New feature on Model Mayhem will now trash your image quality and remove your copyright notice in exif

A new “update” on ModelMayhem.com results in all new images uploaded to re-compress at poor quality, lose all exif data, and delete the embedded color profile. No, you did not read it wrong.

As a photographer, I take great pains to ensure images I present to my web viewers meets the standards I set when creating those images. When creating images for web galleries, I resize and sharpen my images with the settings necessary to balance image size and quality. My default settings are 700-800 pixels tall but less than 800 pixels wide, sRGB color space, and save as jpg high quality. I also attach a copyright notice and contact information in exif for copyright enforcement reasons. Some courts have recognized the existence of a copyright notice in exif data as sufficient notice of copyright status and ownership.

I was somewhat shocked to learn all new full size images uploaded to ModelMayhem.com will now be re-compressed using GD Library.

For those who don’t know, GD Library is an open source tool used by websites to recreate images. It’s often used to create avatars or thumbnails from original larger images. It’s fast and efficient but renders average image quality to be kind. For avatar use, it’s not really a big deal and Model Mayhem has been using it for years to render avatars and medium size gallery thumbnails. Most people can’t really notice the difference but it is quite evident if the source image is using a color space other than sRGB. That’s because GD Library renders images with no embedded profile. ImageMagick is a much better choice for rendering new images but for full size images, the best option is not to change anything.

Whether by design or accident, Model Mayhem now re-processes all your full size images whether you like it or not. I don’t know if this was done intentionally to save money or done by accident. Either way, it’s not good for the membership, particularly photographers, retouchers, and makeup artists who rely on image quality to show their work at the best.

How will this affect you? In a test of two images I compared, I found visible compression artifact, color distortion, and loss of all exif data. The removal of all exif data will certainly make it easier for scammers to setup fake accounts with images scraped off the net. Thanks to this new feature, these scammers will no longer have to take that extra step of removing the exif data.

  • It’s amusing as heck that the moderators talking about it are obviously either lying or don’t have a clue:
    http://www.modelmayhem.com/po.php?thread_id=577987

    I feel less & less bad about being gone from that place.

    • patyuen

      You forget non members cannot see that link. You’ll have to copy and paste for everyone else.

      • I didn’t forget, but you know that MEMBERS come here for the truth since MM won’t tell them.

  • It’s amusing as heck that the moderators talking about it are obviously either lying or don’t have a clue:
    http://www.modelmayhem.com/po.php?thread_id=577987

    I feel less & less bad about being gone from that place.

    • patyuen

      You forget non members cannot see that link. You’ll have to copy and paste for everyone else.

      • I didn’t forget, but you know that MEMBERS come here for the truth since MM won’t tell them.

  • Rob

    Right on man, I noticed that today when one of my models put up an image and it looked like crap and then i did some investigating…
    I’m some upset…

  • Rob

    Right on man, I noticed that today when one of my models put up an image and it looked like crap and then i did some investigating…
    I’m some upset…

  • Christy-Lynn

    Thank you so much for this link. I felt like I was going crazy and I was the only one thinking that my images looked bad. Everyone kept reassuring me that it was probably my fault and not MM, totally frustrating.

  • Christy-Lynn

    Thank you so much for this link. I felt like I was going crazy and I was the only one thinking that my images looked bad. Everyone kept reassuring me that it was probably my fault and not MM, totally frustrating.

  • Stumpy

    http://www.modelmayhem.com/po.php?thread_id=577987&page=2#post12648884
    MM admin admits that this problem started with the latest code push. I wonder how they will try to spin the blame on this one.

    • CLEARLY (since they’ve spent the last 2 days ignoring all the things they broke & insisting it was necessary to hide site-related not because there’re any real problems but because of saboteurs from MI) the answer must be that our evil moles have infiltrated Internet Brands ITSELF and as part of our twisted plot to bring down MM with our spite & hatred we tricked & coerced them in to ruining image quality & stripping out copyright info.

      Yes, CLEARLY we at MI are ALL POWERFUL MASTERMINDS AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

      Oh, wait, except we’re not. I forgot there for a minute LOL.

  • Stumpy

    http://www.modelmayhem.com/po.php?thread_id=577987&page=2#post12648884
    MM admin admits that this problem started with the latest code push. I wonder how they will try to spin the blame on this one.

    • CLEARLY (since they’ve spent the last 2 days ignoring all the things they broke & insisting it was necessary to hide site-related not because there’re any real problems but because of saboteurs from MI) the answer must be that our evil moles have infiltrated Internet Brands ITSELF and as part of our twisted plot to bring down MM with our spite & hatred we tricked & coerced them in to ruining image quality & stripping out copyright info.

      Yes, CLEARLY we at MI are ALL POWERFUL MASTERMINDS AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

      Oh, wait, except we’re not. I forgot there for a minute LOL.

  • Anonymous

    oh, bother.

    *winnie the pooh face*

  • Anonymous

    oh, bother.

    *winnie the pooh face*

  • Our take on the current image quality, resizing and EXIF-stripping issue happening at another site:

    http://www.modelinsider.com/features/blogs/on-image-resizing-quality-and-exif-data.html

  • Our take on the current image quality, resizing and EXIF-stripping issue happening at another site:

    http://www.modelinsider.com/features/blogs/on-image-resizing-quality-and-exif-data.html

  • patyuen

    MM is throwing 502 Gateway errors again. From the replies in that thread, neither Brian nor Dean had any clue this image re-compression had happened. May I suggest Model Mayhem mods subscribe to my blog feed to keep up with what IB is doing with MM.

    • Ren

      I think they did know about it. They can’t say it because they’re paid to drag the dead llama uphill even when it weighs the same as 40 thousand pounds of bananas.

      There are at least a few threads every week about color brightness and contrast being off. Most of the time people are told to check color profiles, etc. I bet they were hoping to get a few of those threads and be done with it. They didn’t count on someone exposing their stupidity.

      You would think by now they’d realize MM is under the microscope of people who have a few active brain cells and quit trying to run one scam after another on their own members.

      • No, can’t be. If that were true they’d throw off vocal critics to scare people in to silence, start locking & hiding threads they didn’t like, have one of the 4 Admin level mods say publicly that they’d be “cracking down on” criticism of the mods & site, then they’d hide the site related forum from public view so new people would be clueless!

        …oh wait…

  • patyuen

    MM is throwing 502 Gateway errors again. From the replies in that thread, neither Brian nor Dean had any clue this image re-compression had happened. May I suggest Model Mayhem mods subscribe to my blog feed to keep up with what IB is doing with MM.

    • Ren

      I think they did know about it. They can’t say it because they’re paid to drag the dead llama uphill even when it weighs the same as 40 thousand pounds of bananas.

      There are at least a few threads every week about color brightness and contrast being off. Most of the time people are told to check color profiles, etc. I bet they were hoping to get a few of those threads and be done with it. They didn’t count on someone exposing their stupidity.

      You would think by now they’d realize MM is under the microscope of people who have a few active brain cells and quit trying to run one scam after another on their own members.

      • No, can’t be. If that were true they’d throw off vocal critics to scare people in to silence, start locking & hiding threads they didn’t like, have one of the 4 Admin level mods say publicly that they’d be “cracking down on” criticism of the mods & site, then they’d hide the site related forum from public view so new people would be clueless!

        …oh wait…

  • Thanks for sharing your insight on this issue. I also noticed this image degradation recently. You can tell the difference easily after you’ve been working on an image for a while, then upload it and your like wtf? Additional Images on the face of my page (being pulled from my site) stand out like new dimes compared to the uploads processed through the MM system. Other similar sites do the same thing: PM (is really bad & they intentionally do it to free member images) and MC… For those also open to learning a little more about how images are processed this is a great post too. Nice work!

  • Thanks for sharing your insight on this issue. I also noticed this image degradation recently. You can tell the difference easily after you’ve been working on an image for a while, then upload it and your like wtf? Additional Images on the face of my page (being pulled from my site) stand out like new dimes compared to the uploads processed through the MM system. Other similar sites do the same thing: PM (is really bad & they intentionally do it to free member images) and MC… For those also open to learning a little more about how images are processed this is a great post too. Nice work!