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Author Topic: Merely Pretty?  (Read 3918 times)
RSL
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« on: January 03, 2013, 09:03:36 AM »
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.
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2013, 09:27:25 AM »
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The scene? Yes.

 The photograph? Hmmm...
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Slobodan

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amolitor
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« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2013, 09:45:05 AM »
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Mostly pretty, I think.

There's a little something going on for me between the silvery moss center/right and the green+brown palm frondish foliage left, though.
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2013, 10:03:39 AM »
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Yes.

I hope you get back in the street soon.
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stamper
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« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2013, 10:08:46 AM »
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I think this is pretty but possibly over sharpened? I have looked at it twice and it sort of grows on you. There isn't anything wrong in branching out as long as you don't get in over your head. Wink
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Chris Calohan
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« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2013, 12:00:58 PM »
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Scary thought...editing one of Russ's images... Smiley

Slight CC rotation and a 16:9 pano crop and a slight density adjustment.

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WalterEG
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« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2013, 01:58:09 PM »
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It is a pleasant enough shot but "pretty" is not a word that springs to mind.  I don't say this to get bogged down in a debate about semantics, but it has commendable qualities other than "pretty" for me.

Cheers,

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RobbieV
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« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2013, 04:57:17 PM »
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It's a place I'd rather be. But, it doesn't really have any points of interest for me (be it light or subject).
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kikashi
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« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2013, 02:54:21 AM »
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Oxymoron, Russ. There's nothing "mere" about "pretty" - when applied to scenery, anyway.

Jeremy
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Steve Weldon
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« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2013, 03:44:09 AM »
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I think this is pretty but possibly over sharpened? I have looked at it twice and it sort of grows on you. There isn't anything wrong in branching out as long as you don't get in over your head. Wink
+1  The scene itself has a lot of potential for interesting work and it appears some type of detail enhancer was used.. and while I can't pinpoint what's "wrong" with it's use, my best guess would be using a detail enhancer on an already highly detailed subject.
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RSL
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« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2013, 06:34:41 AM »
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Actually, Steve, the "detail enhancer" was a D800. I used minimal sharpening on this picture. Conversion to jpeg always increases the illusion of oversharpening.
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fike
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« Reply #11 on: January 04, 2013, 07:00:27 AM »
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Actually, Steve, the "detail enhancer" was a D800. I used minimal sharpening on this picture. Conversion to jpeg always increases the illusion of oversharpening.

Sorry to be nitpicky....but...if you convert to jpg and it LOOKS oversharpened then it IS oversharpened.  Sharpening for online viewing is not the same as print sharpening where on-screen display is sometimes a bit crunchy looking.  This one is a bit digital looking...crunchy in my opinion.

As for the image.  I think we are beating a dead horse.  Reshoot with more interesting light.  There might be something here, but it wasn't captured on that day with that composition.  Different cropping and levels adjustments are unlikely to change that fact. 
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Fike, Trailpixie, or Marc Shaffer
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RSL
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« Reply #12 on: January 04, 2013, 07:52:22 AM »
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Hi Marc, guess you haven't read the commentaries I've posted on sharpening for printing versus monitor display. Believe me, the only sharpening this picture had was capture sharpening. Unless they've been working with high-resolution MF, people aren't used to the results you get from the D800. And jpeg conversion from raw definitely adds "crunchiness" to any picture. But "different cropping and levels adjustments" almost never improve any picture -- good or bad, as Chris so convincingly demonstrated in this very thread. As far as the light is concerned, you might want to try calibrating your monitor and see if that improves things.

Sorry you didn't like the image. I'm never big on pictures that are, as I put it, "merely pretty," and this one almost falls into that category. But I'm almost where Walter was with his comment. There's something here beyond pretty I can't quite put my finger on.
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« Reply #13 on: January 04, 2013, 10:00:17 AM »
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Interesting that you say the D800 looks oversharp when viewed on screen.  I have found that the OM-D sometimes doesn't need sharpening, just downsampling, to get a sharp output for on screen display.  If the D800 is oversharp for online viewing, is anyone doing output blurring?  I know that sounds crazy, but if it looks oversharp, that means it is TOO sharp and needs to be softened a bit.

I guess we have discovered that sometimes you can have too much of a good thing.
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Fike, Trailpixie, or Marc Shaffer
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« Reply #14 on: January 04, 2013, 10:17:20 AM »
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Proper down-sampling includes blurring, in fact. You have to low-pass filter the high res file down to the appropriate spatial frequencies, otherwise you get aliasing and other nastiness. I'm more of an audio guy, where this would be unthinkable, but I have the impression that a surprising number of photo editing applications don't do this by default.

They may have a thing called "smart resize" or something, as opposed to "correctly implemented resize that doesn't produce grotesque artifacts".
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Chris Calohan
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« Reply #15 on: January 04, 2013, 11:29:58 AM »
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Hi Marc, guess you haven't read the commentaries I've posted on sharpening for printing versus monitor display. Believe me, the only sharpening this picture had was capture sharpening. Unless they've been working with high-resolution MF, people aren't used to the results you get from the D800. And jpeg conversion from raw definitely adds "crunchiness" to any picture. But "different cropping and levels adjustments" almost never improve any picture -- good or bad, as Chris so convincingly demonstrated in this very thread. As far as the light is concerned, you might want to try calibrating your monitor and see if that improves things.

Sorry you didn't like the image. I'm never big on pictures that are, as I put it, "merely pretty," and this one almost falls into that category. But I'm almost where Walter was with his comment. There's something here beyond pretty I can't quite put my finger on.


As per usual, the translation didn't go as edited...sometimes this forum is so weird. As to the crop, I didn't like the silly tiki torch on the right and the horizon was a tad off kilter. i fixed it. Shoot me. As to density...8% gray boost. Almost negligible. I guess it depends on the screen. I set the comp on an 18% gray.

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RSL
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« Reply #16 on: January 04, 2013, 01:45:51 PM »
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Hi Chris, Well, the torch didn't bother me at first, but now that you've mentioned it, every time I come back to the pic it bothers me. So here's my solution. No need to damage the picture with a crop.

Marc, I didn't say that the D800 looks oversharp when viewed on the screen. What I said is that people aren't used to the results you get from the D800. One result people aren't used to is the incredible color rendition, which tends to make the output look sharper than, say, the output I get from my D3. As I said, you might want to try calibrating your monitor. On my own calibrated top-of-the line Dell Ultra-Sharp I don't see any sign of oversharpening. I do see some small and annoying artifacts caused by converting to jpeg. You'll have to take my word for it that there's no sign of over-sharpning in the 4912 x 7360 pixel PSD version. There is a tiny bit of noise since the shot was made at ISO 1200.

But none of this technical crap deals with my original question. I see far too many people shooting things that are pretty simply because they're pretty. I do it too, but I don't keep the results and I certainly don't post the results. This one stopped me because there seemed to be something there beyond pretty, though I couldn't, and still can't, get a grip on it. It may be something that appeals only to me because of some experience way back there that I've forgotten. That's why I asked the question.
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Steve Weldon
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« Reply #17 on: January 04, 2013, 03:40:19 PM »
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Actually, Steve, the "detail enhancer" was a D800. I used minimal sharpening on this picture. Conversion to jpeg always increases the illusion of oversharpening.
Interesting bit of topic we're getting into.  I don't shoot D800's personally, but I have hundreds of D800(E) files in my archives taken with students cameras and I've never noticed this before.  I went back and looked for such instances of enhanced detail with the few hundred I do have and couldn't find any.. but unless otherwise requested I teach/shoot RAW images.  But I can't be sure from what you said if you mean you're letting the camera convert your jpegs, or you're doing it via LR or ACR or C1 or some other RAW converter?

"illusion of over sharpening"  In my mind if something appears over sharpened then it is indeed for practical purposes, over sharpened.  But detail enhancers are different.  They earn their keep not only through traditional sharpening methods, but different plays on micro-contrast and more I can't easily identify.   Any insight on this you could provide would certainly increase my knowledge of the subject.

Thank you.
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Steve Weldon
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« Reply #18 on: January 04, 2013, 03:43:41 PM »
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Interesting that you say the D800 looks oversharp when viewed on screen.  I have found that the OM-D sometimes doesn't need sharpening, just downsampling, to get a sharp output for on screen display.  If the D800 is oversharp for online viewing, is anyone doing output blurring?  I know that sounds crazy, but if it looks oversharp, that means it is TOO sharp and needs to be softened a bit.

I guess we have discovered that sometimes you can have too much of a good thing.
Right.. "sharpening" in my mind merely compensates for the AA filter.  Any more than that and we're into the realm of the trendy "detail enhancing" for lack of better terminolgy.  If we have a very weak or no AA, then over sharpened images look over sharpened.  I mean in that it's obvious through halos and the such.
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RSL
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« Reply #19 on: January 04, 2013, 04:14:01 PM »
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Hi Steve, Looks as if this whole thing is getting out of hand. Conversion to jpeg introduces small artifacts that sometimes make a picture that's very sharp look over-sharpened.

If you can't see enhanced detail in a D800 picture, either the student who shot the picture used a sub-optimal technique or a sub-optimal lens, or you're looking at a picture that's been degraded in some way after the shot was made. On the face of it, with 36.3 megapixels the D800 simply produces more detail, but in addition to that you gain at least an additional stop of dynamic range, and the ability of the camera to reproduce color is phenomenal. On the other hand, the camera is pretty fussy about the lenses you use with it. A crappy lens on the D800 is going to show its flaws immediately. If your students are using glass that's less than top-of-the-line you probably won't see a difference.

I'm converting to jpeg in Photoshop CS6. But it doesn't really matter what you use for the conversion. The conversion algorithm developed by the Joint Photographic Experts Group is the same no matter what software you hook on to it.

Yes, if something appears over-sharpened it's over-sharpened. But as I said, on my monitor it's not over-sharpened. Maybe on yours it is. As they used to say in Vietnam, "Sorry about that."
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