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Why does my photos appear like this?

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Why does my photos appear like this? posted by mumari.se December 09, 2008 03:05AM reply | quote
posted by mumari.se
I've just toke some pictures at my children with my Lensbaby Original. I have a Nikon D40. All photos are from the same photosession. In the photos of my daughter, the pixels are very visable as cubes (I dont really know how to explain). The photos of my son is not in that way.
I wonder if anyone knows why this happens?
The first two pictures is a little bit manipulated in photoshop, the rest is original.
I did take the photos in black and white mode.

/ mumari

Re: Why does my photos appear like this? posted by Jack Howard December 09, 2008 10:50PM reply | quote
posted by Jack Howard

Sounds like a JPEG compression issue, either in-camera or in post-processing... the JPEG algorithm analyzes each 8x8 section of the image (64 pixel grid) and converts the binary data into an equation that is pretty close to the captured data. But the more compression that is applied, especially to smaller files, the more obvious the imperfections in the JPEG process.

Does that make any sense?


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Re: Why does my photos appear like this? posted by BearWoodsDavid December 09, 2008 11:37PM reply | quote
posted by BearWoodsDavid

If Jack is correct (it is way above my level of understanding) would doing a few shots in TIFF or RAW rule out an issue in the camera?

David Akoubian

"Time is a wonderful healer, but a really bad beautician" - Unknown
Re: Why does my photos appear like this? posted by mumari.se December 10, 2008 03:20AM reply | quote
posted by mumari.se
Thank you for your answer. It does make sense, I will try to take some photos in raw tomorrow, the only problem is that my photoshop doesn't read rawfiles.
But I still think it is strange that not all the photos appear in the same way when I take them in the same mode....

/ mumari

Re: Why does my photos appear like this? posted by ranfoto December 10, 2008 03:28PM reply | quote
posted by ranfoto

Looks like you cropped the under exposed images of your daughter, so the pixel size would be seen larger . Pixels are cube like when enlarged .

The images of your son are flat lighted, but closer to the source of light you probably didn't crop as you were closer to your subject, thus the pixels were seen smaller .

So what's the answer to getting better images ?

Look for directional existing light or create a lighting ratio that will give you good exposure .

Learn all you can about how to get proper exposures, photo basics.

Learn to crop your images in camera, that is frame the shot in the viewfinder, as opposed to cropping the image in Photoshop .

Getting the images you want takes study and practice, we all have to start with the basics, taking it step by step until it's second nature to us, Bending images is the same.... there is no magic unless you learn it ......step by step .
Re: Why does my photos appear like this? posted by Craig (Admin) December 10, 2008 03:50PM reply | quote
posted by Craig

Hi Mumari,

Technical goodies in this thread!

I doubt you will be better off shooting raw or tiff in-camera unless you are, as Randy points out, starting with too small of an image and then rez-ing it up. The smallest jpeg setting on the 40D is probably a lot bigger than the images you posted but maybe shooting on the small jpeg setting would start you down the path (which would need to also include rez-ing up your image substantially in post production) toward square looking chunkiness in your image.

Shoot large/fine/jpeg and you will never see this issue (at least not due to the capture setting).

The issue that Jack brings up (and explains in such a way that I have now learned something new about jpeg compression than I previously did not know) could very well be the culprit but is likely due to over compression in post production, not in camera. Saving at a higher jpeg quality out of photoshop or lightroom or whatever you are using should fix the problem.

Let us know what you find.


You could not step twice into the same rivers; for other waters are ever flowing on to you.
Heraclitus of Ephesus

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