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Old Mar 17, 2009, 11:03 PM   #1
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My computer is still in the shop, and I'm using my hubby's computer. I no longer have the luxury of just installing a previous version of Photoshop on his computer to use, so I've been trying different software packages/trial versions. These two pictures were shot raw and converted using DXO. It doesn't do a very good job when it resizes down, it makes it softer than I like, even when I more or less over-sharpened the full sized picture. I decided tonight to take the converted and resized jpg and then sharpening it in iPhoto. I want to see what they look like here. If they look OK, I'll probably do the same thing, only convert to tiff instead of jpg, like I did here.

Pictures were taken Sunday with the K20. First one with the Viv 105 macro. As you can see, it's spring in the lower mountains, and the wildflowers were blooming nicely in a couple of places. It was taken at ISO 2000 and I just used whatever DXO (which does have noise reduction built in) did as default.



This one was taken with the DA 55-300:



It gives a better idea of the size of the flower in the first one. I don't know what kind of flower it is, but it's a wildflower that is blooming all over the place.

Let me know what you think of the processing.
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Old Mar 18, 2009, 12:33 AM   #2
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Hi Harriet, I am on my 12" PowerBook right now so I could be wrong, but they seem quite a bit softer than your normal images, but then again it could be the yellow color too.

The Fly/Bee seems to be sharp, but the flowers still look like they lack either contrast or sharpness.

Tom
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Old Mar 18, 2009, 3:20 AM   #3
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ive been photographing yellow flowers recently and i think it is the yellow that makes them appear softer, because the edges look sharp where the background is a different colour.


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Old Mar 18, 2009, 9:53 AM   #4
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I probably should choose a different subject - it is difficult to tell with bright yellow and orange flowers. The center of the flower looks all right, up to a point, but the rest of it doesn't look quite right, especially on my monitor at work. I tried some shots Monday with the 55-300, trying to establish just where it's weaknesses are, so I can avoid them. I used a chain-link fence (also with the idea of broken symmetry) so I'll process them tonight and see if they are any better. It was quite windy when I was out Sunday shooting wildflowers, and I kept forgetting to turn off or turn back on the SR when the camera was on or off the tripod (these two are hand-held, I remember), so that might have made a difference, too.
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Old Mar 18, 2009, 11:51 AM   #5
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Second one look pretty good..the bee is ultra sharp...the edges of the flower look a tad soft(er), but it could be the color or even some shallowness in DoF. Good bokeh on the background. Yellow is a tricky color when it comes to contrast!

Re. the issue of softness when resizing, I follow a tip that I picked up from another forum: Resize first and then edit. It may mean performing PP twice: once for a web posting and one for an archival copy. However, the results are very good once posted on the web.
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Old Mar 18, 2009, 12:42 PM   #6
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Hey Harriet,
I'm no expert when it come to PP but, I'll give my 2 cents anyway. :blah:
I think you nailed the focus in both pix dead on (isn't that Viv 105 great!) I think you were fighting the contrast more than anything. also, what I see is like what I get when over doing the sharpening and noise reduction:-? if that's not worth the 2 cents I do give refunds
. :-) BTW, you can up load Tiff to Zenfolio and then embed it in your post here (a friend of mine told me how to do that:G) if you don want to fool with jpeg.
GW:bye:
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Old Mar 18, 2009, 7:48 PM   #7
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Harriett, I'm in no position to comment. It would be like a college sophomore commenting on a research project published by a PhD professor. Both pics look great to me. I hope some day I will know a small fraction of what you know about raw conversions. And photographic composition, and post processing, and.......

Seriously, both pictures look excellent to me. The slight softness of the one without the bee looks to me simply like a shallow DOF, and I think it adds to the composition.

Sorry to hear your computer is in for repairs. I thought Macs were very reliable. Our Dell, which was said to be terminally ill back in November has risen from the dead and is performing as well as when it was brand new. Looks like we won't have a Mac any time soon, which is just as well considering our family budget,
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Old Mar 18, 2009, 8:59 PM   #8
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They are a little soft on my desktop monitor. I do wonder if it's the yellow for some reason. Whenever I've photographed yellow daffodils for example, no matter what I do they just aren't ever sharp. I just got mine from Cancer Soc. fundraiser. I'll try this weekend and see how they work with the K20.

I can't remember the name of the flower. But, I do remember them when I was growing up in California.

Patty
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Old Mar 18, 2009, 10:06 PM   #9
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Jelpee - Actually, the way I normally do it is to make whatever adjustments I want to (color, exposure, etc.) to the raw file, then convert full size. I'll then resize using bicubic sharper and add any additional sharpening if needed. Unfortunately, that takes CS4 or something like that - which is on the computer in the shop! I'm making do with whatever trial download programs I can find and iPhoto. The good thing about all this is the last time I got to try Aperture (liked very much) and now DXO Optics (as a raw converter, has some really cool features. It doesn't resize all that well, though). I think I'll buy it and use it with Lightroom and/or CS4. I'm going to give it up and just buy PSE tomorrow.

GW - Resizing is important to me - most of my shots end up on my office computer for a screen saver and windows desktop. If I don't get PSE tomorrow, I'll use DXO for converting, save as tiff, then take your suggestion about using the tiff file for posting here, and waiting to resize everything when I get my computer back.

mtnman - Macs usually are very reliable, but every so often one slips through the cracks. Mine has had an intermittent problem from not long after I got it, which is always hard to get fixed. The first time it went in, they reset things and ran diagnostics, computer fixed. This time they decided to replace the wireless card and the logic board (which I'm told is basically the guts of the computer). Only problem is the logic board is on back-order, so who knows when my poor computer will get returned. It's been no trouble at all getting the computer worked on, it's all warranty work and I'm really impressed with the service I've been getting (they've kept me informed). As long as I get my computer back, fixed, in a reasonable time-frame I won't have any complaints.

Patty - I just looked at the fence pictures, including some at 100% in DXO, and even at full sized, they look softer than what I'm used to, and what I like. Of course, they were taken with the 55-300 and I was taking them because I thought the lens was pretty soft wide open, so I'm still not sure if its the software rendering of the raw image or the lens. So it looks like I'll buy PSE tomorrow.
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Old Mar 19, 2009, 12:18 PM   #10
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mtngal wrote:
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So it looks like I'll buy PSE tomorrow.


Harriet, if it's not to late... instead of buying PSE, why not just download the trial version?
that should get you by till you get your puter back.
:-)
GW:bye:
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