Moderators: richierich, ua900, PanAm_DC10, hOMSaR

 
dutchspotter1
Topic Author
Posts: 377
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2005 9:24 pm

What makes a high quality photo?

Sat Jul 11, 2020 12:37 pm

Hello,

I'm curious about what other photographers think about the following: what is the most important factor for a high quality aircraft photo?

A photography (action of actually taking the photo)
B photo editing (post-processing)

Lately I've been wondering if screeners are merely looking at point B. Photos with bad lighting, bad weather, poor angle/composition, distracting objects, etc. have been accepted whereas photos with perfect lighting, good angle/composition, clean backgrounds/surroundings have been rejected due to minor and often debatable editing issues (sharpness, contrast, color, etc). It seems like any aviation photo will be accepted as long as the photo editing factors are 100% correct on the screener's monitor. To me, that's not what high quality aviation photography is (which is what this website is all about) and I'm wondering how other people see this.
NO URLS in signature
 
cpd
Posts: 6373
Joined: Sat Jun 28, 2008 4:46 am

Re: What makes a high quality photo?

Sun Jul 12, 2020 12:46 pm

dutchspotter1 wrote:
Hello,

I'm curious about what other photographers think about the following: what is the most important factor for a high quality aircraft photo?

A photography (action of actually taking the photo)
B photo editing (post-processing)

Lately I've been wondering if screeners are merely looking at point B. Photos with bad lighting, bad weather, poor angle/composition, distracting objects, etc. have been accepted whereas photos with perfect lighting, good angle/composition, clean backgrounds/surroundings have been rejected due to minor and often debatable editing issues (sharpness, contrast, color, etc). It seems like any aviation photo will be accepted as long as the photo editing factors are 100% correct on the screener's monitor. To me, that's not what high quality aviation photography is (which is what this website is all about) and I'm wondering how other people see this.


I think it’s the actual photo. Some of the images I find most interesting are the historical photos from a bygone era, or those air to air photos with the military planes coming from the Russian photographers.

I’m less fussed with the editing, unless it is clearly poor editing like cloning things out badly, excessive noise reduction making the image look bad, then you shouldn’t do that.

With the camera equipment available now, it should be easier to get acceptable photos in various conditions.

I’m supplementing my old Nikon D3S with a Nikon D6 shortly and frankly the jump between them capabilities wise is a shock. It is still familiar to use, but on a massively higher level. Even lower to mid range cameras have made a big jump.

I wonder how did people survive in the times of the 30D or the D70?

I’m not actively photographing planes so I don’t really have anything to say on screening.
 
User avatar
clickhappy
Posts: 9175
Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2001 12:10 pm

Re: What makes a high quality photo?

Sun Jul 12, 2020 8:30 pm

Photos with bad lighting, bad weather, poor angle/composition, distracting objects, etc. have been accepted whereas photos with perfect lighting, good angle/composition, clean backgrounds/surroundings have been rejected due to minor and often debatable editing issues (sharpness, contrast, color, etc).

You either take images that are one, or the other. There are exceptions of course, but most people that have high standards wouldn't even be out taking photos in the conditions you list. 15 years ago this site was full of photographers (and screeners) that, if you cared about the quality of your images, were people you looked up to.

Those days are gone, and they aren't coming back.

To answer OP's original question, a "high quality photo" shouldn't need any post-processing. Photoshop allows you to do things like lifting shadows and boosting colors, which looks terrible and isn't aesthetically pleasing. I saw an HS image with the EXIF data and the exposure was 1/3200 at ISO200. 1/1200 would have been a proper exposure, but Photoshop allows you to 'fix' an image that is acceptable for the site (in so much as who actually uploaded it). One of the things that I love about shooting slides is that you have to be perfect, and the result is there for all to see. No 1/4 frame shots cropped to look like it filled the image area.
 
vikkyvik
Posts: 12576
Joined: Thu Jul 31, 2003 1:58 pm

Re: What makes a high quality photo?

Mon Jul 13, 2020 3:03 am

All I will say is the following:

A.net looks for high-quality images, not high-quality photos. So essentially, as long as the image meets the site criteria, it doesn't really matter how you arrived there.

This isn't some new thing - it's been that way for over a decade; probably ever since the site started screening photos.

Whether you want to focus on the original photo or on the resulting edited image is entirely up to you, and there's no correct answer.
I'm watching Jeopardy. The category is worst Madonna songs. "This one from 1987 is terrible".
 
User avatar
clickhappy
Posts: 9175
Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2001 12:10 pm

Re: What makes a high quality photo?

Mon Jul 13, 2020 3:55 am

the times of the 30D or the D70


my D100 and D70s were both 3000x2000 size images. And the images had quite a lot of noise. You couldn’t push/pull 6 stops like you can a modern DSLR (or the like). You couldn’t crop something heavily either. We also walked barefoot to the airport. And sometimes we got thrashed with a bread knife. If we were lucky.

In the case of the D100 the buffer was also painfully slow, 3 frames and then 45 seconds to clear the buffer. You learned to do it right shooting like that.
 
User avatar
gh6912
Posts: 46
Joined: Wed Oct 05, 2016 6:52 pm

Re: What makes a high quality photo?

Mon Jul 13, 2020 4:26 am

Well, I have to agree that the technical skill required for high quality photography has decreased with the advent of digitized photography. I myself have benefited from the ability to tinker with crop, lighting, and other elements in my images in the editing process. However I'd say that with the advent of this technology the need for new skills arises. Like anything photography is constantly moving forward so in order to "keep up" in the digital age you must become proficient in both the taking of the actual image and the post-production process.

While going out in ideal conditions does lead typically to images that require less post processing, I feel that photographers who are willing to brave poor weather or lighting conditions, and still take high quality photos, set themselves apart. I'd venture to say most folks can take a nice clear photo on a day that is sunny and cloudless when presented with a subject on a runway or taxiway that is 300 yards or less away from them and with the sun on the correct side. Those who go out in the pouring rain and other adverse conditions and take stunning photos really set themselves apart skill wise in my eyes. I personally am still learning and willing to take chances in adverse conditions, some of my favorite photos I've taken were on could covered days or in the pouring rain. They challenged me and I feel I've become a better photographer because of it.

Lastly post-production has always been a critical phase of the photography process. My father still tells me stories of the reels of film he went thru in the 70s and the hours he spent tinkering with his photos in his dark room developing. While yes you did have to be more precise in the initial shooting of the photo you were able to tinker with exposure and other elements while developing the film. Those who required "perfect" images in film seem to also be the ones who did not develop their own images and relied on the local drug store to do that for them.

Again all this is my 2 cents about the hobby overall. To produce good images in this day in age it takes both camera and editing skills working together to get a high quality result. I have seen some images on the site that make me scratch my head and wonder how they were accepted, but like has been mentioned in the past the screeners are human and because of that it would be impossible for them to be perfect.

Happy photo taking folks!
Lone Star Spotter, F-4 Phantom Phanatic
 
JakTrax
Posts: 5189
Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2005 3:30 am

Re: What makes a high quality photo?

Mon Jul 13, 2020 4:37 pm

The get an image acceptable here (or anywhere else, for that matter) you only need a camera with sufficient resolution and your subject somewhere in the frame and in focus. Okay, that's a bit general but you know what I mean...

When I started with film (and the odd roll of slide, when I could afford it) most of the images from a 36 roll ended up in the bin because they were unlevel, or the subject would either be too small in frame or not properly centred. Of course now software can easily negate those issues and so what used to be quite a challenge — that is, the classic sunny side on — is now frequently dismissed as lacking skill or imagination. The point, however, is that, when you don't have to worry about the finer details, you can concentrate on other aspects of composition.

I think most would agree that digital photography has made our lives easier — it's made us more creative; more experimental — but it's also made us lazier. In the days of film/slide you also had to fork out twice, for the film itself then for the processing. A double whammy. Each 36 roll would ultimately cost me around GB£10 (US$13) minimum... and that's at 1995 prices! Experimenting wasn't the done thing as it was just too expensive. Creative photography was largely left to those whose primary income came from photography.

Have we become better as photographers with the advent of digital? I don't know. Yes and no, most likely.
 
dutchspotter1
Topic Author
Posts: 377
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2005 9:24 pm

Re: What makes a high quality photo?

Mon Jul 13, 2020 7:16 pm

gh6912 wrote:
While going out in ideal conditions does lead typically to images that require less post processing, I feel that photographers who are willing to brave poor weather or lighting conditions, and still take high quality photos, set themselves apart. I'd venture to say most folks can take a nice clear photo on a day that is sunny and cloudless when presented with a subject on a runway or taxiway that is 300 yards or less away from them and with the sun on the correct side. Those who go out in the pouring rain and other adverse conditions and take stunning photos really set themselves apart skill wise in my eyes. I personally am still learning and willing to take chances in adverse conditions, some of my favorite photos I've taken were on could covered days or in the pouring rain. They challenged me and I feel I've become a better photographer because of it.

I can understand that you appreciate photographers who take photos in crappy weather/light conditions and turn them into "stunning" (or rather "mediocre") results, but would you say that pound for pound the quality is on par with photos taken in perfect weather/lighting? I agree that most folks can take a nice clear photo on a perfect day, but still many folks take photos in less than ideal conditions. That's all fine of course, it's a personal choice, but do those photos belong on a high quality aviation photo website like A.net or rather on Flickr/JP/social media? I think that question is being asked too little during the screening process.
NO URLS in signature
 
vikkyvik
Posts: 12576
Joined: Thu Jul 31, 2003 1:58 pm

Re: What makes a high quality photo?

Mon Jul 13, 2020 8:05 pm

dutchspotter1 wrote:
but would you say that pound for pound the quality is on par with photos taken in perfect weather/lighting?


It doesn't make any sense to objectively compare shots taken in completely different conditions.

dutchspotter1 wrote:
but do those photos belong on a high quality aviation photo website like A.net


They've been on A.net for years and years. Why change now?
I'm watching Jeopardy. The category is worst Madonna songs. "This one from 1987 is terrible".
 
cpd
Posts: 6373
Joined: Sat Jun 28, 2008 4:46 am

Re: What makes a high quality photo?

Mon Jul 13, 2020 8:48 pm

If the weather is rubbish of course you might not take photos in that, but if something worthwhile is flying in like the AN-124, of course you go out and take the photos.

And by doing so you get better at getting decent photos in less than ideal conditions.

Learn how to use the camera with manual settings for one.

And two, in decent light you may them also do things like using filters to deliberately have slow shutter speeds. And you’ll pull that off because you have taken photos before with slow shutter speeds at dusk or maybe at night.

There are people here over time who’ve been able to take very high quality photos in any conditions, with much older cameras. Some of those names have long since moved on to other things so a few of you wouldn’t know them.
 
JakTrax
Posts: 5189
Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2005 3:30 am

Re: What makes a high quality photo?

Mon Jul 13, 2020 9:07 pm

cpd wrote:
Some of those names have long since moved on to other things so a few of you wouldn’t know them.


And herein lies the point: many of the best photographers are no longer here, because they felt their ability to capture the image was viewed as less important than how it's edited. photography has always been about capturing moments and events, rather than presenting a technically perfect image of something unspectacular.

Karl
 
cpd
Posts: 6373
Joined: Sat Jun 28, 2008 4:46 am

Re: What makes a high quality photo?

Mon Jul 13, 2020 9:42 pm

JakTrax wrote:
cpd wrote:
Some of those names have long since moved on to other things so a few of you wouldn’t know them.


And herein lies the point: many of the best photographers are no longer here, because they felt their ability to capture the image was viewed as less important than how it's edited. photography has always been about capturing moments and events, rather than presenting a technically perfect image of something unspectacular.

Karl


I might add to before someone suggests “they weren’t good enough” - some of them went on to get paid to take photos. No longer a hobby anymore.

The best photo to me is the blend of both bits you’ve highlighted. Like those dusk or night photos from the Japanese photographer whose name escapes me. Those were technically good and also aesthetically good as well.
 
User avatar
gh6912
Posts: 46
Joined: Wed Oct 05, 2016 6:52 pm

Re: What makes a high quality photo?

Tue Jul 14, 2020 3:44 am

dutchspotter1 wrote:
gh6912 wrote:
While going out in ideal conditions does lead typically to images that require less post processing, I feel that photographers who are willing to brave poor weather or lighting conditions, and still take high quality photos, set themselves apart. I'd venture to say most folks can take a nice clear photo on a day that is sunny and cloudless when presented with a subject on a runway or taxiway that is 300 yards or less away from them and with the sun on the correct side. Those who go out in the pouring rain and other adverse conditions and take stunning photos really set themselves apart skill wise in my eyes. I personally am still learning and willing to take chances in adverse conditions, some of my favorite photos I've taken were on could covered days or in the pouring rain. They challenged me and I feel I've become a better photographer because of it.

I can understand that you appreciate photographers who take photos in crappy weather/light conditions and turn them into "stunning" (or rather "mediocre") results, but would you say that pound for pound the quality is on par with photos taken in perfect weather/lighting? I agree that most folks can take a nice clear photo on a perfect day, but still many folks take photos in less than ideal conditions. That's all fine of course, it's a personal choice, but do those photos belong on a high quality aviation photo website like A.net or rather on Flickr/JP/social media? I think that question is being asked too little during the screening process.


So you're saying that any photos taken on a day that is not perfect conditions are mediocre? If that is your personal opinion I understand but polity disagree. Aviation is an industry that operates in all conditions, to truly portray aviation and all aspects of it in operation I would think you need to showcase it in adverse conditions. I'm sure the Coast Guard would much prefer an SAR operation on clear VFR days but that just isn't realistic. They go out and fly when they're needed, rain or shine. I'm not saying you have to go out with your camera during a thunderstorm to photograph arrivals at your local airport, but those who do shouldn't have their work discounted simply because it isn't a sunny, cloudless day. I come to this site to see high quality images of aviation operating in all conditions. I feel this site showcases that to an extent. And like I said the photographers with the ability to capture those moments during adverse conditions impress me. I don't think poor images should get a pass simply because they were taken in poor conditions, for an image to make it on this site it still needs to be high quality, and that is something that is achievable on days with poor wx. It takes a photographer that understands how to operate their camera in those conditions, and I'd say there are several on the site that do.
Lone Star Spotter, F-4 Phantom Phanatic
 
dutchspotter1
Topic Author
Posts: 377
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2005 9:24 pm

Re: What makes a high quality photo?

Tue Jul 14, 2020 3:57 pm

gh6912 wrote:
So you're saying that any photos taken on a day that is not perfect conditions are mediocre?

Not any photo, but for example, there are lots of photos taken around midday during mid-summer that have less than ideal light conditions, even, or especially, when the sun is shining. Compared to photos taken in the early morning or evening hours in much better light conditions, yes I would call those photos taken around midday mediocre. Yet a lot of them are accepted here, whereas some of the photos in perfect light conditions are rejected. That doesn't make much sense to me.
NO URLS in signature
 
dutchspotter1
Topic Author
Posts: 377
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2005 9:24 pm

Re: What makes a high quality photo?

Tue Jul 14, 2020 3:58 pm

vikkyvik wrote:
It doesn't make any sense to objectively compare shots taken in completely different conditions.

So if you imagine three photos of a particular regular/common aircraft, one taken in grey, dull weather conditions, one taken in bright sunshine and one taken with bright sunshine but (partial) backlight, a person wouldn't be able to objectively compare these three photos?

vikkyvik wrote:
They've been on A.net for years and years. Why change now?

Lots of photos, even those in great light conditions, that were accepted a decade ago wouldn't pass today's screening.
NO URLS in signature
 
vikkyvik
Posts: 12576
Joined: Thu Jul 31, 2003 1:58 pm

Re: What makes a high quality photo?

Tue Jul 14, 2020 4:52 pm

dutchspotter1 wrote:
So if you imagine three photos of a particular regular/common aircraft, one taken in grey, dull weather conditions, one taken in bright sunshine and one taken with bright sunshine but (partial) backlight, a person wouldn't be able to objectively compare these three photos?


I really was referring more to people who take great shots in rain, snow, at night, etc.

If you show me
1.) a shot taken at night, panning at high ISO, where the photographer has done the best they can given the conditions,
2.) a shot taken in the day, with the sun at the photog's back, with the aircraft perfectly lit,

I'll probably say #1 is better. Is it objectively better? No, of course not. It's more noisy, less sharp, slight blur creeping in, some details are lost in shadow, etc.

dutchspotter1 wrote:
Lots of photos, even those in great light conditions, that were accepted a decade ago wouldn't pass today's screening.


Fair point. Screening does change over time.

Still, I don't quite get what the point of the thread is. You say screeners are looking at Point B. Well, of course they are. They're looking at the finished product of the editing process. Unless we have everyone upload the original RAW photo, there's no way for the screeners to judge the original photo.
I'm watching Jeopardy. The category is worst Madonna songs. "This one from 1987 is terrible".
 
dutchspotter1
Topic Author
Posts: 377
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2005 9:24 pm

Re: What makes a high quality photo?

Tue Jul 14, 2020 5:33 pm

vikkyvik wrote:
I really was referring more to people who take great shots in rain, snow, at night, etc.

I wasn't ;)
The same principle applies for example to photos taken at airshows of a/c on the static display. Would you not be able to make an objective comparison between a photo of an a/c with all sorts of engine/cockpit covers and with ropes, fences and people in the background and a photo taken at the beginning/end of the show with a "clean" background and no engine/cockpit covers?

Is it objectively better? No, of course not. It's more noisy, less sharp, slight blur creeping in, some details are lost in shadow, etc.

So why are screeners more strict with photos taken in perfect daylight than with photos taken at night?

vikkyvik wrote:
Still, I don't quite get what the point of the thread is. You say screeners are looking at Point B. Well, of course they are. They're looking at the finished product of the editing process.

The point is that a wide variety of photos is accepted when it comes to weather and light conditions, obstacles, etc. However, when it comes to the post-processing (sharpness, contrast, colour, noise, etc), it feels like you're balancing on a rope as the slightest issue will lead to a rejection. I'm curious as to why that is and to discuss with other photographers if perhaps that should be changed.
NO URLS in signature
 
vikkyvik
Posts: 12576
Joined: Thu Jul 31, 2003 1:58 pm

Re: What makes a high quality photo?

Tue Jul 14, 2020 7:25 pm

dutchspotter1 wrote:
So why are screeners more strict with photos taken in perfect daylight than with photos taken at night?


Because photos taken in daylight are, by and large, much easier to get right.

If you're going to judge an ISO 12800 photo to the same standards as an ISO 200 photo, then the ISO 12800 photo will get rejected every time. I don't think that's in the best interest of having a variety of photos here.

dutchspotter1 wrote:
The point is that a wide variety of photos is accepted when it comes to weather and light conditions, obstacles, etc. However, when it comes to the post-processing (sharpness, contrast, colour, noise, etc), it feels like you're balancing on a rope as the slightest issue will lead to a rejection. I'm curious as to why that is and to discuss with other photographers if perhaps that should be changed.


Probably because sharpness, color, noise, etc. are easier to define, acceptance-wise (one could say they are more objective, though of course we could argue that). So assume the site has certain approximate limits of what's acceptable for weather, light conditions, etc. (the more subjective criteria). Then any photo that meets those limits will then be judged by the more objective criteria (sharpness, color, etc.).
I'm watching Jeopardy. The category is worst Madonna songs. "This one from 1987 is terrible".
 
cpd
Posts: 6373
Joined: Sat Jun 28, 2008 4:46 am

Re: What makes a high quality photo?

Wed Jul 15, 2020 1:35 am

dutchspotter1 wrote:
gh6912 wrote:
So you're saying that any photos taken on a day that is not perfect conditions are mediocre?

Not any photo, but for example, there are lots of photos taken around midday during mid-summer that have less than ideal light conditions, even, or especially, when the sun is shining. Compared to photos taken in the early morning or evening hours in much better light conditions, yes I would call those photos taken around midday mediocre. Yet a lot of them are accepted here, whereas some of the photos in perfect light conditions are rejected. That doesn't make much sense to me.


Why are they rejected in perfect light conditions, yet others in perfect light conditions are not? What’s the difference between the two?

Which one then was rejected in perfect light conditions and why. Let’s see some examples.

Let’s also see you take a photo of a fast moving plane in total darkness, maybe you’ll see it is far harder to get a good result. It can be done, but is tricky. Getting good exposure, clear details, moderate to low noise levels, sharpness across the image (excluding shaking wings from the engines under power).

Image
1/6sec, ISO2000, 240mm, F/8.0, January 2012 at 8:30pm.

That was export to JPG and upload, no other editing. Go for it, rip it apart because I guess you will. But first, do the same yourself.

By contrast, a daylight photo with 1/400 second and decent light should be easier to get.

And the mid range cameras now are really excellent. But still you have to know your equipment or you won’t get the best from it.
 
JakTrax
Posts: 5189
Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2005 3:30 am

Re: What makes a high quality photo?

Wed Jul 15, 2020 3:48 pm

I agree somewhat with dutchspotter1 about standard images that are, for example, shot in harsh midday summer sun, although I'm unsure whether that should be considered a flaw or grounds for a rejection. But harsh sunlight does undoubtedly affect the overall aesthetics of a regular side-on and brings with it other undesirable effects such as heat-haze — so essentially I guess the quality is indeed reduced.

Given the choice of an ever-so-slightly soft image shot in perfect light and a technically sound one shot in harsh light I'd personally prefer the one in good light.
 
User avatar
clickhappy
Posts: 9175
Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2001 12:10 pm

Re: What makes a high quality photo?

Wed Jul 15, 2020 5:10 pm

Quality photography is all about good light. Open up a magazine, turn on the TV, or walk through an airport. You’ll see some great photos (or video) all shot in great light.

We have all seen spectacular shots in poor weather; But, is that what we are talking about? I don’t know how shooting something in grey overcast, or harsh overhead sun, is somehow challenging. The images look like hot garbage. And, who wants to be outside when the wx sucks?

Nighttime is of course a great equalizer to bad weather, and I’ve seen some really nice low light images. But, again, a lot of those images are post-processed to death and do not look natural at all.

At the end of the day, the most important thing is to do what you want to do, and to have fun. But don’t pretend shooting something at ISO800 @ 1/400 is somehow challenging.
 
dutchspotter1
Topic Author
Posts: 377
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2005 9:24 pm

Re: What makes a high quality photo?

Wed Jul 15, 2020 8:45 pm

cpd wrote:
Why are they rejected in perfect light conditions, yet others in perfect light conditions are not? What’s the difference between the two? Which one then was rejected in perfect light conditions and why.

In that case the ground for rejection would probably be an editing issue. But since both are taken in perfect light conditions, it's easier to compare the two and it would make the screening much more consistent.

cpd wrote:
Let’s also see you take a photo of a fast moving plane in total darkness, maybe you’ll see it is far harder to get a good result. It can be done, but is tricky. Getting good exposure, clear details, moderate to low noise levels, sharpness across the image (excluding shaking wings from the engines under power).
That was export to JPG and upload, no other editing. Go for it, rip it apart because I guess you will. But first, do the same yourself.

Night shots are not the (main) issue in this topic, but rather the regular daylight side-on shots. Perhaps I should have been more clear about that. Besides, night shots are categorized separately on this website. I could start a whole different topic about night shot quality but I will refrain from that :)

clickhappy wrote:
Quality photography is all about good light.... At the end of the day, the most important thing is to do what you want to do, and to have fun.

Exactly, and since this website is about high quality aviation photography (check the About page), it surprises me that I'm seeing such a variety of (daylight) photos when it comes to lighting conditions (among other things, since a photo taken in perfect light doesn't automatically mean that it's a great or high quality shot ). People can take all the photos they like, whenever they like, as long as they're happy with it, but is this website the right place for any type of photo (with so many alternative websites available)? If yes, that's fine but then we can basically stop with the screening process (and we should have the About page amended ;) ).
NO URLS in signature
 
dutchspotter1
Topic Author
Posts: 377
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2005 9:24 pm

Re: What makes a high quality photo?

Wed Jul 15, 2020 9:42 pm

JakTrax wrote:
Given the choice of an ever-so-slightly soft image shot in perfect light and a technically sound one shot in harsh light I'd personally prefer the one in good light.

Good point and I'm curious how others see that. Because at the moment, only the technically sound one gets accepted.
NO URLS in signature
 
cpd
Posts: 6373
Joined: Sat Jun 28, 2008 4:46 am

Re: What makes a high quality photo?

Thu Jul 16, 2020 12:58 am

dutchspotter1 wrote:
JakTrax wrote:
Given the choice of an ever-so-slightly soft image shot in perfect light and a technically sound one shot in harsh light I'd personally prefer the one in good light.

Good point and I'm curious how others see that. Because at the moment, only the technically sound one gets accepted.


If whatever you are photographing is important enough, you'll probably try and make the photo work however you can, such as when it is warm and there is heat-haze - in that scenario I used to use a filter on the lens so I could get down to 1/60sec. Depending on how bad the haze was, that slower shutter speed and panning the photo could mask the haze a bit.

If it's just the regular old planes you see all the time, then you wouldn't bother.
 
User avatar
gh6912
Posts: 46
Joined: Wed Oct 05, 2016 6:52 pm

Re: What makes a high quality photo?

Thu Jul 16, 2020 4:13 am

clickhappy wrote:
I don’t know how shooting something in grey overcast, or harsh overhead sun, is somehow challenging. The images look like hot garbage. And, who wants to be outside when the wx sucks?.


Boy they sure do look like hot garbage! I cant stand this photo in particular!
It is such utter garbage I hate it so much, I'm ashamed I even bothered to take my lens cap off!


clickhappy wrote:
But don’t pretend shooting something at ISO800 @ 1/400 is somehow challenging.


Ah yeah it was quite easy shooting at 1/125, ISO100 and F/9.0, easiest thing I've ever shot! I'm sure you can understand with all those side on frames of aircraft at PAE that are 200 yards away from you that you shot at 1/1000 ISO 100, now those certainly are a challenge!

Look, like you said go out, take pictures of what you want when you want, and be happy. If someone wants to do it in poor light, let them! If they are able to capture a sharp image while doing so fantastic! I'd say if they did so that photo is submitted, screened, and if accepted then good for that photographer!

I will agree with the point of a side by side comparison of two photos of the same subject, one taken in morning/evening light vs one taken at high noon that is top lit, the morning/evening shot will typically look better. But if both photos meet the criteria of this website in terms of being decently lit, sharpness, and don't have heat haze, what is the trouble in both being in the database? Will the high noon frame be purchased by a magazine? Most likely not, but I don't see why it would hurt anyone with being accepted to the database. Just my thoughts on it, I'll go back into my dirt hole with my poncho and wallow in the rain waiting on airplanes.
Lone Star Spotter, F-4 Phantom Phanatic
 
User avatar
clickhappy
Posts: 9175
Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2001 12:10 pm

Re: What makes a high quality photo?

Thu Jul 16, 2020 3:14 pm

I’m sure we can all cherry-pick outliers to prove a point.



I’m sorry you went all the way to Japan and encountered poor weather. That must have been a massive disappointment.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/v83d82k7xc4iu ... 2.jpg?dl=0
 
JakTrax
Posts: 5189
Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2005 3:30 am

Re: What makes a high quality photo?

Thu Jul 16, 2020 4:28 pm

There is no doubt that both the above cloudy shots are superb given the conditions... but the key phrase is GIVEN THE CONDITIONS. The same shots with the sun momentarily out would have popped more and I think this is undeniable. The problem of course (considering Royal's shot specifically) is getting lucky enough for the sun to briefly make an appearance while the runway conditions continue to offer the drama. That said, the beacon effect wouldn't have been as pronounced had the sun been out.

There are times when inclement weather can offer something different or unique but, for regular images of aircraft at almost any angle, the sun being out is almost always going to win (irrespective of whether it's illuminating or back-lighting the subject). After all, photography is based on light and our only natural source of light is typically the sun.

Karl
 
User avatar
clickhappy
Posts: 9175
Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2001 12:10 pm

Re: What makes a high quality photo?

Thu Jul 16, 2020 4:54 pm

our only natural source of light is typically the sun.

I guess a fill-flash using a suitcase nuke is a bit extreme?
 
dutchspotter1
Topic Author
Posts: 377
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2005 9:24 pm

Re: What makes a high quality photo?

Thu Jul 16, 2020 6:57 pm

gh6912 wrote:
I will agree with the point of a side by side comparison of two photos of the same subject, one taken in morning/evening light vs one taken at high noon that is top lit, the morning/evening shot will typically look better. But if both photos meet the criteria of this website in terms of being decently lit, sharpness, and don't have heat haze, what is the trouble in both being in the database?

The issue is that this website claims to be about high quality photos, not decent quality photos. So why not just pick the better looking shot? Quality over Quantity.
But the ironic thing is that the better looking shot may be rejected for a small and sometimes subjective editing issue (like colour, contrast, noise, softness), while the worse looking shot is accepted. So the criteria of this website seem to have more to do with editing than with the actual photo.
NO URLS in signature
 
dutchspotter1
Topic Author
Posts: 377
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2005 9:24 pm

Re: What makes a high quality photo?

Thu Jul 16, 2020 8:06 pm

gh6912 wrote:
clickhappy wrote:
I don’t know how shooting something in grey overcast, or harsh overhead sun, is somehow challenging. The images look like hot garbage. And, who wants to be outside when the wx sucks?.


Boy they sure do look like hot garbage! I cant stand this photo in particular!
It is such utter garbage I hate it so much, I'm ashamed I even bothered to take my lens cap off!


clickhappy wrote:
But don’t pretend shooting something at ISO800 @ 1/400 is somehow challenging.


Ah yeah it was quite easy shooting at 1/125, ISO100 and F/9.0, easiest thing I've ever shot! I'm sure you can understand with all those side on frames of aircraft at PAE that are 200 yards away from you that you shot at 1/1000 ISO 100, now those certainly are a challenge!

So what you're saying here is that photos taken in bad weather (or darkness for that matter) should get bonus points for the extra effort?
Perhaps I'm a lazy photographer, but to me challenging condtions mean that it's probably better to stay at home and look at some photos that I took earlier when the sun was still shining and the skies were blue. Of course that's a decision that will vary from person to person.
But just ask yourself this simple question: would the photo have looked better if the sun were shining?
NO URLS in signature
 
User avatar
gh6912
Posts: 46
Joined: Wed Oct 05, 2016 6:52 pm

Re: What makes a high quality photo?

Thu Jul 16, 2020 8:18 pm

clickhappy wrote:

I’m sorry you went all the way to Japan and encountered poor weather. That must have been a massive disappointment.


Nothing to apologize for, I had multiple days of perfect weather and some of overcast. Really was nice to have some variety in backdrops to make things more interesting and not all look exactly the same. Sorry you got a few rain drops on you, I’m sure you began to melt when that happened. But nice shot of that 737! I’m sure it was worth having your skin slide off your bones for!
Lone Star Spotter, F-4 Phantom Phanatic
 
User avatar
gh6912
Posts: 46
Joined: Wed Oct 05, 2016 6:52 pm

Re: What makes a high quality photo?

Fri Jul 17, 2020 3:44 am

dutchspotter1 wrote:
gh6912 wrote:
clickhappy wrote:
I don’t know how shooting something in grey overcast, or harsh overhead sun, is somehow challenging. The images look like hot garbage. And, who wants to be outside when the wx sucks?.


Boy they sure do look like hot garbage! I cant stand this photo in particular!
It is such utter garbage I hate it so much, I'm ashamed I even bothered to take my lens cap off!


clickhappy wrote:
But don’t pretend shooting something at ISO800 @ 1/400 is somehow challenging.


Ah yeah it was quite easy shooting at 1/125, ISO100 and F/9.0, easiest thing I've ever shot! I'm sure you can understand with all those side on frames of aircraft at PAE that are 200 yards away from you that you shot at 1/1000 ISO 100, now those certainly are a challenge!

So what you're saying here is that photos taken in bad weather (or darkness for that matter) should get bonus points for the extra effort?
Perhaps I'm a lazy photographer, but to me challenging condtions mean that it's probably better to stay at home and look at some photos that I took earlier when the sun was still shining and the skies were blue. Of course that's a decision that will vary from person to person.
But just ask yourself this simple question: would the photo have looked better if the sun were shining?


I don't think this site awards "extra points" for anything. All I'm saying is I appreciate the extra effort that is often required to capture images in conditions that are outside the realm of perfection. And I wouldn't call you a lazy photographer at all, in fact you have many uploads so I'd call you a prolific one and that deserves praise. I enjoy your images and think you are well versed in this hobby. You choose to go out in specific conditions since that is what you prefer and there is no issue with doing so. To each their own. But to look down on those who go out in adverse conditions is not right and rather snide. And would that photo have looked better if the sun were shining? No, because I prefer it in those conditions because that is my personal preference. Perhaps yours is to see that same frame with the sun shining. Easy solution, don't click on and view photos you don't like. You're more than welcome to move along when you see an overcast photo and find one on a clear day to view instead. Enjoy what you do, don't demean others for doing the same. Have a lovely weekend!
Lone Star Spotter, F-4 Phantom Phanatic
 
dutchspotter1
Topic Author
Posts: 377
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2005 9:24 pm

Re: What makes a high quality photo?

Fri Jul 17, 2020 9:37 pm

It is certainly not my intention to look down on people who shoot in bad weather, but everybody has their preferences and there is not necessarily something wrong with that. Some people may think of cloudy photos as garbage material while other people may fall asleep after seeing the 10th side-on approach shot with boring blue skies. Most importantly, aviation photography is a great and fun hobby and everybody should enjoy it the way he/she likes. But I do think that both styles, i.e. "all weather phtotography" and "nice weather photography", require effort, be it in a different way. While "all weather" photographers need a steady hand in low light conditions, need to fumble more with the aperture and ISO settings and may need to spend more time on photo editing, that doesn't mean that "nice weather" photography is just a piece of cake. Sure, at the moment supreme it's more of an aim-and-shoot style of photography, but it can require a lot of preparation and planning to be at the right place at the right time. There are many factors to consider (weather/clouds, wind direction, angle and azimuth of the sun, etc) which can sometimes change at the last-minute. So while an "all weather" photographer may catch a particular special plane the first time, it may take two or three attempts for a "nice weather" photographer to catch it (if there even is a second or third chance).
NO URLS in signature

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 9 guests

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