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DPChallenge Forums >> Rant >> Here I go again....
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06/28/2002 03:54:45 PM · #1
First, I submitted a long distance shot this week, so this is as much a plea for help as it is a complaint/rant.

I have noticed that many of the long distance shots this week do not look all that clear. I know that part of this is due to the small data set we are looking at (>150KB JPEGS), and part of this could be due to low end cameras (just not collecting that much data). Some appear to have been sharped, but rather than helping, in my opinion, I think it makes it worse. The objects have more definition, but also have brackets around them, very distracting.
I wish we could use larger files, but I understand all the VERY good reasons why this would be unfair, etc. But in all honesty, I don''t think that would help that much either.
Besides asking people to try to limit their use of sharpen (in other words, just live with it), Does anybody have any suggestions for aquiring GOOD long distance shots with less data loss? (I know, wait for 7MP cameras...)

P.S I now know the trick of saving to TIFF, adjusting, then back to JPG. I''m looking for more tips. (Gimme more, more always more!!) P.P.S I do use a haze filter, too.

Thanks in advance. I need this help/advise.


* This message has been edited by the author on 6/28/2002 3:55:58 PM.
06/28/2002 04:02:42 PM · #2
I don't have very much advise for the question you asked, but I do want to say (without trying to give too much away) On many of my comments for the City life pic members have stated that it is too hazy, or even one said " Many of the pics in this weeks challenge are hazy" I guess it just depends on where you are right now. I am in Colorado Springs and the smoke is horrible all over the state from our fires as well as other states fires. Any amount of adjusting and/or filters will not change the haze if it is smoky haze. Just wanted to address the fact. I am not upset or anything, just that there has been SOOOOOOO many comment on the haze.

As far as your question...maybe a graduated filter, to at least make it look like it has more depth?
06/28/2002 04:28:58 PM · #3
Shots at a distance would naturally be a little better using a triopd to do it. If you are photographing something that is 100 yards away, the most minute amount of camera shake is maginified many times by the object that is far away. Even with a 1/250" or 1/500" shutter, you could still get some minor motion blur that would create problems with the image.


06/28/2002 04:29:39 PM · #4
I've not heard of a graduated filter. I have been looking at my local vendor's filter supplies, but it's a bit limited. Does this type filter go by an other names?
06/28/2002 05:19:30 PM · #5
If you go to Tiffens website they have a few examples of a graduated filtr. Other than that you can purchase them at www.tristatecamera.com.
They have very good prices and I buy from there quite often. If you don't see it on the website call them and they will get it for you.
Here are a couple of links with some examples of grad filters. Just to give you an idea. They come in a bunch of different colors, and effects.
//www.beststuff.com/articles/1563/
//www.schneiderkreuznach.com/pdf/filter/p39.pdf
//www.geocities.com/cokinfiltersystem/gradual_gray.htm
06/28/2002 05:22:41 PM · #6
Here is one more really great website for filter explanations.
//www.dcphotog.com/Articles/Article11.htm
06/28/2002 05:28:01 PM · #7
oops one more really good one, Thats it I promise
//www.smsprod.com/products/lenses/tiffen.html
06/28/2002 05:31:40 PM · #8
Can you post an image that shows noticable artifacts at 150k? I've found this nearly impossible..

Drew
06/28/2002 06:18:35 PM · #9
Drew, I'm a bit lost in the vocabulary. What does the phrase "Noticable artifacts " mean?
06/28/2002 07:53:26 PM · #10
anything in the neighborhood of 640x480 at 150k encoded JPEG won't normally have visual artifact. I think the real problem is the photographers lack of understanding in handling digital images.

Here are some points of interest:

1. If a photo is out of focus at its submitted resolution, it will be largely out of focus at its original resolution.

2. "Sharpening" doesn't really sharpen a blurred image. It ads more "grain".

3. Always use the maxiumum allowed image size (150k) by adjusting the JPEG compression factor. Paintshop Pro and Photoshop both do this.

4. Resizing the photo should be the last step... For highest output quality, all filters and adjustments should be applied when the image is at its highest (original) resolution.

5. Do not save the image more than once. There are exceptions to this rule (tiff & bmp). If you need to perform more editing on a photo after saving it, you should work from the original.

I think 150k @ 640x480 is perfect. This small resolution prevents 3rd parties from stealing our photographs, yet provides enough visual information to to be able to view the photograph reasonably. If a higher image format was allowed, I'd have to submit my photographs with watermarks to protect the copyright.
06/28/2002 08:09:09 PM · #11
rkymtndream
Thanks for the filter information. Looked at the tiffen stuff, guess I'm looking at a couple hundred in filters, but so be it.

Originally posted by rkymtndream:
oops one more really good one, Thats it I promise
//www.smsprod.com/products/lenses/tiffen.html


06/28/2002 09:59:36 PM · #12
Telephoto shots inharently tend to be out of focus/dull looking:
1. Camera shake - use a tripod and shorter shutter speeds. ie: 1/500
2. Depth of field is more shallow - stop down the lens by using a larger f stop. ie: f 16
3. Most all digital cameras use digital zoom - turn it off.
4. Haze in the atmosphere - not much you can do, try a haze and/or polarizing filter, come back a different
day.

There are probably more I just can't think of them right now, having a senior moment.

06/28/2002 11:17:16 PM · #13
I will recommend digital zoom ONLY if your camera does a very good job with it but unfortunately many cameras don't. I leave digital zoom on on my camera because it does do a very good job with it, it displays a meter to show how far in the digital zoom I am going, and it's a bit of a time saver to be able to crop the image digitally in camera rather then later. But I must emphasize that I am very very careful with it, I keep in mind that if I crop too far I obviously can't put the pixels back in the picture. I only crop the image digitally if I am certain that is what I would do with the image later in Photoshop. Keep in mind that if you digitally zoom an image by a factor of 2 then the total number of pixels in the final image will actually be 1/4 the original number of pixels NOT 1/2. If I take my 5 megapixel image and digitally zoom it 2 times then the resulting image will only be 1.25 megapixels. Just some things to think about when you are considering digitally zoomming or cropping your images down later on.

Tim
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