Topic Author
Posts: 968
Joined: Sun Dec 05, 1999 7:03 am

What Am I Doing Wrong?

Sun May 14, 2000 5:01 am

Folks, I'm having most of my pictures kicked back. I uploaded over 20 pictures, and Johan rejected them all. I'm not placing blame on him, but rather that I'm doing something wrong. I have a very old Ricoh camera that belonged to my grandfather. I don't think it's the camera, as I've had pictures accepted before that its been used.

I have a Canon FB630U scanner. I'm scanning them at 400 DPI into Photoshop, and then I size it down to 300 DPI when I resize the picture.

This is the rejection notice I got:

The image quality of these photos are low. It could be caused by the scanner you are using, the way you scanned your photos, the camera, the light conditions when you shot the photos, object out of focus, improper photo manipulations or any combination
thereof. Most of the time, the cause is either a bad scanner or that the scanner wasn't used properly. If you think this might be the cause, please read the documentation for your scanner and find the best DPI and color settings. Generally a higher DPI and color setting will make a higher quality image but only to a
certain degree and it differs between different brands of scanners. Try many different settings until you find the best combination. If you are using an old or low quality scanner you might consider investing in a new or borrow one from your friend/workplace/school. If you think you have been able to improve the quality of the photos, please re-upload them. Note that we are still very interested in having these photos in our database, we only ask that you try to improve the quality of the digital version of your photos. You can find examples of photos with a high quality scanning in out "Great Shots" section linked to from the frontpage of Airliners.net.

Can you look at the pictures (I've put them at http://www.planesite.net/ricoh/) and tell me what I'm doing wrong?

RE: What Am I Doing Wrong?

Sun May 14, 2000 5:22 am


The photo needs to be sharpened, photoshop should have a sharpening tool or some type of photo enhancer in the program. Also, you may want to crop the photo to take away some of the sky and concentrate on the plane. Try Scanning the Photo at 300 dpi first, then use the
enhancements features.
Posts: 1543
Joined: Wed Aug 04, 1999 11:08 am

RE: What Am I Doing Wrong?

Sun May 14, 2000 6:14 am


It seems to me that there are three major things that can be improved.

First, your photo processing looks really bad in some of the photos, especially the first two UA 737-200's and another UA 737-200 down the page
(09FCDD-MH.jpg), and a few others. Are you using photo processing services at discount stores like Wal-Greens or Wal-Mart? If you are, stop using them. Have your photos developed at a more professional place like at some camera stores. There is a huge difference between the chemicals, paper, machine maintenence, and employee skill at Wal-Mart compared to a more professional photo lab. The above mentioned UA photos definately are from bad photo processing. (The sky looks is piss green!). Having photos developed at a more professional place adds about $4 to $6 per roll depending on where you are, but the extra cost is definitely worth it.

Second, it appears that you have a low quality zoom lens. All of the images appear fuzzy and really soft, which Adobe Photoshop WILL NOT be able to fix. I notice that users on here tend to oversharpen their photos thinking it will help when in fact it makes it worse. You have to start out with a good photo before scanning. Unfortunately, good quality zoom lenses that will yield sharp photos are not cheap. I paid $515 for a MF Tamron 70mm-300mm zoom last month that takes outstanding photos. That's the way photographic equipment runs...you get what you pay for. If you have a cheap lens, you get soft images. A good lens (thus more expensive) gets you sharper images. Just find a balance between the low and high quality that you can live with. It seems to me that the major culprit here is your lens. I don't claim to be an expert at this, but I've been taking photos for a long time as well as having seem other photographers stuff to recognize a lens problem when I see one.

Third, I see some photos that have debris in them. Some of it looks like it's from the processing, others look like dust. It's especially pronounced on 09FE66-MH.jpg, 09FB7F-MH.jpg, 09FA9B-MH.jpg (on the bottom looks like it's from processing), and 09FA9B-MH.jpg. Use the cloning tool in Photoshop to take those out. Before you scan your photos, you might clean the glass on your scanner with rubbing alcohol and a lint free cloth.

Finally, don't get discouraged at what you're doing. It seems that you have a pretty good idea of what your are doing, but the problems seem to be mostly equipment related which can be easily remedied. When I first started doing this years ago I experienced the same things your are now. Just keep on looking for ways to improve and don't react negatively to somebody else's critique (too many people on here have really bad attitudes when somebody doesn't think their photos are outstanding), and be thankful you live near an airport!


Mark Abbott
Minneapolis, MN
A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man...
Posts: 273
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2002 1:01 pm

RE: What Am I Doing Wrong?

Sun May 14, 2000 10:13 am

Blurry, dark, and poor color. There's your answer(s)...
Topic Author
Posts: 968
Joined: Sun Dec 05, 1999 7:03 am

RE: What Am I Doing Wrong?

Sun May 14, 2000 11:22 am


Thanks for the feedback. You're absolutely right. I'm having most of my photo processing done at WalMart one-hour.

I'll find a better place in Pittsburgh. Again, thanks for the feedback.
User avatar
Posts: 865
Joined: Sun Jun 20, 1999 12:18 pm

RE: What Am I Doing Wrong?

Sun May 14, 2000 1:24 pm

Hey Mike,

I just took a look at the pictures, and the first thing that hit me was how fuzzy everything was. You've got good angles and good composition, but wow...the detail just isn't there.

Anyway, Brick pretty much hit the nail on the head. I'm willing to guess that your biggest problem is the fact that you are using a low quality zoom. There is a reason why some lenses are so frickin' expensive...once you get your hands on a QUALITY piece of glass, you'll never go back to the cheap stuff. As brick said, you get what you pay for when it comes to photographic equipment.

Good luck!

My name is Scott, and I am addicted to writing obnoxiously-detailed trip reports.
Posts: 3969
Joined: Fri Apr 21, 2000 5:03 am

RE: What Am I Doing Wrong?

Tue May 16, 2000 3:10 am

Dear Hypermike,

What kind of scanner are you using? The other respondents have noted problems with the photos and the lens, be sure to heed their advice. But the scanner is important too.

My own experience is that Hewlett-Packard scanners are substantially better than any other. I just discovered a 6100 at my university computer lab and now won't use anything less. The scans are incredibly bright, rich, and finely-detailed. They also tend not to need a lot of PhotoShop work, which saves time. Go out of your way if needed to find an HP.

As for other scanners? Quoth the Raven, "NEVERMORE!"

Jim K.
Need a new airline paint scheme? Better call Saul! (Bass that is)
Posts: 950
Joined: Thu May 27, 1999 4:13 am

RE: What Am I Doing Wrong?

Tue May 16, 2000 3:16 am

This is a response to the noticeable fuzziness problem. You did not tell us what the images look like on the source material-(negatives in your case). For that matter, you didn't tell us if the prints look fuzzy. Until you are certain of the quality you have on the negative, talk about scanning technique is premature.

There is no substitute for a strong magnifying glass-the common 8X photographic loupe is not strong enough for 35mm negs and slides. Get yourself a tandem 10X magnifier. This item is as important to me than any of my lenses, but it costs a lot less. A tandem is one of those where one of the two lenses folds out from the body of the magnifier for 10X, and if you need to double the power to 20X (like when reading reg numbers) you simply fold out the second lens and align it with the first.

It appears to me that many photographers on Airliners.net are trying to solve optical problems (which you can detect with such a magnifier) with scanner adjustments. You have correctly been advised the latter will not get you the image quality you need.

Hope this helps.
Posts: 3811
Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2000 1:04 pm

RE: What Am I Doing Wrong?

Tue May 16, 2000 11:29 am

Hi TomH,

While I do agree with you that a loupe is an essential piece of photographic equipment, I dissagree when it comes to the magnification. I have both a Schinder 8x, and a Hoya 4x loupe, and both have performed wonderfully over the past 15 or so years, that I have been shooting. Now a 10x loupe is a nice piece of glass (or in the case of a tandem 2 pieces of glass. BTW, who makes this loupe anyway ?.. Peak ?, they seem to have a wide variety of 10x loupes). I do not think that it is a must though, but I would certainly suggest to anyone looking to buying a loupe, that I would start out with at least a 8x. Anyways have a great week and..Good shooting,

"Show me the Braniffs"

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: acontador, SamThomas and 1 guest

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos