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Thread: I don't know what else to do...

  1. #1
    sambam's Avatar
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    I don't know what else to do...

    Everyone is saying how my photos are not turning out well, look pixilated and don't look good when I post them. But when I look at them on my laptop they look fine, great even. Not pixelated and naturally sharp. As soon as I post them though, something happens. I am shooting in RAW and I don't sharpen (sometimes just a wee bit but barely any). I don't know what to do! Is it tiny pics, because it's not my photos. What am I doing wrong?!!?????

  2. #2

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    Re: I don't know what else to do...

    Sam: Have not seen your images until, went and searched for them. As you have a low number of posts, please bear with me. Before you post are you saving as a jpeg? what is the image size (no longer than 1600 pix)? What is the PPI (should be around 71 to 100) ? if you are trying to upload a large file ot maybe a raw file the hosting site will strip it down to a workable size, These items cam be set in (with Photoshop) image>image size. Maybe repost one of the images along with those numbers. It is worth a try what can you lose?

    Cheers:

    Allan

  3. #3
    Andrew76's Avatar
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    Re: I don't know what else to do...

    Sam, please take a look at my response in your thread "The First Step". See if that helps.

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    Re: I don't know what else to do...

    even if you are shooting raw, you can't be posting raw. You have to convert to another format, usually JPEG, to post. So I would look at how you are exporting or saving images for posting--not just size, but jpeg quality. If you use a reasonably high quality setting and a long dimension of around 1000 px, you should not get pixelation.

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    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: I don't know what else to do...

    Sam - how are you converting your raw images to a format that you are posting and what host are you using to post?

    The pixelation I am seeing really reminds me of very early 8-bit (VGA) colours. If you are shooting raw, something strange is happening as you are posting the images. The level of compression just seems way too high. Your camera has a 10 MB sensor, yet the posted images are in the 2K range and really blocky to boot. If we can get that solved, we can start doing some analysis of your work.
    Last edited by GrumpyDiver; 30th January 2013 at 11:14 PM.

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: I don't know what else to do...

    Sam,

    When you downsize, change the Units to Pixels, don't use "%", inches, mm or cm.
    If you do as I suggest, you just don't need to worry about PPI.

    When you Save As a jpg, a dialog (pop up) box usually appears to ask you what quality you want - when you get this, you should be using a quality of 9, if on a scale of 1 to 12 (as it is in Elements). Or 75 - 80% if it is a percentage scale.

    Hope that helps,

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    Lon Howard's Avatar
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    Re: I don't know what else to do...

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post
    Sam,
    When you Save As a jpg, a dialog (pop up) box usually appears to ask you what quality you want - when you get this, you should be using a quality of 9, if on a scale of 1 to 12 (as it is in Elements). Or 75 - 80% if it is a percentage scale.
    Hi Dave; just a question about saving the jpeg. If your image size in pixels and your file size when uploaded are within the recommended limits, why wouldn't you save the jpeg in the highest quality possible? Thanks,

    Lon

  8. #8
    sambam's Avatar
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    Re: I don't know what else to do...

    Another question Dave: if I save it as a higher quality would it take more space on my computer?

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    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: I don't know what else to do...

    Quote Originally Posted by sambam View Post
    Another question Dave: if I save it as a higher quality would it take more space on my computer?
    I expect Dave (located in the UK) is likely asleep by now.

    I will always save the ORIGINAL image at the highest quality level possible. I will also save any edited file (I usually use Photoshop) files as well to save the work I've done. If I save an image at a reduced size for uploading to a website, I will often downsample and delete the file after it has been uploaded, as it is easy to redo the process if I have to.

    You should always keep the original at as high a quality level as possible, as you can always decrease quality as required. Once you have reduced the quality level, you can never get it back, because you have thrown the data away. Yes, it does take up more space on your computer.

  10. #10
    Lon Howard's Avatar
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    Re: I don't know what else to do...

    Well, at least Sam will get the picture that everyone does it their own way ... but to put my question to Dave in complete perspective: I have two versions of every image in Bridge. One version is the converted raw image (which can be returned to the unprocessed raw capture if desired), and the other is the fully edited file in psd format. I don't keep any jpegs anywhere so it will be impossible for me to re-save a jpeg ... possible overkill but I'm comfortable with it. Even my old jpeg captures are converted to psd files.

    Then, when I need to output to anywhere (CiC, SmugMug, local camera club site, email etc.), I take the psd file and resize it so that it will fall within whatever limits (pixels, file size) are stipulated. I should point out that each site it's going to has it's own rules so each resize action is different. Then I re-sharpen and save it as a jpeg in the highest quality. Then it goes to where ever I want, and I trash the jpeg file right away so that it can't confuse me or bite me later. I've been pretty happy with the results I've had with it.

    I have actions for all of that so it's not that much work (or so it seems). It just seems to me that there should be no reason or benefit to save the jpeg in anything but the highest quality, if the image size and file size both 'pass muster.'

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    Re: I don't know what else to do...

    Quote Originally Posted by Lon Howard View Post
    I have actions for all of that so it's not that much work (or so it seems). It just seems to me that there should be no reason or benefit to save the jpeg in anything but the highest quality, if the image size and file size both 'pass muster.'
    There's one reason not to use the absolute highest quality JPEG for a final image, and that's file size: the final file size increases
    (rather a lot) with quality level, but visible image quality doesn't for the highest few steps.

    Some here did tests and couldn't see any quality difference between settings 10 and 12 (in photoshop), but the files at setting 12
    were a lot bigger. And I've seen the same effect in GIMP, where there's no visible difference between say 90% and 100% quality.

    And it's always interesting to have your files as small as possible when it's for web use (faster uploading, and faster downloading
    for your viewers, who might have to download 10 or more images at a time, e.g. mini competitions)

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    Re: I don't know what else to do...

    Now something for Sam

    In your first images, there were two problems: noise and banding. Noise is a problem at high ISO settings or when
    increasing exposure in post-production (or rather, lightening an under exposed image). If you go too far in that,
    you also get banding (zones of different tones where you should get a smooth gradient). Both are due to
    under-exposure when taking the picture.
    There's still noise, but compared to your first posts, there's a lot of improvement (the banding is gone, for instance).
    And as has been said, noise is inevitable in low light conditions.

    One thing that makes it difficult for us to see improvements, is that you try new things on different pictures. If you
    want to see how to get the best result in post processing, I suggest to take one image and use that for your tests.

    Could you describe how you process your images (from Raw to jpeg)? That could also give some hints about where
    to improve/modify.

    And you could try bracketing next time you go for a shoot (see my answer in thread 'new ballet').

  13. #13
    Gospelflier's Avatar
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    Re: I don't know what else to do...

    Sam;
    I don't know what kind of camera you are using, but Your photos remind me of some of mine when I used an older, low megapixel camera (7.2 MP). Also, what ISO setting are you using? From what I understand, the higher the ISO, the more banding and noise you will have in your photos.

  14. #14
    Black Pearl's Avatar
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    Re: I don't know what else to do...

    Just a quick note:

    If you are saving an image for screen use with an exact pixel dimension (lets say 1600x1200) it doesn't matter what ppi you set it will still be 1600x1200. You could set it to 10 or you could set it to a million (not quite but you get my drift) and the results wold be the same. The ppi is a print related number and has nothing to do with on screen viewing.

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: I don't know what else to do...

    Quote Originally Posted by Lon Howard View Post
    Hi Dave; just a question about saving the jpeg. If your image size in pixels and your file size when uploaded are within the recommended limits, why wouldn't you save the jpeg in the highest quality possible? Thanks,
    Hi Lon,

    For me: because it just wastes space on disk (or online).

    For viewing use only, I did some tests and found zero benefit in going from 9 to 10, let alone 12, and yet the file size differences can be huge. I guess it must be doing some good, so I would ony recommend going above 9 if the file is going to be edited again in future and you cannot use a lossless alternative like psd, tif, etc.

    UPDATE
    I wrote the above before reading everyone's subsequent replies

    I see you don't keep the jpg - for me, I keep the nef and sidecar xmp, but rarely bother to save a psd unless I think there's a chance I might want to edit further< I just keep the jpg - as you say, everyone has their method that works for them

    Cheers,
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 3rd March 2013 at 12:34 PM.

  16. #16
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: I don't know what else to do...

    Quote Originally Posted by sambam View Post
    Another question Dave: if I save it as a higher quality would it take more space on my computer?
    Yes Sam, but I see this has been answered now - my apologies to yourself and Lon for not finding these questions until today.
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 3rd March 2013 at 12:35 PM.

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