Old 03-19-2009, 10:34 PM   #1
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Post Feedback requested on rejects.

Well, I guess it's time for me to make my first post here- unsurprisingly it concerns the eternal question of what to do with a couple rejected photos.

The first was contrast-adjusted from a previously rejected version... I'm not sure what more I can do with this particular one, short of retroactively moving the sun and clouds... I guess the real question is- is this one worth an appeal, do you think? Reason given: Poor lighting (Backlit): The image is backlit or doesn't feature enough light on the nose or visible sides of the subject:

http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...key=1023628997


The second is a new submission that I processed some to enhance the contrast. This one I think is a lot more reparable, though I'm wondering just how much further adjustment I should give this one to make it just right. Reason given: Overexposed

http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...d=660100&key=0


Constructive criticism is most appreciated.
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Old 03-19-2009, 10:54 PM   #2
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Putting aside the light and contrast issues, one doesn't necessarily get all rejection reasons the first time around and both of these suffer from poor image quality. It looks like overall poor but you might be able to sharpen them and do better, certainly the DM&IR; I have my doubts about the UP.

What camera are you using, what software, and how are you processing?

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Old 03-19-2009, 11:03 PM   #3
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Thanks. The camera I use is a Digital Rebel XT (EOS 350D). Software varies... Often I'm using LemkeSoft's GraphicConverter but occasionally I'll use Photoshop Elements- the UP one went through the latter.

Usually I just do brightness and/or contrast adjustment- I've tended not to touch sharpness enhancing features at all.

Last edited by gummigoof; 03-19-2009 at 11:05 PM. Reason: adding additional information
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Old 03-19-2009, 11:59 PM   #4
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The photos are very soft. Look at the DMIR shot...I judge sharpeness by the chain on the nose. You should be able to see the individual links on a 'mash shot like that.
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Old 03-20-2009, 12:55 AM   #5
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The photos are very soft. Look at the DMIR shot...I judge sharpeness by the chain on the nose. You should be able to see the individual links on a 'mash shot like that.
Well, no sharpening treatment was applied to either, as noted above. I guess I can see what I can do with that. The UP one has more than its share of heat distortion though- it's more visible in the full-res image from the camera anyway- as that was a fairly warm day. That one will probably be less recoverable. Thanks for the feedback.
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Old 03-21-2009, 04:27 AM   #6
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Matt,

Nice location on the UP shot. To fix it, go into your Levels option in Elements and slide the gray point (the middle slider) to the left anywhere from .05 to .1, whichever looks the best. Then find your Unsharp Mask option, and set it to 100/0.3/0 and you won't believe the difference in the shot. Sharpness is the most important step in post processing and you always need to do it.

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Old 03-21-2009, 05:44 AM   #7
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Matt,

Nice location on the UP shot. To fix it, go into your Levels option in Elements and slide the gray point (the middle slider) to the left anywhere from .05 to .1, whichever looks the best. Then find your Unsharp Mask option, and set it to 100/0.3/0 and you won't believe the difference in the shot. Sharpness is the most important step in post processing and you always need to do it.

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Thanks for the input. Funny you should mention that- I'd done some digging around on the forums since I posted this and, based on some suggestions others were giving/getting, I've been experimenting along those lines, though with not quite the same settings for the unsharp mask (I used 75/0.6/0). I've attached what I've got so far.
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Old 03-21-2009, 06:09 AM   #8
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That looks much better, Matt.
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Old 03-21-2009, 06:44 AM   #9
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It does look better but the nose still looks soft to me.
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Old 03-21-2009, 12:50 PM   #10
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That looks much better, Matt.
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It does look better but the nose still looks soft to me.
Hmm, maybe my monitor is going bad, but while it does look better, to my eye it doesn't look nearly good enough for RP.
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Old 03-21-2009, 01:45 PM   #11
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Thanks for the input. Funny you should mention that- I'd done some digging around on the forums since I posted this and, based on some suggestions others were giving/getting, I've been experimenting along those lines, though with not quite the same settings for the unsharp mask (I used 75/0.6/0). I've attached what I've got so far.
Unsharp masking is a must for every digital shot and it should always be the very last thing you do as image size, contrast/levels will affect sharpening.

For the standard size computer screen 1000 pixels wide photo I've always found that the photoshop defaults are perfect, 50/1.0/0. Someone suggested 100 instead of 50, on computer screen size shots that seems excessive to me (I have noticed that many RP photos seem oversharpened to my eye) but experiment, just remember the photoshop defaults so you can go back to them.
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Old 03-21-2009, 02:30 PM   #12
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(I have noticed that many RP photos seem oversharpened to my eye)
You too, some of mine are over sharpened, I send in one thats normally sharp and gets kicked back for under sharpened some times. I think some one likes it that way that screen's photo's
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Old 03-21-2009, 04:20 PM   #13
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For the standard size computer screen 1000 pixels wide photo I've always found that the photoshop defaults are perfect, 50/1.0/0. Someone suggested 100 instead of 50
I haven't seen that suggesed for an RP-sized shot in the forums, but I have seen it mentioned to use 100 on the full-size image, resize to 1024, then again at 50.

Lately my stuff has been getting:

100/0.7/0 > 1024 px > 50/0.3-0.4/0
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Old 03-21-2009, 09:57 PM   #14
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I haven't seen that suggesed for an RP-sized shot in the forums, but I have seen it mentioned to use 100 on the full-size image, resize to 1024, then again at 50.

Lately my stuff has been getting:

100/0.7/0 > 1024 px > 50/0.3-0.4/0
Went to an Adobe Photoshop seminar/workshop a few years ago with noted Photoshop guru Ben Willmore, I remember him saying that the most common photoshop mistake is to sharpen prior to resizing. In fact I still follow his advice and leave sharpening to the absolute last step. Just curious but why would you sharpen a photo twice?
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Old 03-21-2009, 11:59 PM   #15
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Just curious but why would you sharpen a photo twice?
The full size image is for prints (one sharpen) and the 1024 px one is for web display (second sharpen).

When you resize, you lose some of the sharpening you did on the full size so you need a second go of USM.

BTW, did he say why it was bad to sharpen just prior to resizing? What's the down side or was that just his technique?
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Old 03-23-2009, 01:02 PM   #16
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The full size image is for prints (one sharpen) and the 1024 px one is for web display (second sharpen).

When you resize, you lose some of the sharpening you did on the full size so you need a second go of USM.

BTW, did he say why it was bad to sharpen just prior to resizing? What's the down side or was that just his technique?

Sorry for the late reply.

It was a few years ago but I have dug out my notes and also his book that I have. I think his reasoning is that because you create small halos along the edges of tonal transition, if you then resize and then sharpen again you are adding new halos over the ones that are already there. All I know is that every class and every PShop book I've read always emphasises to sharpen after resizing. I guess the best way to test would be to do a shot in your normal way and then take the same shot and do not do any unsharp masking until the shot has been resized and see if there is any difference.
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Old 03-23-2009, 02:08 PM   #17
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All I know is that every class and every PShop book I've read always emphasises to sharpen after resizing. I guess the best way to test would be to do a shot in your normal way and then take the same shot and do not do any unsharp masking until the shot has been resized and see if there is any difference.
I don't disagree, but I also know that lots of people do sharpening twice, once before resizing and once after, and get excellent results. I think there is quite a range of acceptable sharpening approaches. One thing I believe is true or likely true is that one should always at least sharpen at the end, because one knows exactly what the final image looks like one has better control. Certainly lots of people seem to be happy by in addition sharpening earlier.
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Old 03-23-2009, 02:30 PM   #18
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I don't disagree, but I also know that lots of people do sharpening twice, once before resizing and once after, and get excellent results. I think there is quite a range of acceptable sharpening approaches. One thing I believe is true or likely true is that one should always at least sharpen at the end, because one knows exactly what the final image looks like one has better control. Certainly lots of people seem to be happy by in addition sharpening earlier.
FWIW my typical workflow for an image to be used on the web is:

Level the photo if required

Crop the photo

If a scanned image from film I do my dust removal if needed. This can be done after resizing but I find its easier to do on a larger image.

Resize to 1024 pixels wide or whatever size I need.

Do my colour balance, curve adjustments.

Unsharp mask.

use the "save for web" in PShop.
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Old 03-23-2009, 02:32 PM   #19
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I think his reasoning is that because you create small halos along the edges of tonal transition, if you then resize and then sharpen again you are adding new halos over the ones that are already there.
Sounds like a good reason, but I don't see the double halos on my double sharpened images. Perhaps if you over do it on the full size your image might suffer from that.

Another way around the halo deal is to sharpen in LAB using the Lightness channel...
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Old 03-23-2009, 02:41 PM   #20
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Sounds like a good reason, but I don't see the double halos on my double sharpened images. Perhaps if you over do it on the full size your image might suffer from that.

Another way around the halo deal is to sharpen in LAB using the Lightness channel...
Actually the more I think about it the more I think its just a matter of the image being degraded the more you manipulate it. There are many ways of sharpening and a lot of people far more advanced than me use the LAB method, another method is to convert the image to CMYK and sharpen the black channel. I'm quite happy to keep it in RGB and just give it one shot of unsharp masking at the end. The image quality requirements for the web are far less than if you are going to press or even just making a print at home or at a lab which is what the "fancy" methods are for IMHO

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Old 03-23-2009, 04:10 PM   #21
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Actually the more I think about it the more I think its just a matter of the image being degraded the more you manipulate it.
Probably true, which leads to me to ask:

Why resize to 1024 before adjusting color balance/curve adjsutments? It seems that you're throwing away perfectly good info from the full size image when it's shrunk down to web size...
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Old 03-23-2009, 05:23 PM   #22
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Sorry for the late reply.

It was a few years ago but I have dug out my notes and also his book that I have. I think his reasoning is that because you create small halos along the edges of tonal transition, if you then resize and then sharpen again you are adding new halos over the ones that are already there. All I know is that every class and every PShop book I've read always emphasises to sharpen after resizing. I guess the best way to test would be to do a shot in your normal way and then take the same shot and do not do any unsharp masking until the shot has been resized and see if there is any difference.
One of the tricks I've learnt quite recently is to try and fix problems intoroduced when resizing (whether sharpened by then or not). Wires and handrails especially can have jaggies introduced on them purely by resizing. If that happens the effect can be lessened by applying a small amount of blur to the affected area before resizing.
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Old 03-23-2009, 10:15 PM   #23
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Probably true, which leads to me to ask:

Why resize to 1024 before adjusting color balance/curve adjsutments? It seems that you're throwing away perfectly good info from the full size image when it's shrunk down to web size...
It's just my workflow, I create a web pic and then leave the master file untouched, some people color adjust then save the master. I'm not quite sure what you mean by throwing away perfectly good info when an image is resized, are you getting confused with saving as a jpg? In that case you certainly throw away lots of good info.
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Old 03-23-2009, 10:41 PM   #24
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One of the tricks I've learnt quite recently is to try and fix problems intoroduced when resizing (whether sharpened by then or not). Wires and handrails especially can have jaggies introduced on them purely by resizing. If that happens the effect can be lessened by applying a small amount of blur to the affected area before resizing.
Can you tell me your workflow? I've just spent 10 minutes trying to create jaggies by resizing and I can't get the jaggies to appear, this photo has lots of catenary. I'm starting with a 3072 pixels wide image @ 180 pixels per inch. I am then resizing to 1000 pixels wide, the only time I get a suggestion of jaggies is if I am looking at the image at other that 100%.
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Old 03-24-2009, 12:11 AM   #25
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I'm not quite sure what you mean by throwing away perfectly good info when an image is resized, are you getting confused with saving as a jpg?
Well, you have much more info to work with using the full size image vs. one sized to 1024 px. It's why when you rotate a 3MP image you see a lot more image degradation than you do when you rotate a 10MP image.

Also, Save For Web is another way to lose info. I think many here use Save As and save at maximum resolution (12 in PS)...
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