All the recent talk about screen resolution (http://www.airliners.net/discussions/aviation_photography/read.main/113306/
) got me thinking... PLEASE NOTE that in what follows I'm not talking about image upload sizes, I'm talking about screen resolution in pixels (as set in control panel).
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.