Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Early Morning Mystery

A tale of two JPEGs, this.

Yesterday, as I arrived at work, there was a sweet, early morning light casting its spell over everything.  The chestnut tree beyond the wall in the Old Dairy car-park looked fine against a blue sky.  It photographed very well, with those excellent Fuji colours.  The JPEG file you see above is a fair representation of the final, processed TIFF file.

As alway on a sunny morning, there was a nice scatter of reflections from the east-facing escarpment of the Biological Sciences building.  I was very interested in a combination of reflections and shadows that was making interesting shapes on a green steel utility cabinet.  Again, it photographed nicely.  However, what you see below is not much like the final, processed TIFF file at all.  In fact, it's downright ugly in places.

My initial assumption was that I had accidentally converted the JPEG from the heavily-doctored version of the image I use for printing (i.e. brightness and contrast turned up, saturation turned up, shadows and highlights adjusted with curves) which prints nicely, but looks horrendous on screen.  So I converted it again, and the JPEG looked fine on screen.  I imported it into Blogger; it looked terrible.  So I did it again.  Still terrible.

It's a mystery, and something I've not seen before.  Now, I do know that Blogger imports its images via Picasa (without realising it, you are building quite a large file of images on Picasa -- around 2000, in my case).  So, I had a look in Picasa, wondering whether I had managed to select the same original "bad" version each time, but there are three identically weird versions of this image in there.

Odd.  The only guess I can hazard is that Picasa and the colour space of this image didn't like each other much, for some reason, with the result that a palette of subtle dark and light greens gets corrupted into the sort of thing you might see in those light-headed, buzzing seconds before losing consciousness.

Something that has been on my mind today, as I had to submit to a blood test, and I am not a brave boy when it comes to nurses with needles.


Zouk Delors said...

Ok, so have you got a link for the Picasa collection?

I guess you signed away your copyright (at least to low res copies) when you signed up for Blogger?

Mike C. said...


No, and No.

This is Picasa in its "image organiser" aspect, not in its "web sharing" aspect. There is no public face to it (although I suppose one could do that).

Clearly, I'm not going to sign away my copyrights to anyone. I'm actually one of the few people who does read the legal stuff before ticking the box.