Details, DP2M and Pixel-Peeping ...

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Re: Details, DP2M and Pixel-Peeping ...

saltydogstudios wrote:

Macrae wrote:

HI Ted,

This is a very interesting exercise. I actually love this kind of thing because it has helps me make decisions regarding resolution dimensions in my printing so that I achieve the look/print I am after.

I must admit that I am a low resolution photographer. That is I have not (for my own work) been able to create more descriptive prints with higher pixel count sensors. I know this sounds a bit mad, but it is true.

In your virtual example, you equate detail with individual pixels. But a pixel (colour and luminosity) is not detail. It is a building block of detail. Like an atom to a molecule. It is only when group of pixels reach a certain quality is readable "detail" formed.

Think about this. Imagine you are standing in a great hall where the floor is constructed of long strips of boards that run the length of the room. The boards have normal variegation, and their colour varies as you would expect. When you look down at your feet, it is easy to differentiate the separate boards. But as they extend away from where you are standing, it becomes increasingly difficult to visually separate one board from another until it is impossible.

If your position remains unchanged what would have to happen to the distant boards in order for them to be perceived? They would have to be enlarged and contrast added so that the minimum visual threshold for tonal separation was reached.

Below is a crop from a 24x36 inch print sized at 90 PPI made from alternating black and white pixels. It is a fascinating thing to look at and to print especially when one keeps in mind that these are black (0) and white (255) pixels. Imagine, like the floor example above if these pixels were variations of gray not unlike what we find in nature. What would happen if they were smaller (higher resolution)? The question of how "good" is the detail in your mesh relies on so many things. The one thing it most relies on is viewing conditions. This is why my inkjet prints cannot be optimized for two different viewing distances.

black and white pixel checkboard. crop from 24x36 inch at 90PPI.

I did something similar when I was experimenting with subtractive color systems - read: paint mixing.

I wanted to see if I could really start from a few primary colors and create "all" the colors.

Perhaps because the pigments I was starting from were not pure Cyan, Magenta and Yellow, I found that what I produced was a muddier, grayer version of the color I was aiming for.

You can get paints in the Process Colors, which are basically the same pigments as are used in printing inks. They certainly give better mixtures than red, yellow and blue.

Some painters like to do a lot of mixing and prefer the range of near-grey colours that they get. Personally, I prefer to do as little mixing as possible.

The great advantage of paint is that you have the iron oxide pigments (Raw Sienna, Yellow Ochre, Venetian Red, Mars Red, etc ) which are ideal for skin colours and many other natural colours. These are not available in photography or four-colour printing.

When I replicated this on an additive system - read: a computer monitor, by doing much the same as you - placing adjacent "red" and "yellow" pixels next to each other (I think I chose those colors because of my experiments in paint mixing and not for any theoretical reason) - the result was the same.

A muddy grey version of the color that theoretically should have shown up.

In retrospect, it's likely because each color wasn't "pure" CMY or RGB and therefore was triggering multiple frequencies. Does anyone even bother to sell pure CMY paints (like oil pant or watercolor)?

Yes. For instance, "Winsor & Newton 120ml Galeria Acrylic Paint - Process Magenta".

BTW this thought process is very much at the root of one of my new photographic projects. I'll try to sneak in a Foveon here and there.

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