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Photography QnA: What's Wrong With My Photographic Technique?

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Category: What's Wrong With My Photographic Technique?

Ask about photographic techniques & portraits, landscapes, black and white, etc. These questions address problems occuring in photographic technique. Here's another informative resource to check out: Ten Tips to Improve Photographic Technique.

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Photography Question 
Usman Bajwa
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Usman
Usman's Gallery

member since: 4/11/2006
  1 .  Can't select a Fave!!!
I was browsing the new EPs, as usual, however, when I tried to click on the "red heart" to select the fave, the new page read:

"Photo Removed or Not Approved
Sorry - the photo you have requested has been removed or has not been approved for publishing. Return."

UB.

4/8/2014 2:44:52 AM

James Miotke
BetterPhoto Member
BetterPhotoJim.com
Owner, BetterPhoto.com, Inc.
  Thanks Usman. This is now fixed.

Really appreciate your feedback!

Jim

4/8/2014 11:39:45 AM

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Photography Question 
Virginia Kickle
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Virginia
Virginia's Gallery

member since: 12/19/2004
  2 .  Sizing for upload to Better Photo
I have noticed that my images loaded to Better Photo do not appear sharp. What settings should I be using when I export them from Lightroom?

3/17/2014 7:04:45 PM

Christopher J. Budny
BetterPhoto Member
chrisbudny.com

member since: 10/3/2005
  Speaking from my own experience, after I make all my edits in my full-size file, I make another file just for my BP upload. In my BP file, I re-size it down to 800 pixels on the long edge (sometimes adding additional sharpening at this stage, if the image needs it.) That is the file I then use to upload (never the full-size file) and I've never encountered a perceived softening when I view the uploaded image.

3/20/2014 5:56:12 AM

James Miotke
BetterPhoto Member
BetterPhotoJim.com
Owner, BetterPhoto.com, Inc.
  That is a great procedure, Chris.

I will tell you that I recommend trying it at 1600 px on the long end.

Please, if you have chance, try that out and let me know if it works well for you.

The 1600 will come in very handy in the near future.

Thanks,
Jim

3/20/2014 7:03:06 AM

Ken Smith
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Ken
Ken's Gallery

member since: 6/11/2005
  Hi Jim, I do the same as Chris; always resize to 800. That's because I thought the BP process would take any uploaded image greater than 800 pixels, and downsize them to 800 for display. For example, if I upload an image at 1600 x 1066, the BP process would downsize to 800 x 533. Rather than having the BP process downsize, we just do it ourselves, sharpen, then upload.

Your comment about "1600 will come in very handy in the near future". Reading between the lines, I'm hoping you're saying that soon, BP will allow for the display of images up to 1600 pixels. That would be super! I've seen many great pano shots that lose impact, because of the 800 pixel limitation.

Thanks for chiming in on the forum. Great dialogue!

3/20/2014 7:57:30 AM

James Miotke
BetterPhoto Member
BetterPhotoJim.com
Owner, BetterPhoto.com, Inc.
  Nudge, nudge, wink, wink... wonderful things are in the works :)

3/20/2014 8:04:06 AM

Ken Smith
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Ken
Ken's Gallery

member since: 6/11/2005
  Excellent! Thanks, Jim!

3/20/2014 8:30:38 AM

  I know BP images are right click protected, but of course there is no way any site can protect against screen captures. Is a screen capture of an image that was resized to 1600 on the long side any more or less vulnerable to being "borrowed" and used without permission than one that was resized to 800 on the long side?

3/20/2014 9:07:35 AM

Christopher J. Budny
BetterPhoto Member
chrisbudny.com

member since: 10/3/2005
  You'd get a screenshot with 4x the pixels... so someone looking to use/print your images without your consent, from a screengrab, has more data to play with now.
ie, an 800x533 display today, could become a 1600 x 1066 display, if this is one of the new features coming at BP... The 800 grab would yield (at assumed 300dpi printing) 2.6" x 1.8" print. The 1600 grab would yield a 5.3" x 3.5" print. Of course, printing those on a lower-than-300 dpi printer one could end up with potentially even larger, workable print sizes.
I'd guess that if we get to an enhancement allowing say, 1600 pixel display, then many folks will probably want to expand their use of watermark signatures, and run them through the center of the image.

3/20/2014 9:24:59 AM

  My rule of thumb has been to upload photos at 900 on the long side (and about half that on Facebook) simply because should they be "stolen" the best anybody could get would be a 4 x 6 print, if that. Just for grins I just captured a friend's photo from today (which I've already deleted, of course) that shows at 875 x 579. I resized it to twice that and I'm able to get a decent-sized print. Imagine how good it would be if I'd been able to download it at 1600. Think I'll stick with smaller sizing here just to be on the safe side.

3/20/2014 9:41:58 AM

  I also do the same as Chris and Ken explained above, Virginia. I have a question .... will be actual size we see on our monitors will be any different than what we see now? If the size doubles, lets just assume, does it mean we have to scroll each entry to see the complete image, which sometimes is tedious to do and takes the fun out of seeing the image as a whole!

UB.

3/20/2014 9:09:08 PM

Ken Smith
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Ken
Ken's Gallery

member since: 6/11/2005
  Usman, when I first joined BP in 2005, we could display images in their full resolution. Or at least up to 2000 pixels, because I have some that large in my gallery. But the thumbnail was the same size as today, 210 pixels on the large side. So, I don't think BP will change the default size of the thumbnails.

3/21/2014 3:51:04 AM

  Sorry for not being very clear, Ken. But my query was actually relating to the full blown image itself and not the thumbnail.

UB.

3/21/2014 3:58:26 AM

Ken Smith
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Ken
Ken's Gallery

member since: 6/11/2005
  Usman, I don't know. I guess we'll just have to see, if/when BP makes the size change. I don't recall it being a big deal when I first joined.

3/21/2014 6:32:12 AM

  I haven't seen resolution mentioned. Should it be 72 ppi?

3/21/2014 7:45:27 AM

Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member
gregorylagrange.org

member since: 11/11/2003
  Usman, if the display size is 1600, if you have a wide format monitor than it should fit.

3/21/2014 5:07:59 PM

James Miotke
BetterPhoto Member
BetterPhotoJim.com
Owner, BetterPhoto.com, Inc.
  Hi awesome BetterPhoto members,

The largest images on display will likely be around 1000 px on the long end.

The decision as to how much you do to protect images is up to you. I can only tell you want I do... I size my images to 1600px in case we ever develop the functionality that would allow me to print my images (on paper or in books or on coffee mugs, etc)... or sell such images. I doubt BetterPhoto will do the latter but it may do the former.

If you are concerned about image sizes being so big that thieves will steal your photos, you may opt to downsize the image to 800px on the long end before uploading (or whatever size you want).

The choice is totally up to you.

And yes, Virginia, I still change my image resolution to 72ppi before rechecking the resize checkbox and then set the width or height to what I prefer. In Photoshop, you can use the Fit Image automation (or a few other methods) to get this done while you're making yourself a cup of tea.

Usman, I'm thinking about making the image thumbnails on the gallery index pages a little bigger. I'm talking about pages like: http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGall2.asp?catID=296&cn=Cute-Babies-and-Baby-Pictures

The overall width is now something like 940px and it might get to be around 1240px.

However, the wonderful news is that, with modern programming, the images will automatically downsize to fit the width of your display.

Ken, for you this means that you'll want to use the highest resolution display and have it full screen, if you want to see as much of those amazing panorama photos as you can.

You will use the scroll to move down a page but not to the right.

The other nice thing about this is that the site is going to look and function much better on iPads, mobile devices, your new Apple watch :) etc.

Thanks!
Jim

3/22/2014 2:03:39 PM

  Thank you for all the information. My questions were answered! Virginia

3/22/2014 3:42:28 PM

  Thanks Jim for the notes. Much appreciated ;)

UB.

3/22/2014 10:36:37 PM

  I, too, use the 800 on the long side for my uploads, in the Tiff format. I know they will change to Jpg, but they just look better in Tiff, to me. Maybe Jim could weigh in on the Tiff/Jpg thing?

3/27/2014 5:06:13 AM

James Miotke
BetterPhoto Member
BetterPhotoJim.com
Owner, BetterPhoto.com, Inc.
  I would actually love to hear from each of you on this. I myself upload high-quality JPEGs and am very satisfied with the quality and the upload speed is good. But TIFF has worked well for me too.

Reader, what do you do? :)

Any other tips for optimal image quality, anyone?

3/27/2014 4:12:31 PM

  I have been fine with mine. I convert tiffs to jpgs when I resize. I resize to 800 on the long side, 72 dpi, in FastStone Image Viewer (free download). Then I sharpen slightly (FS, too). And finally I save as jpg. So as far as I know, the BP software does nothing to my images when I upload.

3/27/2014 4:15:57 PM

Ken Smith
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Ken
Ken's Gallery

member since: 6/11/2005
  Jim, I remember the tips BP gave several years ago...resize to 800 on long side, sharpen, saturate a tad, and convert to TIF.

But I have done experiments comparing images uploaded as TIF and JPG, and can't discern a difference. But years ago, I could. Or maybe it was my imagination.

And I've done experiments uploading an image at 800 pixels and comparing to another image uploaded at 1600 pixels (arbitrary size), and downsized to 800 by BP process. The downsized image was a little degraded visually which I think was the main reason someone at BP recommended that we resize to 800 and sharpen before uploading.

I do look forward to the option of viewing images at a larger pixel count.

3/27/2014 5:16:57 PM

Christopher J. Budny
BetterPhoto Member
chrisbudny.com

member since: 10/3/2005
  800px TIF upload here; although I've never once paid any mind to whatever the DPI setting is. It has no real bearing on web-displayed files; whether you save as 800 pixels wide (at 300dpi), or 800 pixels wide (at 72dpi) or 800 pixels wide (at 10,000dpi), your file still has just 800 pixels across, and that is what will display online. (Try opening a file, resize it to 800 however you normally would, and save it as a TIF. Then go change just the DPI value to a totally different value (with "resample = off") and save it as a differently-named TIF again... the 2 files are both 800 pixels wide, and the same MB in size.)

3/27/2014 5:45:23 PM

James Miotke
BetterPhoto Member
BetterPhotoJim.com
Owner, BetterPhoto.com, Inc.
  Yeah, Ken... JPEGs have become much better than they were in the old days. That's why they might be just as good as TIFF now. Worth a try for anyone who likes testing things out.

And you are totally right, Chris. I just change that ppi to 72 out of mindless habit. :)

It's not really necessary if you are always looking at your image dimensions in the units of pixels (which I always do because I rarely print anymore).

We have such a wonderful BP right around the corner. I am going to see how much the team can get done on it this weekend.

Cra-crack (the sound of whipping).

Have a great weekend.

3/28/2014 8:49:53 AM

  Ignorance speaking here and I probably should be embarrassed to be asking, but doesn't reducing to 72 dpi make it harder to get a good or larger print from a screen shot should one be inclined to do that?

3/28/2014 9:02:36 AM

Christopher J. Budny
BetterPhoto Member
chrisbudny.com

member since: 10/3/2005
  Nope. The DPI value within your file is completely ignored by all web browsers displaying your file. Assuming your gallery had 800 pixel-wide images on display, any screen grab will always produce an 800 pixel-wide result. The screen grab has no 'knowledge' of what you put into the file (DPI setting) when you first uploaded it to BP.

3/28/2014 9:07:38 AM

  I hope one of the changes being implemented will be elimination of whatever saturation changes the upload process currently applies. Today I often detect stronger yellows after upload. I attempt to reduce the saturation of yellows in my image before upload, but it's hard to get a good color match this way.

:)

4/12/2014 9:33:00 AM

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Photography Question 
Christi D. Northam
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 1/25/2014
  3 .  Edit a photo?
I uploaded a photo for the contest in portrait view but when I view it, it is landscape. How can I turn it?

1/25/2014 8:28:19 AM

  Are you submitting the image to BetterPhoto website through a browser direct from your mobile phone? This might have caused the change in orientation. If so, then try uploading the image from your pc/mac/laptop.

Or, just send email to support@betterphoto.com.

Hope this helps.

Usman

1/25/2014 10:36:11 PM

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Photography Question 
Nevia Cashwell
Contact Nevia
Nevia's Gallery
imagesbynevia.com

member since: 12/9/2004
  4 .  Server Problems Today?
anyone else having problems uploading images today? I have been receiving server error messages since early this morning.

1/1/2014 9:43:07 AM

  The most recent image uploaded to the contest is dated 12/31/2013, so it seems we're all having the same problem.

1/1/2014 10:14:49 AM

  thanks, Martha. at least I now know it's not just on my end. Happy New Year!

1/1/2014 10:19:31 AM

  I haven't been able to upload anything, either. I was wondering if there had been any changes with the uploading process starting this new year.

1/1/2014 11:02:03 AM

  It is possible to enter a previously uploaded image (also those that have been in the contest some time ago).

1/1/2014 1:54:16 PM

  Good point, Tiia! Let's all enter a previously uploaded favorite since I doubt anyone will be in the office to fix this before tomorrow.

1/1/2014 2:01:16 PM

  Might just do that. No luck on my end, either.

1/1/2014 2:53:41 PM

  Now the system seems to be working.

1/1/2014 11:17:59 PM

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Photography Question 
Nicholas Semo
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Nicholas
Nicholas's Gallery

member since: 6/27/2008
  5 .  Photos look soft after uploading.
Does anyone else think their photos look soft and lose detail after uploading to BP. When I look at my originals and then the same image I've uploaded to BP there is a big difference. Am I doing something wrong?

12/21/2013 7:00:10 AM

  What size images are you uploading at BP, Nicholas? I make it a point to upload 800 ppi on the wider side and sharpening is my last step in post processing before saving it as a Tif file. This way the images look the same on my hard drive as on BP site. Hope this helps.

UB.

12/22/2013 3:58:18 AM

Ken Smith
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Ken
Ken's Gallery

member since: 6/11/2005
  To add onto Usman's comment…several years ago BP made a statement in the forum about the 800 pixel restriction. I think their upload instructions still mention 1600 pixels, but their process will reduce it to 800 pixels on the long side, for display. Rather than letting the BP process downsize the image, they recommended BP members resize to 800 pixels and sharpen…as Usman has said. I tried to search thru the forum for this thread on the resizing, but couldn't find it.

In the same BP forum thread, BP had also suggested uploading as TIF, because they would appear slightly better than JPG. But over the years, I don't think this is as applicable, although I still upload as TIF.

You can do some easy experiments. Upload an image at 2500 pixels, then another at 1600 pixels, and finally at 800 pixels (and be sure to sharpen the 800 version). Do one as JPG and another as TIF, then open them up in browser tabs and compare side-by-side.

12/22/2013 6:15:12 AM

Jessica Davis

member since: 3/18/2014
  I was having this problem too. I definitely will try that.

4/15/2014 10:03:48 PM

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Photography Question 
Sharon 
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Sharon
Sharon's Gallery

member since: 4/23/2007
  6 .  Mini Photo
I can't seem to add my mini photo that goes beside my comments. I can click on one of the ones they offer and it shows up on that page but not in my gallery. Also I can't upload one from my computer. The one that is 75 x 75 pixels. Anyone else having this problem? Help please.

12/13/2013 9:15:38 PM

  I had the same problem..it involved just refreshing the page. I don't know if this would apply to yours, but try it and see.

12/14/2013 4:08:25 AM

Ken Smith
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Ken
Ken's Gallery

member since: 6/11/2005
  Sharon, the same thing happened to me and I think Carolyn was the one that told me to refresh..and it worked.

12/14/2013 5:59:15 AM

  Thank you Carolyn & Ken.

So simple a solution but do you think I could figure it out? You rescued me from a night of frustration. LOL

Wishing you & yours a Merry Christmas Full of God's Blessings!

12/14/2013 9:38:23 PM

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Photography Question 
Merna L. Nobile
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Merna
Merna's Gallery

member since: 12/31/2003
  7 .  replace mini photo
I have resized it, making it smaller but it still will not download. Thanks Merna

10/19/2013 2:04:30 PM

Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member
gregorylagrange.org

member since: 11/11/2003
  For the Q&A pic, when you upload it at the member center, when the page with the provided avatars comes back up after uploading yours, hit the page refresh button before you leave that page if you are still seeing your old avatar.

10/19/2013 11:13:37 PM

  Yeah, you have to refresh the page. I had oodles of troubles with mine a few years ago until somebody (probably Greg) told me to refresh.

10/20/2013 3:20:40 PM

  Thanks for the advice on refresh. I think on my mac it is reload. I have also had trouble when I upload a new mini pic. Thanks for the tip!

10/20/2013 4:59:41 PM

Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member
gregorylagrange.org

member since: 11/11/2003
  Was talking about your breath. But everything worked out anyway.

10/21/2013 11:39:08 AM

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Photography Question 
Freddy Kietzmann
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Freddy
Freddy's Gallery

member since: 3/18/2008
  8 .  adobe bridge problem
I am no longer able to retrieve my keywords in adobe bridge (CS3 Photoshop). The find and search no longer works. Can anyone provide some help or a link where I get some tech support?

Freddy Kietzmann

10/19/2013 5:07:34 AM

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Photography Question 
darlene brady
BetterPhoto Member
Contact darlene
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member since: 5/28/2013
  9 .  g a pic
 
  blue moon
blue moon
© darlene brady
Nikon D3200 Digita...
 
i ma trying to print off a 5x7 of the following photo and it always makes me crtop out the frame I set it in hwo can I get it printed with the frame and maybe a professional photo placxe coud do it im not sure helppppp

9/26/2013 8:06:01 AM

Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member
gregorylagrange.org

member since: 11/11/2003
  It's out of proportion for a 5x7. Crop it to a 5x7, then put the frame around it.
I think somebody hacked your keyboard.

9/26/2013 9:29:22 AM

  I did not check the proportions, and as Gregory suggested, if they are off that could be the problem. However, other things might be going wrong as well...

Depending on what software you are printing from (and whether you are on Mac or PC) you should have a button for preview. This might tell you exactly what is going wrong. If it is a 5x7 sheet that you are printing to, for example, and the image is 5x7 and you are printing 100%, you may be expecting the printer to print to the edge of the paper. It is likely that you have a printer that requires a border (i.e., it does not print exactly to the edge of the paper). You MIGHT have an option for "size to media" or some wording similar that will compensate, then you can print and trim off the excess. But in this instance, if using 5x7 paper, and the printer requires the "grip edge", you will end up with a slightly smaller print when trimmed.

Many printers may not print to the exact edge of the paper -- really, there is no place for the excess ink to go if they do, because they would actually have to print slightly over the edge to have full coverage, and it could be messy! There will be a work around for your situation, but it requires knowing more... like the size paper you are printing to, the printer type you are using (it will make a difference if it is a dedicated photo printer or something more standard), and perhaps the options you have selected. You also might want to use different printing products depending on your situation, such as paper that has a perforated bleed area (e.g., a 5x7 sheet plus a border that is perforated to tear off after printing). Certainly a service can do it for you, and they will use one of the same solutions I suggest here -- or perhaps a non-ink light process that prints digitally to photographic paper.

I hope that helps, but feel free to add some details, and we can work out a better solution.

Richard Lynch

9/27/2013 4:11:25 AM

  great stuff ty so much for the help I have it printed now it was the printer hehe I should of been able to fig that out lol but anyhoo u were a great help both of u ty
and no one hacked the keyboard lol cute tho to say that lol I have numb hands do to health issues so when I type I cant tell if the keys actually were hit or not lol and I was in ssuch a hurry I didn't proof read what I typed in orig ques lol . hehe have a good one

9/27/2013 5:25:34 AM

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Photography Question 
Emile Abbott
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Emile
Emile's Gallery
emile-abbott-photography.com

member since: 9/29/2004
  10 .  How to refold a 5X7' collapsable B&W background
I just purchased a 5 X 7 foot collapsable background for doing portrait work. I comes in a round shape about 2 feet wide in a bag and expands out to 5' wide and 7' tall and has black on one side and white on the other side for use. My problem is there were no instructions on how to refold it back into the round shape. It seems like it might take two people but so far I have been unsuccessful in getting it back into the round bag. Any suggestions.
Emile
egabbott@rocketmail.com

9/1/2013 2:14:10 PM

  Sounds like one of the round collapsible reflectors - same principle. I suggest doing a google search on it. May sound silly but I bet you can find a youtube video of someone demonstrating it. For my reflector, I just hold either side and kind of twist my hands/wrists in opposite directions, right hand clockwise and pushing forward, left hand counter clockwise and kind of pulling backward. It's hard to explain.

9/1/2013 10:14:51 PM

  Nikki is correct on both accounts. It is hard to explain and there are youtube videos that demonstrate the procedure. Once you watch it being done it makes perfect sense and will fold up easily.

9/3/2013 7:05:52 AM

  One hand and 10 o'clock, the other at 4 o'clock and twist inwards toward each other twisting it in what feels like a figure 8 position.

9/3/2013 10:12:48 PM

  Thanks Nikii, Dayna and Dennis.

9/4/2013 7:04:51 AM

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