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04-27-2012, 08:17 AM   #1
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Exactly what blue was that sky? (RAW vs JPG)

Hi all, I´m developing a setting for my K7—through trial and error—to enable me to capture satisfying photos in-camera. There are two main reasons:
1. I retire from DNG PP work (at the moment I´m almost exclusively shooting jpgs) because I found my self spending half the time in front of my Mac instead of being out there doing actual shooting. I have not yet found a good method for RAW batch development and do not want to touch-up on every single photo—all the time.
2
. I prefer to make most of my decisions either premeditated, as a preparation of my mindset and the gear for a shooting or at the scene, in the moment. I dislike having to decide later in PP. I can´t answer questions to my self like: ‘Exactly what blue was that sky‘? Others may prefer this, as a kind of ‘what-do-I-want-to-express-with-this‘? discipline. That´s fine. Perhaps I want to express my impression as it happens?

Here are a couple of recent samples (jpgs from camera. I could add, that they are file copies of AdobeRGB1998/7Mb/4672x3104px originals ready to print in A3):

Custom image: Black/White
B&W Filter: Yellow
Toning: Neutral
High/Low Key: -4 (Check ‘Adam‘ and ‘Chipvn‘ advise on digital noise: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-dslr-discussion/106600-k-7-high-iso-success-4.html)
Contrast: 0
Cont. Highlight: +1
Cont. Shadow: +3
Sharpness: FS2 +2

* I´m only ‘crawling‘ into understanding Exif.files.
Is the Exp. Bias Value: 10/10=EV+/- at 0? (Q: I can´t find the EV value? A: Anyone please?)

‘Tippen‘ Pentax K7 SMC DA 2.8/40 Ltd. Time: 1/1000 at f/8 ISO1600 EV+/-: ? (?: Exp. Bias Value: 10/10)* — Found it: +1 EV


‘Amazon and Torpedo‘ Pentax K7 SMC DA 2.8/40 Ltd. Time: 1/800 at f/5.6 ISO1600 EV+/-: ? (?: Exp. Bias Value: 7/10)* — Found it: +0.7 EV



Last edited by jt_cph_dk; 04-27-2012 at 04:06 PM. Reason: edit text
04-27-2012, 08:54 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by jt_cph_dk Quote
* I´m only ‘crawling‘ into understanding Exif.files.
Is the Exp. Bias Value: 10/10=EV+/- at 0? (Q: I can´t find the EV value? A: Anyone please?)
Great that you ask an question about EXIF and then show us two images without the EXIF


The EV Bias is how much the EV differnce from what metering mode you're on.
And the EV value of every metering zone is also in the EXIF.



Don't know what preciesly you want with the rest of your story?
04-27-2012, 09:12 AM   #3
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I actually develop my RAW files according to set profiles I created for RAW development, the boxed Adobe profile from Lightroom is good but I find that sometimes my particular camera sensor* will have a response that deviates in subtle ways from that profile so I don't have to spend so much time on front of a computer correcting colour so much - I also leave my camera with its kelvin value set to 5000K to tweak settings so you get results, and not confusion. Keep things consistent and change one variable at a time. The only in camera processing parameter I fiddle with is the contrast, because the little JPG file embedded in the Raw files for fast previewing of the image is developed according to those settings and if you have contrast set too high telling if your highlights/shadows are clipped becomes unnecessarily difficult.


* The Leica M8.2 has by far the biggest colour shifts of all the digital cameras I have ever worked with.That weakened Hot mirror wreaked havoc on colour accuracy, even with the IR block filter Leica belatedly provided users with can cause colour shifts especially with lenses 28mm and wider.

Last edited by Digitalis; 04-27-2012 at 07:11 PM.
04-27-2012, 09:15 AM - 1 Like   #4
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First, I greatly admire these photos! I assume they were originally colour photos and converted to B&W. They are very handsome. Regarding # 2. above, I do not understand why it is at all important to ensure that the blue sky in your photo is the same as the blue sky you saw. If your intent in photography is to mimic nature, then you have a problem for which there is probably no answer. However, if it is your intent to create a beautiful image, which may approximate something you saw in nature, then variations in the blue is really irrelevant. If I understand the process, a RAW capture, with appropriate camera settings, will be as close to the "real" blue as you are going to get. When the camera converts the image to .jpg it is changed according to an algorithm which may, or may not, render the RAW blue sky faithfully. It seems to me that the photographer, as an artist, is free to do what he likes with the blue sky, whether or not it "correctly" mimics what he/she saw in nature. The objective is to create a beautiful image, as you did when you converted the above pictures to B&W.

04-27-2012, 09:22 AM   #5
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@jt_cph_dk thank you, nice to read your post.

althought I am not much into the very subject here, I just need to ask your opinion about the high/low key setting. I see that your choice here is connected to rather high iso performance, but what other differences do you see in the images when you set the value so low?
04-27-2012, 09:23 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Anvh Quote
Great that you ask an question about EXIF and then show us two images without the EXIF The EV Bias is how much the EV differnce from what metering mode you're on. And the EV value of every metering zone is also in the EXIF. Don't know what preciesly you want with the rest of your story?
Hello Anvh, Well, How do you shoot black and white on DSLR if at all? Do you shoot only RAW or JPG? How do set up your DSLR and why, show us some recent samples if you like? The Exif.. is a sub-question, but thank´s for the advise. Regards
04-27-2012, 09:34 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Crosshair Quote
@jt_cph_dk thank you, nice to read your post.

althought I am not much into the very subject here, I just need to ask your opinion about the high/low key setting. I see that your choice here is connected to rather high iso performance, but what other differences do you see in the images when you set the value so low?
The K7 seven suffers from digital noise (in my opinion from ISO800 and up) and I learned from the thread mentioned to avoid it. The idea is to avoid the boosting of synthetic light and add natural light in the EV+/- setting (with the wheel) of an equal app. +4 instead. Check the thread. It is good. Regards
04-27-2012, 09:56 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by RM Barker Quote
First, I greatly admire these photos! I assume they were originally colour photos and converted to B&W. They are very handsome. Regarding # 2. above, I do not understand why it is at all important to ensure that the blue sky in your photo is the same as the blue sky you saw. If your intent in photography is to mimic nature, then you have a problem for which there is probably no answer. However, if it is your intent to create a beautiful image, which may approximate something you saw in nature, then variations in the blue is really irrelevant. If I understand the process, a RAW capture, with appropriate camera settings, will be as close to the "real" blue as you are going to get. When the camera converts the image to .jpg it is changed according to an algorithm which may, or may not, render the RAW blue sky faithfully. It seems to me that the photographer, as an artist, is free to do what he likes with the blue sky, whether or not it "correctly" mimics what he/she saw in nature. The objective is to create a beautiful image, as you did when you converted the above pictures to B&W.
I guess I stated my self a little cryptically. The blue sky is a reference to a type of question. These shots were shot in the ‘Custom Image‘ setting ‘Black/White‘ as jpgs. Not in RAW color. However, when I shoot in color I will often do so because I´m taken by some special color, that I see, and that I want to take with me and reproduce/express in a photo. I don´t find that a RAW file necessarily does this better than a jpg. The jpg algorithm is the AdobeRGB1998 which is made for printing. Anyway, I´m trying to find settings that suit my work and preferences and that is (mostly) finished in the camera. Thank´s for your words on the photos. Regards

04-27-2012, 10:12 AM   #9
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I am notsurenthere is any answer to the generic question of which color better renders the scene, that of a jpeg in camera or a raw process.

One thing that has always disappointed me with photography, since I began over 30 years ago is the limited exposure latitude of the medium. Your eye combined with youur brain can figure out about 22 stops. So whence see things we have recollections that simply can't match what the camera/computer/printer can cope with.

As a result, part of your process as you correctly state is to determine the settings you want, either for RAW conversion at a later date or for direct JPEG.

I find that for a lot of situations, using JPEG and both shadow and highlight correction, there is sufficient capabili to first of all, capture the sky as something other than a burned out white.

The other thing to consider , especially in your case where you are doing B&W, is to consider the use of color filters and a polarizer.

I too shoot exclusively JPEG forthe same reasons you state. It is perhaps a little more thought intensive at the time you shoot, but much better than sitting behind a computer
04-27-2012, 11:57 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by jt_cph_dk Quote
I guess I stated my self a little cryptically. The blue sky is a reference to a type of question. These shots were shot in the ‘Custom Image‘ setting ‘Black/White‘ as jpgs. Not in RAW color. However, when I shoot in color I will often do so because I´m taken by some special color, that I see, and that I want to take with me and reproduce/express in a photo. I don´t find that a RAW file necessarily does this better than a jpg. The jpg algorithm is the AdobeRGB1998 which is made for printing. Anyway, I´m trying to find settings that suit my work and preferences and that is (mostly) finished in the camera. Thank´s for your words on the photos. Regards
I'm sure you've thought of this but on those types of shots perhaps the safer thing or optimistically "best of both" is to shoot RAW+JPG - that way you can have both for those important shots.

I am also of the camp to try to get the best exposure/balance one can in camera and shoot almost exclusively JPG.

However I can see and understand the usefulness of RAW when shots are difficult -
if RAW can manage to capture even that tiny bit better dynamic range -
which I know doesn't count for much in the majority of my type of everyday shooting -
but can make that crucial difference when it comes to that once in a lifetime shot.

Having said that, one should not be under the impression that JPGs are inflexible - like slide film -
JPGs are still very versatile and capable for post processing -
for example: dynamic range one can do a limited amount of highlight recovery
(in reality it's just a lowering of the highlight levels)
by using ACR on the JPG (use Open as.. Camera RAW)

Even better is Curves - PS Elements only has a limited subset of PhotoShop -
But one can get a near legendary free PS plug-in/filter called SmartCurve -
this means that it can be incorporated in any editor that accepts PS plug-ins
Curves (or in some editors called Tone Map) allows manipulation of specific tone/levels.

There are explanations/tutorials linked on the SmartCurve site.

I shoot in very low light and high contrast/differential lighting and have to face this all the time -
yet I shoot exclusively JPGs -


I think one intuitively knows when colors, even saturation, are even very. very slightly off -
so although I understand your subject heading question was only of a type -
one's eyes(/brain) recognizes when things are right or not?
04-27-2012, 12:17 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by jt_cph_dk Quote
Hello Anvh, Well, How do you shoot black and white on DSLR if at all? Do you shoot only RAW or JPG? How do set up your DSLR and why, show us some recent samples if you like? The Exif.. is a sub-question, but thank´s for the advise. Regards
I always shoot in RAW and batch process.
The way i do a batch is buy shooting in manual mode so that the exposure is the same over a couple of photos making editing easier.

I hardly do B&W, my eyes aren't used to it.

This my most recent B&W but it's only a B&W because it didn't work in colour.
04-27-2012, 01:07 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by jt_cph_dk Quote
Custom image: Black/White
B&W Filter: Yellow
Toning: Neutral
High/Low Key: -4 (Check ‘Adam‘ and ‘Chipvn‘ advise on digital noise: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-dslr-discussion/106600-k-7-high-iso-success-4.html)
Contrast: 0
Cont. Highlight: +1
Cont. Shadow: +3
Sharpness: FS2 +2
Nice shots there, using some very sophisticated jpeg settings. I see you've enabled the
highlight and shadow contrast settings. I've tried to work with those myself but I can't quite figure
them out. It's clear they make some kind of visible difference, but to me they seem to work the
opposite of what I expect.

Can you share with us how you make use of the highlight and shadow contrast settings?

Regards,
--Anders.
04-27-2012, 01:24 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
I also leave my camera with its kelvin value set to 5000K to tweak settings so you get results, and not confusion is it so keep things consistent and change one variable at a time.
That´s a good point. I do that sometimes too (set it to 5000 Kelvin). WB (Auto) is one of the strong points of the K7 I think. Thank´s
04-27-2012, 02:15 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by asp1880 Quote
Nice shots there, using some very sophisticated jpeg settings. I see you've enabled the
highlight and shadow contrast settings. I've tried to work with those myself but I can't quite figure
them out. It's clear they make some kind of visible difference, but to me they seem to work the
opposite of what I expect.

Can you share with us how you make use of the highlight and shadow contrast settings?

Regards,
--Anders.
Sure I will.

First I should add some additional settings: ISO-AUTO 200 - 3200/Parameter: Normal D-range: Highlight Correction: On; Shadow Correction: 2/3
Menu/C/3/#19:1; #20:3
These settings (and the +/-:-4 mentioned firstly) makes it possible to capture photo without noise and with general limitation of black- or white-outs.

Then with the EV+/- wheel adjust to about +4 to 0 the meter.

The general contrast pushes the Histogram in both directions, adds shadow as well as highlight.
So I leave it at 0 and instead fine-tune with the ‘Contrast Highlight‘ or the ‘Contrast Shadow‘ to push the Histogram in the needed direction.

Then correct the last bit with the EV+/- wheel as I shoot.

Was that clear at all? This is indeed work-in-progress for me too.

(Og lige en hilsen til en anden Københavner: Halløj der)
04-27-2012, 02:25 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Anvh Quote
The way i do a batch is buy shooting in manual mode so that the exposure is the same over a couple of photos making editing easier.
Good point. Thank´s
Great shot! Works really well in B&W. And it is exactly the kind of shot, I could waist hours on needlessly correcting it in Camera Raw if I hadn´t already decided to be happy about it when shooting.
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