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Thread: Over-Tweaked?

  1. #1
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    Over-Tweaked?

    I'm still suspicious of my monitor's calibration.

    I often adjust my pics in Photoshop to bring out more midrange detail, especially when shooting my black dog Jack, or other dark subjects against a light background. On my monitor the following pictures look real good:

    http://i114.photobucket.com/albums/n...k/DSC_0173.jpg

    http://i114.photobucket.com/albums/n...k/jackleap.jpg

    However, now I'm visiting my dad and viewing the pics on his monitor and the midtones look pretty washed out.

    How do they look to you? Just wondering if I need to spend some more time calibrating my monitor as I'm about to have several pics printed as enlargements and don't want to send out crappy files.
    ...Some will fall in love with life and drink it from a fountain that is pouring like an avalanche coming down the mountain...

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  2. #2
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    I'm getting some major banding in the sky on the first one - not sure if that's just caused by file compression or what. As for black midtones they look a little better in the 2nd than the 1st on my monitor, but they ain't too bad on either. My .02

    ps - the 2nd shot is $$$$

  3. #3
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    I'm only on a shitty laptop right now but generally agree with gholman.

    With a global adjusment, anytime you increase contrast in one range, you're going to flatten it in others. In your case the dog is the main subject but a small fraction of the image area, so you may have a large part of the image with crappier contrast.

    The Fill Light adjustment in Lightroom might help, as it is actually involves a mask calculated on the fly. Alternately, be careful with your curves to flatten contrast in the tonal ranges that aren't used much/aren't significant in your photo (gaps or low points in the histogram)

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the input so far. I'm seeing the banding in the sky in the first shot too, pretty sure that's file compression. I'll have to go back and look at the original to see if it's there in that one but I don't think it is. photobucket's free account only allows 1024 pixel max image width and I believe they compress them further than I normally do.

    I'm using an old copy of Photoshop, version 5.5. I've found that using the Levels histogram gives me the best adjustment, with the ability to tweak the midrange tones without affecting highlights and dark shadows.

    Anyone else with a good monitor that they know is relatively well calibrated? On my dad's computer (completely uncalibrated) Jack looks very washed out and grainy in the second pic, the first doesn't look nearly as bad.
    ...Some will fall in love with life and drink it from a fountain that is pouring like an avalanche coming down the mountain...

    "I enjoy skinny skiing, bullfights on acid..." - Lacy Underalls

    The problems we face will not be solved by the minds that created them.

  5. #5
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    I see the banding now in the first and I have to get the screen tipped just right or the sky is washed out. I see different tones in the coat (browns to black) and lots or contrast. With the second shot the dog is a bit dark as are the trees behind and the snow is a bit blueish/dark. My screen isn't calibrated but seems pretty good.

    Here's a couple of images of my hound I was just playing with and tweaked to my display. They're pretty spot on for me.



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  6. #6
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    That last shot is $$$ -- you have a rad dog. Actually, you both have really rad dogs.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chainsaw_Willie View Post
    I'm still suspicious of my monitor's calibration.

    I often adjust my pics in Photoshop to bring out more midrange detail, especially when shooting my black dog Jack, or other dark subjects against a light background. On my monitor the following pictures look real good:

    http://i114.photobucket.com/albums/n...k/DSC_0173.jpg

    http://i114.photobucket.com/albums/n...k/jackleap.jpg

    However, now I'm visiting my dad and viewing the pics on his monitor and the midtones look pretty washed out.

    How do they look to you? Just wondering if I need to spend some more time calibrating my monitor as I'm about to have several pics printed as enlargements and don't want to send out crappy files.
    Learn to read the RGB values in the file. You can see them in the info palette in any version of Photoshop. I don't know about the file that you have on your computer but the file you uploaded has no "true" black.

    Check out this screen shot of your photo during curves adjustment in PS. The histogram ends waaaay before true black so I am pulling down the shadow end of the curve to bring the "blacks" in darker without darkening the rest of the dog. I also pulled the highlights up a bit to give you some white in the clouds. My adjustment is a little exaggerated for demonstration purposes.

    "I'm a man of the past, living in the present and walking in the future..."

  8. #8
    advres Guest
    your monitor calibration sucks as does most software calibration.
    #1 - buy a CRT
    #2 - get an actual hardware calibrator if you really care that much.

  9. #9
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    L7 - Great looking dog. The pictures are really good, *and* he's a cool hound.

    BigKuba - why thank you. I'll let Jack know you're a fan. I'm sure he'd be happy to lick and/or chew on your hand for as long as you'd let him if he ever meets you.

    4-TEEF - Very helpful. I wish my old version of PS would show the histogram in the Curves palette. Would make adjusting the curves much easier. The levels palette does almost the same thing but you don't have the fine control. Looks like in later versions they combined the levels and curves palettes into one interface, which makes a lot of sense.

    Advres - I had a 20" Apple CRT (A Sony Trinitron with an Apple badge), circa 1998 vintage until early this year when it finally crapped out. It definitely did a better job than this somewhat cheap LCD I have now, though the LCD is 22" yet a fraction of the overall size and weight. I don't really care enough to get a hardware calibrator, just want to try to tweak the adjustments on this monitor so it's as close as it can be.
    ...Some will fall in love with life and drink it from a fountain that is pouring like an avalanche coming down the mountain...

    "I enjoy skinny skiing, bullfights on acid..." - Lacy Underalls

    The problems we face will not be solved by the minds that created them.

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