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Author Topic: Rant 23  (Read 28268 times)
JohnBrew
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« on: September 26, 2009, 08:16:32 AM »
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Michael - hoisted on his own petard.
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michael
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« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2009, 08:58:36 AM »
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Yes – and sometimes it's necessary.

Michael
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EsbenHR
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« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2009, 10:04:09 AM »
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The way I see it, the quality of "100% crops" is the only pressure the manufacturers gets to keep the pixels at a reasonable size. The only ones who could possibly put a 1um^2 pixel on a fullframe DSLR to good use are the people in the marketing department.

To keep them at bay we need to look at the pixels and tell them "your 864 megapixels stinks worse than my breakfeast".

If they can not make their pixels have a high quality, stop making them. Bin them at high ISO or something, but do not pretend that the engineers won the battle with the PR department.
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2009, 10:27:44 AM »
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Well,

We can post bitmaps on the net, prints are a bit hard. It's also very difficult to compare images, even prints, because much depends on viewing distance, contrast and other factors. My suggestion is:

Shooting under controlled conditions and making reproducible images is helpful.
Best way is to release raw files, that way anyone can print the images to taste and draw conclusions.

Best regards
Erik



Quote from: EsbenHR
The way I see it, the quality of "100% crops" is the only pressure the manufacturers gets to keep the pixels at a reasonable size. The only ones who could possibly put a 1um^2 pixel on a fullframe DSLR to good use are the people in the marketing department.

To keep them at bay we need to look at the pixels and tell them "your 864 megapixels stinks worse than my breakfeast".

If they can not make their pixels have a high quality, stop making them. Bin them at high ISO or something, but do not pretend that the engineers won the battle with the PR department.
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timparkin
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« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2009, 12:35:27 PM »
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Quote from: michael
Yes – and sometimes it's necessary.

Michael

But! But! -- If I get you right then it depends on what printer, what viewing conditions, what paper, what processing you apply to the image, etc, etc..

I agree that 100% doesn't tell the whole story but it *informs* more than anything else as long as you know what you are looking at ..

I *know* from looking at a 24TSEmk2 image from a 5dmk2 at 1005 that it will look sharp in the corners (sharper than a 17-40). Would I be able to get this information from a 10x8 print on a dye sub printer? No! Will I get this information from a 40x60" print from a 5Dmk2? probably..  

What you definitely have with a 100% view is *all of the information that you have* - it's up to you to interpret what this means. In a print, you have *one interpretation* of the results. If this is your interpretation then it is significant but if it isn't your interpretation then it's fairly useless...

Anyway - just defending the *pointless* practise of using 100% images as part of purchase consideration (for instance)

Tim

http://www.timparkin.co.uk
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michael
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« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2009, 12:51:53 PM »
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No, the point isn't to turn the print into a means of technical measurement. Anything but.

What I was trying to get at is that it's what ends up on the final print (however it's made) that is the ultimate arbiter. If I can see the difference in the final work of art, then the difference is meaningful. If I can't, then it may be there but of only academic interest.

Michael
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2009, 01:15:53 PM »
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Michael,

Do you have any way to describe what you can see in a print? I see only two solutions:

1) Distribute the "RAW"
2) Make "objective" measurements

Best regards
Erik

Quote from: michael
No, the point isn't to turn the print into a means of technical measurement. Anything but.

What I was trying to get at is that it's what ends up on the final print (however it's made) that is the ultimate arbiter. If I can see the difference in the final work of art, then the difference is meaningful. If I can't, then it may be there but of only academic interest.

Michael
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John Camp
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« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2009, 01:37:38 PM »
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Another consideration:

More and more photographs -- even good photographs -- are "monitor only." Advertising and news people are jamming more and more photographs onto the net...one reason that newspapers are failing. "Wall art" photographs are exceptions, and a tiny percentage of the photography business. That means that we are developing a new monitor-based aesthetic, and somebody, somewhere, should really be working hard on a system to maximize the quality of monitor-based photographs. I think we are not far from the day when most monitors will look like the current Mac cinema displays, and that putting up an 18x24 inch photo will be perfectly feasible. While you can't tell what you need to know about a print photo from looking at a monitor, the reverse may also be true -- that the camera and technique qualities that make a good print may not make a good monitor photo.

More and more top-end fine-art photographers seem to be displaying their photos in back-lit boxes, almost as if they are driving toward monitor displays. The whole aesthetic of internally-lit photos is shifted when the skies can actually be bright, as opposed to light-colored.

I know this isn't what MR is doing, but more and more people are...  

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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2009, 01:58:19 PM »
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Hi,

Monitors are like 2 Mega Pixel devices. So if we shoot for monitors everything will do..., The person behind the lens still matters!

Best regards
Erik


Quote from: John Camp
Another consideration:

More and more photographs -- even good photographs -- are "monitor only." Advertising and news people are jamming more and more photographs onto the net...one reason that newspapers are failing. "Wall art" photographs are exceptions, and a tiny percentage of the photography business. That means that we are developing a new monitor-based aesthetic, and somebody, somewhere, should really be working hard on a system to maximize the quality of monitor-based photographs. I think we are not far from the day when most monitors will look like the current Mac cinema displays, and that putting up an 18x24 inch photo will be perfectly feasible. While you can't tell what you need to know about a print photo from looking at a monitor, the reverse may also be true -- that the camera and technique qualities that make a good print may not make a good monitor photo.

More and more top-end fine-art photographers seem to be displaying their photos in back-lit boxes, almost as if they are driving toward monitor displays. The whole aesthetic of internally-lit photos is shifted when the skies can actually be bright, as opposed to light-colored.

I know this isn't what MR is doing, but more and more people are...
« Last Edit: September 26, 2009, 02:00:58 PM by ErikKaffehr » Logged

Schewe
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« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2009, 02:02:19 PM »
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Quote from: John Camp
Another consideration:

Well, lets see, a P65+ back will give you 60.4 MP and 8976 x 6724 pixels. Currently, my 30" display can show 2560 x 1600 pixels. That means to show my full frame crop on the display I would have to downsample it by 3.5x.

That's the fallacy of that argument...even a 6.3 MP at 3072 x 2048 would need downsampling to display on a 30" display.

Ok, my iPhone at 1.9 MP and 1600 x 1200 pixels would be insufficient. Shucks...I guess I won't be able to get by using my iPhone...

Again, Michael's point is that evaluating an image at 1:1 tells you nothing about what the image will look like printed nor downsampled for display/web use. Image sharpness and noise get substantially impacted by any size interpolation–fact is, downsampling is a great way of reducing noise.

If you have an LCD the adds are you'll be seeing close to 100 PPI. If you print out at 300 PPI, what you are seeing on the display is 3X the size when you look at the image at 100%. If you reduce the image even to 50% the image will be too large on the display and you'll be looking at the image with a low resolution. The only way to truly evaluate an image for print is to print it on the printer and medium you'll be using (with the proper image sharpening of course!)

And, until we get displays in the range of 180-220 PPI, the computer display will simply be a very poor gauge for the detail you'll be able to expect in print. Smaller displays like the iPhone actually do have 180 PPI which makes them look really good. heck, color management is far easier and more advanced than image detail...
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John Camp
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« Reply #10 on: September 26, 2009, 02:14:26 PM »
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Quote from: Schewe
Well, lets see, a P65+ back will give you 60.4 MP and 8976 x 6724 pixels. Currently, my 30" display can show 2560 x 1600 pixels. That means to show my full frame crop on the display I would have to downsample it by 3.5x.

That's the fallacy of that argument...even a 6.3 MP at 3072 x 2048 would need downsampling to display on a 30" display.

YOUR error is to think I'm making an argument. I'm not. I'm describing a situation. A newspaper provides professional journalists with professional editors making carefully judged selections of the important news of the day. They're failing. In the meantime, some blogger who's pulling his opinions out of a place where the sun don't shine, becomes famous. That's a situation, not an argument.

A cell phone won't make the best possible video display shots because the lenses and responses are crappy.
You talk about your P65+, I'd like to see you take your P65+ onto a photo platform in the endzone of a football stadium and zoom from a full view to the player's face down on the field...you can't, because you don't have the $70,000 lens needed to do that.

The point being...maybe you've got the wrong equipment for the developing aesthetic. Maybe you've got the 21st century equivalent of the best glass-plate negative camera after the arrival of film. Maybe what we need are highly refined 4mp cameras that will shoot both video clips and stills with very strong tracking zoom lenses, at ISO104,000, because that's what monitors need. And you don't have one...but you may get one.

JC

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Daniel Browning
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« Reply #11 on: September 26, 2009, 03:03:44 PM »
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I liked the rant, Michael. Thanks for posting it.

"I alternately chuckle and get steamed up when I read someone on a web forum either condemn or praise a camera or lens based on a web images. This is utter nonsense."

Agreed; there are very few lens/camera issues that can be evaluated from such small images: bokeh, distortion, flare, perhaps a few others.
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--Daniel
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« Reply #12 on: September 26, 2009, 03:09:00 PM »
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A refreshing rant and one I entirely agree with. Thanks.

Amusing to see how this is now being debated... chuckle  
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Pete Truman
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« Reply #13 on: September 26, 2009, 03:52:25 PM »
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Quote from: John Camp
A cell phone won't make the best possible video display shots because the lenses and responses are crappy.
You talk about your P65+, I'd like to see you take your P65+ onto a photo platform in the endzone of a football stadium and zoom from a full view to the player's face down on the field...you can't, because you don't have the $70,000 lens needed to do that.

Oddly enough if all you need is a 4"x5" halftone output, the iPhone (if the original is well shot) can produce an image roughly equal to the 60 MP P65+ back. From the end zone, perhaps the optics of the Mamyia 6x4.5 system is limited...could shoot from the sidelines though.

I always get a kick out of photographers talking "video". Different beast, different skill set. You don't shoot video with the expectation of successfully pulling great still frames. Nor can a videographer really appreciate a still, unmoving frame. Two different art forms.
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laughingbear
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« Reply #14 on: September 26, 2009, 05:58:34 PM »
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Greetings from Ireland,

I experience a great deal of frustration in trying to create pictures for web, one reason is that I did not manage to get across the point of "This is how the print will look", at all, and frankly I gave up on it.

I always wondered about Alain's 600 pixel pics and was tempted to believe I need a much bigger size to represent my work, but as a matter of fact, in this case, bigger ain't better.

Someone who has printed himself a lot, well he probably has a better judgement of what this shiteRGB will look like on Hahnemuehle Bamboo ____fill in paper of your choice, but that is only because he has printed himself a lot, which is not true for the average client who will purchase a print of course.

As for stereotype 100% pixel show me your noodle attitudes all over internet foras, well, yeah, it is really amusing isn't it.

I guess the question remains, what can we do to showcase final print quality in better ways with the given technology? Anything at all?

Posting a A4 size demo of a possible 40"x60" print on the same paper probably has more of an impact than anything that even the very best 30" screens can reproduce.

As for pixelpeepers, I suggest a can of Hahnemuehle protective spray to be applied three times, let screen dry for 10 minutes and turn 90 degress before you apply the next layer, onto the 129.99 Dollar wallmart HD ready before judging final sharpening. ....ahem, no offence, just could not resist....
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Steven Draper
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« Reply #15 on: September 26, 2009, 06:35:55 PM »
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It is amazing how many articles appear on this website just as I start to consider the very subject.

Recently an Epson 7900 arrived in my Studio and I have worked very hard on my prints, pushing some 35 mm file (D2x and D700) to twice their previous size (24x16 being the largest I've gone so far.) The results have made me very happy and are a step or two up from the B9180 (for my eyes anyway)

But onto the topic. Last weekend I was part of a studio tour in Prince Edward County, Ontario with many people visiting my studio and viewing my prints. They were absolutely amazed when I showed them 100% crops on my screen and then the print, they could not believe how ugly 100% screen crops can look. Some folks did pixel peep the prints, (and gave good comments) but most just let themselves become immersed in the experience of viewing reasonable sized prints. No-one said that is a B9180 print and that one an Epson, although the size generally would give them away.

And for that very reason I am about to revamp my websites and remove my art most of my art images and produce just an online catalogue, leaving my website for my commercial work, much of which is destined for the web anyway.


Steven





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image examples are at my website  stevendraperphotography.com   and Polepics is      "Here"
feppe
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« Reply #16 on: September 26, 2009, 07:08:39 PM »
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While I agree fully with Michael's point, it misses the much more important rant: what on earth is the point of 10+ megapixel point&shoot cameras, 20+ megapixel dSLRs and 50+ megapixel MFDBs when 99.999999% of all photography is only ever seen on the screen? I'm fully aware LL is in large part for and of fine art photographers, but out in the real world people don't do prints beyond a 4x5 (that's inches, not feet). And that's a dying art as well. Even those who hang pictures are moving towards digital picture frames. Printed magazines are going extinct, and Kindle 5, Sony Reader 7 or disposable digital paper will kill the last few which remain. A slow, painful uncalibrated 72 dpi sRGB screen at a time.

Sure, we'll have affordable and large 300dpi screens eventually. Then again, current trend seems to be pushing video and 3D stills rather than screen resolution, so the 5DII and P65 owners might be out of luck for quite a while.

Now, I have a 80cmx80cm MF shot I made on my wall and will have more after I move, and like a good print as much as most others here. I even go to exhibitions. But I and especially the average LL forumite is hardly the standard, even in the industry. Just how many photographers get their living from prints, and how many of those out of prints larger than a magazine spread? 20%? 10%? 1?

It's not only us, though. Canon, Nikon, Sony, Hasselblad, Phase, etc. need to wake up. I've ranted elsewhere about the lack of innovation in the industry which I won't rehash here.

My point here is that what you can show on the web is all that matters in 99.99999% of the cases. If you can't produce work which looks stellar on a 72dpi screen, you're shit. Unfortunately the photographer has almost zero control of how their work is seen on an uncalibrated 5-year-old LCD through color mismanaged Internet Explorer. I presume that's why we have so many ghastly HDR, prickly oversharpened, surypy oversaturated, morbid draganized, overvibranciated and too much frigging local contrast enhancement*, making your average day even on most fine art sites like a nightmarish stroll through a kitschy version of Alice In Wonderland - but perhaps I give too much credit to the photographers thinking it's not their fault.

For photographers this means that we should urge hardware manufacturers and software developers to move to aRGB (or wider) color standard, make monitors and cameras factory-calibrated and "good enough" (no one calibrates outside this audience), create fully color-aware workflows which don't require an IT degree to implement, and write web browsers which consistently, correctly and by default use color profiles. I know these are mostly pie-in-the-sky dreams, but I'd much rather have companies spend my investments on those, rather than putting frigging microprisms or goddamn AA filters on my frigging cameras.

Ooh, it feels good, ranting.

* I swear if Lightroom made Clarity scale go to 11 people would still ask for 12. And yes, I know it goes to 100.
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AJSJones
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« Reply #17 on: September 26, 2009, 07:20:29 PM »
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"I would feel less riled up about this if it wasn't for the fact that I encounter people almost daily that come to my gallery and say, "I can't believe how different your images look in prints to how they look on your web site." It's almost as if these folks are reading from the same script. Talking to other photographers who both show their work online and then in large prints, I hear the same thing; how people can't believe the differences. In fact I know quite a few widely exhibited fine art photographers who refuse to show their images online because they feel that this misrepresents how their work should be seen."

Boom goes the petard indeed!

Surely these folks are expressing their surprise/frustration with small monitor images and their inability to represent the print, just like you and other respondents.  It's no different than trying to put together on on-line catalog for e.g., a painting exhibition, is it?  Why would one be surprised that the real thing is so different from the small thingy in the brochure?  So the reaction is to replace them with, what, names?  Is that an improvement?   "Hi I'm a photographer - here's my website: a text file of my titles and word descriptions of the images"  Of course the fine art photographer's work is meant to be seen as prints, but it doesn't exist if people don't know about it - and if it's not on the internet then a lot of people just won't know about it - whether we like that situation or not.  I don't understand the rile factor here:  If they are fine art photographers (or aspire to be) and have made large prints themselves, they'll already know the deal.  If they're not and they're unfamiliar with large prints, such as yours, they'll be pleasantly surprised and, thankfully, a bit more educated at the same time. They might also spread the word by mouth (or text message  )


Assessing the performance of a Leica from an 800 pixel image and concluding that "of course the latest FlipHD just blows it away - it goes up to 11" is just lack of education and surely just generates chuckles.  The huge teaching component of your website reveals your desire to educate, so I'm a touch surprised at the "steaming up" due to reactions and comments of the (as yet) uneducated.

I hope your rant provided some relief.
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David Sutton
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« Reply #18 on: September 26, 2009, 08:38:41 PM »
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Resolution, gamut, dynamic range. Pick any two.
For many of us that's the choice. And for web presentation it gets worse. All that has ever interested me is printing, and I have never gotten used to seeing what happens to an image when posted. Sometimes I sit here looking at images on screen and wonder what they really look like.
What is more interesting, however, is that there doesn't seem to be much discussion on the aesthetics of images seen with transmitted light. It is not as if it is anything new. After all, we have a millennium of stained glass. There is a rich tradition of story telling and pictorial styles here. What puzzles me is why I prefer not to view photos on a screen or digitally projected. Is it the refresh rate? Is it the limited viewing angle? I suspect that what is missing is the tactile pleasure of walking from one image to the next and back again. Being shown one image at a time on one or two screens is not the same. A slide show is venturing more into the realm of the aesthetics of cinema. The decision over what to look at and when is passed over to someone else. I want to get off my bum and move around. Switch the light on and off. Talk about it. Close and open the curtains. I enjoy the experience of using my whole body to view an exhibition or even a single photograph on a wall.
Also there is some educating to be done. Few people expect an on-line catalogue of paintings to look like the real thing. But many people have not experienced a real print. It's like taking someone who's only ever watched television to a wide-screen cinema.
My 2 cents worth, David
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DaveCurtis
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« Reply #19 on: September 26, 2009, 08:52:04 PM »
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Interesting rant and a rant I fully agree with.

This afternoon I've just sold several fine art prints printed on A2 Iford GFS printed with my 3800.

My client said "wow they don't look like that on the web. Look at all that detail ..."  

To me at least, the final print is what it is all about. As a medium small web sRGBs images  are completely different to large well printed print.




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