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07/04/2012 06:07:40 PM · #1
On a recent image, I received a comment about overexposure from a member who has entered fewer than 20 challenges in the past 9 years.

This is a nice shot but I prefer that the sky not be so over exposed.

To my eyes, the image is not very close to being overexposed. So, when I look at the histogram (posted below) of the image, there are zero pixels at the far right of the histogram and few near the right edge of the histogram. On my monitor, there are details in all the brighter areas. I certainly do not think the sky is overexposed in any respect. There is detail in all the brightest, near white, areas of the image. There are no blown out highlights. But, that's my display monitor with my eyes. It is certainly true that my monitor may be poorly calibrated. However, other comments on same image do not mention a problem, but rather offer words of support for the presentation.

' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/50000-54999/54446/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_1024387.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/50000-54999/54446/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_1024387.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

I do acknowledge the simple fact that some people are voting from laptops with brightness turned way up. Depending on a voter's ambient light and display device settings, they may be able to blow out highlights on an some images with their device's extreme settings.

This fact of life... I understand and accept. All feedback is valuable. I appreciate the comments and marked them as helpful. I don't plan to alter my postprocessing to fit to the display devices of a few people with poorly calibrated displays. There are some people who should maybe check their display devices against the displays of other computers in standard lighting situations.

The purpose of this thread is not to scold or criticize, but to get the message out to the people that need to hear it. Their display device can be giving them an incorrect impression of images. I certainly will not send them a PM saying anything of the sort, because it would not be received well.
07/04/2012 06:20:31 PM · #2
Uncalibrated monitors impact more than votes. If monitors are off enough to cause inaccurate perceptions during voting, they are also presenting that same lack of accuracy to users editing their own contest entries as wells as other photos they might like to share online. Sadly, hardware calibration devices are costly enough to vie for precious hobby dollars, so often, for newbies, they are behind things like flashes, new lenses, filters, etc. People who have poorly calibrated monitors, however, should probably make a habit of printing. Printouts at least allow us to see what a printer things of our photos. Comparing prints to what we are seeing on our monitors might be enough of an eye opener to up the priority of spending on calibration.
07/04/2012 06:34:20 PM · #3
If everyone turned the brightness down to about half of what their monitor is capable if, that be a big step in the right direction.
07/04/2012 07:23:55 PM · #4
It's a problem that is not going to go away.
On the other hand, it's a level playing field for all the images in voting.
07/04/2012 08:14:52 PM · #5
Originally posted by MelonMusketeer:

It's a problem that is not going to go away.
On the other hand, it's a level playing field for all the images in voting.


Agreed. The vast majority of voters will see all of the entries on the same monitor.
07/04/2012 08:28:29 PM · #6
the only thing that i could come up with on finding the best "setting" for my monitor is to view the top ten images from several challenges and tweak my adjustments so that the images look good to me. I figure that if these images are ranked best then their colors/tones were considered good by the majority of voters. if they also look good on my monitor then i feel comfortable with my calibrations.
07/04/2012 08:36:28 PM · #7
There is a monochrome step chart under every image when voting......
07/04/2012 08:52:50 PM · #8
Originally posted by chromeydome:

There is a monochrome step chart under every image when voting......

Excellent observation.... and tool. That should be a good indicator of monitor calibration.... if one can see gradations between all the shades.
07/04/2012 09:29:08 PM · #9
Originally posted by JiaBob:

People who have poorly calibrated monitors, however, should probably make a habit of printing. Printouts at least allow us to see what a printer things of our photos. Comparing prints to what we are seeing on our monitors might be enough of an eye opener to up the priority of spending on calibration.

This is the method I use -- many of my entries I also set up as prints, which I send to a commercial photo printer for output on real photo paper. If the output matches my monitor (and is what I want), there really isn't enything else I can do to compensate for someone else's equipment.

FWIW, I was taught long ago, when we were scanning prints/negatives in order to digitize them (i.e. before there were digital cameras) to never trust the monitor anyway, calibrated or not, but instead to rely on the numbers in Photoshop's Info Window and histogram. I still edit primarily on a Sony Trinitron CRT monitor, simply adjusted with the built-in contrast/brightness settings to the DPC sample grayscale on the voting page; I remain unimpressed with any LCD monitors (I can afford) for photo editing ... :-(
07/17/2012 05:00:26 PM · #10
Talking about which, I've just bought a Spyder calibration tool so I can adjust my monitor as my old Huey isn't working properly anymore.

The question I have is, what Gamma setting do you have it on, 1.8 or 2.2? I'm seeing different recommendations while researching online, it's nearly doing my head in.

Also, what white point to you have it on? 6500 or 5000?

I had some prints done and they were too dark compared to what I had edited.

Thanks for any assistance!

Message edited by author 2012-07-17 17:03:52.
07/17/2012 05:31:50 PM · #11
Originally posted by heatherd:

I had some prints done and they were too dark compared to what I had edited.

That should mean that your monitor is too bright -- you are seeing the tones as lighter than they are/will print.

Try looking at the numbers in the Info Window to see what values the pixels actually have, rather than relying on what you're seeing on the screen. If you look just at the grayscale values, you want the highlights (with detail, not spectular reflections) to be between about 5-8% gray, while the darkest shadows should be between 90-95%.

I would suggest making up a 4x6 test image, containing a colorful photo with which you're really familiar, some blocks of solid color, and blocks with graduating levels of black from 0-100% in 5-10% increments. For comparison, take a screenshot of the grayscale below each entry on the DPC voting page, and paste that into your test image -- the blocks should have the same gray values as those you create directly in your editing program.

I would print this on a professional photo printer (I usually use Costco) or on any printer where you can rely on accurate and calibrated output. Once you have the print, assuming it looks OK, you want to then try and set your monitor to match the print.
07/18/2012 02:40:18 AM · #12
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