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Author Topic: Rant 23  (Read 36703 times)

Rob C

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Rant 23
« Reply #40 on: September 29, 2009, 04:26:32 AM »

"I'm not sure why the central thesis of my argument is proving so difficult for some people.

I am not saying that people shouldn't display their images on the web, on screens or in any other manner. I am simply pointing out that the full quality of a properly shot, edited and adjusted image from a high quality camera simply can not be properly seen electronically."






Michael

Relax, the internet is the natural home of the blown hermeneutic. You fare neither better nor worse than anyone else who ventures to publish a thought!

Rob C

JohnKoerner

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Rant 23
« Reply #41 on: September 29, 2009, 12:32:20 PM »

Quote from: michael
I'm not sure why the central thesis of my argument is proving so difficult for some people.
I am not saying that people shouldn't display their images on the web, on screens or in any other manner. I am simply pointing out that the full quality of a properly shot, edited and adjusted image from a high quality camera simply can not be properly seen electronically.
Point: The web is sRBG and images displayed are compressed JPGs, while a print can easily exceed Adobe RGB in gamut.
Point: A print from, say, an 18MP camera (certainly not the biggest) is some 5200 X 3500 pixels. A 30" display is just over 2 million pixels. Something has to give, no?
An 18MP camera file can produce a roughly 16X20 print at optimum printing resolution, allowing one to see everything that the camera and lens have to offer. To produce an image with comparable resolution on a screen would require  a 240-300 PPI screen, which do not exist. Yes, a 50" LCD or Plasma can show the image at 100%, but to view it properly one has to sit across the room which means that the resolution isn't properly visible the way it is on a print.
So my thesis isn't that prints are a superior means of showing ones images (though for me they are). I realize that many people never print. But, simply that with today's technology they can't show you everything that's in the file the way a print can. Or, if they can, they suffer from very high cost, the extremes of technology, or other impediments.
Michael


Points made and points well taken.

Even amongst digital devices there is a tremendous difference in what one can see. For example, my finished images that I adjust on my color-calibrated NEC (in ProPhoto) don't appear anywhere near as colorful or vibrant when viewed online (converted to sRGB) via my web browser and cheap laptop. So I understand your point there, and I further understand that even the images which look so vibrant and rich in color on my calibrated NEC will look still more colorful and vibrant when actually printed well on archival paper from a quality printer. Again, points made and points well taken.

The trouble I have is, while your logic above is entirely sound, and the mood you convey above is entirely sober, such was not the frame of mind in which you began your original article. This is how you began your original article:

"I alternately chuckle and get steamed up when I read someone on a web forum either condemn or praise a camera or lens based on a web images. This is utter nonsense."

You then pretty much, and with a great deal of contempt, dismissed "the Flickr crowd" as a single living entity, from which you then went on to your central theme of fine art prints being the ultimate arbiter of equipment quality. Backpedaling a bit now does not change the mood of what you originally wrote. The paradox is, while the theme of your article may be true ultimately, the real truth is the vast majority of photographs do not get seen, judged, bought, or sold in a "fine art print" form. Moreover, there is an overall condescending theme to the original article towards any person whose judgments are being rendered through digital evaluation, while at the same time an automatic self-contradiction is raised by virtue of the existence of the "Luminious Landscape" very own digital presence and reviews.

Therefore, since this here is a forum to discuss your site and the topics of discussion, I would like to convey here that (as a reader looking to learn from your online articles, supported by your online digital images) when I read something from a man who is 'alternately chuckling, and then getting steamed up' over something he himself does, this doesn't conjure a feel of a level-headed thinker. In fact, when one is being tossed back-and-forth with such emotions as a writer, one can miss a lot of key points.

For, while you entitled your article, The Fallacy of Judging an Image Online, what seems to be two twin simultaneous fallacies of your own article is (1) to assume that the most important photography (to the most people) is fine art photography 'in print', and (2) that this position seems to make a mockery of all of your own online articles, all of which are supported with plethora of the very "digital web image evaluations" you dismiss as "utter nonsense."

Regarding (1), since many {if not the majority} of the viewing & buying decisions and judgments of photographs are in fact made based on the submission of electronic images, to dismiss the importance of how such digital images look (either online or on a monitor) is itself a real fallacy. In "The Photographer's Market" book, which lists just about every purveyor of photography known, almost every one of these purveyors ASKS FOR the submission of high res digital images on which to base their decisions on whether or not they will accept (buy) any photographer's work. Furthermore, regarding (2), I still don't understand how you can say this:

"But please, please, stop judging the technical quality of photographic equipment by looking at small web images. And, while 100% crops can be helpful in comparing certain technical aspects of image quality, this usually bears little real-world relationship to how a photograph will appear in a print. In my experience its rare that the pixel peeping that the online image analysis that many people love to do (doh! including myself) bears any real-world relationship to how an artist's image will appear in a final display print."
(Parenthsis added)

... and yet post as many photographs as you do digitally online as 'proof' of the positions you take regarding the quality of the lenses and software.

I don't think too many photographers judge photos based on "small" web images, but I do think 99% of judgments come from 100% crops. So it just seems pretty hard to reconcile the two positions, the fact you yourself have evaluated cameras and lenses (for years) on your website, always supported by large digital web images, and yet that you take the ultimate position you do above, that such judgments have little 'real-world' value. One is left scratching one's as to "why?" You even said, "In fact I know quite a few widely exhibited fine art photographers who refuse to show their images online because they feel that this misrepresents how their work should be seen." I would say this latter quote shows more integrity to the above belief system than does holding this belief and yet at the same time still posting articles with web images "as proof" for one's position on the quality of cameras and lenses.

In the end, the ultimate truth of your article is easily understood. The fine art print, in fine form, does show the most of what a camera and lens can do. It was not the truth of this that was the problem, it was the self-contradiction of utterly condemning the importance of any judgments being made of digital images at all, as nonsense, and squaring this with the plethora of your own online articles and judgments, all supported with digital web images, that raised an eyebrow for me. For while the very largest of "fine art prints," printed on the very finest printers, may in fact show the ultimate strengths and liabilities of any equipment, the truth is such end results are NOT how the majority of photos are in fact bought, sold, or even seen.

The majority of photographic images bought, sold, and judged in this day and age are in fact based on DIGITAL evaluations, long before they ever get to be printed, and so to dismiss the importance of digital evaluation (or how images appear digitally) is to dismiss the vast majority of real world photography ... and thus the vast majority of people ... as well as your own online, digital presence. The A1 fine art print may tell the ultimate tale, but ultimately it is the least-used medium that buyers of photography use to judge photography.

The reality is, almost no one has the luxury to be able to get a free camera and a free set of lenses, and then be at liberty to take as many photos as contents their heart, print-out their images on the finest paper with the finest printers ... and then do this with all of the name brands, makes, and models ... from which they may then make a purchase decision. This is not a reality for people. The purchase decisions most people make are based on online viewings and/or high-res digital viewings, and so such judgments are ultimately the most important.

Thus, if the point of your article is that the ultimate reality is to judge cameras and lenses based on fine-art prints, then I think all of the judgments and proclamations of your own articles online ought to be based only on a comparison of A1 and A2 prints, not on digital crops, so that the conclusions on your website product reviews are to be in harmony with your core beliefs.

Jack

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Alan Goldhammer

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Rant 23
« Reply #42 on: September 29, 2009, 01:07:19 PM »

I'm hesitant about joining in the discussion because we didn't have a prayer of repentance yesterday for posting less than optimal images on the Internet.  So be it.  

I can only offer the following observations (which I think are true):
1.  most of those who view any of our images on the Internet do so on monitors that are much worse than ours;
2.  most of us (and those who we give or sell our prints to) have only limited wall space to display prints, whereas digital displays offer "almost" unlimited number of images;
3.  anyone (caveat: in my experience) who has seen a fine art print and the digital image, prefers the fine art print (though it doesn't guarantee a sale);
4.  there will be a continuing move towards more digital presentation of images (and probably Ansel Adams would not only approve, but be excited about the prospect were he to see all of the advances in the 25 years since his passing).

I still get excited seeing the print come off the Epson and seeing details in it that I've not seen on my monitor.  I would hope others feel the same way.
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Ben Rubinstein

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Rant 23
« Reply #43 on: September 29, 2009, 01:40:39 PM »

Quote from: Alan Goldhammer
I still get excited seeing the print come off the Epson and seeing details in it that I've not seen on my monitor.  I would hope others feel the same way.

Scares me silly actually, how on earth are we supposed to be able to control our output if we don't have the slightest idea what it's going to look like until it's printed? I thought that WYSIWYG was supposed to be part of our modern workflow. Flatscreens that are far sharper, contrastier, brighter than the print that you are looking to achieve (yes with all the best profiling unless perhaps you spend more on your screen than on your camera), colours that you didn't know were there (ooh I'd really love that if I was trying to get skin tones right), etc, etc. Personally I'd prefer to edit within the constraints of WYSIWYG even if it means sRGB. At least I won't have any surprises.

Alan Goldhammer

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Rant 23
« Reply #44 on: September 29, 2009, 02:17:20 PM »

Quote from: pom
Scares me silly actually, how on earth are we supposed to be able to control our output if we don't have the slightest idea what it's going to look like until it's printed? I thought that WYSIWYG was supposed to be part of our modern workflow. Flatscreens that are far sharper, contrastier, brighter than the print that you are looking to achieve (yes with all the best profiling unless perhaps you spend more on your screen than on your camera), colours that you didn't know were there (ooh I'd really love that if I was trying to get skin tones right), etc, etc. Personally I'd prefer to edit within the constraints of WYSIWYG even if it means sRGB. At least I won't have any surprises.

Perhaps I wasn't clear in my post (or maybe I'm not clear in the following response).  I have a NEC profiled monitor and I get prints that are what I see on the screen, so I am controlling output.  However, a 13x19 print is a much different viewing experience than what is/was on the monitor.  It's a different visual experience, and yes because I can continue to look at the print, I do see details that were overlooked on the monitor (these have nothing to do with getting colors, tone, etc. correct for output).
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dwdallam

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Rant 23
« Reply #45 on: September 29, 2009, 03:11:09 PM »

Quote from: michael
No, the point isn't to turn the print into a means of technical measurement. Anything but.

What I was trying to get at is that it's what ends up on the final print (however it's made) that is the ultimate arbiter. If I can see the difference in the final work of art, then the difference is meaningful. If I can't, then it may be there but of only academic interest.

Michael

And that really is the point. I mean photography is a visual medium. Anything outside the human eye's ability is really irrelevant in this respect. Also, for me, extra pixels aren't for creating better art (especially after the new IDS3 and D3X) but more for cropping and still having enough pixels to do as you wish with the image.  This is exactly why I will buy the next iteration of Canon 1DSMKIV, if the increase in pixels and noise warrant it, say 27-30MPs. I can't see needing more than that, at least for my needs.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2009, 03:12:14 PM by dwdallam »
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Ray

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Rant 23
« Reply #46 on: September 29, 2009, 09:06:27 PM »

Quote from: Alan Goldhammer
Perhaps I wasn't clear in my post (or maybe I'm not clear in the following response).  I have a NEC profiled monitor and I get prints that are what I see on the screen, so I am controlling output.  However, a 13x19 print is a much different viewing experience than what is/was on the monitor.  It's a different visual experience, and yes because I can continue to look at the print, I do see details that were overlooked on the monitor (these have nothing to do with getting colors, tone, etc. correct for output).


Surely everyone understands that a print is a reflective medium whereas a monitor is transmissive. Turn the lights down and the shadows on the print will become impenetrable, whereas on the monitor they will remain just as detailed. Turn the lights off completely, in the evening, and you can't even see the print at all, wereas the image on the monitor will appear even more vibrant than it did with the lights on.

So of course a print is a different viewing experience. In a sense, the image on the monitor is a more reliable representation of the detail and tonality in the photo, as a result of the transmissive nature of the monitor which is far less affected by changing ambient light conditions.

I simply don't expect to see detail on any print that I make that I can't see on the monitor. In fact, the reverse is often the case, and that's because a 100% crop on my monitor usually represents a much larger print than I have the means of making. Shadow noise that is visible at 100% on the monitor, representative of a 6ftx4ft print or even larger, will be far less obvious on a 3ftx2ft print.

Of course, just as a 100% crop on the monitor should reveal more detail in the image than is likely to be visible on the print, the complete image at 5% or 12.5% on the monitor cannot display the detail and have the same over all impact of a 24"x36' print.

Perhaps my experience is different because I still use CRT monitors which generally have a better contrast ratio than LCD monitors. When I process an image for printing, using the 'proof color' facility in Photoshop, always ticking the 'paper-white' box, I sometimes have difficulty in successfully adjusting the image to match the vibrancy of the previously adjusted image for monitor display. Or, to put it another way, when I succeed in matching the vibrancy of the non-proof image, almost invariably I find there are large areas of out-of-gamut colors. Reducing the intensity of such areas of out-of-gamut color, either by reducing saturation or luminance (or sometimes increasing luminance) tends to dull the image.

However, I do appreciate that the average member of the public who is not a photography enthusiast is likely to use an uncalibrated monitor. In those situations, jpeg samples of images for print might give an inaccurate impression.
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BernardLanguillier

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Rant 23
« Reply #47 on: September 29, 2009, 09:42:19 PM »

The real questions in the end are "what is a good photograph" and "what is a good print". I see a some confusion in this debate between photography and printing/marketing. IMHO Michael's article is about great prints, not about great photographs.

I would personnally argue that a photograph that doesn't look good on screen/on flickr, is probably not a good photograph, merely an average one.

However it is possible to do a great print of an average photograph, as well as a poor print of a great photograph. Both are not directly related.

Prints will reveal qualities in images that are hard to perceive on screen, and it is true that a high resolution large print will be a lot more impressive. Yet, all things being equal the image that looked good on Flick will look even better printed on an Epson 9900 and the best Baryta paper providing the print size matches the capture resolution.

Top end equipment or large stitches can extend the scope of the outputs that can be handled (size and colors) but will never be able to turn an average photograph into a great one. On the other hand, there is probably some truth to the belief that each image is best viewed at a given output size, some lending themselves more to very large sizes though.

I am sure that a lot of us will agree that there is far more photographic talent on Flickr than in the official circles of fine art printing, but these folks typically don't have access to the latest equipment and do typically not even attempt to print or to sell their images. It doesn't make their images less interesting nor talented. Their focus is great photography, not great prints.

This debate will not end until this distinction is explicitely done and agreed with.

One thing to keep in mind is that this distinction will reveal clear paradoxes since fine art printers often use online sites to market their prints to a large audience...

Cheers,
Bernard

JeffKohn

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Rant 23
« Reply #48 on: September 29, 2009, 10:40:17 PM »

Quote from: BernardLanguillier
IMHO Michael's article is about great prints, not about great photographs.
If that was the intent of the rant, I don't think it came through very well. Part of the problem is that he can't quite decide his premise: is it that we cannot predict print quality from on-screen images, or that "judging a camera or lens' performance" from on-screen images is a pointless exercise, that's only useful to pixel peepers and the Flickr crowd? He seems to be arguing both points at different times, just in the first few paragraphs.

Now, if you want to limit the argument to images that have been re-sized for viewing on the web, I would agree that those images are just about useless for judging the performance of today's cameras and lenses.

I also agree there are people on the net who will argue endlessly over minute differences that have little if any impact on final output, whether that output is a print or a web-sized online image. I can even understand someone getting tired of such arguments and feeling the need to rant a little. But to say that viewing full-resolution images on-screen is useless for judging camera and lens performance, well that's just absurd. In fact I would say that even if your intent is to judge eventual print quality, the premise is still not correct. It's true that a 100% on-screen image doesn't look exactly like the final print.  But that doesn't mean it won't tell you anything at all about the eventual print quality.

If two shots are taken of the same scene with two different lenses, and on-screen evaluation shows that one of them has obvious CA, light falloff, corner softness, barrel distortion, etc, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that the other image is going to make a better print. Maybe small differences that are detectable on-screen at 100% won't show up in prints until you hit a certain size, if at all. But an experienced print-maker will understand that, and will have an idea of what kind of differences are going to show up in the intended output. Comparing actual prints is the ideal, but that doesn't mean anything less is pointless.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2009, 07:31:39 PM by JeffKohn »
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Jack Flesher

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Rant 23
« Reply #49 on: September 30, 2009, 05:22:48 PM »

Quote from: michael
I'm not sure why the central thesis of my argument is proving so difficult for some people.

Michael,

Maybe because a majority of them have never bothered looking at a quality print in the first place?  

I don't know for sure, but have wondered the same thing.  Based on a few of the recent threads in your forums, it seems many of your readers don't own or have never even used the cameras they claim are inferior -- and worse, don't actually ever PRINT anything either!  Their opinions seem to based entirely on whichever sensor's raw data performed the best in a test some distant lab devised.  Regardless, they refuse to believe somebody that actually does own and use the gear in question and actually has made prints from it when they say, "IME x is better than y because of abc."  Of course that ultimately leads your test-heads to their "prove it" comments, demanding you show them the differences you see in your prints on the forum -------- VIA A WEB JPEG!  Yes indeed, the absurdity of their logic does make one wonder...

Cheers, and good luck!
« Last Edit: September 30, 2009, 05:28:04 PM by Jack Flesher »
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PierreVandevenne

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Rant 23
« Reply #50 on: September 30, 2009, 05:50:05 PM »

In any case, the word "100% crops" appear 146  times on this site if one googles

100% crops site:www.luminous-landscape.com

and 44 times in reviews

100% crops site:www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews

They "tell the tale", "clearly show", etc...

They must have some use ;-)

AFAIC, using a printer recommended on this site, and applying the knowledge gained through its tutorials, the gamut issue is what I notice most, especially when contrast is low. The print is the result of some processing (sharpening, whatever...) and some dithering, and I don't feel it resolves better.  

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Rob C

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Rant 23
« Reply #51 on: October 01, 2009, 05:26:25 AM »

I came across this interesting statement earlier today, on this same topic of judgement and the rôle of the final print.

http://www.photo-i.co.uk/Reviews/interacti...V750/page_8.htm

It's to be found just below a set of scans.

Rob C

michael

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Rant 23
« Reply #52 on: October 01, 2009, 06:29:49 AM »

They must have some use ;-)

Well, of course they do. I never wrote otherwise. This completely misses the point of what I've written though.

A 100% view onscreen may tell you what you need to know about some aspect of image quality (except gamut, of course), but it tells you little about how the image from a particular lens or sensor will appear in a print.

At 100% a typical high res camera file will be somewhere between 65 and 100 inches across. Thats eight feet across!!

No one will look at a print that size from 24 inches away, which is how we normally view a screen.

Step back to the proper viewing distance for a 6 – 8 foot print and you stop seeing fine detail. The human eye simply can see it at that distance.

But, because a print has much higher resolution than, say, a 13X19" print which size is viewed at a distance of as close as 18 inches, ones ability to see fine detail and tonal transitions is greatly enhanced over a huge print (or screen) which just be seen at a greater distance.

In the real world a 100ppi screen of between 24" and 30" simply can not show you what an image looks like, except when one is looking at small section of it at 100%, and what does that have to do with anything other than technical analysis?

I'm amazed that this isn't intuitively obvious based on experience to anyone that is a working photographer.

The bottom line....

A proper size print shows you what the image looks like.

A screen shows you what a reduced resolution, reduced gamut and compressed version of the image looks like.

A 100% view of a section of an image onscreen shows you what you need to know to do a technical analysis of a sensor or lens, but may have little to do with how images may appear.


Michael
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Jack Flesher

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Rant 23
« Reply #53 on: October 01, 2009, 11:38:04 AM »

Quote from: michael
I'm amazed that this isn't intuitively obvious based on experience to anyone that is a working photographer.

My point above was that I think it IS apparent to anybody that is a working photographer who also prints.  

I think the problem is you (LL) have a small portion of your readership who fancy themselves "experts" because they understand the physics involved in the A/D imaging process, yet have never printed, and they are the ones who "don't get it."   This same group are frequent posters, posting voraciously as if their point of view is the holy grail of any and all aspects of digital imaging science and process...

Seriously, I wish you the best of luck convincing them --- I tried for the last time last week and have decided it's a total waste of my time and energy.  Too bad too, because they are generating a lot of bad information for your web readership...

Cheers,
« Last Edit: October 01, 2009, 06:35:02 PM by Jack Flesher »
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ErikKaffehr

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Rant 23
« Reply #54 on: October 01, 2009, 01:21:05 PM »

Hi,

I mostly agree with Michael's view, also this time. Just want to point out two issues.

1) Screen has better dynamic range than print.
2) Looking at a large print at close range can be an "immersive" experiment. I shoot a lot of "panos" and they often represent a very wide angle. Viewing those prints at a close range makes you feel like a part of the picture. Hard to explain, I'd guess it has to do with peripheral vision and perspective.

Another thing I'd point out that I feel that projection in HD (1920x1080 pixels) is a great way to present pictures, but we need only two megapixels for that!

Best regards
Erik



Quote from: michael
They must have some use ;-)

Well, of course they do. I never wrote otherwise. This completely misses the point of what I've written though.

A 100% view onscreen may tell you what you need to know about some aspect of image quality (except gamut, of course), but it tells you little about how the image from a particular lens or sensor will appear in a print.

At 100% a typical high res camera file will be somewhere between 65 and 100 inches across. Thats eight feet across!!

No one will look at a print that size from 24 inches away, which is how we normally view a screen.

Step back to the proper viewing distance for a 6 – 8 foot print and you stop seeing fine detail. The human eye simply can see it at that distance.

But, because a print has much higher resolution than, say, a 13X19" print which size is viewed at a distance of as close as 18 inches, ones ability to see fine detail and tonal transitions is greatly enhanced over a huge print (or screen) which just be seen at a greater distance.

In the real world a 100ppi screen of between 24" and 30" simply can not show you what an image looks like, except when one is looking at small section of it at 100%, and what does that have to do with anything other than technical analysis?

I'm amazed that this isn't intuitively obvious based on experience to anyone that is a working photographer.

The bottom line....

A proper size print shows you what the image looks like.

A screen shows you what a reduced resolution, reduced gamut and compressed version of the image looks like.

A 100% view of a section of an image onscreen shows you what you need to know to do a technical analysis of a sensor or lens, but may have little to do with how images may appear.


Michael
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Ray

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Rant 23
« Reply #55 on: October 01, 2009, 08:12:38 PM »

Well, I certainly don't understand what the fuss is about, outside of the fact that a rant is a rant. I'm not in complete agreement with Michael, but I do understand that print-making is an art in itself and that a print has a certain tangibility and offers an experience which is diferent from the image viewed only on the monitor.

Nevertheless, we go to a lot of trouble calibrating our monitors and creating profiles for our paper/ink combinations so that the print will match as closely as possible the color, hue and tonality of what we see on the monitor, and we do this so that we can process and adjust the image to taste before printing, and expect the result on print to be close to what we see on the monitor.

There's an option at the top of the Photoshop window to view any image at print size. It's not exact. However, if one wants a more exact size, one can adjust the percentage accordingly. Of course, if the print is large and the monitor is small, one may see only a crop of the print at one time. That's understood and the eye/brain makes allowances. If I view the full size print from the same distance I am from my monitor, then I understand that the detail I can expect to see on that portion of the print, as represented on the monitor, will be very close to the detail I see on the monitor. If I view the full image on monitor from a distance of twice its diagonal (for example) then I get an idea of the detail I can expect to see on the print, however large, viewed from a distance of twice the print's diagonal.

Of course, there's a variety of different paper types with surfaces ranging from dull matter to brilliant glossy. One can't expect the monitor to simulate such differences of surface texture, or indeed the metamerism that certain paper/ink combinations display. There may also be certain subtle differences in tonality due to certain hues being visible on the print which are not visible on the monitor, particularly if the color space of the image is ProPhoto RGB, but my own experience suggests that such differences are far less significant than the differences resulting from the use of either a poorly calibrated monitor and/or inadequate paper/ink profile.
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Jack Flesher

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Rant 23
« Reply #56 on: October 01, 2009, 08:59:30 PM »

Quote from: Ray
There's an option at the top of the Photoshop window to view any image at print size. It's not exact. However, if one wants a more exact size, one can adjust the percentage accordingly.
Actually, if one wants those measurements to be exact, all they need do is set the PPI setting for their monitor appropriately in the CS preferences...
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Ray

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Rant 23
« Reply #57 on: October 01, 2009, 10:20:47 PM »

Quote from: Jack Flesher
Actually, if one wants those measurements to be exact, all they need do is set the PPI setting for their monitor appropriately in the CS preferences...


Good point, Jack!

Well, there you have it. A good monitor, properly calibrated, is not a bad device for getting a fair idea of what your print will look like, using proof setup in PS of course, and a good paper/ink profile.
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David Mantripp

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Rant 23
« Reply #58 on: October 02, 2009, 05:47:41 PM »

Quote from: Bill VN
I am not David.

You should count yourself lucky, 'cos if you were you'd be an intolerant bad tempered old git  :-)

I think Michael clarified what he meant ...  anyway Flickr is so vast I'm sure examples for any particular spin on its merits cound be discussed from here to eternity.
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David Mantripp

Ray

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Rant 23
« Reply #59 on: October 02, 2009, 10:10:32 PM »

I would also tend to disagree with the following comment from Michael in his article,

Quote
But what about looking at images at 100% on-screen? There one can see the differences – right? Well, yes, one can see the difference of how they look on-screen at 100% magnification. The fact that this has little to nothing to do with how an image will appear in a print seems to escape many people. This applies to judging high ISO noise, resolution and more.


.. a sentiment which is also echoed by the following comment from Jack Flesher.  
Quote
I think the problem is you (LL) have a small portion of your readership who fancy themselves "experts" because they understand the physics involved in the A/D imaging process, yet have never printed, and they are the ones who "don't get it." This same group are frequent posters, posting voraciously as if their point of view is the holy grail of any and all aspects of digital imaging science and process...

I would be very surprised if any from this small group of so-called experts obsessed with image quality at 100% on the monitor never print any of their images. I've made the point before, if you rely exclusively on the monitor or an HD display to view your photos, all you need is a 3mp camera which allows for a moderate amount of cropping till you reach the required 2mp to fill an HD screen.

Of course, there are advantages of a high-pixel-count camera. It allows more scope for cropping, and cropping effectively extends the reach of one's lens. Downsampling the full size image for display on monitor, HD TV, or 8x12" print also reduces noise, but surprisingly, if noise is a major problem in the full image at 100%, it can still be a problem at a much reduced size, although obviously not quite as great a problem. Downsampling reduces the appearance of noise, whether on print or monitor, but it's no magic bullet.

Here's an example of a shot taken at ISO 400 with my 20D a few years ago in Pompei. It's the sort of shot that should have been autobracketed for merging to HDR or for processing some other way, but I wasn't carrying a tripod; auto-alignment of images in those days, in PS, wasn't too good, and I was verey verey draaank at the taaame!!! (Just kidding   ).

With an exposure bias of -0.67EV, I got a compromise of totally blown sky and noisy shadows. (A clear example of the camera's DR not being adequate for the SBR of the scene). The noise in the shadows is still very noticeable at an image size of around 43"x24" (the size of my HDTV) viewed from a distance of about twice the diagonal.

Is Michael saying that such noise would not be apparent on a 43"x24" print viewed from the same distance? I'm pretty sure that it would be. I've attached the full image as processed for my HDTV. If your monitor is capable of 1920x1080, you will see the full image at 100%. If your monitor has lower resolution than full HD, you'll see only part of the image at 100%.

If you want to assess how this image would look on a 43"x24" print, follow Jack Flesher's recommendation and go to PS preferences, units and rulers; set the print resolution to 46 pixels/inch and your screen resolution to whatever it is (mine is currently 90 pixels/inch), click Print Size at the top of your PS window, step back from your monitor an appropriate distance that you imagine you would view either print or HDTV screen, and Voila!.. you've got a fairly good representation of what you could expect on either a 50" HDTV screen or 43"x24" print viewed from the same distance.

If you want to get an idea if the noise would still be visible on a postcard size print (it actually is still visible) then make the appropriate setting in PS preferences, or more quickly and easily just adjust the image size on screen to about 6"x4".

I should add that the following image is just slightly less than maximum quality jpeg compression of the original 6mb in order to conform with the maximum single upload size of 2mb on this site.

[attachment=16939:Pompei_laundry.jpg]
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