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Author Topic: Photo quality - how'd they do that?  (Read 6938 times)
andyptak
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« on: June 20, 2007, 08:03:56 AM »
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I've been looking at some portfolios on the web recently and the quality of some are outstanding. I'm not talking about esthetics, or technical competance, or even good equipment - I assume almost everyone has that.

I think it's in the reproduction (??) I'm sure they've been Photoshoped to hell and back, but so have many others that just don't seem to grab me as much. To use a film analogy, it looks like the difference in shooting 35mm and 8X10. One is densely packed with info, while the other is open and rich in subtle detail.

I read as much as I can on preparing work for the web, but some people are obviously light years ahead. Their choice of image size, dpi and format etc., is obviously superior to most of us. Look at the golf course shots on lonnatucker.com and you'll see what I mean.

I've recently taken to using a Sony DSC-R! for landscapes, and while it's far from the most espensive camera going, it has a large sensor and the Zeiss lens is a beauty. I should be producing enough quality from this camera, but somehow I can't translate that well enough for the web. Any suggestions? Thanks.
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Tim Gray
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« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2007, 08:54:30 AM »
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I've been looking at some portfolios on the web recently and the quality of some are outstanding. I'm not talking about esthetics, or technical competance, or even good equipment - I assume almost everyone has that.

I think it's in the reproduction (??) I'm sure they've been Photoshoped to hell and back, but so have many others that just don't seem to grab me as much. To use a film analogy, it looks like the difference in shooting 35mm and 8X10. One is densely packed with info, while the other is open and rich in subtle detail.

I read as much as I can on preparing work for the web, but some people are obviously light years ahead. Their choice of image size, dpi and format etc., is obviously superior to most of us. Look at the golf course shots on lonnatucker.com and you'll see what I mean.

I've recently taken to using a Sony DSC-R! for landscapes, and while it's far from the most espensive camera going, it has a large sensor and the Zeiss lens is a beauty. I should be producing enough quality from this camera, but somehow I can't translate that well enough for the web. Any suggestions? Thanks.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=123918\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


A couple of thoughts - you posting to web in SRGB, not RGB right?  Second, images need to be sharpened specifically for the web.   The photokit plug-in from Pixel Genius seems to be ok, or you can develop your own expertise.  BTW, I also use the Sony as my "carry around" and love the camera.  I'm very disappointed that Sony has apparently decided not to evolve the product.
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andyptak
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« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2007, 10:38:05 AM »
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Glad to find another user of this very fine product. Considering the price, I think the quality is superb. After using an SLR for all of my life, I find I shoot very differently using this camera. I frame and compose differently and my whole point of view has changed.

Sony labelled it as a "Prosumer" product, and I think that killed it. Too much money for the consumer and the fixed lens put the Pros off who had heavy investments in Nikon and Canon lenses.

I've been using mine for about a year and started to worry about the lifespan of digital cameras, so I bought another one a month ago to keep for the future. Even though they're discontinued I found it online at The Source for about $1200CDN. I saw that some were still for sale from US online vendors - one of them charging $1999US!

Thanks - happy shooting.
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haidergill
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« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2007, 11:47:03 AM »
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Hmmm I'm not keen on this so called photo-realistic look. It doesn't look like film. It's going the way of home cinema where it doesn't look like celluloid. It was time these heretics were rounded up;)
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haidergill
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« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2007, 11:54:00 AM »
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I liked the first two photos the leaf and lilies (B&W) on the homepage. Once you got into the site there was something defintely wrong with the photos oversaturated and gaudy they didn't look real. Something very wrong there...Even as artistic effect I wouldn't particularly buy that. Any other users comment on why they look like that?  


Quote
Glad to find another user of this very fine product. Considering the price, I think the quality is superb. After using an SLR for all of my life, I find I shoot very differently using this camera. I frame and compose differently and my whole point of view has changed.

Sony labelled it as a "Prosumer" product, and I think that killed it. Too much money for the consumer and the fixed lens put the Pros off who had heavy investments in Nikon and Canon lenses.

I've been using mine for about a year and started to worry about the lifespan of digital cameras, so I bought another one a month ago to keep for the future. Even though they're discontinued I found it online at The Source for about $1200CDN. I saw that some were still for sale from US online vendors - one of them charging $1999US!

Thanks - happy shooting.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=123940\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
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markhout
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« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2007, 01:19:44 PM »
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Recently one of the approaches that really spiced my images was the use of curves in the Lab-space, as described in Dan Margoulis' book "The Canyon Conundrum". I had not seen such opportunity to explore color and depth in an otherwise plain image before.

I don't believe that the various forms of digital equipment in the dedicated amateur market has a major bearing on image quality, particularly where sRGB web images are concerned. Personally, I do like working with RAW files to extract the widest possible dynamic range. I would go even farther and use HDR (Photomatix) or otherwise combine RAW images, as long as that does not lead to an overly artificial depiction of a scene.

Both suggestions are obviously entirely dependent of one's style and only meant to provide alternatives. In other words, your mileage may vary.

Mark
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RonBoyd
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« Reply #6 on: July 27, 2007, 03:37:39 PM »
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Recently one of the approaches that really spiced my images was the use of curves in the Lab-space, as described in Dan Margoulis' book "The Canyon Conundrum". I had not seen such opportunity to explore color and depth in an otherwise plain image before.
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I agree that this book is extremely helpful with this issue. In addition, there is a program based upon Margoulis' theorys called Curvemeister that is most handy -- not only in L*A*B but the other color spaces equally as well..

[a href=\"http://www.curvemeister.com/]http://www.curvemeister.com/[/url]

Ron
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Wayne Fox
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« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2007, 03:02:48 AM »
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A couple of thoughts - you posting to web in SRGB, not RGB right?  Second, images need to be sharpened specifically for the web.   The photokit plug-in from Pixel Genius seems to be ok, or you can develop your own expertise.  BTW, I also use the Sony as my "carry around" and love the camera.  I'm very disappointed that Sony has apparently decided not to evolve the product.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=123924\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

A little confused by your post.  Not sure how you "post" a file in "RGB".  Isn't a jpeg an RBG file saved in compressed mode?

On the other hand, sRGB is a color profile.  To post to the web, most convert their finished image to sRGB color space, and save as a color jpeg file, which is an RGB file.

The critical step is to convert the file, so photoshop actually remaps the colors to the sRGB space.  Of course this is beginning to change as some browsers are now capable of reading and using imbedded profile information when rendering web content.

One problem with the web is the challenge of holding detail and clarity when downsizing very large files.  Down rezzing is a challenge and perhaps as important as the sharpening step you mentioned.  I agree that sharpening for the web is unique and requires a different approach than sharpening for print output.
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fennario
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« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2007, 07:09:57 PM »
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Recently one of the approaches that really spiced my images was the use of curves in the Lab-space, as described in Dan Margoulis' book "The Canyon Conundrum". I had not seen such opportunity to explore color and depth in an otherwise plain image before.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=130171\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


That book fundamentally changed the way I view color/colorspace and process images.  I find myself reading it over and over, and there is always a new insight/understanding to be had (It actually has a place of honor in the bathroom... no disrespect Dan).  The masking and sharpening/bluring chapters are excellent as well.  Highest recommendation.  FWIW this was done via LAB curves.
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Ian Menuru
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« Reply #9 on: August 03, 2007, 10:32:21 PM »
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I personally don't like it either. It reminds me a lot of the 70's when people shone black light on velvet paintings and it's still not much improvement today with halogen lights focused on Thomas Kincade paintings.  Waaaaay over the top for me.  Some people are just not satisfied with the natural beauty of reality. There must be a market for it though just as there is a market for cocaine and methamphetamines.

Regards

Ian
« Last Edit: August 03, 2007, 10:33:23 PM by Ian Menuru » Logged
Goldilocks
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« Reply #10 on: August 05, 2007, 07:32:18 AM »
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I've been looking at some portfolios on the web recently and the quality of some are outstanding. I'm not talking about esthetics, or technical competance, or even good equipment - I assume almost everyone has that.

I think it's in the reproduction (??) I'm sure they've been Photoshoped to hell and back, but so have many others that just don't seem to grab me as much. To use a film analogy, it looks like the difference in shooting 35mm and 8X10. One is densely packed with info, while the other is open and rich in subtle detail.

I read as much as I can on preparing work for the web, but some people are obviously light years ahead. Their choice of image size, dpi and format etc., is obviously superior to most of us. Look at the golf course shots on lonnatucker.com and you'll see what I mean.

I've recently taken to using a Sony DSC-R! for landscapes, and while it's far from the most espensive camera going, it has a large sensor and the Zeiss lens is a beauty. I should be producing enough quality from this camera, but somehow I can't translate that well enough for the web. Any suggestions? Thanks.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=123918\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
These golf shots on lonnatucker.com photographs are very surrealistic. I guess that is what Andy means by rich in detail. Besides the color curves/color space, the angled sunlight, and taking a shot that has a lot of complexity in it to begin with, does anyone else have any ideas as to what creates this effect that grabs Andy?
I'm curious.
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espressogeek
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« Reply #11 on: August 05, 2007, 02:58:53 PM »
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Her whole website is amazing. I don't have any idea how folks like that get the DR and tonal "glow" like that. I would love to find out.
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sergiojaenlara
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« Reply #12 on: August 06, 2007, 01:58:50 AM »
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I don't think that is a curves problem.
When you want to show your job you have to be extremely careful with this items:
- Oversaturation. A extremely usually flaw.
- Resampling for web. Normally the people uses bicubic smoothering but sometimes if you want extreme detail, you have to use nearest neighbor resampling.
- Sharpening. Do not oversharpen your images please.
- Noise reduction.
- Image profile. Always convert your image to srgb for the web.
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