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Photo of the month: May 2011

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A Morning Cloak butterfly in a wild Crocus.

 
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My Photo Perch

Part of an on-going project "My Photo Perch" series of back-garden birds here in the UK.

Goldfinch:


cheers;D
 

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My wife asked me to take some pictures of her Mother's Day flowers. Nothing special, but I liked this one.



EDIT: For some reason this doesn't look sharp to me. I just opened the jpeg in preview again to check and it looks fine, so I don't understand what's going on.
 
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picture of the daughter :D

not one of my best I just really like it. dumped it to black and white, just got my dslr so Ive been messin with it a lot lately...

 

Doug b

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EDIT: For some reason this doesn't look sharp to me. I just opened the jpeg in preview again to check and it looks fine, so I don't understand what's going on.
Three things are going on here.

1. Lighting is everything. I can tell that you used flash, but it's still a tad underexposed. Was this a popup flash that you used or off camera and bounced? The lighting can account for how easy it is for the AF sensor to find its target.

2. Whether or not it is sharp, doesn't account for the focus being a bit off. Looks like it's front focusing just a hair, thus making the focus soft.

3. Sharpening in general is a tricky thing. How did you sharpen the image (with what and with what kind of pass/filter etc?) to begin with, and where is that image being hosted? You have to remember that most websites or hosts use their own compression schemes, so what might have started out as a sharp image directly from Preview or a photo editor, is easily ruined by such things. iWeb is a good example of such a thing. Apple's compression scheme with that host is fairly heavy handed and I'd never use it as such.

I like ImageShack for hosting single random images. They don't really use much in the way of compression. Same with atpic.com. Photobucket is alright too, but not as good as the other two. Then you have to deal with the website on which you're posting the picture. That too, will usually have software which compresses images in order to save bandwidth. Not sure about this forum, so maybe one of the mods/admins will be able to answer that one.

Basically then, when you're saving your jpg from whatever program you're using, it's usually good to use a bit of extra sharpening. This is especially true for RAW images. For those, you want to apply sharpening while editing, as well as output sharpening. Two totally separate things.

If you knew all this already, sorry for the rant!

Doug
 

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Three things are going on here.

1. Lighting is everything. I can tell that you used flash, but it's still a tad underexposed. Was this a popup flash that you used or off camera and bounced? The lighting can account for how easy it is for the AF sensor to find its target.

2. Whether or not it is sharp, doesn't account for the focus being a bit off. Looks like it's front focusing just a hair, thus making the focus soft.

3. Sharpening in general is a tricky thing. How did you sharpen the image (with what and with what kind of pass/filter etc?) to begin with, and where is that image being hosted? You have to remember that most websites or hosts use their own compression schemes, so what might have started out as a sharp image directly from Preview or a photo editor, is easily ruined by such things. iWeb is a good example of such a thing. Apple's compression scheme with that host is fairly heavy handed and I'd never use it as such.

I like ImageShack for hosting single random images. They don't really use much in the way of compression. Same with atpic.com. Photobucket is alright too, but not as good as the other two. Then you have to deal with the website on which you're posting the picture. That too, will usually have software which compresses images in order to save bandwidth. Not sure about this forum, so maybe one of the mods/admins will be able to answer that one.

Basically then, when you're saving your jpg from whatever program you're using, it's usually good to use a bit of extra sharpening. This is especially true for RAW images. For those, you want to apply sharpening while editing, as well as output sharpening. Two totally separate things.

If you knew all this already, sorry for the rant!

Doug
Doug,
Thanks for the tips.
Yes, I used the popup flash. Still haven't added a flash, but on my upgrade list.
I shot it RAW but sharpened and adjusted the exposure +0.5 in Aperture.
Agree the focus isn't dead on but as soon as I posted I saw the uploaded image was a lot softer than the original. I'll look at the other sites you mentioned.
 

Doug b

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If you want to send me the RAW image, I'd be happy to see if there's something I can do with it.. Up to you. :)

Doug
 

RavingMac

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If you want to send me the RAW image, I'd be happy to see if there's something I can do with it.. Up to you. :)

Doug
Thanks, that would be appreciated. :)

On my iPad right now so don't have access, will try to send later today. Something else I thought to try is I haven't been using the loader to upload images, just been pasting the image link info from Photobucket into the post. I wad going to try using the upload icon to see if that makes a difference.
 

Doug b

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Thanks, that would be appreciated. :)

On my iPad right now so don't have access, will try to send later today. Something else I thought to try is I haven't been using the loader to upload images, just been pasting the image link info from Photobucket into the post. I wad going to try using the upload icon to see if that makes a difference.
Just remember that there's a size limit (I believe) when uploading that way. Besides, hot linking shouldn't make a difference so long as the compression rates aren't an issue.

Doug
 
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This is a picture of my wife fighting with our poodle fighting over who's going to drive the Corvette.

Bill
 
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This is a picture of my wife fighting with our poodle fighting over who's going to drive the Corvette.

Bill
That's fighting? Wish my wife would "fight" with me over who drives our car. ;D
 

RavingMac

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Just remember that there's a size limit (I believe) when uploading that way. Besides, hot linking shouldn't make a difference so long as the compression rates aren't an issue.

Doug
Just tried it (actually just previewed the post without posting) and opened the original in Preview and did a side-by-side comparison and the original was far sharper. It makes me wonder if I may have messed up somehow in the upload to Photobucket. Will look at that and see what I can find out. The problem almost can't be on this end because I see a lot of sharp images posted in this thread.

EDIT: Duhhh! I just looked at the full size image on Photobucket and it is identical to what is posting here. So the problem is in the upload from my MBP to Photobucket.
 

Doug b

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How are you processing your RAW files?

Doug
 

RavingMac

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Here is the rose uploaded from ImageShack

[IMAGE DELETED IN THE INTEREST OF SANE FILE SIZES]

As far as processing the RAW file, I am using Aperture then exporting as a jpeg to upload to photo site.

EDIT: This obviously worked, but I apparently need to figure out a more appropriate filesize to upload! :)
 

BrianLachoreVPI


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I can just make that out on my 65" screen - ;D
 

Doug b

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LMAO! Friendly tip, and what I do when resizing for the web: Take your total resolution and divide each one by 3 or 4, even... I never post original sizes for several reasons.. 1 theft.. 2 because of what you just did...lol

When I post to my Smugmug site, I usually divide by 3 and that still leaves huge sizes to view on mostly any monitor. Plus, you want to make sure that you're not letting it output to 300 ppi because then someone will be able to download and print it at a fairly large size. 75ppi is standard since that's what consumer monitors output as well.

Doug

P.S. when dividing, don't forget that portrait and landscape sizes will be different. But once you've figured out a good size for websites and such, those 4 values will be second nature to you. And for heaven's sake.. delete that monster! :)
 

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Thanks for all the help, Doug.
It does look a lot better now. . . Wondering if a Mod took pity on me and reduced the file size. I'm on my iPad and it isn't blowing out my screen but that may be a function of safari on the iPad.

EDIT: Back on my MBP and the file size is still huge so I have deleted the image from the post above
 

Doug b

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With Mike's permission... rose revised:



I did change the hue, so it's no longer the deep shade of red that it was obviously. A few other things going on such as increased exposure, some basic color alterations, a lot of desaturation but increased vibrance in order to retain color... I can give you an exact list of what I did, but if you don't use LR then it won't be of any real help to you I think. The most important aspect was increasing the exposure and adding fill light as well as using curves to fine tune the shadows, highlights and dark tones.

The border is just a vignette on the plus side rather than the usual - side. Of course there are a few little tweaks here and there outside of what I listed, but that's what usually goes into such a thing.. little tweak here, little bit there to season. Kind of like cooking.

I actually wanted to do a nice black and white conversion, but didn't have time. Might try that tonight. Oh... and of course, the sharpening that I forgot to mention. LR has a far superior sharpening algorithm to that of Aperture, which goes hand in hand with its noise reduction algorithm. You sharpen first, with a masking filter, and this tends to reduce luminance noise. This way, you don't have to mess with the luminance noise reduction as much.

The focus isn't as big an issue as I originally thought, but it's apparent that the lens is front focusing a little bit. Whether that's due to poor lighting or something else is beyond me right now.

Doug
 
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