SeaLife Micro HD+ camera

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Curacao Sunshine

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New camera for a new photographer comes with a lot of questions.
Hopefully I attached the photo.... Anyway, are the checkerboard squares from cropping or sharpening or have I done something else?
 

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diversteve

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Too much sharpening - or overuse of the Unsharp mask if using Photoshop. Copping wouldn't do that unless that image is re-sized larger than the original. Even then it likely won't.

Another possibility is that you saved the image too many times while editing. .jpg format files are lossy compression meaning everytime they're saved they're slightly re-compressed. So either you did that too many times or your compression ratio is set too high.

Try converting an original image to a .tif format file first. It will be a larger file but won't suffer any damage if re-saved multiple times. If you need a smaller file to post somewhere, re-save the final version as a .jpg.

Also if you're using Photoshop/Image Ready, notice that the Save for Web options have a scale or percentage of reduction for each option. Don't use more than about 20% reduction - i.e. save at 8 of 10 (80%) or higher.
 
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Curacao Sunshine

Curacao Sunshine

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I've been playing around with one shot for a bit. I think it's Picasa not me :) When I downloaded it and transferred to the tablet, there were no background squares using Snapseed. Still figuring out the downloading step let alone the editing techniques. Hats off to all you who do!
 

diversteve

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Unless your tablet is an Ipad with a Retina display you're likely not able to see them because your tablet resolution is about 1/2 that of normal computer screen. And it's a smaller physical screen so the effect is also minimized unless you zoom in on a section of the image.

There are two things you could be doing wrong in Picasa. If you're using one of their default crop options that are larger than the original image, what it's doing is trying to in effect make each pixel larger to fill the space leading to the distortion you might be seeing. Since the original didn't have the content, the software interpolates based on the surrounding pixels and tries to "guess" what goes in the newly created space.

The other is if you're using it to publish to the web, you'll notice that under Options, Web Albums: the JPEG Quality box - Preserve Original Image Quality (Uses More Storage) is unchecked. So as I mentioned previously, every time you re-save the image, Picasa is reducing the quality.

So at the very least, check that box. Since you're shooting .jpgs, the increased storage space needed will be minimal.

It's more obvious in solid backgrounds like yours compared to the rougher texture of the sponges. Although it has been uniformly applied across your image, you just can't tell. I even see it a little in the foreground, the rocks also look a little pixelated.

One trick any good photo editor learns is not to do too much - and more importantly not too many times. Repeatedly saving a .jpg after you make a change reduces the quality each time you do. Picasa may/may not have threshold level tools for their effects, I'm not that familiar with it.

A good trick is to always start with a clean original. Make a copy of it and don't use your source file. If you do multiple changes and don't like the result, start over with a new copy. You can't undo resolution/quality changes once they're saved. Except in a tool like Photoshop where you can undo everything back to the original if desired - and visually see it happen.

Mostly it just takes practice. I've been using Photoshop since about 1998.
 

jdcpa

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I am not familiar with Picassa or Snapseed.

I use Photoshop or Elements.

I question the effectiveness or need for sharpening pictures like that. If I sharpen a photo, it is not my much.

I assume you use a copy of the photo each time you make changes.

I would suggest you go back to the original and crop it only. That will tell you pretty quickly if it is the sharpening. Over sharpening can destroy details in the photo.
 

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