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Absolute Beginner: How Much Do I Need To Edit My P  
User currently offlinenotaxonrotax From Netherlands, joined Mar 2011, 388 posts, RR: 0
Posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 4976 times:

So,

I am playing around with my Nikon D3100........at local crop-dusting bases and a few international airports and I get my photos rejected on several aviation picture sites.
Hopeless rejections, which is normal for a beginner; so I´ve been told.

I´m playing around with my shutter speed, aperture.........sometimes I just sit in front of a rotating prop and try different camera settings and the results are very interesting.

But here´s my question: somehow my pictures never come out as nice and bright as the pics I see on the net, so how much is generally achieved by "software-editing" the shots afterwards?
I use "Preview" within the Macintosh software to toy with contrast, sharpness etc.......but how essential is this?
Do the great photographers on this site rely a lot on these "tricks", or is a great pic, simply a great pic?

Any advice would be appreciated,

No Tax On Rotax


Als vader voorlicht, kan je merken dat hij achter ligt.
26 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinemegatop412 From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 308 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 4966 times:

You'd be surprised at the length to which folks go to get their photos accepted. Everyone has a 'workflow' and it is commonly observed that every shot needs some amount of sharpening. Sharpening itself has become one of the dark arts of aviation photography here as any unshsarp mask user will tell you.

Some of the common adjustments made to photos are contrast, sharpening, leveling, cropping, color/tone curve adjustment, brightness, maybe some noise reduction.

It helps to start with a high quality image, nothing from far away, nothing with distracting elements in it, nothing backlit, and nothing blurry. But, there seems to be an inverse relationship between the rarity of an aircraft and the quality required for acceptance.

Lighting is key. Some of the best shots here have very dramatic lighting, shots taken during the optimal hours of the day instead of the sun being directly overhead.


User currently offlinedarreno1 From United States of America, joined Jun 2010, 224 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 4967 times:

Well you have a great entry level body - the d3100. Most of my shots on here were taken with one. To get A.net quality pics you need to practice, be patient and yes you do need to learn and develop your editing skills. Getting 'perfect' (i.e by A.net standards) shots right out of the camera isn't easy. Occasionally I might take a pic that needs very little editing but the majority usually needs some tweaking to get accepted. So, the rejection guide is a must read and there are good tips in the Photoshop editing guide. Rejections are a part of life here and it's something you'll have to get used to. However as you develop your skills, your acceptance ratio will increase. Other factors that come into play:

1. Lens: Basically you get what you pay for. Cheap bottom of the barrel lenses will yield so-so results. Here is where it's usually wise to do some research before jumping on a 'bargain'.

2. Settings: Pretty obvious. You want the most accurate exposure possible and you want it in focus. Only time and practice can help here. I suggest using manual mode as much as possible to get a feel for what each setting does. If you want to get the most out of editing, shoot in RAW mode.

3.Weather: Also obvious. Great weather with good light will make life a lot easier.

4. Heat Haze: Try to avoid it as much as possible. It will reduce the quality of otherwise great shots. And it's not always easy to detect until you get home and start editing. Some people recommend shooting late in the day when the sun is about an hour or two from setting or early the morning. From my experience, it really does help. Early morning shots can have amazing clarity right out of the camera. For daytime high heat hours, finding a spot a little ways away from the airport can help as well.



Nikon D7000 / Nikkor 105mm AF f2.8 / Nikkor 35 f1.8G / Nikkor 50 f1.8D / Nikkor 85mm / Nikkor 300mm f4 AF
User currently onlinevikkyvik From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 9400 posts, RR: 27
Reply 3, posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 4908 times:
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My typical editing workflow for A.net involves:

1.) RAW editing (which I usually do for all photos, whether they're going to be uploaded to A.net or not): exposure, contrast, noise reduction, sharpening, white balance/color tweaking, export to JPEG
2.) JPEG editing (which I usually only do for A.net photos): contrast again (because I never seem to get it quite correct in RAW), selective NR if necessary, resize, sharpening (for A.net).

Quoting darreno1 (Reply 2):
4. Heat Haze:

YES! Nothing is worse than uploading 200 freshly-taken photos, and realizing that 150 of them are badly heat-hazed.

Most importantly, get out there and practice shooting. When I look through my photos, I have a much higher percentage of keepers now than I did 1 year/10000 photos ago.

And yeah, you'll have to practice editing too to get shots on here, though it doesn't exactly sound as much fun. But to me, getting photos on A.net is a fun challenge, and editing is part of that.



"Two and a Half Men" was filmed in front of a live ostrich.
User currently offlineSIA6696 From Australia, joined Dec 2009, 90 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 4903 times:

Good editing software helps a lot. Using a simple program such as preview will often not enable the user as much control over the image then photoshop.

If you have photoshop just follow this suggested workflow, its what i used and it works.

http://www.airliners.net/faq/editing_guide.php



The best seat in a plane is the one you are in.
User currently offlineviv From Ireland, joined May 2005, 3142 posts, RR: 29
Reply 5, posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 4889 times:

Post-processing, for me, takes about two minutes per shot.

My workflow is simple: Crop (if necessary), Resize, Equalise to check for dust spots, Clone Out any dust spots, Smart Sharpen.

That's it. If you need to do more than that, the original image was not good enough.



Nikon D700, Nikkor 80-400, Fuji X Pro 1, Fujinon 35 f/1.4, Fujinon 18 f/2
User currently offlinechris78cpr From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2004, 2819 posts, RR: 51
Reply 6, posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 4624 times:

Quoting viv (Reply 5):
That's it. If you need to do more than that, the original image was not good enough.

I see when you purchased your M9 you took the option of purchasing the Leica snobbery also.


To the original poster...

Try not to play around too much with the processing functions as the term 'less is more' is very applicable here. I would recommend getting yourself a copy of photoshop elements and within that software use only the basic levels, contrast and colour tools to enhance the image. Every image will need to be sharpened and this is best left to the last step when the image has been resized to 1024/1200/1400x. The editing guide linked above is a good place to start reading.

Chris



5D2/7D/1D2(soon to be a 1Dx) 17-40L/24-105L/70-200F2.8L/100-400L/24F1.4LII/50F1.2L/85F1.2LII
User currently offlineDehowie From Australia, joined Feb 2004, 1056 posts, RR: 34
Reply 7, posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 4608 times:

Quoting viv (Reply 5):
That's it. If you need to do more than that, the original image was not good enough.

If you are shooting nothing more than blue sky with contrasty background stuff that may be the case but for more demanding conditions PP is a fact of life.
Even my M9 stuff needs editing..but then i try to spend less time in blue skies and more time at night and in rain..



2EOS1DX,EF14.2.8LII,17TS,85/1.2,16-35L,24-70LII,24L,70-200F2.8LII,100-400,300/400/500/800L
User currently offlinedumbell2424 From United States of America, joined Apr 2009, 865 posts, RR: 2
Reply 8, posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 4590 times:
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For editing-make sure you're working or saving in sRGB. Also, Google the Jid Webb workflow. There are videos on YouTube, it's amazing what it has done for some of my photos.

User currently offlinesovietjet From Bulgaria, joined Mar 2003, 2519 posts, RR: 17
Reply 9, posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 4588 times:
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Quoting viv (Reply 5):
That's it. If you need to do more than that, the original image was not good enough.

Simply not true.

Quoting darreno1 (Reply 2):
Settings: Pretty obvious. You want the most accurate exposure possible and you want it in focus. Only time and practice can help here. I suggest using manual mode as much as possible to get a feel for what each setting does. If you want to get the most out of editing, shoot in RAW mode.

I do agree with you.

However, be wary of using manual mode too much. Imagine photographing a plane moving left to right of your field of view. Chances are, the lighting is not the same on the left as it is on the right. So dialing in some manual settings for when the plane is on the left might result in under- or overexposure of that plane when it's in front of you and on the right. It's not very convenient to keep manually changing settings as the plane moves across your field of view. The best use of manual mode is for static photos, or if you plan on a particular motive of a moving plane using only a select part of your field of view.

As far as RAW, not always necessary as well. Photographing a plane against blue skies on a nice sunny day does not require RAW. But others will disagree.


User currently offline2H4 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 8955 posts, RR: 60
Reply 10, posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 4586 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
HEAD DATABASE EDITOR

Quoting megatop412 (Reply 1):
nothing with distracting elements in it

I learned this the hard way via this shot:


MyAviation.net photo:
Click here for bigger photo!
Photo © Jason McDowell



It was rejected because the tip of that cone is blocking part of the fuselage. Now I make a very strong effort to look for anything and everything that might possibly be blocking even an antenna.

When I shoot in museums, I'll actually move parts of the display (usually with permission) to achieve a clear view of the aircraft. Notice how, in this shot, I unclipped one of the barricade ropes so the nosewheel wasn't blocked:


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Jason McDowell




Intentionally Left Blank
User currently offlineHarryImp From UK - England, joined Jun 2011, 55 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 4561 times:

Hi

I am also new to editing and was wondering what method i should use for sharpening??

I either make it grainy/soft and cant get it right.. And also how can i reduce noise in editing??


Harry


User currently offlinecliffak From Sweden, joined Aug 2011, 77 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 4557 times:

I like Lightroom a lot, because it's designed with photographers in mind, with clear names for controls that mostly do what you expect them to do (ie adjusting the "exposure" slider will have the expected result). Also, I like the fact that it doesn't touch your original files and has neat things like the "virtual copy" feature. I seldom use PS nowadays but LR will integrate with it sohuld you need to do things LR can't.

For an example how not to design photo editing software, try GIMP.. IMO it shows that it was designed by software people without much input from photographers. Then again, usability usually isn't a priority for FOSS projects.. Unfortunately.


User currently offlineRonS From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 762 posts, RR: 23
Reply 13, posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 4528 times:

Quoting HarryImp (Reply 11):
I am also new to editing and was wondering what method i should use for sharpening??

If you have Photoshop, and I think CS2 and later, you should use Smart Sharpen on a seperate layer and you should mask out the sky beforehand.

Quoting HarryImp (Reply 11):
And also how can i reduce noise in editing??

Yes, but only a little because it removes alot of detail. I do alot of noise reduction in LR3. Before LR3 I would process RAW in Adobe Camera Raw and do some NR. Then when I save the TIFF and open in CS3, and if I still had noise, I would generally select ONLY the sky, and apply a little more NR in photoshop of the sky.

Quoting viv (Reply 5):

Post-processing, for me, takes about two minutes per shot.

Hey Viv, I've seen you write that about 50 times. For me it takes a while. But like Darren said above for sunny skies, ok a few quick minutes, I can see that. I barely even shoot in the daytime. Sunrise and sunset, High ISO shots, it's going to take a bit longer for me. Heck, sometimes I can't even get the WB right in 2 minutes!

But for the begginers to make it around here, I think saying two minutes is unrealistic for them. I remember it taking me 15 minutes just to adjust the level after multiple rejections.



All opinions expressed by me are my own opinions & do not represent the opinions in any way of my employers.
User currently offlinesovietjet From Bulgaria, joined Mar 2003, 2519 posts, RR: 17
Reply 14, posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 4497 times:
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No matter how good a photographer you are, and how correct your settings, in many lighting situations the camera simply cannot perfectly represent the scene (due to dynamic range, etc..). Therefore some adjustments in contrast are required, sometimes even just a slight adjustment. The balloon shot, of course will have perfect contrast, you are shooting a brightly lit subject against a black background, what would you expect?

viv - I see most of your photos are of subjects during a bright sunny day with nice clean blue skies. I would love for you to show us how to take a photo in conditions like these without doing any post processing


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Alex Beltyukov - RuSpotters Team



User currently onlinevikkyvik From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 9400 posts, RR: 27
Reply 15, posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 4477 times:
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Quoting RonS (Reply 15):
If you have Photoshop, and I think CS2 and later, you should use Smart Sharpen on a seperate layer and you should mask out the sky beforehand.

Just to offer a different method - I don't use Smart Sharpen; I use Unsharp Mask.

Never tried Smart Sharpen, to be fair.

Quoting RonS (Reply 15):

Yes, but only a little because it removes alot of detail. I do alot of noise reduction in LR3. Before LR3 I would process RAW in Adobe Camera Raw and do some NR. Then when I save the TIFF and open in CS3, and if I still had noise, I would generally select ONLY the sky, and apply a little more NR in photoshop of the sky.

ACR for PS5 has freaking great NR. It reduces detail quite a bit less than other NR I've used.

Once I export the JPEG, I'll only use NR selectively on areas that need it.

Quoting RonS (Reply 15):
Hey Viv, I've seen you write that about 50 times. For me it takes a while. But like Darren said above for sunny skies, ok a few quick minutes, I can see that. I barely even shoot in the daytime. Sunrise and sunset, High ISO shots, it's going to take a bit longer for me. Heck, sometimes I can't even get the WB right in 2 minutes!

Same here. Editing can generally take anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes per shot. Sometimes I think I'm too anal when it comes to editing for A.net, but hey, it's worth it in my opinion, and I actually kind of like the whole process.

And it doesn't change the fact that you need a good capture to start out with.

Quoting chris78cpr (Reply 16):
I applaud anyone who takes the time to get the shot the best they can in camera, in fact it's a quality that i recommend to other people all the time. What i am not overly keen on is this attitude that everyone else is inferior because they may choose to use levels, curves and other processing techniques.

  

Pretty much. Post processing is a major option in the digital imaging world, and I don't see any reason not to take advantage of it. Yes, I like to get my exposures, etc. correct, but it's a learning curve that I'm still climbing.

[Edited 2011-09-14 16:32:52 by srbmod]


"Two and a Half Men" was filmed in front of a live ostrich.
User currently offlinealevik From Canada, joined Mar 2009, 915 posts, RR: 8
Reply 16, posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 23 hours ago) and read 4443 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
HEAD SCREENER

I agree that some difficult conditions require some processing than your basic side on sunny sky images. I guess I tend to agree with Viv that although some shots might take more than a couple minutes, generally for a site like anet or jpnet if you are spending more than 4 or 5 minutes editing one image, I can't imagine what could take that much time.

Even the image that sovietjet linked to from Alex B - still a 5 minute job. I'm just trying to paint a picture of effort for a new guy - you won't need to spend an hour on one image to edit it - I think we can all agree on that. The min to max must be in the 2 to 10 minute range?

I just shot a few days ago some dusk/evening stuff. This one took only three or four minutes:


This one also took three or four minutes, but I need to find a noise reduction program to run it through (never had had the need for one):


PS - if someone has a recommendation for the noise reduction - let me know. I use Elements 9 on a Mac

Pete



Improvise, adapt, overcome.
User currently offlineRonS From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 762 posts, RR: 23
Reply 17, posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 23 hours ago) and read 4442 times:

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 20):
Never tried Smart Sharpen, to be fair.

Try it, let me know. It was recommended to me by Dan V and he's quite knowledgeable about editing, so generally I listen to him and I have success.

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 20):
ACR for PS5 has freaking great NR. It reduces detail quite a bit less than other NR I've used.

Yes, most def. It has the same NR as LR3 does...which is very good.



All opinions expressed by me are my own opinions & do not represent the opinions in any way of my employers.
User currently offlinesovietjet From Bulgaria, joined Mar 2003, 2519 posts, RR: 17
Reply 18, posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 22 hours ago) and read 4441 times:
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alevik - Try Neat Image. I just ran your photo through it and got pretty good results.

User currently offlinedarreno1 From United States of America, joined Jun 2010, 224 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 21 hours ago) and read 4426 times:

IMO, how long it takes to edit depends on several factors. Initial quality is obviously one and that is influenced by weather conditions, equipment, and photographer skill. Another is picture size. The bigger the picture, the more care has to be taken during editing as flaws tend to be easier to see. I often upload in the 1400-1600 pixel range (which seems to be the frowned up range for obvious reasons) and can easily spend 10 minutes on one photo. For a beginner, I'd recommend getting as intimate as possible with the software side of things and research and practice different work flows. The more you know about the various settings, the easier it will be to fine tune the work flow for efficiency and desired results. As time progresses, your skill will increase which will in turn lead to better initial quality and less / quicker post-processing.


Nikon D7000 / Nikkor 105mm AF f2.8 / Nikkor 35 f1.8G / Nikkor 50 f1.8D / Nikkor 85mm / Nikkor 300mm f4 AF
User currently offlineviv From Ireland, joined May 2005, 3142 posts, RR: 29
Reply 20, posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 12 hours ago) and read 4389 times:

My original post (quoted below) seems to have ruffled some feathers here. This was not my intention.

On reflection, I should have worded my final sentence as follows: "That's it. If I need to do more, my original image was not good enough".

Hopefully all cause for offence is now removed.

Regarding workflow, of course each photographer here will go his own way. But I am amazed at the lengths people will go to in post-processing to bring an image up to scratch, when more care at the time of shooting would obviate the need for most of that work.

Quoting viv (Reply 5):
Post-processing, for me, takes about two minutes per shot.

My workflow is simple: Crop (if necessary), Resize, Equalise to check for dust spots, Clone Out any dust spots, Smart Sharpen.

That's it. If you need to do more than that, the original image was not good enough.


[Edited 2011-09-15 02:27:17]


Nikon D700, Nikkor 80-400, Fuji X Pro 1, Fujinon 35 f/1.4, Fujinon 18 f/2
User currently offlinespencer From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2004, 1633 posts, RR: 17
Reply 21, posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 9 hours ago) and read 4361 times:

I think that's a fair comment Viv. You said what you said and pretty much stuck to your guns. I, on the other hand, edit anywhere between 3 and 20 minutes per shot. A LOT of my stuff here has pushed boundaries within the acceptance criteria for A.net, had you seen the original file. I really like editing but I have to be in the right mood for those 20 minuters!  
Spence



EOS1D4, 7D, 30D, 100-400/4.5-5.6 L IS USM, 70-200/2.8 L IS2 USM, 17-40 f4 L USM, 24-105 f4 L IS USM, 85 f1.8 USM
User currently offlineJakTrax From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 4936 posts, RR: 7
Reply 22, posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 9 hours ago) and read 4359 times:

Quoting darreno1 (Reply 2):
Cheap bottom of the barrel lenses will yield so-so results

I disagree with this. Cheap lenses used within their limitations can produce wonderful images. Often, you'd be hard-pushed to tell the difference between a shot taken with a kit lens and an L (referring to Canon's line of course). Once resized, it's impossible.

Quoting chris78cpr (Reply 6):
getting yourself a copy of photoshop elements and within that software use only the basic levels, contrast and colour tools to enhance the image

I still use Elements 5.0 and it has more than enough features for me. I even do more advanced stuff with it. I agree that less is more - just because you have the latest version of CS doesn't mean your images will look any better. My workflow is EXTREMELY basic, consisting usually of cropping (if necessary), perhaps the odd colour/contrast tweak, resizing and sharpening. To a point I agree with Viv - the more work you have to do, the worse the original image tends to be (talking basic blue sky shots, etc.).

Karl


User currently offlineHarryImp From UK - England, joined Jun 2011, 55 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 6 hours ago) and read 4328 times:

Many thanks for help.

If i go onto smart sharpen (CS5 i have) what settings do I want to get it right??

And how do i use the NR on ACR? I have been told setting luminance to 50 is this right, or is there better??

Many thanks
Harry


User currently offlinenotaxonrotax From Netherlands, joined Mar 2011, 388 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 5 hours ago) and read 4322 times:

A pictures speaks a 1000 words!

Here´s 2 random examples of my editing work of late:

Original:




After the No Tax On Rotax-edting magic:

Cessna Husky


Here´s another picture I improved………or so I´d like to think:

MXP 800 Fantasy


Look:

HC-U0029



Please give me any feedback, where do I go wrong? Is there any hope at all?
Nikon D3100 lens, 18-55mm.

No Tax On Rotax



Als vader voorlicht, kan je merken dat hij achter ligt.
25 Post contains images RonS : To reach the Anet standards, for me it does. While my MBP was in the shop this week replacing the HD, I used my old gateway laptop which only has CS3
26 Post contains images vikkyvik : Damn! Haven't heard of Gateway in years! I remember when we had a Gateway 2000 (at the time) PC back in the 90s; it came in the cow-spotted box. I ag
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