Image Making and Image Quality

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Image Making and Image Quality

Postby Ganesh H Shankar » Thu Feb 04, 2021 10:52 am

This thread is mostly for our young members. All, please feel free to add any info that may be useful for our young members.

During recent years images are consumed more on web than on print media, thanks to Facebook, Instagram and many other social networking platforms. I think this has also diluted the rigor and discipline of image making. It is easy to make web resolution (~1500 pixels width) very acceptable (looking) images. Many of the deficiencies nicely get hidden. Unfortunately when one takes it as a profession quality matters! Many professional use cases need very demanding quality, be it editorial works, fine art prints, advertisement/promotional use cases. All these need high quality image files.

During last two decades photography related technologies have advanced/changed a lot. It is now easier to make higher quality images. That said, sloppy execution will still result in unacceptable image quality. Here I am sharing some images made during last 25 years, from slide days to today, always keeping camera on a sturdy tripod with sturdy ball head/panning head, using lowest appropriate/permissible ISO to get some of these high resolution images. More importantly they were (I think) of very high quality when those images were made. Please feel free to download each of these very high resolution files by clicking the download link to see the quality of those files. You may open them in Photoshop and view then at its actual size or preferably at 300dpi. I think it may be helpful for our young members to relate what we mean when we say "image quality". Some of these high resolution files may provide some reference for comparison or may have some learning value.

Whatever the camera you use, if you are careful high quality images are very well within your reach. Please don't get carried away by images posted on the web (and your own images posted on the web). Most of them will fall flat if you try to use them for other purposes. Summary is, make your images very carefully, try not to crop your images to retain its print worthiness (unless you want to make small post card size prints) and other use cases. Alternatively you may want to make your images keeping the target as print then web use will get covered.

Here are thumbnails of a few images made during last 25 years. Please feel free to download the high resolution files and use them for non-commercial purposes. Please note download may take time depending your download bandwidth. So, please be patient! View them at its actual or print size. Last but not least, this thread is about image quality and execution, not about artistic merits and aesthetics. The latter is a different (and important prerequisite) which I am not discussing here. I hope this helps to relate to "image quality".

Camera: Phase One 100 MP. Wide angle, yet telephoto details on egret - Download Link

Camera: Phase One 100 MP. Don't miss the bittern with blood filled mosquito on its neck! - Download Link

Camera: Phase One XF, IQ3 Tri. 100 MP. Observe the textures. Download Link

Camera: Phase One 100 MP. Download Link

Camera: Nikon N70: Scanned Fuji Velvia 50 ISO Slide, Mid/late 90 (may be 1997) - Download Link

Camera: Nikon F5: Scanned Fuji Provia 100F, 100 ISO slide, early 2000 - Download Link

Camera: Nikon D300, 2010. Panning work needs precise control, poorly executed panning will have prominent ghost! - Download Link

Camera: Nikon D200, 2007 - Download Link

Camera: Nikon D200, 2006 - Download Link

Camera: Nikon D200, 2007 - Download Link

Camera: Nikon D700, 2011 - Download Link

Camera: Nikon D800e, 2013 Using Nikon 85mm Tilt-Shift Lens - Download Link. The use of tilt shift (this image and the below one) needs precisely chosen manual focusing. Blur is by design/aesthetics and not an accident that happened in a hurry :)

Camera: Nikon D800E, 2015. Made using tilt-shift adapter on 600mm F4 lens. - Download Link

Camera: Nikon D800E, 2012 - Download Link
Ganesh H. Shankar
Wishing you best light,

Fine Art Nature Photography
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Re: Image Making and Image Quality

Postby Prashanth Sampagar » Fri Feb 05, 2021 7:13 pm

Thanks Ganesh for this article. Definitely this will help all of us. I think it's important to invest in a proper display(bigger the better) as well. It's as important as having a prime lens. It helps to rectify the mistakes to a great extent.

@Ganesh, the details are mind blowing in all the images.

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Re: Image Making and Image Quality

Postby Vageesha AR » Sat Feb 06, 2021 4:33 am

An educational post and important guidelines for learning photographers.

As you pointed out the impact of digital creation and more so digital consumption of images was both good and bad. Billions of images taken and viewed daily ( mostly on small screens ) making the art more democratic but the shortfalls are hidden conveniently inside small screens at the same time.

It is essential for serious photographers to ensure their work meets the highest standard of image quality to stand the test of time and consumption mediums.

Thanks for sharing. All the images here are treats and a great case study.

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Re: Image Making and Image Quality

Postby Rajkumar » Sat Feb 06, 2021 1:15 pm

My only addition would be....print...print...print...print
Surround yourself with your prints. See them daily and think about them
It has a huge impact on how you think about your work

Tips to manage Manage budget and space
- Does not have to be large say an 8 by 12 inch is fine
- Not complicated framing - Just a mount is fine
- Don't get complicated on paper for a start. Basic paper is fine
- Even a Printo print is better than no print at all

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