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Underexposed? Do the screeners need new glasses?

PrestonFiedler

Member
Joined in June 2014
Posts: 65
Posted 3 October 2018 - 18:46 CET

So all 5 photos I uploaded as news have been grainy and underexposed per our favorite screener, and then agreed upon by an “editor,” yet they were accepted on 3 other sites, two of which are far more rigorous in screening than here. I feel that if you increased exposure you blow out the whites and make it appear unnatural. Thoughts? Very close to saying enough with this site and going to where I get way more views and way less ridiculous screening “standards.”

https://www.airplane-pictures.net/images/rejected-images/2018-10/1117824.jpg

https://www.airplane-pictures.net/images/rejected-images/2018-10/1117823.jpg

https://www.airplane-pictures.net/images/rejected-images/2018-10/1117826.jpg

Lien Savo G. S. 

Member
Joined in February 2017
Posts: 89
Posted 3 October 2018 - 19:09 CET

Hi Preston!, Maybe you can expose only a little bit and then lower the whites if you shoot RAW (very recomendable). Other think, IMO you can try to edit at 1600 pixels, this will add more quality and try to put the watermark more down, for dont undercover the plane.

PrestonFiedler

Member
Joined in June 2014
Posts: 65
Posted 3 October 2018 - 21:29 CET

The exposure seems perfectly fine to me, and to numerous screeners and viewers from other sites. If you increase the exposure, you ruin the natural light and blow out the whites. I do shoot raw and I am familiar with what you mention. I know this is highly unlikely, but if a screener could weigh in, that’d be great. As for the watermark, I’ve had images stolen off this site and others before so that’s why I do that.

Karol Trojanowski 

News admin
Joined in June 2016
Posts: 63
Posted 3 October 2018 - 21:57 CET

Each of those photos should have lifted shadows. That's why they appear underexposed, even if increasing overall exposure will blow out whites.

Javi Sanchez 

Editor
Joined in June 2012
Posts: 41
Posted 3 October 2018 - 22:25 CET

All the pictures look very dark. If you don’t agree, check the histogram of the three pictures and you should realize. The histogram in all of them are in the left area and it lacks whites (the white off).

Also, the China Southern (IMO) is slighly over-sharpened and the light condition is very doubtful for me. The foreground signal is very annoying and very easy to clone btw.

The Southwest is borderline, but looks dark for me too and needs 0,4º CCW rotation.

The Kunming Airlines is too dark and the white is off (check the histogram please). Also, to me, looks over-sharpened and needs 0,5º CCW rotation.

I know that it's hard to listen this "critic" of your pictures in public, but you have requested it and this is my opinion as a Screener and a photographer.

Luckily for you, all of this "imperfections" are very easy to solve and you can re-upload all of this pictures and probably will be accepted if you correct all of this.

P.S: Please don't be rude and don't compare the sites depending on which one is better (for your opinion) or more rigorous. Each website is each website and this is why everyone is different than others.

Regards,

Javi.

PrestonFiedler

Member
Joined in June 2014
Posts: 65
Posted 3 October 2018 - 22:33 CET

If its critique and its valid, its more than welcome. However, this seems to be a bit of a circus. Every person who looks at it says something different. Some are fine, some are oversharpened, some need re-levelling, etc. Now they're out of focus too per my appeal. Airliners.net is far more difficult to get photos accepted onto, like it or not, that's a fact, yet they have no issues with any of these images. It's not rude to say that, its the truth. They are not dark, the shadows are long because of fall light. If you want a shadow boosted overly flat image, okay. All in all, this is a site that isn't for me if this is how screening works. Its so ambiguous its almost a joke. Like I said, I welcome criticism, which is something this site does not do at all, which is why I suspect my images all of a sudden became so terrible, while every other (and yes more rigorous) site has no issue.

Jetzguy 

Member
Joined in July 2016
Posts: 118
Posted 3 October 2018 - 22:39 CET

These aviation sites are a lot like golf courses Preston. Either you like playing the course or you do not. Either it fits your style of golf or it doesn't. Either you like the setup or not. You can't change the golf course to fit your wishes. You can only find a course you like and play it often right? Just don't ruin the golf for the rest of the players if you are not having a good game lol. IMHO.

Karol Trojanowski 

News admin
Joined in June 2016
Posts: 63
Posted 3 October 2018 - 23:58 CET

Preston, if other sites are so great, why are you arguing here? Like Jetzguy said, you can't change whole site just to fit your wishes. If you don't agree with screeners' decisions here - feel free to choose differen't gallery. We are happy to have each and every member on the site, but of course - no one forces you to contribute here.

And saying "other sites accepted those shots, so you also should accept them" it's really ridiculous. There are different screeners and different rules. It's like saying "I have a good mark from one teacher, so other also has to give me a good one". It doesn't make any sense.

One more thing - if you lift shadows, and drop some blacks at the same time, you won't get a flat photo. I did it many times and I know how it works.

PrestonFiedler

Member
Joined in June 2014
Posts: 65
Posted 4 October 2018 - 01:25 CET

With all due respect, you've almost entirely missed my point. I did/do like what this site had to offer. Why else would I be here? However, there are some issues that I am nowhere near alone in perceiving. Unfortunately, the staff seems to be only defensive when considering what I am saying. There is little to no consistency in screening here. Issues such as out of focus, blur, color etc are not really subjective qualities. If those flaws were actually there, then surely other sites would have picked those up, no? Not just one site, but two, three, four, and not one picked those alleged flaws up. Is that my fault or the fault of those sites? Also, for the record, using the histogram as the sole judge of exposure is generally considered poor technique in conditions such as these, where the shadows are long and the light is low. I am not asking for ap to change anything about how the site is, except to be open to a dialogue of change, enforce the rules they already have in a consistent and fair manner (won't happen), and be consistent in screening (probably also won't happen). I am aware of how the shadow/black adjustment works. Done it many times myself. Perhaps I will try one more fix to see if this site is worthwhile. Although I'll probably lose my news status, but who knows, since those "rules" are convoluted at best anyways. Good day.

Philippe Ardin 
Member
Joined in January 2017
Posts: 10
Posted 9 October 2018 - 16:49 CET

Like some others, I just told the same thing.

These five or six posts have mysteriously disappeared...

IMO, the site should better ask himself questions rather then denying (and swiping off) the common opinion of his contributors...

TonyB
Member
Joined in September 2016
Posts: 5
Posted 9 October 2018 - 17:56 CET

I´m surprised that the posts lasted as long as they did.

In a way perhaps it´s not a bad thing, at least the Admins have seen that some here are not happy with the screening and may suggest that the whole team take a look at the way they work.

Any way you look at it, a point has been made by the contributors. Wait and see if anything comes of it.

Now waiting to see how long it will take to lock the thread..........

PrestonFiedler

Member
Joined in June 2014
Posts: 65
Posted 10 October 2018 - 05:30 CET

Well it looks like I'm not the only one who finds screening to be a bit of a lottery. Also, Phillippe, that AS350 shot against the mountains is absolutely stunning. Well done! I too am surprised the dissent wasn't silenced or locked sooner. Usually these sorts of threads get the totalitarian treatment, where its locked and the OP gets rejections that are undue to whip them into shape. I highly doubt any change will come of this, I would be shocked. Unfortunately, the site seems more concerned with subjectivity and the elite club of full members than actually keeping up an objective, clear, consistent standard of image acceptance.

Martin Thoeni - Powerplanes 

Member
Joined in February 2014
Posts: 5
Posted 11 October 2018 - 00:38 CET

I had quite the same problem with some shots from Axalp.

https://www.airplane-pictures.net/images/rejected-images/2018-10/1120335.jpg

Digital noise is visible. Incorrect exposure - under-exposed. Soft.

https://www.airplane-pictures.net/images/rejected-images/2018-10/1120846.jpg

Incorrect exposure - under-exposed.

https://www.airplane-pictures.net/images/rejected-images/2018-10/1120847.jpg

Digital noise is visible. Incorrect exposure - under-exposed. Main object is not sharp.

There are some more shots, that I can't understand why they where rejected....

Jetzguy 

Member
Joined in July 2016
Posts: 118
Posted 11 October 2018 - 01:32 CET

Martin,

Firstly...the photos are high speed and fairly extreme action shots so bonus points for getting such nice shots.

I have to say that this site's screening group is hell on back lit photos and they do not like planes in the air lol. Strange but true.

As for the softness....each of these aircraft has parts that are nice and fairly crisp and others that are quite soft. Take the F/A-18... The red/white Swiss wing crosses are quite soft. If you could touch up the soft areas it would make these great images pop even more. Try to lighten up the photos and balance the histogram as well. They are cool photos and I would enjoy seeing them on the site. Hope this helps. I envy you the chance to see these great airshows in the Alps. It is a bit of a walk from here :-)

Cheers from Canada.

Jetz

Philippe Ardin 
Member
Joined in January 2017
Posts: 10
Posted 11 October 2018 - 11:08 CET

Martin, These are great shots and the first one is fantastic. An image is not made of small parts like this and other parts like that : it's a whole, and no one (except some screener) takes a magnifying lens to patiently detect the possibly unsharp pixel, aiming first not to accept good photos, but to reject the most possible. That's why we all have visibly the same problem : there's a difference between religion and fundamentalism...

There are more or less microscopic flaws (and what's objectively a flaw, hmmm ?) in La Joconde... And so what ?

Jetz : I don't agree with you : 1/ the question is not "is the red (twenty pixels wide) cross quite (or quiter, or less quite, or a little bit (not) nearly quite semi-soft ?..)" but "Is this a great aviation photo". And it is. 2/ Martin cannot take on his shoulders up to the Axalp a complete studio lights equipment just to make the screener believe there is sun in the deep bottom of the valley with a cloudy weather...

All aviation enthusiasts enjoy seeing such great images from this legendary air demo, even when there's no sun that day...

Igor Kmet 

Full member
Joined in September 2013
Posts: 91
Posted 11 October 2018 - 11:53 CET

Martin what would you say to this picture.? Only 3 steps more ( 3 minuts to work) . Dfine for denoising,balanced levels-definitelly was to dark , more sharpenig. Only nose of the plane is now missing for my personal EC...

Attached photos:

Igor Kmet 

Full member
Joined in September 2013
Posts: 91
Posted 11 October 2018 - 11:58 CET

Very strange. I checked corrected picture after uploading on AP web and this is definitelly much softer comparing what i see ont the same monitor in PS , where the corrections were made..

Ricardo Hebmüller 

Full member
Joined in August 2014
Posts: 82
Posted 11 October 2018 - 13:49 CET

It is a wonderful picture, and I see it better after Igor's work, especially the sharpening at the cockpit.

And as for the entire topic, although some complains even may be fair, I would never start one of them in harsh words towards screeners.

Philippe Ardin 
Member
Joined in January 2017
Posts: 10
Posted 11 October 2018 - 14:37 CET

There are sites where it's possible to re-upload published photos, allowing improvement of shots : why would this not be possible ? The screeners could even accept obviously good photos and however make improvement remarks...

Richard Parkhouse 
Full member
Joined in June 2011
Posts: 43
Posted 11 October 2018 - 15:38 CET

Philippe, it is indeed possible to replace already uploaded shots with a better version. If you go to 'My Photos', there is a link called Replace a Photo and if you click on this, you can re-upload an improved version of a shot already on the site.

Also, before I became a Full Member, I had a few occasions where a screener published a shot asking that I replace it as soon as I could with improvements they had suggested. I guess, as others have remarked, it is pot luck whether you get a screener who is willing to do this.

Cheers

Richard

Martin Thoeni - Powerplanes 

Member
Joined in February 2014
Posts: 5
Posted 11 October 2018 - 18:01 CET

I will have a look at the pictures and I try to make some changes.

But I don't like picture that are to much prosseced with denoise and other software.

I prefer photos, that look naturally and like I have seen it at the location...

But I will have a look, if I can make some changes...

George Chaidaris 
Member
Joined in March 2016
Posts: 2
Posted 3 December 2018 - 00:46 CET

Preston,

I am sure there is no one in the aviation photography community that cannot relate to some extent with your post-rejection feelings. We've all been there and will be there again and again as long as we remain willing to feature our work on "these websites".

I have had my self several photos like yours rejected on AP and other renowned strict screening websites.

"Like yours" meaning, where the subject is indeed well lit but the OVERALL FEELING of the photo is dark.

Probably because the overall darkness of the photo must somehow be justified, for example a backdrop of dark grey threatenig thunderstorm clouds might be perfectly ok although the histogram is cramped leftwise.

A trick I often employ when I find myself in doubt is to stand 3-4m away of the screen and check the photo for the overall luminance feeling while ignoring the histogram data for this test. Also check how the photo looks on other devices (cell, iPad etc)

Yes, I may often disagree with a screener's rejection comment but my approach is to ask for a more detailed commentary rather than attack his verdict. After all, the point for me is to get more educated and avoid future same reasoned rejections.

And I do recognise I have hugely improved in editing prompted by my numerous rejections.

Martin,

"I prefer photos, that look naturally and like I have seen it at the location..." my self as well!

I totally agree BUT more than often in the process of getting the subject in proper order the overall feeling might again be altered.

Your photos are obviously high speed action pictures pretty heavily cropped and shot under rather poor-ish lighting conditions I assume. Note that shooting grey (1) fast moving(2) subjects in front of dark rocky backtrops(3) is trully a challenge and the metering mode you where shooting on also hugely effects your shots. All these parameters along with the much needed sharpening are noise boosters so all of the screener's rejection comments seem accurate.

Seems like you cannot get away without a powerful denoiser...

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