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Deepgreen
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Posts: 61
Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2012 2:15 pm

'Newbie' - Basic Quality Comparison Question

Wed Dec 25, 2019 10:01 pm

I have been a member for seven years, but have only recently started to upload photos more frequently for consideration. I have had two accepted out of about 33. I am using a MacBookPro and its built-in editor, plus the 'GIMP' editor for scaling. I have been scaling to between 1700 and 1920p wide, down from between 4000 and 5000p wide. When I view these shots so that they fill my 15" screen they look sharp and of reasonable/good quality. However, I am receiving many rejections which cite blurry and/or soft as reasons for rejection, which I am just not seeing at my end.

Now, I am fine with my photos possibly not reaching a level of sharpness/quality which is acceptable, but, when I view huge numbers of accepted shots from others on the site, and expand them such that they also fill the screen (i.e. the same image size), they appear very soft and pixelated - more so than mine in very many cases. Given the apparent softness of so many shots on the site, why are mine not considered to be of acceptable quality? I am obviously missing something significant here and I would be grateful for others' thoughts on where I am going wrong.

Many thanks.
 
JakTrax
Posts: 5197
Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2005 3:30 am

Re: 'Newbie' - Basic Quality Comparison Question

Thu Dec 26, 2019 3:42 am

I think you'll need to post or link images if you want a succinct answer..

Karl
 
310815
Posts: 1039
Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2011 4:03 pm

Re: 'Newbie' - Basic Quality Comparison Question

Thu Dec 26, 2019 9:23 am

Well, anet Images that fill the screen and a MacBook Pro tells me there must be something wrong. A MacBook Pro has a 2880*1800 resolution as far as I know, anet shots can be maximimum 1.920 px wide, and (unfortunately) only small minority gets uploaded at that size. So at best any image could fill 2/3 of your screen.
The average anet images should just fll half the screen, actually most even much less.

So I think your browser or operating system (not too familiar with MAC) has some kind of zoom activated and with that images cannot look sharp, no matter what. You'd have to look at the shots i their native resolution to judge the quality. As you say pixelated that is pretty obvious that you are looking at an enlarged version. But If I enlarge a 1.200px file to fill a 2.880 screen it can only look bad, very bad actually.
 
Deepgreen
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Posts: 61
Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2012 2:15 pm

Re: 'Newbie' - Basic Quality Comparison Question

Thu Dec 26, 2019 11:14 am

JKPhotos - yes, agreed - A.net shots need to be enlarged/zoomed to fill my screen, but I did the same enlargement with those and my submitted shots for direct comparison. The enlarged A.net shots looked far worse (in general) than my enlarged 1920p or 1850p shots, for example, when both are equally zoomed to just fill the screen. I'm clearly missing something here regarding what I thought to be a direct comparison, which is what I hoped to understand. Both of my two accepted shots so far have been in the 1700-1750p zone, so perhaps I should try that more, but I still don't understand why my seemingly direct comparison seems to show so many A.net shots to be so poor - I'm not saying they ARE poor, they just look worse than mine when I compare on my screen, which I have set to normal settings, bu the way.
 
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airkas1
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Re: 'Newbie' - Basic Quality Comparison Question

Thu Dec 26, 2019 11:43 am

Julien is in the right direction I think. Sometimes Macs and maybe with that also Macbooks make photos look worse, due to those size issue. I know that it especially concerns Apple products with a retina screen, but may well also involve other models. What you could consider is a separate monitor to connect to your macbook, purely for editing photos.

You have a thread running in the feedback forum, so will comment on your photos there.
 
Deepgreen
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Posts: 61
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Re: 'Newbie' - Basic Quality Comparison Question

Thu Dec 26, 2019 12:12 pm

Many thanks, but not all A.net shots look bad - some are in stunning quality even when zoomed. Wouldn't all photos, no matter what their source, be treated the same by my screen? As a further test, I compared the two photos I have had accepted by looking at them on A.net, and they appear considerably sharper, etc., than many others on the site. Again, I'm not saying that those shots should not be there, but I am puzzled why so many of mine are being rejected for 'blurriness/soft' issues when I just can't see this at my end (in other words, there seems to be a lot of quality 'lost in translation' when I submit them). Regarding the feedback forum, no matter what I do to try to get shots to appear there, the links do not seem work.
 
dutchspotter1
Posts: 388
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2005 9:24 pm

Re: 'Newbie' - Basic Quality Comparison Question

Thu Dec 26, 2019 7:30 pm

The key is not to zoom in. Photos are supposed to be viewed at their original size/resolution. Any zooming will compromise the quality, making it impossible to accurately judge the sharpness.
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Deepgreen
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Re: 'Newbie' - Basic Quality Comparison Question

Thu Dec 26, 2019 8:27 pm

OK - the reverse also holds true - the aim for comparison purposes is to get similar-sized photo frames on my screen. If I am not to zoom in on an A.net shot, then I can zoom out of my shots to make them as small as the A.net shots appear, which increases my shots' apparent sharpness and clarity to at least as good as the A.net shots. This still doesn't explain why my shots are rejected as blurry and/or soft. In other words, if I click 'large' on a shot on A.net, I get a frame covering about 80% of my screen. If I compare a shot of mine at, say, 1750px, at the same frame size (80% screen coverage), it is at least as sharp and clear, if not significantly more so.
 
dutchspotter1
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Re: 'Newbie' - Basic Quality Comparison Question

Thu Dec 26, 2019 8:56 pm

Deepgreen wrote:
- the aim for comparison purposes is to get similar-sized photo frames on my screen.

This is impossible unless the original photos are similar-sized.
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Deepgreen
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Re: 'Newbie' - Basic Quality Comparison Question

Thu Dec 26, 2019 10:25 pm

Agreed, but, assuming the average upload size is around 1700px, then my similar-sized ones should appear very similar when viewed at a similar frame size on my screen. My point was that they don't seem to and that claims of blurriness and/or softness in my shots don't seem right from my viewings. I think I will just have to try at 1600-1700px, rather than the 1800-1900px I have been trying.
 
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Kaphias
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Re: 'Newbie' - Basic Quality Comparison Question

Fri Dec 27, 2019 2:09 am

Deepgreen wrote:
Agreed, but, assuming the average upload size is around 1700px, then my similar-sized ones should appear very similar when viewed at a similar frame size on my screen. My point was that they don't seem to and that claims of blurriness and/or softness in my shots don't seem right from my viewings. I think I will just have to try at 1600-1700px, rather than the 1800-1900px I have been trying.

I would think the average is much lower than that, probably 1200-1400. I upload almost all my photos at 1024 or 1200.

You need to be viewing images at 100% (1 pixel in photo = 1 pixel on screen) in order to make an accurate comparison. To do this on a Mac, open Preview and navigate to View > Customize Toolbar. Drag the zoom tool that includes three icons (minus, 1, plus) onto your toolbar. With an image open, clicking the "1" will size the image to 100%.

I highly recommend resizing to 1200-1400 pixels wide until you feel comfortable with the requirements for getting photos accepted here.
 
Deepgreen
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Posts: 61
Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2012 2:15 pm

Re: 'Newbie' - Basic Quality Comparison Question

Fri Dec 27, 2019 11:50 am

I will try going that small but it will destroy a lot of quality and therefore inevitably introduce different rejection criteria. I still maintain that, if I look at two photos that fill 80% of my screen, the quality should be obviously comparable.
Thanks again for the thoughts.
 
McG1967
Posts: 555
Joined: Wed Apr 05, 2006 2:36 am

Re: 'Newbie' - Basic Quality Comparison Question

Fri Dec 27, 2019 4:07 pm

Deepgreen wrote:
I still maintain that, if I look at two photos that fill 80% of my screen, the quality should be obviously comparable.
Thanks again for the thoughts.


Not necessarily, there are many factors that come into play.

For instance I have a 2016 13" MacBook Pro. The screen has a pixel density of 227 pixels per inch. https://yesviz.com/devices/macbookpro-2016-13/

A 1200 pixels wide image uploaded to the site could have a resolution of 72 pixels per inch, dependant on what resolution the photographer has uploaded at.

A 72 ppi image viewed on a MacBook retina display will not look as sharp as it would when viewed on a monitor with a lower pixels per inch resolution.

I have tended to upload at 1200 pixels wide. If I'm uploading from my MacBook Pro, when I resize the image I will resize to 1200 pixels wide with a resolution of 144 ppi to check sharpness. Once I'm happy with that I will then resize to 72 ppi with a resolution of 72 ppi.

Another comparison would be watching shows on a 4K TV. Shows shot natively in 4K look great. Shows upscaled from HD to 4K can look fine or in some instances look bad. Older shows not filmed in HD generally look terrible with lots of pixilation due to the upscaling.

Over the years, it's generally been the case that the larger the photo that a photographer is trying to upload here, the more likely it would be to get rejected as the larger size is more likely to show up any flaws in the image either when captured or introduced during the editing process.
 
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Kaphias
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Re: 'Newbie' - Basic Quality Comparison Question

Fri Dec 27, 2019 5:59 pm

Deepgreen wrote:
I will try going that small but it will destroy a lot of quality and therefore inevitably introduce different rejection criteria.

Very rarely reducing to this size may cause an image to appear oversharp. Otherwise no, it will certainly not "destroy quality".

Deepgreen wrote:
I still maintain that, if I look at two photos that fill 80% of my screen, the quality should be obviously comparable.

If you're truly interested in learning, I suggest you begin to absorb the expertise others are graciously sharing and forget your preconceived and incorrect ideas about how this all works.
 
Deepgreen
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Re: 'Newbie' - Basic Quality Comparison Question

Fri Dec 27, 2019 6:29 pm

McG1967 - Interesting; thanks. Kaphias - I will do my best to cast aside my erroneous pre-conceptions! Thanks to both.
 
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julianrv
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Re: 'Newbie' - Basic Quality Comparison Question

Fri Dec 27, 2019 6:48 pm

This very same discussion about retina/HiDPI screens been brought several times in the past and I don't think there's any workaround to properly evaluate sharpness other than using a lower PPI screen. Retina/HiDPI have smaller pixels and a higher pixel density so the human eye can't really see the individual pixels at a regular distance, upscaling images in Photopshop or viewing them at 200% will show jagged borders as individuals pixels are mapped to a cluster of pixels so that doesn't really replicate what you would see on a lower PPI screen.

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McG1967 wrote:
I have tended to upload at 1200 pixels wide. If I'm uploading from my MacBook Pro, when I resize the image I will resize to 1200 pixels wide with a resolution of 144 ppi to check sharpness. Once I'm happy with that I will then resize to 72 ppi with a resolution of 72 ppi.


Image resolution in pixels per inch doesn't matter when looking at a image on screen as pixels are usually mapped 1:1, in some cases the OS or browser might do the upscaling for you so the image doesn't look terribly small on the retina/HiDPI screen.
 
Deepgreen
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Posts: 61
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Re: 'Newbie' - Basic Quality Comparison Question

Fri Dec 27, 2019 7:04 pm

I'll follow all this advice and try the 1200-1300px width range at 72dpi. All appreciated - thanks. I must have been fortunate with the two (yes, only two!) shots so far accepted, as they were at 1700-1750px width.
 
310815
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Re: 'Newbie' - Basic Quality Comparison Question

Fri Dec 27, 2019 8:47 pm

Sorry but it’s almost 2020 cameras have 25-30mp as standard and I don’t like when people are still talked into very small sizes. I agree that 1.920px is not ideal for beginners, but as your feedback thread shows you can very well go for 1.400. - 1.600 px.
No need for these ultra small ones unless you got a lot to hide.
So as a screener (yes I don’t want to ruin my eyes) and a viewer I appreciate anything that is a bit larger. At least those screeners I know a bit better certainly agree.
 
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Kaphias
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Re: 'Newbie' - Basic Quality Comparison Question

Fri Dec 27, 2019 9:05 pm

JKPhotos wrote:
Sorry but it’s almost 2020 cameras have 25-30mp as standard and I don’t like when people are still talked into very small sizes. I agree that 1.920px is not ideal for beginners, but as your feedback thread shows you can very well go for 1.400. - 1.600 px.
No need for these ultra small ones unless you got a lot to hide.
So as a screener (yes I don’t want to ruin my eyes) and a viewer I appreciate anything that is a bit larger. At least those screeners I know a bit better certainly agree.

I'd happily upload at larger sizes if I had a chance at them getting accepted ;)

Agree that it appears Deepgreen has good equipment and photographic talent, and with the correct editing should be able to upload larger sizes.
 
310815
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Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2011 4:03 pm

Re: 'Newbie' - Basic Quality Comparison Question

Sat Dec 28, 2019 9:04 am

My argument is always "there is something in-between", so I could only encourage you to maybe try something at 1.400px first.

Looking at your newest shots I don't see why they should not have made it at 1.400px for example.

I just don't see the need for these ultra-small sizes. If people want to upload at those (for copyright reasons or a better acceptance ratios) that is of course fine, but again I am not a fan when people ar talked into them..... Not with today's Monitors and cams.

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