Thursday, April 24, 2014

What The Camera Makes Blogger Takes

Last January I uploaded a picture, the one below, taken with our new Canon G1X. It happened to be the first Photoshop-edited image uploaded to the blog in the new year. The Canon makes pictures of a quality and tonal range I hadn't been accustomed to since my shift to a phone camera three years prior. What appealed to me in this image was the level of detail in the burnt orange leaves clinging to the oaks in contrast to the blue-grey shadows raking across the snow. I was excited to show off the new image, but after viewing the upload I couldn't help but to see a pronounced deadening of the tonal range in the shadows and a summary of detail in the leaves. The image may as well been taken with my IPhone.

In late February I noticed Blogger's inability to render the icy snow in shadow without changing it's blue color toward red (making it lavender). This time the camera was my new Olympus XZ2. These two events were new to my Blogger experience, so it must have been something new. Or were my prior poor source images concealing what Blogger had been doing all along?

Recently I have been applying to several opportunities, many of which require links over the old-fashioned CD portfolio submission. I created a temporary Blogspot address and began uploading large, thousand-pixel wide jpegs. For some older paintings, like the one below, I had only IPhone images because these paintings were finished during my camera-less period. Phone images of large paintings tend to be pixelated, with choppy tonal gradients, and poor color accuracy. This image, below, shows those tendencies, particularly noticeable in the sky (too blue with stepped tonality) and the mountains (too red and blue). Nevertheless, it uploaded to Blogger looking much as it did in Photoshop and considered serviceable.

I used the Canon G1X to make new images a week ago because IPhone images simply will not do when there is a better option available. After taking these I processed them in Photoshop as I normally would, saved as a maximum jpeg and then uploaded to Blogger. The result, below, has somehow been processed by Blogger, pushing heavy on the red and yellow (probably to balance the blue). Now, despite an excellent source image from the new camera, the Blogger variation shows much worse color than the previous IPhone upload! Since this discovery, I've uploaded all my images to a Dropbox folder and am using that as my portfolio link. There, all images show accurate color -see the image

So, Blogger, what gives? Google searches show people with variations on this problem. The apparent solution is to make a Google + profile to attach to my Blogger account, at which point I will be given access to a control panel that has a couple of radio boxes that I must uncheck to disable the photo processing Google is doing by default. But I have no interest in Google + or its various demands. Consequently, I will give uploading png files a try, which apparently are not affected by the Blogger processing. On the web, some people said png solved the problem, but others not, either way the png is a larger file and less desirable. Below is the png upload -far better than the two above.

And, since Google also removed the ability to pay for website domains through Blogger, I will probably allow my art site to lapse when the domain goes unpaid tomorrow (I cannot access the account, which is somehow connected to the domain, yadda yadda, before it was easy, now it is hard). I will use the Dropbox folder for image viewing until a real site can be developed. In the meantime, I will get back to painting, where all the work should really be.


  1. Yes, leaning in, as it is, to the weather observatory, mountains, and the Bretton Woods. For a few years there I was trying to tie the war, economics, and landscape, but I've since moved on.


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