JasoN534ER From United States of America, joined Nov 2008, 6 posts, RR: 0 Posted (3 years 4 months 1 week 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 1911 times:
I got my 9th photo rejection here with none accepted so far. I understand there is a high quality requirement, but when I am getting rejected for "grain/noise" after shooting at 100 ISO with minimal to no light enhancing, this is a bit odd. Other reasons given were that the image was too soft, the quality was bad, and so was the editing. Now, when I clicked the link, I noticed the image that came up was in fact flawed in most of these ways, where as, on my screen, and off of my hard drive, the original is much sharper, not grainy, and (in my opinion) not of bad quality. I don't think that when I uploaded it, my downsized 1600 pixel image lost any quality, but maybe something happened that caused this.
So... what do you guys think? Can uploading/downloading through the site's system reduce the quality of the image? I know different programs can make a picture darker or brighter and more or less saturated, but I haven't heard of this happening with sharpness and grain. Am I somehow shrinking it and reducing the quality? Is it being saved as a jpg over and over somehow and getting grain and losing quality that way (it does kind of look like the effect you get when saving an MS paint file repeatedly)? I will post the link of the rejected image, and you will also see the bad quality of it. If you think a 1024 pixel flickr image will help you compare, I will post that too. I am just wondering if all of my photos look better on my screen than on the reviewer's. (I am not saying they shouldn't have been rejected, I just noticed the big difference in this last one and thought I'd ask.)
By the way, I am using GIMPshop to resize the image down to 1600 pixels, with the "Cubic (best)" setting.
Dazbo5 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2005, 2579 posts, RR: 2 Reply 2, posted (3 years 4 months 1 week 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 1899 times:
A couple of things I'd mention. Firstly, why upload at 1600 pixels? In my opinion, I would never upload at anything over 1024 pixels for two reasons. Firstly, you can get quite a good 6x4 print from a 1600 pixel upload so the image becomes very nickable. Secondly, any minor quality issues are far more niticable at 1600 pixels that 1024 will cover up (to a degree) giving you more chance of a successful upload. I would stick to 1024 for the time being until you've mastered the quality required for the site.
When you sharpen your photos, are you doing it selectively or applying it to the whole photo? Even at ISO 100, if you are sharpening the sky, and minor amounts of grain will start to become noticable especialy anything blue and red. You need a combination of a good original photo (camera technique) and careful editing in order to get the end product. Quality in = quality out. Looking at the Globemaster photo, it's not too bad but there is some softness all over and visible noise in the sky. I would guess that you're using a wide apperture (small f number)? What camera settings are you using? I've never used GIMP so I can't comment on it's capabilities.
Equipment: 2x Canon EOS 50D; Sigma 10-20 EX DC HSM, 50-500 EX APO DG, Canon 24-105 f/4 L, Speedlite 430EX
PiloteAlpha From Mauritius, joined Mar 2007, 133 posts, RR: 3 Reply 3, posted (3 years 4 months 1 week 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 1851 times:
As Darren said, no need for 1600 pixels. 1024 px will be just fine and using this size, some of the flaws in your shot will not be visible.
Regarding loss of quality during upload, one thing that i've noticed is a decrease in size of my photo ; maybe due to some compression during the upload process. For e.g. last time i had uploaded a shot which was about 600 KB. When i saved the photo to my PC from the preview page, the size was about 400 KB. I was expecting the size to be above 600KB after the copyright bar was added at the bottom of the shot. Maybe someone could shed some light on this.
The way I see it, you can either work for a living or you can fly airplanes. Me, I'd rather fly.
JakTrax From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 4738 posts, RR: 8 Reply 4, posted (3 years 4 months 1 week 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 1838 times:
I agree with everything said here. 1600 pixels is way too much, especially for a beginner here - even 1200 is tricky for someone new to the upload process. And as Darren so rightly points out, 1600 pixels provides a good scope for image theft.
Again I'm not a GIMP user but it obviously isn't as good as Adobe photo imaging products as it's far cheaper (i.e. free). Even the basic Elemets series of Photoshop are $70-$80.
Finally, as stated grain will be introduced when sharpening, and also when brightening an image (surprised no-one's mentioned it yet). To combat this you can either sharpen or brighten selectively, or 'blur' the grain out if it's in an area which doesn't require sharpening (e.g. the sky).
Lennymuir From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2002, 434 posts, RR: 6 Reply 6, posted (3 years 4 months 1 week 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 1763 times:
Quoting JakTrax (Reply 4): Again I'm not a GIMP user but it obviously isn't as good as Adobe photo imaging products as it's far cheaper (i.e. free).
Sorry Karl, just because it's free doesn't mean it's no use.
All the simple and common tools in the GIMP are basic,
but it's totally sufficient for getting uploads into here.
It's not rocket science, just a little practice.
I've stuck by the GIMP since 2000 AD, and I'm still using one of the earlier versions.
JakTrax From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 4738 posts, RR: 8 Reply 7, posted (3 years 4 months 1 week 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 1758 times:
I wouldn't say it's excessively noisy but with the subject being back-lit it is far more apparent in the resulting shadows. The tail looks grainy, as does the area just under the cockpit windows. There is definitely some evident grain generally.
Remember a grainy rejection tends to come when the issue can be relatively easily resolved - which I'm sure in this case it can.
JasoN534ER From United States of America, joined Nov 2008, 6 posts, RR: 0 Reply 9, posted (3 years 4 months 1 week 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 1743 times:
Thanks for the advice everyone.
Just to clarify, I am only using GIMP to resize the image, not for editing. I use Nikon's 'Capture NX' for all the other little adjustments, and have found it to be pretty sufficient. Also, the image I linked to (rejected photo link) is softer and more grainy than any other version of the photo that I look at on my computer or other websites.
My main issue is how the quality in the rejected image link is substantially worse than any other version of my image that I look at. That quality reduction also makes there appear to be noise throughout the sky and parts of the aircraft where, in the original, there isn't any (or at least it is far less recognizable).
As for why I uploaded at that size, I guess I just thought that at 1600 pixels, the image would appear sharper for those who viewed it at a smaller size, without thinking about how it makes the problems more apparent to a photo reviewer. I will submit smaller sizes for sure in the future.
To anyone curious, I was shooting wide open (F5.0 at 150mm with the Sigma 150-500 OS) with a Nikon D80. I understand some copies of this lens are sharper than others.
By the way -unrelated- here is a photo that got rejected that I just like showing people who are aviation enthusiasts like myself. Enjoy.
That P-3 was about 15 feet overhead (I was at 16mm so it might look higher), and it was a huge adrenaline rush. The photo might not look level because the fence slopes down and away, but the horizon in the background is actually level (if you were standing there, you would see it too).
Kukkudrill From Malta, joined Dec 2004, 1122 posts, RR: 5 Reply 11, posted (3 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 1682 times:
Quoting PiloteAlpha (Reply 3): Regarding loss of quality during upload, one thing that i've noticed is a decrease in size of my photo ; maybe due to some compression during the upload process. For e.g. last time i had uploaded a shot which was about 600 KB. When i saved the photo to my PC from the preview page, the size was about 400 KB. I was expecting the size to be above 600KB after the copyright bar was added at the bottom of the shot. Maybe someone could shed some light on this.
Quoting JasoN534ER (Reply 9): My main issue is how the quality in the rejected image link is substantially worse than any other version of my image that I look at.
This has come up in the past. My understanding is that a.net compresses uploaded photos but screeners see the uncompressed originals.
Make the most of the available light ... a lesson of photography that applies to life
JakTrax From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 4738 posts, RR: 8 Reply 13, posted (3 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 1652 times:
Quoting Lennymuir (Reply 6): Sorry Karl, just because it's free doesn't mean it's no use
Where did I say it's of no use? It's okay I hear for getting acceptances here but the Adobe series is obviously better else no-one would buy Photoshop and they'd be bankrupt! You can't realistically compare a free product to one that, even in its most basic form, costs upward of £65. You get what you pay for.
Cpd From Australia, joined Jun 2008, 4879 posts, RR: 44 Reply 14, posted (3 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 1622 times:
Quoting JakTrax (Reply 13): but the Adobe series is obviously better else no-one would buy Photoshop and they'd be bankrupt!
Adobe is not always better, but it is popular because it is the industry standard in the online and digital space. If you want to get into the digital media industry, you've got to know Adobe software or else.
Lennymuir From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2002, 434 posts, RR: 6 Reply 15, posted (3 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 1608 times:
Karl, you don't have to buy a carbon fibre fly rod, quality line and shrimp flies tied onto sharp
hooks to catch mackerel.
Reading again what JasoN534ER wrote "Is it being saved as a jpg over and over somehow and getting grain and losing quality that way"
Yes, don't repeatedly save on a 'lossy' jpeg. Work the file as a .psd or a .tif
flie until ready to convert to a final jpeg.
Doesn't Nikon Capture NX resize too? I thought it did.
Surprised to see that you only use the GIMP for resize. .... on a jpeg?..
That's why the file should remain lossless until the last step.
GIMP resize "Cubic (best)" does soften the image too naturally.
So, beware, so you should add a bit more
sharpening with GIMP after resizing.
Not the Unsharp Mask. A little ordinary 'Sharpen' used selectively is good enough.
JasoN534ER From United States of America, joined Nov 2008, 6 posts, RR: 0 Reply 18, posted (3 years 4 months 1 week 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 1522 times:
I know where the lens sweet-spot is, although with the D80, anything much above 100 ISO would probably lead to grain in shadows that is also a bit excessive to be accepted. I shoot around 400mm during most of the airshow, luckily the C-17 was big and close enough for me to zoom all the way out. Most of the time, though, I try to follow the rule that says you shouldn't shoot at a shutter speed less than your focal length, and even then, I notice some motion/camera shake blur. So, turning the ISO up makes me think my picture will be too grainy for a.net, even with some good post-processing, making me not want to stop down, and not stopping down makes the image not as crisp as it needs to be. I suppose I have to work a bit harder to find the 'balance' or middle ground between lens sharpness and grain, which is a whole other 'sweet-spot' on its own... until I get a second generation Nikon where ISO performance is amazing.
Kukkudrill - I hope that is what they are using, as the difference is too much for me to not notice. Maybe there is less regard to quality when posting a photo to a rejected image link, as it is more just to show you which picture it is, instead of to sustain the original quality. That would make sense.
Lenny- I know that saving jpg over and over will cause that effect. I was asking, though, if that is what happens somehow during the upload process, which would explain why the rejection link was such bad quality. And yes, Capture NX does resize, too. I notice that when you open images in different programs (Windows photo viewer, Capture NX, IE, GIMP, anything) that there is a slight difference in the image, mostly noticeable in the saturation. I like to see what it looks like in several programs before I post/submit, just to know what might stand out if someone else were to see it in these ways, too. I think GIMP has more settings in the resize menu, including the cubic/best setting that makes me wonder how NX does it. I can probably find that out with a quick search, though.
Aussie18- WHAT? haha. That isn't a new edit, it is the exact same edit, just shrunken by flickr as opposed to GIMPshop. It is the same image file and everything, only I took it and made it 1600 pixels to fit the upload requirement here. Does the rejection link look the same to you as the photo that I uploaded? I think the blur JakTrax may be talking about is in regard to noise reduction, as that is a method used to get rid of some noise in shadows or in areas where it wouldn't be seen. Regarding it being back lit, is there a sort of percentage that you would use to determine the acceptability of a photo like this? Meaning: would, say 75% of the aircraft have to be in light, or something like that, or do you just go on how you see it? (I would call it more side-lit than back-lit, but I know that when there are that many shadows, it is pretty much both.)
JakTrax From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 4738 posts, RR: 8 Reply 19, posted (3 years 4 months 1 week 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 1520 times:
It's without doubt a nice shot (I'm guessing there wasn't too much you could do about the subject being back-lit?) and a shame about A.net's stance on excessive grain. In my opinion grain - unlike other rejection reasons - does not ruin an image's aesthetics.
I'd say with some careful noise-reduction and further editing it should stand a high chance of getting accpeted.
JasoN534ER From United States of America, joined Nov 2008, 6 posts, RR: 0 Reply 20, posted (3 years 4 months 1 week 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 1519 times:
Thanks for the compliment.
Yes, there wasn't anything that could be done about the lighting, unfortunately, the orientation of the runways and show-center at Nellis is bad for at least the first half of the day. At the beginning of the day, everything would pretty much be nearly directly back-lit. Aside from getting the photo when the aircraft was further in the distance, further out on the approach, nothing can be done to get the light on the proper side, unless you can somehow get a spot in or around the Air Force Base's tower.