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Thread: Aaarrrghh!!

  1. #1
    Andrew76's Avatar
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    Aaarrrghh!!

    I am soooooo frustrated. Like sooooo frustrated you wouldn't believe it.

    I feel like I've been doing this for long enough that this shouldn't be an issue, and that I should have the answer to this question myself - I feel like a fool for even asking, which makes my frustration even worse.

    My photos (some of them of course) look FANTASTIC when I'm editing them in LR or PS. The one of the thistle that I just posted (post titled "For my Scottish Friends"), is so clear and sharp, that it amazed me - it's one of the sharpest shots I've taken with my macro lens. Then, I convert it to a jpeg so I can post it here, and the posted photo looks like total garbage. And that's putting it nicely. I see noise, I see grain. Just terrible. I thought I was beyond these issues.

    Is this a profiling issue - from my conversion process? I've actually lost sleep over this, and the photo of the thistle that I posted earlier today was the last straw. I'm not a computer guru, but I do understand enough to know that something is not right.

    Please help me.

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    Re: Aaarrrghh!!

    Andrew without knowing your process it's hard to comment however here are a couple of thoughts.

    When I produce a jpeg, I resize the image down to what I want (say 1500 pixels wide), apply modest sharpening (Smart Sharpen Filter about 30% at 0.3 pixel radius, then save as jpeg with Quality set to give a file size of about 500KB. This works well for me. Perhaps if you are over-sharpening at this point it may accentuate the noise ?

    I had a look at your thistle image and can see the noise you mention. I've had this sort of thing before and achieved much better results by backing off the Detail setting in the ACR Sharpening and Noise reduction tab. The default seems too be 25 but I usually back this off to about 15. I also apply a little Luminance Noise reduction (about 20%). This affects the "master image" in PS as well as the jpeg of course but if you can get this noise as low as possible, it reduces the effect of noise being accentuated by subsequent sharpening in the pp process.

    Dave

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    Re: Aaarrrghh!!

    Thanks for the reply Dave. I should have been more specific I guess. I use LR4 for about 90% of my quick edits, right from RAW. I do everything I feel I need, and then I hit "Export". That's about it. I try to keep the image quality to 100%, and only re-size if necessary.

    I'll give your advice a try, and see what happens. Thanks again.

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    dje's Avatar
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    Re: Aaarrrghh!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew76 View Post
    Thanks for the reply Dave. I should have been more specific I guess. I use LR4 for about 90% of my quick edits, right from RAW. I do everything I feel I need, and then I hit "Export". That's about it. I try to keep the image quality to 100%, and only re-size if necessary.

    I'll give your advice a try, and see what happens. Thanks again.
    Andrew I don't use Lightroom but I do believe a lot of it's adjustments are similar to ACR. The reason I down-size the image for the web is that if you dont, the "web" will do it for you ( usually the loading software) - and I would rather have that under my control.

    Dave

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    Re: Aaarrrghh!!

    Maybe that's part of my problem? I've been keeping the images at about 5MB thinking that was the better idea. Maybe Tinypic is taking some creative control... OK - well that's a good place to start. Thanks very much Dave, my blood pressure is starting to resemble that of a human again.

  6. #6
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    Re: Aaarrrghh!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew76 View Post
    Maybe that's part of my problem? I've been keeping the images at about 5MB thinking that was the better idea. Maybe Tinypic is taking some creative control... OK - well that's a good place to start. Thanks very much Dave, my blood pressure is starting to resemble that of a human again.
    Andrew I doubt that this downsizing issue is the cause of your noise problem but it could affect the general quality of your images when viewed on the web.

    Dave

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    Re: Aaarrrghh!!

    I agree. Now just to find out about the noise.

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    Re: Aaarrrghh!!

    Andrew,

    I am really puzzled. Virtually everything I put on the web I export directly from lightroom. For Flicker, I resize to a max of 1000 pixels. For other things, I don't resize at all. I post to smugmug and let their software deal with sizing, and I link from there to other sites, such as this one. Using those two techniques, I have never gotten a result like your thistle.

    Can you post a screenshot of your export settings?

    Dan

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    Re: Aaarrrghh!!

    Sure! How do I do that?? I'm starting to think it isn't a re-sizing issue. But, I'm open to try anything, and, I've always wanted to learn how to take a 'screen shot'!!

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    Re: Aaarrrghh!!

    To create a sreenshot, look on your keyboard for "PrtScn" or something similar. (It will be accessed differently depending on the keyboard.) Once you use that function, the image is automatically placed in the clipboard. You can then perhaps paste it into your editor's window or maybe your editor provides the option to open an image that is stored in the clipboard. Once displayed in your editor, you can crop it and save it to your hard drive.

    If you are using Windows 7, the easiest method at least for me is to use the Clipping Tool. It allows you to crop the portion of the screen that you want to capture. You then save it to your hard drive with no need to use an image editor.

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    Stagecoach's Avatar
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    Re: Aaarrrghh!!

    Hi Andrew, I had a look at the shot you refer to and note is was taken at ISO 1600 so possibly reasonable noise to start with. Was it cropped ?

    Grahame

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    Re: Aaarrrghh!!

    Andrew,
    I'm not cleaver enough to explain why this is happening but I tried using 'Neat' noise reduction plug-in for Elements 9 and this is the result. Be interested to here what you think.
    BTW I love the shot.

    Original
    Aaarrrghh!!

    Noise reduced
    Aaarrrghh!!

  13. #13
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    Re: Aaarrrghh!!

    Hey Grahame - thanks for looking - the image was almost not cropped at all. And, a 60D should be able to handle ISO 1600. The interesting part is that when I'm viewing them in LR, they look tack sharp - and I'm not tooting my horn, that one of the thistle is probably one of the sharpest shots I've taken - top 20 for sure.

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    Re: Aaarrrghh!!

    Hey John, thanks for the reply - I don't see the shot though..... Still even if it worked using the noise reduction, it's not making sense why it's sharp in one software program, and the only thing that's happening is the export process - then they look like crap on this site.

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    Re: Aaarrrghh!!

    See John, your 'noise - reduced' shot looks almost exactly how my shot looks when I'm viewing it in LR. Then, the magic noise fairies, who work in coohootz with the internet deities, that I've apparently upset come along and ruin my shots!

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    Re: Aaarrrghh!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew76 View Post
    Hey John, thanks for the reply - I don't see the shot though..... Still even if it worked using the noise reduction, it's not making sense why it's sharp in one software program, and the only thing that's happening is the export process - then they look like crap on this site.
    Andrew,
    I agree, when you have such sharp pictures it must be extremely annoying. As I said I do not have the knowledge to explain this but would guess; like you, the export process in your software is causing the problem. I wish you luck on finding the answer.

  17. #17
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    Re: Aaarrrghh!!

    Hi Andrew, I'm not conversant with the 60D or LR but from what you say it's almost certainly a conversion/upload problem. The uploaded pic is certainly not good.

    Last week I posted my first photo here as an upload test and as a macro shooter looking for high IQ was very pleased with the result, e.g. the uploaded result was as it had been on my monitor (as near as I can see).
    My process was as follows;

    a) ACR for minor exposure, sharpening and noise reduction.
    b) Opened in PSE7 and resized for this site using bicubic sharpen.
    c) Minor final sharpening undertaken and then saved as jpg at a file size of approx 150K.
    d) Uploaded using the Tinypic method.

    May be an idea to undertake a test here using the same image, with different resizings before uploading.

    Grahame

  18. #18
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    Re: Aaarrrghh!!

    Thanks John, I appreciate yours, and everyone's help to help me work through this.

    PS - the images look fine when opened in Windows Media Viewer too, if that helps anyone out? I just tried it, and they look the same in the Windows program as they do in LR.

  19. #19
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    Re: Aaarrrghh!!

    Aaarrrghh!!

    This one is the exact same image - resized to maximum 500kb. Let's see.

  20. #20
    Andrew76's Avatar
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    Re: Aaarrrghh!!

    Hmmm, I think it's actually better - does this mean that Tinypic is making my high res images look like crap?

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