Tips and tricks on photography

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#31 May 26th, 2005, 17:28
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#31
It's like this.

I download the images from my camera into my pc. The image nameas are now something like DSC*****.JPG. The memory size is about 1.41MB & image size is 2048x1360.

Now i opens this file with MS paint or MS photo editor. And 'save as' say sunset.JPG. (no editing, no resizing and any other adjustments)

Now I check the file size of sunset.JPG, it's about 240KB and still, 2048x1360.

I open both the files, i'm not able to makeout any diffrences. In that case what is actually happening to the quality of the image, will it be reduced, if i give the later (smaller) file for printing.

Someone has mentioned to me that this is in RAW form. What's that?


Now
#32 May 26th, 2005, 18:10
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#32
From what I understand, when you click 'save as' the program (I assume you are using the photo editor which comes with MS Office?) may be resizing it, I do not have MS Photo Editor but you may want to check the options/preferences in the program to see what it is set to. You can also left click on the photo file and scroll down to 'rename' on the options that pop up. I suppose the camera would have come with some basic photo editing software, that may have better options to rename files without resizing them. Try Picasa, its a great freebie from Google and very simple to use.

RAW format option is usually found in higher end cameras/Digital SLRs. And imho the best thing, the file sizes are way bigger, in my Canon DSLR about 5-6mb. I shoot in this format all the time these days. The picture you take can be 'corrected' - including exposure, to a greater degree than .jpg and is also 'lossless'. There is no compression (its RAW) and thereby has to be processed/converted in a suitable program to view and edit the picture.

Edit:Yes size does matter, depending on the size of the print ofcourse.I see radz has beat me in the comment.
PS:Please note that I'm an amateur myself, and await the pro comments
“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it’s time to pause and reflect.” - Mark Twain
#33 May 26th, 2005, 18:13
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#33
beach: i think ur case PLEASE check ur setting in MS paint or photo editor.
To print out to sharp pic big pix like 2048x1360 this counts.
Quality will be fine,only only thing you can take bigger size.
Raw format comes with digital SLR cam.


Tips for saving ,when you post pic online always "save for web",no one can use for printing.Best Photoshop you can try.

radz
#34 May 26th, 2005, 18:17
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#34
Well... filters are important to a certain degree. Cameras cannot capture the contrast ranges like the human eye, and this is why shooting in broad daylight gives you over exposed skies. You cannot capture deep shadows a bright blue sky typically between 9AM to 5PM (also depends on time of year and location). Early morning sunlight and late afternoon sunlight is less contrasty, and your camera can therefore pick up the differences easier (I believe camera can do up to around a 5 stop difference, while the human eye can do 7-8, or thereabouts).

I rarely use filters personally, but the main filters if I'd ever use them are a polarizing filter and the Graduated Neutral Density filter (more about the latter this afternoon in part 3 of my online tutorial).

The polarizer I now rarely use, and put it on only when I want to remove unwanted reflections from glass, or water. It will also render a sky darker, but with software, it's easy to get what you want now.

My main rescue tool for blown-out skies is Adobe Photoshop. For example, if I'm taking a shot of something which has really dark shadows, say, a crow, on an open corn field, mid-day... if I expose for the crow black feathers properly, I will not be able to capture the blue sky at all (filters cannot help here). I would take the shot anyways, and then with photoshop, select the sky seperately, and darken it with the level's adjustment tool.

If I have time this afternoon, I will add more of this to my online photo tips page. I'll let you all know I do it.

Hope some of this helps, in any case, I'll explain later with supporting images, and show you the photoshop steps.

Vadim
#35 May 26th, 2005, 18:31
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#35
Regarding SAVE AS and JPG resizing:

Digital cameras shoot in 2 formats normally, an untouched, digital negative like form called the RAW image. This is the image that hasn't had anything done to it (no contrast boosts, no saturation, no unsharp masking filter). It isn't compressed, and is the largest file your camera will produce. Most advanced Digital SLR user will use this file format (including myself). You need 3rd party software to convert these into usable formats such as JPGs or TIFs. Anyways, won't go into why I choose to shoot RAW... this is for another thread.

The other format digicams shoot is JPG. JPG is an image format that compresses images, making them smaller. JPG are known as a lossy file format versus the RAW which is loss-less. Lossy means that when creating the image file, a certain amount (user defined most often) of compression is done to the image to reduce its inherent file size, the downfall and key-in the term lossy, is that each time you resave a JPG, you lose more and more quality... to the point of getting what is known as compression artifacts. These are things that show up on your images that shouldn't be there, but are added by the mathematical algorithm of the compressor... anyways, take my word for it.

So for example, my RAW images are approx 8MB in size, the JPGs I make from them are ~2MB. If I wanted to, I could make those JPGs even smaller by telling my software that creates my JPGs "more compression, I need a smaller file size". In photoshop, I'm given the option of a scale of compression.

This then explains why your JPG shrinks every time you save it. So, you save a JPG, compression occurs, and lowers the quality of your image each and every time (little by little in most cases, unless you apply LOTS of compression at once).

Again, I will try posting an example of JPG compression in my tutorial later today. Hope some of this made sense.

Vadim
#36 May 26th, 2005, 19:14
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#36
Quote:
Vadim:
the downfall and key-in the term lossy, is that each time you resave a JPG, you lose more and more quality... to the point of getting what is known as compression artifacts.
I always wanted clarify this, say I use an anti-virus software and defrag my hard drive once a week, will this also result loss of quality over a period of time? There have been some discussions on this on photography forums, but I would think that if not the defragmenting, the anti-virus scanning could result in some loss since the software would have to open and close the file to check for viruses. I always back up my pictures to a CD/DVD once a month or whenever I have enough, whichever comes earlier.
#37 May 26th, 2005, 20:21
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#37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vadim Chiline
My main rescue tool for blown-out skies is Adobe Photoshop. For example, if I'm taking a shot of something which has really dark shadows, say, a crow, on an open corn field, mid-day... if I expose for the crow black feathers properly, I will not be able to capture the blue sky at all (filters cannot help here). I would take the shot anyways, and then with photoshop, select the sky seperately, and darken it with the level's adjustment tool.


Vadim

Looking forward to see your tutorial on this.
#38 May 26th, 2005, 20:32
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#38
Beach, when you open your file in an editor and save it again as a JPG, the program is adding additional compression, resulting in a smaller file size. You are losing some of the image data. You can avoid this, possibly, by saving as the highest quality JPG the program allows, which will be less compressed.

The net effect of the further compression might not really be visible until you get a very large print.
#39 May 26th, 2005, 20:49
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#39
ha ha .. this is the fact. I can differentiate between the 'straight from camera' image and the 'save as image'. Neither the program asks for the 'compression' level...

For all that matter it appears to me as the same quality image with same image size, but with smaller (about 1/3) of the 'straight from camera' JPG file. But further if i need to reduce the file size, the image size too has to be reduced (also the compression quality).

let me fiddle with it a bit more and see what happens. Otherwise later i would post two samples here to explain what i'm trying to say.
#40 May 26th, 2005, 20:51
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#40
Vadim Chiline!! your site is superb esp the india blog with pictures. fantastic
#41 May 26th, 2005, 20:56
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#41
In MS Photo Editor if you do a Save As, the window pops up asking you for the file name and location. Click the button at the bottom that says MORE and the window will enlarge, giving some options about compression. The program uses a 1-100 compression scale, with 100 giving you the least compressed / highest quality image. Just move the slider to 100, save the file, and then see if the size is closer to what it was when it came out of the camera.
#42 May 26th, 2005, 22:21
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#42
Interesting thread, this is!!

My best advise to anyone who wants to make better pictures is to go through your camera manual...beginning to end. And when I mean better pictures, I am talking about picture quality off the field without any post processing on a computer. I am not talking about the ability to distinguish an interesting or catchy subject from a boring one Having said that, most manuals provide clear descriptions of how various settings can be adjusted to make better pictures without the User having to interpret technical diagrams or numbers Then go out and take a lot of pictures. I mean a lot of pictures. I did all that (acquired sort of a hands-on experience) and now I can instantly get to any setting in both of my cameras (Nikon D70 and Olympus C5000) without hardly looking at them. Then I sat down, read about and was able to understand with minimal effort how aperture, ISO, depth of field and all those various concepts work. I wish I had done all of that before my India trip last Fall. But no worries. I can always make another trip

IMO, the most important things a beginner needs to worry about are:
1. White balancing (if your camera has a tendency to consistently produce pictures with a colored or cold tint)
2. Fill Flash (its a plus if you can adjust the subtleness of the flash)
3. Polarizing Filter (even in cloudy weather yes. Cokin makes a filter system for point-and-shoot cameras)
4. Exposure compensation (if you do a lot of work on snow and if your camera has a tendency to consistently produce darker pictures in any JPG format).

Finally, come up with a method to not be surprised by such little things as a dead/defective battery, etc. while in the field.

Note: If you own an older or cheap digital point-and-shoot camera, chances are you will be fiddling with the camera more often that you would like to since such cameras don't provide a direct way (that is, the use of buttons and command dials) to adjust settings other than using a LCD menu.
- Gopi
#43 May 27th, 2005, 04:47
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#43

Lightbulb Histograms

Lots of good points, many mentioning exposure compensation. Learning how an exposure meter works is very important. They are all calibrated on an 18% reflectance mid-grey. Most of the time light and dark areas will average to something close to this value and all is well. The problems show up when you try to photograph something that's mostly dark or mostly light. The proverbial white cat in a snow storm comes to mind.... The meters in cameras have come a long way in guessing your subject and making appropriate exposures, but it's still easy to confuse them. Film and digital sensors have a limited range where the light response curve is linear. Get outside the linear area, and you start blowing highlights or losing shadow detail. Fortunately there's a feature in many digital cameras that makes it very easy to see what's going on. The histogram display shows a graph of the scene brightness vs sensor response. This makes it very easy to tweak exposure for the best tone range, or special effect. This web site (Luminous Landscape) has a good tutorial on the use of Histograms
Look under Tutorials, and Understanding Series for a wealth of useful information on other photo topics.

Wanderer22
#44 May 27th, 2005, 06:56
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#44
Wanderer22 is very right... and Michael Reichmann's site (Luminous Landscape) is great for learning some of those basic and advanced topics.

Just to let you know, I've updated my "Basic Photography Tips page" and added 2 more pages based on some of the above discussions.

Click here for it:
http://www.vadimchiline.com/articles/basics.htm

Hope it makes sense.... and hope you enjoy....

Vadim
#45 May 27th, 2005, 14:11
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#45
can someone explain the selection of of various ISO 100, 400 etc in digital camera. I mean what happens when we switch from ISO100 to say ISO400 ?
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