View Full Version : Problems with shadows in photos

03-07-2006, 03:03 AM
I recently signed up for hosting. I'm a sculptor with a need for subtle shadows to show on the walls upon which my sculptures are hanging when they are photographed, so that the three-dimensional nature of the sculptures shows. I started building my website gallery at a Windows Control Panel Settings display resolution of 1024 x 768 pixels, simply because that is what I normally use myself. Friends have told me to use 1280 x 1024 instead, because most people use that setting and my images are too small at the 1280 size. Is that true (that most people use 1280 x 1024)??... In any case, when I use the finer resolution, the subtle shadows get several internal hard edges to them as they fade from dark to light. Please see http://www.charleszigmund.com and http://www.charleszigmund.com/diner_left.html
both pages at 1280 x 1024.

I have not yet bothered enlarging the pix for the new res, because in the two image programs I've tried on my local system (Windows vanilla image Preview and Adobe Photoshop), at that new resolution 1280 x 1024, the shadows have internal outlines, even when the photos are larger. I've also tried every one of the four resolution settings on my digital camera, including even TIFF, with the same outcome of internal shadow outlines. (I have by the way used PIX resizer for shrinking the photos, but this is not pertinent, because the outlines appear in the unshrunk original versions at the higher res) ... Any advice, please? Thanks!!

03-07-2006, 06:16 AM
If the problem is in your original pictures, then it can't be resolved easily. It might be due to your camera not being able to "grab" the shadow fading properly. Have you used it at it's maximun natural resolution? Try doing so and then resize the pics with PIXResizer. If this wont work either, you nedd to retouch the picks in a program like Photoshop, and then resize them. However, from the shadow on the wall, i think it could also be natural: it seems as though it could be some light reflection on the lower of the sculptures. Is the lower part reflective? Look at the shadows with nude eye, and see if the problem is there. If yes, it is a lighting problem and not a camera one. As to the screen resolution, i't true that todays monitors are 1280x1024, but there are still lots of 800x600 and 1024X768. Having a large screen will leed to have only part of your page on the screen and will oblige your visitors with less than 1280x1024 monitors, to scroll horizontally. A BAD think...

03-07-2006, 03:49 PM
Thank you as usual, Navaldesign. I've found by asking around today that a lot of people use the 1024 x 720 res and it's also taught as the best res to use in design schools. If I use that res, I have no problems. I think I will go back to it.

All the possible problems and fixes you mention regarding the camera, I have accounted for and that is not the problem. The monitor resolution is where the problem - and the solution - seem to be. Thanks again.... I would welcome others mentioning their opinion of what is the optimal resolution to use.

03-08-2006, 07:06 AM
You are an excellent sculptor, but a beginning photographer. You should get some professional help. Some of the images start out with hard edged shadows. Unless you edit them out (Photoshop) they will remain.
If you would like to email one of the images to me, I will show you what is possible. Just go to my Zone5 website and email from there.

03-08-2006, 07:24 AM
Are you talking about colors "banding" ? If so you are compressing the images too much. Also jpeg is best for images whereas gif is better for text or images with large areas of solid color. Your scupltures would render better as jpeg.

03-08-2006, 07:27 AM
I have edited one of your images. Send your email and I will forward it to you. The main problem that I see is in the basic lighting. Hard shadows are not best suited for your subjects. I don't know what your set up is for photography, but diffused light that is higher than the subject would work well for you.