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Author Topic: Software for Slideshows  (Read 21902 times)
Jim Pascoe
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« on: February 25, 2010, 05:51:14 AM »
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The club I am a member of run regular digital projection competitions both in-house and inter-club.  I have been running these for the last two years and have been using Lightroom as the software.  This is great because I am very familiar with it and so can run the evening fairly seamlessly!

However I do seem to have read somewhere recently that Lightroom is not really suitable for this in a critical competition as it may re-size images.  We ask for submissions to be 1400x1050 pixels, either TIFF or JPEG, and in the sRGB colour space.  The projector is a Canon SX60.  We have had some issues with colours, particularly with over saturation at times, and contrast.  We did try profiling it once, but have decided to try to get together again one evening and try to set up the projector and re-calibrate it (we do have an eye-one device).  Of course for competitions it is desirable that the pictures are viewed exactly as they have been presented to us, and that as far as possible the software and projector play no part in the picture quality.

My general experience is that the quality of pictures submitted is the biggest problem (over-saturated, over-sharpened, over-worked!)  But I do want to be beyond reproach with other peoples pictures.

Does anyone here have experience of these issues, and can you comment on the suitability of Lightroom for this application.

Many thanks

Jim
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Jeremy Payne
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« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2010, 07:15:44 AM »
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If everyone submits the same thing, does it matter what LR does as long as it does the same thing to the same thing?
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Jim Pascoe
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« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2010, 11:33:45 AM »
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You would think not, but club federations have rules, and I did see that Lightroom was deemed unsuitable for some technical reason.  I will see if I can find the relevant ruling!
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Jeremy Payne
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« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2010, 11:46:00 AM »
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Quote from: Jim Pascoe
the software and projector play no part in the picture quality
If you use a computer and a projector ... then ... the software and the projector used will inevitably play a role in the final image quality.

... but if everyone has to play on the same field, I don't see the issue.
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DavidJ
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« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2010, 11:57:05 AM »
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Hi Jim, We similarly have been using the SX60 in our camera club. We have found that having it profiled is important, native it was too bright, blowing out highlights and tended to introduce a reddish cast. The club has a Color Monkey and this is what we have used to do the calibration.

Lightroom uses prophoto as its colour space and this could be a problem. We ask that images submitted for projection are in sRGB and sized 1400 by 1050 pixels. We have ACDsee on the club lap top and this is what we use to project images as it is profile aware. I have also found that using the windows viewer has been OK. When the opportunity comes I will try a comparison of the projected images using Lightroom and the others and see what the difference is. Our laptop is a windows machine so the images on the laptop screen look dreadful when the profile for the projector is active.

The projector is pretty ruthless in showing up images that are over sharpened!  

David

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David Allen
Jeremy Payne
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« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2010, 12:30:24 PM »
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Quote from: DavidJ
Lightroom uses prophoto as its colour space and this could be a problem.

Can you explain why you think this would be a problem?  

(hint: it isn't)

Bottom-line ... you HAVE to calibrate the projector to have any chance at all of presenting what people intended to be seen in their files (assuming they worked in a color-managed workflow to begin with).

I'm not sure why Lightroom wouldn't qualify to project the images and would be curious to hear the club's thinking on that.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2010, 12:33:06 PM by Jeremy Payne » Logged
Jim Pascoe
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« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2010, 02:07:25 PM »
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Quote from: Jeremy Payne
If you use a computer and a projector ... then ... the software and the projector used will inevitably play a role in the final image quality.

... but if everyone has to play on the same field, I don't see the issue.

Jeremy.  Thank you for your input, but I did say as "...as far as possible.... play no part in the picture quality".  Perhaps I should have said, "... have no visible effect on picture quality".  I appreciate that's an ideal and of course I would like my pictures to appear the same on the projector screen as they do on my calibrated monitor.  Also, you may have hit the nail on the head when you say "assuming they work in a colour managed workflow".  Lots don't, but that is out of my control.

David.

Thank you for your thoughts as well.  The club laptop is a PC so I might try Windows viewer and compare it to Lightroom.  Just had a look at the Southern Fed website and I see that they 'suggest' not using applications such as Lightroom.

Jim
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Jeremy Payne
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« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2010, 02:23:30 PM »
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Quote from: Jim Pascoe
Windows viewer

The Windows picture viewer is not ICC-profile aware, so that's no good ...

You need a color-managed app ... Lightroom is ... I'm still not sure where Lightroom is letting you down.

Given that the projector and many of the editing stations are not color-managed, that's where I'd start - I don't think Lightroom is your problem.
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Gordon Buck
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« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2010, 07:23:48 PM »
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Some years ago, our camera club http://www.laphotosociety.com/  settled on Irfanview http://www.irfanview.com/ as our slide show software.  Our website shows our rules and guidelines which are generally the same as our regional organization, Gulf States Camera Club Council, http://www.gulfstatesccc.org/

We project at 1024 x 768 in sRGB using a calibrated laptop and projector but I don't know the details of the calibration.
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keithrsmith
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« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2010, 02:24:36 AM »
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My club also uses an SX 60.    Profiling is essential of course.

Initially we used Faststone as our viewing software, using a dual screen, and this worked well.  We had the control screen for the operator and kept the scores by simply moving each image into a subfolder by score ( 5, 5.5,6 etc.).  This woked well for the simple club competitions, but doesn't cope with interclub properly.

After some investigation we went for Dicentra ( http://www.wilburimaging.com/wisoftware/DiCentra.htm#OrgComp ), which keeps score, generates reports etc.

At first we allowed users to sumbit either JPG or TIFF images, but hit a problem.  We got TIFF files that either contained layer, or were 16 bit (or both) and the simpler software can't cope with these, so we have changed to just JPG - suggesting minimum compression - and we see no issues with this.  We still have issues with members not being able to resize their images properly, sharpening , getting their borders right etc. Photoshop is a real challenge to some. Gone are the days when they could just shoot slides, get someone else to process them and just submit them for competition - usually without masking them, straightening the horizon , or I swear, sometimes even looking at them.

There are problems however.
Digital projection is not perfect, and unlike with slides , few members have their own projector so they can't see what their image will look llike on the screen.
Blown highlights are a problem.  sometimes shadow detail gets lost.  The viewing conditions cannot be predicted - some venues can't get a good blackout - emergency exit sign light are our main problem.

Keith
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Jonathan Ratzlaff
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« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2010, 12:51:37 AM »
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Our photo club has been projecting images digitally for years since about 2004.  The biggest issue with calibrating projectors is that the light conditions in the room you are projecting have to stay constant for the calibration to work.  You also need to ensure that the projector is in the right mode; some modes wash out highlights and are unsuitable for projecting images.  

The main issue is getting club members to make sure their images are properly exposed and sharpened.  This was a big problem at first but because of how long we have been doing it there is less of a problem now.  We used to send out  step wedges and calibration images the premise being if you can get them to look reasonable on your machine at home, you should be able to get your images to look reasonable as well.

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Ray R
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« Reply #11 on: March 16, 2010, 07:33:52 AM »
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I think our club use this  http://www.photocompsoftware.com/ which was/is written by one of our past members - it handles jpegs and TIFFs, and is designed to enter scores as you go and show he winng entries etc.

We had the same problems with displaying entries, and have purchased either the Canon SX70 or SX 60.

As yet we have not calibrated the system, but we have had instuction on preparing the image for digital projection and also the club own a spyder for members to calibrate their systems - which seem to have helped improve the quality of the images submitted.
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mauricefh
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« Reply #12 on: March 05, 2011, 10:47:19 AM »
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Only just seen your post - but not important because I have only just completed my software program (PC) to run projection competitions.

If you are still engaged in this area I would be please for you to install and run my program.
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