Old 01-17-2009, 07:04 AM   #1
UCRP93
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Default Poor Image Quality

While I agree that these photos probably don't deserve a place in the database, I thought I'd try them anyways. I then was rejected for 'poor image quality' and am bringing the rejections here to you guys. How is the quality that poor? Is it softness? Both were shot with a Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi with a Canon 55-250mm lens. The NS photo was taken at 250mm. That is where some of the softness stems from. The telephone lines are distracting in the sunset photo, but I think the quality is fine. The sunset photo was taken at about 150mm. Thanks!

http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...&key=905763613
http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...key=1215943627
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Old 01-17-2009, 02:27 PM   #2
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The actual quality of the image is ok. I may suggest re-submitting and ask for an explaination on those.

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Old 01-17-2009, 04:59 PM   #3
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On my monitor that I have to hand crank to get to work they look ok. Love the avatar by the way UCRP93.
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Old 01-17-2009, 05:39 PM   #4
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The NS piggyback train is way too soft - look at the chain in front of the horse emblem on the nose. You should be able to see that it's a chain, but the image is so soft it looks more like a rope. Sometimes softness comes from camera shake, but with an exposure of 1/2,000th I don't think that was the problem. Looking at the image, it looks like it was properly focused, so that wasn't the problem either... that means a problem with post processing or soft glass.

I'm not sure what sort of a workflow you use for processing your images, but to keep my images sharp, I'll use the included Canon software to crank the sharpness up a few ticks on the RAW image, export to a TIFF, open in my photo editor, rotate to level, apply some unsharp mask, resize, and apply unsharp mask again.

With regards to the glass, you should be able to get better results if tighten up your aperture a little bit (use a higher F number). I see you were shooting using the action program with your Rebel. Do yourself a favor if you learn to shoot manually - once you get some practice, you'll quickly outsmart the camera with regards to the right settings for your situation. The camera selected 1/2000th at f / 5.6 and ISO 400. In a sunny situation, that's overkill - no need for the shutter to be that fast, or to have the ISO that high. You would have done better with something like 1/500th, f/8, and ISO 200 in that situation... your lens will be sharper stopped down to f/8, your image will be less noisy at ISO 200, and 1/500 is still fast enough to stop the action.

The sunset shot was a fine concept, but nothing but an empty stretch of track is in focus. If the signal was in focus, I think you'd have a winner.
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Old 01-17-2009, 10:46 PM   #5
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I second otter's comments almost to the letter. It kinda looks as if you have your focus point set not at the front, but at the cab of the last unit. IF that's the case, you're not alone in that kind of error, it happens to me occasionally too when I don't change from right to left and vice versa on the focusing point. I have a XSi and have experimented and "mastered" (I use the term very carefully!) these sorts of little ticks.

As far as workflow, follow otter's advice to the letter; I initially had undersharpened rejections when I went digital and didn't understand the nuances of digital vs slide from whence I switched after being dormant for ~15 years. Otter laid out a workflow on this forum that I tried out, incorporated, understood and have not strayed from since, and since then my rejections have been few and FAR between. Very sound advice. Don't forget that initial blast of sharpness from 7 to 10 in DPP; DPP rocks for the initial sharpness uptick, but STAY AWAY from that RGB tab for further sharpness adjusting! Leave that up to PE or CS on otter's patented workflow.

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Old 01-19-2009, 07:33 PM   #6
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So basically you're saying that I should sharpen the photos more? Sounds good to me. I didn't sharpen as much as usual on these images because when uploading them to RR Picture Archives, JPEG compression becomes a serious issue - a flaw in RRPA's design. I suppose I should've made a separate file for RP upload like I usually do. If I get around to it (and make RP uploads of these images), I'll be sure to make some enhancements to my post processing. Thanks for the support!

EDIT - also, the avatar was originally supposed to be a GIF, meaning it moved, but when I resized the GIF in photobucket to meet RP size requirements, it became a JPEG. Pretty corny looking now, but still funny somehow!
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Old 01-19-2009, 07:52 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UCRP93
So basically you're saying that I should sharpen the photos more?
More importantly, learn to use your camera a little better. You'll spend less time post processing if you've got better material coming from your camera.
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Old 01-20-2009, 01:03 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ottergoose
More importantly, learn to use your camera a little better. You'll spend less time post processing if you've got better material coming from your camera.

Can't disagree with that.
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Old 01-20-2009, 03:10 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UCRP93
So basically you're saying that I should sharpen the photos more? Sounds good to me. I didn't sharpen as much as usual on these images because when uploading them to RR Picture Archives, JPEG compression becomes a serious issue - a flaw in RRPA's design. I suppose I should've made a separate file for RP upload like I usually do. If I get around to it (and make RP uploads of these images), I'll be sure to make some enhancements to my post processing. Thanks for the support!

Do you mind me asking why have duplicates on 2 different sites? Just curious, not throwing anything. I have 1 on RRPA that I placed there just to share with a group that I belong to. I'm having issues adjusting the exposure for RP, but if I do something right and it gets on here, she'll be coming off of RRPA.
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Old 01-20-2009, 04:05 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EMTRailfan
Do you mind me asking why have duplicates on 2 different sites? Just curious, not throwing anything. I have 1 on RRPA that I placed there just to share with a group that I belong to. I'm having issues adjusting the exposure for RP, but if I do something right and it gets on here, she'll be coming off of RRPA.
RR Picture Archives is the website where I display all of my photos I think are mediocre to good. Bad photos still never make it off of my hard drive. RP is more of a place to display my best of best work (provided it gets accepted). I see nothing wrong with having two. It is fun to maintain both in my opinion.
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