Help me confirm I am not losing my mind...

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by iGary, Dec 13, 2005.

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  1. Guest


    Which one of thes images looks most natural/best corrected to your eye. No comments on composure etc. (I didn't take the image). Just tell me - one, two or three.




  2. macrumors 601


    number 2 looks better from my amature non camera knowledge eye's;)
  3. macrumors 68000


    Without knowing any background, I'm going to go with #3.
  4. Moderator emeritus


    One, I think? Primarily judging from the fact that the sky is quite overcast and the brightness on the foliage and buildings doesn't seem right in that environment.

    I hope I'm not confirming any insanity plea. :(
  5. macrumors 603


    I'll go with #2. It is the only one in which the clouds looks natural to me.
    Of course, i have 1/4" of dust on my monitor, so I may not be the best judge.;) :p
  6. macrumors 601


    :D we all picked 1,2,3 lol iGary IS loseing his mind
  7. Moderator emeritus


    I like #2. :eek: Edit: I'm on my 12" iBook... I'll let you know later when I'm on my iMac. :p
  8. macrumors 68020

    Artful Dodger

    Art major answer is...#2 looks like a nice day...not great but a nice fall day. So water will be darker, grass not as green but lighter in color and the color of the trees looks just right.
    Give us 3 pictures of you and we can give you your crazy answer ;):p :p
  9. Lau

    I'd say 1, just to add to the confusion. Sorry!

    It looks like the least washed out, with the best contrast. I'm viewing it on a laptop screen which is very unreliable for colour and brightness though.
  10. Moderator emeritus


    #10 that I'm looking at this %$#$ thread more, I'm not so sure anymore. So I chose the first picture because I thought the sky was foggy and overcast. But there's a hint of bright blue in the sky that doesn't make sense. Then, on the other hand, the air is certainly not dry and clear, judging from the level of hazing and blurring of the distant land. I dunno anymore. If there was moderate cloud coverage, I'd have to switch to #2. :D
  11. Guest


    I'll comment when we get about 6 more answers. That is a good enough group for me, and then I will explain the situation.
  12. EGT
    macrumors 68000


    One looks most natural.
  13. -hh
    macrumors 68020


    On very first look, I thought that both 2 and 3 had a loss of color in comparison to #1 ... and would have picked #1.

    But in going over it a second (and third and fourth) time, I do think that #1 is a bit too blue/dark, so it could use some amount of lightening up. I'm just now sure that I would go as "far" as what's in 2 or 3. Their loss of any significant color in the sky puts me a little off.

    Between 2 and 3, I'd say that 3 looks a bit too light - - a loss of some contrast? - - and prefer 2.

    So between these available choices, I'd go with #2.

  14. macrumors G5


    2 and 3 look artificially brightened; at least on my Win machine Dell FPW2005

    I don't expect such bright sunlight in the fall in a temperate zone.

    #2 is more pleasing because it's brighter, but for me not as realistic. The detail in the landing stage area on the left looks blown out in 2 and 3
  15. macrumors 68020

    Artful Dodger

    Save this Q for later iGary but will #1 print darker than it's showing? Hard to stick with #2 with the light/dark print issue in mind (my own mind that is).
  16. macrumors 65816


    #3 looks right to me
    but i'm no pro
  17. Guest



    #1 is the one I received in from the photographer.

    #2 is my corrected version.

    #3 is how my client thinks I should be correcting these images - with the highlight and shadow tool.

    That said, I can't correct to #3. It looks blown out, over saturated and, well, not real. Sure, it's more "bright" and "colorful," but I correct my images to look as natural as possible. And sometimes I have to blow out areas of the image to give the whole image a better appearance.

    My customer has not been happy with the last four sets of discs I sent in. The comment I get back is "I just used the highlight/shadow tool and I think it looks much better." I have not changed what I have been doing for four months.

    Well, that really stings a bit because I spend hours making these photos look as natural and REAL as possible. Now I am at a loss. I basically told them that I didn't think #3 looked natural, but if that is what they want me to do, then so be it.

    I just don't like doing something that goes against my every instinct as a photographer. Ugh.

    Now this could get ugly. If every time the images come in, the client just applies a 60% highlight adjustment and that's what they like, they could get pissed and can me...I think they just started playing in Photoshop a bit and that's becoming dangerous.

    At a loss what to say/do. :(
  18. iDM
    macrumors 6502a


    Hmmm from my very unprofessional opinion, 1 looks too dark like it was taken through a rain cloud on an overcast day, in 3 the whites look to white and too bright they are so brigth in fact you loose alot of the details on some of the white boats and especially on that white home/building in the center.

    I am for the second one (2)

    AHHH I swear i wrote that before reading your explanation iGary!!!
  19. Moderator emeritus


    Ugh, I'm sorry, babe. :(

    It sounds as if your client wants a certain end product, in terms of bright, highlight images. And tweaks them with PS to get this look, even though it is not suited to the original image (I'm with you...I "guessed wrong" initially, but there's no way I can see #3 being the right answer). Is there any way to work with the client, so that they can take the right photo in the first place, that is suited to the look that they want, so that you can give them what they want and have it be right for the image? Like having the client take pictures at a different time of day, etc, etc?

    I sounds hard. It'd be nice to make it into a win-win situation, so that the photographer is taking the right pictures, you're doing the right adjustments, and your client gets the right image for their needs.
  20. macrumors 603


    iGary, I appreciate your problem, I really do. Your integrity as a photographer/artist is being challenged, most likely by people who don't know 1/100th what you do about photography or PhotoShop.
    Sadly (for you), they are the ones paying the bills.
    i think all you can do is explain why you correct images the way you do, point out the problems you are seeing in their corrected examples, and ask them for guidance. If you can't teach them (meaning they don't want to learn) the error of their ways, you're going to have a decision to make. that dual G5 paid off yet?
  21. macrumors 6502a


    Perhaps your client needs his or her monitor calibrating, then they might see things your way or even their eyes testing.

    Number 2, definitely is the best picture.
  22. Guest


    That's basically what I did. I corrected image #3 to their "specs" and asked them if that is the benchmark they wanted me to go by. No answer yet. I did tell them that #3 look to saturated, had a real lack of shadows and just doesn't look right. I just wanted some confirmation. I could have done some better work to #2, but #3 is just hideous, IMO. I even had a couple of my photographer buddies look, and #2 is what they agreed on , too.

    Luckily, the retainer for this project paid for the G5 and the goodies. :)

    I don't think I am getting canned, but we are definitely having difficulties communicating. Just applying a 60%/10% shadow highlight adjustment isn't the cure all to haze and unerexposed images. They think it is, and there is a definite tone of "are you really paying attention to what you are doing." They're great people, I just don't know what changed all of the sudden.


    Hopefully we work it out.
  23. sjl
    macrumors 6502


    For what it's worth, I find #1 to be the most pleasing to my eye. #2 I can accept, although there's something about it that doesn't look right to me (no idea what, just a feeling). #3 looks far too washed out; there's no way that I'd consider that a good image.

    For instance: at the bottom left corner of the image, there's a mast of some sort (maybe a transmission tower?) I can make it out easily in the first image. The second image, it's visible, but a bit harder to make out. The third, it's next to impossible to see -- only its shadow tells you it's there.

    Another point: the blue van or shed, about halfway up the image, roughly a third of the way in from the left hand side. First image, it looks completely natural. The second and third, it looks like it's a refugee from a creche ... and has been out in the sun too long.

    Ultimately, if the client's paying, they're the ones who make the decisions. But at this point, I'd suggest trying to educate them. Maybe point out similar points to the ones I've made above -- look for solid reasons why the correction is misguided, and hopefully they'll listen. I don't know them, so I'd suggest not saying "this is wrong", but rather "this is misguided, because ..." Don't make them feel like you're putting them down, and you'll have a better chance.

    (I had a minor argument with a friend over an image I shot; he said it was too soft, and I agreed, but I have a dislike of sharpening filters in Photoshop and similar -- I'm very sensitive to the banding that they can produce. He pointed out that the 20D has an antialiasing filter built in that tends to oversoften images ... I guess I need to play around with image correction and try to get a feel for what's good and what's excessive.)

    Good luck.
  24. Lau

    Hope you do too.

    If the day was reasonably bright, I would say #2 looks fine as as well. (I'm not just saying that!). #3 is definitely too bright, in my (amateur!) opinion. :eek:

    One thing I have found, is those sort of aerial shots often look quite washed out and flat, and you wouldn't expect the same bright colour and contrast in one as you would a more close up shot. Taking that into consideration (and the bright sky) was what made me like #2 on reflection.
  25. Moderator


    Staff Member

    Like #2 and #3 much better than #1, that's easy.

    Then to choose between #2 and #3 is harder. I would say the sea in front looks better on #2, but I like the colours of the forest better on #3... would probably use #2, though, unless you're going to crop away much of the sea...

    Edit: Then I read the rest of the thread :)o), and specially which versions are which, and I still think the forrest is a bit better on #3, but that #2 is better overall... :)
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