A question about the levels tool

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by revilo, Jan 1, 2009.

  1. revilo

    revilo TPF Noob!

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    When I adjust the levels in GIMP, then the histogram then appears with lots of "gaps" in. I assume this means there are no pixels for those particular values, so is there anyway to stop this happening?
    [​IMG]

    Also, how do I interpret curves like these, with very short peaks? The Image doesn't appear too bad, but it's not great tonally, and there's little contrast.
    [​IMG]
    That particular example is a black and white, by the way.
     
  2. Samanax

    Samanax TPF Noob!

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    If you move Output Level sliders you'll compress the Input Levels and the gaps will go away.
    You sort of answered your own question...a graph that doesn't have high peaks means the image is low in contrast and looks flat.
     
  3. revilo

    revilo TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for your help. How can I ensure higher contrast when I first take the image? I'm unable to capture in RAW format on my camera, if that helps at all.
     
  4. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    When taking a shot you can use a circular polarizer to help get more contrasty results - however it will take away a stop of light and its effect won't really be best seen in dimmer conditions.
    Of course bright lights brings its own troubles of dealing with highlights and such - I hope to get a chance to test my circular polarizer in some proper strong lighting this year and see if it can help with highlight control.

    As an aside if your camera won't take shots in RAW I assume that its a point and shoot so it might be tricky to get hold of good quality filters - go for the best that you can find/afford to avoid image degradation
     
  5. revilo

    revilo TPF Noob!

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    It's a superzoom camera, and I can use normal filters, but the mount for the filters vignettes the flash, which may or may not be a problem. How can I maximise contrast without the use of filters?
    Thanks again for the replies.
     

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