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Jackson Ball

8 Days Ago

Sharpening Added???

I just spent the time to create my FAA/Pixels websites this past weekend.

This morning I get a call from an existing customer who asked " Jackson have you seen your images on Pixels - they look HORRIBLE"

So I looked and see that insane sharpening was applied! I opened my original image to see if there was a problem on my end - NOPE. The issue is isolated to FAA and Pixel.

I called customer service but was told tech support does not come in till 10am. Must be nice...

I told the girl that within 20 minutes I will POST on my FB and other groups of PHOTOGRAPHERS - more than 3,000 - BOTH images - my original and what FAA/Pixels did to it. Night and day difference.

Unless there is a solution ON FAA end (I will not redo the work for over 100 images) then I will shut down both sites, demand money back and show my colleagues what occured to me... you figure it out.

Yes I am an unhappy customer. Cannot sell my pristine medium format work on these sites.

Jackson

20 minutes - I am serious.

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MM Anderson

8 Days Ago

I just looked at a few of yours and they do look a bit over sharpened. It 's hard for me to tell on my own images, especially my scanned artwork but I can definitely see it in yours. I hope you can get an answer.

 

Jessica Jenney

8 Days Ago

Do you sharpen them before upload? Some do look overly sharp. I avoid sharpening my images, or at least do it selectively.

The one on the left is too sharp, but the one the right looks fine.

Art Prints Sell Art Online

I don't' see any sharpening added on my photos.

 

Floyd Snyder

8 Days Ago



"20 minutes - I am serious."

Really?

Kind of over the top don't you think?

You have a total of 212 views, mostly bots in 18-24 months. FAA hardly knows you are here and would not even know that you left.

I think a little patience and fewer threats would serve your purpose if you really want to sell art and not just beat up on the site for what may or may not be an easy problem to fix.

 

David Smith

8 Days Ago

Don't let the door hit you in the brains on your way out.

 

Bradford Martin

8 Days Ago

Yes there is sharpening added on the previews uniformly to all images. The file you upload may or may not get added sharpening when it is resized for sale. I suspect that is not the usual practice.
It gets brought up in the forums from time to time.

When I started here I didn't do any sharpening on my images. Just like I do for stock I assumed the sharpening is done at the end after resizing. I even inquired about it early on and was told it was sharpened if needed. I then decided to do everything with light sharpening, riding a line between sharp enough for printing and not so sharp that if they sharpen the highly compressed previews here that it would look over sharpened.

I think any viewer that notices your images look too sharp will also understand it is just a preview. It is one of the things we put up with to sell on the internet. This is a pod site. It may not meet your standards but some of the best photographers in the world use the site. I do not feel you were wronged as you get to try before you buy. If you stay you might want to actually buy one of your images and see how nice they are. I wouldn't judge the site by the previews

You put your images on FB to compare? You realize FB applies it's own compression right. Now it is compressed on the net twice.

 

Jackson Ball

8 Days Ago

Sorry, my 20 minute rant was after spending the weekend on this. I typically do not add USM, or a little - like 40 to 70. I had the FAA site since 2017 but was not using it until this weekend. No images at all on FAA until now.

Sounds like I should upload before/after images. Clearly something changed.

Jackson

 

Jessica Jenney

8 Days Ago

In my opinion images look softer on fb so I do sharpen some before posting there.

 

You wrote you are using a medium format camera. The files are very large with your camera, and you are using USM mask at 40 to 70. The problem is in the compression of your original files to the much smaller sizes you see on this site. You have to find a medium between your originals and what the potential customer is going to see. I would back off sharpening sharpening to below 20.. Before you upload resize your images close to the size they will be on the site. If they look too sharp adjust your original until you are satisfied.

 

Bradford Martin

8 Days Ago

It is possible that something changed. It always does. Also what you are seeing has as much to do with jpg compression as it does to do with sharpening. I think all of us with some previous experience went through this and it has been discussed many times. Yes it is very frustrating and the answers are not clear.

Unfortunately they compress to save space and that is what can put the "jaggies" on images that have been sharpened. It may be worth it to redo the sharpening on images uploaded here. One reason Lightroom has an export sharpening menu is to make it easy to customize that step for each use. Depending on your work flow it is really not that big a deal to reprocess your images before uploading. They will be earning money for many years to come.

I just want to add if you decide to stay you should put descriptions in all the images and put in as many tags as apply.

Here is a checklist I made for getting started here. It applies to everyone, even those who are experienced selling elsewhere.
https://fineartamerica.com/showmessages.php?messageid=4721562


Edit to add. I think Rospotte nailed it.





 

Jackson Ball

8 Days Ago

Bradford, thank for your reasoned response. Just frustrating looking at my images here and on FAA - big difference. Right about FB compression. I would do links to FAA and my other URLs so people can look online. Maybe you are right that the print could look better than the preview - but I would not buy one of my own images the way they look here on FAA. The poor preview derails the sale in my opinion. And thank you Jessica.

David, thanks for the door comment - appreciated by someone I'm sure. If there is no FAA solution - if the damage has been done to these images, then I will shut down both FAA and Pixel and just stay with what works quite well. It won't affect my brain - I promise.

In my opinion, no sharpening should be added to an upload. Period. I am a high-res printer here in Panama - up to 40x60 acrylic face mounts. All images are taken with Leica S or high end 80mp technical camera and printed at 16 bits through a RIP - Sharpening is already applied in Capture One - no more is needed. I know these images well and have lots of large prints out there that look great. I process, retouch and sharpen them on an Eizo CG277 for my calibrated system and output at 2880x1440. It all works great end to end.

Thanks all. Not sure if we have a solution for this. I don't currently sell in the US market and I thought FAA/Pixels might be an approach for attracting new US customers.

I think that adding sharpening to images already sharp hurts potential sales. In my case, I cannot offer them for sale looking like this. Hurts my own reputation as a fine art photographer and printer. As my customer said this morning...

Jackson

 

There is no added sharpening...

 

Mike Savad

8 Days Ago

its best to not to over sharpen things on your end, they do add a sharpening and it varies over the years. my old stuff had so much noise highlighted in them, i had to do them again. it may also depend on what your using to sharpen it with, i use a deconvolution sharpener, which seems to push contrast down to a smaller point. where as plain sharpen makes white and black edges on things, making it seem sharper. so when it gets here, it enhances that and makes it worse.

it is what it is, i would not sharpen it much on your end in the future. i try to aim for clear images and i don't sharpen it to the max.


----Mike Savad
http://www.MikeSavad.com

 

Jackson Ball

8 Days Ago

Bradford, I think you and Rospotte are onto the issue. My images are HUGE - I never know if a customer desires a small 24x36 or a large 40x60. So all are saved as 16-bit TIFF files and are 1.2gb in size - ready for the RIP at any size. I never, ever work with JPG due to the loss of 8 bits of color contrast/detail. (16 bits is not twice 8 bits but 8 more zeros of accuracy - millions of times the color accuracy and contrast detail as a JPG). Perhaps the combination of severe downsampling and loss of quality due to JPG compression is at the root of my issue - but I don't believe FAA adding any sharpening is a good idea.

Maybe I just need to rethink FAA and go back to outsourcing Nevada Art, Aspen Creek and SP do printing for my US customers. At least they print from my full res TIFFs at 16 bits. Most costly, but the results are stunning with these files.

Jackson

 

Jessica Jenney

8 Days Ago

The sharpening used to be an issue on FAA many years ago when they had the smaller images. Since they are made larger I don't see any issue.

 

Jackson Ball

8 Days Ago

Thanks Mike Savad and Jessica. I am getting that gnawing sense that to really solve this I would need to go back to my RAW files and create images for FAA from there. No RAW output sharpening at all and create an output recipe for the perfect FAA image - 8-bit color and about 25mb. Prevents downsampling a finished TIFF with the potential JPG compression issues. Do it directly from the RAW state, not from PhotoShop.

I will do an experiment later today to see if that works. If so... its gonna be a long week.

Jackson

 

Bradford Martin

8 Days Ago

I think you should order some prints from here before making a decision. You will be reaching a lot of new customers. I struggled with this a bit at first. My own local printer who has a fine art degree in photography convinced me that a first generation and a tiff are about the same and not to worry so much about that. You can get it so the previews are better. You will figure it out. We all have to deal with it and lots of sales are made.

 

Jackson Ball

8 Days Ago

Mike Savad mentioned something I had rarely heard about - Convolution sharpening - So I looked into how Capture One 12 handles it...

"Like the optional Diffraction Correction (deconvolution sharpening) and Sharpness Falloff available in the Lens Correction tool, the default sharpening settings can be considered an optional component within the first of a typical three-stage sharpening workflow."

Well there it is, called Diffraction Correction - never used it. Thanks for the tip.

Jackson

 

Abbie Shores

8 Days Ago

I am REALLY sorry (seriously, not sarcastically) that I do not get in until a different time than people are used to. Unfortunately it is not nice at all, as most times I work throughout the night and early hours of the morning and so have to sleep occasionally.

That being said, yes, the images are slightly sharpened for previews because you have to do that when shrinking to such an extent we have to

When you upload an image, for prints, our software takes the longer dimension and fits it to the following sizes:

8 inches x (xx)
10 inches x (xx)
12 inches x (xx)
14 inches x (xx)
16 inches x (xx)
20 inches x (xx)
etc...

The smaller dimension (xx) is then scaled proportionally to maintain the aspect ratio of your image.

Our largest print available is 108" x 48"

You are setting your prices based on the size of the longest dimension

4800 pixels is 48" at 100ppi So you can work out your sizes really before even uploading. Do not ever change your ppi as you do not need to.

So the largest image you really need is 10800 x 4800. Larger is good but not absolutely necessary

I cannot do anything about 'ruining your images' as it is just a part of the shrinkage for previews. But most images do not see this issue (I do have 2 panoramas that show terribly but there is not much I can do)

not the answer you probably want and I am really sorry. The other guys here are good at explaining

Abbie
-------

Artists Community and Technical Support Manager | Shopify/Pixels Representative

 

Giovanni Allievi

8 Days Ago

Jackson, did you try doing a screenshot of the high res preview and comparing it with your original? I believe FAA adds a certain amount of sharpening when building the thumbnails to avoid blurriness but I don't think they add sharpening to the final file. You could prepare a file containing different stripes with various sharpening settings applied and order that to judge by yourself.

 

Mike Savad

8 Days Ago

the question i still ponder about is - why did you send 300 images before checking it with the loupe first?

for me it has to be sharp at 200%, beyond that it doesn't have to be sharper or should be sharper.

diffraction sounds like it takes into the account of lenses and aberrations. sort of how like the hubble telescope was made slightly wrong. and using mathematical calculations they were able to converge it to make it clear again some how.

what i wish the site would correct is the amount of compressing it does on a thumb, it sometimes murders things with very simple colors.


----Mike Savad
http://www.MikeSavad.com

 

David Smith

8 Days Ago

Jackson

The door comment was in response to your threat of leaving if you didn't get an answer in 20 minutes.

Abbie is the forum mod and tech support. She works from the UK.

The next thing you need to consider is that FAA's printers send as low as 100 DPI through their RIP for the largest prints.

Personally, I've done side by side tests on some of the same model printers that their vendors are using and usually can't see a difference between 300 DPI and 100 DPI without a magnifying glass, and certainly not at normal viewing distance. There's quite a difference in output quality between a modern inkjet printer and a 4 color press.

 

Floyd Snyder

8 Days Ago

I think the incredibly low return rate kind of speaks volumes as far as the quality of the final product that FAA printers are putting out.

I think the 500,000 sellers, some of the best in the world also speaks to the quality of the product.

The fact that FAA/Pixels/AWs are selling a zillion prints a day also speaks to the quality of even the thumbnails and the images being posted to social media. They do not seem to be much of a deterrent to buyers. (Caution! Portions of the statement above may include slightly embellished numbers.) 😄

I think we need to give the people that are shopping for fine art reproductions on the Internet enough credit and trust them to understand that a FB or Twitter or thumbnail image does not need to be and probably is not going to be the highest quality image from which the final product is going to printed.

Maybe you can visit the recently sold page and see if those images that have just sold look like they are being handled any differently than yours.



 

Jackson Ball

8 Days Ago

Thank you for the comments. I have learned a lot today.

One startling comment was that some of the FAA printers print at as low as 100 DPI. As a fine art printer myself with a RIP driven 44" Epson Sure Color P9000 11 ink system if I send a 100 DPI image to the printer I SEE A DIFFERENCE. My customers might too. Only 8 bit JPG printing and now at maybe 100 DPI for larger prints. That's a red flag for me. I will do more research and speak with some of the people there.

Oh, and I did not loupe the resamples because I know my images well and print/mount here at large sizes already. My bad, but louping this morning after that phone call proved to me that sharpening was being added at FAA. An unfortunate fact that makes the 100% preview look quite different than my intent. I think my process and massive downsample with reduction in bit depth contribute to the preview problem, but not entirely. I can create images that should address the preview better, but I want to research other options that can transfer my 16-bit TIFF images at size to printers I chose. Might have to write an API, but can do...

Thanks again all. My best to you all. Thanks Abbie, I apologize for starting on the wrong foot looking for support so early.

Jackson

 

Abbie Shores

8 Days Ago

Apology completely accepted, Jackson.... This is a huge company members-wise and business-wise, but we run on actually a very small team of dedicated people. The members in this discussion area more than make up for any tardiness on my part thankfully and I thank them for jumping into this thread so rapidly

 

Murray Bloom

8 Days Ago

Jackson, the 100 dpi/ppi spec reflects only the largest allowable print size. Smaller prints are made at higher resolution. One thing that should also be considered is viewing distance. The larger the print, the further back the viewer usually is. Ever see a billboard up close? I used to shoot for billboards with an 8x10 camera, but even then, with such a large 'print,' the ultimate resolution was nothing to write home about.

 

Jackson Ball

7 Days Ago

Thanks Murray,

You are right on about viewing distance. I'm a sticker for fine detail and rich 16 bit color. People regularly walk right up to a 40x60 acrylic print - just inches away, looking at the detail, some/most are other photographers. I think many here in Central America have never seen a professional acrylic face mount from a BIG camera before. I get the questions like "How did you make it look like this, so clear and lifelike?" I explain about ultra-high res lenses, the "Leica-look", big sensor size capturing more photons, and what 16 bit color means to a fine-art print, especially in shadow detail. The photographer and techie types get it. Forget viewing distance for these types. Others stand off and take in the whole image, not so into the tech and details - just the effect. These are more frequent buyers. Stunned by the "lifelike presence" of the image at proper viewing distance.

SO... after all I learned and researched yesterday, my best option is to go back to my MOS and DNG Raw files and rebuild my library using the newest Capture One features like color grading, powerful color balance, luminosity masking, advanced masking and just superior color. Most of the images in my library were pre-C1 using Lightroom and PS. These work OK, but are not to the same capabilities of C1 - PLUS, I can do most things while still in the RAW state and export exacting files by process recipes - this is huge and should resolve the FAA preview issue and make my entire library that much better. I have not touched Lightroom in more than a two years.

This exercise with FAA is enough for me to rework my library if I want to take best advantage of what FAA offers. I do want to get serious about the USA/Europe market with my images and FAA appears to have some good stuff going on. So I will leave the FAA site in place while I do some reconstruction in the studio. I will be back shortly with all new images and careful three-step sharpening and output recipe that should alleviate most of the FAA preview issues and give me images that leverage the latest software tools. I do wish there was a way for artists to control any added sharpening on FAA. Also an option to avoid 8-bit JPG compression. Paid upgrade to handle 16-bit TIFF to the printer while still using JPG for previews? I would be a candidate for this option. Squarespace is working on something and has custom APIs, so be aware.

Thank you ALL again... See you soon...

Jackson

 

Mike Savad

7 Days Ago

all i want from this site is the ability to upload files larger than 25megs.


----Mike Savad
http://www.MikeSavad.com

 

Doug Swanson

7 Days Ago

The bottom line, the actual product is my standard for this. I don't see any way that FAA can have a web site that doesn't convert our original images in order to fit them on a page. I've certainly noticed that the smaller thumbnail images on some pages don't do justice to the original and that I don't know what to do with those magnifier images that generally look awful, but the bottom line for me is that the prints look good, pretty much as I would have expected them, based on what I see on my computer screen. The quality of the actual product is quite good.

Unfortunately, the other wild card in all this is that I have seen my original images as well as FAA screens on other people's computers and what you see on a cheap PC with a cheap monitor from that generic office supply store is quite different (color balance, range, dynamics, resolution) than what I see on my Mac Pro laptop or on an actual print. It's not good news either. There's no way FAA or we can control for that and that is the rabid gorilla in the room.

I know that the techie people spend a lot of time sweating and dispensing wisdom about lenses, pixels, bits, compression, RAW, etc, but for us, selling on line, it's like preparing a great meal only to have the cat barf on it. I make a point of final checking my images not on the great Apple screen but on the cheap monitor in the basement that I use for paying bills and, as long as the product is at least as good as the cheap screen, I'm OK with it. The tech stuff is completely lost on buyers; they just know what they see on their screen and on a mug or print or t-shirt. We just have to deal with that, there's no way around the weak link, which often is the buyer

 

CaptureOne is amazing.

 

Floyd Snyder

7 Days Ago

This not really aimed at anyone in this thread necessarily but just ad observation form over the years.

I don't understand the concept of joining something extremely successful for what it is and then immediately trying to change it into something that you want it to be.

Something as complex as FAA is is not going to be all things to all people. The idea that it can adapt on the fly to everything every person wants it to me is not realistic.

Again, this is based on observations over the years and not necessarily aimed at posts in this thread.

 

Floyd Snyder

7 Days Ago

"The tech stuff is completely lost on buyers; they just know what they see on their screen and on a mug or print or t-shirt. We just have to deal with that, there's no way around the weak link, which often is the buyer"



The irony is they are the weak link and also the most important link!

 

David Smith

7 Days Ago

Jackson

Just checked with someone in the know.

The Epson printer driver is converting your 16 bit files to 8 bit internally. The word is that there is no benefit to sending 16 bit finals to the printer. As long as you're converting your 16 bit files to 8 bit correctly you won't get different results sending 16 bit files.

As far as JPEG compression goes, level 12 JPEGs are visually lossless.

 

Jackson Ball

7 Days Ago

Hi David,

You are correct. That is why I have a RIP in front driving the Epson. I do not use the Epson driver. The Raster Image Processor (RIP) sends 16-bit data. I wanted 16 bits end to end. Similar to the LightJet technology, which I considered as well. The RIP is the key.

I never heard of a JPG at 12 bits??? That would be great. I don't see any option for JPG output at anything other than 8 bit. What software can do this?

I use X-Rite gear for monitor and printer calibration. They have the following write up regarding tonal range that may be helpful.

Tonal range refers to the levels of color or degree of tint in each of the RGB color channels. A general consumer camera that shoots in standard JPEG format captures about 6 stops of dynamic range - or 6 “doublings of light”. This is it’s light sensitivity and how many discrete steps it produces to define it - from solid black to solid white, in each of the three RGB color channels. Larger and professional digital camera can shoot in RAW format and can capture 14-16 bits of dynamic range and have 12 or more stops or “doublings of light” available in the camera, making it much more sensitive to fine subtlety and nuance in color and detail. (My big cameras have up to 15 stops of dynamic range and each pixel is captured at 16 bit color and because the sensor sites are large, more photons are recorded and as such avoid the use of high-pass sensor filters that degrade image quality.)

The difference between 8 bit and 16 bits is not just twice the color detail - but billions of times as each decimal point is another tenth. This translates into much more image data to work with and this becomes useful when you bring life to the RAW image and adjust contrast or color in the computer. This is because the image curves stretch easily, filling in the information in the histogram without breaking apart and therefore avoiding color noise and artifacts much better. Shooting in RAW at higher bit depth gives us more latitude to recapture the scene and maximize the dynamic range of the image. More detail, better color balance, more realism are the results.

TONAL RANGES FOR 8-BIT JPEG, 6 STOPS OF DYNAMIC RANGE

1st f-Stop - Brightest tones - 128 steps
2nd f-Stop - 64 steps
3rd f-Stop - 32 steps
4th f-Stop - 16 steps
5th f-Stop - 8 steps
6th f-Stop - Deepest shadows - 4 steps

TONAL RANGES FOR 14-BIT RAW, 6 STOPS OF DYNAMIC RANGE

1st f-Stop - Brightest tones - 8,192 steps
2nd f-Stop - 4,096 steps
3rd f-Stop - 2,048 steps
4th f-Stop - 1,024 steps
5th f-Stop - 512 steps
6th f-Stop - Deepest shadows - 256 steps (Compare with just 4-steps at 8 bit and you see the problem in shadow detail and nuances of color contrast using JPG)

From the math you can see that there are significantly fewer possible colors that can be rendered at 6 versus just 14 bits. By a lot. Of course 16-bits provides even more gray level steps per color channel and 12 stops (these charts from X-Rite are 6-stops) gives FAR more adjustment capability. The human eye can discern about 22 stops, so getting closer to how the eye perceives translates into a more natural viewing experience.

This comes into play when shooting where there are predominantly darker or lighter colors or colors and tones that are very similar, like in a dense forest with lots of subtle greens and browns. The nuances become extreme and we want to see those nuances without banding or artifacts. From the above tables we see that with JPEG, the deepest shadows have only four possible steps to define the color - so if you increase the contrast to see the darker details better, it will break up any continuity into the four steps visibly and this can be unsightly. But at 14 bits, 256 possible gradations are available in those shadows, so you can pull out shadow detail and realize better color contrast without breaking up the image integrity. The ability to capture the color detail without banding or color noise makes shooting in RAW and higher bit depth preferable in most situations, especially where the intent is a physical print. It is also common practice to shoot a bit to the overexposed side of the camera’s manual settings without “clipping” to assure that the maximum amount of detail is captured, giving you more room to pull out details and colors. Color contrast complements pure resolution (80mp) to give nuances and "presence"to prints.

Hope this sheds light...

 

David Smith

7 Days Ago

Jackson

I started in digital scanning Hasselblad transparencies with a Leafscan 45 in 1997. Traditional film and darkroom since 1974.

The people I learned from and are friends with are a who's who of digital photography.

I'm not talking about an 8 bit workflow. The advantages of 16 bits in capture and editing are obvious.

The need for 16 bits once you hit the print button are not demonstrable.

Here's a rather long but recent thread discussing the point. It goes off on a few tangents, and an Epson driver/Mohave issue was discovered through it, but the conclusion, by Andrew Rodney doing sensometric reading on test prints, is that 16 bit to the printer doesn't translate to improved print quality.

https://forum.luminous-landscape.com/index.php?topic=127108.0

 

Doug Swanson

7 Days Ago

It would be cool to have a double blind test on this. I'm not about to do it, because I don't have that much invested in it but -

*50 picture pairs, as close as humanly possible, same angle, time and content, but one shot on an iPhone/jpg and the other on a 50 megapixel wonder camera in raw.

*Acknowledging that the need to develop the raw images complicates things, duplicating each other as much as possible, the 50 images in processed/adjusted pairs.

*Present them to naive subjects with random order so the raw or jpg images are not always first or second, but all printed on the same printer and paper, 8 X 10. The presenter does not know which image is which. Only an experimenter in another room knows which image is raw vs iPhone.

*The subjects, not knowing anything about technical details, are only to pick out which one is "better". "Better" is not defined or described. The person presenting the images to the subjects also does not know which image is which; he or she is only there to record responses and monitor the situation.



I'm guessing that most subjects would not reliably select the raw image as the "better" of the two, and that they could not define what IS "better". Some might get aggravated because they all look the same. Any bets? Anybody willing to try this? I'm thinking that we'd need a grant from a university that has an art research program.

 

Abbie Shores

7 Days Ago

I'd LOVE to host this on my magazine site

 

Abbie Shores

7 Days Ago

Actually, if anyone is really interested in doing this and adding images for it, I WILL host it.

Contact me

 

Edward Fielding

7 Days Ago

The thumbnails hurt my eyes.

Me thinks you are over OCDing the post-processing.

Only way to check is to order a few prints yourself to see the quality.

 

Edward Fielding

7 Days Ago

By the way, referring to the customer service rep as "the girl" is circa 1950s don't you think?

 

David Smith

7 Days Ago

Doug

That's not the issue under discussion.

We're talking about printing from a 16 bit file vs the same image reduced to 8 bit, not shooting 8 bit vs 16 bit.

In capture and post processing, a 16 bit workflow wins hands down.

 

Doug Swanson

7 Days Ago

It's all the same issue, bits, pixels, raw, all those things that photogs obsess about but that people who see prints know nothing about. The question is whether the photogs should continue to worry about this or whether the worry takes on a life of its own and becomes an abstract battle of numbers. I've seen this in other places in life, the most obvious being audiophiles who sweat about things like the oxygen content of their speaker wires or whether their vacuum tubes have been properly conditioned (whatever that means) prior to being used for actual music instead of whether Black Sabbath EVER sounded good.

The double blind is very important to this because it's essential to know just who sees or worries about it. All things considered, I'm sure that bigger numbers are always better in some theoretical sense, but the second question is whether anybody notices it when it's framed on a wall behind a piece of glass, catching reflections from the light fixture. My bet is that the photogs worry about numbers that print viewers can't even see, especially since they don't have the pair of originals. If you're a naive viewer, seeing a print, deciding whether you like it, you don't know whether there's an arguably better version with more bits or pixels much less how much data compression is OK. You probably just think that the snowy mountain will fit in with the white couch or that the rainy street view works better in the dining room.

 

Deborah League

7 Days Ago

What is this sharpening? Something I should be doing? Never heard of it.

 

Jackson Ball

7 Days Ago

The test sounds intriguing. I have a product studio here with plenty of lights from bare bulbs, softboxes, big octabox and strips. I can easily set up a test using the Leica S and Iphone and android under identical conditions. I also have two 35mm cameras. One shoots 8-bit JPG, the other Raw/Jpg. Identical items and light intensity, color and angles. I need to find someone with the newest Iphone also as I want to test it. I hear they have Zeiss glass? We can shoot different items to look at specular and diffused areas, light fall off, shadow and highlight detail.... I have a friend with the new Chinese phone with really high quality images. Or so it seems.

This might be fun... Let me know how I can help facilitate.

And, David, very sorry for offending anyone with my "girl" who answered the phone reference. Obviously I was not speaking down to her or anyone circa 50 as you put it. I simply did not get her name. I would never call someone "girl". Not my style. Again, sorry if anyone took offense. Should have said "person" I guess. What is her name?

David, the LeafScan 45 is a great scanner! Im showing my age now, but I worked with an old modified Hell 341 and Scitex PMT scanners - temperamental buggers but great results. Those were the days - oil mounting and all. LeafScan was easier, like 5,000 ppi and quite reliable from what I heard. My technical camera uses a Leaf back. They have better slightly color than Phase in my opinion, and they have been at it longer.

Abbie and Doug, contact me about setting up test parameters. I can videotape the tests as well. email is jackson@affinitystudio.net if that's easier.

Jackson

 

Kathy Anselmo

7 Days Ago

Mac computers can print 16bit color if both your OS and your printer support it.

 

Bradford Martin

7 Days Ago

I am not reading all this now. But understand the 100 DPI print is only if you don't have 300. If you didn't have enough for a 300 DPI print you didn't have enough for a 300 DPI print. Nothing in the world changes that. I you want to go larger they do. Just fill out the prices. Just don't increase the pixel size. You don't need to. The 100 DPi is using a better file and it looks good. If you normally up size to make larger prints and it works for you fine. Don't do it here, there is no advantage If you want a 300 DPI print from the original capture size that's what you get here.

Why do people always freak out when they hear 100 DPI. If you don't want a 100 DPI input just don't fill out those prices and live with what the file provides for you. I realize the upload limits are low but you have to work with that for now

The same amount of droplets are used for all prints.
I am so sick of correcting these misconceptions about printing.

 

Bradford Martin

7 Days Ago

At some point you have to stop worrying about how perfect the print is at 4 inches view distance and start putting in some descriptions so you can be found. You are already losing the newness advantage on search engines. No use in uploading files if no one will ever see them.

 

Jackson Ball

7 Days Ago

Thanks Bradford for your insights - very true regarding the relationship of print size and resolution with a fixed 25mb image. I have lots of printing and pre-press experience and am not "worried" about the photographers who get close. They just do it because they have never seen this level of detail and rich color in a large print. The buying customers don't do this... But I'm tolerant with the photographers genuine interest in this technology, smile and dive into the techie stuff as deep as they desire. I agree that I need to go through the library and do proper descriptions, but when I saw the preview quality I stopped the train and I wondered if this was the right place. Different market perhaps?

Once I rebuild the images from the MOS files and upload them I will do this critical step. As you said, not going very far without keyword and descriptions. I'm not giving up on FAA - but I was close to it... Clean images, proper descriptions... should be good enough to leverage FAA/Pixels market reach.

I do appreciate the comments and candor. Really do...

Jackson

 

David Smith

7 Days Ago

Jackson

I ran, and technically still do although it's not very active, a Leafscan 35 and 45 support group on Yahoo. Pretty much the only Leafscan support group online.

I set it up when Creo bought Leaf and started to require owners to buy an annual service plan for tech support.

Had 200 or so members at it's height and several former Leaf employees and developers from Silverscan and a couple of other 3rd party scanner software developers.

They'd still be great scanners if not for the fact that they suffer from the rubber coatings on the transport rollers chemically breaking down and turning into a glue like substance. Requires dismantling the entire unit, cleaning 8 rollers and fitting pieces of a specific type of hard to get rubber tubing over them, and having to maintain the precise alignment of the parts during reassembly. A few people fixed them, but most just trashed them, including me.

 

Robert Potts

7 Days Ago

I have never used files so large so this stuff raises questions for me. If you are using a large sensor and no a.a. filter, why do you need to sharpen to the same level as an aps-c camera?

Doug: Some subjects would go one way and others the other resulting in endless and unproductive debate, I suspect...

Jackson: Just had a look. You definitely have the crinklies...

 

Joseph Westrupp

6 Days Ago

So have we established that sharpening is being added to our uploads?


—————
bestilled.com

 

Abbie Shores

6 Days Ago

No, not necessarily. You all know there's slight compression on previews. the only sharpening that's done is on printing if it needs that.

 

Doug Swanson

6 Days Ago

Robert - "Doug: Some subjects would go one way and others the other resulting in endless and unproductive debate, I suspect... "

I'm not all that fond of unproductive debate, but it's a valid question to ask what starting point is needed for a good, reproducible image. Having been, in a previous life, a web developer, I know that nobody running a web site is going to post 100 megapixel RAW images and have them load in any reasonable amount of time, so some sort of resizing and compression is simply inevitable in order to have a picture be usable on a web site. It gets even more extreme with thumbnails, which, after all, are small with lots of them; resizing, compression and fairly harsh processing are inevitable there too. Printing is another error-prone process of digital conversion and rendering into ink and paper trying to get colors right, avoid pixelation and realize that, as a reflected medium the print WILL be different from the light-emitting medium of a monitor.

For me, personally, between FAA and a couple other venues, about 40% of what I've ever sold were opportunistic or redundant shots created on an iPhone, and not even a new one. I probably pulled it out of my pocket, wiped the lens on my shirt and fired away. If I was thinking straight or had some extra seconds, I would have used my HDR app to make bracketed shots, combined them in the lab and then edited the heck out of it. If I knew I would be shooting, I'd have my camera, but I didn't. 60% of the final image was content, another 30% was editing and the remainder is reproduction that lived up to what I intended. Since none have been returned, I'm assuming that the customer liked the picture. The $47,000 Hassalblad with the 100 megapixel RAW images would have been an impediment, not a help. Ya gotta do what works sometimes and sweat the details later.

 

Robert Potts

6 Days Ago

What I responded to was the perceived difference in formats. For me personally, most of what I sell is ruled by arbitrary guidelines from buyers, so this is really moot. But I have to wonder why anyone would waste their time producing under-sized images with limited marketability? (for Doug)

 

Doug Swanson

6 Days Ago

"waste their time producing under-sized images with limited marketability? (for Doug)"

It's a combination of opportunity and "what the heck". Would I see a good photo opportunity and NOT give it a try? So far, the marketability has been OK up to 40 inches on the long side, so that hardly counts as a failure. I'm not saying that I would not rather have a "real" camera at that moment when something unexpected happens, but I also don't want to miss out on an opportunity because photo fans say that my "glass" isn't good enough or that I don't have enough pixels or that it's compressed. Final outcome counts for a lot since it's what people see on a wall.

Because I have a number of friends that do art for a living, I go to a number of obligatory and social gallery openings each year and always pay attention to the photos on the walls. Outside the world of photographers, I have never heard a patron actually say that a picture would be better with a lower level of compression or that the optics sucked. What I hear is whether they like it, whether it matches the rug or how it's nicely framed. I also know who some of the photogs are, know that some of them work exclusively with phones and one even completely makes a living off that, so, I don't feel bad about using mine when it's the choice of the moment as long as I don't push it too far.

 

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