We're surprised to get this feedback, I don't think we have ever got feedback like this, to be honest (we have had feedback about the depth of field being too shallow, but that's not really what you're commenting on, I think?). We get a heck of a lot of OTHER feedback from customers on every little detail (here, on our boards, and by email), and I cannot remember the last time this came up.
So, I'm intrigued!
You said you're not sure what we do to our images, so let me tell you: Our images are shot on Canon 1dmk3 cameras as RAW. We use only Canon L series lenses. We lightly process in Adobe LightRoom to balance colours and add the watermark. We resize and output with a moderate JPG compression, resulting in file sizes of 150kb to 600kb (for "regular" sized images - "XL" images are 800kb to 1200kb). We use calibrated good quality monitors, and the shoots are reviwed by at least two people as a "sanity check" before being released on the site.
I'm not sure if you're exaggerating for effect when you say "every image", but we'd very much like to hear from you an example of an AW shoot that is good, and another that is bad, to see if we can identify what you're seeing. If you did not say that other sites images look great, I'd assume you're using a really bad monitor, or display settings, but that cannot be the case (you ARE looking at these other sites ont he same monitor, right?).
Have you tried looking at our images on any other computer screen? I cannot imagine that a screen could make our images look bad and everyone elses look good, but I suppose it's possible? You sound like you know a fair bit about image quality - if you're interested, we'd like to send you a RAW image for you to process so it looks good for you, and send it back to us to see how it looks on our end (please email me on email@example.com if you'd like to do this).
If you like our content (which you seem to, apart from this image quality problem), we'd like the opportunity to work with you to fix it.
We're bemused, and would love to hear back. Either way, thanks for trying us out and being a member.
This explanation from abbywinters.com Owner Garion Hall
We used to use CCBill, but received many complaints from our customers about poor service (and some evidence that seemed an employee of theirs was selling email addresses to spammers, tho this was back in 2003). We developed our own billing solution, gmbill.com which has massively better features, and better service, and is considerably cheaper for us (and thus, for customers). Feedback we regularly get from other webmasters and customers is that CCBill's service and product remains low quality. Perhaps not surprising when you're the walmart of billers?
However, we do use CCB as a backup biller, in case GMB goes down, or if GMB refuses to process a given credit card. Most adult sites have a secondary biller (and GMBill.com is some sites secondary biller, in case their primary biller goes down). If, when joining AW, your card was rejected by GMB for some reason, you would have been presented with the option to join by CCBill (and a few other options).
GMB's trustworthiness is without question - it's more secure, reliable, robust, and owned and operated by people who care about customers, the industry, and GMB's clients (abbywinters.com in this case).
So that explains the biller we use, and in regards to your other points about the image size and quality: Good News!
You may have heard the entire abbywinters.com complex is undergoing not just a redesign but a revolution! (You can read about it and check out screen shots on our forum) When the old site is switched off and the new one is running smoothly we'll offer all photo sets in a range of sizes for download. Of course custom zip files are still available so you only download those you really want. We're in Alfa testing right now, beta testing soon(sign up!) and we're expecting to GoLive January 2010!
I have checked with the head of our billing service GMBill, you shouldn't have any problems with your bank. Most of our members are from the US but GMBill is used globally. Talk to our Customer Support team and they'll help sort out any issues for you.
Thanks for your review, you've got a lot of good points, I just wanted to say that we are listening, we do hear the complaints about nudity to non-nude proportions and I think we're getting on top of that now. There is a fair delay between filming and releasing the encoded content if that helps explain it a bit better?
I wanted to thank you for making us aware of your concerns. We strive to give exceptional customer service in all areas, and the security and safety of our customers is of utmost importance to us.
If you would like to mail our support team, we'd be glad to look into this further for you, and have our technical team work with you if necessary.
What we've found is that adult sites are often targeted URLs for ransomware. The end user is silently infected at another site. Then when the target URL is visited, the trigger is pulled and the ransom aspect of the trojan is activated.
When customers do encounter this on our site, or any site, we encourage them to disable java,(and leave it disabled if possible) and run the free version of Malwarebytes.
If you have specific questions, concerns, or need assistance, please contact us, and we will be glad to help.
Well, you are right and you are wrong, greg909. I would agree when it comes to picture sets, as good as the quality is, but when it comes to the videos the personalty of the girls really shines through and you look at them as distinct individuals.
I just joined ATK Galleria, you are right. They're images are similar. I find myself very frustrated. I got excited to view some of the larger images, just to be frustrated with the quality. The pics are not crisp, there's no fine detail. There are so many with the faces fuzzy, blurry, or out-of-focus.
What does someone have to do to find a site with good quality, crisp, natural pictures? Someone help me please, lol.
There have been about a dozen articles on Mike South's website going back to last September about the problems at ATK and they just seem to be getting worse. They haven't been paying their photographers and don't seem to be shooting much new content any more so the sites are getting filled with content from the archive site or swapped in from other ATK sites. I have been a member of the Galleria site off and on since 2003 but don't expect them to be around much longer which is a shame because in the past their variety of both girls and photographers was unbeatable, and now what they are putting up on the site all looks the same.
Based on my experience, most girls prefer to shave "down there" nowadays. It doesn't surprise me that hairy models are hard to come by. But that is not the customers' problem. I had a very good rate at ATKHairy and waited and waited for an update from ATKryan (the webmaster)about the issue and canceled yesterday, and his explanation (it's hard to get hairy models, and more sets are coming in from abroad but delayed by customs) came today. Fantastic. Too late.
His problems getting models, again, is his issue. His customers were paying good money for good porn, and he wasn't delivering, and wasn't upfront and honest about why right from the start when it mattered most. THAT was what was wrong with ATKHairy--deliver the promised content or explain right away why you cannot do so for a brief period.
Thanks, Greg. I am happy to see that I have company because, judging by the majority of the comments at ATK, "Scary Hairy" is in and is even being encouraged and promoted by ATK Owner. Maybe people got tired of ordinary hairy and are now going for the extreme. I am not condemning this site for it, if scary is becoming their bread and butter then so be it.
But at the same time, as I told others, I also wanted to warn those who might be turned off by the excess hair, and the tattoos and piercings you mention, not to go there. The 85 might fool some folks so I hope they read the review carefully.
As to the regular sets, I find them basically bland except for SeanR's but even there I have a problem with all the make up he puts on his models.
I agree entirely, the irony is that shaved IS a fetsh, surely natural ladies are just that - natural and shaving is a recent thing. To dome degree or other women shaved downstairs, but this was to trim it as much as anything - going by what most females have said to anyway!
What seems to have happened in the last few years is that pubes are considered "dirty" or something along that line and they must be removed totally.
I don't agree at all though that his recent models are old slappers, one or two yes; in 2010 have you seen: Regina, Kirsty, Shanice, Sheila, Emma, Zarina, Marika, Alabama, Lauren, Sian Tequilla - these have all been added in 2011 are some are gorgeous. I will agree though they have makeup but that is the photographer's style I guess.
Granted a fair few have tats but these are in fashion these days too!
Good points. My guess? It looks as though he lets the girls do their own makeup (I have used that approach with my models). Some gals wear tons of tacky makeup and others very little. Maybe some guys like that cheap hooker look, but I do not. Gaudy eyeliner, porn-blowjob lips, etc.. I would love it if all the photographers would make their models wash all that shit off before they started. Then again, I am guessing that some of you guys like that stuff.
The "fuck-me-pumps"? That is sooooooo overdone. Again, I think some guys like to fantasize that they are surrounded by naked, women in cheap shoes. I for one have never slept with a girl while she is wear stilettos, but again, I guess it pops some people's monkey.
Other costumes and such. Well the biggest complaint they get is that each set looks the same as the last. They try to make up for it by varying the costumes. My tastes are for the ordinary, and I love a girl in jeans.
I was a member there a long time ago and remember thinking how repetitive things were. I'd thought of giving it another shot one day, but the poor photograpy and the "bizarre tattooed skanks with body piercings and weird makeup" makes avoiding it a very easy call. Thanks for the report.
When it's good at this site, it's very good. Unfortunately, too often part of the girl's image is blurry. There were some great shots there recently of Milla, for instance, that were marred by her head being all blurred out in the largest pics.
Sometimes some members will look at a similar site and see something we don't but I do find that 95 was rather high for what I consider to be a semi-dead site. I checked what passes for a preview section and
at least 3 of the updates are many years old since the performers on them have been retired for a couple of years already.
It's nice that you get access to a couple of other sites but frankly Seventeen video is basically the video section of this sites photosets and the other site is a cam site.
There was a time when Seventeen was the site for cute teen models but that time is long gone. There are better ones now and frankly cheaper ones as well.
It's definitely a juggling act because for every member that prefers the higher quality/lower compression, there is another member that will hammer us on file sizes or other cause & effect issues related to every decision we have to make.
If you have a moment and an example in mind for each side of the coin, we'd love to hear from you and see what exactly you think is overly compressed and what you think is just right. My e-mail address is (jeff at karups dot com).
We don't want to give a concrete launch date for the new "super high res" (as we're planning on labeling it) size, but barring any major roadblocks, it should be online within 2-3 weeks. It's definitely a top priority for us right now. Some recent sampling we did came out great and all new photos are being processed in the new super high-res size, along with the 2 smaller resolutions we already offer.
Also, after the new super high res size begins being added for all new updates, we plan on going backward to offer past photosets in the new 3000x size as well. We may not be able to go all the way back, but we should be able to go far enough back to make fans of the high res photos very pleased.
I would just like to respond to the comments made by greg909.
1200 DPI x 1200 DPI:
This was a typo on our part, what this should have read is 1200 pixels x 1200 pixels. Further a 1200 dpi image would be simply impractical. Professional printers only work at 300 dpi, if the images on the site were 1200 dpi you most likely only be able to view a square inch of any given image on a 20" screen. The file sizes would be huge.
By "1200 pixels x 1200 pixel" we mean that if the image is of landscape orientation it will be 1200 pixels wide and however many pixels in height in order to maintain the aspect ratio. Conversely for portrait images: 1200 high by many pixels in width in order to maintain the correct aspect ratio.
The reference to 1200 DPI has been removed and corrected.
This image size will almost fill an entire screen running with a screen resolution of 1280*1024. If these images are only filling half of the screen then you're running a very high spec screen with desktop publishing screen resolution which the majority of users will not have the capability to do.
"most pics are somewhat blurry (with false sharpening"
In order to capture the pee action shots we use a high speed shutter camera that can shoot 4 or 5 frames per second. However shooting at such high speeds means there is a small compromise in quality. In order to compromise for this we do sharpen some images in an attempt to improve quality. I can only strongly disagree that "most" images are blurred.
"the small number of photosets (33)"
The preview section of the site lists all and every photo and video set available. Before joining it is clear to see that there are currently 33 photosets. It is not as if we lure members with the promise of 100's of image sets when the reality is only 30.
Our strong point is the video section which currently features 155 videos in 3 different bit rates (the latest of which are 720p High Definition) which you omitted from your review.
You are right, greg. I counted only 144 sets that contained "hairy" and some of them stretched the definition because the pubic hair was just starting to grow in, so hairy models are definitely not well represented.
I am a hairy fan from way back but got so used to the shaved look (and so disillusioned with hairy sites because of their growing emphasis on hairy legs) that I no longer notice. You could say I even like it now. Who says the leopard can't change his spots. :-)
I even enjoyed my membership at ALS, something that would have been unthinkable 3 years ago. :-) I think the vast majority enjoys shaved these days and takes it for granted.
*Message rows highlighted in light orange are replies to replies.
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