Print from Airliners.net discussion forum
http://www.airliners.net/aviation-forums/aviation_photography/read.main/375554/

Topic: Overuse of unsharp mask in modern photography?
Username: Tonyholt777
Posted 2012-07-18 18:25:58 and read 9148 times.

dear all

i started my photography in the days of film and iso 400 was a (costly) dream! I waited for my printed film shots and hoped for the best! Whilst I'm not a die hard I embraced digital fairly recently.

I'm still young (51yrs) and love the new stuff - that said can someone explain to me the obsession with USM?

Have we lost something?

Regards

T

[Edited 2012-07-18 18:27:58]

Topic: Overuse of unsharp mask in modern photography?
Username: dendrobatid
Posted 2012-07-18 23:46:10 and read 9085 times.

Tony
Unsharp Mask is not a new phenomenom, it has been about for a long time but it was incredibly difficult to do with film, fiddly and pretty near impossible with anything smaller than roll film.
Rather than explaining it all, I took the soft option (pun intended) and found an on-line explanation
http://www.earthboundlight.com/phototips/unsharp-mask.html

Digital images are inherrently softer than film ones and computers make it far easier to give a similar effect, increasing the contrast of edges and thus the apparent sharpness hence its widespread use. I am pretty sure that we would have used it in the darkroom too if it had been easier, though not something mere kids like you would have had a chance to try  

Sharpening is simply a tool that we now have and one that we need to use to get images that are pleasing to the eye and I do not see it any differently to most of the other tools like colour, contrast, exposure, level etc, all of which we routinely corrected in the darkroom because they were simple to do. Even now I see the scene sharply so that is what I want of my image too.

Whilst none of those tools bother me, the clone tool does as it is far too easy to alter the reality of the scene.

Incidentally I do not use USM, Smart sharpen is a far better tool
http://photoshoptips.net/2006/03/09/smart-sharpen/

Mick Bajcar

Topic: Overuse of unsharp mask in modern photography?
Username: viv
Posted 2012-07-19 02:28:48 and read 9051 times.

I fully agree with Mick that Smart Sharpen is a much better tool.

Having said that, I still have difficulty in hitting the exact degree of sharpness, not too much and not too little, that this site deems acceptable.

[Edited 2012-07-19 02:29:19]

Topic: RE: Overuse Of Unsharp Mask In Modern Photography?
Username: ckw
Posted 2012-07-19 06:38:07 and read 8998 times.

Quoting Tonyholt777 (Thread starter):
Have we lost something?

Well yes, in a way we have ... the ability to replicate (in most cases) a lens's 'sharpness' onto the sensor. By and larger I think this is mostly due to the use of the Bayer filter. The original recording is not sharp because individual color sensitive pixel sites (red, green, blue) must be 'mixed' to give a full range of colors.

Compare this to film where individual silver grains (and colour dye) react directly to light - which also explains why fine grain films were sharper than fast films.

So in effect, most digital cameras, by design, will record an 'unsharp' image which must be addressed in software. This can happen in camera, as is the case with point n shoots, or with DSLRs if shot in jpg mode.

Put another way, a digital capture is one further stage removed from reality than a film capture - unlike film, the 'light record' must be processed before it can be saved as an image.

However, the degree of sharpening required for optimal reproduction depends on a number of factors - medium of reproduction, print process used, size of final image etc. Hence, when shooting in raw format, it is normal to apply no sharpening (or minimal sharpening) so that the photographer can add the appropriate sharpening in post-processing - its easy to add sharpening, next to impossible to remove it!

Hence the rise in this obsession over sharpening - easy to do, perhaps more difficult to get just right! Are we over obsessed? Probably. Partly because its easy to play around with, partly becuase its an easy way to objectively criticise an image.

I personally think to0 much fuss is made about sharpness - often at the expense of the overall aesthetic of the image (perhaps a case of not seeing the wood for the trees). After all, a large number of the great images across the years would not stand up to A.net screening (or that of many other such sites).

However, any site such as this (if it is to survive) must rely on objective measures to ensure consistency and avoid eternal bickering. If pics here were accepted purely based aesthetic merit - which is of course subjective - chaos would quickly ensue.

Cheers,

Colin

Topic: RE: Overuse Of Unsharp Mask In Modern Photography?
Username: vishaljo
Posted 2012-07-19 09:24:11 and read 8953 times.



Quoting viv (Reply 2):
I still have difficulty in hitting the exact degree of sharpness, not too much and not too little, that this site deems acceptable.

 crowded  +1

Quoting ckw (Reply 3):
I personally think to0 much fuss is made about sharpness - often at the expense of the overall aesthetic of the image (perhaps a case of not seeing the wood for the trees)

Somebody please tell them that ^  duck 

I think besides photos for Anet & a few other purposes, photos look pretty cool with little to no sharpening.
They start looking more & more worked as you keep on Sharpening them.

My 2 Paise

[Edited 2012-07-19 09:25:03]

Topic: RE: Overuse Of Unsharp Mask In Modern Photography?
Username: ckw
Posted 2012-07-19 15:19:39 and read 8848 times.

Quoting vishaljo (Reply 4):
Somebody please tell them that

Well as I explained, I don't think a site like this could survive on purely subjective criteria. Blood would flow.

Like any decent magazine, A.net has a 'house style'. If you want to upload pics here, then you have to adapt to the house style - of course, you don't have to agree with it  

And you have to remember A.net is not a photography site - it is an aviation database with pictures. I suspect the vast majoirty of visitors are not photographers (in any serious way). Like any magazine, A.net will select material to suit its audience, not its contributors.

Sadly, in my opinion, 'sharpness' has become the key thing by which non-photographers judge a picture.

Cheers,

Colin

Topic: RE: Overuse Of Unsharp Mask In Modern Photography?
Username: dazbo5
Posted 2012-07-20 01:42:16 and read 8761 times.

Personally, I think sharpness is only one of a number of areas where the criteria for uploading is getting a little on the silly side. I do agree though, the amount of USM that is needed for uploing here, on my screen at least, it getting a little too much.

Quoting ckw (Reply 3):
By and larger I think this is mostly due to the use of the Bayer filter

I think you have it spot on their with some cameras having this as an option, particularly with medium format.

Quoting ckw (Reply 5):
Like any decent magazine, A.net has a 'house style'. If you want to upload pics here, then you have to adapt to the house style - of course, you don't have to agree with it

Again, I fully agree. You have to play by the rules whether you like them or not.

Darren

Topic: RE: Overuse Of Unsharp Mask In Modern Photography?
Username: Tonyholt777
Posted 2012-07-20 12:11:28 and read 8650 times.

Thanks folks, very interesting points and helpful replies.

I posted on the back of coming across some prints I took in 1981 whilst in Hong Kong. They reminded me of why I got hooked on photography in the first place.

I think its valid and timely discussing how digital/film workflow is approached be it for this site, commissioned or personal use.

Indeed, I note with interest some 'pros' continue to use film today to great effect as do many with digital formats.

I think I've come to terms now with photography used in modern editorial environments. As Colin rightly points out, If you want to partake in such you have to follow their rules - stock photography springs to mind.

I'm amazed how 'photoshopped' has become a byword so quickly with non photographers

I suppose ultimately for me its about what I like and enjoy.

Again thanks

T

Topic: RE: Overuse Of Unsharp Mask In Modern Photography?
Username: aerorobnz
Posted 2012-07-21 08:06:07 and read 8566 times.

Quoting ckw (Reply 5):
Sadly, in my opinion, 'sharpness' has become the key thing by which non-photographers judge a picture.

that is one of the reasons I have never really bothered trying to upload any of the 10000+ aircraft regos I have taken photos of, I dislike the molested image look that A.net seem to like for the database, but to get involves one screwing around on the computer for hours on end to take the photo that should have been taken to begin with.

I think the other factor now is that DSLRs and the latest lens gear have become status symbols for many rather than tools to master by people who actually don't know how to use a SLR camera without the camera doing all the work for them.

A number of photographers I witnessed in my 6 week trip around western Europe last month had the latest and greatest gear but had no concept of setting a camera up for the conditions correctly, framing a shot,and had it set to auto and were rattling 20-30 identical photos per aircraft rego on high speed continuous burst and hoping for the best out of one of the shots (let's face it it isn't because they are taking frames for selling slides any more). I can only imagine it is these kinds of photographers who think that overuse of the sharpness tool 'enhances' the shot because they don't know how to take a shot to begin with.

Topic: RE: Overuse Of Unsharp Mask In Modern Photography?
Username: ckw
Posted 2012-07-22 13:06:49 and read 8420 times.

Of course you also have to consider changing tastes. Look at BluRay for example - yes, the definition is fantastic, but to my eyes, it looks too edgy and I find it uncomfortable for prolonged viewing. I've got a decent LED TV and bluray player, but after a couple of months of playing with the new toy, went back to watching 'old fashioned' DVDs

I think you can see a similar thing happening in audio - vinyl is making a big come back. CDs (and derivatives) are fine for pop (and the music is produced to suit the media), but many people find it too clinical when it comes to reproducing jazz, folk etc.

But of course younger people will have been brought up with hi-definition audio and video as the 'norm' - I can see that for them older forms of reproduction will seem to lack definition.

Cheers,

Colin

Topic: RE: Overuse Of Unsharp Mask In Modern Photography?
Username: G-CIVP
Posted 2012-07-23 10:42:21 and read 8295 times.

There is a bias on this site to oversharp, 'clean' images. There is an expectation that all parts of an aircraft will be sharp irrespective of the conditions in which the subject was taken whereas in reality, this will not be the case. For instance, I've been advised to use the sharpen tool specifically on an aircraft's registration to bring this out more when in reality, it would have been faint.

Moreover, often contrast and brighteness have been 'pushed' upwards such that the original subject doesn't match the conditions in which it was taken. Coupled together, this can result in an 'unreal' looking image, especially with photos taken at my local aerodromes. At extremes, other imperfections such as shadows have been edited out. (I could provide examples but I know it's not the done thing to criticise others photography on this site!)

Given that photographers will have different vision, screeners will have different vision, monitors will have slight variations in calibration, be it photographers or screeners, there will be a tendency to oversharpen to ensure a photo passes the screening process. This said, photographers through the ages have edited their photos, even with film, so I wouldn't expect this to change in the digital age.

Topic: RE: Overuse Of Unsharp Mask In Modern Photography?
Username: viv
Posted 2012-07-23 13:50:27 and read 8261 times.

Quoting aerorobnz (Reply 8):
screwing around on the computer for hours on end to take the photo that should have been taken to begin with.

In my opinion, any image that needs more than ten minutes of post-processing is not good enough to begin with.

My workflow is very simple and takes just a few minutes: Straighten (if necessary), Crop (if necessary), Resize, Equalise to check for dust spots, Undo Equalise, Clone out any dust spots, Smart Sharpen, Save. That's it.

Topic: RE: Overuse Of Unsharp Mask In Modern Photography?
Username: dlowwa
Posted 2012-07-23 14:09:08 and read 8253 times.

Quoting ckw (Reply 5):
Well as I explained, I don't think a site like this could survive on purely subjective criteria. Blood would flow.

Like any decent magazine, A.net has a 'house style'. If you want to upload pics here, then you have to adapt to the house style - of course, you don't have to agree with it  

And you have to remember A.net is not a photography site - it is an aviation database with pictures. I suspect the vast majoirty of visitors are not photographers (in any serious way). Like any magazine, A.net will select material to suit its audience, not its contributors.

That sums it up quite nicely. A.net has its own style (like it or not), and if you can adjust to that, your uploading experience will go so much more smoothly. Never mind sharpening, could you imagine trying to apply something like the centering rule outside of a.net?

Quoting viv (Reply 11):
In my opinion, any image that needs more than ten minutes of post-processing is not good enough to begin with.

Very true. Not sure where this myth began that you need to spend hours editing an image to make it suitable for here. You shouldn't be spending more than 10 minutes for your typical image. If it is good quality straight from the camera, closer to 5 minutes is not unreasonable.

Topic: RE: Overuse Of Unsharp Mask In Modern Photography?
Username: trvyyz
Posted 2012-07-23 15:06:40 and read 8243 times.

Quoting dlowwa (Reply 12):
Never mind sharpening, could you imagine trying to apply something like the centering rule outside of a.net?

  
All my photography classes have told me to put the subject off centre (rule of thirds or golden mean), except for the rare shots that need to be centred for some kind of impact or static feel. A normal centred image would called amateur snapshot  

Topic: RE: Overuse Of Unsharp Mask In Modern Photography?
Username: aerorobnz
Posted 2012-07-23 17:27:46 and read 8220 times.

Quoting viv (Reply 11):
In my opinion, any image that needs more than ten minutes of post-processing is not good enough to begin with.

Precisely. An important part of photography is self-critiquing, and knowing when to throw an image out. If it needs editing beyond that, it is only really suitable as what I like to call a "safety shot" of a gap-filler on the production lists in a personal collection, not for public display..

Topic: RE: Overuse Of Unsharp Mask In Modern Photography?
Username: seachaz
Posted 2012-07-23 18:38:03 and read 8209 times.

Great discussion.


Quoting trvyyz (Reply 13):
Not sure where this myth began that you need to spend hours editing an image to make it suitable for here.

Not sure if it was ever directly stated but years ago some of the editing methods that many were preaching to get photos accepted on this site did take a bit longer particularly if you did selective sharpening - maybe not hours but smart sharpen had definitely sped things up. I know I was guilty of spending too much time on photos that should have been tossed but for whatever reason (ego) really wanted them all to make it. Now I rarely upload and only do if the shot is something 'different' to me for whatever reason (location, plane type, angle, lighting, livery) - not just endless photos of local traffic from the side.

As to the original point of the topic I do feel the use of sharpening has gotten a bit out of hand here but this site was originally meant to be a catalog of photos documenting the planes themselves not artistic photography. With that as a starting point crisp, centered photos that show detail make sense but it's debatable where crispy ends and charred begins.

Topic: RE: Overuse Of Unsharp Mask In Modern Photography?
Username: vikkyvik
Posted 2012-07-23 19:12:58 and read 8204 times.

Quoting seachaz (Reply 15):
Not sure if it was ever directly stated but years ago some of the editing methods that many were preaching to get photos accepted on this site did take a bit longer particularly if you did selective sharpening - maybe not hours but smart sharpen had definitely sped things up.

Have to disagree there - while smart sharpen may certainly be fast, I've used Unsharp Mask since I started, and I'm zipping through photos pretty quickly these days. The whole process of selecting the aircraft, creating a duplicate layer, sharpening, erasing jaggies, and merging layers really doesn't take long. The biggest help was having a high-quality image to start with, more than refining of editing (though that did help too, of course). Most of my photos these days use close to the same sharpening values, whereas before, with worse lenses, I never really knew how much would be required - it could vary quite a bit from photo to photo. Which leads to my next point....

Quoting aerorobnz (Reply 14):
Precisely. An important part of photography is self-critiquing, and knowing when to throw an image out. If it needs editing beyond that, it is only really suitable as what I like to call a "safety shot" of a gap-filler on the production lists in a personal collection, not for public display..

While you're certainly correct, each photographer may have a different threshold for what constitutes a "throw-away image", and that threshold may change over time. Speaking for myself, my personal standards have pretty steadily increased as my skills and my equipment have improved. In 2010, if I wanted to have anything somewhat usable, I'd pretty much have to start from a less-high-quality photo, because at that time, I was using cheap lenses, and still learning how to get the best out of them and my camera. I'm certainly not going to throw away a year-or-two's worth of images, even if they're lower-quality than the ones I'm taking today!

Topic: RE: Overuse Of Unsharp Mask In Modern Photography?
Username: Silver1SWA
Posted 2012-07-23 20:14:54 and read 8193 times.

The only "issue" I have with the look of photos at Airliners.net is that the standards call for such a clean and such a crisp, sharp photo that I often browse the database and think many photos look very two-dimensional, almost like the aircraft are paper cutouts or decals. When I am shooting outside of this site, which is the majority of my photography these days, I love using sharpening and other detail-enhancing filters that add a lot of punch overall. I prefer my shots to have a little bit of texture and that means maybe some grain. To me, sharp detail-enhanced photos really pop and I find that appealing in many situations. For here, however, I play by the rules and edit accordingly.

Quoting viv (Reply 11):
In my opinion, any image that needs more than ten minutes of post-processing is not good enough to begin with.

It depends on what you are doing, in my opinion. For this website, I agree. Although for the more difficult shots, not your standard blue sky side-on, some might call for more careful time-consuming attention.

There's always a debate in photography about how much post-processing is appropriate. The correct answer, in my opinion, is that it depends on what you are doing. I believe the final image produced is all that matters. Perhaps I consider myself and artist first, photographer second. Photography one of many tools I use to create my art (the final image). This is why I believe there are some specialized situations where techniques that are not allowed here would actually be beneficial in producing a better outcome. For example, I saw a cockpit photo near the top 5 yesterday that had me thinking what I would have done differently for my own personal use. The shot was taken on approach during the day and the photographer clearly used a flash to illuminate the instument panel. My issue with this is the details in the electronic screens on the instrument panel are lost. It looks like everyhing is turned off. I would have taken a bracketed burst and masked in the lower exposure to get detail out the window while using the brighter exposure for the interior. If done right, it looks amazingly natural but it goes against the rules here, and against traditional photography. But it's effective!

Anyway, I'm getting into a bit of a tangent but my point is that how much time one spends on a photo depends on what they are doing. I agree that people put too much effort into taking and processing aviation photos for this website. If there is one thing I have learned through my photography away from this website, it's that aviation photography and the workflow necessary to get a photo accepted is actually very, very easy. It's still frustring as hell with rejections, but it's all relatively easy compared to other, more complex types of photography.

Topic: RE: Overuse Of Unsharp Mask In Modern Photography?
Username: vikkyvik
Posted 2012-07-23 22:16:11 and read 8175 times.

Quoting Silver1SWA (Reply 17):
I would have taken a bracketed burst and masked in the lower exposure to get detail out the window while using the brighter exposure for the interior.

So you would have done an HDR....

 

Topic: RE: Overuse Of Unsharp Mask In Modern Photography?
Username: Silver1SWA
Posted 2012-07-23 22:23:39 and read 8172 times.

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 18):
Quoting Silver1SWA (Reply 17):
I would have taken a bracketed burst and masked in the lower exposure to get detail out the window while using the brighter exposure for the interior.

So you would have done an HDR....

 

I see what you did there...lol  

But I guess you could call it a manual HDR. Yes, it would involve multiple exposures but I think the end result can look just as it would with the naked eye if done right. The use of a flash does not look natural to me, but that's the accepted method.

Topic: RE: Overuse Of Unsharp Mask In Modern Photography?
Username: Rimantas
Posted 2012-07-24 00:04:20 and read 8157 times.

Quoting Silver1SWA (Reply 17):
I would have taken a bracketed burst and masked in the lower exposure to get detail out the window while using the brighter exposure for the interior. If done right, it looks amazingly natural but it goes against the rules here, and against traditional photography

You don't need to shot several frames using bracketed burst and then merge them. It's possible to get the same result with only one frame using different exposure settings converting image from RAW to JPEG, and then merging two differently exposed JPEGs as layers. I wonder if this method is acceptable here ?

Quoting viv (Reply 11):
In my opinion, any image that needs more than ten minutes of post-processing is not good enough to begin with.

It depends on what kind of image are you dealing with. For typical photo of plane in the sky ten minutes is definitely reasonable time to spend. It's very easy to use “magic wand" tool to mark unecessary background in such photos. However it's more difficult to do that in images depicting aircraft in the backgroud of grass, trees, fences, etc. I usually spend more than 10 minutes for such photos.

Topic: RE: Overuse Of Unsharp Mask In Modern Photography?
Username: Silver1SWA
Posted 2012-07-24 00:15:26 and read 8152 times.

Quoting Rimantas (Reply 20):
You don't need to shot several frames using bracketed burst and then merge them. It's possible to get the same result with only one frame using different exposure settings converting image from RAW to JPEG, and then merging two differently exposed JPEGs as layers. I wonder if this method is acceptable here ?

You're essentially describing the same thing, it's just accomplished differently. One exposure can work as long as its carefully done, but you'll most likely need to make two versions of the shot and mask in portions of each edit to basically accomplish the same thing. I believe that method IS acceptable, which I find funny because essentially you're doing the same thing.

By the way, I'm not talking about merging exposures (whether from one or multiple exposures) using HDR or fusion software. I'm talking about masking in portions manually using layers.

Topic: RE: Overuse Of Unsharp Mask In Modern Photography?
Username: vikkyvik
Posted 2012-07-24 00:28:35 and read 8150 times.

Quoting Silver1SWA (Reply 21):
I believe that method IS acceptable, which I find funny because essentially you're doing the same thing.

I don't think it is actually acceptable.

Quoting Rimantas (Reply 20):
You don't need to shot several frames using bracketed burst and then merge them. It's possible to get the same result with only one frame using different exposure settings converting image from RAW to JPEG, and then merging two differently exposed JPEGs as layers.

I've done that before, but it really only has worked if I don't need too much extra dynamic range. If I need to bracket by more than a stop either way, I find multiple exposures works way better.

Plus, I find doing it from the same exposure results in less quality and decidedly more noise, since you're not really exposing "correctly" as such; instead you're splitting the difference.

Topic: RE: Overuse Of Unsharp Mask In Modern Photography?
Username: ckw
Posted 2012-07-24 04:46:41 and read 8129 times.

Quoting dlowwa (Reply 12):
Not sure where this myth began that you need to spend hours editing an image to make it suitable for here.

Not sure it is actually a myth, but remember, A.net started when contributions were based on scans from slides/negs - often with pretty primitive equipment! I'm sure many of you will not have experienced the joy of spotting out dust from an old neg (before the days of spot healing!), trying to get the colours to look like the original and getting a reasonable degree of sharpness without the film grain taking over.

I got pretty good at this (and even wrote some actions for sharpening & grain supression), but it was certainly not unusual to spend an hour or two on a slide - more if there was difficult lighting, negative damage etc. And of course computers were much, much slower.

I shot my last slide just over 10 years ago and I need a really good reason to force me to go back and prepare a scan from the 'archive' these days.

But I guess it was a labour of love for many ... and I dare say many of us learned more about image processing in the course of a single scan than you would in a year of shooting with a modern DSLR  

How important is post processing? I guess it depends on your point of view. Even from my earliest film and darkroom days I felt that making the exposure was just the first step in the process - it was what went on in the darkroom which could make or break an image, though of course you needed to start with a good negative. Today I still think of RAW as my negative, a starting point for creating an image.

However although I've never been a big fan myself, the Polaroid school of photography is equally valid (and seemingly increasingly popular in photo-art circles these days) where everything had to be done 'in camera' - very much like taking jpegs straight from the camera today.

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose!

Cheers,

Colin

Topic: RE: Overuse Of Unsharp Mask In Modern Photography?
Username: dlowwa
Posted 2012-07-24 09:21:52 and read 8079 times.

Quoting Rimantas (Reply 20):
It's possible to get the same result with only one frame using different exposure settings converting image from RAW to JPEG, and then merging two differently exposed JPEGs as layers. I wonder if this method is acceptable here ?
Quoting Silver1SWA (Reply 21):
I believe that method IS acceptable,

Stacking exposures, be it from multiple bracketed frames, or from a single frame processed with different exposures, is not allowed.

Topic: RE: Overuse Of Unsharp Mask In Modern Photography?
Username: Silver1SWA
Posted 2012-07-24 09:30:59 and read 8083 times.

Quoting dlowwa (Reply 24):
Quoting Rimantas (Reply 20):
It's possible to get the same result with only one frame using different exposure settings converting image from RAW to JPEG, and then merging two differently exposed JPEGs as layers. I wonder if this method is acceptable here ?
Quoting Silver1SWA (Reply 21):
I believe that method IS acceptable,

Stacking exposures, be it from multiple bracketed frames, or from a single frame processed with different exposures, is not allowed.

What about stacking layers and making/masking in adjustments that target one area of the photo? Like if you wanted to bump contrast but didn't want it to be applied to the sky, for example. I want to say I've seen that kind of advice given in the feedback forum so that's why I assumed that selective adjustments are allowed using layers.

[Edited 2012-07-24 09:31:44]

Topic: RE: Overuse Of Unsharp Mask In Modern Photography?
Username: dlowwa
Posted 2012-07-24 09:51:16 and read 8076 times.

Quoting Silver1SWA (Reply 25):
What about stacking layers and making/masking in adjustments that target one area of the photo? Like if you wanted to bump contrast but didn't want it to be applied to the sky, for example.

Other than sharpening and dust spot removal, selectively adjusting any part of the frame, be it for exposure/contrast/color/etc... is considered bad editing. Why is only sharpening allowed? I guess that goes back to the debate above.

Quoting Silver1SWA (Reply 25):
I want to say I've seen that kind of advice given in the feedback forum

I've been active in the feedback forum for a few years, and have never given such advice, nor seen it given by another member of the crew. You can follow the advice of others at your own discretion.

Topic: RE: Overuse Of Unsharp Mask In Modern Photography?
Username: vikkyvik
Posted 2012-07-24 10:09:54 and read 8084 times.

Quoting Silver1SWA (Reply 25):
What about stacking layers and making/masking in adjustments that target one area of the photo? Like if you wanted to bump contrast but didn't want it to be applied to the sky, for example. I want to say I've seen that kind of advice given in the feedback forum so that's why I assumed that selective adjustments are allowed using layers.

I've most definitely seen that advice given in the Feedback forum, but as Dana stated, not by crew members.

I don't think I've done it myself, aside from sharpening. Selectively changing exposure/contrast/whatever just feels wrong to me, whether it is or not.

Topic: RE: Overuse Of Unsharp Mask In Modern Photography?
Username: ckw
Posted 2012-07-24 14:00:15 and read 8040 times.

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 27):
I don't think I've done it myself, aside from sharpening. Selectively changing exposure/contrast/whatever just feels wrong to me, whether it is or not.

I guess this is down to whether you want to present a 'capture' or an 'image'. ie. present what the camera captured, or present the scene as you saw it. The two are quite different.

There is no film/sensor that comes anywhere near recording what the human eye can see. If you want to present your impression of the scene, you need to compensate for the limitations of the recording medium. This is very much part of the 'art' of photography, and has been practiced by the master photographer's since photography began. Personally, without the ability to modify the recorded image I would lose a lot of my interest in photography (and of course that's one of the reasons I don't upload here anymore).

But there is no question that the image then becomes very subjective, which is perhaps a problem for a site like this. ("The sky was never that blue!").

Quoting dlowwa (Reply 26):
Why is only sharpening allowed?

I suppose you could say its a necessary evil - raw output from a DSLR is not really sharp enough for use. The sharpening may be done automatically by your conversion software, or manually, but it is needed. JPGS are a bit different as sharpening is applied by the in camera software, and so may not need any additional work. But if sharpening were to be banned, then you would effectively be banning anyone who shot raw from uploading.

Cheers,

Colin

Topic: RE: Overuse Of Unsharp Mask In Modern Photography?
Username: vikkyvik
Posted 2012-07-24 14:22:40 and read 8027 times.

Quoting ckw (Reply 28):
I guess this is down to whether you want to present a 'capture' or an 'image'. ie. present what the camera captured, or present the scene as you saw it. The two are quite different.

There is no film/sensor that comes anywhere near recording what the human eye can see. If you want to present your impression of the scene, you need to compensate for the limitations of the recording medium. This is very much part of the 'art' of photography, and has been practiced by the master photographer's since photography began. Personally, without the ability to modify the recorded image I would lose a lot of my interest in photography (and of course that's one of the reasons I don't upload here anymore).

That's certainly true. And I do use HDR techniques quite frequently (though they're more manual HDR, using layer masks). For whatevr reason, I'd rather do that than actually edit specific areas in one exposure.

Topic: RE: Overuse Of Unsharp Mask In Modern Photography?
Username: trvyyz
Posted 2012-07-24 14:46:29 and read 8022 times.

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 27):
Selectively changing exposure/contrast/whatever just feels wrong to me, whether it is or not.

Using a graduated neutral density filter/ gradient filter is wrong?

How about using a flash and other light modifiers?

There is a creative aspect to photography, otherwise everything will be snap shots. Everybody should try to have a unique style also, or all the pictures taken by everybody should look the same to be not ' wrong.'
Only wrong i have heard is when photographers clone that too for journalistic purposes.

[Edited 2012-07-24 14:53:13]

Topic: RE: Overuse Of Unsharp Mask In Modern Photography?
Username: vikkyvik
Posted 2012-07-24 15:27:04 and read 8009 times.

Quoting trvyyz (Reply 30):
Using a graduated neutral density filter/ gradient filter is wrong?

Absolutely!

Quoting trvyyz (Reply 30):
How about using a flash and other light modifiers?

Completely!

Quoting trvyyz (Reply 30):
There is a creative aspect to photography, otherwise everything will be snap shots. Everybody should try to have a unique style also, or all the pictures taken by everybody should look the same to be not ' wrong.'

Please! "Unique style" is just a catchall phrase for inability to take criticism!

...

Or maybe, someone just didn't read the whole comment:

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 27):
Selectively changing exposure/contrast/whatever just feels wrong to me, whether it is or not.

I'm no God of Photography. Just because I don't generally do something doesn't mean you shouldn't.

Topic: RE: Overuse Of Unsharp Mask In Modern Photography?
Username: dlowwa
Posted 2012-07-24 15:42:19 and read 8007 times.

Quoting trvyyz (Reply 30):
Using a graduated neutral density filter/ gradient filter is wrong?

Non-colored physical filters (including ND, CPL, etc..) are generally allowed, but (and a very important 'but') if you plan to upload images taken where the effects of such filters are obvious, please contact the screeners directly first. This is because we've seen a growing number people submit images where the effects of such filters have been re-recreated digitally. As this is not allowed, it can and has lead to people being banned for bad editing. We might ask that you provide the original image to verify there was no bad editing, so if you are not comfortable doing so, it might be best to avoid using those types of filters.

Quoting trvyyz (Reply 30):
How about using a flash and other light modifiers?

Flashes/strobes are allowed.

Topic: RE: Overuse Of Unsharp Mask In Modern Photography?
Username: trvyyz
Posted 2012-07-24 16:26:32 and read 7992 times.

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 31):
I'm no God of Photography. Just because I don't generally do something doesn't mean you shouldn't.

Of course I get your point. All Intended to convey is that many beginner photographers here have narrowed down their photographic vision based on the a.net formula style photography.
People tend to believe that whatever a.net considers not acceptable , is not okay in photography eg. use of graduted filter in lightroom.

As Dana mentioned, such editing 'here' must be notified to the screeners to avoid a ban.

But for a general scenery shot in raw (non av) with very high highlights (eg. sky) and shadows the use of this filter will improve very much compared to a jpg and will look closer to what human eye would see than the blown out out of the camera shot with out using the filter.

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 31):
Please! "Unique style" is just a catchall phrase for inability to take criticism!

"Unique style"
This is something taught by great photographic instructors not my finding.

A.net is a good place to start to get the exposure right, get out of the auto mode, reviewing sharpness and silky smooth noiseless images.
But after that we need to understand a good photo is not about sharpness or noise or pixel peeping  



[Edited 2012-07-24 16:38:11]

Topic: RE: Overuse Of Unsharp Mask In Modern Photography?
Username: vikkyvik
Posted 2012-07-24 16:40:33 and read 7980 times.

Quoting trvyyz (Reply 33):
"Unique style"
This is something taught by great photographic instructors not my finding.

Just so you know, my whole post was sarcastic with the exception of the last part. I apologize for that, but I was a bit irked at your reply to my previous post.

Anyway, if people want to tailor their photography to A.net's preferences, that's fine by me. It's not necessarily any better or worse than any other style.

Quoting trvyyz (Reply 33):

But for a general scenery shot in raw (non av) with very high highlights (eg. sky) and shadows the use of this filter will improve very much compared to a jpg and will look closer to what human eye would see than the blown out out of the camera shot with out using the filter.

I know. Though I do bracketed exposures for a scene like that, and then HDR them.

But for something like shooting the transit of Venus, I was using an ND400, UV, and Polarizer, I think.

Topic: RE: Overuse Of Unsharp Mask In Modern Photography?
Username: trvyyz
Posted 2012-07-24 16:53:59 and read 7977 times.

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 34):
I apologize for that, but I was a bit irked at your reply to my previous post.

No offense taken and I should have replied better  

There are people who tell it is bad if one does post processing. I am just blown by the power of raw on lightroom, of course for aviation, not much needs to be done. I've seen that it is easier to get acceptance here for the shots that need least PP( slight sharpening, crop and adjust brightness a touch), 2-3 minutes.


The messages in this discussion express the views of the author of the message, not necessarily the views of Airliners.net or any entity associated with Airliners.net.

Copyright © Lundgren Aerospace. All rights reserved.
http://www.airliners.net/