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Thread started 20 Nov 2013 (Wednesday) 22:46
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My images lose quality after uploading, even after resizing to recommended size

 
Naraly
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Nov 20, 2013 22:46 |  #1

I just don't get what I'm doing wrong. I shoot in RAW and post process in light room or sometimes photoshop. Before uploading an image online, I resize it to 960 pixels on the longest side and the resolution to 2048. On my computer they look fine, the quality is good, it's smooth where it's supposed to be and sharp where it's supposed to be.

But that changes significantly when I upload the image online. At least, I never noticed how much until I looked at the uploaded images on my new laptop. They look rough, mostly on the skin or any part where it's a single color and where it should be smooth. If I open up that same photo from my computer files, it looks good, but not on the website I uploaded it to.

Now, I wouldn't be "complaining" about it if this was something I knew happened to everyone. But I have seen several photos uploaded by magazines, stores, or other photographers where they have the same/similar image quality I'm seeing on my images before uploading them.

I know my photos are certainly not comparable to professionals, because I'm not a professional, it's just my hobby, but I would still like to share high quality images on model mayhem or Facebook.

This is an example of an image who's quality is significantly less than the original on my computer. It is more visible on the skin on the chest and shoulder, I don't quite know how to explain it.

IMAGE: http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/130830/15/522122314846f.jpg
http://www.modelmayhem​.com/portfolio/pic/337​23143 (external link)

and does having retina display on the computer have anything to do with how I'm seeing these images? because on the desktop I never noticed such a significant loss in quality like I am seeing now on my laptop with retina display. Others have told me the image will not be seen the same across different displays/computers, but the quality I'm seeing right now on MM or FB isn't one I am proud of.


any help is greatly appreciated!


Cheers,
Nora

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Nov 21, 2013 04:21 |  #2

First what JPEG compression level are you using? This can have a significant effect especially across areas with smooth gradients. In LR I would use a setting of 80 (10 in PS) for the best comprimise of actual file size/image quality.

The DPI/PPI resolution setting will make no difference to the way the image is displayed on screen, but 2048 DPI is a very high value to use. In the LR Export dialogue though are settings for output sharpening. This includes setting the DPI value. I would set this to around 100 for images destined for screen display, it is a reasonable average for MOST display screens. I normally use Screen and Normal for the other output sharpening values. Of course this is not perfect for Retina type displays but they are still not very common yet.

The other problem for Retina displays is that the resoltion is so high (approacing that of high quality printing) that for most applications the whole display is resiized to give you a similar sized display as a non Retina display. If it did not do this then everything would look three times smaller on a Retina display than an ordinary one. Depending on the actual size of the image this may not always look great.

How are you accessing the web on the laptop? If you are using mobile broadband some of the providers re-compress all images on websites to reduce the amount of data transmitted. This is technically a breech of copyright but good luck to a photog enforcing that one. It can though end up making images look really bad.

Similar to above, are you sure both your image size (in pixels) and file size on disk are both within the allowable image sizes for the sites that are hosting the images? If the host is resizing the image automatically, either for pixel dimensions/file size they are unlikely to make a good job of it.

What browser are you using to look at the images with online? Some are better than others at displaying images. As you can open images directly into the browser you could try viewing the file in the browser before you up load it. That would let you know if it were a problem with the local system or something being done by the server/ISP.

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Lowner
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Nov 21, 2013 06:21 |  #3

To me, your sample looks over sharpened around the nearest eye.


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Nov 21, 2013 06:40 |  #4

You start off with a jpeg with a resolution of 2048, your image host is posting an image of 72dpi. If you save your jpeg at 72dpi you will probably cut out the your image hosts less than perfect (level 6) recompressed resize.


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Nov 21, 2013 08:41 |  #5

Snowyman wrote in post #16468870 (external link)
You start off with a jpeg with a resolution of 2048, your image host is posting an image of 72dpi. If you save your jpeg at 72dpi you will probably cut out the your image hosts less than perfect (level 6) recompressed resize.

Sorry but the hosting site changing just the value of the DPI/PPI field in the EXIF data will do nothing to the size or quality of the image. The only way that the quality can suffer is if they resize the image from the 960 pixels on the long edge, or re-compress the JPEG file to make it's size on disk smaller. As the image as posted is still 960 pixels long then it hasn't been resized. Not having access to the original file before upload it is not possible to check to see if the image has been re-compressed by the host though, as the original file size is not available.

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Nov 21, 2013 09:04 |  #6

They look like jpeg artifacts to me. The type you get when you save a jpeg as a jpeg.


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Nov 21, 2013 09:12 |  #7

Your image is most likely being reprocessed and compressed to save space by the host. Jpeg is a 'lossy' format, that is it substitutes simpler data that is easier to store but appears similar to the more complex and harder to store data in the original.

Save the full sized hosted image to your computer, and then compare the file sizes to the original. You'll mostly likely find the one you took off their site is a fair bit smaller. And that size difference quickly adds up.

If you want real control over your images and how they are presented on the web, then you will either need to find a better service, or put the money and effort into hosting your own.


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Nov 21, 2013 09:41 |  #8

Facebook is going to heavily compress it, for the purposes of conserving their own disk space, and making a speedy browsing experience for their users.

Additionally, Facebook viewers aren't going to go into full-screen mode on every image; so Facebook will be resampling it to show it in their browser, at somewhat smaller than 2048px. The one you're showing above is 960px on the long edge, so it's been resized/resampled/comp​ressed/folded/mutilate​d at least once along the way, if you uploaded it at 2048px.

I don't use Model Mayhem very much, but I think their methods are probably similar.

I publish to Facebook at 1024px on the long edge, and 100% jpeg quality. That way, when Facebook applies their own ImageMangler(tm) compression, at least they're starting with the best jpeg I can give 'em, and hopefully they're not scaling it down too much.


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Nov 22, 2013 06:53 |  #9

I noticed the same thing on Purestorm. Even if you comply with their max sizes, I am sure that the images are severelycompressed at their end - to conserve their free hard disk space.
I tried a bunch of things like reducing the DPI and the pixel sizes.
In the end gave up worrying- its just not a place to display your photos - strange as it claims to be.
If someone wants to see my photos I now email them copies.

Kinda defeats the whole concept! Photobucket seems to be the same.


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Naraly
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Nov 22, 2013 13:14 |  #10

BigAl007 wrote in post #16468723 (external link)
First what JPEG compression level are you using? This can have a significant effect especially across areas with smooth gradients. In LR I would use a setting of 80 (10 in PS) for the best comprimise of actual file size/image quality.

The DPI/PPI resolution setting will make no difference to the way the image is displayed on screen, but 2048 DPI is a very high value to use. In the LR Export dialogue though are settings for output sharpening. This includes setting the DPI value. I would set this to around 100 for images destined for screen display, it is a reasonable average for MOST display screens. I normally use Screen and Normal for the other output sharpening values. Of course this is not perfect for Retina type displays but they are still not very common yet.

The other problem for Retina displays is that the resoltion is so high (approacing that of high quality printing) that for most applications the whole display is resiized to give you a similar sized display as a non Retina display. If it did not do this then everything would look three times smaller on a Retina display than an ordinary one. Depending on the actual size of the image this may not always look great.

How are you accessing the web on the laptop? If you are using mobile broadband some of the providers re-compress all images on websites to reduce the amount of data transmitted. This is technically a breech of copyright but good luck to a photog enforcing that one. It can though end up making images look really bad.

Similar to above, are you sure both your image size (in pixels) and file size on disk are both within the allowable image sizes for the sites that are hosting the images? If the host is resizing the image automatically, either for pixel dimensions/file size they are unlikely to make a good job of it.

What browser are you using to look at the images with online? Some are better than others at displaying images. As you can open images directly into the browser you could try viewing the file in the browser before you up load it. That would let you know if it were a problem with the local system or something being done by the server/ISP.

Alan

These are the settings I use in lightroom

IMAGE: http://i41.tinypic.com/2lsh2s5.png

and these are the settings for photoshop, the first is when I resize the image, and the second and third box is when I "save for web"

IMAGE: http://i41.tinypic.com/2s9cdhs.png

IMAGE: http://i44.tinypic.com/64fp90.png

IMAGE: http://i44.tinypic.com/20acgec.png

The image quality I choose in photoshop is 8

i have alternated between 2048 image resolution and the original 240 but after uploading I see the same results for either. I'll have to try 100 like you mention though.

Ahh, that also explains a lot (about the retina display), I did not know that! Man, it kind of makes me not want to have retina display now. But maybe if I get the resolution figured out and looking good on a non-retina display I'll just ignore how it looks on my laptop.

BigAl007 wrote in post #16468723 (external link)
How are you accessing the web on the laptop?

I am accessing the internet through my DSL internet provider

BigAl007 wrote in post #16468723 (external link)
are you sure both your image size (in pixels) and file size on disk are both within the allowable image sizes for the sites that are hosting the images?

Well, for FB I just looked through the threads in this forum and in google, and the settings i'm using were the "recommended" settings, but the settings mentioned were just the 960px on the long side and having 2048px DPI. For model mayhem I also did choose their maximum image size allowed.

BigAl007 wrote in post #16468723 (external link)
What browser are you using to look at the images with online?

I'm using Safari. Ohh, is it by dragging the image file on to the browser what you mean? I did not know that would show me how it should look online. When I do that most of them look how they do on my laptop, except some like the black and white one I have above.



Cheers,
Nora

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Naraly
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Nov 22, 2013 13:16 |  #11

Lowner wrote in post #16468836 (external link)
To me, your sample looks over sharpened around the nearest eye.

Yes it does, and it's not that noticeable when it is in full size resolution, just when It's resized, and then uploaded to web :confused:



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Nov 22, 2013 13:22 |  #12

Try this, upload and see if your results are WYSIWYG...

Change the quality in LR to 83. Change the res to 72.

If you take an image to PS, output it at full (no resize) and then use the same settings in PS.

I have a feeling you're uploading to something that's resizing again.




  
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Nov 22, 2013 13:30 |  #13

Note that Quality 60 in Lightroom may not give the same results as Quality 60 in Photoshop. Read here:
http://regex.info …room-goodies/jpeg-quality (external link)

That's already about the bottom edge of the JPEG compression that I would want, especially for areas with fine gradients (like skin). When the host (Facebook, etc) resizes and recompresses it yet again, it's just going to make it even worse.


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Naraly
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Nov 22, 2013 19:09 |  #14

How does this look now?

IMAGE NOT FOUND
IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
HTTP response: 404 | MIME changed to 'text/html' | Byte size: ZERO


I just re-edited the whole picture, and this time I didn't use the auto sharpen like I had before (I was recommended to use that auto sharpen when uploading images online, but maybe it was just too much). (Edited in photoshop by the way) then I resized to 960 on the longest side, and set the DPI to 72, then I did "save for web" as a quality 60 JPEG.

For comparison, this is the before:

IMAGE: http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/130830/15/522122314846f.jpg


What do you think?


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Nora

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Nov 23, 2013 01:36 |  #15

Naraly, it's late, so quickly:

When you "Save As" in Photoshop after doing a Lightroom Export, then you are re-compressing the image, which can be a bad thing! Check out you workflow, and we can help you!!!


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