It is always rather difficult to put into words the different elements that can come together to create a 'Quality' rejection. Although it is easy to sympathise with the photographer frustrated at not getting more detailed information from the screeners, I can also well understand that to actually give a proper response that would help the person can be quite a time-consuming prospect. I shall focus on the PIA image and try, with reference to a somewhat similar image from my own portfolio (though please bear in mind I am not suggesting my shot is A1, but the angles/setting etc are comparable):
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Photo © Paul Markman
If you compare the images (difficult in some respects due to differences in lighting etc) there are a number of issues coming together:
* I feel the colour representation in your shot is slightly out - e.g. the rear part of the PIA colour scheme should look a sandy colour. Your image looks slightly 'washed out'.
* The previously mentioned pixellation is more apparent in yours. My image is somewhat 'smoother'.
* There are contrast issues - take a look at the underside of yours, which is rather too bright I think.
* I feel the sharpening in yours is just not looking right - for example, the lettering at the front of the aircraft. I also tend to look in certain areas - wing root, cabin windows etc. I feel there is some softness there for you.
* Your image may be in need of slight CCW rotation - all the verticals (though small) lean slightly to the right.
This is my initial impression and I guess the screener may have lumped all these issues together. I reckon these are primarily editing issues and would be interested to see how the original looks. If you would like me to have a look at the original, do an edit and take you through what I have done feel free to contact me via my profile. My hunch is that by different use of a few tools in PS
- primarily to do with levels/contrast/colour and sharpening/erasing it would look significantly different.
I hope the above is of some help.
All the best.
P.S. I forgot to mention - I never downsize in steps. I have had a look at this, but never been persuaded that it makes any difference. It is possible in PS to set a crop tool to crop and resize at the same time, and that is what I do. This never creates a problem with this 'grainy' effect - I assume you had the camera set to take the original at maximum quality/size? That will make a huge difference.
[Edited 2007-10-28 13:47:52]