Old 03-07-2007, 03:48 AM   #1
Stephen T.
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Default Blurry rejection?

I had a good day on this past Monday. Sun came out after a brief but powerfull snowshower. NYSW's road power was getting ready to assemble its train. Later on that night i saw that the train had not departed yet, so i set up the tripod and camera in the frigid cold/wind. Took several pics, adjusting exposure settings from shorter to longer. I finally out of 6 found 1 that was the best of the group. I barely did any post processing to it and then submitted it. I had high hopes, but then got the rejection email for all my pics i submitted.

Here is the link to the night shot. Can anyone tell me how and where its blurry? the streaks in the air are airplanes from the 2 near airports (light trails w/3 second exp)
http://www.railpictures.net/viewreject.php?id=345726
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Old 03-07-2007, 03:52 AM   #2
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Well...it's blurry. Not sure what else to say. The signals were what drew my attention and they just seem fuzzy...
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Old 03-07-2007, 04:26 AM   #3
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From looking at the signals, it looks like the camera may have gotten shifted to the left a tad. It is blurry, but still a cool photo and I wouldn't send it to the trashcan.
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Old 03-07-2007, 04:28 AM   #4
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I guess it could be blurry but in my eyes i can't see it. It was windy as hell that night and had to set my truck up as a shield to try and block some wind.

and i dont throw anything away if its rejected here. All shots that i try and upload here goto rrpicturearchives.net anyway.
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Old 03-07-2007, 10:12 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ween
Well...it's blurry. Not sure what else to say. The signals were what drew my attention and they just seem fuzzy...
Well the signals appear to be a little out of focus in the image, but notice the power poles, they do seem to be in focus.

Since it was windy, you may have simply caught the movement of the signal bridge in the wind, as they do commonly flex and bounce around in the wind.

What strikes the image down for me is the "noise". It's just way too pixelated.

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Old 03-07-2007, 12:37 PM   #6
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I'm seeing a lot of color banding in the sky too.
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Old 03-07-2007, 02:37 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen T.
I guess it could be blurry but in my eyes i can't see it.
That statement is quite a surprise to me. The blurriness is quite obvious to my eyes. Not a borderline case, just plain bad. Well, let's call it lack of sharpness and detail, which is not exactly the same thing. But poor image quality.

I agree with Daniel about the pixelation - that is certainly at least one source of your problem. But I don't think it is the only one, as the size of the squares in the pixelation is pretty big, yet you have some detail. I am wondering if you have either over-compressed the picture or what.

AHA!!! I just checked. Your file size is a mere 75K! No, no, no! You want the least compression possible. For a 600x900 shot that means no compression at all, the highest JPG quality your software offers (a 12 if you are using PS Elements). Maybe a 500k file size. Resubmit a full-sized shot and see how that goes. If this is a full-sized shot, then you need to change the settings on your camera to capture a higher quality file.
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Last edited by JRMDC; 03-07-2007 at 02:39 PM.
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Old 03-07-2007, 02:51 PM   #8
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Quote:
Since it was windy, you may have simply caught the movement of the signal bridge in the wind, as they do commonly flex and bounce around in the wind.
Excellent point; didn't think of that one even though I was wondering about taking a long exposure in 30mph winds.

Quote:
Your file size is a mere 75K!
I wonder what the actual uploaded file size was. I usually upload an image that is 800-900k, but the accepted images in the database are down around 350k, so there is some reduction in image size...
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Old 03-07-2007, 03:00 PM   #9
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Look at the sky... major overcompression.

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Old 03-07-2007, 04:10 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ween
I wonder what the actual uploaded file size was. I usually upload an image that is 800-900k, but the accepted images in the database are down around 350k, so there is some reduction in image size...
Hmm, good point, I didn't know they did that, I wonder why they do, instead of letting us submit smaller files and we know exactly what they will look like. Not that I have noticed any difference!

I have no idea whether they reduce all files or just those over 350k or so. Well, just looked, a few of my verticals are in the low 200k range, maybe they reduce all files. One correction, they do not reduce image size in terms of pixels, just file size, so they must do a bit of compression.
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Old 03-07-2007, 08:13 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ween
Excellent point; didn't think of that one even though I was wondering about taking a long exposure in 30mph winds.
Winds are one of those seemingly unimportant things that end up screwing up night shots. I generally do not go out if the wind is blowing 10-15 or more. I'm sure with a good tripod and such, that threshhold would be different, but with my el cheapo equipment, that's about all it can take. I have screwed up several seemingly OK shots because of the wind.
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Old 03-08-2007, 09:01 AM   #12
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how can i change the compression of the pic. i did notice the pixelation and was a lil surprised at how bad it was. Camera is set to large/fine jpeg's.

when im saving it, do change the resolution settings in ps? the susyq seem tobe keeping the night train down this end more often so i'de definitely do this shot again....with less wind of course. I just dont want the pixelation problems again. This is the first night shot i've taken that looks this bad to.
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Old 03-08-2007, 02:53 PM   #13
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Save it at the max resolution in PS, and only save the JPG once, when you're done processing. In other words, don't save multiple times while processing (unless you're saving it as a TIF).

I'm not a night shot guy, but perhaps the ISO was really high and when sharpening in PS, the noise produced by the high ISO might be a contributor to the sky looking so bad. But doubtful; it looks like a resolution issue when saving...
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Old 03-09-2007, 06:54 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen T.
how can i change the compression of the pic. i did notice the pixelation and was a lil surprised at how bad it was. Camera is set to large/fine jpeg's.

when im saving it, do change the resolution settings in ps? the susyq seem tobe keeping the night train down this end more often so i'de definitely do this shot again....with less wind of course. I just dont want the pixelation problems again. This is the first night shot i've taken that looks this bad to.
Assuming you are shooting in RAW, once you have processed the image, save it as a TIF file and not a JPEG. Then if you need to do some further work on the image which may culminate in multiple saves, a TIF will not lose quality whereas a JPEG will. Only save as a JPEG when you have finished the image, and when you are preparing the image for display on the web. When you finally save the image as a JPEG, your software should ask you for a compression value (usually on a scale of 1 to 12). Select the highest value (12).
If you are not shooting in RAW, then I suggest that you do, as it is much easier to adjust white balance and control shadow and highlight details. Your picture could have done with a little white balance adjustment as it has a very heavy yellow / orange cast. I would also recommend shooting night shots at the very lowest ISO setting possible with your camera to reduce noise.
The subject of tripods should not be forgotten either. Cheap tripods have a tendancy to move slightly in fairly low winds, and they are also more prone to blowing over in a wind which may result in a big bill for a new camera. It is best to have a fairly heavy, good quality sturdy tripod rather than a teeny weeny flimsy one. I have recently spent 100 on a new tripod to replace my old expensive tripod which lasted me nearly 20 years. So as you can see it is worth spending that sort of money as you probably wont need to spend it again for a couple of decades.
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Old 03-09-2007, 07:24 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ween
Save it at the max resolution in PS, and only save the JPG once, when you're done processing. In other words, don't save multiple times while processing (unless you're saving it as a TIF).

I'm not a night shot guy, but perhaps the ISO was really high and when sharpening in PS, the noise produced by the high ISO might be a contributor to the sky looking so bad. But doubtful; it looks like a resolution issue when saving...

i think the saving multiple times did it. i did save it and reopen to adjust something then resave again.

as for the shooting raw, i would like to but i need to update my photoshop to have a raw converter. dont have any currently. if im shooting long exposures at night i try to use a low iso to keep noise down. and the tripod i have is a pretty stout one. i actually hate it cause its to heavy.
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Old 03-09-2007, 12:21 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen T.
i think the saving multiple times did it. i did save it and reopen to adjust something then resave again.
Actually, I find that while a number of resaves degrades an image, doing it once doesn't make much of a difference, if done properly. I think it more likely that, when you resaved, you chose the wrong level of compression the second time. In particular, if you save the first time at a level 8, say, the second time you need to make sure that you keep the file size up, which means the second time you need to save at an 11 or 12. If you resave with 8 also, you double-compress, which of course is really bad.
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Old 03-09-2007, 01:05 PM   #17
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Stephen;

You still have the original file as it came out of the camera, correct? If so, just start over. If not, oops.


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