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View Full Version : Prepping Digital files for the new system. Ideas??



Bob_Coates
08-26-2010, 11:28 PM
Any tips and tricks for prepping digital files for print comp? Like when you print a paper print for the lights you would print down 25%... Any inside scoop for getting the best results for digital?? Should you sharpen the image less for digital viewing? How can you be sure your image is tagged properly for the judges viewing?? TIA for any and all ideas for making the images sing for the monitor... Bob

Linda_Gregory
08-27-2010, 03:10 AM
I'll be watching THIS one close. I fear the worst. I KNOW they're working hard on this issue but I seriously hate it.

Bob_Coates
08-27-2010, 04:05 AM
There was supposed to be a tutorial posted on the PPA site and it is not there yet that's why this request for info from those hopefully in the know...

Keith_A_Howe
08-27-2010, 04:18 AM
Bob
First Prep the files to the density you would want them for your personal and professional taste. Files are judged on a calibrated monitor system. There are no bright judging lights shining on reflective images so you do NOT need to make them darker than normal. Adjust the image for the impact you want them to have (saturation, contrast etc.). If you choose to over saturate an image, take it far enough that it is obvious you did it on purpose and only if it benefits the image. Sharpening - be careful not to over sharpen and leave the tell tale signs as this will be looked at for technical excellence. I would not lessen the sharpening just because of the monitor judging, it needs to be appropriate for the image and the story you are trying to tell.
Here is a link to the South West PPA District Judging coming up in Sept. Rule and upload guidelines as well as a video - IPC tutorial.
Hope this helps and . . . Good Luck
Keith

http://www.ppa.com/competitions/districts.php

Linda_Gregory
08-27-2010, 01:31 PM
Keith,

I have grave concerns because HOA had a monitor ( I have no idea about it's specs other than it was a Mac) they loaned out to the state affiliates. It was used more than once by KPPA and in one judging (non affiliated of course), my image was given a low score because of lost detail in highlights. It printed fine. The highlights were fine on my work screen, my home screen & my laptop. They swore they had it calibrated according to all the rules yet...

I know that the affiliated judging will be a lot tighter but my concern is the judging by non affiliated parties and the entrant then adjusting for those critiques.

Oh my. I know there's no going back, this is the way we're heading but I seriously have doubts. sorry for the rant but thanks for listening.

Roger_Williams
08-27-2010, 02:31 PM
Keith,

I have grave concerns because HOA had a monitor ( I have no idea about it's specs other than it was a Mac) they loaned out to the state affiliates. It was used more than once by KPPA and in one judging (non affiliated of course), my image was given a low score because of lost detail in highlights. It printed fine. The highlights were fine on my work screen, my home screen & my laptop. They swore they had it calibrated according to all the rules yet...

I know that the affiliated judging will be a lot tighter but my concern is the judging by non affiliated parties and the entrant then adjusting for those critiques.

Oh my. I know there's no going back, this is the way we're heading but I seriously have doubts. sorry for the rant but thanks for listening.

If there is even remotely the chance of this happening, then maybe PPA should post 1 official test image that we could all download and compare it to our images on our calibrated monitors. We could double check highlights, shadow detail, contrast, etc. It might just be another way to make sure we present the best of our work.

Keith_A_Howe
08-27-2010, 03:02 PM
Yes Linda it was a Apple Cinema 30 inch that HOA and most all of the old regionals had. These are totally different monitors along with different viewing procedures for the judges so that there will be less of a problem from viewing at the sides, high angle viewing vs perpendicular viewing. Is it a perfect system? Probably not but it is much better than the Apple system. As with any system there will be a learning curve for photographers to get a feel and understanding for it.
If you want to be in control of your image and know how it prints. You want to have the type of paper it is printed on, like watercolor paper for example, that adds to the story of the image, by all means enter a print. PEC and PPA are just trying to answer the people's wishes to have a less expensive way to enter or a way for the procrastinators that wait too long to still enter. It will be less expensive for photographers to enter but much more expensive for PPA and the host district to put on. PPA has multiple systems and are going to ship them to the district along with a tech person to make sure they are set up correctly and constantly. This tech person will also be there to keep the software running and solve any computer problems that might come up.


Keep in mind how you choose to enter - file vs print - is how it will be displayed. If you like having a print show to walk through and study images then enter print. If you want to watch a slide show, enter files. Personally I feel that as far as a learning tool goes, prints on display are it easier to study and analyze than to wait for a paticular image to come up on a slide show, be there for a few seconds and then be gone. But it is up to you the makers to determine how you will enter.
Keith

GregYager
08-27-2010, 05:06 PM
The cost may be more but in the long run I think it's worth it, I'm going print.

Linda_Gregory
08-27-2010, 05:14 PM
There's no question I will be printing as long as it's an option. Locally, there's not. KPPA has gone digital only in their competitions so using them as a precomp trial is out for me.

RonNichols
08-27-2010, 10:32 PM
The settings being used are pretty standard. Most image makers operating on a calibrated system are probably using them already. If you are using an Apple monitor without calibration, adding this will make the monitor look darker. Apple monitors are much brighter by default than most standards. Using these settings would be appropriate for most jobs being sent to color lab. The digital system was designed to work into a standard workflow as opposed to the unrealistic settings of the current print evaluation system.

The monitors being used are the NEC MultiSync LCD3090WQXi.

http://www.necdisplay.com/Products/Product/?product=ec17518a-366e-4f09-8173-ca42d439b357

The calibration settings are:

White Point: D65
Gamma: 2.20
Intensity/Brightness: 120 cd/m2

Joe_Galioto
08-27-2010, 11:42 PM
ron
the part about submitting files like we would sell a client is a great change.
if i'm understanding you correctly.
most comp prints are to dark to display in the studio.
joe

Bob_Coates
08-28-2010, 12:44 PM
"The calibration settings are:

White Point: D65
Gamma: 2.20
Intensity/Brightness: 120 cd/m2"

Is this correct??

Please correct me if I'm wrong... But these settings are going to be brighter than the monitors we print from. In order to get a print representation that comes close to a paper print the monitor needs to be around 90 cd/m2. This has been a problem with many monitors where the monitor brightness could not be turned down enough leaving many people with prints that were coming back from the lab or of their inkjet 'too dark'. So in this case if we are using a monitor that is set to 90 cd/m2 and it is being judged on a monitor set to 120 cd/m2 the image would be 'washed out' when viewed. I'm not a super tech head.... but this is my understanding.

Joe_Campanellie
08-28-2010, 06:31 PM
Think I'll stick with prints for now. No sense messing with what has been working for me recently. I print all of my own competition prints so lab costs are not an issue.

rNeil_Photog
09-08-2010, 12:01 AM
Ron,

I suppose I am am correct in assuming that the image "max" size results in images that have the same dimensions on the monitor regardless of horizontal or vertical orientation of the image?

And wow ... 120cdm/2 ... that's a ton brighter than my calibration is for my monitors and printing ... wow. I'd have to profile a monitor WAY off from anything else we use it for, and re-work every image for this.

Amazed, really ... printing dark in prints and way light for digi-entry. My.

RonNichols
09-11-2010, 05:14 AM
A horizontal image will display larger on the monitor than a vertical. In our testing with the judges, we found it was not an issue. Hundreds and hundreds of images have gone through and no one has felt it was an advantage or disadvantage either way.

Regarding brightness, there is no ISO standard for a brightness setting within an sRGB or Adobe 1998 RGB color space. 90 cd/m2 may be right for you, 110 for someone else and 140 for the next. The Spectraview calibration software suggests a 140 for Photo/Print usage. When calibrating using an advanced mode with X-Rite products, the software takes into account ambient light, then works towards a 120 cd/m2.

I think you will find that most people calibrate using an "Easy" mode (as a matter of fact, Scott Kelby teaches this) and in that process, luminance is not reduced except as necessary to hit the desired white point. Monitors on iMac and MacBook Pros using come in at about 240+ out of the box.

The key is that for PPA photographic competitions, you now have measurable settings to work with. All this is far tighter and much more realistic than the analog system using hot lights for review. Yes, you will probably need to create a second profile with our settings (White Point: D65, Gamma: 2.20
Intensity/Brightness: 120 cd/m2), but that is easy. I can change a monitor profile in less than 5 seconds after it is created.

This new system is easy for people to understand and work with. I can assure that far more people have colorimeter's than sets of Photogenic mini-spots. None of this was created on a whim. It was extensively researched and tested. At the IPC this year, the judges were amazed at what could be seen in an image, both good and bad.

The way we do business has changed and so has photographic competition. Best of all, you get to decide if you want to enter prints or files. It really comes down to whatever works for you.

rNeil_Photog
09-14-2010, 06:46 AM
Ron,

My monitors in the studio are still CRT, highly calibrated, and I don't think ANY of them can come close to 120 cdm/2. I had one that when new was up at about 105 ... but even when I tried calibrating it at 95, we couldn't match it with prints from the lab for density ... and dropped it back to 90, and all works well.

So we'd need to spring for a new monitor to replace a perfectly fine CRT ... right now, I just don't see the wisdom of putting out the bucks for *my* studio. As I have chaired the jury for our state comps, though, I'll need to get used to the new system of course. I handle a lot of the technical stuff for setting and measuring the judging area, and I'll need to master the new stuff too I'm sure.

And for now, I'll be advising folks that ask that they'd need a nicely calibrated system at 120cdm/2 and the other specs before thinking of trying digi submission.

Neil

Zack_Davis
09-14-2010, 12:24 PM
I think it's great, the settings are not insane but something that photographers that can't or haven't shelled out the cash for an NEC or Eizo can still meet fairly easily. Even a decent Samsung LCD should be able to get a lot of photographers what they want to submit.


I just don't see the wisdom of putting out the bucks for *my* studio.

I think that's probably why they kept print and aren't going full digital. Though cost of shipping, printing and such I think some may make the switch just for the long term savings.

RonNichols
09-14-2010, 06:14 PM
Ron,

My monitors in the studio are still CRT, highly calibrated, and I don't think ANY of them can come close to 120 cdm/2. I had one that when new was up at about 105 ... but even when I tried calibrating it at 95, we couldn't match it with prints from the lab for density ... and dropped it back to 90, and all works well.

Neil

I'm sure your CRT monitor days are numbered. We had several Lacie Electron Blues. They were a great monitor. All except one faded away (it had very limited usage) and I gave that to a friend.

The beauty of the new system is that you have a choice. Print or digital, whatever works for you!

rNeil_Photog
09-17-2010, 08:08 AM
Ron,

It's through reading all the SMS material that I've decided I can't justify the expense for new tools OOPS toys right now! We got a great purchase of five LaCie CRT's just as they were going off-market, only about $125/ea. I've got a couple in twin-set-ups, the wife has one ... and the last one in a twin was only started in-use a couple months ago. I should get another year to three on the oldest of those in use right now.

So ... with perfectly functional tools for the task functioning perfectly, I may drool over say, getting a pair of 20+ inch LCD's, but can't justify the expense. Someday it will be necessary. These all still calibrate perfectly and well within their "guns" every time yet.

So, for our own images, to go digital-sub will mean talking to a friend with calibrated LCD's, as with many photogs. For the next couple years that is.

Neil

Zack_Davis
09-17-2010, 10:52 AM
IMHO no one needs the $1000 NEC monitors or $2200 Ezio's to enter with digital sub though. Yes they are "top tier" panels but a well calibrated Samsung or even a low end IPS panel will get the job done, it may not technically present the perfect calibration of a more expensive monitor but I don't see where it prevents someone who has been getting good color from their lab and that is calibrated to the same specs from entering.

Do they risk that their color tones may appear slightly different sure, but there's also the chance that it doesn't present enough of a difference to help or hurt the images.

Again though, I think the hesitance some may have is why it's not full digital entry. Which is beautiful because if anyone wants to enter prints still they can and everyone can remain happy.

rNeil_Photog
09-18-2010, 12:26 AM
Zach,

Thanks for helping out here ... do you have a suggestion of which say Samsung monitor would be "acceptable" at least after calibration with something like the
ColorMunki or similar?

Neil

Zack_Davis
09-18-2010, 01:18 AM
For an affordable starter IPS panel I'd consider the NEC EA231WMI-BK - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824002524&cm_re=IPS-_-24-002-524-_-Product

It's a great price for a more color accurate image than a typical TN panel and Full HD for less than $350.

For even more budget friendly options I like Samsung, mostly because I've had such great luck with them. The Samsung Syncmaster line is what I prefer and though they're TN panels as long as you have your monitor set so you are sitting directly in front of it you can avoid a lot of the color shift issues. On top of that the controls for a TN panel are great as well. Here's a similar TN panel to the NEC from Samsung that runs about $100 less. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824001388&cm_re=Samsung_Syncmaster-_-24-001-388-_-Product

I'm sure there's other options and maybe Andrew Rodney if he has a chance can chime in and give some suggestions on budget friendly models as well. :)

rNeil_Photog
09-18-2010, 03:23 AM
Thanks, Zach!

Neil