PHOTO: Bay Lights

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ChenRobert
Member is a contributor and has less than 250 Photo downloads
Posted Wed Mar 13, 2013 6:44PM
A little help please. I'm not seeing artifacts and composition issues...any ideas what may be the problem? Thanks!

Here's the link to the file:

Below is the rejection notice:

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This file contains artifacting when viewed at full size. This technical issue is commonly created by the quality settings in-camera, in post-processing, in RAW settings or scanner settings. Artifacting can also be introduced into an image from the result of other factors such as excessive level adjustments.

A little bit more about compression: The JPEG file format uses a lossy compression method. In order to make the file smaller, information is thrown away, or lost. The quality setting that most image editing programs and digital cameras have when saving JPEGs determines how much information is lost. At a certain point with lower quality settings the removal of information during the compression process can become visible in the form of compression artifacts (places in the image where too much detail has been lost). Too much JPEG compression can become visible either in the form of a general loss of detail, or grainy/patterned areas (especially in flat spaces, such as skies).

Compression artifacting can be introduced by the camera and/or by your image editing software at lower quality settings. Also, re-sizing, re-sampling, and re-saving can all degrade the quality of a JPEG image, so one should be careful about re-saving JPEGs. If for example, a photo was re-saved 4 times (even at a quality of 12 or Best) the image quality will become worse each time as pixel information is thrown out each time the file is saved. With this in mind, it is obviously best to start with the cleanest image possible. You may want to double-check your camera settings to make sure it is saving at the highest quality. If you continue to have issues you may try shooting in RAW/NEF mode, export to TIFF and then save as JPEG at the highest possible quality (level 12) with minimal or no post processing effects. Sometimes even trying a new RAW converter could be beneficial.

Noise (pixels of varying color where there shouldn?t be) is most commonly created by digital cameras, especially in darker shadows or under low-light conditions and exacerbates the compression issues mentioned above. You might want to double-check to make sure that your camera?s ISO/ASA setting is at the lowest number (usually 100). In digital cameras, higher numbers (200 or 400) will always result in more noise (just as with film). If you require further explanation regarding this rejection, please submit a ticket to Scout (http://www.istockphoto.com/contact_ticket.php)

For more information about iStock Standards, please see:
http://www.istockphoto.com/tutorial_2.3_noise.php

++++++++++

We found the overall composition of this file's lighting could be improved. Some of the technical aspects that can all limit the usefulness of a file are:

-Flat/dull colors
-Direct on-camera flash and/or flash fall-off (bright subject, dark background)
-Harsh lighting with blown-out highlights that lack details and/or distracting shadows
- Distracting lens flares
-Incorrect white balance

For information about iStock lighting standards please see:
http://www.istockphoto.com/article_view.php?ID=524

For more information on iStock Lighting Standards, please see:
http://www.istockphoto.com/tutorial_2.2_lighting.php

Related Articles:
Lighting and Shadows:
http://www.istockphoto.com/article_view.php?ID=46
Setting up your own home studio:
http://www.istockphoto.com/article_view.php?ID=14
Custom White Balance:
http://www.istockphoto.com/article_view.php?ID=95

Decent Exposure:
http://www.istockphoto.com/article_view.php?ID=40

If you require further explanation regarding this rejection, please visit our critique forum for immediate peer to peer feedback. To visit the critique forum please see:
http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_threads.php?forumid=26

(Edited on 2013-03-13 18:45:46 by ChenRobert)
donald_gruener
Member is a Diamond contributor and has 25,000 - 199,999 Photo downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Illustration downloadsExclusive
Posted Wed Mar 13, 2013 8:07PM
The file is heavily speckled with noise, undoubtedly from shooting at high ISO. That is the artifacting in question.

The rejection does not refer to composition, it refers to the composition of the lighting (I agree this could be worded better). The composition itself is fine. The lighting rejection is likely due to the flat, low-contrast appearance. The dark areas which should be deeper black are just a blah gray.

This may have been stronger as a color image, because the colors of the lights, bridge supports, etc. would have provided some additional visual contrast to the dark night sky. (I realize you may have gone BW to mitigate color noise.)

Two things that would have helped this image be successful: shooting at a lower ISO (on a tripod if you weren't already) and shooting a little earlier in the evening. When there's still a trace of light in the sky, you still get the effect of "night" but everything is just a little more subtly illuminated, which generally yields better results than full on nighttime.
ChenRobert
Member is a contributor and has less than 250 Photo downloads
Posted Wed Mar 13, 2013 9:22PM
Thanks Donald for insight.

It was shot at ISO800 (which I don't think is unusable) on tripod. I did increase the exposure about a full stop.

Here is the photo SOOC. I find it quite flat and dull...so, thus I decided to go b/w with it.

I agree that shooting earlier would have been better.
erick4x4
Member is a Bronze contributor and has 250 - 2,499 Photo downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Video downloadsExclusiveExclusive iStockphoto Videographer
Posted Thu Mar 14, 2013 10:31PM

I think ISO 800 is probably pushing it for full size. If you are forced to shoot at higher ISO's you will probably need to downsize it. Since you have a ton of megapixels available this is probably a good thing to consider on low light shots.


However, ISO800 + bumping the exposure 1 stop is almost always going to be unusable, even on a FF sensor. The higher the ISO the less you can bump, ESPECIALLY with JPG's. Everything else said is right, earlier would fix most, I would shoot at ISO 100 for sure on this with a tripod. Not only would you get less noise, but the slow shutter speed would really smooth out the water which can be nice.


Why not shoot RAW?
ChenRobert
Member is a contributor and has less than 250 Photo downloads
Posted Thu Mar 14, 2013 11:18PM
Thanks erick for the comments.

I did shoot RAW...I uploaded an exported JPG (with no adjustments) because one of the moderators is unable to read D800 RAW files (apologies about the misleading SOOC).

As for the slow shutter speed, it really doesn't work as the lights on the bridge are in motion. Anything slower than ~0.5 sec, and the lights become a blob.
ClarkandCompany
Member is a Gold contributor and has 10,000 - 24,999 Photo downloadsExclusive
Posted Fri Mar 15, 2013 2:03AM
Posted By erick4x4:

I think ISO 800 is probably pushing it for full size. If you are forced to shoot at higher ISO's you will probably need to downsize it. Since you have a ton of megapixels available this is probably a good thing to consider on low light shots.


However, ISO800 + bumping the exposure 1 stop is almost always going to be unusable, even on a FF sensor. The higher the ISO the less you can bump, ESPECIALLY with JPG's. Everything else said is right, earlier would fix most, I would shoot at ISO 100 for sure on this with a tripod. Not only would you get less noise, but the slow shutter speed would really smooth out the water which can be nice.


Why not shoot RAW?


There is no problem with shooting at high iso's with the D800 at full resolution. I have daylight portraits shot at 1600 iso accepted full frame  36mpx I know of another contributor who has 3200iso accepted at full size. Sure your post processing has to be done carefully and it's best practice to get it right in camera.


Inspector Donald gave you some excellent tips. Shoot earlier in the evening on a tripod at 100iso or even less,bracket your exposure, use the mirror lock up. Make sure everything like in camera sharpening is turned off or close to zero, shoot in 14bit color depth in Adobe RGB color space in raw format. It is a fantastic camera
erick4x4
Member is a Bronze contributor and has 250 - 2,499 Photo downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Video downloadsExclusiveExclusive iStockphoto Videographer
Posted Fri Mar 15, 2013 6:45AM

Clark, I'm not saying it can't work, but that its pushing it...


But daylight High ISO and Night-time High ISO are not the same thing by a long shot, but High ISO and 1 stop exposure adjustment introduces way too much noise, that was my point. The Original that was posted had pretty tolerable noise, the +1 had untolerable noise.


That's all I am saying. Since 21mp will give you the largest size on iStock, I would never submit a full size image with this camera, why would you? You almost always get less noise/artifcating and even perceived sharpness if you downsize and you could downsize and still have XXXLarger...just food for thought.
ClarkandCompany
Member is a Gold contributor and has 10,000 - 24,999 Photo downloadsExclusive
Posted Fri Mar 15, 2013 6:57AM

Do you have 36mpx?


At high iso's you have to get it right in camera the tolerances for making big adjustments in post at those speeds are very narrow.


36mpx gives me lots of room to crop i can get xxxl with a square crop.......just think about that. I do know of one contributor who will crop down to 21mpx because you don't get anything for those extra 15mpx in terms of credits. But I don't, the difference in price between xl and xxxl is minimal.


Don't have a problem with noise artifacting at all.


But yes +1 push at 800iso on night time shots is a bad place to start.
erick4x4
Member is a Bronze contributor and has 250 - 2,499 Photo downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Video downloadsExclusiveExclusive iStockphoto Videographer
Posted Fri Mar 15, 2013 8:00AM

Clark, no I have a 22mp that is clean (begin Canon 5D mk3 vs d800 fight!).


I think we are saying the same thing, that if you don't get it right in camera high ISO needing to be pushed will just be too noisy without downsizing. That's all I am saying is that for this picture, downsizing would go a long way since it wasn't quite right in camera.
ClarkandCompany
Member is a Gold contributor and has 10,000 - 24,999 Photo downloadsExclusive
Posted Fri Mar 15, 2013 8:14AM
Fight


I am surprised how good the D800 is at higher iso's without downsizing.


Both are great cameras and the 5DMk2 is/was a classic camera,a revolutionary when it was launched and it has taken Nikon a long time to provide anything like it and then they go pixel crazy! I'm sure the mk3 is an improvement on an already impressive camera. 36mpx is a little OTT for purely stock but  for my real world clients all those pixels are very useful too.


Peace wink

(Edited on 2013-03-15 08:15:04 by ClarkandCompany)
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