Old 03-01-2009, 07:26 PM   #1
Smoke
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Default Soft photos

How do you tell if a photo is "soft" I have had a couple times where it was rejected for being soft among other things. So my question is how do you know if a picture is soft?

My most recent soft rejection:
http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...key=1109722907

Here is another soft one(with some other issues)
http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...&key=814398827

Thanks guys!!
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Last edited by Smoke; 03-01-2009 at 07:28 PM.
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Old 03-01-2009, 07:49 PM   #2
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The easiest way is look at the number boards and logos. You just have to watch and make sure it is actually soft, and not motion blur that sharpening won't fix. Also watch for "halos" when sharpening too much.
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Old 03-02-2009, 12:31 AM   #3
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How do you sharpen your images now in your work flow?
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Old 03-02-2009, 12:37 AM   #4
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Quote:
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How do you sharpen your images now in your work flow?
Photo Shop Elements 7
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Old 03-02-2009, 12:40 AM   #5
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Photo Shop Elements 7
So how do you sharpen with PSE 7?
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Old 03-02-2009, 02:11 AM   #6
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I'm guessing that you're probably not sharpening as part of your processing flow if you have got one down yet, so, to sharpen, go to Enhance>Unsharp Mask. Adjust your parameters to get the desired effect (you should be able to figure this out) and you should be good.

Looking at your two rejections above, I'd also recommend taking a look at the composition guidelines, particularly for obstructing objects and the rule of thirds. You'll find lots of tips on these topics if you search for them in the forums.
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Old 03-02-2009, 03:23 AM   #7
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The fence kills the 2nd shot.
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Old 03-02-2009, 03:58 AM   #8
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The first one looks nice, but the second one is pretty rough as far as the bad lighting is concerned. I'd sharpen that first one a bit, and I'd say you're good to go. I like the composition.

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Old 03-02-2009, 04:05 AM   #9
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The second shot looks nice, do you have one before the engine hits the fence? I actually like the lighting on the second alot it just needs some adjustments.
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Old 03-02-2009, 05:27 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smoke View Post
How do you tell if a photo is "soft" I have had a couple times where it was rejected for being soft among other things. So my question is how do you know if a picture is soft?

My most recent soft rejection:
http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...key=1109722907

Here is another soft one(with some other issues)
http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...&key=814398827

Thanks guys!!
-Andrew
The first one I think can be saved, go in photoshop look for an icon that looks like a tear drop on the tool bar this is the blur tool, right click it and select sharpening tool. Take it down to 17% as its pretty strong. Try only sharpening the train including the number boards and snow plow. If you still get a soft reject, there is a slider in the quick edit that works well. I will attach a version I did in Photoshop CS2.
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Old 03-02-2009, 06:10 AM   #11
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The way I usually sharpen is to go under enhance, and then choose adjust sharpness. It adjusts the whole picture at once.

How does it look now? Sharp enough?

The second picture, the fence kills it, as does it being backlit. The shot is actually taken through a fence so there really is no way to get a different shot. I was a passenger on the Ski Train, so I didn't catch it before it pulled up. I converted it to B&W to see what it would look like, but the results are nothing special.

On the other picture I attached, does it stand a chance to make it in the DB? I can't submit it this time, but I can reshoot it later on. I accidentally cropped it too close, and now it is not wide enough. I thought i was working on a copy but oops, that was the original.
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Old 03-02-2009, 06:17 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smoke View Post
The way I usually sharpen is to go under enhance, and then choose adjust sharpness. It adjusts the whole picture at once.

How does it look now? Sharp enough?

The second picture, the fence kills it, as does it being backlit. The shot is actually taken through a fence so there really is no way to get a different shot. I was a passenger on the Ski Train, so I didn't catch it before it pulled up. I converted it to B&W to see what it would look like, but the results are nothing special.

On the other picture I attached, does it stand a chance to make it in the DB? I can't submit it this time, but I can reshoot it later on. I accidentally cropped it too close, and now it is not wide enough. I thought i was working on a copy but oops, that was the original.
Ok the B&W conversion killed the second shot. The light is almost perfect, it is just the fence that is the problem. It may just need a bit of lightening up
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Old 03-02-2009, 06:29 AM   #13
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Quote:
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The way I usually sharpen is to go under enhance, and then choose adjust sharpness. It adjusts the whole picture at once.
Try using Unsharp Mask (Enhance>Unsharp Mask) instead. As far as settings on the full-size image (read: not sized for railpictures yet), try Amount 100%, Radius 0.5, Threshold 0. After you resize your image for RP or the web (~1024 pixels), give another pass of Unsharp Mask at Amount 50%, Radius 0.3 to 0.5, and Threshold 0. Soft image problem solved!
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Old 03-02-2009, 05:42 PM   #14
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Thanks for all the help guys, I resubmitted the first shot this morning. We'll see what happens with it.

Is the second shot worth working on or should I just keep it for my personal collection?
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Old 03-02-2009, 05:51 PM   #15
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I like the angle, but unless you can get the fence pulled up it's best to leave that shot and similar angles alone.
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Old 03-02-2009, 07:00 PM   #16
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Quote:
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.....I like the composition.

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Too bad your not a screener......

http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...&key=102856806
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Old 03-02-2009, 07:12 PM   #17
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Quote:
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You get down low with your camera, aim low, get the train up on the right, get a tree, bush, and building on the left (not so interesting but ok) and by doing all that you make lots of room in your center foreground for ...

a sizable mass of plain white snow.

Doesn't work for me.

Do you have a shot where you caught the train maybe a car length further back and a bit zoomed in, or croppable to the same effect?
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Old 03-02-2009, 09:48 PM   #18
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To me it really looks like you could crop some of the bottom, and maybe a little on the left.
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Old 03-03-2009, 02:08 AM   #19
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So something like this.....
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