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Author Topic: Enhancing/Manipulating Digital Photographs  (Read 3500 times)
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Ken Smith
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« on: May 13, 2013, 10:24:30 am »


Enhancing/Manipulating Digital Photographs

With the advance of digital photography and the many programs and software available to be able to improve and enhance them it is inevitable that members will want to use these facilities when uploading to this website.

There is nothing wrong in doing this if it is done well and it is allowed on this website, however there have been instances where some photographs have been over enhanced and manipulated  in a manner that spoils the effect and creates an artistic and unrealistic image.

This website was originally launched and intended to be one of good quality Ship Photographs and is considered to be one of the best on the Internet for showing ship photographs and also sharing shipping news and knowledge, I feel it still is but we have to be careful with  the way we handle the enhancement of digital images.

This is not a website for artistic photographs, uploaded photographs should always have a natural looking appearance and should be seen as they were taken, but with digital photography if they appear to look dull then they can be brightened up, but this needs to be done with care, if a photograph is over enhanced then all manner of things can go wrong, for example if it is not good quality to start with then it can easily become pixilated and also ghosting can appear and when this happens no amount of Gamma or Contrast can improve it.

This problem has been has been discussed at length by the management team and it has been decided that enhancement is permissible with the following proviso.

If a photograph that has been enhanced and appears as good quality at screen size and also remains as good quality when enlarged then it has been done correctly, if on the other hand when enlarged it becomes corrupted and unnatural in appearance then it has been over enhanced and will not be allowed to remain on the website.

This is not meant to be an artistic website, so any photographs uploaded that have an unnatural appearance will be removed, there are other outlets for this type of photography, so please be careful when enhancing or manipulating a digital photograph

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Ken Smith
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Tuomas Romu
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« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2013, 12:26:05 pm »

I agree with these rules regarding photo manipulation. While it's difficult to draw a line since for example a well-done HDR picture can (and should!) be virtually indistinguishable from a "normal" photograph, the images uploaded to Shipspotting.com should not rely on extensive post-processing and other gimmicks.

However, for those people who oppose all kinds of retouching (I bet there are some!), keep in mind that at least my camera produces only "raws" that must be "developed". The format's not called "digital negative" for nothing...
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Robert Smith
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« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2013, 05:45:15 pm »

Well said !

 Wink
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Cornelia Klier
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« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2013, 06:22:46 pm »

I do understand the discussion, but to think about the practical side, I wonder now, where is the border from o. k. to not o.k. anymore. For example this photo here has raised some discussions:

http://www.shipspotting.com/gallery/photo.php?lid=1798810

However it would fit perfect on some postcard on a Southern holiday destination.

But, it looks not natural. Opinions are diverting here.

So, this kind of photo is o. k. here ?

Some practical examples for us photographers would be useful, so we can easier know where the border is, which we should not cross.

Greetings,

Cornelia
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Fergal Clohessy
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« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2013, 07:25:51 pm »

I agree with the above but I'm also nervous I may be guilty of same. I always adjust the clarity, and sharpen my photos but I'm not sure if they look as real as I think they do. this photo is an example, I'd welcome your comments
http://www.shipspotting.com/gallery/photo.php?lid=1673207#

this is also one which may have a manipulated element

http://www.shipspotting.com/gallery/photo.php?lid=1643211
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Tuomas Romu
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« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2013, 07:33:06 pm »

I guess the key is natural look which, unfortunately, is pretty much in the eye of the beholder. As Ken said, Shipspotting.com is not meant for "artistic" photographs.

Fergal, I see nothing wrong with your pictures, assuming the vignetting was produced by the camera and not added with a image manipulation software. However, the superstructure of E-Ship 1 is overexposed - was it like that in the original or did you clip it out during post-processing?
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Fergal Clohessy
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« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2013, 07:56:44 pm »

Hi Tuomas. The vignetting was software  Undecided but the photo was over exposed to begin with
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Ken Smith
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« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2013, 08:54:30 pm »


Just by way of explaining what is required, this photograph from Fergal is fine and looks good at screen and full size  http://www.shipspotting.com/gallery/photo.php?lid=1673207# and is natural in appearance and is what we are looking for, this one is overexposed http://www.shipspotting.com/gallery/photo.php?lid=1643211  producing a halo effect.

However this one is reasonable at screen size but falls away at full size http://www.shipspotting.com/gallery/photo.php?lid=1798810 and has an unnatural appearance as a result of over enhancing which can be clearly seen and is unacceptable.

Tuomas's photographs are also fine and natural looking.

There is also a problem with some HDR (High Dynamic Range) uploads, they can produce an unnatural sea and sky and come under the heading of being Artistic, with care these HDR images can give good results and that is really what it is all about.

As I have said enhanced photographs are permissible providing that they are not overdone with the red boot topping and other bright colours hitting you in the eye, it should be done in moderation and the aim should always be for a natural looking photograph.

I do not propose to give any further examples and I hope that no more are included in this thread, I think the examples I have given are enough in explaining what is expected and the aim is for natural looking ship photographs and not Artistic ones, as I have said there are other outlets for them so take care with your enhancing by making sure that the quality is good at screen and full size and also natural in appearance and you will have no problems.

Kind Regards
Ken
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JohnMcNeely
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« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2013, 07:30:37 am »

I'm too a bad snap catcher .. what the real look and touch is desired from me to have in my images remain always missing.. what to do .. perhaps these tips from a gentleman may work well in my favor... thanks....
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JohnMcNeely
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« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2013, 05:09:52 am »

good say on the topic and ultimately it is going to suggest best in regard of improving the photo quality to share a picture here with the natural effects
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Oldkayaker
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« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2014, 11:15:28 pm »

Ah.. ok

If enhancing makes an unnatural appearance than not acceptable... OK.  Got it.

Guess, my earlier advise from someone to use Picasa enhancements was incorrect.

OK. Wink Wink Wink
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Dennis Shaddick.
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« Reply #11 on: June 30, 2014, 09:06:10 am »

Hi,
   I have noticed for some time now that there are a number of members who between them upload huge numbers of photographs which have, to be honest, been ruined by the use overuse of Gamma/Contrast, which does nothing to enhance the quality of the photograph, in fact it has the complete opposite...it ruins it, it just looks as if its been bleached ...... it has been said that this type of photograph will not be allowed, but they are, dozens every week are being posted.   
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pieter melissen
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« Reply #12 on: July 17, 2014, 01:50:55 pm »

While pictures posted here may not always have the right "look" it always possible to download a shot and adjust the shot accordingly with either public domain software, of for the more advanced activities you may need to buy some specific programmes. (Lightroom, Photoshop or ACDsee f.i.). Almost everything can be done to upgrade a picture, but remember an not sharp shot will never become a sharp one. In the past I have helped other members by improving their pictures, (in particularly old ones)with sometimes good effect. Especially B&W shots which look overexposed, may have posted purposely in this way, to mask the presence of scratches and other problems with the original negative.

One should also take into account that the way a picture looks also depends on the screen settings that you are using, so when member think they are uploading a perfectly good shot, it can be shown too dark or overexposed on somebody else' machine. I just noted that a picture was about to be deleted because it was too dark. It looked sharp, so it can be easily adjusted, if required.
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