Old 12-23-2006, 07:39 PM   #1
WSOR 3807
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Question Undersharpened?

I recently had the attached photo rejected as being undersharpened, or soft. I didn't agree with this and tried writing a polite appealing, but it was still rejected. What I'm trying to figure out is why. If you look at the trucks, nose and plow of the locomotive they all look pretty sharp. I've been looking at a few other night shots in the database and mine appears to be just as sharp as at least some of the recent acceptions are.

Could somebody tell me what the screeners were looking at when they decided that this particular photo wasn't sharp enough? I'd appreciate it, as I can't figure it out.

Thanks,
Noah
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Old 12-23-2006, 07:55 PM   #2
John West
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Stumped on this one. It is an above average picture. I like the lighting. It looks sharp to me. The lack of contrast inherent in the lighting perhaps gives the impression of a lack of sharpness, but on close examination the sharpness looks to me to be there. From your comment I would assume that further sharpening of the original produced pixelation and halos, etc.

I am especially surprised that this did not get accepted on appeal.

Nice picture, but you can't win them all. As we've discussed ad nauseum what is and is not a nice picture for RP is an inherently personal judgement. I think this is simply a matter of your opinion and mine being different from that of the screeners....and it is simply best to go on to the next picture.

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Old 12-23-2006, 08:50 PM   #3
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It looked good to me, but I went into my photo editor and gave it a regular sharpening.

Here's what I came up with. Nice photo!
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Old 12-23-2006, 08:59 PM   #4
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Smile

I do think Nick's version is an improvement.
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Old 12-23-2006, 09:23 PM   #5
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Noah, looks like your enjoying the camera! Anyway, i actually prefer Noahs shot, because Nicks is overkill, as you can easily see the jagged lines.

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Old 12-23-2006, 09:31 PM   #6
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Mine probably isn't the best, due to the options I had. My only option at the time was to hit the "sharpen" button. That has a tendency to oversharpen. Sharpening it about 50% (or somewhere in that area) would probably work better. Basically, mine is just an example of a way it should look.
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Old 12-23-2006, 09:34 PM   #7
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I perfectly understand, and I meant in no way to say anything bad about your version. Im just saying its oversharpened and Noahs seems spot on to me.

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Old 12-23-2006, 09:36 PM   #8
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I understand, Alec. No problem.

I'll admit that night photos have always been a problem for me, especially getting the exposure right.
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Old 12-23-2006, 10:17 PM   #9
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Red face Oversharpening

It surprises me that others think Nick's version is oversharpened. But maybe that is good. There seems to be a general tendency in this digital age to oversharpen, including me. I looked at Nick's image long and hard before deciding I liked it better, because I liked the original just fine. Maybe I'm getting sucked in.
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Old 12-23-2006, 10:25 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John West
There seems to be a general tendency in this digital age to oversharpen, including me.
I agree. I've always had trouble with sharpening. Oversharpening can sometimes be a problem for me.
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Old 12-24-2006, 02:28 AM   #11
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Having taken a quick look at some of the straight edges on the original photo I would agree with the soft rejection. While Nick's version is just a bit over sharpened, some additional sharpening by Noah to the original image will help it quite a bit. If you are using PS 7 or better I would also suggest exploring the sharpening tool option which can by helpful when you need to do some selective sharpening to an image.
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Old 12-24-2006, 08:46 PM   #12
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I really cant see where its soft Chris. Look at the rails and the hand rails. Its already a bit jagged, which points to either HEAVY resizing or to sharpening.

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Old 12-25-2006, 12:34 AM   #13
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I've been wondering whether our perceptions of sharpness are determined by the quality of our vision. I know how sharp my vision can be on those infrequent days I wear contacts, but most of the time I wear glasses. I do feel like quite a number of shots I look at seem unrealistically sharp, even though there is no evidence of oversharpening (such as in tree leaves). Maybe I am accustomed to what others would consider soft.
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Old 12-25-2006, 12:52 AM   #14
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Thanks very much for the advice guys. I'll try playing with it a little more I guess and see if I can't make it any better, although I still don't think it's that bad. I can see what you are looking at though Chris when you mention that it looks a little soft on some of the straight edges, especially on the top of the locomotive between the loco and the black sky. But after looking at a few other parts of the locomotive I did intially think it was pretty sharp. I did play with the sharpness settings a little in my photo editor, but really the more I sharpened it all I did was make the black sky look pixelated (and because the sky has some very light clouds in it it doesn't look very good).

I'll try working with it a little more, although all I have for a photo editor is "Microsoft Picture It - 7.0" so it's harder to do some of the fancier things with it. It works well for the basics, but there have been a few times now where I've wished that I had a few more features, including some sort of a selective sharpening tool. I guess maybe I should have asked Santa for Photo Shop for Christmas!

Noah
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