From time to time, we get ever so nice (NOT) e-mails from photographers saying words to the effect their images are fine and we screeners haven't got a clue...
I run my monitor at 1024x768 pixels - don't ask me why, its a 21" monitor so I could go much higher, but I don't. I was screening what I thought was an iffy 1024x(something) image last night, one that had quite a bit of digital noise, that I was seriously thinking about rejecting. Then I changed the screen resolution to 1280x(whatever-it-is) pixels - result, smaller image, less obvious noise. So I changed the screen resolution to 1600x1200 pixels - result, even smaller image, but almost no obvious noise at all. If fact, when the screen was running at 1600x1200, the image looked good enough for HQ. Setting the screen back to 1024x768 and... Ugh! Reject.
Having done with the screening, I set the monitor to 1600x1200 pixels and opened one of my own raw images. I processed it as normal (colour balance, etc), resized it down to 1024x(whatever), and then unsharpened it until it looked good. Then I changed the monitor resolution to 1024x768 pixels, and the same image with no changes looked softer than it had done, possibly not sharp enough for airliners.net. I undid that sharpening and re-unsharped it.
So what's this got to do with anything I hear you ask? I assume that if I run my monitor at 1024x768 pixels, it is capable of resolving more detail in an image than it is if I look at the same image with the monitor set to 1600x1200 pixels - at 1024x768 pixels a 1024 pixel image occupies the whole screen, whereas at 1600x1200 pixels a 1024 pixel image only occupies 2/3 of the screen. So, at the higher resolution, the monitor is trying to display more detail in a smaller space, and there must be a point where detail gets less discernable - a point where, say, noise is no longer visible.
Following this through, it seems that if I screen with the monitor set to 1024x768, its more likely that I'll notice detailed problems in an image that I wouldn't notice if I screened with my monitor set to 1600x1200 pixels. It also seems to follow that if a photographer processes a picture with their monitor set to 1600x1200 pixels, in the final result there may be problems in the image that are not apparent at 1600 pixels but which may be apparent at 1024 pixels. Therefore, if a photographer processes with their screen set to 1600 pixels, and I screen at 1024 pixels, I might reject an image for problems that simply aren't apparent to the photographer.
Where's this all leading? Well, it seems to me that if screeners and photographers use monitors set to different resolutions, there will be a mismatch between what the photographer sees and what the screener sees. This may on occasion work to the photographers' advantage (if the screener is using a higher resolution), or to the photographer's disadvantage (if the screener is using a lower resolution). Whichever way round it works, it seems that we may be seeing the same image differently.
So, what's the bottom line? I wonder whether there's a case for airliners.net recommending a specific monitor resolution, that ideally all photographers, screeners and even visitors to the site should use? I appreciate that not everyone might be able to set that specific resolution (LCD panels often don't have much flexibility) but if we all used the same monitor resolution as far as was possible, maybe just maybe there'd be less confusion and misunderstanding when an image is or is not rejected for quality reasons.
Fireguy274 From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 299 posts, RR: 8 Reply 1, posted (9 years 4 months 3 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 2685 times:
Im glad you put this thread up. I have an 18 inch flat screen LCD monitor with a ati 9800 that I set for 1280 x 1024. I will check to see how my images look at 1024 x 768....Thanks Stay safe .....Artie
Spotterboy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 3, posted (9 years 4 months 3 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 2627 times:
I also have 1280x 768. Also I think a specific monitor resolution would be good, but the problem is... nearly everyone has a different monitor, and sometimes it is not possible changing the resolution or it is not good for your eyes...
Buying a new monitor just for watching A.Net??? Nah - i think nobody has the money for such "jokes"...
Maybe you should send uploads to specific screeners...
Skymonster From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 5, posted (9 years 4 months 3 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 2595 times:
Well it may work best for you, but if your pictures are screened at a lower res we may see problems that you don't. That's my point - maybe we need a recommended resolution that most photographers use to ensure some degree of conformity.
PW100 From Netherlands, joined Jan 2002, 1983 posts, RR: 10 Reply 6, posted (9 years 4 months 3 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 2580 times:
I think you just opened up a giant can of worms . . . next time you screen my photo's, make sure you set your screen to 1600
I see the same problems you noticed. I have access to two computers, one has a lousy 15" monitor that does not like 1024 pixels, so I have it set at 800 x 600.
My second computer has a Highscreen MS19P [19"] monitor that is reasonably sharp and crisp; I have this one set at 1024 x 768.
I do all my editing on the 19" Highscreen, and some photo's really look absolutely fantastic on this screen: great sharpness [not overdone], great contrast, really rich colours. All my photo's are resized to 1024, then USM etc. When I take these same photos to my second computer and judge them on the 15" screen [set at 800 x 600], most photo's look not really sharp anymore, lost contrast and brightness, not to speak of the colours! When I set the 15" to 1024, these photo's do look better, but still by no means as good on the 19" Highscreen [and yes, I did run the recommended monitor calibration tool on both monitors].
It's really frustrating to have a good photo look a lot less on the second monitor. But improving these photo's to match this 15" monitor kind of ruins the same photo on the 19" Highscreen . . . . go figure!
I still get photo's rejected [badscan, badsoft etc] of which the print version are absolutely splendid [off course I do use the full 3072 x 2048 resolution for prints]. So I guess this confirms what you're saying that monitor quality, calibration and resolution settings can produce really big differences in how a photo is seen to the eye.
Then again, I sold of my Concorde photo's to Flight International. This photo looked OK at my 19", but looked dark on my 15". It looked dark in FI as well . . . but sharpness was OK.
I tend to believe that it's probably not a good idea to screen 1024 size photo's on a 21" quality monitor that is perfectly capable of showing 1600 pixels. This will pull the pixels to a lower resolution on that big screen; basically you're enlarging the 1024 photo without extra detail, pulling the pixels apart as seen by the eye. That photo will indeed look very different on 21" screen set at 1024 pixels than say a 17"screen set at 1024. Perhaps there should be a recommended A.net standard for screen setting, in order to get the best results from visitor viewing, and making sure screeners are looking at the same photo size [physically, not pixel wise] as the uploaders: ie. 800 wide for 15"; 1024 wide for 17", 1200 wide for 19", 1600 wide for 21".
Immigration officer: "What's the purpose of your visit to the USA?" Spotter: "Shooting airliners with my Canon!"
LGW From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 8, posted (9 years 4 months 3 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 2567 times:
Sorry I didnt make myself clear, when I said that resolution works best for me I meant for my eyes, university work, photo editing etc. I fully understand what you say and agree that images do look different under different resolutions.
Commonality would be good as it would mean we could all see what everyone else sees.
Craigy From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2001, 1118 posts, RR: 0 Reply 10, posted (9 years 4 months 3 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 2535 times:
Some good points raised here.
Ideally, the image should be viewed at whatever resolution will show the image full screen, i.e. an image prepared at 1600px wide should be viewed at 1600px resolution, but this would mean a different resolution for each picture screened.
Like Ben, I have settled on 1152x864 for my 17in monitors. However, I now process all A.net images at 1200px wide, so I am seeing them at a lower resolution so I will see any imperfections more clearly.
After reading this thread, I will set one of the monitors to 1024px when preparing photos for A.net and I will flick the image over to the 1024 monitor for a final check.
Ckw From UK - England, joined Aug 2010, 530 posts, RR: 18 Reply 13, posted (9 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 2412 times:
Don't forget, selected screen resolution is not the full story and hence I fear a "standard" resolution is not workable.
1 - refresh rate - typically somewhere between 60 hertz and 120 hertz. Invariably graphic cards require you to trade off refresh rates against resolution - ie to get 1600px you might need to drop your refresh rate. Personally I would not encourage anyone to work at less than 85hz for prolonged periods of time, hence it may be necessary to reduce resolution to achieve this.
2 - colour depth - again this varies with the capablilities of the monitor/graphic card. A high value may only be possible at lower resolutions. I think it would be a mistake to reduce colour depth to achieve higher resolutions. 24 bit is the minimum anyone should use, but 32 bit true color is better, particularly when it comes to appreciating shadow detail.
3 - dot pitch. This is a characteristic of the monitor and NOT the same as resolution. Dot pitch = the smallest visible unit on the screen (.25 inch is a decent value, a good Sony CRT might have .24 inch) = the physical aperture through which the image is viewed. At the monitor's highest resolution, the aperture = pixel, at lower resolutions pixels span multiple apertures.
Dot pitch is important because it determines the apparent sharpness of the monitor. Monitors will normally have a recommended resolution, and this should always be used for optimum sharpness even if your graphic card allows you to run higher resolutions.
In short, I would suggest using the optimum settings for your monitor (not necessarily the highest possible resolution) for screeners and submitters alike. Standardising (unless A.net distributes identical monitors to all!) just isn't practical as it will result in many people having to use their monitors at less than optimum settings - which can't be good.
It is also vital to spend time calibrating your monitor - especially getting the black point right. Remember, noise lurks in the shadow areas of your images - if your black point has not been carefully set, you may not be able to see noise which will be visible to the screeners (who of course have very carefully calibrated monitors!).
If the image is of high quality - ie. correct black/white points and gamma, properly sharpened etc. it should survive viewing at different resolutions. The problem occurs when there are faults in the image - the higher the image resolution, the more apparent these will become when viewed on a lower res monitor (which is effectively "enlarging" the image by using larger pixels). Hi res uploaders will simply need to be aware of this and apply caution.
Joge From Finland, joined Feb 2000, 1441 posts, RR: 48 Reply 14, posted (9 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 2400 times:
By now, I've edited most of my photos using a 15" CRT monitor @ 1024*768. However, due to the circumstances, I have to get used with an equivalent TFT screen I have on the laptop (15", 1024*768). I've noted, it's much MUCH more difficult to see either the picture is sharp or not. Also, I have some difficulties to find the correct color balance. I wish they would sell those laptops with a CRT screen...
IL76 From Netherlands, joined Jan 2004, 2235 posts, RR: 51 Reply 15, posted (9 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 2338 times:
Actually, this afternoon, when I looked at my pictures at my office on a 18" Sony TFT (1280 wide), they looked fantastic (sharper than my laptop), except for one thing: The colours were super saturated. Something that doesn't show on my laptop and doesn't show on the 21" CRT (those are the BEST!!! ) I have in the office aswell. Of course the colour settings on the TFT can be adjusted, but it just made me wonder how many people out there are actually viewing my pictures on uncalibrated screens like that, and think I purposely edited them to be so saturated.
Or worse, how many people edit their pictures on these screens...
Aviatortj From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 1838 posts, RR: 8 Reply 17, posted (9 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 2267 times:
Aren't the images the same at all screen resolutions? AFAIK, the higher resolution you go, the smaller the pixels become. When viewing at 1024px, you will see each pixel in greater detail because of its size. If you view more pixels in the same space at a higher res, it will appear to be sharper than it actually is. I hope I am making sense, but that is how I understand it.
Fireguy274 From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 299 posts, RR: 8 Reply 18, posted (9 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 2264 times:
"If you view more pixels in the same space at a higher res, it will appear to be sharper than it actually is. I hope I am making sense, but that is how I understand it."
I don't think this is a fair statement. A picture with a higher resolution is a sharper image generally I would think. I think the problem is when you sharpen an image using one screen resolution it may not look as good using another......Just my two cents....Artie
BO__einG From Canada, joined Apr 2000, 2759 posts, RR: 20 Reply 19, posted (9 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 2251 times:
Prefarbly monitors should follow these guidelines. Assuming that all are set as 24 or 32 bit Truecolor and monitor refresh rates range from 70-85Hz or greater. Dots per inch for many monitors will range from 0.26 to finer 0.2 or even 0.1 for those expensive flat monitors. But I as long as the dpi isnt too high like more than 0.3 it should be alright for working on editing pictures.
14" and 15" - 1024x768
17" - 1152x864-1280x1024
19" - 1280x1024-1600-1200
21"+ - 1600x1200 or higher
That way I believe that many differences and conflicts could be solved. I have received many rejections concerning quality but from my monitor I never really saw the flaw because I was always working at 1280-1024 resolution on my 19"
Expanding my global domination one spotter at a time..
Ckw From UK - England, joined Aug 2010, 530 posts, RR: 18 Reply 20, posted (9 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 2235 times:
Bo - read my posting again ... you are confusing DPI and dot pitch - these are NOT the same. The dot pitch is a physical characteristic of the monitor and can not be varied (essentially its the spacing of the aperture grid). DPI (or more correctly) Pixels Per Inch is software generated and can be varied.
While in fact your guidelines are probably a good estimate of settings for current monitors, there will be variation (not all 21 inchers have a dot pitch appropriate for very high resolutions) and it is important to match your selected DPI to the characteristics of the monitor.
Skymonster From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 21, posted (9 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 2209 times:
Liamer said: The most obvious thing too me would be that the screeners of A.net would use the same setup: 1. Videocard 2. Monitor
Thanks for that recommendation. I will send my purchase order for a new monitor and video card to Johan, commenting that the requisition was approved by you!
Colin, thanks for your worldly advice on this matter - much appreciate. Knowing that its a connundrum unlikely to be solved, I shall now go back to screening at 1024 pixels, even though the recommended resolution for my monitor is higher than that, because I prefer 1024!
BO__einG From Canada, joined Apr 2000, 2759 posts, RR: 20 Reply 22, posted (9 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 2164 times:
Colin: Your very right. I made a mistake of accidentally referring Dot Pitch as Dots per Inch.
It even says that right infront of my monitor as a sticker label shows.
the point millimeters I said are for the dot pitch not DPI(Scan Resolution).
Currently, my monitor is a 0.2 millimeters superfine pitch offering fine crisp quality. As well as Super Pigment phosphors as well.. Wow, some chemistry put to good use!
Expanding my global domination one spotter at a time..