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02-01-2012, 10:03 AM   #1141
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
For the record, that's not what I see at all. The way the segments happened to break down in the metering, there was no segment that actually shows as being blown out, but that's only because the blown out area spans more than one segment and is mixed with non-blown-out areas. The image itself does clearly show almost the entire bright area of the shirt as being blown out, however - just check the RGB values.

Unfortunately, this does not appear to be true. There is nothing to save - the detail in that area is gone, represented as 255,255,255 almost across the board. At most, there is like one or two bits worth of information in *portions* of that highlight (some of the RGB values are 254 or 253 instead of 255).
Thank you for the correction - points accepted.

Following your comments (and about 30 mins later) -
here's the JPG corrected to minimize the blown highlights -
using "Recovery" and "Fill Light" in ACR 5.6 (Adobe Camera RAW) on the JPG original.

it is indeed less distracting and better in some ways -
but also not quite as "dramatic" in others
(in that it no longer conveys the drastic differentials in lighting as much).

Thanks for the input and motivating me to look for better processing.


Last edited by UnknownVT; 02-01-2012 at 10:46 AM.
02-01-2012, 11:23 AM   #1142
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
No, you are correct that the specific *method* used to brighten the image can differ - most cameras use an analog circuit to do the first few stops worth of amplification, then they switch to digital. But it's the same basic process either way. There is a perception that analog amplification might do a better job, at least up to a point, and that's why it's done that way for the first few stops, but whether done analog or digital, the exposure is the same. That's a good reason to not just leave your camera set to base ISO all the time - it's nice to take advantage of as the analog amplification as much as possible.

Nice shots, BTW!
Thanks for the explanation. I've accidentally left my camera at ISO 80 and ended up with black images. Pushing them like crazy will result in purpley-red images that are almost completely noise. Cheers to analog amplification!
02-01-2012, 08:52 PM   #1143
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I went to a baseball game last September. I didn't know if I would get any clear pictures since it was night and my 55-300mm lens is slow. I barely did any noise removal, I think the texture in the dirt and grass hid the noise.

ISO 2000 on K-x



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02-02-2012, 08:18 AM   #1144
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QuoteOriginally posted by UnknownVT Quote
here's the JPG corrected to minimize the blown highlights -
using "Recovery" and "Fill Light" in ACR 5.6 (Adobe Camera RAW) on the JPG original.

it is indeed less distracting and better in some ways -
but also not quite as "dramatic" in others
(in that it no longer conveys the drastic differentials in lighting as much).
Agreed. I don't think fill light did you any favors. The recovery would have, except, as I said, there was alomost nothing to recover, so there's still a large featureless area on the shifrt. Recovery on the RAW might have been abke to restore some detail there without loosing so much contrast. Fill light is something I only would have used had the exposure been half a stop or more darker, just to bring the face up to the level it was originally. But then, the benefit would have been the the darker original exposure might not have had the blown out area.

Anyhow, really, the picture was fine the way it was. But it does make a good illustration of the value of RAW in that you might have been able to recover more detail while retaining the strong light and shadow.

02-02-2012, 10:26 AM   #1145
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
Agreed. I don't think fill light did you any favors. The recovery would have, except, as I said, there was alomost nothing to recover, so there's still a large featureless area on the shifrt. Recovery on the RAW might have been abke to restore some detail there without loosing so much contrast. Fill light is something I only would have used had the exposure been half a stop or more darker, just to bring the face up to the level it was originally. But then, the benefit would have been the the darker original exposure might not have had the blown out area.

Anyhow, really, the picture was fine the way it was. But it does make a good illustration of the value of RAW in that you might have been able to recover more detail while retaining the strong light and shadow.
Although I do agree with what you say -
for me there is nothing of worth in recovering details in the shirt -
the shirt detail in that area was not an important element of the image to me.

I actually used +1/3 stop compensation (my normal is -1/3 stop) to be able to expose for the face adequately - there is at least some hint of detail in the highlight shirt area (ie: one can still make out the pattern in the original) - it was a judgement call so that I could get the face - to me the most important part, and make the best of anything else.

As it was, the overall exposure was pretty good (for me) - and although you have pointed out the shirt area has 255,255,255 blown areas, it is not a completely blank white and still retains some easily discernable pattern.

It may well just be my odd taste - but when I look at the first blown out pp version on a LCD monitor, I was actually taken with its looks - as the back-light was actually physically radiating light - and it was like the pic was demonstrating why the face was lit - to me it is the way I preferred it - I know and deliberately broke "the rules".

Although I was factually wrong about the blown highlights - my intent was to say that my pp deliberately blew out even more on the shirt to emphasize the drastically different lighting levels - which I think the first pp, less "technically correct", version does better - albeit seemingly more distracting - it's almost like having the eye drawn to the blown out shirt then looking at the rest of the pic to "reveal" the face - and going aha!

Last edited by UnknownVT; 02-02-2012 at 11:51 AM.
02-02-2012, 06:26 PM   #1146
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Pentax K110D iso 800



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Pentax k-x iso 1600

02-02-2012, 06:35 PM   #1147
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Buddy Guy in "high" ISO.....

So last summer some friends and I were on our annual baseball trip (Chicago last year), and since we were seeing a day game at Wrigley Field on Saturday we needed something to do that night. Our "tour director" suggested Buddy Guy's Legends club. Before we head out that night we find out that it was Buddy's 75th birthday the week before, and he was actually going to be at his club for a birthday celebration - the NEXT night.

We head over there, and a few songs into the 3rd & final act for the night, guess who makes a "guest appearance"? He talked for a bit, sang a couple of songs with the featured act that night, and bid us all farewell. As luck would have it I had drug my K20D & DA* 50-135 along because I had wanted to try some low light, indoor shots as "practice". (I didn't really know how well they would perform in that situation, since almost all of my shots are outdoor, daylight shots.)

While ISO 1600 might not be "high" for you K-5 owners it's usually more grain than I care for the few times I've tried it at dusk with my K20D - but these didn't seem to turn out too bad.....










Thanks for looking.....

Tim

Last edited by UpNorth; 02-03-2012 at 12:20 PM.
02-02-2012, 08:18 PM   #1148
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QuoteOriginally posted by UpNorth Quote
So last summer some friends and I were on our annual baseball trip (Chicago this year), and since we were seeing a day game at Wrigley Field on Saturday we needed something to do that night. Our "tour director" suggested Buddy Guy's Legends club. Before we head out that night we find out that it was Buddy's 75th birthday the week before, and he was actually going to be at his club for a birthday celebration - the NEXT night.

We head over there, and a few songs into the 3rd & final act for the night, guess who makes a "guest appearance"? He talked for a bit, sang a couple of songs with the featured act that night, and bid us all farewell. As luck would have it I had drug my K20D & DA* 50-135 along because I had wanted to try some low light, indoor shots as "practice". (I didn't really know how well they would perform in that situation, since almost all of my shots are outdoor, daylight shots.)

While ISO 1600 might not be "high" for you K-5 owners it's usually more grain than I care for the few times I've tried it at dusk with my K20D.....

Thanks for looking.....

Tim
Love the second one in particular.

02-02-2012, 08:25 PM   #1149
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QuoteOriginally posted by UnknownVT Quote
...It may well just be my odd taste - but when I look at the first blown out pp version on a LCD monitor, I was actually taken with its looks - as the back-light was actually physically radiating light - and it was like the pic was demonstrating why the face was lit - to me it is the way I preferred it - I know and deliberately broke "the rules".

Although I was factually wrong about the blown highlights - my intent was to say that my pp deliberately blew out even more on the shirt to emphasize the drastically different lighting levels - which I think the first pp, less "technically correct", version does better - albeit seemingly more distracting - it's almost like having the eye drawn to the blown out shirt then looking at the rest of the pic to "reveal" the face - and going aha!
I can see what you are saying and, though it's not the way I would have done it, I can appreciate it. As Marc said, a valid artistic choice. In some ways, I think it takes more guts to allow part of an image to be destroyed in favor of the more important parts. I tend to want to conserve everything, which is not always the best instinct.
02-02-2012, 09:55 PM   #1150
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OK ....

I did a sort of pseudo recovery of the 255,255,255 areas so none of that area is "blown" - (still just on the JPG)

To me - it loses the dynamics of the picture -
there is now no reason why the face ought to be lit like it is -
so ironically it looks artificial/wrong to me,
like I had lightened the face and the lightening was unsuccessful
as the distribution of the light now looks wrong....
and the picture looks flat, and has less life -
not what I was aiming for.

I honestly still do not understand why it is so important to preserve any details in the shirt there
(it's as important as the face? or other parts of the scene?) - for this even to be an issue,
and to my eyes/taste it is actually better to be blown out
(and this is even after I have managed to process two other versions that are not as overly blown out)

So this is a case where RAW although may be theoretically superior -
would not have done anything to improve this photo, for the way I prefer to present it.

Unfortunately I find I cannot do photography by numbers -
and I will continue to make lots of theoretical "mistakes",
in favor of what pleases my eyes -
I have said, I realize my tastes may not suit everyone,

Last edited by UnknownVT; 02-03-2012 at 10:47 AM.
02-03-2012, 10:23 AM   #1151
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QuoteOriginally posted by UnknownVT Quote
OK ....

I did a sort of pseudo recovery of the 255,255,255 areas so none of that area is "blown" - (still just on the JPG)
Yes, but you went way, way, way too far with the dimming, and still did not manage to add detail or color variety.

No one is suggesting dimming the highlights to the point where they are no brighter than the rest of the shirt. Highlight recovery would normally done more subtly than this - still only a couple of bits down from 255,255,255, but there would be more visible variation within that area. It's about the addition of detail and color variation, not about making it less bright overall.

Unfortunately, there is just no way to achieve that effect here, since there is no data to work with. You could rry to simulate iy just dimming it to 252,252,252 on average, but then it would still be featureless - just dimmer. There is just no way to do what I'm talking about with this image - adding detail and/or color variation without dimming. All you can do is dim without adding detail or color variation, which is exactly the opposite of what I am talking about.

QuoteQuote:
I honestly still do not understand why it is so important to preserve any details in the shirt there
(it's as important as the face? or other parts of the scene?
It's an artistic choice, so there is no right or wrong about it. But to me, the large blown out area is a distraction, not unlike if there was a poorly placed microphone stand or cable running right across the middle of the picture. Personally, I find the clipping on the shirt more problematic than the clipping on the face for three reasons. One, the clipped area on the shirt is much larger than the area on the face, so its more distracting in that sense. Two, the shirt is not where I want the viewer to focus, but I do want him to focus on the face. Three, from a strictly compositonal standpoint, I like the placement of the highlight on the face Better than the placement of the highlight on the shirt.

QuoteQuote:
]
So this is a case where RAW although may be theoretically superior -
would not have done anything to improve this photo, for the way I prefer to present it.
i think if you actually had the RAW image and could do *real* highlight recovery, not just dimming the affected area, you would feel quite differently. Again, I am talking aout leaving the area practically as bright as it was originally, but just less obviously featureless. I think if you could see what I'm talking about, you would end up agreeing. But again, there is simply no way to perform this demonstration on that image, because the necessary information is gone.

You might consider shooting RAW next time you are there, trying to capture a similar shot, and then posting the results. Then we could discuss the various ways of processing it. But that's probably something for a different thread.
02-03-2012, 11:55 AM   #1152
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
Unfortunately, there is just no way to achieve that effect here, since there is no data to work with. You could rry to simulate iy just dimming it to 252,252,252 on average, but then it would still be featureless - just dimmer. There is just no way to do what I'm talking about with this image - adding detail and/or color variation without dimming. All you can do is dim without adding detail or color variation, which is exactly the opposite of what I am talking about.
I do not know how to set an average for the area to 252,252,252
since that whole area was not completely white (one can still see some of the pattern) -
wouldn't that blow out even more of what pattern/details there are?
the shirt area:


What I did do was to reduce the 255,255,255 parts to 254,254,254 max (only in the shirt area):


My apologies - but I still do not understand the significance of that shirt area
for there to be a seeming pressing need to preserve details there -
in fact my original version actually blew out all the remaining detail in that area -

That was the gist of what I was trying to say - the area in the original even though was blown out was not totally devoid of hints of the shirt pattern - but I went as far as to blow them out even more, when I could have "saved"/kept some of it (which is what I did with now 3 other trial "versions" - none of which I like as much as my original version) - but it was a choice on my part - mistaken/poor whatever one might want to call it - keeping detail in that area was just not important to me at the time - it now seems to have grown out of all proportion to the original (un)importance I had attached to it.

QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
i think if you actually had the RAW image and could do *real* highlight recovery, not just dimming the affected area, you would feel quite differently. Again, I am talking aout leaving the area practically as bright as it was originally, but just less obviously featureless. I think if you could see what I'm talking about, you would end up agreeing. But again, there is simply no way to perform this demonstration on that image, because the necessary information is gone.

You might consider shooting RAW next time you are there, trying to capture a similar shot, and then posting the results. Then we could discuss the various ways of processing it. But that's probably something for a different thread.
I accept what you say - but at this point I had no intention of preserving details in the shirt, was willing to allow that area to be overly blown out, without even making the minimal effort to save whatever remaining detail there was (the two other versions, now 3, was to show that the area need not be totally white) - so although I understand what you are trying to say - it is not applicable to what I wish to present for this particular photo - which was supposed to be of a musician (sorry no sarcasm or hostility meant) in extreme lighting, with face in deep shadows due to a hat peak, and I actually commented as such when I posted the photo - toning down the shirt area would lose the dynamics of the photo rendering it flatter with less life for me - again I am more than willing to accept that may not be to anyone else's tastes.

But I do wish to thank you for the interesting input.

Last edited by UnknownVT; 02-03-2012 at 11:17 PM.
02-05-2012, 12:31 AM   #1153
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QuoteOriginally posted by UnknownVT Quote
I do not know how to set an average for the area to 252,252,252
Wouldn't matter. As I keep saying, there is simply no way you can can see the type of recovery I am talking about in this image. You'll need a different image, shot RAW, if you want to see the effect I am talking about. There is no way to simulate it - if there was, then indeed, there would be no advantage in shooting RAW.

QuoteQuote:
My apologies - but I still do not understand the significance of that shirt area
for there to be a seeming pressing need to preserve details there
Just a simple aesthetic observation. Many people, myself included, find blown out areas distracting, taking our attention from what the image actually was intended to portray. As I said, not unlike a cable across the face, or some other object you might wish were not present. Like the classic example of am putdoor portrait with a building appearing to grow out of the person's head. Obviously, it doesn't bother you, and that's fine. But it *is* something that many people would find less effective than you currently do, and thus perhaps worth giving thought to.

Aesthetics may be subjective, but I find there is value in learning basic principles that have been found to be shared by many, as paying attention to these can lead to one's work being better appreciated by others. Of course, I am more interested in pleasing myself than pleasing others, but often, I find that I *do* share the same values as others, once I have become more sensitive to what the issues are. There have been many times where I didn't realize at first something was a problem in my work, but once it was pointed out and I learned to recognize it and deal with it, I found I liked my work better.

I first learned this particular principle about how distracting blown out areas can be not from photography but from painting, where one the things most teachers and books will teach is not to overuse plain white. Instead, we learn to mix in other colors and texture, while still keeping the contrast as high as possible. Overuse of plain white is a common beginner mistake in painting, and it's amazing what a difference it can make when things like this are addressed.

QuoteQuote:
although I understand what you are trying to say - it is not applicable to what I wish to present for this particular photo - which was supposed to be of a musician (sorry no sarcasm or hostility meant) in extreme lighting
That's what I would like to see as well. I would just find it more effective without the blown out area - I feel it distracts from the intent you just described wanting to achieve, rather than addong to it. I want to see a musician in extreme lighting, but I am more conscious than I want to be of the blown out shirt. Sorry, but that's just how I see it. I wouldn't have brought it up myself, because this isn't a critique thread, but once the subject was raised and discussion begun, I have to agree.

And again, I am not suggesting "toning down" the shirt in order to fix this, at least not in the way you tried, which killed the contrast. I am talking about something that *preserves the contrast* while reducing the distraction, but unfortunately that's just not possible with this image.

But once again, we're really completely off-topic here. If you'd like to discuss this further, a separate thread would make a lot more sense. Or we can let it go.
02-07-2012, 08:16 AM   #1154
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Preserving the shirt would be a good choice but that's your choice as an artist. Did you try it in BW? That would look nice and disguise the blown area.

I think the tones would work well BW.
02-07-2012, 10:38 AM   #1155
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QuoteOriginally posted by john5100 Quote
Preserving the shirt would be a good choice but that's your choice as an artist. Did you try it in BW? That would look nice and disguise the blown area.
I think the tones would work well BW.
Thank you for the suggestion -

although I can see that appeal too -
I miss the warm glow of the lighting in the face from the reflected light

FWIW - Marc and I had a discussion off-line by PM - I had misinterpreted "retaining detail" to mean having detail like cloth texture etc - which would have been next to impossible considering the kind of lighting contrasts I was dealing with.

EXIF attached - ISO5000, f/3.5, 1/30sec; 18mm; -2/3 stop comp

Marc helpfully clarified that to avoid a blank white area one could allow mere hints of the pattern to break that up - without losing the contrast - which was do-able with the JPG.

To visualize that better - I did some direct comparisons between the (1) blank, (2) ACR recovery, and (3) reconciled adjustment - using an animated gif:

the third frame being what I called a "reconciled adjustment" to allow hints of the shirt pattern to break up the blank - yet retaining the 255,255,255 bright to keep the context.

In the end I even held back just a bit more only in the bottom part of that bright area, to allow just a mere hint of the two lines in the shirt -


Thank you for your interest, and a big thank you to Marc for the clarification, and being so helpful.

Last edited by UnknownVT; 02-07-2012 at 11:21 AM.
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