Archive for December, 2008

UPS Mail Call

Wednesday, December 24th, 2008

Got an interesting email this morning from our neighborhood mailing list:

This is a notice to all neighborhood residents about problems the UPS delivery lady (Dawn) is having reaching our neighborhood.

She has over 200 packages for our neighborhood that she can’t deliver because she can’t get her truck up the hills. However, she can make it to 45th St.

She would like me to tell you all that she will wait in the truck tomorrow between 11:30 and 12:30 pm at 8850 Paisley Drive, which is in front of the Morse’s house. (She asks that you be patient with her as she will need to search through them to get your packages). If anyone is expecting a package that they absolutely cannot retrieve tomorrow at that time, perhaps you can notify me and my boys can collect them and deliver them to your house, or at least bring them down to our garage, if you wish.

Let me know… And enjoy your holidays!
[neighborly neighbor]

I thought this had a certain end-of-the-world ring to it, and even though we weren’t expecting any packages, I figured it would be worth getting out of the house for (having been snowed in for the past week).



Thursday, December 18th, 2008


iStock rejected my submissions.

The stated reason for each of the three was:

This file contains artifacting when viewed at full size. This technical issue is commonly created by the quality settings in-camera, in post-processing or in RAWsettings. Artifacting may be the result of other factors such as excessive level adjustments.

I said “no way – those images are great”. Couldn’t believe they found “artifacts” – these were RAW images, never seriously compressed or post-processed.

After being dejected for a while I went on the iStock forum and did some searching on the subject. I realized there were two possible reasons for their response:

  1. Sharpening. I tend to like to sharpen, sometimes a bit heavy-handedly. It improves the pop when printed on my Epson, and helps maintain crispness when resized smaller for the web.
  2. Chromatic aberration (CA). CA is a by-product of the way light bends as it passes through glass. Different wavelengths (colors) of light bend differently when they pass through the air-glass boundary. This is how white light separates into a rainbow when it passes through a prism [illustrated in classic rock style here]. CA is more likely to occur in inexpensive lenses, but it happens in good ones too. These photos were shot with a Nikon 18-200 zoom – a flexible and useful lens for walking around, and considered very good (both Thom Hogan and Ken Rockwell like it a lot), but obviously it suffers from a little CA.

So I re-opened the raw images, didn’t sharpen them at all, and did some careful correction to minimize the CA. Resubmitted them and now…well…I guess I have to wait another 4 weeks.

Kind of an enthusiasm damper.

On the other hand, anything worth doing is worth doing well. I should probably be glad iStock is kicking my butt.