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Thread: I need some advice!

  1. #1
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    I need some advice!

    As most of you guys already know, I've started taking photos with Phil's camera and began uploading to both Jetphotos and Anet. My first round with Anet went well, getting 2 out of 3 accepted, from my first time out spotting. The most recent, though, not so great.

    I uploaded 5 (still my limit, with no reputation on the site) and all 5 were rejected. While I know that their standards are high, there were a couple of these that I am still confused about...I appealed 2 and got the same reasons back the 2nd time around. They were both accepted onto JP, so Iím just linking to there.

    I really want to improve the quality of my photos before I upload them, but I honestly am at a loss, since I was meticulous with the editing. I'd love some of your opinions on these shots.


    This was rejected for "contrast issues."
    http://www.jetphotos.net/viewphoto.php?id=5690714


    This one I was especially confused about. It was rejected for "incorrect use of certain features of the image processing software or deliberate attempts to alter the image." I was totally consistant with the editing process with this one, as I am with the rest.
    http://www.jetphotos.net/viewphoto.php?id=5690737



    Constructive criticism is 100% welcome and encouraged!

    :?: :?: :?: :?:

  2. #2
    Senior Member Tom_Turner's Avatar
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    Hi Mel.

    The undercarriage is a bit dark on the Finnair. Camera settings may not have been optimal?

    The Song, I don't know. Its an unusual rejection message. Any neatimage on the fuselage at all?

    Tom
    "Keep 'em Flying"

  3. #3
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    I agree with Tom, under the wings of the FinAir bird looks a bit dark. I'd use the dodge tool to make it a bit brighter.

    The Song shot looks good to me, I'm not sure what they are looking at. The rejection reason could have been a bit more clear.

  4. #4
    Administrator PhilDernerJr's Avatar
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    Not to answer for Mel, but the darkenss can be an effect gotten from using levels. Dodge is also frowned upon by Anet. ;)

    As for neatimage, I don't have it and Mel just learned what it was. Do people still even use that thing?
    Email me anytime at [email protected].

  5. #5
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    I agree about the contrast issue. The undercarriage is a little dark. Try Shadows/Highlight to reduce that. That's probably going to produce a better result than the dodge tool. Or, if you are comfortable with Curves, you might be able to do a good job with that instead.

    On the Song picture, a couple of things jump out at me. The sky is kind of grainy/blotchy, thus suggesting that perhaps some incorrect application of USM. The plane also some soft spots on it, which are further suggestive on incorrect and/or inconsistent application of USM. But these are nitpicks, really. What I think would be helpful for all of us is if you could give us a rundown of your editing workflow for this picture.

  6. #6
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    Ok....I should also point out that I edit on my laptop (great screen, but still, a laptop). While I know this isn't ideal, it's what I have...I have used Phil's desktop for several photos, but especially once I get my own camera, I won't be able to do that for 100% of my shots...I'd like to figure out a way to compensate for any discrepencies between what I see and what the screeners (or anyone else, for that matter) see.

    Anyway, this is my method.
    *I begin by cropping it to 1024x683
    *Adjust the levels
    *Adjust saturation
    *Adjust brightness/contrast
    *Color balance to remove red and green casts
    *Unsharp mask....% depends on shot, but usually at least one full pass
    *Equalize and remove dust spots

    That's pretty much it. I don't let myself get carried away with anything...and I'm learning when a photo just isn't editable, no matter what I am "able" to do with it in photoshop.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Tom_Turner's Avatar
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    Sounds like a good workflow to me Mel.

    Not being as talented as some others here with post-processing, I don't often try to "reel in" too many shots that aren't in the zone to begin with.

    I do about the same as you, although I opt for curves more than levels, and go very easy on the saturation and brightness/contrast these days.

    I have to say though, judging from all your shots, those accepted and these rejected, you've skipped a big learning curve many of us had to the struggle though. All your shots are well composed and basically pretty good. You're going to be dangerous! :)

    <<
    Anyway, this is my method.
    *I begin by cropping it to 1024x683
    *Adjust the levels
    *Adjust saturation
    *Adjust brightness/contrast
    *Color balance to remove red and green casts
    *Unsharp mask....% depends on shot, but usually at least one full pass
    *Equalize and remove dust spots >>
    "Keep 'em Flying"

  8. #8
    Moderator mirrodie's Avatar
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    first off, I have to say the same guy must have been editing our pics.

    I got something similar "digitally manipulated"

    really left me scratching my head as I follow the similar work flow as you and dont even know my way around photoshop to even know what that means!

    second, I usually email back the screener and and them outright what is wrong so that it can be fixed. Helps me to learn the lingo.
    And I, I took the path less traveled by
    and that has made all the difference......yet...
    I have a feeling a handle of people are going to be very interested in what I post in the near future.

    http://www.jetphotos.net/showphotos.php?userid=187

  9. #9
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    I appreciate all of the input. I still have open ears for more though!

    As far as my editing knowledge, I am fortunate enough to have had certain skills before I was even introduced to aviation photography (or Phil, haha). I am excited to have found a hobby that includes Photoshop (it's my life....no, really...it is! :P)

    Mario...I wasn't sure if I could/should e-mail the "appeal" screener back. He didn't tell me anything different than the original rejection, and that frustrated the hell out of me. I didn't want to press the issue, but I would love to know what the heck it meant!

    Haha...in regards to me being "dangerous," you should know that I am my own worst critic, and most competitive with MYSELF! I've never liked comparing any of my art with other's, and I don't see myself doing that with plane photos either.

    I do hope to increase my acceptance rate and keep it up though!

  10. #10
    Senior Member Tom_Turner's Avatar
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    Mel, those two Songs. Is that an actual shot someone took or is that photoshopped? The pink I mean..not the "notes" haha.
    "Keep 'em Flying"

  11. #11
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    Haha...it's Art Brett's shot...a popular one, too (his most popular Song shot, actually). See the original here: http://www.airliners.net/open.file/0377762/L/

    I guess I can take your uncertainty as a compliment, since I did, in fact, do it in Photoshop!

  12. #12
    Senior Member Mr Smith's Avatar
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    ok guys here is a little bit of what i do...Mel just sent me a PM for assistance so i hope you all benefit from this just a little, screening photos at JP we get to see it all, so i like this method and its easy and fast! for dust i just equalise the photo, switch to band aid, undo the equalise and clean up the spot, i don't layer because it is time consuming.

    1st off this is if your using photoshop 7 or CS

    i like to keep it easy, all these flows gimme the ****s cos it's just complicated and it shouldn't be!

    1) open image and level it, what i do to level is this, rotate it what you think it needs...



    2) then run the side of the page up against a building and see if it's level, it should run smoothly along the page thats open.


    3) if it appears level then do a free crop with nothing in the size boxes.




    4) now time for sharpening, firstly go to unsharpen mask and use the following settings




    5) now it's time to reduce the size, i like to go down in increments of 500, so 2520 in the second pic here should be reduced to 2020



    reduce from 2520 to 2020


    6) then back to USM which i reduced from 45 to 35


    7) now it's time to crop the pic, i prefer 1024x683 so nobody can flog the thing! try to keep the cross hair as centered as possible




    8) now for the sharpening of the image, if you have focal blade then use this, i like to sweep over it with a light sharpen, but for those who don't then this is what you should do.



    looks nice and sharp


    then i fade that sharpen by about 30-50% so it doesn't look to harsh by putting 50% in the opacity box that comes up




    9) now for bright and contrast, with this image i will add about +5 for bright and the same for contrast





    10) then save the image at 12 so no compression is evident


    11) and the result is this. crisp and clear, dunno if i levelled it properly cos i am in a hurry...but thats my process and i've managed to get nearly 3000 shots online with the 2 sites.




    for Mel,

    i added +10 of bright for delta and +10 of contrast and the same for the finnair.






  13. #13
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    Monty,

    Thanks so much for taking the time to share that with us! It's a very different approach than I am used to, but I will definitely be trying it, or at least incorporating some of it into my flow. A reputable screener and uploader can't be entirely wrong, eh? :-D

    Thanks again. Much appreciated.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Mr Smith's Avatar
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    well i could be giving dimensions for playmate of the month so you could all get well n truly screwed! but i hope not :) this method filtered down to me from a guy who i think is the very best at editing, if i have a problem i go to him...hope it helps you out, let me know how you get on.

    Mel, can you email the finnair and song to me please

    [email protected] the full 2mb images please.

  15. #15
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    Well, with dimensions like 35x23x72, that playmate would have a BIG ASS! :shock:

    I'll e-mail you tomorrow...not on my laptop right now.

    :)

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