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Maybe I just need to clean them?

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by chalkdust, Jan 12, 2016.

  1. chalkdust

    chalkdust TalkEmount Veteran

    279
    Sep 25, 2015
    Bert Cheney
    Some people are tone deaf. Others are color blind. Most of us do not have the discriminating sensitivity to be piano tuners or master blenders of whisky (or whiskey, either).

    Myself, I am not good at seeing the fine flaws in photographic images. Other members here sometimes point out some color fringing or poor color balance or distortion and I look and do not see it easily. I often can see it after studying the image very very very carefully, but it is seldom anything that bothers me at all.

    In hopes that I am not utterly inept, I have decided to blame my eyeglasses. My prescription eyeglasses have significant barrel distortion and chromatic aberrations increasing significantly as I look toward their outer edges. Only if I look directly through the very optical center of them are they pretty good. I have been wearing these things for about 50 years. Consequently, I think, my brain has learned to compensate for distortion and color fringing and even poor resolution toward the edges of anything I see.

    Do you think my blame is reasonable? Or is it likely that I am just photo-flaw-blind?

    Do others of you have similar difficulty?
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2016
  2. bdbits

    bdbits TalkEmount Veteran

    400
    Sep 10, 2015
    Bob
    I have had eyeglasses nearly as long as you - about 47 years. I did wear contacts for a few years. I really enjoyed having peripheral vision, the lack of which is difficult to appreciate I think. And things seemed, I don't know, clearer I guess. But as I got older they just did not work as well for me. Now, I wear trifocals; fortunately I can remove my glasses when peering into the viewfinder and the diopter is just at the edge of keeping it within range of my nearsightedness. I do occasionally wonder if this affects my photos, as there have been times I thought I really nailed focus and sadly did not when I got the picture on my larger monitor. I am pretty sure it affects my ability to see landscapes or other wide field-of-view scenes in front of me, and which I enjoy shooting. I had never really thought about whether it affects my ability to discern flaws in other people's photos. That is rather interesting to think about and try to observe, difficult as that may be.
     
  3. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    David
    Add me to the club, boys. I just try to pretend that composition is all that matters, the rest is detail. ;)
     
    • Like Like x 2
  4. jai

    jai TalkEmount Top Veteran

    589
    Feb 4, 2013
    I think it is something you do learn to see, particularly as you do more and more post processing work, and perhaps sometimes to a fault.

    It's a fine line, because I agree that technically perfect images are less important than the content. And frankly learning to improve the content in photos is harder.

    But I also don't think we should celebrate ignorance. Photography is a craft as well as an art. When you learn to see the colour balance is off, then you will know how to make a quick adjustment that will make a big difference. Distortion can matter, especially when you are dealing with important leading lines. And colour fringing can be distracting.

    I think it's a big mistake to write off (as i presume you are doing?) all this as folly and refuse to learn more.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. michealj

    michealj TalkEmount Veteran

    255
    Jan 2, 2015
    Blaine, MN
    Oh, I don't know. I wear glasses and hearing aids. Tone deaf is a given. Oh and the cataract gives everything a nice warm tone, however one eye has been corrected so white is white again. Blended vision. Looking at an image and describing what is good and lacking, is 1000% subjective. Once took an Art History class, we all wrote a paragraph on the same image projected on the screen. The other 70 people were not in the same room I was. That is why I like to hear/read suggestions to my images. It is that different eye that provides ideas and reasons to go back and try again. Thanks everyone.
     
  6. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    David
    Hm, I don't see anyone here celebrating ignorance, or writing off attention to craft, jai. I certainly wasn't. And my guess is that Bert wouldn't have started this thread if he wasn't interested in continuing to learn.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  7. chalkdust

    chalkdust TalkEmount Veteran

    279
    Sep 25, 2015
    Bert Cheney
    I didn't think I was refusing to learn, but Jai helpfully points out that I could be. This all came to my mind when repeatedly I found that I cannot see photographic flaws in distortion or color fringing when I view images. I was trying to think of what might cause that inability. I also notice that only if i pay close attention to my vision in everyday life, I see red-yellow on the away-from-me side of any dark object in a bright background and blue fringing on the near-to-me side. But my brain corrects all of that so it is not part of the real world I see. My suspicion is that my brain similarly corrects these same flaws when quickly I view photographic images.

    That was as far as I had thought it out. But Jai brings up a good point. I need to figure out what I intend to do about it, whatever the cause. It does matter whether it is inattention or eyeglasses, I need to work on more careful post processing. It probably means I need to do a lot of moving my head so I can look straight perpendicular at all parts of an image when I examine it.
     
  8. bdbits

    bdbits TalkEmount Veteran

    400
    Sep 10, 2015
    Bob
    I was just thinking maybe you/I/we could also ask the optometrist about it. Mine loves to talk about these kinds of things, but I bring it up because you can get glasses optimized for computer work. I actually have a pair at work (I am in software/databases). They did wonders for me there, as I was having trouble with eye strain and focusing with the trifocals. I never thought to try them at home when editing photos. I need to give that a try.
     
  9. addieleman

    addieleman Passionate amateur

    Nov 13, 2012
    Netherlands
    Ad Dieleman
    I'm 61 and I use separate glasses for working at the computer and that includes photo editing; can't use my regular glasses for any length of time for that, for the reasons above and also because the neck gets a lot of strain by having to look upward to use the part of the varifocal glasses that focus on the screen some 70cm away.
     
  10. jai

    jai TalkEmount Top Veteran

    589
    Feb 4, 2013
    Are you serious about the glasses? I thought that part was a sarcastic joke!
     
  11. jai

    jai TalkEmount Top Veteran

    589
    Feb 4, 2013
    Haha I am a jerk. I thought you were making fun of people who obsess over minute details in photos.
     
  12. chalkdust

    chalkdust TalkEmount Veteran

    279
    Sep 25, 2015
    Bert Cheney
    Jai, I suspect you are not a jerk. I was serious about the effect of my eyeglasses upon my perception of photo images. I suspect that in a way analogous to in-camera lens correction, my brain corrects image distortions and color fringing (because it makes those corrections all day long for my eyeglasses) so that I actually do not see those flaws in photographic images.

    However, with your help (whether you intended to be helpful or not) I see that this inability is something I need to overcome actively instead of merely dismissing as interesting but unimportant. So I thank you.

    Also, since I titled the thread humorously, and since I sometimes post less-than-completely-serious comments, it is quite reasonable for you to think I was making fun of something.