color and quality of digital images

Discussion in 'Beginner Questions' started by jason_inskeep, Nov 30, 2008.

  1. i have noticed that there are some images that seem to be more vibrant and clear i guess. most of the images on
    this site are like that. but then there are the dull and bland pictures ( color wise, maybe also in tonal placement.) and
    it doesn't seem to be based on equipment so it must be in post processing. i see guys get the same kind of results
    with every thing from slides to canon rebel xt's to 1d's.
    daniel ewert and many other photographers seem to have the results that i am talking about. clear saturated color
    that is really clean and crisp.
    my stuff alwasy seems to look dull and flat, some of that could be cause i am a really bad photographer but with the
    same equipment and every thing even the same kind of lighting situations i couldn't get anything nearly that clean.
    my brother in law can do it when we take the same picture and he has a cheaper camera than i do and the same
    quality glass ( he has canon xt and i have a 10D and both have L series glass teles and cheaper wide angle stuff)
    when he posts his stuff on the net the colors are awesome. i just dont get the same results.
    just curious some one has to know how to get those clear colors and clean looking photos that are crisp and sharp
    and balenced.
  2. I think your best bet would be to ask your brother in law. People can do amazing things with post processing, but the better the picture you start with, the better picture you're gong to end up with.
  3. unfortunately my brother is not really available here lately. i just see so many people doing it here that i know some one must konw how to do it.
  4. oh i didn't mean to sound rude, just meant to say that it'd be better to talk to someone in person.
  5. It's all in the processing. In that regard, it's no different from film photography. You could take a color negative to 10 different labs and get 10 different results (in fact, the popular magazines used to periodically run articles illustrating that very thing).

    Some cameras do more in-camera image processing than others, tho' this effect is usually only visible in JPEGs directly from the camera. And each photo editing program will have different default settings that can influence the look of a photo.

    If you're not happy with your current photo editing program, or just want to try something a bit different and simpler, try the free trial ware downloads of PictoColor's various iCorrect programs. All very easy to use and effective. Even if you don't buy 'em, at least they'll give you fresh perspectives on the possibilities of your photos. (While there are many, many excellent programs available I tend to suggest the PictoColor stuff for the ease of use - the interface is similar to those Aladdin kiosks at most minilabs.)
  6. Can you post an example of one of your images so we can get an idea of what may be missing from them?
  7. Every image needs a bit of a boost out of the camera. You'd be surprised at how much difference a small increase in contrast/hue+sat can make to a digital image. You can also play around with Selective Color to adjust the purity of color and/or target colors in Hue/sat using the drop down list.
    Also, regarding the images you helps a lot. Sometimes you have to wait for the good light...patience pays :)
    It doesn't take much to make an image pop. Here's a simple before/after example. I increased contrast slightly using curves, boosted the saturation a little, and burned here and there slightly:
    Here's the original image, straight out of the camera:
  8. I sort of like vivid images myself, but you can over do it and your pictures start having that technicolor look. If you have a Digital camera you can boost the color saturation and contrast by using one of the Menu items inside the camera.
  9. You don't mention if you, or your BIL, are shooting raw or not. Shooting raw files will help give you greater control over contrast, color, saturation, etc. It will also help you understand exposure.
  10. well thank you too all that have responded. i will have to try and experiment with some of the ideas you all had given me.
    i dont mess around with saturation that much. i am always afraid i will cause more harm than good so maybe i will have to mess with that a bit.
    we both shoot raw pretty much exclusively.
    anyway t;hank you.
  11. If you are shooting raw and doing nothing else to the raw data but converting it in some software, then the image you get is from that software's default settings (which are likely the jpeg settings from the camera, which means you might as well shoot jpegs).

    All exposures, film or digital, require a post-process. The in-camera jpeg settings are a post-process.

    Ansel Adams in The Negative says that his photographs are considered "realistic" because of their "optical-image accuracy" and because their "visual effect" looks "plausible". However, he goes on "...but their values are definitely "departures from reality"" and "if it were possible to make direct visual comparison with the subjects, the differences would be startling".

    Good photographs are likely not to be had from how Canon coded up the ip engine of your camera. You'll have to take control of the whole process, from exposure to print, if you want that.

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