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08-27-2012, 06:04 AM   #1
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Curious about burnt out leaf effect

I'm curious about an effect I haven't seen before.
We were taking shots in a wood, and of a particular small oak with very bright green leaves, with the trees around much darker. It is possibly struggling to get light, or maybe that together with a very wet summer has caused it.
When I look at the shots the leaves come out partially white, with pretty well zero detail.
Looking in LR the histogram is alright and the highlights aren't clipped (though the yellows and green do stretch right to just inside the right hand edge).
I've tried playing around with the various sliders, but the fact is there seems to be virtually zero recorded detail to encourage out.
It was a cloudy day and had just started raining,
There were two of us out taking shots, mine on Pentax and the other on Nikon, and they both show the same effect, though it is much more pronounced on the Pentax. However I was using the 120 macro lens and the Nikon had a normal zoom on, and is a DX sensor, so 1:1 shows less detail. I did have a polariser on the lens, but there wasn't sunlight and I couldn't see turning it made any difference to any reflections.
If someone wants me to post a crop tell me what I do - I haven't posted an image on here before!
Thanks for any advice.

08-27-2012, 06:54 AM   #2
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Please post a picture.
At the bottom of the reply box look for additional options>manage attachments (this is in the full reply not the quick reply). Click that and then browse to your image. I think 1,000 pixels wide is suggested to keep the image on screen without scrolling.
08-27-2012, 10:40 AM   #3
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Sounds like too much contrast range in the scene and your camera exposed a bit too much for the shadows. Next time you're faced with lighting like this, use the spot meter.
08-27-2012, 02:40 PM   #4
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I remember having a similar problem with some images I shot last fall in "The Subway" in Zion National Park, dark rocks and low light, with leaves sitting on the rock that were quite bright in comparison. I was able to bring some detail out in the leaves by selecting them using the magic wand tool in PS and then creating a layer mask. I think I used levels.

Next time shoot using a tripod (no camera movement) and make sure to bracket to save some detail in the highlights in at least one of your shots, then you should be able to drop the brighter image layer over the darker one and erase through...should bring back some detail. It may take some practice to get the hang of it and have a seemless blend.

08-28-2012, 12:16 PM   #5
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Thanks for replies.
Hopefully the attachments are uploaded. One is of the original full shot and the other of the 100% crop.
LR4 'show highlight clipping' doesn't show as there aren't any apparently.
The shot was taken in DNG format, with a tripod (it's a 3 second exposure), and I often do bracket shots and merge in Photomatix, but didn't do this time because the histogram showed the range was OK ...supposedly.
My wife, who was using the Nikon, and is much more knowledgeable on plants, says the tree is extiolated.
We are planning on going back to this wood next week, and I'll take a closer look at this tree.
If anyone can satisfy my curiosity in the meantime, I'd be really interested.

AND if anyone can tell me how I do a 100% crop in LR, other than trial and error a dozen times, that would be real;ly appreciated also!

Attached Images
08-28-2012, 12:19 PM   #6
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It looks like the little bit of sunlight in the frame is blowing out the highlights on those leaves. Options are to decrease exposure or use a polarizer which should block the reflected light in those highlights on the leaves. When such a small area of the image is involved a quick glance at the histogram may not be sufficient to insure there are no blown highlights.
08-28-2012, 12:28 PM   #7
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I agree with jwjohnson, the highlight area was probably just too small to show up well on the histogram.
08-28-2012, 01:41 PM   #8
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OK Thanks

It could well be as you say, and a moment of sun could have come out, even though it had just started to rain.
What is surprising me though is even viewing the LR histogram of the 100% crop it isn't showing it as burnt out highlights (to be precise it's possibly showing less than 1% of the 100% crop is burnt out - three small spots). At this level I would have expected a big part of the histogram to be off the right edge.
Anyway, another shot that hasn't worked!
Not to worry.


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