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10-28-2014, 10:33 PM   #1
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What is it about red?

I have a very difficult time photographing red.... especially roses or any flowers that are red. The color seems to blend together and almost totally obscures any detail. I don't notice the problem with other things red, but for some reason, it rears it's ugly head when it comes to flowers. Here's some examples of what I mean. One of them is cross-posted from another thread, but it's the best example of what I'm talking about. Other colors don't seem to pose such a problem.... just red. I realize that none of the examples I've shown are razor sharp, but I think you'll see the problem I'm having. Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated.


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Last edited by Dewman; 12-16-2014 at 02:10 AM.
10-28-2014, 10:42 PM   #2
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Are you shooting RAW?

Also, your EXIF shows the Camera Make as OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP. And the model as PENTAX K2000
I assume you're using some software designed for Olympus cameras?
10-28-2014, 10:50 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Steve.Ledger Quote
Are you shooting RAW?

Also, your EXIF shows the Camera Make as OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP. And the model as PENTAX K2000
I assume you're using some software designed for Olympus cameras?

No Steve, I'm not shooting RAW. And, yes.... I'm using software that came with an Olympus camera. I've come to prefer it to the others I have.... and, as they say.... "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." I have no problem with detail on whites, yellows or greens. Deep purple gives me fits, much like red. I suspect it has something to do with the exposure. Time for some in-depth tests, me thinks.


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10-28-2014, 11:09 PM   #4
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I'm sure you already know how a heck of a lot of data thrown away with in-camera processing. The JPEG compression codec always causes loss of detail most noticeable in large areas of red where things get quite smeary, it's down to the Chroma Sampling method as I understand. Furthermore as JPG is a lossy format any subsequent editing in your Olympus software (or any other editor) will degrade it further.
I strongly recommend choosing RAW when you are shooting subjects like those above.


Last edited by Steve.Ledger; 10-28-2014 at 11:29 PM.
10-28-2014, 11:59 PM   #5
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I do hope that someone has a solution for you, as then I can also use it. i have the same problem, always having problems when shooting red flowers (and yes I shot in RAW)
10-29-2014, 12:24 AM - 1 Like   #6
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Try some of these:
1. Lower the exposure just a tad
2. Lower the saturation just a tad.
3. Hue +1.
4. Switch to the "Natural" custom image setting.
5. Turn on the "Highlight protection" setting.

That's my toolkit for handling bright reds with the camera jpeg engine.

Regards,
--Anders.
10-29-2014, 02:45 AM   #7
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Yeah, I have had problems with oversaturated reds as well.
No biggie, since I shoot RAW, just a quick trip to the Hue panel...
10-29-2014, 04:32 AM   #8
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I read this article a while ago and it goes into this issue:
A New Year's "Resolution": Sharpness EQ - Steve's Digicams

"If you take a picture of a subject with very little saturated color like a B/W resolution chart, snow scene, the moon, or other objects without saturated colors, it is easy to predict the missing colors because all three primaries (red, green, and blue) will have about the same brightness. In these cases, the missing green and blue values will be about the same as the red brightness captured by a red pixel, red brightness at a green pixel will be about the same as the capture green value, etc.. Once you start photographing subjects with more vibrant colors such as fall foliage, colorful Halloween costumes, or the worst case scenario: a red rose, the amount of detail captured by the camera is significantly reduced. As an example, consider the red rose. A red rose of a particular shade will only excite the red pixel locations on the sensor, leaving very little (usable) information at the green and blue photosites (pixels). For the red rose, your camera's resolution just dropped to near 1/4 of its total resolution due to the fact that the green/blue pixels on the sensor are contributing very little information. In cases like this, the problem actually becomes visible in photos! Your red rose may look a little soft or out of focus compared to the green leaves or brown parts of the stem that are in the same focal plane because leaving you to wonder if perhaps your camera didn't focus on the red flower as it should have".


10-29-2014, 04:35 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by psychdoc Quote
I read this article a while ago and it goes into this issue:
A New Year's "Resolution": Sharpness EQ - Steve's Digicams

"If you take a picture of a subject with very little saturated color like a B/W resolution chart, snow scene, the moon, or other objects without saturated colors, it is easy to predict the missing colors because all three primaries (red, green, and blue) will have about the same brightness. In these cases, the missing green and blue values will be about the same as the red brightness captured by a red pixel, red brightness at a green pixel will be about the same as the capture green value, etc.. Once you start photographing subjects with more vibrant colors such as fall foliage, colorful Halloween costumes, or the worst case scenario: a red rose, the amount of detail captured by the camera is significantly reduced. As an example, consider the red rose. A red rose of a particular shade will only excite the red pixel locations on the sensor, leaving very little (usable) information at the green and blue photosites (pixels). For the red rose, your camera's resolution just dropped to near 1/4 of its total resolution due to the fact that the green/blue pixels on the sensor are contributing very little information. In cases like this, the problem actually becomes visible in photos! Your red rose may look a little soft or out of focus compared to the green leaves or brown parts of the stem that are in the same focal plane because leaving you to wonder if perhaps your camera didn't focus on the red flower as it should have".
Thus, it makes for a good image to try foveonization (in PP) on...
10-29-2014, 04:36 AM   #10
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Digital cameras in general have more trouble with red, and Pentax in particular struggles. As other posters have noted, RAW and/or underexposing primarily red subjects mitigate the problem.
10-29-2014, 05:23 AM   #11
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Yes, red is an issue. Reddish purples as well. I gather it might be the sensors, but the jpg processing engines don't help.
10-29-2014, 06:03 AM   #12
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The colorspace of a picture impacts the detail one can see in a color gradient, too. sRGB is particularly limited while being the most used in jpeg and the web. Monitors and printers have different limited colorspaces aswell. So there is the possibilty to not see everything the picture actually contains using one medium. Thats where RAW + Softproofing help a lot.
10-29-2014, 08:51 AM   #13
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Even shooting in raw you can have trouble with this. If you can switch on the RGB histogram in the camera, not sure if yours has one, you can check on the fly to make sure your red channel isn't overexposed. You may have to dial back the exposure a bit to avoid losing details in the red channel. Something about cameras using primarily the green channel to determine exposure levels and red typically being less bright than green to the sensor, when there's a lot of green or magenta in the image it ends up overexposing that. There are probably a dozen posts on here about it if you want the specifics.
10-29-2014, 09:06 AM   #14
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And if you PM EagleM, he can help you too. He shoots a lot of red flowers and he once told me he underexposes a stop to keep the red from blowing out.
10-29-2014, 09:23 AM   #15
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I don't know that Pentax has any bigger problem with red than any other brand, but both red and yellow are problematic for digital sensors. The sensors are preferentially more sensitive at the warm end of the spectrum and saturate at much lower light levels for red and yellow than for light at the cool end. The result is blocked up reds and yellows.

You can compensate in PP if shooting RAW, but the original should be mildly underexposed to avoid red channel clipping.


Steve

---------- Post added 10-29-14 at 09:27 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by TER-OR Quote
Yes, red is an issue. Reddish purples as well.
+1 on the purples and purplish blues! There are some flowers that are almost impossible to record accurately with a digital camera.


Steve
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