Old 11-19-2009, 08:56 PM   #1
Peter MacCauley
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Default Editing from a Laptop

Being away at school means that I now am forced to edit my photos on my laptop, which I didn't think would be a big deal. After a few photos were rejected, I noticed a common theme: bad color. The last time I was home for the weekend I opened a photo on my laptop and then the same photo on my regular PC. To my amazement, the photos were quite dissimilar; the photo on my laptop screen appeared very blue in comparison to my conventional monitor. Similarly, the rejected photos were very reddish-yellowish on my PC monitor. They were also a bit under exposed and the contrast and saturation were way off. No wonder they were rejected.

I'm sure many RP photographers use their laptops for photo editing, because after all, it is really handy to have, especially when travelling. But my question is
a) is this something unique to me, or has everyone experienced (and adjusted to) this?, and
b) is there anything I can do about it? (I checked my laptop's settings, and there is nothing I can do to change the color/contrast, etc - no buttons like on a conventional monitor)

Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Peter.
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Old 11-20-2009, 12:32 AM   #2
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Purchase a dedicated monitor calibrator.
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Old 11-20-2009, 12:45 AM   #3
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100% of my shots are edited on laptops. There is a rather simple solution. Look at a bunch of similar RP shots on that laptop, get a feel for how they look on that laptop, develop an "eye" for how a shot should look on that laptop, and process your shots accordingly.
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Old 11-20-2009, 01:36 AM   #4
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100% of my shots are edited on laptops. There is a rather simple solution. Look at a bunch of similar RP shots on that laptop, get a feel for how they look on that laptop, develop an "eye" for how a shot should look on that laptop, and process your shots accordingly.
Just don't use John Irelands' photos as an example.

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Old 11-20-2009, 02:23 AM   #5
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Please explain your reasoning, Chase.

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Old 11-20-2009, 02:25 AM   #6
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Please explain your reasoning, Chase.

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Agreed, and now would be a good time to start running.....
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Old 11-20-2009, 03:08 AM   #7
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Chase:

You need to chill out. This will be your last warning.
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Old 11-20-2009, 05:13 AM   #8
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Quote:
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100% of my shots are edited on laptops. There is a rather simple solution. Look at a bunch of similar RP shots on that laptop, get a feel for how they look on that laptop, develop an "eye" for how a shot should look on that laptop, and process your shots accordingly.
Mine too for the last few years since the monitor on my desk top quit working (followed soon enough by the actual computer.) I've gotten used to what the pictures look like on the back of the camera compared to stright out of the camera on the computer and then edited.
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Old 11-20-2009, 05:20 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Chase55671 View Post
Just don't use John Irelands' photos as an example.

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Old 11-20-2009, 01:00 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chase55671 View Post
Just don't use John Irelands' photos as an example.

Chase
Scoreboard

John Ireland currently has 588 photos in the database. The photos have been viewed a total of 755460 times, for an average of 1,284.80 views per photo. 7 awards.

Chase55671 currently has 265 photos in the database. The photos have been viewed a total of 147619 times, for an average of 557.05 views per photo. 2 awards.

Just don't use Chase55671's photos as an example if you don't want boring low view wedgies

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Old 11-20-2009, 02:34 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Kilroy View Post
Chase:

You need to chill out. This will be your last warning.
DId I miss something? I don't recall Chase being a particularly noxious participant on these forums. Can someone fill me in?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chase55671 View Post
Just don't use John Irelands' photos as an example.

Chase
Well, John's stuff is generally clean, and darn creative to boot. When I see his name that is extra incentive to click on the thumbnail. But every so often, not very often, seldom, but one comes in and I think, huh? I'm not going to go back and dig through and find those few occasional images, but hey, his very most recent shot will do! (Just to show that Chase isn't completely off his rocker.)

Image © John Ireland
PhotoID: 304347
Photograph © John Ireland
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Old 11-20-2009, 02:44 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRMDC View Post
But every so often, not very often, seldom, but one comes in and I think, huh? I'm not going to go back and dig through and find those few occasional images, but hey, his very most recent shot will do! (Just to show that Chase isn't completely off his rocker.)

Image © John Ireland
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Photograph © John Ireland
This is a pointless post unless you explain what it is about this shot that makes you go "Huh?" How does this shot show that "Chase isn't off his rocker?"

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Old 11-20-2009, 03:15 PM   #13
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What the hell happened to this thread?
Chill out, it's Friday.
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Old 11-20-2009, 03:58 PM   #14
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Well, John's stuff is generally clean, and darn creative to boot. When I see his name that is extra incentive to click on the thumbnail. But every so often, not very often, seldom, but one comes in and I think, huh? I'm not going to go back and dig through and find those few occasional images, but hey, his very most recent shot will do! (Just to show that Chase isn't completely off his rocker.)

Image © John Ireland
PhotoID: 304347
Photograph © John Ireland
What's wrong with this photo, exactly? I think it's a great photo - everything about it just screams Southern California. John processes his photos the way he chooses to, and frankly, it's all one's personal preference anyhow - that's the beauty of photography, it's an open-ended artistic medium where we have the freedom to do as we please. Clearly they're up to Railpictures.net standards if they're being accepted here on a regular basis, hence I think this portion of the thread is effectively pointless...

As for the laptop bit, I essentially compared my stuff to work on RP as well, though I recently just purchased a 22" Haans-G monitor (a great deal at $150 on Newegg), and it's certainly a much-welcomed improvement, be it for the larger editing space or the better color and exposure rendition. I'd think your laptop has either a D-Sub or DVI port where you could hook up an external monitor. In my case, my system won't allow me to make this my primary monitor for whatever reason, so I'm just using a dual-monitor setup (which is extremely easy to set up via Display Properties). Dual monitors are great for school work too...you can have multiple documents open at 100% size at once, which sure has made my life easier lately with those 15 page, 30 source research papers and whatnot...
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Old 11-20-2009, 04:11 PM   #15
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I think what the warning is all about is Mr. Chase likes to call out peoples work. The most recent incident was George Hamlins turntable shot. This isn't the place to call someone out, that's why we have the Rat to fulfill our fix of calling one anothers shots out, haha. The Rat just does it for us. But all rats aside, Johns work IS very creative. All hostility behind us, he has some fantastic work. Do I agree with some of the color on some of his shots? Eh, at times it can be a bit overwhelming, but the guy does have a good eye. He shot the hell out of here (Pittsburgh), and he did it well. Now he's doing a good job over in Cali. And I do like Johns comparison to Chases, the numbers talk. No doubt about it. So Chase, take the warning to heart and lets stop calling out people all together, ok?


OK! Now that's off of my chest, lets get this post back in gear and on track. I process on 2 different laptops, and I find that each and every screen for a different laptop is different. I have my laptop, which is pretty dark and the colors/contrast are off. And then there's Jens, which is a HD LCD screen and the quality is amazing. So the adjustment question, yes. I have adapted to it. From time to time I'll browse through my shots to see what got accepted to refresh my "memory" on how to compensate on my laptop, which like I said has bad contrast, color, and exposure. Recently though I downloaded and installed something that runs all the time to make older laptop screens look more vibrant and true to the correct color/contrast/exposure. I adjusted this utility to make my screen look like Jens, and it's pretty spot on. So now processing is a breeze. Now my laptop doesn't has onboard video "memory", so there wasn't an included utility and I forget where I downloaded it. Once I find out what it is, I'll post the link here. It's a pretty amazing utility. Like I said, besides quality wise it made mine look spot on to hers. Hope this somewhat helps!

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Old 11-20-2009, 04:13 PM   #16
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Thanks everyone for your help. I kind of suspected this might happen (the fact that there is no real easy "quick fix", not the Chase-John Ireland thing). I think i might take up Janusz' suggestion, though i had thought about Nick's idea about a second monitor (it sure would help not only for editing photos, but like Nick said, those research papers too!)

And just to add my $0.02 into the mix, i happen to like John's work (not that i particularly dislike Chase's), and think that using his photos as a reference point would not be a bad idea.

Peter.
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Old 11-20-2009, 04:14 PM   #17
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And I'd like to add, the reason why I jump back forth is that she uses it for school sometimes. But when it's here, I like to use it since it's a pretty damn nice laptop.

Ben
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Old 11-20-2009, 04:35 PM   #18
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I don't get what view counts and how many pictures one has on RP proves anything really. And when compared to another poster, I really don't get it. Neither Chase nor John's portfolio of work here needs defending, but they also don't need slamming, truth be known, by either of them. It's very childish.
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Old 11-20-2009, 04:44 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cblaz View Post
This is a pointless post unless you explain what it is about this shot that makes you go "Huh?" How does this shot show that "Chase isn't off his rocker?"
I think the color is well oversaturated. Which reminds me of one or two previous. Which are off compared to the extensive body of John's own work, which makes them seem particularly odd.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TAMR159 View Post
What's wrong with this photo, exactly? I think it's a great photo - everything about it just screams Southern California. John processes his photos the way he chooses to, and frankly, it's all one's personal preference anyhow - that's the beauty of photography, it's an open-ended artistic medium where we have the freedom to do as we please. Clearly they're up to Railpictures.net standards if they're being accepted here on a regular basis, hence I think this portion of the thread is effectively pointless...
The oversaturation, to my eye. I agree with everything you have said about the photo.

Quote:
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I think what the warning is all about is Mr. Chase likes to call out peoples work.
Got it, I see that now.

I don't care to drag out the discussion on John's photo. As was said, it is a preference and it is an accepted shot on the database. I was defending Chase in this instance and I can now see that a) there is a larger pattern with Chase, not just one post, and b) for that matter the overwhelming part of John's work would serve fine as a basis to develop an eye for RP color on a laptop monitor, so it is a matter of proportion, which was grossly mischaracterized. Actually, I would not have thought of John when thinking of people whose work has color issues to my eye, although there are a few memorable such shots, as there are with some other good photographers on RP.

J
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Old 11-20-2009, 10:54 PM   #20
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I know that overtime notebooks are more susceptible to damage than desktop computers because they are always being thrown into bookbags, bouncing off walls and generally always on the move. While I don't have any proof to back it up, I would think notebook screens are more likely to loose calibration for the same reason.

I do all my editing on notebooks and had a similar problem with my computer last summer. If you look at my photos from that time frame you'll notice they all have a green tint to them and contrast problems. The problem was progressive: photos from the beginning of the summer were not as bad as the end. I think because the process was so gradual I didn't notice it until I looked at them from someone else's computer. Now I've been going back trying to reupload the problem photos. Its a slow process; I barely had time for it in school, let alone now that I'm working full time!

The easy fix to the problem is to check out your photos from another computer every few weeks. If you're really concerned, try a few different computers (after all, its not a sure bet the other computer is calibrated any better). I would also suggest checking your photos against other RP photographers that you think have the best color balance; for me its John Ryan and James Belmont.
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Old 11-20-2009, 11:04 PM   #21
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I think the color is well oversaturated. Which reminds me of one or two previous. Which are off compared to the extensive body of John's own work, which makes them seem particularly odd.
J
I'm well aware that some people think I over saturate my photos. On some shots I agree, most recent being the one in this thread and one from Del Mar, CA a few weeks back. Like has already been said in this thread, how I edit my photos is up to me and I like them to be heavy on the color saturation.

Now to cover my bases... I know the above statement is somewhat hypocritical given my vocal history of criticism against some of the more HDRish photos on here. Its not that I don't like those shots or realize their merit, its just that I don't think they are an accurate representation of reality (which, as I understand it, is the major criteria for acceptance into the database). While I certainly tease my photos, at the end of the day I still think they are overall true to life.
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Old 11-21-2009, 12:05 AM   #22
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Guys,

Let me explain, myself. I know it seems I'm quickly turning into the "rat" or at least one of his disciples, but simply, I am not. I highly dislike people who drag down other peoples work continuously, and I hope you guys (other RP members) do not begin to recognize me as that type of person.

I didn't mean to be harsh, infact, I meant it as a joke, hence the smiley icon after my original sentence. I was briefly making a comment (a comment meant to be a joke, not a harsh insult) regarding color and how you shouldn't follow Johns' photos as an example. I used John as an example because there have been some cases every now and then where some "interesting" colored photos end up in the DB taken from him. I have absolutely nothing against John, infact, there are many of his shots that I like. I've favorited nearly a dozen and have commented on a few. He's got some very creative stuff in the DB, I didn't say otherwise. I was simply commenting on the color, in a joking manner. I'm sorry if you guys thought I meant it in a serious, dragging down type of way, as I in no way, meant it like that.

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Old 11-21-2009, 02:38 AM   #23
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I'm well aware that some people think I over saturate my photos. On some shots I agree, most recent being the one in this thread and one from Del Mar, CA a few weeks back. Like has already been said in this thread, how I edit my photos is up to me and I like them to be heavy on the color saturation.

Now to cover my bases... I know the above statement is somewhat hypocritical given my vocal history of criticism against some of the more HDRish photos on here. Its not that I don't like those shots or realize their merit, its just that I don't think they are an accurate representation of reality (which, as I understand it, is the major criteria for acceptance into the database). While I certainly tease my photos, at the end of the day I still think they are overall true to life.
It's no different than simply shooting with Fujichrome Velvia. HDR, however...
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Old 11-23-2009, 08:10 PM   #24
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So people can make fun of Hicks till the cows come home but make one joke about another person and people are up in arms? Bigger things in life to worry about than someone calling you out (allegedly) on an internet forum.

Laptops: Is there any noticeable difference between a Mac or a PC? The reason I ask is I am leaning towards a MacBook Pro in the next couple of months over a PC, and this will be my primary photo editing computer.
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Old 11-23-2009, 08:53 PM   #25
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First off, I think the basic rule is all monitors are different. I had one computer professional say that the only way they got commercial stuff "right" was to check it on a variety of monitors and tweek it until they got a reasonable compromise that looked good on most of the monitors. However good your original is, there are a lot of folks looking at your image with monitors that are out of adjustment or just old.

I use both a PC and a couple Mac's. The Mac screens' factory settings definitely have more contrast, I believe the technical term is gamma or some such. But this can be adjusted. I post from a Mac desktop with a large screen, and then check the result on my PC laptop. If I post what looks best on the Mac, it usually looks a bit dark on the PC. I have learned to adjust for this ahead of time, but it is not unusual for me to go back to my Mac, lighten up an image a bit, and resubmit, so that the PC version is improved. But its a judgement call.

As to editing on a laptop, the only thing that is different is the screen is usually smaller. In my view bigger is better, all else being equal (color, contrast, etc.). While I have been known to edit and submit pix from my Mac laptop (and I chose a bigger laptop just to get a reasonably large screen), I do think you can get better results with an even bigger screen. But there certainly is nothing inherently "wrong" with editing on a laptop. You have to use whatever tools you have available.
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