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Christian

Soft or lacking definition

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Posted (edited)

Hi,

 

I have recently submitted my initial three pictures for admission to alamy.

Unfortunately, one of the pictures was rejected due to "Soft or lacking definition".

 

The picture can be viewed in full resolution at this link: https://pasteboard.co/IdCBJan.jpg

I shoot in raw format (Nikon NEF).

 

I have not applied any sharpening in post-processing. But that could of course be done.

There was some haze at on the day the picture was taken. This could be remediated by a "haze removal" filter, but that would falsify the colors.

 

Any adivse?

Edited by Christian
added additional information

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There is no single sharp part to the image in the buildings. Suggest you scrap it as it will not sharpen acceptably for Alamy whatever method you use. Could be diffraction due to f stop used.

 

Allan

 

 

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I agree with Allan, the image is too soft to be rescued sufficiently for Alamy stock purposes. Have another go with a new image. Go out and shoot something easy under good lighting conditions and you will pass Alamy's tests with no trouble at all. 

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Agreed probable on the heat haze- I once had an image failed for this, but you usually get a more "wavy" appearance... I see a fair bit of aberration at the right, but I assume it's a decent lens, not a cheap kit. If I didn't know better I'd say you had a decentred element.

I wonder if it's one where the AF has just missed. It happens.

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I think it is salvageable. Better when done direct from RAW of course. And again: salvageable - it's not ideal. But this was a 3 minute job, I'm sure there's more in there if you would invest more.

Alan has a point: f13 is just over the edge I think: DXOmark> sharpness>field map. The 70mm in those zooms is usually not the best either. Between 50 and 70mm and F8 should be sharper and more even across the image. Sharp corners will still be difficult.

 

wim

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Even if it were possible to salvage it (I'm not convinced), why go to the effort when it is much easier to take a new photo for the test submission, or even to select another photo from the OP's existing collection? 

 

The purpose of the Alamy test is to demonstrate that a prospective contributor has both the equipment and the skills to reliably submit photos to a professional library with the bare minimum of future supervision by QC. We shouldn't really be in in the business of trying to wrangle sub-standard or borderline images to try to just about get a test image past QC.

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there's some fringing on the white marquee  tent  I batch process in lightroom for all my photos for fringing 

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Yes there is still some fringing here and there.

Could it be we're also looking at a trace of mirror slap or shutter bounce? It's drowned in the softness, but comes out when over-sharpening like I did.

 

wim

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am shooting at 1/350 most of time  now with sensors over 20mp is a risk to shoot slower 

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First, thanks to everyone for the feedback. Much appreciated.

 

I already made it through QC after replacing this particular image from the initial submission batch.

 

I use Darktable for all the post-processing; the lens correction was already applied to this image. This should take care of distortions, transversal chromatic aberrations and vignetting.

 

I checked a few other pictures taken with this camera body and lens, and it seems that the combination of 70mm and narrow aperture (f/13) results in sharpness problems. Images with a different focal length or aperture seem to have better results.

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f/8 is generally accepted as being the optimum aperture for sharpness in most cases. You can usually get away with using f/11, but beyond that diffraction softening starts to kick in.

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1 hour ago, DJ Myford said:

f/8 is generally accepted as being the optimum aperture for sharpness in most cases. You can usually get away with using f/11, but beyond that diffraction softening starts to kick in.

 

Remember this is not a FF but an APS-C sized sensor, so the optimum aperture will be a stop below the one for FF.

 

wim

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The more I look at the photo the more it looks like camera shake... but definitely very soft/out of focus.

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I'd also add fair amount of grain in the sky.   This is easily remedied in PS with blur tool.

Agreed with softness/lack of focus & also with bit of chromatic aberration at couple of places.   If automatic check-box in Camera Raw doesn't do the trick, there is nice and quick process in PS:

 

1)  Duplicate background layer (Cmd+J)

2)  Set the type to "Color"

3)  Filter -> Blur -> Gaussian Blur (6-8 pixel is usually good)

4)  Add layer mask, Invert

5) Paint with white brush  along the edges affected by chromatic aberration (blow image to 100%, small brush size i.e 20-30 pixel)

 

 

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On 09/05/2019 at 02:23, John Keast said:

am shooting at 1/350 most of time  now with sensors over 20mp is a risk to shoot slower 

 

If your technique is sound, having to shoot at that sort of shutter speed for lenses up to around 200mm is a myth and serves only to severly restrict your photography.

 

DD

 

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