cboyes
Posts: 128
Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2004 7:08 pm

Badsoft Again - My First 'help Me' Thread

Fri May 06, 2005 9:02 am

I've recently had two photos rejected for badsoft. This is the latest one:

http://www.airliners.net/addphotos/r...ons/big/DP105_2898_5_00_CBOYES.JPG

This whole business of sharpening is a black art as far as I'm concerned. How are you supposed to know how much is enough? I know you're supposed to sharpen until the jaggies appear and then back it off a bit, but in practise the jaggies don't appear suddenly - they gradually become more obvious. If you look closely you can even see the makings of them in the unsharpened image (admittedly some sharpening has already taken place when you develop the raw file, and again when you downsize the image to a.net size).

With the image above I used selective sharpening because the cheat lines on Lauda aircraft are difficult. Basically I used a feathered selection brush to select the cheat lines, then I inverted the selection (i.e. everything apart from the cheat lines is now selected). Then I applied my usual amount of USM - probably around 160%/0.3/1. This means the cheat lines in the above image are actually not sharpened at all (apart from the sources mentioned above). Do you think this is noticeable, and maybe the reason for the badsoft rejection? Or overall does the entire aircraft need to be sharpened up a bit more? I can already see the beginnings of jaggies on the wings leading edge as it is.

If anyone has any insight they can offer into this difficult area I'd appreciate it.

Craig
 
CallMeCapt
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RE: Badsoft Again - My First 'help Me' Thread

Fri May 06, 2005 9:12 am

Hey Craig
That Lauda is the exact same one I just got a rejection for. But mine was baddistance.
Anyway, try Ferguls workflow sharpening. If you like, email me using my profile and I will happily forward you a copy. It has helped me in my last 2 additions to the database.
It is a very unorthodox way of sharpening but it works pretty good.

Also, when you're sharpening and you're getting jaggies in one area and another area is still blurry, use the lasso tool to select the blurry section and apply USM until you're satisfied.

[Edited 2005-05-06 02:15:57]
Without struggle, there is no progress. (Frederick Douglass)
 
cboyes
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RE: Badsoft Again - My First 'help Me' Thread

Fri May 06, 2005 1:06 pm

Hi Goran

Thanks for the tip on selective sharpening, but its not so much how to do it that is the problem, but how much of it to use. Anyway, its a very subjective area and so I don't think there is a simple answer to this.

I've heard a lot about Ferguls workflow recently. I'd be interested in taking a look at it out of interest - its good to see what techniques other people are using. I had a look at Eric's workflow and that was interesting - he is using the dodge and burn tool. Personally I wouldn't do this but if it works for him then good on him!

Your photo of OE-LPA that got rejected for baddistance, was that a 16R approach shot taken from the observation deck, by any chance?

Craig
 
CallMeCapt
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RE: Badsoft Again - My First 'help Me' Thread

Fri May 06, 2005 1:12 pm

16L departure
http://www.airliners.net/addphotos/rejections/big/oelpagoran.jpg

With regards as to how much sharpening, Ferguls workflow tells exactly how to determine it and fix it.
Without struggle, there is no progress. (Frederick Douglass)
 
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jumbojim747
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RE: Badsoft Again - My First 'help Me' Thread

Fri May 06, 2005 1:38 pm

Its hard to advise someone on sharpening for the simple reason is that different lenses will output different results .
One persons amount of USM might not be enough for another.

Cboyes
Can i ask what sort of lens and camera do you use ?
Aslo ill tell you one thing i have noticed the Lauda 777 always looks a bit soft when i take shots of her im not sure why maybe its the LAUDA title that make it look out of focus.
On a wing and a prayer
 
cboyes
Posts: 128
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RE: Badsoft Again - My First 'help Me' Thread

Fri May 06, 2005 1:43 pm

Goran

I'll send you an e-mail and you can send me a copy of Ferguls workflow - thanks.

Your shot of OE-LPA - too much space in front of the nose. Even if you fix this though it will probably still get rejected because the underside is too grainy (my opinion only, and what the heck would I know). This is something I've noticed with a lot of my Lauda shots - for some reason that particular colour scheme is difficult to photograph, and as for those cheat lines, they're an absolute pain. I think this is a 34L departure (sorry about being pedantic, I can't help it).

[Edited 2005-05-06 06:45:19]
 
glennstewart
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RE: Badsoft Again - My First 'help Me' Thread

Fri May 06, 2005 1:56 pm

When screening, I often find "bad soft" easy to spot. So my best tip would be how to spot a "bad soft", then self screen.
There are many levels of soft-sharp.

1. Unsharpened
2. Slightly sharpened
3. Perfectly sharp
4. Oversharp

Combined these with jagged edges sometimes which leads to "bad jagged".
---
From a screeners point of view, I am looking for a crisp shot where the detail is as close as one (with 20/20 vision) would view it.
With this in mind, picking a soft shot is easier than you would think.

With USM I recommend high percentages with low radius on the resize/crop image. But it's trial and error with USM.
If you want consistently good sharpening, using a smart sharpening tool like FocalBlade. 9 times out of 10, it will given you good results.

Glenn Stewart
Respected users.... If my replies are useful, then by all means...
 
Q330
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RE: Badsoft Again - My First 'help Me' Thread

Fri May 06, 2005 2:00 pm

Don't worry too much about the cheatlines, I think the screeners understand the difficulties in sharpening them. Here's a shot of mine from a little while ago.

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Q. Savit


(plug for demonstration purposes only angel  Wink)

You can see the cheatline looks pretty terrible, but it still got accepted.

However, if I were editing that shot now, I would definitely sharpen the cheatline less than the rest of it. I'd suggest you try something like that on your photo.

-Q
Long live the A330!
 
cboyes
Posts: 128
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RE: Badsoft Again - My First 'help Me' Thread

Fri May 06, 2005 2:03 pm

Alan

I use a Canon 300D and this particular photo was taken with my new lens, which is a Canon EF 70-200L IS USM. With this lens I'm not noticing the grain on the underside of the Lauda which I used to constantly get with my old consumer level EF 90-300mm lens (without USM). I don't know if this is because I'm using a better lens or if its because I'm just getting lucky. Either way I'm not complaining.

Anyway you're right about one persons USM not being enough for another.

One last thing - I've read you don't have to sharpen as much with my particular lens because it produces results that are already pretty sharp. Ha, ha, thats ironic - both my recent badsoft rejections were taken with the new lens!

CB
 
cboyes
Posts: 128
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RE: Badsoft Again - My First 'help Me' Thread

Fri May 06, 2005 2:19 pm

Glenn

Thanks for that advice. I should take a look at this FocalBlade thing.

I imagine its gets easier to spot a photo that is too soft with practise and experience. I don't seem to have reached that point yet.

Q

I took a look at your photo and yes the cheatlines are pretty jagged! Nice shot regardless though. It looks as though I could afford to sharpen them a bit more aggressively.

Craig
 
glennstewart
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RE: Badsoft Again - My First 'help Me' Thread

Fri May 06, 2005 3:02 pm

FocalBlade really works well with cheat lines!
Respected users.... If my replies are useful, then by all means...
 
fergulmcc
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RE: Badsoft Again - My First 'help Me' Thread

Fri May 06, 2005 4:08 pm

Quoting Cboyes (Reply 8):
One last thing - I've read you don't have to sharpen as much with my particular lens because it produces results that are already pretty sharp. Ha, ha, thats ironic - both my recent badsoft rejections were taken with the new lens!

Craig

No matter what lens you have your photos need sharpening, I still sharpen the same amount as I did with my old consumer lenses. I too have the 70-200 LIS f2.8 but what I have found is that the jaggies are much smaller.
After processing I have found that my shots have improved a huge amount with my new 'L' lenses.

Fergul 

PS Sent you an e-mail

Hey Glen, Are you married yet, whens the big day?

[Edited 2005-05-06 09:18:41]
Zambian Airways, Where the Eagles fly free!!
 
sulman
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RE: Badsoft Again - My First 'help Me' Thread

Fri May 06, 2005 6:57 pm

Glenn,

Once again I appreciate your efforts to articulate various methods we can use to help us improve the quality of our uploads, but I'm going to have to disagree on this one, because I don't think this criteria is one that can be easily explained.

Along with 'badquality', badsoft was a rejection reason that all too regularly had me stumped, and I suspect it creates the same confusion amongst other users.

What screeners forget is that they develop considerable acuity in dealing with these images, i.e. your eyes become trained to a very particular standard. That same standard is gradually passed onto us - the photographers - through the process of repetition via rejection, retraining, then success.

I can now see rejection reasons 9 times out of 10, through nothing more than the fact I've effectively been 'trained' to do so.


James
It takes a big man to admit they are wrong, and I am not a big man.
 
Psych
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RE: Badsoft Again - My First 'help Me' Thread

Fri May 06, 2005 7:25 pm

Very interesting debates here today about sharpening.

As things currently stand for me (I say this because I think we are all constantly learning and hopefully moving forward in terms of our editing skills) I would still go with the strategy of applying some sharpening to a layer and then erasing some problem areas - e.g. around cheat lines. Of particular help here is the percentage opacity of the Eraser Tool itself and also, if you can use a pen and graphics tablet, the pressure you apply with the pen can allow a pretty subtle use of the eraser (and sharpening tool for that matter) so that you can get just about the best result you can.

Now, whether another viewer's monitor displays the image exactly as you were seeing it is another matter  wink . That's another story - and another thread.

Paul
 
CallMeCapt
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RE: Badsoft Again - My First 'help Me' Thread

Fri May 06, 2005 9:02 pm

Damn, I can't believe I got that takeoff wrong. You're right, it is a 34L departure.
It was too early in the morning for me when I made that post.
Without struggle, there is no progress. (Frederick Douglass)

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