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Bleah. - Phil's Rambling Rants — LiveJournal
April 25th, 2006
11:32 pm

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Bleah.
The weather today wasn't quite so nice, so I planned to spend a bunch of time working indoors on some pictures, but I didn't make much progress.  I spent a fair bit of time working on one image, but I'm still not happy.  What really bothers me is that there are some artifacts, and I am wondering if they are a sign of a problem with the camera or just that the lens I took the picture with isn't hugely expensive.



This image is a very small part of the original image.  There are enough clean edges that I am pretty sure the image is actually in good focus, but there are blurs around several of the edges of bright areas, such as the area with the red circle.  My questions:
  1. Is this an unavoidable artifact of the equipment, or something I did wrong when I took the picture?

  2. Is there something I should have been able to do (other than use a $2000 L-series lens) to avoid it?

  3. Given the image I have, should I try to retouch these edges out?  Is the fact that this seems like it would be a really major chore a sign that I just don't have any Photoshop-fu, or is this a nasty job?

  4. Should I tell myself "the image looks fine unless you look at it with a magnifying glass, get over it"?  Should I give up on this shot?


I did better with the other things I did to distract myself.  I got all the laundry put away, a little sweeping done, and I actually dug into the pile of other people's art that has been sitting around for two years.  I had about 10 custom frames that I had made a couple of years ago, and I finally put the art into the frames, and I actually got 5 of them on walls.  In looking at the collection of stuff I now have framed and waiting to hang, I find I have an awful lot of dragons.  They're nice dragons, mind you, but still a lot of them.

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From:pir_anha
Date:April 26th, 2006 04:43 am (UTC)
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i think it would help to see the entire image, because to me this whole detail looks out of focus (the pistils/stamens certainly do). also, the white looks blown out, which means the shot might be slightly overexposed. whether this is a major chore to fix depends on how much of the image needs to be retouched.
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From:tigertoy
Date:April 26th, 2006 05:19 am (UTC)
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Uploading the whole thing over my dialup connection is way too painful, but only a small part of the image is meant to be in clear focus; I meant the other stuff ot be out of focus in the background and it actually worked pretty well. But the foreground flowers, at full res and un-fiddled-with, are here. It is overexposed, I now realize, more than I thought. Is that the reason for the halo effect especially around the bottom flowers?
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From:pir_anha
Date:April 26th, 2006 06:45 am (UTC)
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yeah, that is definitely overexposed. and that makes it not worth fixing, alas. that can be the reason for the halo effect, though it also looks not quite in focus to me, even in the foreground. i don't think it's a camera or lens problem, since i've seen perfectly sharp and detailed images from you. did you shoot this freehand? i've taken to shooting closeups always with a small tripod or some other support now because i apparently can't hold the camera still enough anymore. and the slightest little bit of wind at that small distance will blur the image.
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From:peteralway
Date:April 26th, 2006 12:47 pm (UTC)
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I'd agree on the overexposure. I assume that you've looked at the lens and there aren't any horrible smudges on either end of it?

The only other thought, if there are actually problems with aberrations, is to stop down the lens a bit--I get that you want a limited depth of field and have it wide open, but aberrations are always the worst at the outer edge of the lens. This is something I've run into with astrophotography, anyway--it may not apply here.
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