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Old Nov 7, 2012, 08:11 AM   #101
Phrasikleia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VirtualRain View Post
Thank you, especially for sharing your wisdom on the general subject of post processing!... Q... when you have a high contrast scene (with more dynamic range than your camera can handle) where you are going to have blown highlights (the clouds/sky), crushed shadows (shade or dark subjects) or both, do you tend to expose for the shadows, the highlights or try to minimize the impact on both ends? Personally, I find it easier (the tools I use are better) at extracting info from shadows than highlights so I tend to sacrifice more shadow detail and expose for the highlights hoping to recover the shadows in post. Thoughts?
The short answer is that I usually privilege the highlights. The brighter areas of an image are what most attract the eye, so it is almost always essential to have some detail in the bright areas of an image. A big, white 'hole' in the frame usually looks pretty awful. If anything bright clips, it should be very small in the frame and something where the eye wouldn't expect to find detail anyway (distant, direct light sources or specular highlights, for example). The shadows are another matter: the eye doesn't usually expect to see detail in the very darkest of shadows, so sometimes it's OK to let those clip. The exception would be if those very dark areas take up a lot of space in the frame. A huge, black void in an image rarely looks good, so it's best to get some light into larger shadow areas one way or another.

If the DR of a scene is so wide that my raw file is clipping on both sides, then I usually reach for my GND. Unfortunately, I recently scratched up my GND pretty badly after dropping it on a rocky hillside during a groggy sunrise outing. Since then I've been forced to use the digital equivalent of taking a separate darker exposure to replicate the effects of the GND (for blending in post, of course). The digital method complicates matters greatly with long exposures or with fast moving ephemera; for example, cloud reflections and cloud shadows might not match what's in the sky. For those situations I prefer to use a filter, so I'm going to have to invest in a new one.

By the way, If you're finding that you can't recover detail from highlights, then you probably have at least one clipped channel. This is why it's important to read your individual RGB histograms while shooting to make sure that none of the channels are clipping (see my comments above about getting reliable histograms).

I just looked through my most recent photos to find a tricky exposure situation where I let the darkest shadows clip. Here's an example that I shot just last week:


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Old Nov 7, 2012, 10:40 AM   #102
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Who needs retinas, anyway by dvsmith, on Flickr

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Quote:
Originally Posted by BarryJ View Post
I love this shot, the light, the young woman... the fact she's looking "off Camera" makes me want to see what she sees.
But there's something odd that makes me think something is missing. Maybe more of her back perhaps ?? Anyone else feel that way ? But this is a lovely shot. Love the B and W conversion.
That whole series of frames was made solely because of the way Amy's eyes catch the light. They're enormous and so vibrant.

There might be slightly too much negative space on the left, from a purely 'rule of thirds' standpoint.

I've been playing with making portraits that are 'landscape orientation.' That's probably why it feels 'funny.' I feel it gives a sense of movement -- something I've borrowed from my motorsports/aviation photography.
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Old Nov 7, 2012, 10:40 AM   #103
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Old Nov 7, 2012, 10:49 AM   #104
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Peggy's Cove by dhelsdon, on Flickr
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Old Nov 7, 2012, 10:58 AM   #105
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Butterfly by DigitAl3x, on Flickr
Good god, that's amazing.
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Old Nov 7, 2012, 11:15 AM   #106
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This was taken with an iPhone 4S, not edited. I'm not a photographer nor do I really know the proper terms for color, saturation, proper lighting, etc. I just loved this shot that I took and wanted to share.
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Old Nov 7, 2012, 11:29 AM   #107
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Old Nov 7, 2012, 11:44 AM   #108
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Old Nov 7, 2012, 01:32 PM   #109
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Capri, Italy

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Old Nov 7, 2012, 01:35 PM   #110
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Capri, Italy

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I have always wanted to visit there!
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Old Nov 7, 2012, 03:17 PM   #111
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Capri, Italy

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The famous Blue Grotto entrance? If so, then this was shot in the early morning since that is the only time the sunlight reveals to blue color of the grotto. I was fortunate enough to visit the Amalfi coast and Capri several years ago. It's the birthplace of my paternal grandfather and grandmother. The photo ops in this region are endless!
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Old Nov 7, 2012, 03:43 PM   #112
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Tree's near Tetney blow wells, There are only a hand full of these natural wells left in the UK, all in lincolnshire. As water comes from deep underground they never freeze over, so I'm hoping for a cold winter to get a shot of this. You cant see the wells in this shot but just the trees surrounding one of them.


Tetney Blow Wells by Shaun Wilkinson Photography, on Flickr
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Old Nov 7, 2012, 04:11 PM   #113
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Peggy's Cove by dhelsdon, on Flickr
I don't think it's me but is your horizon line off? Feels like it's tipping to the right.
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Old Nov 7, 2012, 05:01 PM   #114
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Originally Posted by fcortese View Post
The famous Blue Grotto entrance? If so, then this was shot in the early morning since that is the only time the sunlight reveals to blue color of the grotto. I was fortunate enough to visit the Amalfi coast and Capri several years ago. It's the birthplace of my paternal grandfather and grandmother. The photo ops in this region are endless!
It's actually the sea stacks on the opposite side of the island from the Blue Grotto entrance and thus taken in the afternoon. I never got to the Blue Grotto entrance. However, as you say, the photo ops in this area are awesome!
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Old Nov 7, 2012, 05:27 PM   #115
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Good god, that's amazing.
Thanks jessica!
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Old Nov 7, 2012, 05:44 PM   #116
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Took this with a Nikon D5000 down on the docks behind my housing development. The photo is actually an HDR shot that looked better in B&W. I used Bracketeer for the HDR processing and Pixelmator for the rest.
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Old Nov 7, 2012, 05:48 PM   #117
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phrasikleia View Post
Here are some tips for getting accurate histograms:

1) Try setting your camera's picture style to neutral and its color space to Adobe RGB.

2) Read the RGB histograms, not just the luminance one. You can be clipping in one of the channels and still have a luminance histogram that shows no clipping.

3) If you really want to get technical, use UniWB (Universal White Balance), which will reflect your raw data even more accurately. It's a custom white balance setting that you can create on your own or download from some websites. Profiles for many popular cameras are available for download at the bottom of the page here.
Sorry for the delay in responding, I haven't had a chance till now. Thanks for this information. I've changed to Adobe RGB, I was already on Neutral picture style. Looking at the channels separated for old shots did show blowouts in one or two channels for the shots where I wasn't seeing that for the luminance only! Thanks.

What are your thoughts on Canons:
- Auto Lighting Optimizer
- Peripheral Illumination Correction

Should I turn them both off and use the histograms instead? I don't know anything about them, so have just left them as set in default.

Thanks again for sharing your knowledge so freely.
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Old Nov 7, 2012, 06:00 PM   #118
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Taken yesterday at the Royal Adelaide Zoo. I've always loved the soft yellow and blue combination of the pelicans eye with the soft pink of its bill and gullet.

It was a really changeable day weather wise, so I let the camera do the driving so to speak. When dealing with moving animals, is it even possible to do it all manually? By the time I get the settings right, the animals moved elsewhere which requires yet more changes. And so it goes on and on for me!

Taken in Aperture priority mode with Auto ISO.

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Old Nov 7, 2012, 06:21 PM   #119
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ijohn.8.80 View Post
Taken yesterday at the Royal Adelaide Zoo. I've always loved the soft yellow and blue combination of the pelicans eye with the soft pink of its bill and gullet.

It was a really changeable day weather wise, so I let the camera do the driving so to speak. When dealing with moving animals, is it even possible to do it all manually? By the time I get the settings right, the animals moved elsewhere which requires yet more changes. And so it goes on and on for me!

Taken in Aperture priority mode with Auto ISO.

Thumb resize.
When I shoot wildlife I go with Aperture Priority, too. I pick one that will give me the depth of field I want, usually no wider that f/6.3, f/8 is better, and change the ISO setting until I get a shutter speed of at least 250 to 500. Sometimes it's ISO 100 and other times {like today} it's ISO 400. My go-to lens for this work is a Sigma 120-400, and it's usually stretched all the way out. If the subject is relatively stable I use a tripod with IS turned off. If I'm walking a path I keep the IS set to a tracking setting (two axis stabilization) and hope for the best. I'm always being surprised by a hawk or heron on the wing. It's really tough to get right.

I like the composition and colors in your photo. It could be sharper, but that's always the real challenge of photography of things that insist on moving. And now you know why I love landscape photography...

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Old Nov 7, 2012, 08:21 PM   #120
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Love the tight frame and detail of the this shot John...well done.
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Old Nov 7, 2012, 09:27 PM   #121
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Old Nov 7, 2012, 09:29 PM   #122
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Old Nov 8, 2012, 02:27 AM   #123
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ijohn.8.80 View Post
Sorry for the delay in responding, I haven't had a chance till now. Thanks for this information. I've changed to Adobe RGB, I was already on Neutral picture style. Looking at the channels separated for old shots did show blowouts in one or two channels for the shots where I wasn't seeing that for the luminance only! Thanks.

What are your thoughts on Canons:
- Auto Lighting Optimizer
- Peripheral Illumination Correction

Should I turn them both off and use the histograms instead? I don't know anything about them, so have just left them as set in default.

Thanks again for sharing your knowledge so freely.
I leave those turned off, since they could make the histograms less accurate. The best approach is to set all of the settings to be as neutral as possible and then (if necessary) experiment with them (especially contrast settings) until you find something that improves the accuracy of your histograms. Or else just learn what the differences are between what you see and what you usually get, and take that knowledge into account while shooting. Hope that helps.
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Old Nov 8, 2012, 06:13 AM   #124
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Jake at the Park by Cheese&Apple on Flickr
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Old Nov 8, 2012, 09:45 AM   #125
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I don't think it's me but is your horizon line off? Feels like it's tipping to the right.
Definitely possible, I didn't have my tripod at the time.

Now it's bugging me..
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