am I the only one


TPF Noob!
Feb 1, 2006
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in the middle of north carolina
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
I promise this is my last question...

Am I the only one who notices how much worst an image looks once it gets here. Or does anyone else have this problem at all.

My negs look great
The image look good when I work on it in the editor
When it get here it is soft and the constrast drops some.

I printed a few from the same digital file and they are much better thn either in my editor or on here. I know that the prints are always better than the image on my computer resolution I expect, but why are they sooooo much worse here than the file I use to edit. Does the host make that much difference.
Yes.... big difference on how the hosting service treats those images. I bet most are performing a resize/compression of the images to conserve on diskspace. I notice a drop in quality between images that I post via picturetrail and the images that are hosted "as is" on my website.
I took a picture of the Monolith in Oslo which I converted to black and white. The compressed jpeg file looked completely different from the uncompressed tiff file. Suddenly all the dark areas where much, much lighter. Totally ruined the effect. It's all got to do with the fact that compressions removes detailes. This is why I always keep the uncompressed tiffs.
I think i have made a startling discover.... when i save a scan I save it as jpg but when I open it in one of my editor for a different filter pack it compresses it yet again. Then when I reduce the size that program compresses it as well, then of course the host compresses it once more. I think I need to take a look at working in tiff until the last compression.
TIFF is good. It's what I use until I get everything done; the final step is to resize, adjust sharpness as required, and save as JPG. Then, of course, repeat for a thumbnail image.

TIFFs get huge, however. I run a 1000MHz Pentium III with only 128 MB of memory, and all my scanning has to be done under Win XP. Talk about system lag. That's why I scan, save, and reboot into Linux (Slackware 9.1, presently; I need to upgrade) to do the actual processing. Of course, Photoshop (which I don't have, anyway) doesn't run under Linux, unless you're using an emulator like Wine (which would bog down the system entirely and defeat the purpose of escaping Windows, any way--if it'd even run in Wine...), so I do my editing in The Gimp, which is free and quite powerful. Great software--and there's even a Windows version, which I've used and works great, although a little quirky, since it's really native to X-window with GTK, not to mention the Linux Kernel. Still, I highly recommend it, even under Windows. And no, I'm not affiliated with it; it's just a great product.

Umm... when did I suddenly start speaking geek? Sorry... I'll slink off now...
JamesD said:
TIFF is good. It's what I use until I get everything done; the final step is to resize, adjust sharpness as required, and save as JPG.
I'm not sure how this got popularized as a final step. I don't see a reason for it unless you really need the space. It think it's better to keep the final as TIFF in case you want to make any more edits down the road, and only use JPG for the web or printing services that won't handle TIFF. I wouldn't use it for printing either, unless it's required.
Back to the main point of the thread, maybe I'm just stating the obvious here but have you checked the host's max pixel count? Like you my uploaded pics were getting soft and losing contrast, but then I realised the pics were slightly over the 800 pixel limit. Still being a complete noob I have no idea how it works, but instead of automatically cut down to below 800 pixels wide the pic was uploaded at the correct size, but was lacking sharpness and contrast like I said. I'm guessing it was recompressed. Anyway as soon as I cut the width down to just below 800 pixels the image looked just the same as it did in PS. Anyway it's just a thought, I think you (mysteryscribe) tend to upload relatively large images so maybe try resizing them if you haven't done so already. Again sorry if I'm just saying what you already know.
Im feeling my way around in digital so you can not under estimate my knowledge of digital. I know just enough about editors to use them just like I used a conventional darkroom. Plus about two other features.

This compression thing is all new to me. I have never had any dealings with it before. Im going to have to experiment with it' On the last post I resized the print down for my website anyway and used it from the site to her avoiding the host. Mark had mentioned that. It worked better. I think the next one I do today I will go jpg only at the end and see how that does.
markc said:
I'm not sure how this got popularized as a final step. I don't see a reason for it unless you really need the space. It think it's better to keep the final as TIFF in case you want to make any more edits down the road, and only use JPG for the web or printing services that won't handle TIFF. I wouldn't use it for printing either, unless it's required.

I should have been more clear. The final edit (in TIFF) gets saved, then gets resized, sharpened, and saved as jpeg. In fact, there are a number of versions of the file that I save:

1. The original scan, unmodified, in TIFF. GZipped, because if it's unholy enormity, and archived somewhere.
2. The working file, in TIFF, which gets sized down a bit to a workable size and processed to get an optimal image for further processing--then GZipped. I treat this version more or less like a negative; the master copy from which all further versions are made.
3. Each finished version, in TIFF, at full resolution of version 2 (unless I had to reduce it in the course of processing--but always at the maximum resolution I have available). GZipped and archived. If I want a print, this is the one that gets uploaded.
4. A reduced-size version (but still large) of version 3, saved in jpeg format at maximum quality (minimum compression). Usually, I use this one if I need a full-desktop size version (ie wallpaper) or a big version for some reason.
5. A further-reduced size version (usually around 600X400 or something similar), also saved in jpeg at moderate quality. This one is usually used for the enlarged version of web display.
6. Any additional smaller versions as required, in jpeg format.
7. A thumbnail, typically 100 pixels in the long dimension, saved with moderate compression in jpeg format.

So, I can always revert if I break it, or the file gets lost. If I ever require an image size (whether dimensions or filesize) that I don't already have, I go back to whichever version of 3 I need and work from that copy. I also keep two archived copies of everything, since I know that sometime, some where, I'll accidentally save instead of save as.

But most to the point, never, ever work on a version of the file in JPEG format, unless it's going to be substantially reduced in dimensions (and I wouldn't even do it then). Every time you save in JPEG, you lose information in the compression.
This is where I get to act all humble and say thank you. Once you guys put me on the right track I got it right. Work the heck out of it in tiff and then post it to my site in jpg then use that to post here. Works much much better..

thanks all

First some definitions:

Joint Photographic Experts Group. JPEG is a standards committee that designed an image compression format. The compression format they designed is known as a lossy compression, in that it deletes information from an image that it considers unnecessary. JPEG files can range from small amounts of lossless compression to large amounts of lossy compression. This is a common standard on the WWW, but the data loss generated in its compression make it undesirable for printing purposes.

"Tagged Image File Format" TIFF is a graphics file format created in the 1980's to be the standard image format across multiple computer platforms. The TIFF format can handle color depths ranging from 1-bit to 24-bit. Since the original TIFF standard was introduced people have been making many small improvements to the format so there are now around 50 variations of the TIFF format. So much for a universal format. ...

One of the image formats available on some advanced digital cameras. RAW images are large, usually uncompressed files that, unlike JPEGs, are not processed by the camera and retain all their original data. RAW images are ideal for those who plan on editing their pictures with image-editing software. RAW images may require special software to turn them into a more common format like TIFF or JPEG.

The problem with JPEGs are that every time you copy and then paste, the compression gets worse each time. Its the same as making a xerox copy of a xerox copy over and over again. Eventually the image becomes unrecognizable. Another way of saying this is like shooting an image with a 4x5 with ISO 25 film, then copying the image with smaller format films at faster speeds. Sort of like taking the 4x5, then copying it to a 120 frame w/100 ISO film. Then copying that onto a 35mm as 400 ISO, then 110 film at 800 ISO.
Now. As of recent, I have started shooting exclusively in RAW. I have discovered that even in camera, jpegs do not look as nice as RAWs do even at high resolution. Funny thing is that Photo shop will compress it down to a 3024x2400 at 250 dpi. So I have to change even that to keep the resolution.
markc said:
As long as the pixelXpixel size stays the same, you are fine. DPI by itself means nothing.

Not a knock on anybody, just a general rant: I wish more people realized the above. I've many times had to politely extricate myself from arguments with people who simply could not be confused with the facts. DPI is merely the resolution of the displayed image, and has only to do with how many dots are in an inch on the paper.

On the other hand, people misuse "resolution," too. 800X600 is not a resolution, it's an image dimension set specified in pixels, with no information about how many pixels per unit of measure the image is to be printed at. If you talk about a monitor resolution of 800X600, then it is a resolution (albeit imprecisely specified), because it's in the context of the display area of a monitor.

So, when I ask the people at WalMart (why do I keep going there?) how many dpi they print at, and they say any of several things, none of which tell me how many pixels they can fit into eight inches, I get annoyed. But anyway...


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