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"poor lighting (backlit)" - why so strict while other "defects" are accepted?

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  • "poor lighting (backlit)" - why so strict while other "defects" are accepted?

    Hi all...

    I'm not sure if I am the only one with the following opinion, would be interested to get your reactions: is in my opinion applying a very reasonable screening policy I believe, I can get pictures hosted here that I find interesting enough to share, without them being 100% perfect in quality. I'll be open about this, I have 128 pics on this site, and 73 on I believe that is also the philosophy of this site, rather than attempting to offer a database with only the very best quality shots. Some of my best shots (in my personal view) are only hosted here, as the quality was not good enough for the other site.

    That's why I don't understand how harsh the screening often is for lighting issues, knowing what kind of other "defects" often get accepted without any comments.

    I had the following shot rejected and subsequently appeal-rejected. I understand people may find it not very nice (I wasn't expecting a Screener's Choice!) but I honestly don't see anything so wrong that jp doesn't want it, especially considering some other things I've got accepted here in the past. The comment I received back from the screeners, saying it would be nicer with low sun, is something I disagree with as well, as the colours can only be as vivid as they currently are with a high sun. is the biggest database of aviation photographs with over 5 million screened photos online!

    reject ID 859182 (apparently the link doesn't work)? It's a plane overhead at 2PM in the afternoon, hence the top of the plane is lit by the sun, the bottom is shaded but you see the detail of both and the colours are natural. Hardly what I would consider "backlit".

    It's no big deal, but I'm just curious to understand...
    Last edited by AJ; 2006-03-05, 23:21. Reason: Link fixed

  • #2 is the biggest database of aviation photographs with over 5 million screened photos online!

    Theres your link.


    • #3
      Personally I agree with your sentiments. Backlighting is OK in my book as long as the photo isn't underexposed, which it clearly isn't, as there isn't any loss of detail, and at this angle, you're looking up close to your zenith where the sky takes on a very deep blue, which I also happen to like.

      But that's just me, lets see what the screeners have to say.


      • #4
        The main issue with backlit subjects such as this is that when you apply the correct exposure to the darkened part of the subject you risk overexposing any part that are in direct sunlight.

        In your shot of the Dash 8 the upper section of the nose has become overexposed, thus losing any detail such as panels and the nose cone. Although it is not overly bad in your shot the screener obviously felt it warranted a rejection.

        This effect can be reduced by using levels in conjuntion with small amounts of the 'shadow/highlights' tool. Watch out for halos by overusing this feature!

        Backlit does not equal an automatic rejection, but you start on the back foot by not optimising the lighting conditions at your airport.


        • #5
          I was one of the screeners on this one and in my oppinion its the angle that makes it backlit. Had it been a side shot its might have worked, but taken from below when the sun is above the aircraft makes it backlit.

          Last edited by CPH Aviation; 2006-03-05, 23:35.
          Soren Madsen

          Spotting guide to CPH


          • #6
            In the strict sense of the rules,uploading backlit results in a rejection.This is usually for the reason that (like overcast weather) exposure will be wrong and detail will be lost (even to PS etc).I have no doubt screeners would not have checked the box without a good look at your photo.
            The only problem I see is the question we all ask ourselves while editing what colour is/was the sky.I agree with Erics comments but this photo seems underexposed a touch.Your EV was set to -0.3 and 0.0 or +0.3 may have resulted in,or similar to................

            Just my thoughts.
            My contribution to JetPhotos


            • #7
              Thanks all for your replies, that was most helpful. A few final thoughts:
              • I still struggle to understand why backlit (in broad sense) seems to be so problematic at this site, considering the leniency that happens (or happened) to exist for other defects.
              • However, I do have raw versions so I could play around further. The problem is indeed that you start off with a slight overexposure at the nose, so whatever you do, there is a risk that this will either be blown, or the rest will be dark...
              • Eric's comment about the sky - yes it's great to have that deep blue isn't it. I also used a circular polariser, I assume that may have further helped toning the sky...
              • finally, this pic was made at SKB. About 50 movements a day here I guess. And the busiest moment is the early afternoon / coinciding with the best time for me to go and visit... So I don't have that much of a choice.
              Anyway, I'll see what can be done... Thanks again.


              • #8
                Using PS CS2 to edit the plane's belly lighter .
                Good edit, Greg