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Photography QnA: Problems with Images

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Category: What's Wrong With My Photographic Technique? : Problems with Images

Have questions regarding resizing photos for websites? How about taking pictures without shadows? Check this section out to find some answers.

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Photography Question 
Lynn A. Page

member since: 3/26/2007
  71 .  Out of focus...
 
  Focusing issues #1
Focusing issues #1
© Lynn A. Page
Canon EOS 50D Digi...
 
  Focusing issue #2
Focusing issue #2
© Lynn A. Page
Canon EOS 50D Digi...
 
Okay, I know you've seen this question a million times but what am I doing wrong with my focusing?? ugh!

Working with a tripod and my camera in Manual, the first image was shot at F16 Shutter 1/20 in evaluate metering mode. Both subjects in front of the frame are slightly soft but the third subject in the middle is a little out of focus.

Second image which I would prefer over the first was shot at F3.5 and a shutter speed of 1/250, however focus is even more of an issue and I'm not sure what that is in the upper right hand corner of the frame.

Hopefully someone can offer a few suggestions. I thought my biggest challenge on this photo shoot was working with two teenage boys who definitely did not want to be there.

12/10/2010 1:07:46 PM

Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member
gregorylagrange.org

member since: 11/11/2003
  Movement from the people will show up with 1/20th shutter speed. First picture looks like that is the problem. Shutter speed too slow.
Second picture I'm not seeing any point of focus. If a picture is out of focus, you can usually see some point that is in focus, in front of behind the subject. But judging by the pants leg of the first picture, I'm guessing you focused in front on both, and when you changed aperture, it made it look worse.
The second picture also looks too dark.
What kind of lens did you use, size and brand?

12/10/2010 2:55:00 PM

  This may sound like a dumb question but have you accidentally set the camera to manual focus? Did you get the green focus confirmation light in the viewfinder? Dis you use a cable release on the first image? We could use a little more info to help diagnose the problem. If you are manually focusing, do you have the diopter set correctly. If all this is good, then I suspect there is a problem with the lens. Does this happen with all lenses? More info needed.

12/10/2010 7:03:41 PM

  Hi Lynn,
I would shoot this at about f/9 or f/11 and keeping the shutter speed up at 1/200 or faster. I would also have the boy in back lean toward the 2 people in front to get his face closer to the same plane as that will help to keep all the faces in focus.
I just shot 50 family portraits and shot them at f/9, ISO200 and 1/200 using my Alien Bees and had no issues. I also had many shots with the kids sitting in the chairs with the parents standing behind but if the parents were tall, it made for a gap between the kids heads & theirs so I would have the parents rest their arms on the back of the chairs to bring their faces down & in closer which also makes the family appear more intimate. Works like a charm :)
Hope this helps,
Carlton

12/11/2010 1:07:27 AM

Lynn A. Page

member since: 3/26/2007
  Thank you for your responses.

Gregory, I was also wondering if perhaps the subject might have moved slightly. It was almost impossible to keep his attention on the task at hand. I agree the second picture was to dark looks like I also switched my ISO from 100 on the first photo to 200 on the second. Lens used was the Canon 70-200 2.8L usm.

Randy, that would definitely make sense that I could have mistakenly left the lens on manual focus if I hadn't made a check of that before I started. Many of the pictures turned out great it was only the ones where I had the 3 subjects displaced and not all in close position with each other. Yes, I did use a cable release.

Carlton, I will try your suggestions on my next photo shoot. I was hoping to create a blurred background with the beautiful fall colors by using a lower F-stop. Sounds like you have been pretty busy.
On another subject we had a bit of a close call on our trip to Seattle, someone broke into our rental car down by Pikes Market, we returned to find our camera equipment backpack (which we had locked in the trunk) laying open in the back seat. Much to our surprise and amazement they didn't take anything but a small pocket camera. What a beautiful part of the country you live in.

Thanks again everyone for your help and suggestions.

12/11/2010 3:19:07 PM

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Photography Question 
Mary L. Lemley

member since: 8/31/2004
  72 .  LCD screen makes photos too bright.
Have a new 22 inch LCD screen....It makes edited photos brighter after uploading to BP. Why??? CRT looked and worked much better. How can it look so much better in image editing program than on Bp,????

12/9/2010 5:07:51 PM

  I'm not sure if this will help in the situation you gave. I found out that I needed to darken my screen a little to match my printer. If this works for downloading to BP also good but, if not you at least gave it a shot. Try single photo download so you don't have to redo a bunch.

12/9/2010 6:32:47 PM

Mary L. Lemley

member since: 8/31/2004
  Thank you, Lynn, I will try that!!!

12/9/2010 7:16:51 PM

doug Nelson
DougNelsonPhoto.com

member since: 6/14/2001
  Read David Brooks' advice column in back issues of Shutterbug. He has gotten some variation of this question ten or so times in the last 18 months.

This is what the fuss is about with monitors that can be calibrated to known brightness and color accuracy standards. I just got the NEC P221W with its own calibration device. It ain't cheap, but it's a good one.

The Chinese flat screens that come with computers are mostly junk, but then my NEC was also made in China. MAYBE yours can be adjusted at least for brightness, I hope so.

12/13/2010 1:05:32 PM

Mary L. Lemley

member since: 8/31/2004
  Thank you Doug....I new when I bought the screen I was doing the wrong thing, in the back of my mind. I had forgotten about all the things I had read about 3 yrs. ago, on image editing monitors, I just never have seen an image look just like I want it, UNTIL it gets into Betterphoto.com. My crt never disappointed!!! May buy another...Still have my old one but it has been sitting in garage in the cold!!! Do you think it would still work....Or would be dangerous to try on the new Desktop I have???Thank you.
Mary LL.

12/13/2010 3:38:49 PM

doug Nelson
DougNelsonPhoto.com

member since: 6/14/2001
  I tried CRT's again after my Sony Trinitron-based one died, but the one I had was a Chinese cheapie CRT that could not be adjusted for brightness at all. If you got better results from your CRT, try it again, but remember that CRT's age as well. Work an image and post it to BP and see how it looks.

The NEC P221W for $600 comes with its own calibration device and software. At least one Dell and an HP go for $500, but you have to lay out another $150 for a calibration thingee.

Believe me, I'm cheap, but I was so frustrated with bad monitors that I decided to go for the better monitor. If you shoot to sell, a calibrated monitor is essential. Write it off as a business expense.

12/13/2010 4:41:24 PM

Mary L. Lemley

member since: 8/31/2004
  Yes mine can be adjusted for about everything, but You're right about the monitors. I dont even like the LCD TV's, but the Panasonic Plasma's are unbelievable!!! Anyway I sure thank you for your answering....I remember looking at the Nec online couple yrs. ago, but had forgotten all about it!!!! My crt is a Dell, but I'm thinking the cold probably killed it!!!!!!!! Have a good Holiday!!!!
MaryLL.

12/14/2010 6:13:24 PM

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Photography Question 
Lynn R. Powers
Contact Lynn
Lynn's Gallery

member since: 9/12/2006
  73 .  DownLoading photos to BP
I have recently purchased a new iMac and now I am unable to download to BP.

The Drop and Drag screen comes up but on the left side it has already selected movies. I don't have movies! It will not let me select "Photos". I have gotten it down so it selects "Music" and "License" but it still refuses to let me select "photos".

What am I doing wrong? The computer is on Firefox as required.


Lynn

11/27/2010 12:51:48 PM

Christopher J. Budny
BetterPhoto Member
chrisbudny.com

member since: 10/3/2005
  I tend not to upload lots of files at one time to BP, so even on my Mac (using Safari) I just use the Single Image Uploader, to upload each day's contest entry. I have used the Drag-and-Drop feature once or twice, and while it took a long time to load up on my Mac, it did finally work...

12/3/2010 2:26:17 PM

  Thanks for your reply Christopher. I am used to them taking awhile since the last time I downloaded with my PC it had very little space left on the hard drive.

I will try the "single image" method. I only hope that Music" isn't the predetermined selection there also.

Can't help but wondering why one of the BP gurus didn't post anything about it this past week. They read these sections routinely.

12/3/2010 6:09:10 PM

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Photography Question 
Steve M. Harrington
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 1/28/2005
  74 .  BP uploads
Lately I have noticed that the color and/or saturation of uploads is different from the way it looks on my computer. I use the Alternate Image Uploader for tiffs sized at 800 on the long side.
This has been occurring for a couple of months and varies depending upon the image. The same image uploaded to Facebook is as I see it on my computer.

10/20/2010 12:08:23 AM

  Steve,

BP is very secretive about the process (can't figure out why...).
When I open your photo (or any photo on BP) in a browser, I am looking at a jpeg image.
For example - your Milky Way is named 1010242238061_dsc1360_[1].jpg, 800x531 (16M color), size 196 kB.
Clearly there is some conversion (and compression) going on in the BP process.
Not sure how to avoid this. Try converting to jpeg (800 px max) with some (?) compression, upload and compare the results.

It would be nice if BP (nudge, nudge) would finally post some correct instructions on posting photos.

Hope this helps,

Cheers,

Bojan

10/25/2010 3:06:22 AM

  I agree with Steve. When I upload to BP the photo has a loss in color and quality.

When I post the exact same photo on my Zenfolio site the image looks as good as the original on my hard drive does.

10/25/2010 5:25:53 AM

Steve M. Harrington
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 1/28/2005
  Thank you for your responses. I just did a test on the image you referred to, Bojan. All methods yield the same color shift: red/blue in the center of the image shifts toward green.
I uploaded four versions all sized at 800x531 with the Alternate Image Uploader: a tiff 1.02 MB, a jpeg max 639 kB, a Save for Web 223 kB, and a jpeg level 9 200 kB. All look identical to my eye.
I did discover that Save for Web in CS4 produces the same color shift as BP on my computer.
Yes, it would be more than nice if BP were to clarify such a fundamental issue.
Steve

10/25/2010 12:33:08 PM

Steve M. Harrington
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 1/28/2005
  I should add that all the images were sRGB.

10/25/2010 12:59:25 PM

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Photography Question 
Alex T. Mizuno
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Alex
Alex's Gallery

member since: 3/28/2007
  75 .  Same Bridge and Different Sky
 
  The bridge image on Hotel Planner site
The bridge image on Hotel Planner site
© Alex T. Mizuno
Nikon D80 Digital ...
 
  My Finalist Image
My Finalist Image
© Alex T. Mizuno
Nikon D80 Digital ...
 
When I was searching images of San Francisco Bay Bridge on Google, I found my own image of the bridge from my BP gallery which won Finalist last year. Also, I found another image used for a commercial site. Then I realized that both images look similar. Maybe too similar. I studied them closely. The clouds and the reflection on the water are a little different. But the angle of the bridge, the reflection of the lights on the bridge are identical. Sure, the color of the bridge is different but that's the only difference.

I'm convinced. This is my bridge. They changed and adjusted some details but they used my bridge image. Without my consent!

The question here is, is it worth approaching and complain this business and taking some action? This is the first time I found my image has been used without my consent. I really don't know exactly what to do. If any of you have any knowledge of a case like this and can give me any feedback, I really appreciate it.

10/14/2010 3:42:27 AM

Christopher J. Budny
BetterPhoto Member
chrisbudny.com

member since: 10/3/2005
  IMHO, I don't think they are the same image. (I googled to find the hotelplanner website image.) In their image, the fourth, furthest "tower" of the bridge sticks out more than yours.
I suspect theirs is a legitimately different image (probably taken from a stock site) shot from nearly an identical vantage point. (ie, there are "must shoot" positions for that bridge, than many, many photographers will pick again and again.) I have a hard time believing they'd go to the effort of photoshopping in a new sky and reflections carefully around all the cables and streetlight starbursts...
Just my take...

10/14/2010 10:31:12 AM

  Thank you for your feedback Christopher. I looked at their photo again after reading your opinion. I really cannot tell if their furthest pillar is sticking out more than mine since their photo is so small. There's no definite vista point of this bridge. I picked an unmarked position just for a perfecto composition for myself. I wonder how the angle can be identical. On the other hand, it's true, it's such a hustle to change the clouds behind the complicated bridge detail.

Again, thank you for your feedback!

10/14/2010 11:00:19 AM

Christopher J. Budny
BetterPhoto Member
chrisbudny.com

member since: 10/3/2005
  I certainly cannot say "It is IMPOSSIBLE that they stole your image and then manipulated it to make it different"... it seems quite unlikely, is all. What really would make it challenging (in my view) is the starburst effects on the lights---I think trying to clone in a new sky and keep your starbursts would be more work that was worth it for a tiny 1-inch thumbnail. (Though, a thumbnail would make it easier to hide the flaws of a bad photoshop job, too.)
I was unable to find a larger version of "their" image, to try and compare more closely to yours. Which I guess is a good thing---IF in fact they took your image and IF they did heavily modify it,
A) it no longer resembles your Finalist (other than the shooting perspective)
B) it is so tiny on their website (and is not really being used to drive/sell/promote business that I can tell)
C) their alleged edits make it so dark overall, it isn't a terrific image at this point.

All to say, from your original question, I doubt very seriously it would be worth the effort to pursue any kind of action in this specific case. (And I'm all for going after blatant image theft---I just think there's so much room for these images being 2 uniquely-shot, different images, that you'd be wasting your time.)

10/14/2010 11:19:41 AM

  Thank you for pointing out details Christopher. I gave a second thought to my original question. Although I think their site is for their business promotion, over all, it may not be worth creating an argument when I consider the partial similarity. I wish they used a bigger image to make the comparison much easier :)

10/14/2010 11:44:39 AM

  I agree with Chris here, Alex.

On another note, its great that you have brought this lovely image in the discussion thread. Maybe its time for a resubmit!!!

UB.

10/14/2010 10:53:42 PM

  Thank you Usman. I agree with Christopher now also. Maybe I was just too quick to judge. And thank you for your encouragement!

10/14/2010 10:58:15 PM

Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member
cammphoto.com

member since: 7/17/2003
  I too think it's highly unlikely that your photo was pirated.
Just think about how many identical images of Oxbow Bend in the Tetons are out there. (Every tour bus stops at that same pull-off.)

It's more likely that the same vantage point was used by you and others to shoot the bridge.

10/20/2010 1:41:18 AM

Ken Smith
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Ken
Ken's Gallery

member since: 6/11/2005
  Alex, I think the clouds are slightly different too...agree with folks...and I can certainly confirm Bob's comment about Oxbow Bend..nearly 100 photographers there the other day for sunrise!

10/20/2010 4:18:03 PM

  Bob, Ken, thank you guys for your feedback. I really appreciate it.

Where I photographed San Francisco Bay Bridge has no marked vantage point. That's why I was surprised to see the exactly (or almost exactly) same angle. But photographers with a good composition sense would take the same spot (that proves I have a good composition sense too :).

10/21/2010 2:02:33 AM

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Photography Question 
Rhonda Royse
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 4/20/2009
  76 .  Exporting from Lightroom - Grainey pictures!
I use lightroom for all of my processing at the moment (hope some day to learn photoshop) However when I export them for the web, and lost them, they are horibly grainey and look terrible. I am obviously doing something wrong. Can someone point me in teh right direction of what settings to use for posting on web and what setting to use for printing?
thanks
Rhonda

10/12/2010 8:40:36 PM

Bill Lewis

member since: 8/15/2003
  What level of quality are you using when you export? What size is the image when captured in the camera?. Is it grain or pixelization that you are seeing?
I always reduce noise in my images with lightrooms noise slider. I don't usually see a difference in image quality after exporting. Are you using a user preference? Maybe you have selected a user preference that adds grain.

Hope this helps.

12/3/2010 7:45:05 PM

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Photography Question 
Rhonda Royse
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 4/20/2009
  77 .  Photographing White!
I have been taking pictures this weekend of my son in a white shirt - indoors with mono lights and outdoors with just my camera. In all of them, the white shirt is so completely overpowering that it looks very unnatural and makes your eyes drawn to the shirt - not the person. Any hints? I toned down my mono lights indoors, and outside, I was shooting in shade in AV mode. When I compensate the exposure outdoors, the overall picture turns out too dark(just not enough light for that).

10/10/2010 8:12:12 AM

  Hi Rhonda,
Remember whiter whites? White fabrics and white papers often have optical brighteners in them. These are chemicals that work like the coating of a fluorescent tube: if they are exposed to ultraviolet light they fluoresce in visible light. So the shirt could be unnaturally bright. The simplest way to fix this is to adjust the Recovery slider when you convert the images from Raw to JPEG in Adobe Camera Raw. The problem can be worse in the shade, because the light in shadows is bluer and more ultraviolet in the shadows compared to the amount of visible light. Some strobes have more ultraviolet than others. If this is a problem you can get ultraviolet filters to put over your LIGHTS to reduce the problem. The filter needs to be over the light because the light is converted into visible light by the brighteners, so you canít filter this problem at the lens.
Thanks.

10/11/2010 8:21:44 AM

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Photography Question 
Trisha J. Sprekelmeyer

member since: 10/20/2008
  78 .  Noise/Blur
 
  Kids
Kids
2.8, Tamron AF 28-75mm f/2.8 SP XR ZL Di LD Aspherical (IF) sunset 7:15pm
© Trisha J. Sprekelmeyer
Canon EOS Digital ...
 
 
2.8, Tamron AF 28-75mm f/2.8 SP XR ZL Di LD Aspherical (IF) sunset 7:15pm
© Trisha J. Sprekelmeyer
Canon EOS Digital ...
 
I seem to always have a lot of noise and blur in my photos. Of course my kids arenít still very often, but I feel Iím focusing in on the parts I want in focused and crisp. I would really appreciate and suggestions or critiques at this point. This was at sunset, 2.8/f using Canon Xsi, Tamron AF 28-75mm f/2.8 SP XR ZL Di LD Aspherical (IF

10/8/2010 8:05:38 AM

  Trisha...

I don't see a lot of noise in these images. What ISO are you using, and what shutter speed? The 2.8 aperture is sometimes difficult to use in portraits, but I do use it pretty often realizing that the entire subject will not be in perfect focus. Also the closer you are at 2.8 the more blur you will have in areas. I'd be curious to know your other settings.

Sandy :-)

10/8/2010 1:12:29 PM

Trisha J. Sprekelmeyer

member since: 10/20/2008
  Thank You Sandy! I think my ISO was 400? I will check when I get home and let you know. Is it just b/c I was using 2.8 maybe and I just need more light so I can use a higher aperture? I need to look at what shutter speed I was on. I normally shoot in Av mode.

10/8/2010 1:20:51 PM

  Many of the images in my gallery were shot at an aperture of 2.8 so you can get clear images at that number. I will be curious to see what your shutter speed was. I try to keep my ISO at about 200, but 400 is certainly reasonable as well.

Sandy :-)

10/8/2010 1:26:10 PM

Dennis Flanagan
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 12/31/2005
  From looking at these, I don't think your aperture setting is the problem. Your lens has a fairly short focal length, so you would still get a generous depth of field. I think you are most likely using to slow of a shutter speed and you have some camera shake. Be careful when using the camera's automatic settings. You want to shoot no less than 1/60 sec and faster if possible.

10/8/2010 2:05:22 PM

Christopher J. Budny
BetterPhoto Member
chrisbudny.com

member since: 10/3/2005
  Trisha, what were the shutter speeds on these shots?
PS--I found my Rebel (an XTi) to be fairly noisy in lower light---not so bad it would ruin an image, particularly at BP display sizes, but I rarely ever used 400, preferring 100 and 200 all the time, going to 400 in dim lighting or interior lighting "emergencies" and 800 was just for playing around... 1600 was worthless.

10/9/2010 2:56:44 PM

Trisha J. Sprekelmeyer

member since: 10/20/2008
  ok, here were my specs.

1/125 @ f/4.5
38mm
ISO200

what did I do wrong?

10/9/2010 3:34:58 PM

  Set up a test. Put your camera on a tripod and focus on some well lit objects. If the image still looks this way, then you have a problem with the lens or camera. Try manual focus on the test also. Go to a camera store and and borrow a lens and shoot a couple of frames in the store and shoot the same images with your lens. This should tell you if the problem is the camera or lens. Your settings are not the problem in my opinion. 1/125 @f-4.5 should be O.K. It looks like a focusing problem to me. Good luck.

10/10/2010 4:49:22 AM

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Photography Question 
Dayna Cain
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Dayna
Dayna's Gallery
daynacainphotography.com

member since: 7/9/2010
  79 .  Uploading a photo
 
What can I do to make sure a photo that I upload looks the same when you open it on this website as it does on my monitor. I have uploaded many photos before and never had this happen. I deleted it from my gallery because of it's appearance but I will try to upload it here.

9/21/2010 12:42:45 PM

  Hello Dayna,
Are you using Calibration ?
I use Spyder2 by Colorvision which is an older version but still works great.
If you are using a laptop for this, that will be the problem as laptop screens are constantly changing with each move.
I dont bother calibrating my MacBook Pro but I do use Spyder2 on my 24" IMAC and I always have consistent colors & appearance on all my sites & monitor.
Carlton

9/21/2010 4:32:54 PM

  No, I have never calibrated my monitor but then I have never had this problem. On my monitor this photo looks okay but on here there is a weird pattern on some of the siding of the house where other parts of it look normal. I'm confused!

9/22/2010 5:07:06 AM

  Hi Dayna,
You may just delete & upload it again. Maybe a few 1s & 0s got mixed up when you uploaded it ???
Is it a moire' pattern you are seeing ?
Carlton

9/22/2010 7:39:08 AM

  I have tried deleting and uploading it again and I get the same thing. The "moire" pattern you mentioned pretty much describes it but I can't figure out why doesn't it show up like that on any other computer. Only when I upload it to this site. I have never had this problem before. I may go take another photo of this same old house and see what happens. Thanks for your input!

9/22/2010 10:43:47 AM

Ken Smith
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Ken
Ken's Gallery

member since: 6/11/2005
  Dayna, you didn't mention the size of your photo. BP will rescale photos that are larger than 800 pixels, down to 800 pixels. For example, if your image is 1600 pixels wide, BP will resize to 800 wide for display. It's possible something in their "resize" application causes something for your specific photo. Try resizing your photo to 800 pixels on the wide side, then upload again. Just a thought...

9/22/2010 3:04:38 PM

  Thanks! I'll give it a try.

9/23/2010 5:07:46 AM

  Hey Ken, I resized the photo like you suggested and it worked. Thanks so much!!!

9/23/2010 5:58:40 AM

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Photography Question 
Joseph L. Ouellette
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 8/17/2008
  80 .  Icons on desktop
At the risk of sounding stupid, does anyone know how or if I can put a BetterPhoto icon on the desktop, so I don't have to log on using bookmarks?

9/19/2010 10:41:06 AM

Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member
cammphoto.com

member since: 7/17/2003
  If you have Windows...
Open a BP page, right-click anywhre on the page and left-click "Create Shortcut".

9/20/2010 2:56:10 AM

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