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12-18-2007, 06:37 PM   #1
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Question about Reds/Greens Burning?

I've noticed this especially this time of season on my christmas bulbs, but I've also noticed it before on skin tones, albeit much more subtle. The problem is in reds (mostly) that the highlights seem to get "burned" or overexposed... here are a couple of shots from K10d, one with my fa50mm, and the other with my kit lens (18-55).




I've tried all kinds for things, from setting my white balance, using different metering, etc... but this always seems to be result, regardless of lens, or camera settings, even if i majorly under expose, there still seems to be a bit of if.

It's quite possible it has to do with my display, or maybe this is the way it's supposed to be... I'd love to hear some input, and possibly some tips, if this isn't the way these should be turning out. Thanks a bunch in advance.

--
Mitch Kramer

12-18-2007, 07:15 PM   #2
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I'm no expert, but those images look fine to me, maybe it is your monitor...
12-18-2007, 07:24 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Stratman Quote
I'm no expert, but those images look fine to me, maybe it is your monitor...
so you're not seeing the "burn" in the highlights on the red bulbs in the foreground or background? i'm kinda hoping that's the case... I'd hate to think that if i printed these shots, this is how they'd turn out... how i'm seeing them anyways! ack! anyone else?
12-18-2007, 07:53 PM   #4
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I don't know Mitch, I am no expert but those pics look damn good to me. I love the subtle red of the balls in the background and the needles on the tree look pretty true green to me. Just my .02 cents worth.

12-18-2007, 08:27 PM   #5
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I think the "burning" you are seeing is the reflection of the lights above.
12-18-2007, 08:28 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by mitchkramez Quote
so you're not seeing the "burn" in the highlights on the red bulbs in the foreground or background? i'm kinda hoping that's the case... I'd hate to think that if i printed these shots, this is how they'd turn out... how i'm seeing them anyways! ack! anyone else?
Your referring to this, right. Reds pretty tough on images, especially jpg's.
All I can suggest is shooting the image w/ the red channel histogram not hitting the end.
Then you have to boost the center w/ curves or any number of pp "tricks, being careful not to push the red out. You must remember that WB is just multipliers to the data set and red is multiplied by a lot in many instances.. Someday when dpreview search engine is stable chaeck the Nikon forums and do some research. There is some interesting things there.
Shoot in RAW btw, the red isn't usually really clipped till "processed" and using greater than 8bit helps to contain it..
Here is one method:
Restore Those Clipped Channels
12-18-2007, 08:29 PM   #7
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are you talking about how there is a shade of purple inbetween the white and the red in the out-of-focus ornament to the right?

edit: wow, two replies in the time it takes to read the thread and post this....
12-18-2007, 08:37 PM   #8
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The red channel is burnt out. It happens. In this case you need to check the histogram. Generally if you shoot RAW you can regain about a stop and a half of highlight detail, but its better to underexpose and use curves to boost the midrange.

12-18-2007, 09:05 PM   #9
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If you're talking about the muddy highlights inside the surrounding halo effect, then I see it as well, Mitch. It's caused by the limited dynamic range (also called luminosity range or sensitivity range) of image sensors (in this case, the red channel), so you'll see something similar with almost all digital cameras. Sadly, there's not much one can really do about the situation. You could try the methods suggested by others here, but you'll see only limited success. However, on a more positive note, you can take comfort in the knowledge that few viewing images like this seem to notice or care, including paying customers or clients.

stewart
12-18-2007, 09:46 PM   #10
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There is also a method of enhancing the red channel by using data from the 'opposite' colour channel, in this case green. The basic principal is to take the textures from the green channel, mix them into the red channel, then colour shift back to the original hues.

I learned this from Dyxum's great Omerbey in this thread:
greyscale and color: the big fat line: Dyxum forums

I added the a step at the end to shift the colour balance (using a colour balance adjustment layer in CS3) to shift the hues closer to the original.

Result after 5 minutes of photoshop:



Not too shabby. A different approach from the Luninous Landscape method above, but still very valid.
12-18-2007, 09:57 PM   #11
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Sorry to add another post, but let me clarify:

Red channel:


Green channel:


from Omer: "I have gone to channels tab, chose [green] channel, copied the whole channel information (which is black and white) and pasted it on top of the original."

Then I blended with the "hard light' layer blend mode in PS. What's that you ask?

From the adobe help file on "Hard Light" mask: "Multiplies or screens the colors, depending on the blend color. The effect is similar to shining a harsh spotlight on the image. If the blend color (light source) is lighter than 50% gray, the image is lightened, as if it were screened. This is useful for adding highlights to an image. If the blend color is darker than 50% gray, the image is darkened, as if it were multiplied. This is useful for adding shadows to an image. Painting with pure black or white results in pure black or white. "

So when you apply Hard Light to the mask that you have defined as the green channel, it will steal the 'texture' data from that channel and apply it to the image.

Read through the thread carefully a number of times, you'll get the swing of things...
12-18-2007, 10:05 PM   #12
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Good work everyone ... after reading the initial post ... I didn't see a problem with the image (being a total photographic noob ... but then seeing further information from others ... and the work involved to fix it .... I now can see where the problems lies in the image.

And I must admit ... the excellent information from some of you guys ... and the methods in rectififying this has been awesome.

Well Done.
12-18-2007, 10:47 PM   #13
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It took me a while to see the 'burning' you were talking about, all I could focus on was the ball in the front and the ghastly demon with the gnarly teeth in the reflection.

12-19-2007, 06:29 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by mitchkramez Quote
I've noticed this especially this time of season on my christmas bulbs, but I've also noticed it before on skin tones, albeit much more subtle. The problem is in reds (mostly) that the highlights seem to get "burned" or overexposed... here are a couple of shots from K10d, one with my fa50mm, and the other with my kit lens (18-55).

I've tried all kinds for things, from setting my white balance, using different metering, etc... but this always seems to be result, regardless of lens, or camera settings, even if i majorly under expose, there still seems to be a bit of if.

It's quite possible it has to do with my display, or maybe this is the way it's supposed to be... I'd love to hear some input, and possibly some tips, if this isn't the way these should be turning out. Thanks a bunch in advance.

--
Mitch Kramer
I think what you see is normal, you are getting a burning out of out of focus highlights.

Also note that reds always appear really red.

There was a post a while back where someone complained about a dancer dressed in red, shot under red flood lighting coming out too red. It caused me to go back through many of my shots and think about what I saw in the red range. It also caused me to look around outside, and guess what. reds are simply really bright.

I think the camera is getting a lot of blame here for seeing what the eye sees, within the dynamic limits of the sensors.

One think you can possibly do to help is to start evaluating lenses with respect to the characteristic of the out of focus regions. There are some people who select specific lenses based upon this behavior. It is not just what is in focus in your image, but how the out of focus appears.
12-19-2007, 07:15 AM   #15
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Buddha, love the scary demon face in there! I guess you see what you want to

Thanks everyone for your help, I always shoot raw, so I should be able to work through most of these instances. Also, I've found Adobe Lightroom to be better in adjusting these things than Apple's Aperture. I spent hours trying to correct this in Aperture and pulled it into Lightroom and had it corrected the curves palette in a matter of minutes . Though it seems, some of them are too far gone to be corrected. I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one who runs into this though.

This forum rules! Have a wonderful Christmas everyone!
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