hard lighting scenerio

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by darkblue-x, Nov 3, 2017.

  1. darkblue-x

    darkblue-x TPF Noob!

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    How would one capture this properly?
    Clearly there is a combination of underexposed and overexposed parts...bracketing could help but what would you set the bracket values to and how many frames?
    Also in these types of scenarios would you say it be optimal to also come at a different time of day?

    Dropbox - DSC_4050.NEF


     
  2. JonA_CT

    JonA_CT TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    I'm at work so it's hard to tell, but since you posted a RAW file I may mess with it when I get home...I'm going to guess that you have enough data in the file to have all areas looked properly exposed after processing.

    Sometimes, the easiest thing to do is to get the best file you can, and then use the power of modern camera sensors and post-processing software.
     
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  3. darkblue-x

    darkblue-x TPF Noob!

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    Would be well appreciated.
    I guess the question here is how do you get the best possible overall result with your camera in this scenario before post processing.
     
  4. Ysarex

    Ysarex Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Exactly as you did. Your exposure of the raw file is arguably perfect. There are some specular highlights in the water that are appropriately clipped. Your green channels have begun to clip some of the diffuse highlights on the lighter leaves on the left side but those highlights are not clipped in either the red or blue channels so they can be fully reconstructed.

    Clearly there is not. As noted the clipped specular highlights should be clipped and they're exactly correct as are the diffuse highlights. Underexposure? Here's the photo and I don't see any underexposure problem at all:

    stairs1.jpg

    Shadow detail is appropriate and the photo properly reaches a black point -- there's no underexposure. Got to wonder why you would say that?

    You nailed that exposure -- you couldn't make it better. From the standpoint of a digital sensor collecting data you did the best possible job. Any bracket in either direction would be inferior.

    You titled the thread hard lighting and absolutely this kind of extreme contrast is difficult to work with. When I encounter lighting like this I most often just keep on walking because the photo is usually not worth the effort. It's got to be something that I think will pay big to get me to do the work. Evaluating the lighting, knowing what will and won't work, and knowing what effort will be required before tripping the shutter is our most important skill.

    Joe
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2017
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  5. goooner

    goooner Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Here is what I did, I might have over cooked it a little but it took me less than a minute in LR with the settings, mine is cooler than Joe's, but I thought it might be that way in the shade. I also added some contrast in the tone curve (Point curve-medium contrast).
    DSC_4050.jpg

    LR settings.PNG
     
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  6. darkblue-x

    darkblue-x TPF Noob!

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    Always a treat to bump into you...thanks for the critical assessment.

    You get what I mean, and that's exactly right that there is some extreme contrast, which makes this photo hard on the eyes and overall have a reduced aesthetic...which lead me to wonder if there were advanced techniques that some use like bracketing. Could be that I simply don't understand bracketing that well.

    I'm not too sure about the brown thing you got going in the photo though, of course me having been there I have the human eye image still in my head. Gooner's post below yours would be a bit more accurate to the scene, maybe add a bit of the brown tint from yours to his and that's exactly what it look like.
     
  7. darkblue-x

    darkblue-x TPF Noob!

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    Hi goooner thanks for the post...yes that's pretty well what it looked like, just add a bit of a brown tint from the suns reflection off of the tree bark and dead leaves.
    What did you mean by cooked it? Overedited? And in which way?
    Is there any way to enhance the IQ in this photo or are we basically caught with that give my APS-C with low-res lens (the 16-85 is rated at 8mp)?
    Not familiar with tone curve, havent dabbled in it much yet. Played with the function once or twice but thats about it. Is it a significant tool for most?
     
  8. goooner

    goooner Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Yes, by over cooked I meant over processed, HDR look. I should have played with the black slider as well, but had stuff to do. I almost always set the point curve setting to medium contrast (drop down below the tone curve). It's a lazy way of doing it, but it's quick.
     
  9. Ysarex

    Ysarex Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    You could use an HDR technique in which you take a bracket series over a multiple stop range and then combine the photos together to get a better grasp of that extreme high contrast range. That typically means a tripod and waiting until the wind is still so that the photos will all align -- even more work ;-)

    No you don't. The human animal's ability to remember color is notoriously bad -- laughably bad. We have very good color discrimination so that you can sort and match colors well when you see them together, but the minute the colors are removed from your sight you're ability to remember them is pitiful. We are also plagued by a trait of human perception known as color constancy which further messes with out ability to remember color. We just all think we can remember color.

    Your photo has mixed light; both sun and heavy shade -- one is yellow and the other is blue. I adjusted the color for the shade since that's dominant in the photo. In fact I left it a little blue. It's possible to split the WB adjustment which I didn't bother to do -- more work. Look at Gooner's version and look to the far right side of the frame right at the middle of the photo; the rocks in the stream in the shade. They were not that blue. That's the blue of shade on a sunny day.

    Follow the left side handrail of the topmost pair of stairs till it ends. Right above and to the right of the end of that handrail in the water is either ice (don't know how cold it was) or foam along the back edge of that pool. Part is in the sun but the left most sections are in the shade. If it's ice it should be grey. If it's foam it should also be close to grey but it sure shouldn't be blue.

    Joe

     
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  10. darkblue-x

    darkblue-x TPF Noob!

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    The whole setting was actually quite warm...it was 22 degrees celcius that day and the water was just cool.
    Ive always tended to keep a photographic memory my whole life which is probably why photography appealed to me in the first place and I have to say on second opinion yours is closer, but its a bit too brown. Reduce the browning by a quarter and your pretty close to being there yourself (well at least to the field of view).

    I have to say I am surprised time and time again to learn that my exposures are "perfect". It may be that I dont understand scenes lighting well enough yet. That and I seem to compare myself to professionals. It becomes a bit self defeating after a while.

    So then...Dont bother with extreme contrasted photos unless they are trully worth all the time to play around with it?--good enough tip. However, what if most of my photography is done on these adventures where what I get with lighting and scenery is a mystery until I get there? Sometimes I may just leave empty handed if its just not the right lighting at that time of day?
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2017
  11. weepete

    weepete TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    Yes, sometimes the lighting just isn't right so I walk by a lot of shots myself. I've gotten to the stage where I have thousands of mediocre not quite right shots on my hard disk, I don't need other ones. Nowadays if it's that important to me to get a shot of that area I'll go back when the lighting is likely to be right. If its not worth a trip back out then the shot is not strong enough in the first place.
     
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  12. Ysarex

    Ysarex Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    There's a lot of different opinion out there about what constitutes a good exposure. Upon what are you passing judgment? You first described the exposure as containing both overexposed and underexposed sections. What did you look at to make that assessment? The JPEG produced by the camera software? How does that camera software arrive at it's result? If an entirely different result is attainable with different software is one more correct than the other? All camera raw files must be processed -- is there a measure for correct exposure apart from evaluating the end result of that processing?

    I didn't look at the camera JPEG to make the exposure call. I also didn't process the photo before making the exposure call. I looked at histograms of the raw file along with an assessment of the types of highlights in the shot. I first noted that all raw channels indicated clipped highlights. Your exposure had reached the sensor threshold in all channels. I noted the presence of specular highlights (reflections from water) and then noted that in both the red and blue channels there was a small gap between the clipped specular highlights and the diffuse highlights. In other words the diffuse highlights were not clipped in the red and blue channels. They were clipped in the green channels. Given the green channel clipping of diffuse highlights one assessment would be the shot is slightly overexposed. But then I took into consideration a software method that the better raw converters employ which is to reconstruct green channel data from unclipped red and blue channels. Counting on that methodology I concluded that you had exposed the sensor to maximum capacity and from strictly a data recording perspective you had recorded the maximum possible amount of data for the photo. That is one way, but not the only way, that we can define a good exposure. It's much more common to define a good exposure based on a visual assessment of the image and the first image everyone sees is the camera JPEG. I call an exposure nailed when the sensor capacity is fully utilized. Most photogs rely on a visual assessment of some image. Your camera's JPEG software did a pretty miserable job processing the photo. I'm not inclined to pass judgment based on that but most photogs do.

    Yep, if you can't control the lighting actively then you have to accept it passively. It's an important lessons to learn. If the lighting sucks so will your photo -- use your time more profitably. There's usually always something to photograph but if you're banging your head on a wall trying to take the photo with the prohibitive lighting you'll miss the other opportunities.

    Joe
     

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