Old 10-24-2013, 11:12 PM   #1
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Default Quality Problems

I've noticed a couple of my shots seem to lack in quality a little bit. An example:

Image © Derek Stewart
PhotoID: 383456
Photograph © Derek Stewart


And a quick search of the same type of engine finds this:
Image © Casey Bell
PhotoID: 454238
Photograph © Casey Bell


To me, it looks like it has more of "real" feeling too it.
But in another picture I've taken:

Image © Derek Stewart
PhotoID: 392864
Photograph © Derek Stewart

The quality's fine and everything. (Except wayyy down the tracks, but that's expected.)



My question is, what is causing this? I have a couple of theories:

1. I've been told it's not Megapixels, so stop telling me it's not megapixels. Lol.

2. I don't know how to use a camera.
Well I'm a pretty smart guy, so I doubt this. But seriously, I don't have the time to get out and practice a lot. And when I do, I live in Ohio so it's cloudy. Always.

3. I'm crazy and I'm being too critical of myself.
Again, doubtful. I guess you can never be too critical of yourself. Lol.


All of this is just me wanting to become a better photographer. And that's a problem because as stated above, I just don't have the time. Lol.

EDIT: I also don't shoot raw. Never had the time to try it, really.
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Old 10-24-2013, 11:32 PM   #2
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You only show two pictures of your own. The second is fine. The first, maybe a bit sharper, tis all. Not enough to see the pattern. And I see neither "weird" nor "drawn," so hard to opine on that.

1. > 14.2 makes no difference in RP-sized shots, none at all. Yeah, but you are right, my 15.0 trounces your 14.2, I'm in a different league.

2. The second shot suggests you are fine.

3. Translate too critical to inaccurately critical, and you may be going somewhere. But again, one can't tell with only one bad shot! And it's not particularly bad! Poorly posed question!

Raw helps with exposure latitude and color balance, but not in sharpness, composition, depth of field, or any of a bunch of other dimensions.
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Old 10-24-2013, 11:37 PM   #3
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You only show two pictures of your own. The second is fine. The first, maybe a bit sharper, tis all. Not enough to see the pattern. And I see neither "weird" nor "drawn," so hard to opine on that.
Yeah, having a rather small sample size doesn't help anything. Maybe won day I'll win the lottery and will be able to get out more. Lol.

I do have quite a few shots of things other trains too. And they're pretty good I guess.
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Old 10-25-2013, 12:37 AM   #4
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1. are you shooting raw?
2. if so, how are you doing jpeg conversions?

I had an issue once where I accidentally changed the jpeg quality slider in photoshop from "max" to "7" (out of 10) and it caused issues. Luckily I save in .psd and went back, re-converted and everything was fine.
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Old 10-25-2013, 12:52 AM   #5
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1. are you shooting raw?
2. if so, how are you doing jpeg conversions?

I had an issue once where I accidentally changed the jpeg quality slider in photoshop from "max" to "7" (out of 10) and it caused issues. Luckily I save in .psd and went back, re-converted and everything was fine.
1. No.
2. See #1. Lol.

I need to get the time to mess around with it.
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Old 10-25-2013, 02:02 AM   #6
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Which lenses are you using?

I'm going to assume by the quality, settings and time of day of the second shot you are using a kit lens. Shooting a kit lens at f/5.6 in low light conditions combined with alot of post editing to "save it" can often result in the what you're talking about.

The first photo looks fine to my eye, maybe a little over sharpened, but barely. It was also shot in great light at f/9, so I would expect it to be good even with a kit lens.

If you are infact using kit lenses, or similar low end lenses, always keep in mind their limitations. Shoot at f/8 or there abouts as much as possible and understand that as the lighting conditions start to deteriorate and you go wide open, quality is going to drop. I also recommend shooting RAW, you can get away with significantly more while post processing.

PS: as a side note, I highly recommend not looking at pictures very long once you're done processing them. The more you look, the more wrong you will find with them. I know plenty of photographers (myself included) who have almost walked away from the hobby because they couldn't get the color tone perfect or things were never sharp enough.

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Old 10-25-2013, 02:29 AM   #7
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Which lenses are you using?

I'm going to assume by the quality, settings and time of day of the second shot you are using a kit lens. Shooting a kit lens at f/5.6 in low light conditions combined with alot of post editing to "save it" can often result in the what you're talking about.

The first photo looks fine to my eye, maybe a little over sharpened, but barely. It was also shot in great light at f/9, so I would expect it to be good even with a kit lens.

If you are infact using kit lenses, or similar low end lenses, always keep in mind their limitations. Shoot at f/8 or there abouts as much as possible and understand that as the lighting conditions start to deteriorate and you go wide open, quality is going to drop. I also recommend shooting RAW, you can get away with significantly more while post processing.

PS: as a side note, I highly recommend not looking at pictures very long once you're done processing them. The more you look, the more wrong you will find with them. I know plenty of photographers (myself included) who have almost walked away from the hobby because they couldn't get the color tone perfect or things were never sharp enough.

Yeah, most of my pictures are taken with the 18-55 mm kit lens that came with the camera. I think all of my RP pics might be anyways.

I also have a 55-200 mm lens. I mainly use it for my scenery shots or "farther away" shots.



We have a couple hummingbird feeders. Whenever I try to catch the birds I use it so I can get farther away.

Name:  bird.JPG
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Old 10-25-2013, 02:32 AM   #8
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PS: as a side note, I highly recommend not looking at pictures very long once you're done processing them. The more you look, the more wrong you will find with them. I know plenty of photographers (myself included) who have almost walked away from the hobby because they couldn't get the color tone perfect or things were never sharp enough.
Now that you mention it, I do look way too long at them.
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Old 10-25-2013, 02:57 AM   #9
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Your pictures look fine to me. 14.2 MP is not bad at all. My last camera (Fujifilm) only had 14 MP and it was my first RP cam, too. I just think you're staring at your shots and comparing them for too long. There's some guys on here who've done it their whole lives or people like me who's done it for 4 years or so. Nothing to worry about. As long as RP accepts the picture, you're good.

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Old 10-25-2013, 03:58 AM   #10
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Lightbulb

At least half the pictures I have on RP were shot with a 10.1 MP Canon Rebel XTi.

I do suggest shooting in RAW format and you should have your file size set to maximum.

Further, select a single focus point rather than auto and shooting in manual mode will produce better shots once you get comfortable with the camera.

Shooting in auto mode is a crap shoot, and unreliable.
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Old 10-25-2013, 04:11 PM   #11
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Further, select a single focus point rather than auto and shooting in manual mode will produce better shots once you get comfortable with the camera.

Shooting in auto mode is a crap shoot, and unreliable.
I'll check what focus mode I'm on, I have no idea. And I already shoot in manual. I've shot in auto and got good shots, but like what you said, it is a crap shoot.
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Old 10-25-2013, 06:34 PM   #12
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Lightbulb

10.1 MP Rebel with a kit 200mm telephoto zoom lens.


The Raven Knows by El Roco Photography, on Flickr


Cooper's Hawk by El Roco Photography, on Flickr


Same Rebel with a Canon 100-400 L Series zoom.


Afternoon Feeding by El Roco Photography, on Flickr


Humming Bird by El Roco Photography, on Flickr




It helps to know how to use the camera.
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Old 10-25-2013, 06:37 PM   #13
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Same 100-400mm lens and a 22.1 MP body.


The Ravens of Ludlow by El Roco Photography, on Flickr
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Old 10-25-2013, 06:51 PM   #14
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I'll check what focus mode I'm on, I have no idea. .
You want to only select the center point, or a single point depending on where your subject is located in the frame.

Name:  Cannon Focus Grid.JPG
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Do not shoot with the camera selecting multiple points, because you will have limited control over where the camera focuses.

With a single focus point, you know where it is going to focus.
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Old 10-25-2013, 07:00 PM   #15
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You want to only select the center point, or a single point depending on where your subject is located in the frame.

Attachment 8277

Do not shoot with the camera selecting multiple points, because you will have limited control over where the camera focuses.

With a single focus point, you know where it is going to focus.
I may have turned off single point when I was shooting the bird (the last picture I've taken) because I had no idea where it would be at. Lol.
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Old 10-25-2013, 07:16 PM   #16
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You need to shoot raw then...
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Old 10-25-2013, 10:38 PM   #17
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You want to only select the center point, or a single point depending on where your subject is located in the frame.
This. And then move the focus control to the * button.
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Old 10-26-2013, 12:17 AM   #18
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Center focus point is the only one worth a damn on most older Canon cameras IMHO.
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Old 10-26-2013, 01:52 AM   #19
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Nikon or Canon are the only DSLRs that pros use. So nothing wrong there.

14 MP not enough? As Janusz says, it does not matter here.

10MP has been good for me. This fine detail shot for example.

Image © Dennis A. Livesey-liveseyimages.com
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Using a single AF point with a button as Bill and Jim suggest is "right on" as we said in the hippie 60's.

I have upgraded to L grade lenses. Please do the same in Nikkor when you can.

If you get deeper into photography, you will shoot RAW. And then you will say why didn't I do it sooner.

I dove into RAW the moment I had a camera that could do it. I have been blessed ever since.

This shot was saved because of RAW.

Image © Dennis A. Livesey
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Old 10-26-2013, 02:18 AM   #20
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If you get deeper into photography, you will shoot RAW. And then you will say why didn't I do it sooner.
I would say I'm "deep" in photography now. I'm really interested in it, but I have almost zero time to get out and hone my skills any. And like I said above, I live in Ohio so when I do get out, its cloudy. So almost all RP-style shots go out the window.

I did have a months vacation from June to July and I got some good scenery shots. I'm not on Flickr or anything else though, so I have nowhere to share them.
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Old 10-26-2013, 11:33 AM   #21
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And like I said above, I live in Ohio so when I do get out, its cloudy. So almost all RP-style shots go out the window.
There is an endless supply of sunny day shots from Ohio on RP and Flickr. Are you living in a strange portion of of Ohio where the sun doesn't shine much?
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Old 10-26-2013, 03:43 PM   #22
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There is an endless supply of sunny day shots from Ohio on RP and Flickr. Are you living in a strange portion of of Ohio where the sun doesn't shine much?
Cincy is pretty strange...
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Old 10-26-2013, 04:06 PM   #23
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Old 10-26-2013, 04:09 PM   #24
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There is an endless supply of sunny day shots from Ohio on RP and Flickr. Are you living in a strange portion of of Ohio where the sun doesn't shine much?
You clearly have never lived in Ohio. Lol. Ohio has some of the worst weather ever. That and like I said a couple times above now, I can't get out often, and when I do, they just happen to be on cloudy days.
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Old 10-26-2013, 04:10 PM   #25
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Flickr is free.
Yeah, I know. Just never got the urge to make one.
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