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Thread: How do these images look to you?

  1. #1
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    How do these images look to you?

    I have been using www.smugmug.com for years both to store my finished images and to share these images on various blogs and Internet sites. However, just recently, the images displayed as thumbnails seem quite dark but, when I choose to display the image in a larger size it seems to brighten up consideably.

    The following images seem dark as thumbnails and just fine when displayed in larger sizes. I am just curious as to how they will look when posting on this site. The first image should be a bit dark as it was shot at dusk but the second three images should look O.K. I wonder how they look to you? I am mostly concerned regarding brightness rather than things like composition etc...

    1.
    How do these images look to you?
    2.
    How do these images look to you?
    3.
    How do these images look to you?
    4.
    How do these images look to you?

    I calibrate my monitor using an old Huey Pro calibrator which works pretty well for color correction but, which IMO, is not that great at calibrating the brightness of an image...

    I could easily brighten up the images if they are too dark or reduce the contrast if they are too contrasty...

    Nice thing about Venice is that there seemed to be a nice image anywhere I looked...
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 3rd July 2013 at 04:44 PM.

  2. #2

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    Re: How do these images look to you?

    I think you're right Richard. The're quite acceptable but on my monitor (24" ASUS Pro Art Graphics Monitor) I would estimate they are something less than a stop under (about 0.85 to 0.9). I calibrate using a Spider 3 pro. Hope that's helpful.

  3. #3

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    Re: How do these images look to you?

    Richard: they look great for up in the Great White North, colours nice and rich and nothing blown out.

    Cheers:

    Allan

  4. #4
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    Re: How do these images look to you?

    I live a little on the dark side, but I think they look great. Color and contrast are gorgeous, not at all overdone for my eyes. Your exposure control is superb- would be very easy to blow some highlights in those settings.

  5. #5
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    Re: How do these images look to you?

    They look fine to me. Nice photographs.

    Bruce

  6. #6
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    Re: How do these images look to you?

    The last one doesn't look right to me, maybe too much magenta. You get blue by reducing yellow though. The others are perfect.

  7. #7
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    Re: How do these images look to you?

    Richard,

    I'm currently on a laptop with a lousy display, so I can't comment on the images, but re your issue with smugmug--have you e-mailed them about this. I also have used smugmug for years. I have not noticed a problem with the thumbnails being noticeably darker than the larger images. I just checked on this lousy display, and I don't see it.

    Dan

  8. #8
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    Re: How do these images look to you?

    Hi Richard,

    I may be being visually affected by the black borders, or they may be hiding the true black level of the image, but to me, all four have quite dark shadows/blacks and do look a tad contrasty.

    I do not profile my monitor, but trust it and my room viewing conditions.

    HTH,

  9. #9

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    Re: How do these images look to you?

    They do seem a tad dark, but I don't see any difference between the thumbnail and full size.

  10. #10

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    Re: How do these images look to you?

    I take your point about the first one being a bit light for an early evening shot.

  11. #11
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: How do these images look to you?

    What is really strange is that I just went back to the JPEG images that I uploaded onto Smugmug and they looks a lot brighter and less contrasty. In fact they look fine, especially in the case of image #3. It is brighter and the contrast is less. I have never had this discrepancy using www.smugmug before.

    I did do one thing differently in post processing these images.. Usually, I posted images to smugmug that were a smaller size at their longest dimension but, were 240 pixels per inch in resolution. This gave me a file size that I could post to smugmug. This time I left the image at the size it was shot and reduced the resolution to 100 pixels per inch.

    I don't know if that caused the problems but, the images shown on smugmug are quite diferent from viewing the images shown on my monitor in Photoshop CS6.

    This image was left at 240 pixels an inch in resolution and the image on smugmug looks almost exactly the same as it does on my monitor using CS6.

    How do these images look to you?

  12. #12
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    Re: How do these images look to you?

    they all look fine to me... beautiful. maybe the 1st one is bright for a night photo but still looks beautiful. my monitor is calibrated.

  13. #13
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    Re: How do these images look to you?

    Look fine to me. The last one shows RGB= 0,0,0 on my screen color picker for the whole forward side of the boat.

    File shows embedded V2.1 sRGB profile.

    Viewed in FireFox 22, color management enabled, XP Pro, SP3, NEC MultiSync 1990 SX.

    Also looks OK in Explorer 9.

  14. #14

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    Re: How do these images look to you?

    I think the talk of resolution with web images is most peculiar and I never think of resolution except when making prints. To me the key point is to discover the pixel size which works for the particular website and provide it with images accordingly. For CiC I resize to a maximum of 700 pixels across which seems to work nicely... it is also the required maximum for Photo Net but I don't post to albums here only to forums as my photos are not works of art but rather infotainment.

    The image Richard is refering to is 374x600 which accounts for its small size within the page. The actual image is only 210 pixels across after stripping off the black border etc.
    Last edited by jcuknz; 4th July 2013 at 07:01 AM.

  15. #15
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    Re: How do these images look to you?

    Nice images, Richard, and any opinions about them should also depend on the interpretation that you intended to produce - e.g. realistic or artistic. My views are based on a guess that realism was the aim and, if so, I would agree with John (post #2) and Dave (post #8) that they are a bit too dark and contrasty.

    Taking #4 as an example, I would have expected our eyes and brain to perceive more of the shadow details than are evident here (but present in the image data, even in this small Jpeg file), and the "red" spirals on the two posts would have appeared a brighter red.

    Philip

  16. #16

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    Re: How do these images look to you?

    Quote Originally Posted by xpatUSA View Post
    Look fine to me. The last one shows RGB= 0,0,0 on my screen color picker for the whole forward side of the boat.

    File shows embedded V2.1 sRGB profile.

    Viewed in FireFox 22, color management enabled, XP Pro, SP3, NEC MultiSync 1990 SX.

    Also looks OK in Explorer 9.
    Perhaps to be expected Ted. The contrast range will ensure that the extremes are there i.e. a black is a black and for that matter a blown area will read 255,255,255. I think what may be happening here is a mid tone shift. . My assessment (and it wasn't a scientific measurement) was based on image no. 2. From the shadows under the balconies, this looks to be taken at around mid day/early afternoon but although it is very contrasty, the scene doesn't look to be as bright as I would expect it to be. I adjusted the exposure in CS6 and it looks about right at about +0.85 to +0.9. but as with all these things personal choice has a roll to play. As I said, the images are far from unacceptable as they stand.

  17. #17

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    Re: How do these images look to you?

    From my viewing of the images, I would agree with Dave. The blacks, which are featured in these images, seem to me to be too dark and lacking detail. Your more recently posted image seems more neutral in that regard and has a more open feel. I would say that you are onto something important with the presentation of your images. Hopefully, changing your uploading procedure will resolve the issue.

  18. #18
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: How do these images look to you?

    I am looking at all the differeces that I have done in post processing between Venice images and earlier images with which I have seemed to have absolutely no trouble...

    The differences are, as I mentioned the pixels per inch and the size of the images that I uploaded to Smugmug.

    Additionally, I have made extensive use of NIK Software in post-processing the images. Before this grouping of images, all my post processing was done with CS-5 and some earlier versions of Photoshop. I have had no problems when uploaded my Photoshop post-processed images to www.smugmug.com. The images looked the same as the Photoshop processed images viewed in Photoshop after they were uploaded to smugmug.

    With these images that were processed using several of the NIK plug-ins, there is a distinct difference between how I see the images in Photoshop CS-6 and how the images look on smugmug. There is a difference in brightness/contrast between the image as I view it in the thumbnail and standard display size and when I view that same smugmug image at X3 size; just as there is a difference in looks between the image linked to on CiC and the image when I view it at X3 size on smugmug. Could viewing at a reduced size have any impact on the build-up of density and contrast and could this build up be negated when I view the smugmug image at a larger size?

    Another difference in my post processing is that I converted the RAW images to DNG when opening them.

    What I could do is to reduce both the density and the contrast in these images and try posting them on smugmug. The problem is that I will not be able to see exactly where I should be in regard to density and contrast by "guestimating" the values...

    What I intend to do is to return to the DNG images and post process them in my normal way, reducing the physical size somewhat and keeping the pixel count up at 240 per inch. I want to see if this will help my postings. I will also use only CS-6 to edit the images...

  19. #19
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: How do these images look to you?

    Experiment:

    Here is an image which looked good in CS-6 but looks dark when uploaded to smugmug:
    How do these images look to you?

    Here is the same image which I increased the brightness to +20 and reduced the contrast to -10 using Viveza NIK Plug-in
    How do these images look to you?

    It looks a bit bright and washed out in CS-6 but seems to look good in Smugmug

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