Monday, June 23, 2014

Ugly Tour Bus Photoblogging: Hyperphotogenic

(Click either for bigger. Recommended!)

Here's what's fun/frustrating about being a digital photography specialist during the infancy of the medium: people know enough to be able to use digital photographs easily... and badly. People know a little bit of the terminology, but they don't understand it. "What size image do you need?" I ask. "300dpi," they respond, which is like saying Los Angeles is 60mph away from San Francisco.

In this case, I'm sure the designer, who is not really a designer, thought, "This looks great on my monitor, therefore it will look just as great blown up massively on the side of a bus." The result, of course, is a symphony of bad compression and jpeg artifacts which, to me, contrasts beautifully with a GOOD digital image (mine, in this case) of the panel surface, divide and reflector. Here's another view of the same photogenic trainwreck:

4 comments:

PhysioProffe said...

Heinous!!! In NYC, this kind of abomination is very common on the awnings of small retail stores. I am more attuned to the typesetting than the images, and even I can see the shit.

postpunkmonk said...

You're wrong there, PSP. (The Professor thoughtfully removes his lovingly worn briar pipe from his mouth and gently, but firmly, jabs the stem concurrent with each of his syllables for emphasis) You have to cut large scale images some slack. You are standing next to the bus snapping a photo, so you can see the image in all of its 16 dpi "splendor," but the image is meant to be seen at least 10 - 15 car lengths away on the highway, transforming the low res image into virtual perfection. Even 6 feet away, you can get away with 72 dpi. Second of all, there is no commercial imaging device capable of capturing an image the size of a bus in 300 dpi and even if you could, your computer would need 3TB of RAM to load the image in Photoshop.

Peteykins said...

You're right that you don't have to go all HD full-scale for something like a bus, but... Tiling!

Also, I've seen it done well. This one was simply a train wreck, and didn't look good from a distance, either.

Michael Strickland said...

Ah, the profound mysteries of resolution. I've tried hard to explain it to people but the results are a bit like who/whom or its/it's. You either get it or don't.