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You are here: MacNN Forums > Enthusiast Zone > Art & Graphic Design > Photo Critique Thread - [JPEG]

Photo Critique Thread - [JPEG] (Page 14)
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May 15, 2008, 12:02 PM
 
Ah, I see what you mean now. Yeah, I suppose it could look like the ‘bottom’ of an ad for … well, something.
     
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May 15, 2008, 03:22 PM
 
Hair conditioner. No doubt.
     
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May 15, 2008, 03:43 PM
 
Once Tesselator mentioned the horizontal scrolling thing, I immediately thought of an iMovie title background. But I think Oisín is right-hair conditioner. Or maybe more correctly "bed head" hair product. The little bit of graffiti on the window in the picture is "edgy" enough for that.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
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May 15, 2008, 03:49 PM
 
But I think Oisín is right-hair conditioner. Or maybe more correctly "bed head" hair product.
Hmm, and I thought I was being facetious, coming up with the most ludicrously unrelated product I could think of.

P.S.: Since I’ve noticed that you (like I) do not put spaces around your dashes, are you aware that Shift + Alt + - will give you a proper em dash? I would suspect this is what you would ideally like to be typing.
     
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May 15, 2008, 03:59 PM
 
No—I hadn't known that. Until now. Thanks for the hint. Too many years with teletype machines (real, purpose-built teletype machines) has taught me some bad habits.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
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May 15, 2008, 11:19 PM
 
     
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May 17, 2008, 12:49 AM
 
     
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May 17, 2008, 05:14 AM
 
very cool.

Looks LOUD, though (once I figured it out).
     
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May 17, 2008, 09:08 AM
 
Originally Posted by analogika View Post
very cool.

Looks LOUD, though (once I figured it out).
They are surprisingly well sound insulated. I love flying in these small planes. You see so much more than from a jet, and they still cruise at 600 km/h. For short distances they are as fast as the larger planes, and so much more fun.
     
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May 17, 2008, 09:28 AM
 
Originally Posted by Tesselator View Post
Your focus is strange in this one. It looks like the camera focused on the wall closest to the front, with the remainder being soft.

The second image is just plain soft all over. Did you crop that from a much larger picture?
     
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May 17, 2008, 11:11 AM
 
I just took a look at the larger versions. Both images look pretty soft to me. Not saying that they were soft to begin with, this can happen through compression. What camera were they shot with?
     
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May 17, 2008, 12:06 PM
 
Originally Posted by Jawbone54 View Post
...or I'll cuff you.

Just kidding. I felt compelled, and don't know why.

Additionally, I'm currently editing/uploading a few more pictures from a shoot on Monday. Less evident editing, Mastrap.



My girlfriend really really liked this photoshoot, the fire hydrant was her favorite. She wishes you had done her senior photos.
     
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May 17, 2008, 02:16 PM
 
bombing champagnes
Explosive booze?
     
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May 17, 2008, 02:37 PM
 
I got a Canon SD750 for my birthday, so I thought I'd take a couple shots with it.

     
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May 17, 2008, 04:52 PM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
My girlfriend really really liked this photoshoot, the fire hydrant was her favorite. She wishes you had done her senior photos.
Well, tell your girlfriend that I said thank you very much. I wish I had taken her senior shots too...
     
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May 17, 2008, 04:53 PM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
I got a Canon SD750 for my birthday, so I thought I'd take a couple shots with it.

Gotta love those Canon colors.
     
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May 17, 2008, 05:50 PM
 
     
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May 17, 2008, 06:41 PM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
Nice colors and scene.

Ooo, quick note...

What would've gave this shot some oomph is to have changed the perspective by lying flat on the ground. It could've increased the sense of depth of the picture and made the road seem to fade even further into the distance.

By the way, I think my dad has your same camera, and he's in love with it. He used to do a lot of film photography with some beast of a camera back in the day, but now he won't even let me talk him into getting a DSLR because of how satisfied he is with that one.
     
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May 17, 2008, 07:20 PM
 
I really should stop posting from my portrait sessions, since that's probably not exactly what people like seeing in here, but I really liked this first one from my session with this cute little girl, Isabel.





I realize that, yes...they're edited kind of heavily, and that irks the crap out of you guys. The problem was that with the past two clients, I took you guys' advice (or is that "your guys?'") and scaled the editing back significantly.

When I met with the clients and showed them the stuff, they both said something along the lines of, "Hey, we like them, but can you do that 'different-looking' stuff to the pictures?"

Hence...
     
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May 17, 2008, 08:30 PM
 
Originally Posted by Jawbone54 View Post
Nice colors and scene.

Ooo, quick note...

What would've gave this shot some oomph is to have changed the perspective by lying flat on the ground. It could've increased the sense of depth of the picture and made the road seem to fade even further into the distance.
I might have to try that. This was actually taken out of the sunroof of my car, since I was...well...in the middle of the road and didn't want to stay there too long.

By the way, I think my dad has your same camera, and he's in love with it. He used to do a lot of film photography with some beast of a camera back in the day, but now he won't even let me talk him into getting a DSLR because of how satisfied he is with that one.
I picked it out on the recommendation of this guy. I like it so far, and I picked up a 1 GB SD card at Wal-Mart for $12.
     
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May 17, 2008, 09:11 PM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
I picked it out on the recommendation of this guy. I like it so far, and I picked up a 1 GB SD card at Wal-Mart for $12.
What's crazy is that I knew where that link was sending me before I even clicked on it. He's a big fan of Canon's point-and-shoots, but prefers the Nikons for DSLRs.

Keep on posting 'em.
     
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May 18, 2008, 04:29 AM
 
From a shoot today:

     
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May 18, 2008, 04:31 AM
 
Originally Posted by Jawbone54 View Post
realize that, yes...they're edited kind of heavily, and that irks the crap out of you guys. The problem was that with the past two clients, I took you guys' advice (or is that "your guys?'") and scaled the editing back significantly.

When I met with the clients and showed them the stuff, they both said something along the lines of, "Hey, we like them, but can you do that 'different-looking' stuff to the pictures?"

Hence...
     
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May 18, 2008, 08:42 AM
 
Originally Posted by James L View Post
From a shoot today:

I know this is a small thing, but her hand position is bugging me. People don't hold their hands like that, for no reason. But I'll stop nitpicking now.
     
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May 18, 2008, 10:30 AM
 
Originally Posted by James L View Post
From a shoot today:

That's a very nice picture there. I like the angle, the colors, and (mostly) the pose. (I have to agree with Mastrap that her hands don't seem to be doing anything "natural" in this shot.)

On my screen, the colors and lighting have an interesting effect-they look almost posterized. Maybe it's the way you shrunk the picture for upload, but look at her chin and left cheek-they look like they're pretty sharply defined by a color line, especially her chin.

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May 18, 2008, 06:57 PM
 
On a bike ride today:







     
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May 18, 2008, 07:25 PM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
On a bike ride today:

This one needs context.

The word alone doesn't mean anything.
     
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May 18, 2008, 11:22 PM
 
Originally Posted by Tesselator View Post
I like this one! It seems like a nearly impossible shot. Like you put your camera on a
thirty foot pole or something. And nice framing too! The color tones are all a little
washed out for me but that's probably just me and people are telling me I need to
calibrate my monitors.
Thanks!

The other three images are not even in the same league with the number 2 image
and serve only to weaken the post imo. Pretty "average-joe shots" I think - if there
even is such a thing.

Also please critique other people's stuff too. Maybe read the very first post in this
thread to get an idea of the basic kind of back-&-forth we're expecting. I hope
this last bit doesn't sound too much like the thread police or anything.
You hit it on the head there - I am just an average Joe at this. Frankly, I don't feel qualified to critique any images here - most everyone else has much more experience than I. This is the second digital camera I've even owned, and the first one was a 1MP HP camera I bought 6 years ago. I have been keeping up with this thread, trying to figure out what's good and what's not so that I have a better idea of what to look for.
     
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May 19, 2008, 01:34 AM
 
Another from the shoot yesterday (I'm slow to editing in the hot weather):

     
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May 19, 2008, 02:42 AM
 
The shadow above her happy place and the stuff on her shirt bothers me, other than that, I like it.
     
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May 19, 2008, 02:55 AM
 
Originally Posted by James L View Post
Another from the shoot yesterday (I'm slow to editing in the hot weather):

I think this shot is better than the previous one. She a much more natural pose in this shot.
:)
     
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May 19, 2008, 09:15 AM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
You hit it on the head there - I am just an average Joe at this. Frankly, I don't feel qualified to critique any images here - most everyone else has much more experience than I.
You don't need to have any special training to form your own opinion on it.
Think of art or music: you don't have to be a musician to develop a taste in music. But if you know more about music, you can probably appreciate music better than somebody like me whose musical talents end with pressing Play.

But if you want to take better pictures, there are quite a few books that may be helpful. In my opinion, you need a (d)slr to really learn how to take pictures. Once you know how to, you can take better pictures with any camera. Understanding Exposure is very helpful, I gave it to my best friend for his birthday and it's not a classical book that divides in two: theory and practical applications, but is sorted by `effect.'
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May 19, 2008, 10:19 AM
 
Originally Posted by Tesselator View Post
Just for discussion's sake, why is a DSLR needed? What are the benefits? Or does
the kako around the "d" indicate simply any camera that is equipped with a TTL
(Through The Lens) viewfinder? If the later I tend to agree or did you mean some
thing else (too)?
The 'd' simply stands for 'digital'.
     
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May 19, 2008, 10:24 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
You don't need to have any special training to form your own opinion on it.
While I agree with this, it is also true that not all opinions are created equal. Some are a lot more valid that others, simply because they come from somebody who might have superior talent/training/all of the above.
     
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May 19, 2008, 11:12 AM
 
Originally Posted by Mastrap View Post
While I agree with this, it is also true that not all opinions are created equal. Some are a lot more valid that others, simply because they come from somebody who might have superior talent/training/all of the above.
You mean in the same sense an art expert's opinion on a Picasso is more valid than mine?
Well, yes, of course, the expert's opinion is based on more knowledge and experience, but on the other hand, that expert started as a beginner, too. And no matter if you're an expert or not, you don't have to like it
Originally Posted by Tesselator View Post
Just for discussion's sake, why is a DSLR needed? What are the benefits? Or does the kako around the "d" indicate simply any camera that is equipped with a TTL (Through The Lens) viewfinder? If the later I tend to agree or did you mean some
thing else (too)?
The parentheses around the d mean that either an slr or a digital slr should (in my opinion) be used. There are several reasons for that:
(1) Only a slrs (digital or not) allow you to take full control of the camera: you can change lenses, they are made to be used that way. There are pseudo-slrs (à la Fuji FinePix 9600), but there you are restricted by the sensor size (I'll come to that in a second).
(2) Slrs have larger imaging areas (sensor sizes) than compacts (save for the Sigma DP-1, but that baby isn't exactly cheap). The larger the sensor, the better you can manipulate the depth of field. Doesn't sound like a biggie, but that's as important as (1): if the sensor is small, you will see less difference between different choices of apertures, so you cannot neutralize the background in portraits as easily. That's why people should get a lens with a wide aperture, a nifty fifty is enough.

This limit is a creative one.
(3) A big viewfinder. People who don't remember the analog days may be content with small viewfinders, but I'm not. That's the biggest reason why I haven't considered going Canon: the viewfinder of the 300-400D (not sure about the 450D) were tiny, although Nikon's D40-D70s aren't better. The D80 has a relatively good viewfinder, but I still long for something comparable to that of my F80. The Olympus E-20's viewfinder's size was (from the top of my head) about as large or larger, but nowhere near as good in quality (heavy CA on the corners).

With a good viewfinder, you can compose images much more easily. (D'oh!) It just doesn't work the same when you use the external LCD.
(4) Image quality: while I'm usually no pixel peeper, this can be significant, too. But honestly, this doesn't matter as much as (1) and (2).

An slr requires you to think what kind of image you want, whether you want to emphasize the motion (dynamics), how much of the background you would like to neutralize, etc. Other cameras get too much in your way.
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May 19, 2008, 02:40 PM
 
     
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May 19, 2008, 03:02 PM
 
Panton!

(I’m using the exact same photo, sans robot-doll-thingy, in the exam task I’m doing at the moment, actually)
     
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May 20, 2008, 12:58 AM
 


At Great American Ball Park to see the Reds take on the visiting Brewers a couple of years ago. The Reds won.

The pic is looking down at Crosley Terrace. The statues are of Crosley Field-era players Joe Nuxhall, Frank Robinson, Ernie Lombardi, and Ted Kluszewski (who was added not too long after I took this pic) playing an imaginary game.

When Joe died, fans put flowers, caps, and all sorts of stuff at his statue (he's the one pitching) as a memorial.
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May 20, 2008, 04:32 AM
 
Originally Posted by Tesselator View Post
I think the biggest difference between critiques from an "expert" and a novice lay in the vocabulary used and the understanding of it. Teach a novice that and you have a person who can pass for an expert in any crowd - including among other experts. That's my opinion (and experience) anyway.
Real experts find out rather quickly how much you really know. Once you get into a real conversation, you find out quickly whether the person is a genuine expert or a gasbag noob. Perhaps the real experts won't say anything, because they're polite, but they'll quickly see through that maskerade.
Originally Posted by Tesselator View Post
Thanks for taking the time with that reply! I agree with everything except your reasonings for disqualifying the Pseudo-slr class cameras. While it's impressive to me that you know about this issue usually a PSLR's fixed lens is designed to compensate via magnification - which is the reason manufacturers and dealers give DSC lens specifications in "35mm equivalent" lengths. The differences you'll see in DOF between a PSLR and a (D)SLR with similar lenses are more minute than the difference you'll see from swapping very dissimilar lenses on the (D)SLR alone.
Check out the DOF calculator.
Let's take Fuji's S9500 as an example of a bridge camera. It has a focal length range of 6.2-66.7 mm which corresponds to 28-300 mm. It's initial aperture ranges from 2.8 (wide angle) to 4.9 (tele). It has a 1/1.6"-sized sensor (1/1.6=0.625) which is about the same size than your A2's 2/3" sensor (2/6 approx. 0.67). (I couldn't find the real focal lengths of the A2.)

Let's say you would like to shoot a portrait with 200 mm (equivalent, I used 44.7 mm at f/4) and at a distance of 3 m. Your pseudo-slr will give you a depth of field of 25 cm (!) whereas the real thing (135 mm at f/4 on a crop sensor) gives me 8 cm, this is about three times less. Big difference (to me at least who likes portraits).

The factor stays the same if you use the same aperture and distance, because it depends on the focal length of the lens (here: the ratio of focal lengths). Here, the factor is about 3, so this is exactly the same factor you'll get in terms of focal lengths. Since your A2 has a similarly sized sensor, the results should be about the same: the difference is a factor of about three, it's not 1.5.

Plus, I've done this at f/4. You can get a nifty fifty with an aperture 1.8 for very little money. My bazooka has an initial aperture of 2.8, so there's still room for less DOF. So no, it's not just mini cameras, but also pseudo-slrs.

Whether a factor of three is significant to you is of course another question, but to anyone who really wants to learn photography, I'd say it is.

PS One more thing: you have a D2X and worked on commercials, but no screen calibration? I'm surprised.
No offense, but all the pictures you've posted so far are oversaturated.
( Last edited by OreoCookie; May 20, 2008 at 05:23 AM. )
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May 20, 2008, 09:06 AM
 
While it is often pretty obvious to an expert after some time that a "duffer" is actually not another expert, it still takes time and the correct conversations for this to become obvious. I've managed to bluff my way through a number of conversations with experts in various fields for long enough to establish that I'm not a moron nor completely ignorant of the subject matter without having much more than a smattering of the field's jargon. It IS possible to pass as "knowing what you're talking about" in a field where personal opinion is important, such as evaluating artistic efforts.

On the other hand, Mastrap, who's been a pro for a while, has a valid point. His conversations with the amateur photographer would likely be more technical and that would bring out the amateur's lack of competence pretty quickly. I'm that sort of amateur—I like to take pictures, but I have much more of a technical illustration background than an artistic background, so I tend to take pretty boring pictures. Knowing that helps me think about the pictures I take and I think I'm getting better, but I'm still no "photographer" in the technical sense. I DO understand depth of field and depth of focus, perspective and composition, etc., I just don't have the experience to see the opportunities to capitalize on what the camera can do to make my images speak.

Finally, this isn't a professional photographer's forum, it's a hobbyist's forum (as far as I'm concerned). I've spent a pretty penny on my camera equipment (not professional levels, but a lot for me) and I hope to draw on other people's opinions of my pictures to be able to take better pictures. Learning some technical terms and techniques for doing particular things is part of the idea here.

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May 20, 2008, 09:30 AM
 
Glen, I've got no problems with amateurs, none at all. I am an enthusiastic amateur myself, most often in cooking. Could I run a busy restaurant without drowning? Hell no, I'd be lost within 30 seconds. Yet still, I try and learn the craft that allows me to express my creativity in a kitchen environment. I do this purely for my own personal enjoyment, and hopefully for that of the people I feed, I have little desire to change my career and start work in a kitchen.

Tesselator has repeatedly stated his low opinion of experts, of learning, of technique. Now, were his pictures of exceptional quality, I'd say he's a natural savant, he has a rare gift. As it stands he hasn't posted anything that could not have been improved markedly by mastering the basics of photography, the very basics he seems to be eschewing. That I find difficult to understand.
     
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May 20, 2008, 11:04 AM
 

iMac 20" C2D 2.16 | Acer Aspire One | Flickr
     
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May 20, 2008, 11:12 AM
 
Originally Posted by Mastrap View Post
Glen, I've got no problems with amateurs, none at all. I am an enthusiastic amateur myself, most often in cooking. Could I run a busy restaurant without drowning? Hell no, I'd be lost within 30 seconds. Yet still, I try and learn the craft that allows me to express my creativity in a kitchen environment. I do this purely for my own personal enjoyment, and hopefully for that of the people I feed, I have little desire to change my career and start work in a kitchen.
I was thinking of the exact same analogy: cooking for pleasure and cooking professionally.
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May 20, 2008, 11:31 AM
 
Originally Posted by Tesselator View Post
Could you be more specific please? "Not feeling the love" isn't quantifiable to me. I can respond to crits like: "Such and such a channel is over saturated", "you're misusing the sharpen tool, try this _____________", or questions like "why did you frame it like that, I don't understand the content?" and etc.. If it's your job to "evaluate photography" is it common for you to do so with messages like "your cammer is capable of taking better shots than you're taking", "I don't get any soul from your shots", and "I don't feel the love."?
Yes, it is perfectly understandable, because even though Mastrap is not a pro photographer, he is experienced enough to see what a picture should be all about.
Every picture should have a message, give insight into the person on a portrait, for example. You can do this by putting them `into context' or showing them at a moment when they think they aren't watched. (A simple trick for group shots is that you take the regular shot, but when people think it's over, you press the shutter release button a few times.)

We cannot really give you good advice on `what the message/feel of the picture' should be. If we had some idea what you wanted to say, we can give you technical advice (higher/lower f-stop, crop the pic, etc.).
Originally Posted by Tesselator View Post
"Technically poor", "out of focus", and "soft" would be acceptable if I knew what shots you were talking about, what parts of those shots were those things, and there was some hint as to how to "technically" improve.
When you learn anything, you have to go beyond the technical stage at one point. It doesn't mean that you have learnt all techniques there are, but that you are reasonable secure in the technical aspects that you can focus on content. But a good picture starts with good composition and lighting.
Originally Posted by Tesselator View Post
Expand that out to all of the mechanics and vocabulary terms concerning photography and you indeed will have an expert on photography. I don't think that this can be denied - or in order to do so you're going to have to change the inherent meaning of the term "expert". A person can be a "good photographer" without being an "expert" and you can be an "expert" on photography without being a "good photographer".
Photography is a form of art, not a collection of techniques or vocabulary you should master. I think analogika's analogy of music fits great here: even if you are talented, you must still master your instrument to be a good musician. Talent alone will not make a `good photographer', but only someone talented at photography.
Originally Posted by Tesselator View Post
BTW, the fact that they freak out my eyes is a big factor. I edit an image and spend 15 to 20 minutes looking at it - thinking I have it just right. Then after I take my eyes off the LCDs for 30min. or more and come back to it - it looks all wrong.

I'll continue trying to adjust them by eyeing it for a few weeks and then get myself a calibrator and some software if I don't get anywhere.
Editing pictures on a non-calibrated screen is pointless. There are sufficiently many high-quality lcds out there with 8 bit/channel. LCDs these days have surpassed crts in pretty much aspect. (Plus, comparing oversaturated crts with lcds doesn't get you anywhere.) Calibrating them `with your eyes' is pointless if you want to have accurate colors.
( Last edited by OreoCookie; May 20, 2008 at 11:39 AM. )
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May 20, 2008, 01:10 PM
 
Ok then:

     
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May 20, 2008, 01:28 PM
 
     
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May 20, 2008, 01:36 PM
 
The original had all the detail available - this version is post processed to mimic the way film looks when it hasn't been properly bleached during processing. Saturation drops, while at the same time contrast increases, thus you lose highlight definition. However, that's done on purpose here and with an eye on the overall effect.
     
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May 20, 2008, 05:28 PM
 
Originally Posted by Mastrap View Post
Ok then:

I have no idea what time of day this was taken, but it evokes a LATE night at the only place that's open and has coffee. A cool place, clean and efficient, but not the first choice for where to be. Nice effect.

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May 20, 2008, 05:29 PM
 
Originally Posted by ARENA View Post
I am incapable of looking at this picture and not thinking of Jayne in Firefly. That makes it very hard to think of anything else to say about it...

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May 20, 2008, 07:25 PM
 
Originally Posted by Mastrap View Post
Ok then:

This doesn't happen to be the George St. Diner, does it?
Yose.
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