look like circus freaks.
4. And yeah, the image quality is quite good in about half the sets, but it could improve, and much larger size options would at least give us the scope of better detail. Some sets are way over compressed, with detail suffering badly.
Still the best hairy site, but much room for improvement!
Hmm, the weekly free samples for ATK Petites look just like a subset of Galleria to me. Just more of the same models. ATK really seem to be trying to draw yet more cash without really offering anything new. What's next? "ATK Old & Ugly"?
I'd like to add that while the model list is a bit repetitive, the photo image quality on this site is among the highest I've seen anywhere. I mean, not only are the images BIG in pixel dimensions, but the file sizes are impressive too, giving exquisite fine detail and no compression artifacts to spoil the pictures.
Other sites with similar sized pics (which also have some of AV's work), like Femjoy, often filter their image files to death so that even huge pictures have no detail in them. Not so on AV Erotica!
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