Soft image in print

Started Aug 12, 2014 | Discussions thread
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asolov OP Junior Member • Posts: 28
Re: Soft image in print

Virtual Photon wrote:

asolov wrote:

I have recently started using Lightroom and a retina MacBook to process images and encountered a new issue: the images on screen look too good, pretty much all of them. Apparently.

I have printed one picture at Costco as usual, to the size of 16x20 and the print looks "soft". I had printed multiple images to this and larger size and had not encountered an image that looked fine on screen but soft in print.

One difference in my process is that I used to use SilkyPix and do "natural fine" sharpening. Here I did not touch the default settings in LR.

So, here's a question: is the image actually soft, especially the icefall in the background? Is it me not being steady enough with 1/500 shutter speed? Am I missing the depth of field (should have gone with f/8)? Hopefully the oroginal metadata and resolution are preserved by the forum software.

Thanks in advance for your input!

I've also got the Retina Macbook as well and process in LR. I've not used SilkyPix so I can't comment on that. The default settings in LR are pretty conservative so if the image that you published is identical to what was done at Cosco, then yes I do think the image looks soft. I consider the default settings in LR as basically an unprocessed raw image and, as noted above, the Retina display tends to make images look better than you might otherwise think. I also think the image was slightly underexposed.

It could be considerably improved with some post-processing. This was done in LR:

One thing you might try is processing the image, then checking it by printing 1/4 of it at 8x10 to save the cost of the entire print.

Agreed about the underexposure: probably all the white in the image fools the metering system. On the other hand, I left the image somewhat dark on purpose since this was the sunrise and compared to blinding bright light of the daytime, it felt much darker and with a softer light. This is almost an alpenglow, if you know what I mean. Hence the reddish hue.

I wonder how I could have done better with the original image, use a tripod? Judging from f/6 aperture, which is not my default, I must have been trying to balance the exposure and depth of field. Thanks!

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