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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos RAW, Post Processing & Printing 
Thread started 29 May 2012 (Tuesday) 18:46
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PP workflow causing loss of quality?

 
russ71satellite
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May 29, 2012 18:46 |  #1

I am having many problems with sharpness, clarity and focusing on outdoor portraits. I have posted two threads in the People forum on this site where others are trying to help me.

I am now wondering if my PP workflow is causing a degradation in image quality.

Here is what I've been doing:

Shooting with T2i in manual mode with Auto Focus turned on. I have also tried some manual focus. I have shot in RAW and in Jpeg.d

After shooting:
Download into DPP
1. Download from DPP to Picasa and/or Photobucket for editing, then posting onto this site.

My reasons for this workflow are that my DPP is very limited in what it can do and I find Picasa or Photobucket editors to be much easier to use.

Could this workflow be causing a degradation in quality?

See example:

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FlyingPhotog
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May 29, 2012 18:48 |  #2

Photobucket is a known crusher of quality...

Having said that, your image looks just flat OOF to me. Her hand/ring down near the bottom of the frame is markedly sharper than her eyes.


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L.J.G.
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May 29, 2012 18:52 |  #3

You are right Jay, as you look down the shot the sharper it gets. As for Photobucket, loss of detail and sharpness was one reason I moved from it. I now only use it for crappy shots.


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russ71satellite
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May 29, 2012 20:19 |  #4

thanks for the CC, any suggestions for an alternative to Photobucket? Without it, I have no way to post pics...

See also this shot I took a few minutes ago. Model was not cooperative, but please check it for focus, at least...


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russ71satellite
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May 29, 2012 20:21 |  #5

NOte: for the above pic, I had the camera in Standard setting, rather than portrait, and shot in Manual at 1/80, F7.1, ISO 400.


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L.J.G.
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May 29, 2012 20:25 |  #6

Definitely better overall focus than the first one. As for where, many of us use Flickr. Many also say you get what you pay for with hosting. A pro flickr account is not expensive and it certainly seems better to me anyway and the free version gives you quite good value. Have you tried to download the latest DPP version? I was surprised to see it even has unsharp mask rather than the old simple sharpening slide. You can also drill down into the menu and adjust in camera sharpening, have you tried that? Just as a point of interest the first shot is very flattering to the lady, it is a great angle and she looks good in it.


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Drozz119
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May 29, 2012 20:34 |  #7

russ71satellite wrote in post #14502980 (external link)
NOte: for the above pic, I had the camera in Standard setting, rather than portrait, and shot in Manual at 1/80, F7.1, ISO 400.

Definitely better focus. Although 1/80 is pushing it for portraits.. 1/100 or 1/125 is a little safer in case there is movement. Do you have a single AF point selected or all the points?

Whatever you do.. Don't use photobucket as an editor! Download a free photoshop trial or gimp.


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russ71satellite
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May 29, 2012 20:38 |  #8

Thanks, LJG...I have the camera set on L, the highest quality level. However, I did drill down into the menu and found that in Portrait mode, the sharpness was only one notch above the bottom setting, so I dialed it up quite a bit. Will try more test pics tomorrow. Thanks for this suggestion. I will look into Flickr and updated DPP also.


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russ71satellite
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May 29, 2012 20:40 |  #9

Drozz119 wrote in post #14503054 (external link)
Definitely better focus. Although 1/80 is pushing it for portraits.. 1/100 or 1/125 is a little safer in case there is movement. Do you have a single AF point selected or all the points?

Whatever you do.. Don't use photobucket as an editor! Download a free photoshop trial or gimp.

For the first pic, AF was set on center point. For the second pic, it was set on all points.


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May 29, 2012 22:48 |  #10

I don't know about their editing tools, but I've used Photobucket.com to host images for the forum without any problems for 5 years, but you have to read the FAQs & set up the parameters properly. From their support:

Before uploading your images to your Photobucket account, choose either a
display or file size that is equal to or larger than that of your images. You
can do this by clicking on the 'Uploading Options' link in your upload panel
and then on the radio button next to your preferred size. If an option is
grayed out, this means the option is not available for your Photobucket
account type. Selecting a size larger than your images will prevent further
resizing upon upload and help expedite the upload process. To make the changes
permanent, you must upload at least one image from the upload panel. This is
important for Pro users using FTP or anyone using the Windows XP Publisher. If
you choose to use the file size options, the file size of the original image
will take precedence over the the display size and any display size is
accepted as long as the file size is less than your choice in the 'Uploading
Options'.


If your mouse cursor becomes a (+) when you mouse over the image, then you need to access that larger image that you uploaded. I always click on the image to get the 100% size that I've uploaded, & then use that URL for display.


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May 29, 2012 23:41 |  #11

russ71satellite wrote in post #14503081 (external link)
For the first pic, AF was set on center point. For the second pic, it was set on all points.

Well, I'd say you have identified the problem(s)!

For a close portrait shot like this you need to use a single focus point, focus on the eyes and then don't "recompose". The outer focus points are for using this way!

This is especially critical when shooting in the vertical/portrait orientation -- if you use the center point like in your first shot, you either focus on the center of the subject, which is at a different "plane of focus" than the eyes, or you focus on the eyes then recompose which shifts your camera plane of focus. Either way, you end up with soft eyes and other features!

So, for the first shot choose the "top" AF point and focus on the eyes. Even if you need to do a bit of recomposing it will be minor so you can stay locked on the eyes.


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May 30, 2012 07:29 |  #12

Agreed. Focus point and DOF on the first one. I also agree with PhotosGuy. Been using photobucket for years and I get very crisp images from them.


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Lowner
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May 30, 2012 07:56 |  #13

The 1st shot seems that the hands and sand are the sharpest part of the image, so a focusing error somewhere.


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cfcRebel
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May 30, 2012 12:09 |  #14

russ71satellite wrote in post #14502571 (external link)
IAfter shooting:
Download into DPP
1. Download from DPP to Picasa and/or Photobucket for editing, then posting onto this site.

My reasons for this workflow are that my DPP is very limited in what it can do and I find Picasa or Photobucket editors to be much easier to use.

Something is definitely not right with your DPP. It should not be that limiting when comes to editing your RAW images. As Lloyd pointed out earlier, please update your DPP to the latest version (for free). I think it's version 3.11.11 or something. In DPP, you can do Contrast/Brightness, Levels, Curves, Saturation, etc. You want to do AS MUCH editing as possible in DPP, as opposed to do that in Picasa or Photobucket. When done editing in DPP, save as hi-res jpeg and upload to online photo hosting places like Photobucket, Flickr, or Picasa, to showcase your images.


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Lowner
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May 30, 2012 12:11 |  #15

cfcRebel wrote in post #14506352 (external link)
Something is definitely not right with your DPP. It should not be that limiting when comes to editing your RAW images. As Lloyd pointed out earlier, please update your DPP to the latest version (for free). I think it's version 3.11.11 or something. In DPP, you can do Contrast/Brightness, Levels, Curves, Saturation, etc. You want to do AS MUCH editing as possible in DPP, as opposed to do that in Picasa or Photobucket. When done editing in DPP, save as hi-res jpeg and upload to online photo hosting places like Photobucket, Flickr, or Picasa, to showcase your images.

3.11.26 which strangely updates a version with a higher number. Weird.


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