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br_railphotos 03-30-2021 10:24 PM

Too Much Saturation!
 
New rejection reason for me: too much saturation! Fair enough! For what it's worth, this was right after a good rain, so the scene actually was quite vibrant. In fact, I used a bit less saturation than I typically would, for RP; however, I did use a fair bit of contrast, which adds color as well.

Thoughts and suggestions? Would pulling the saturation and vibrance sliders to the negative a bit satisfy the screeners? Anything else you see that the screeners are alluding to, besides the level of saturation?

To resubmit or to not resubmit...That is the question :)

https://www.railpictures.net/viewrej...86&key=8009738

Thanks,
Benjamin

Re-edit:
http://forums.railpictures.net/pictu...4&pictureid=82

RobJor 03-31-2021 02:51 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Here is my take, I think generally the closer you stick to a "standard" crop the better. Not sure of the overall quality but perhaps going back to original and working from there would help.

If they want to start flagging photos for unrealistic I could point out where to start but.............

Bob Jordan

br_railphotos 03-31-2021 05:05 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Bob, thanks for the suggestions.

In addition to crop, I see you've also gone quite a bit warmer. Perhaps it could use another 150-200 kelvin. My intent there was to keep it in line with the scene as it actually looked.

The crop is certainly not an issue: the photo is 5760x3840.

Attachment 9882

Thanks again.

KevinM 04-01-2021 06:02 PM

Saturation is always a tough call, as it can depend on a number of things, such as whether or not you are using a calibrated display. I am amazed that I got away without using one for many years, but if you really want things perfect, it does make a difference.

In this case, I think that both contrast and saturation may have played roles. Generally speaking the image looks pretty good. The things I notice are that yes, some of the containers and the locomotives do have a bit of a "candyland" look to them. Not sure what editing software you are using, or what settings you used, but backing Saturation and Vibrance off a bit would probably improve the situation. WRT contrast, the place where I really notice it is the line between the grass on the hillside and the farm field just beyond. That line is glowing a bit. Sometimes it happens that most of a frame will appear to be properly exposed, but one element (sand, plants, a light-colored building) will be too hot....and it's an eye-grabber. Since I use Lightroom, I would create an Adjustment Brush that knocks the exposure and/or contrast back a bit, then paint that effect into the hot spot. I just recently bought a little tablet, that allows me to use pen-pressure to tell Lightroom how "thickly" to paint that effect in. It works great.

Unlike a lot of images that get rejected, this one should not be hard to fix. I saw the low-res updated edit that you posted, and I think it looked better than the original. It's an interesting shot and a nice change from the endless parade of diesel wedges that we see every day. ;-)

Mgoldman 04-02-2021 02:30 AM

I like the original though I wonder how it compares to what your eyes saw? Your photo likely looks "better" than real life which depending on how much an exaggeration there is, can be perfectly acceptable.

I like to use "Auto - contrast, tone, and color" just to proof my final rendition. Sometimes that will tell you if you strayed to far off from reality. In this case, auto tone added some contrast, removed some saturation but mostly got rid of the neon greenish grass in the foreground, took some yellow cast out and added some brown to the foreground. Not all of that was appealing, however.

Photoshop has a "fade last action" menu item with a slider, or you can paste the before over the after and blend accordingly. Or... you can selectively adjust what you don't like and keep what you do like. Another Photoshop option is "selective color" so you can adjust say, just the yellows in the grass. Or use a desaturation brush as needed.

In short - check out the "auto" options as a proof, and then blend back or edit *only* the offending issues (say, a dark shadow, for instance - they are always darker then they look, aren't they?)

/Mitch

br_railphotos 04-02-2021 05:14 AM

2 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by KevinM (Post 197534)
Saturation is always a tough call, as it can depend on a number of things, such as whether or not you are using a calibrated display. I am amazed that I got away without using one for many years, but if you really want things perfect, it does make a difference.

In this case, I think that both contrast and saturation may have played roles. Generally speaking the image looks pretty good. The things I notice are that yes, some of the containers and the locomotives do have a bit of a "candyland" look to them. Not sure what editing software you are using, or what settings you used, but backing Saturation and Vibrance off a bit would probably improve the situation. WRT contrast, the place where I really notice it is the line between the grass on the hillside and the farm field just beyond. That line is glowing a bit. Sometimes it happens that most of a frame will appear to be properly exposed, but one element (sand, plants, a light-colored building) will be too hot....and it's an eye-grabber. Since I use Lightroom, I would create an Adjustment Brush that knocks the exposure and/or contrast back a bit, then paint that effect into the hot spot. I just recently bought a little tablet, that allows me to use pen-pressure to tell Lightroom how "thickly" to paint that effect in. It works great.

Unlike a lot of images that get rejected, this one should not be hard to fix. I saw the low-res updated edit that you posted, and I think it looked better than the original. It's an interesting shot and a nice change from the endless parade of diesel wedges that we see every day...

Kevin,

Actually, I do use a color calibrated display, tuned with a Spyder4Pro. My eyes are/were the problem here, me thinks. :)

As far as editing, I use LR/ACR, then fine tune in Photoshop, if needed. Resize for RP in PS, always.

In the low res re-edit, my ACR saturation/vibrance sliders are actually to the negative, so, as I suspected, most of the saturation came from the contrast/curves adjustments made.

I certainly see where you are going with the "candyland" cars. Especially those "ONE" cars (hot pink), which really are colorful. If you've ever seen them in person, you'll know how bright those are. If not, well, they would be easy to perceive as..."fake." Now, the red cars do seem a bit bright and saturated, I'll admit. In the re-edit, I pulled the overall saturation and vibrance down a bit. Then I selectively pulled and tweaked the greens, yellows and reds. I also pulled the luminance down on the reds a bit.

Per the glowing edge between fields, thanks. That should probably be addressed.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mgoldman (Post 197537)
I like the original though I wonder how it compares to what your eyes saw? Your photo likely looks "better" than real life which depending on how much an exaggeration there is, can be perfectly acceptable.

I like to use "Auto - contrast, tone, and color" just to proof my final rendition. Sometimes that will tell you if you strayed to far off from reality. In this case, auto tone added some contrast, removed some saturation but mostly got rid of the neon greenish grass in the foreground, took some yellow cast out and added some brown to the foreground. Not all of that was appealing, however.

Photoshop has a "fade last action" menu item with a slider, or you can paste the before over the after and blend accordingly. Or... you can selectively adjust what you don't like and keep what you do like. Another Photoshop option is "selective color" so you can adjust say, just the yellows in the grass. Or use a desaturation brush as needed.

In short - check out the "auto" options as a proof, and then blend back or edit *only* the offending issues (say, a dark shadow, for instance - they are always darker then they look, aren't they?)

/Mitch

Mitch,

Thanks for your suggestion on auto as a proof. I suppose there are much more technical ways to check proper saturation in PS, but "auto" is simple to do, as a simple check. I like to remove all color (B&W), let the eyes adjust, switch back to color. This will immediately reveal any off colors that the eyes have adjusted to. But, saturation can still be missed. Good idea, indeed.

FWIW, in regards to the re-edit: Auto in the ACR filter wants to add a bit of saturation, pull down exposure. Auto color in PS wants to remove some saturation. Ha!

As for your first question: Yes, the original submission does look slightly "better than life." My second photo (re-edit) looks pretty close to what one would have seen that day, in person. Again, this was after a fresh rain, so the scene was quite vibrant, overall.

Just to explain the color differences in the fields, we have three different subjects. Closest to the train, we have a lovely dark green corn field. To the right of that, a recently cut hay/alfalfa field. Closest to camera, we have pasture with grass beginning to seed.

After the initial suggestions, I did a final tweak of colors. Additionally, I tried a similar crop to what Bob suggested. Well, the screeners didn't mind the color aspect of the resubmitted image, apparently. But, the photo was rejected again; this time, for composition. :confused:

https://www.railpictures.net/viewrej...03&key=7055628

So, now I'm not sure where to go with this image. Do I resubmit the updated re-edit, with original framing? I HAVE had them reject a photo for "blur" once, only to be rejected a second time for composition (too loose). Seems they don't always list all of their gripes right off (but sometimes they do!?), which makes the submitter's job a lot more difficult. :( Each screener likely has a different "taste." Ugh.

Suggestions/opinions appreciated. Below are the final re-edits. One with the original crop (not listed as a rejection reason). The other with an updated crop, which positions the train right about 1/3 from bottom. I had to deviate from a 3x2, opting instead for a 14x9 aspect ratio.

Original framing:
Attachment 9883

Updated crop:
Attachment 9884

Thanks fellas. I'm leaning towards the newest crop, but..This one has been tricky!!! :shock:

Benjamin

P.S. Feel free to further critique the colors, if needed.

KevinM 04-02-2021 01:40 PM

I also wonder if this image might benefit from a 3:5 crop. That would shave a bit off the top and bottom, eliminating some of the more featureless areas and leaving all of the more detailed portions totally intact. I use the 3:5 quite a bit. It's actually my favorite format, as I tend to go pretty wide fairly often.

BTW, this whole saturation discussion is an interesting one. It would seem that some folks are not okay with a mid-day shot like this one exhibiting a little bit of extra saturation and/or vibrance, yet it seems to be "Katie-bar-the-door" when we get within an hour of sunrise or sunset. Is that where the line is? When is it okay to get "artsy-fartsy?" What about cloudy day shots? As photographers, I think we all know that without liberal use of shadows and highlights, most cloudy day shots would be just a muddy mess. Making them look totally real takes some real editing talent. Where are the lines? Why is the OP's image not okay, but the sunset that looks like a nuclear test is fine?

I should start another thread that would maybe generate some interest here on the forums. It seems like there's perhaps a dozen of us who regularly participate, but clearly, a lot more people are just lurking. :lol:

br_railphotos 04-02-2021 02:28 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by KevinM (Post 197539)
I also wonder if this image might benefit from a 3:5 crop. That would shave a bit off the top and bottom, eliminating some of the more featureless areas and leaving all of the more detailed portions totally intact. I use the 3:5 quite a bit. It's actually my favorite format, as I tend to go pretty wide fairly often.

BTW, this whole saturation discussion is an interesting one. It would seem that some folks are not okay with a mid-day shot like this one exhibiting a little bit of extra saturation and/or vibrance, yet it seems to be "Katie-bar-the-door" when we get within an hour of sunrise or sunset. Is that where the line is? When is it okay to get "artsy-fartsy?" What about cloudy day shots? As photographers, I think we all know that without liberal use of shadows and highlights, most cloudy day shots would be just a muddy mess. Making them look totally real takes some real editing talent. Where are the lines? Why is the OP's image not okay, but the sunset that looks like a nuclear test is fine?

I should start another thread that would maybe generate some interest here on the forums. It seems like there's perhaps a dozen of us who regularly participate, but clearly, a lot more people are just lurking. :lol:


Kevin,

After trying it, 5x3 does seem a fairly nice choice. It's a bit of a mid point between a standard and a panoramic frame, which would seem to fit well.

Taking the 14x9 crop to 5x3, I didn't like how it was cutting that somewhat prominent cloud midway. Biasing upwards a bit, put the locomotive exactly at 1/3.

Attachment 9885

Just to be sure, I assume you were thinking of a composition such as this, versus placing the average directly in the middle (as the very first "oversaturated" image was composed)?

For what it's worth, this actually wasn't a mid day shot. The camera is looking SE, and the time is right around 7:30 PM. Even so, that's about 1'15" before sunset, so, being outside of an hour, it gets the hammer! :twisted:

On another note, this photo was taken off of the same dirt road two days later, at about the same time of day. Centered in frame, but has a perfect reflection.

[photoid=757095]

I used to be a lurker, until the admins finally let me in :lol:

Benjamin

KevinM 04-02-2021 03:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by br_railphotos (Post 197541)
Kevin,

After trying it, 5x3 does seem a fairly nice choice. It's a bit of a mid point between a standard and a panoramic frame, which would seem to fit well.

Taking the 14x9 crop to 5x3, I didn't like how it was cutting that somewhat prominent cloud midway. Biasing upwards a bit, put the locomotive exactly at 1/3.

Attachment 9885

Just to be sure, I assume you were thinking of a composition such as this, versus placing the average directly in the middle (as the very first "oversaturated" image was composed)?

For what it's worth, this actually wasn't a mid day shot. The camera is looking SE, and the time is right around 7:30 PM. Even so, that's about 1'15" before sunset, so, being outside of an hour, it gets the hammer! :twisted:

On another note, this photo was taken off of the same dirt road two days later, at about the same time of day. Centered in frame, but has a perfect reflection.

[photoid=757095]

I used to be a lurker, until the admins finally let me in :lol:

Benjamin

Yes, I think the 3:5 crop works nicely for this image. It shaves off some of the more featureless stuff (grass, blue sky, etc) and saves all of the real interest. Besides, it's a wide scene. The crop emphasizes that.

I like the reflection shot, BTW. Nice sky, sharp reflection, really nice foreground. Again, a nice break from the diesel-wedge parade. Surprised it does not have more views, but then who can predict? These days, with so many contributors "campaigning" their stuff on social media sites, it is difficult to know which images are truly liked, vs. the ones with high view-counts because the ballot box was stuffed. I tend to look at favorites.....particularly favorites among folks who have images posted on RP.

vcode455 04-02-2021 08:17 PM

Is it just me or do the engines not look anywhere near as crisp as the clouds in the background? It looks like they are oversharpened.....

br_railphotos 04-02-2021 09:45 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by vcode455 (Post 197543)
Is it just me or do the engines not look anywhere near as crisp as the clouds in the background? It looks like they are oversharpened.....

Not just you who noticed - I did as well. Although the locomotives are slightly soft, they still are pretty sharp in the original. Unfortunately, that's about the best I could get with the resize. Just the "right" size (RP constraints) that the numbers and details on the locomotives are distorted by the pixels. Ugh! I was fooling with different sizes and that's about the best I could get. I suppose I'll keep fooling around with the resize.

Attachment 9886

Benjamin

Joe the Photog 04-03-2021 11:11 PM

I think if you lowered th yellow in post it ould look much etter.

br_railphotos 04-04-2021 01:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Joe the Photog (Post 197546)
I think if you lowered th yellow in post it ould look much etter.

Joe,

Just to clarify, are you suggesting less saturated yellows on the original or the last updated photo I sent?

Benjamin

Joe the Photog 04-04-2021 02:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by br_railphotos (Post 197548)
Joe,

Just to clarify, are you suggesting less saturated yellows on the original or the last updated photo I sent?

Benjamin

My bad. I was still going off the original. I tend to keep working off the original when I leep geting a reject. It seems to eork for me except when it doesn't

br_railphotos 04-04-2021 05:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Joe the Photog (Post 197550)
My bad. I was still going off the original. I tend to keep working off the original when I leep geting a reject. It seems to eork for me except when it doesn't

Thanks. Yep, I’m working off the original. Just wasn’t sure whether you were referring to the saturation level of my original submission to RP or the sample photo I added to post #8.

br_railphotos 04-09-2021 05:24 PM

1 Attachment(s)
All,

Here's the final result I came up with after a bit of final tweaking of the crop and then resize (for RP constraints). As said previously, this photo (locomotives, more specifically) were giving a bit of trouble during the resize (just the wrong size to match up with pixels, I presume).

I'd appreciate any additional comments on the framing and sharpness. Does it look ready for resubmission?

Attachment 9887

Hopefully the forum upload doesn't compress the image. If it does, I can provide a Dropbox link to the file, if requested.

Many thanks,
Benjamin


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