Heavy duty processing trend?

T N Args

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call me Arg
Hi guys,

am I imagining it, or is there a trend on this site to post images that have been processed with the Heavy Duty Turbo button firmly pressed? Not everyone, of course, but quite a lot?

This is what I am greeted with when I open the New Media tab:
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

To my eye, that has a bias in favour of very strong contrast and saturation and sharpening.

Also, I have looked in a few of the processing challenge threads -- I am not a regular contributor to them -- and the majority of entries tend to look like the above, and tend to get picked as 'best'.

Photos such as these have their place, of course. They are a valid option.

But subtle tones and hues and soft edges seem to be out of favour?

I'm curious. cheers
 

wjiang

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It all comes and goes. The low-contrast expired film look was all the rage during the last couple of years but has died down somewhat.

As for looking at new media - it is a bit biased as the same person often uploads multiple images, thus following the same style.

As for PP contests - it seems like the typical source image is something that doesn't work that well as is, thus people throw PP experiments at it. You don't typically see people putting up portraits and other such subjects that lend themselves to more subtle processing.
 

fransglans

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Instagram keeps influencing the masses, for me, I'm leaning more and more into natural style
 

retiredfromlife

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I think one problem is the way some people like myself process and view our images. I process mine on a samsung tablet using snapseed. They look totally different on all the PC screen I view them on. I have a single screen at home and a double screen setup at work. Both Dell at work. My images look different on all the screens. At work my two screen are hooked up to a virtual PC box.

Truth be known I have no idea how my images actually look. hopefully one day I can afford a calibratable PC and monitor so I have a chance of knowing what the colours and saturation actually look like.

More and more people seem to be using mobile devices to process their images. This may be a factor in this over processing, especially using the inbuild presets.

But I do agree with you there seems to be a trend now to over process. I sometimes go to a friends photo club to view their images in competitions and have noticed that if your images are not what I think are over processed they will never get picked of even get a mention. Especially lardscapes.
 

archaeopteryx

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Not everyone, of course, but quite a lot?
I looked through the last three post processing challenges and counted adjustments by 24 users. The 13 images in new media are from two other users. Going farther back in the processing challenges would pick up more accounts but most of the edits are from about 15 users. As @wjiang pointed out, this is unlikely to be a representative site-wide sample due to image content, user, and thread selection bias. The number of images also appears very likely inadequate.

An appropriate approach would be more like to randomly select about 5% of all images posted to mu-43 over a time period long enough to detect a trend, classify all images in the sample, and test for statistically significant changes in the proportion of each class. The first step is a straightforward web scraping, list assembly, and sampling without replacement task. Komolgorov-Smirnov and similar tests are well established for the third step. So mostly I'm curious about the classification method.
 
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I didn't even know there was a "New media" page on this site... Anyway, those pictures are made by 2 users, so can't be representative of the site as a whole. (Also, the New media page seems to just show pictures that were put on the Media tab of any user's profile. It seems few people use that feature.)

With that said, I must say many of the images in the post processing challenges seem over-processed to me (with unnatural colours, over-sharpening and halos).
 

BosseBe

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I didn't even know there was a "New media" page on this site... Anyway, those pictures are made by 2 users, so can't be representative of the site as a whole. (Also, the New media page seems to just show pictures that were put on the Media tab of any user's profile. It seems few people use that feature.)

With that said, I must say many of the images in the post processing challenges seem over-processed to me (with unnatural colours, over-sharpening and halos).
I participate in the PPC's since a couple of years and have to agree that many entries are overblown and overworked, but that is possibly because it is a challenge and if you want to win you might have to do something spectacular.
I also have had the fortune to win a couple of challenges, so I have had to host the next challenge, it is always a challenge just to come up with a picture for the challenge, it has to have potential to be a great picture and it has to be challenging to process.
For me the PPC's have been a great school to learn PP, and I hope that my own pictures are more natural in their PP'ing, if someone thinks I'm overdoing it I would be glad to be told so because I am still learning.

So I don't think we can call any trends from the PPC's, they will almost always be stretching the envelope.
 

Hannety

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With that said, I must say many of the images in the post processing challenges seem over-processed to me (with unnatural colours, over-sharpening and halos).
It is a processing challenge so you have to expect the entries to be processed :). If the aim was only to look natural they would all end up looking the same, especially if it wasn't a difficult image to start with.
 

BosseBe

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Another thing that might influence how we process our pictures is the season, now it is winter here in the north and the colours are often absent and the days often grey.
So I think winter pictures tend to have more contrast in them.
 

demiro

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I don't really care what the trends are or what other people do to their images. I don't think it influences me one way or the other. I do agree, however, that some of the PPC entries look like someone is just hammering the sliders. And they get plenty of likes. I wonder if they are just polite likes, or if people really like that look?
 
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I think that the viewing of photographs on electronic devices, which is what most of us do these days, is pushing us towards brighter colors and more contrasty images. How many of our images actually ever make it into print form now?

Smaller screens, shorter viewing times, and competition for our attention can be what is influencing our aesthetic choices. And, as several members have pointed out, trends come and go. It's all part of photography's heritage.
 

Brownie

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Hi guys,

am I imagining it, or is there a trend on this site to post images that have been processed with the Heavy Duty Turbo button firmly pressed? Not everyone, of course, but quite a lot?

This is what I am greeted with when I open the New Media tab:
View attachment 797427
To my eye, that has a bias in favour of very strong contrast and saturation and sharpening.

Also, I have looked in a few of the processing challenge threads -- I am not a regular contributor to them -- and the majority of entries tend to look like the above, and tend to get picked as 'best'.

Photos such as these have their place, of course. They are a valid option.

But subtle tones and hues and soft edges seem to be out of favour?

I'm curious. cheers
Some of those look a bit overcooked, but none of them bug me. Frankly, I'd rather see a little too clear and a little too bright that a flat, dull photograph. I noticed that certain subject matters tend to have heavier processing than others. It's rare that I see something that bothers me to the extent I'd say something unless asked for critique. I figure the only person who knows if it's right is the one who made it.
 

Joris

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My stuff might fall in that "Heavy Duty Turbo" processing category, at least my lady friend seems to feel so. Thank god I know to resist to her and third parties tastes and conventions. Anything less and my images seem dull to me.
 

BosseBe

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I think one problem is the way some people like myself process and view our images. I process mine on a samsung tablet using snapseed. They look totally different on all the PC screen I view them on. I have a single screen at home and a double screen setup at work. Both Dell at work. My images look different on all the screens. At work my two screen are hooked up to a virtual PC box.

Truth be known I have no idea how my images actually look. hopefully one day I can afford a calibratable PC and monitor so I have a chance of knowing what the colours and saturation actually look like.

More and more people seem to be using mobile devices to process their images. This may be a factor in this over processing, especially using the inbuild presets.

But I do agree with you there seems to be a trend now to over process. I sometimes go to a friends photo club to view their images in competitions and have noticed that if your images are not what I think are over processed they will never get picked of even get a mention. Especially lardscapes.
As to calibration of your screen, you don't need a special screen or PC to be able to take advantage of calibration, you just need a calibration tool/program and hardware.
X-Rite has the ColorMunki series and Datacolor has the Spyder series. Both come in at around $150.
I use the Datacolor Spyder 5 Express on all my computers (Laptop and Workstation) so all pictures look the same on these computers.
 

retiredfromlife

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I don't really care what the trends are or what other people do to their images. I don't think it influences me one way or the other. I do agree, however, that some of the PPC entries look like someone is just hammering the sliders. And they get plenty of likes. I wonder if they are just polite likes, or if people really like that look?
When I give a like or what ever I give it on my understanding of this site and the forum members. To me the site is a mix of beginners to some pro people. So I judge accordingly.

If the poster is a pro or someone who signs the work I will judge harder than someone I think is a beginner or enthusiast.
To me we are here to encourage, so if the photo has a good subject, framed well etc this is more important to me than the processing, within reason. I may be biased as I judge myself to be an enthusiast, and not that good a one as well. But I like most are here to mainly enjoy photography.

Also looking at budgets here some are cashed up others not, so calibrated PP equipment and expensive software is not available to all. So to give a fair go to all forum member picture content to me should be the main judging criteria.

As per my previous post I have no way of knowing what the actual processing looks like because I do not have a calibrated screen and most of the time I am voting from a mobile device that I know does not show colours etc correctly.

Others may differ in their thoughts.......
 

Brownie

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If the poster is a pro or someone who signs the work I will judge harder than someone I think is a beginner or enthusiast.
that makes good sense
Well, usually. Believe it or not there's an in-between. Shots that I take at the drag strip get a pseudo company name/logo because I was basically told I'd be stupid not to. They post a link to my albums for each event from the media section of their website. I don't get paid, it's a hobby. All of the photographers out there do the same, and none are paid professionals. I suspect there are others too.
 

retiredfromlife

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Well, usually. Believe it or not there's an in-between. Shots that I take at the drag strip get a pseudo company name/logo because I was basically told I'd be stupid not to. They post a link to my albums for each event from the media section of their website. I don't get paid, it's a hobby. All of the photographers out there do the same, and none are paid professionals. I suspect there are others too.
I agree,
I realise my train of thought is flawed. But then again so am I
 

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