Old 10-12-2007, 03:55 AM   #1
Chachi
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Default Advice please

Hello everyone, I'm looking for advice on one of my shots, this one got rejected for blury

http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...d=430216&key=0

now I seem to get the train OK, I think, but the backround ect seems to get blurry, any tips on how to not get this? I seem to get this with either zooming optical, or normal shooting...

Thanks much!
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Old 10-12-2007, 03:59 AM   #2
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Quote:
now I seem to get the train OK, I think
Not quite...looks blurry to me.

Quote:
I seem to get this with either zooming optical, or normal shooting...
Can you elaborate a little more on this statement?
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Old 10-12-2007, 04:10 AM   #3
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Was there a lot of the original picture cropped off? That would affect the picture quality.

Then we could also discuss type of camera and settings.

$.02 worth.
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Old 10-12-2007, 12:14 PM   #4
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Wow, I really do like the idea for this shot, but, dang, this copy really bothers my eyes! The headlight/ditchlight glare is quite high and the sharpening is quite unbalanced. [For whoever asked, I pulled the image to my desktop and looked at the headers, they're blank so I don't know what camera he used.]

I took the image into my editor and did some selective sharpening to portions of the train. The overall quality still isn't the greatest, but it's a bit better. It almost looks like the train wasn't what was focussed on when the shot was taken (the signal on the left appears quite clear)... but, anyway, here it goes:
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Old 10-12-2007, 02:37 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chachi
...now I seem to get the train OK, I think, but the backround ect seems to get blurry, any tips on how to not get this?
Thanks much!
The blur increases the character of the photo. It's due to the drastic change in depth of field and is not necessarily a bad thing. One way to avoid it is avoid such long zooms (and loose an acceptable effect) while another would be to shoot at a smaller apeture assuming you had the time to spare ( leaving the shutter open much longer), but at that focal length, you'd still get background blur.

As for the rejection "blurry" - I'm at a loss - maybe you need to buy a multi million dollar lens to get past this particular screener? Looks plenty sharp to me and at least as sharp as most of what I have seen on RP. If I had my own "personal collection", I doubt I toss it into the blurry pile.

/Mitch
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Old 10-12-2007, 03:39 PM   #6
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I find it difficult sometimes to assess the sharpness of a train, although this one seems soft. But the ballast below the train doesn't look good, suggesting lack of sharpness throughout the plane of focus.

The background looks great! I love the general out of focus effect on the houses especially, and also that blue container in the back.
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Old 10-12-2007, 11:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRMDC
I find it difficult sometimes to assess the sharpness of a train, although this one seems soft.
I agree exactly. Sharpening only the train makes it seem better. This is one of those, where, yes, without the sharpening, the shot gets a blurry reject - but it's borderline between being blurry and just soft (which I have had many of these just like this) and, as a result, the right amount of sharpening may just do the trick (which has worked for me many times before).

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Old 10-13-2007, 12:29 AM   #8
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Just sharpen it. I know after that it will get accepted. I use auto focus all the time. Rarely will I use manual focus. When it is set on auto focus, it will be focused on the second before when I take the picture. In other words, the front will be blurry. So, I sharpen it, and I have 22 pictures on rp.net!
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Old 10-13-2007, 12:44 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chicago Railfan
Just sharpen it. I know after that it will get accepted.
Not always. Sharpening images that are truly blurry will cause only one thing... noise. This image is borderline soft/blurry and I'm using a freeware photo editor. What I did was an attempt to make it look acceptable. While it's better, it's still definitely not at its best.
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Old 10-13-2007, 12:47 AM   #10
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Ok here is the data for the pic, if I got something set out of wack if anyone notices, please let me know...I have tried sharpening it, maybe I don't have my settings for that right? I can just let Adobe do it auto, or I can do the unsharp mask, but I am unsure of what the proper settings would be? I have three to choose from..Amount, radius & threshold...can anyone explain those settings?
I have shot simillar shots doing manual focus and auto focus - locking it on the tracks before the train comes, I get the same result..I hear that is a technique for shooting fast moving vehicles..?? Somtimes I feel like I just lost my touch...

Thanks

File Name
IMG_0774.JPG
Camera Model Name
Canon PowerShot S2 IS
Shooting Date/Time
08/10/2007 3:35:35 PM
Shooting Mode
Manual
Photo Effect
Off
Tv (Shutter Speed)
1/200
Av (Aperture Value)
8.0
Light Metering
Center Weighted Avg.
ISO Speed
50
Lens
6.0 - 72.0mm
Focal Length
46.3mm
Digital Zoom
None
IS Mode
On
Image Size
2592x1944
Image Quality
Superfine
Flash
Off
White Balance
Auto
AF Mode
Manual Focus
Color Space
sRGB
File Size
2362KB
Drive Mode
Single-frame shooting
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Old 10-13-2007, 12:56 AM   #11
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This one I got rejected a while back too for blury... just another example I am wondering what I am doing wrong..

http://www.railroadforums.com/photos...39/ppuser/4770
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Old 10-13-2007, 01:03 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chachi
Camera Model Name
Canon PowerShot S2 IS


OK, now we know what camera you're using. I'm assuming that your photo editor ate the EXIF data when you processed the image. I see from Canon's site that your camera has 5 MP. With shots like this that are borderline, processing can be difficult. Sharpening soft shots is more likely to lead to noise when you have lower amounts of megapixels. Right now, I am at 6 MP, and I feel that this is a decent amount for RP submission. 5 and below makes processing a little more difficult (my dad is only at 4, so we know what this is like).

For this shot, I would try the copy that I uploaded as an attachment and see what they say. Note that my copy has been sized down due to attachment size. Make sure in the future that your camera is set at 5 MP and not at a smaller size. As far as setting it at the normal, fine, or superfine option (which I'm assuming your Canon has), that's your choice since you can sharpen on the computer if you like.
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Old 10-13-2007, 01:21 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chachi
This one I got rejected a while back too for blury... just another example I am wondering what I am doing wrong..

http://www.railroadforums.com/photos...39/ppuser/4770


Rather than blurryness, I would reject that shot for poor image quality and not enough nose light. Note that the sky has quite a lot of noise, and the shot appears compressed. Like I said before, the amount of megapixels you have plays an important role here. Note that the successor to your camera, the S3 IS (also now out of production), is 6 MP. There are still many available if you search the web. Here's a link to the photos of a contributor who uses this camera, he takes great photos with excellent image quality:

http://www.railpictures.net/showphotos.php?userid=4473

As you become more and more into railroad photography, I would seriously consider stepping up in the megapixel catagory. You'll appreciate the results.
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Old 10-13-2007, 02:11 AM   #14
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Quote:
or I can do the unsharp mask, but I am unsure of what the proper settings would be? I have three to choose from..Amount, radius & threshold...can anyone explain those settings?
Typically, I'll use 100%/0.5/0 for USM. Translated, that means:

Amount of USM = 100%

Radius = 0.5 pixels

Threshold = 0

Amount is just that: the amount of USM applied.

Radius is the pixel size (or something similar) that's being sharpened. The smaller the radius, the finer the sharpening. If the radius is large and you apply a large amount of USM, you're photo will start to look fake.

Threshold has to do with pixel spacing before sharpening takes place (I think). When you put a number in there, that's the 'threshold' that will have to be exceeded before sharpening takes place. I just leave it at 0.

I'm sure there's a better, more technical explanation of USM, but this has done well for me...
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Old 10-13-2007, 02:19 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl Becker
[img]
Rather than blurryness, I would reject that shot for poor image quality and not enough nose light. Note that the sky has quite a lot of noise, and the shot appears compressed.

hmmm, now that I look at that version it does seem like noise in the sky, I assure you that the original does not have that noise, I just compared. I think it is noisy in that picture cause I had to reduce it's file size for that site.

Ween, thank you for the explanation...

I am looking at getting a new camera as this is almost 2 years old for me, time to move up a step I think..
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Old 10-13-2007, 02:25 AM   #16
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5mp should be plenty of MP to get good pictures. I'd think about technique first. Did you use a tripod? Yes, I saw that the shutter speed was 1/200.

Here's 4mp, and with a pocket digicam (Canon A80) to boot.

Image © Janusz Mrozek
PhotoID: 166351
Photograph © Janusz Mrozek
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Old 10-13-2007, 02:31 AM   #17
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2mp Nikon Coolpix 2100:

Image © Chris Paulhamus
PhotoID: 92367
Photograph © Chris Paulhamus


It's not the megapixels, it's the lens, the sensor and how your images are recorded and processed.

More megapixels doesn't necessarily equate into better image quality...that's a common myth.
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Old 10-13-2007, 03:03 AM   #18
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Yeah, I won't be giving up my camera just yet, it has done me some real good pictures so..
I don't use tripods, only for night shots, think it makes difference for regular shooting during the day?
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Old 10-13-2007, 03:07 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chachi
Yeah, I won't be giving up my camera just yet, it has done me some real good pictures so..
I don't use tripods, only for night shots, think it makes difference for regular shooting during the day?
Despite my being the one to mention it, , it shouldn't make much of a difference if your shutter speed is 1/200. But slower than 1/100 and yes, it will make some, and of course it depends on how steady your hands are! However, all of my A80 shots at RP (anything dated before mid 2005 or so) are handheld, as are most of my subsequent shots.

The main point is that it isn't your camera that is the problem, I think.
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Old 10-14-2007, 05:54 PM   #20
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I see in the header that 'IS' is on...
how much does that help vs. a tripod?


thx,
Jeff
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