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Author Topic: Streetlights in images  (Read 2287 times)
Pete JF
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« on: January 02, 2007, 04:55:33 PM »
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I do a lot of work at dusk/night and I always have light sources in my images. Mainly streetlights, industrial lights. Most of these pictures are shot stopped down so there is a usually natural star effect from the diaphragm blades.

 When I printed using chemical materials I never had a problem with printing these images. Analog treatment of these halo elements was always very smooth given a decent exposure.

Printing these images on an inkjet is a bear because of the halos around the lights. I don't like the repro of these elements with ink. They look cartoony andf fake with clumsy tonal transitions. Digital distortion at it's worst.

Anyone have any thoughts on dealing with this problem? Making these light halos print gracefully?
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feppe
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« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2007, 05:36:57 PM »
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I also do a lot of low-light shooting and have never had the same problem. Are you shooting RAW and editing 16-bit files? The first thing that comes to mind is that if you're editing 8-bit files you can introduce posterization if you use curves adjustments or something similar.
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Pete JF
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« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2007, 07:16:48 PM »
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Hi Feppe,

Yeah Im shooting raw and staying in 16 bit. I see this in my scans from analog sometimes as well. Things look pretty good on the screen and then when I print it's cartoony.
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feppe
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« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2007, 07:55:39 PM »
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Quote
Hi Feppe,

Yeah Im shooting raw and staying in 16 bit. I see this in my scans from analog sometimes as well. Things look pretty good on the screen and then when I print it's cartoony.
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Would it be possible that the highlights are out of gamut of the printer?
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Jonathan Wienke
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« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2007, 03:04:19 AM »
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Are you seeing the problem only in prints or on-screen as well. If the problem is only seen in print the issue is likely the profile.
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jjlphoto
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« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2007, 10:08:19 AM »
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What printer, paper, or ink? Printer supplied profile, paper vendor supplied profile, or custom made profile? What software was the profile made with?

It sounds like a better profile may help, but if the tones are outside the gamut of the printer/ink/paper combo, the banding is the byproduct of the printer not being able to lay down what your monitor is rendering. Softeproofing can give you an indication of what is happening, so you could try to do some PS edits while in soft proof mode to move those area back into gamut.
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Pete JF
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« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2007, 09:49:08 PM »
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Eh..epson 4800, innova fiber gloss, k3, using Imageprint and canned IP porfile for Innova f gloss.

I suppose what im seeing is just a clumsy ink transition from the blown out section of the light into the halo and then into the darker sky. I can't really describe it as banding or posterization. As said before, on screen they look pretty good

I'm comparing this result to traditional prints I have made in the past, other images, and the analog transition is just more comfy for me.

the image that Im referring to in this thread is in color and from a digital camera. I converted it to black and white and printed it and the lights look pretty ok this way.

I really think that this is where digital has trouble. Kind of like in a sound recording setting. If you carefully manage the levels on a staturated piece of magnetic tape, the peaks can be great. In digital recording the peaks usually sound like dried dog poop hitting a tin wall at a hundred miles an hour. I find that blown highlights, specular and such (especially if they are large) have the same lack of grace in the digital photo area. A little bit of selective diffuse glow or some such usually adds a bit of grace to them.

Thanks for all of your suggestions.
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Jack Flesher
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« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2007, 11:08:46 PM »
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Toss a curves adjustment layer on top of your image and drag the top of the curve down from 255 to 250 and reprint the image.  Get back to us and let us know if that looks any better -- I suspect it will
« Last Edit: January 05, 2007, 11:10:41 PM by Jack Flesher » Logged

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