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Summer in Provence
Posted By: channeler, 02-28-2008, 04:16 AM

A few more scenes from our time in Provence last Summer. All taken with the K10D and kit lens.

Paul

A couple of coastal scenes near St. Aygulf.

18mm, 1/80th, F22, SR on(must have forgotten to switch it off)


18m, 1/80th, F16


The next three shots are in the villa and grounds of the Musee Ile-de-France. Lighting with the first and third was tricky. Did the best I could.

18mm, 1/30th, F6.3, ISO 800, Flash on


18mm, 1/60th, F18


18mm, 1/60th, F3.5, ISO 200, Flash On (I had turned the image display in the Pentax Photo Browser and you then seem to lose display of some Exif data eg flash data. Anyone know why this happens? Able to see that I used Flash when I opened it in Coral PhotoPaint)


Was trying to include the bed of stranded mussels in the left foreground but shade difficult. Did a little adjustment in PP but probably needs lightening further. Please let me know how it appears to you.
18mm, 1/60th, F22, ISO 400, Exp Comp +0.7


Last edited by channeler; 02-28-2008 at 09:04 AM.
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02-28-2008, 06:58 AM   #2
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It's a nice series Paul. You're right that many of these are tough exposures. A few thoughts. I had a quicklook at the readings and you are using multi pattern metering for most. I'd suggest that spot metering will give you better results. Take a meter reading off the most important part (usually the brightest part) and then lock that exposure (great feature) then compose the shot as you want. Shadowed areas are much easier to "recover" later on, than blown highlights. Then you can adjust these areas later.

The first 3 are very good and a beautiful area captured here. I might have turned the flash comp down to -1 or even -2 Ev for the 3rd shot. Another thing you can do to minimize the flash "look" is take a 35mm white film canister and cut a hole in the side that fits the flash head (pop up). when you want some close fill flash slip that on and it makes a nice, cheap diffuser. The effect is to make a flash shot not look like a flash shot.

The Bamboo shot is one of the tougher exposures and really is a great candidate for HDR (real or "mock" as we discussed earlier). You'd need a tripod or at least some form of camera support for the 3 images though. So if that wasn't possible. I would have spot metered the people in the background and not used the flash. The 'tunnel' would have been dark but then you could recover the shadowed areas later. Similar for the last shot. BTW the horizon needs some help. Meter off the house or maybe sky. I think a CPL would have helped here quite a bit as well.

I played with the bamboo shot a bit but it's tough to correct the bright area in the back.

The gardens are very nice and again a CPL would make a difference here.
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02-28-2008, 03:55 PM   #3
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Thanks for the tips Peter and the 35mm white film canister as a diffuser is a neat trick. I'll have to see if I can find some old ones. I have a lot to learn about flash. It's a bit hit and miss at the moment. I have two other shots of the bamboo tunnel, one indeed is totally dark inside the tunnel. I also have another 5 shots of the last photo in the series so I may have a play around with the alternatives. Which PP process did you use on the bamboo tunnel? Well it's getting late here and I've been up longer than you (just about) so I'm off to bed soon.

Paul
02-28-2008, 06:20 PM   #4
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Paul, post the darker shot where the people in the background are exposed better. We'll give it a go and see what can be done. I send you the results on the weekend. Post it to the gallery in a larger size and link it to this thread.

02-29-2008, 03:43 AM   #5
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Here is the dark shot Peter. I had two but found the first one was out of focus when enlarged so I'm now posting the alternative. Not even sure how sharp this now I see it displayed. I've resized and optimised it some. I still have a lot to learn about PP. When I've experimented in the past I seem to have had the most success with curves but I don't really know what I am doing. I need to get hold of a good book. Can't get my head around levels at the moment.

Paul

PS: Imagewide command must be literally for wide images. Image is not displaying as I expected it would. Must be a different command for verticals?

35mm, 1/50th, F14, ISO200, Flash on

Last edited by channeler; 02-29-2008 at 04:08 AM. Reason: Posted alternative image
02-29-2008, 09:21 PM   #6
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Paul. So here's what I did. I use Paint.net which is a great freeware program.

1) shadow recovery +170
2) levels 213 top bar input adjustment
3) Saturation -10

I tried doing some curves adjustments but there's not enough data in the file to do much more IMO.

That was about it and here's the result. Others may have different and more effective ways of doing it and it would be easier to work with the RAW file.


Last edited by Peter Zack; 02-29-2008 at 09:27 PM.
03-01-2008, 08:57 AM   #7
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Thanks Peter, that looks good. Thanks for detailing the steps as well. I'll try to reproduce them in the programme I have so I can learn. I seem to be forever shooting high contrast shots like this so perhaps I need to be shooting in Raw when I'm up against these situations. Didn't have a tripod with me so HDR wouldn't have been an option. Would have been tricky if I had it with me anyway; it would probably have come to grief as one of the groups of tourists tried to come by. Probably need to get a dedicated flash also to give me another option especially for shots like the inside one. So that's a Pentax 540, plus the 300 DA that I'd like when it comes out, and I would quite like to upgrade the standard zoom to the 16-45, and........... Oh well, no harm in dreaming

Paul

03-01-2008, 09:25 AM   #8
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Paul, what program do you have? Photoshop? If so the controls in PS are similar (more advanced) but PN is an open source and the guys on that forum are constantly adding re-written PS plugins for PN. It works well and if you want to give it a run the web site is here: Paint.NET - Free Software for Digital Photo Editing You can visit the plugins forum here: Paint.NET • Index page. You just save any plugins to your desktop and then cut/paste them to the "effects" folder (go to explorere/program files/paint.net to find the effects folder).
There is a RAW loader for PEF files but I'm not crazy about it because the colours change for some reason when a file is converted. It seems to do some sort of AWB when it converts.

Anyway with the adjustments above the image isn't perfect for sure. I can see artifacts and colour shifting in the Jpeg file. Mostly due to the size used here (less data) With a RAW file the WB correction is easy if needed and what I do is open a shot in Pentax Photo browser. If it needs any noise correction or WB adjusting I'll do that in Pentax Photo lab then save the file as a TIFF (which from the K10D turns into a 40-50Mb file that is lossless).
If any other adjustments are needed, then it's off to PN for final touch ups.

Jpegs are loss files (or whatever it's called) so every time you do a new save, the picture degrades and the same happens with a lot of adjustments (you get what's called 'dithering'). If you decide to stay with Jpeg shooting, I'd convert the files to TIFF's right out of the camera for any edits to try and preserve the data as much as possible. TIFFS can be printed or converted back to Jpegs when you're done.
03-01-2008, 09:48 AM   #9
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Thanks Peter, I'll have a look at PN. I have Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo XI at the moment.

Paul
03-01-2008, 10:11 AM   #10
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You may not need to. I hear PSP is quite good as well and trying to learn another program will just slow you down Negative with PN is there's no manual or books available.
03-01-2008, 01:51 PM   #11
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Oh how I long for summer...
03-02-2008, 10:39 AM   #12
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Amen to that Rob. We seem to have been flung into another mini winter here the last few days. Nothing in comparison to what you must be experiencing though.

Paul
03-03-2008, 06:49 AM   #13
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I love that second shot Paul . That little tree made that shot . Good eye .

There is also GIMP that Mike Cash uses . I see it can do amazing things but the again you give a 3-buck camera to Mike he still does wonder
03-03-2008, 11:22 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by dantuyhoa Quote
I love that second shot Paul . That little tree made that shot . Good eye .

There is also GIMP that Mike Cash uses . I see it can do amazing things but the again you give a 3-buck camera to Mike he still does wonder
Thanks Tran. A lot of people find GIMP great.

Paul
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