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Posts for: abc1234
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Apr 25, 2019 15:10:48   #
NikonGal wrote:
Welcome. I do like that you have a blurred background and I find birds always an interesting subject. Not sure what story you want to tell, but I tried cropping a little more from the top to reduce the sky. Then in Adobe Camera Raw I used: white balance, opened up shadows, opened up whites, used a bit of clarity and saturation, HSL luminosity, then a small amount of adjustment brush on the bird and darkened some of the light sky in PS-CC. Hope to see more of your images. Bev

I am glad that someone finally straightened this. Thanks Bev.
Apr 25, 2019 13:53:17   #
lloydl2 wrote:
here you go glad to help out. edit down in Lightroom corrected white balance used camera faithful profile adjusted highlights, shadows, white and black, used brush with automask to brighten and sharpen the bird. also cropped image, overall sharpened and added a vignette

And how about straightening the post?
Apr 25, 2019 10:03:38   #
CHG_CANON wrote:
Now that several responses have been made, I want to show a comparison. Not ever file was posted with the same crop / image resolution, so these compare thumbnails are not exactly the same. Those that looked at a vertical crop, I think compared to my own landscape view, they had the better approach. When I got the idea yesterday to clip out thumbnails, the idea was to look at the different approaches to the WB challenge of the original. What also caught my eye was the sharpening and / or the balance of sharpening to noise clean-up. These crops give an opportunity to look at the grain of the background, the details of the feathers / eye, and whether any noise lies in the shadow of the white body under the wing.

I brought these together not to criticize, but to show the spectrum of results and differing approaches from the same RAW starting point. Those that tried for more detail of the bird showed some good results, where honestly, my initial thought was the file was a "delete and move to next". Their work revealed more detail than I saw in the file, revealing ideas to me.

Apologies in any errors in the tags to the various editors. The attachment is full sized; you should be able to download and zoom into the details and scroll across each thumbnail.
Now that several responses have been made, I want ... (show quote)

Very nice idea. Thanks for putting in all the time and thought. Salvage's stands out by far as the best.
Apr 25, 2019 09:45:14   #
I would have done this as a panorama. To my eye, the large structure (for lack of the right word) to the left is the most important part of the picture and the rest is like supporting actors. I look at the picture and want to see more to the left. I look up and want to see more sky. And I look down and see shrubs cut off. The scene seems to shout out, "Shoot me as a panorama." So, if you can, go back out there and give it another try. Another time of day with different lighting gives even more artistic options.

Having done film for over 40 years, I could not tell if this had been done that way or digitally. Does it matter?
Apr 25, 2019 09:30:20   #
SalvageDiver wrote:
Here's a try at it. Biggest challenge was the soft focus. Then the flat lighting and crop needed to be addressed next. It wouldn't pass scrutiny on a large print, but it might get by on a smaller print.


I think that this version is the best. However, it is also a lesson learned the hard way. The shot reminds me of my early bird pictures. They suffered from one major problem: using too short of a lens. And this has one real solution: use a longer lens. (Another solution, getting closer, does not work with most birds.) In my case, I use a 150-600 zoom, almost always at 600. My lens is pretty sharp at 600 so I solved that problem of softness in the original post. It also gives a very nice bokeh.

The picture has another issue. The washed out sky is a symptom of shooting from the wrong angle. If you can, either get above the bird or move around so you get a darker background. I would not hold my breath that the bird will stay around long enough for you but that is another story. Fortunately, this tight crop makes up for being in a poor vantage point. This kind of lighting is probably the best for birds and flowers because it does not give shadows and too much contrast. You can always make the picture snappier if you start with a raw and add a bit of clarity, tone and contrast.

Two final thoughts. In the more loosely cropped pictures, I would straighten the picture since the tilted post is annoying, at least to me. And, as a final touch, I would add a little negative vignette to make the bird pop more.
Apr 24, 2019 06:47:33   #
Cropped too tightly for my taste and I would have shot vertically.
Apr 16, 2019 09:26:26   #
Apr 16, 2019 09:25:26   #
tiphareth51 wrote:
Armed with the information provided so graciously by members here, I went out yesterday with hopes for a better swan photo. The inclusion of water droplets off the beaks of the ducks I photograph to me, adds to the image. So, this is the swan photo that I really like. I did dial in an exposure compensation and also a much lower ISO. A polarizer was also used to help deflect sun shimmer off the water. I do find the difference in white between the head and the body to be distracting. If anyone out there would care to provide post-processing suggestions, that would be greatly appreciated! My post-processing skills are significantly lacking in this area. Computer glare after cataract surgery is a problem so my work is done in small steps.

Thank you for your time and suggestions. Also, in keeping with forum rules, by posting here, I do grant permission for others to alter, enhance and repost this image.

Please note that due to difficulty resizing the raw file, it could not be attached* post-processing skills in raw are very an unedited jpeg image is included...sorry. Thank you!

*The first "download" link was your raw file. The system automatically assigns a caption with the words "attached file." It uploaded fine (they won't show a thumbnail); however, it appears you changed the file extension name. It was reading as .raw when it should be .nef

Do another upload of the original nef - but don't touch the file name or file extension. I have deleted the other. Looks like you squeezed in at just over the 20 mb limit
Armed with the information provided so graciously ... (show quote)

How about supplying your camera and exposure information so we do not have to look it up? If the first picture is merely the jpg of the raw, you are still a good two stops underexposed. What exposure mode are you using? If you are in manual, that might be the problem. Are you checking the viewer to make sure your exposure is good?

Raw files. You cannot make them smaller, brighter or anything else. Your software does that and then you share the results, typically as a jpg. You can share the larger raw's by uploading them to something like dropbox. And, as Linda says, never, ever change the extension. That is a property of the file type and only software can change file type and, by extension, the extension. Excuse the pun.

As for the polarizer, it works when you have bright, direct sun which is, optimally, parallel to the sensor plane, and when rotated to maximize the polarization. When all three of these conditions are met, then the filter works. Otherwise, you just lost about two stops of exposure. It also works better at mid-day than in the golden hours. From this shot, I cannot tell if using it was appropriate.

People share the misconception about processing raw's as you stated here. The only difference you really notice is that you have more exposure latitude and better colors than with jpg's. Otherwise, you do all the same things but with better results. I missed one other thing. You share the results of editing raw's by exporting them while the actual raw remains completely unaltered.

Final issue. Having a longer lens would help a lot. To get your final picture, you cropped a lot and that degrades image quality. I know cropping is cheaper than buying a new lens and also a lot lighter but you might want to add something like a 150-600 to your wish list. I did not look to see what lens you used here so this comment might be irrelevant. Also, I suggest using a tripod and an aperture two stops down from wide open.

I hope these comments help and you will go out there again for another try.
Apr 15, 2019 12:56:20   #
Linda From Maine wrote:
Salvagediver did the heavy lifting and checked the histogram in his editor. He reported, "I didn't find any clipping of shadows or highlights so it appears that you didn't exceed the dynamic range of your sensor. I didn't find the bird missing detail. The brightest area was the left wing, but there is still detail there. "

Since detail was retained in both shadows and highlights, the exposure works. Could he have shot this a little brighter and still retained feather details? Looks like yes, which is why bracketing, as you mentioned, is a good idea if time permits.
Salvagediver did the heavy lifting and checked the... (show quote)

Good questions. I find that in cases like this, I get more noise and less detail than with proper exposure. Between raw's and LR, the exposure latitude is easily +/- one stop from "perfect". In other words, you do not have to have "perfect" exposure so close is often good enough. I also find that what looks perfect on the camera is not so in LR. That is the difference in the technology. Just be aware.

Bracketing. I am only familiar with the Canon 60D and 80D. You pick the exposure compensation to what you like and then set the amount of bracketing above and below that. Next, set your shutter mode to continuous or high-speed continuous. You ready to shoot. Press and hold down the shutter until all three pictures are shot and there they are. All in less than a second.
Apr 15, 2019 10:17:34   #
Tiphareth51, your post has an important lesson: above anything else, make sure your exposure is right. As has been pointed out, this shot is very underexposed. The time to fix that is when you are taking the picture. LR is merely remedial afterthought. We are so lucky today to view our shots immediately. Take your picture, review it and adjust as needed. If your camera has autobracketing, consider using that to improve your eye for proper exposure. Try three exposures at -1, 0 and +1 stops with 0 determined by one of your autoexposure modes. Once you get more comfortable with exposure, then you can try shutter or aperture priority or even manual.

Good luck and keep posting.
Apr 15, 2019 10:06:12   #
big-guy wrote:
Correcting problems in post is one approach but solving the original problem goes much further. You say you used a flash and in the group shot I do see catch lights in the eyes but I don't see where the flash lit the scene. (shadows from overhead light source) By using A priority you ended up with a shutter speed of 1/40 second coupled with an aperture of 3.5 and 800 ISO told the camera that there was enough ambient light to expose the scene. Because of this the flash was more than likely set to act as a fill flash. I can find no tell tale shadows from the flash but do see the ceiling light shadows. You may have set your camera to ignore setting the flash sync speed in A priority. I would check that and if turned on, definitely turn it off. In the group shot the girl on the far left is out of focus and an aperture setting of f8 would have been a better choice to bring them all into acceptable focus. Hope this helps in the future.

Your meta data as follows:
Exposure Time (1 / Shutter Speed) {0x829A} = 1/40 second ===> 0.025 second
Lens F-Number / F-Stop {0x829D} = 35/10 ===> ƒ/3.5
Exposure Program {0x8822} = aperture priority (3)
ISO Speed Ratings {0x8827} = 800
Correcting problems in post is one approach but so... (show quote)

I agree. The problem here is the camera technique. LR offers other improvements to be mentioned later. I thought the lighting on the girl was very pleasing and presumed you had used indirect flash. Well, I was wrong. As for the second picture, if the flash did work, it produced overexposed and contrasty faces. You would have been too close for direct flash. In both instances, I use a flash diffuser with the flash head aimed up at between 45 and 90 degrees. I usually do not use direct flash for under ten feet.

LR can help both shots. Without going into details, I would increase clarity, apply the medium contrast tone curve, and add a little negative vignette. Other adjustments such as exposure and vibrance would be discretionary. As for white balance, using the eyedropper on skin is wrong because skin is not neutral. I use either ExpoDisc or ColorChecker. If you do not want to get this involved, then stick to auto white balance and adjust arbitrarily in LR. Remember that adjusting white balance is either to reproduce the original colors accurately or to create the mood you want and you cannot remember the original colors accurately.
Apr 15, 2019 09:47:49   #
An open question. For those of you who said your lenses have not needed adjusting, what did you do to conclude that?

And for those who might want to test and adjust... I found the various targets a complete waste of time. Finding the sharpest focus was subjective at best, arbitrary at worst. Reluctantly, I bought the Reikan FoCal. It performed pretty much as claimed for my professional lenses (Sigma, 24-70, f/2.8 ART; 70-200, f/2.8; 150-600 C). With my 18-300, it failed at 300 so I calibrated at 200 and extrapolated to 300. I had to relocate my computer because I needed up to 40' for the longest lens. Between setting up everything properly and the actually testing, I still needed about six hours but FoCal did the hard work of adjusting the lenses properly. If you want to adjust your lenses yourself, FoCal is the best way to go.

Had I wanted to send my camera and lenses to Sigma, they would have charged $160 per lens. This was not in the budget. Furthermore, I can retest whenever I want.

My next project is to interpolate the microadjustments for my ART and C lenses and plug the values into the dock for fine-tuning.
Apr 13, 2019 23:41:55   #
Wuligal wrote:
hello abc1234,
Thank you for taking the time to critique the grape photo. I appreciate your suggestions and input and agree with most of what you had to say, especially the lack of top/side lighting. Because the whole thing was a five minute test shot to try out a crazy light contraption I really didn't pay attention to anything technical. By the way -there was no black background -just some dirty supper dishes and ambient light from three windows. I hid that mess with the f/22 (pretty lazy, eh!) and tried to disguise the cheap plastic grapes with the painterly effect.
Okay, the truth is out. I'm in this for fun and laughs and consider it a good day if I get my camera off program.
hello abc1234, br Thank you for taking the time to... (show quote)

You were on a slippery rock with this one so we will have to hang you from the nearest grapevine. Actually, f/22 does not hide the mess because of the greater depth of field. That reinforces using something like f/8. But I do like your spontaneity and ingenuity.

PS Next time, use real grapes.
Apr 13, 2019 19:08:27   #
And look at how sharp everything is. The colors pop very nicely. Public buildings are full of visual delights but poor maintenance may take away their beauty. You can probably spends weeks here finding all the splendors. Thanks for posting.
Apr 13, 2019 19:04:13   #
I definitely do not like the oil paint effect. If I want to see oils, I go to the Art Institute of Chicago. I feel the grapes are overexposed in general but those on top are too dark. I would also have opened up to perhaps f/8 or 11. At f/22, you do indeed get more depth of field but you probably do not need it here. It will also decrease lens sharpness noticeably. Another approach is with a lens of perhaps 200 mm or longer set up much further from the grapes. I wonder if the object was large enough that the lens was not really at a macro distance.

I would have also placed the camera a little higher. Using the makeshift lighting, clear plate and black background were all very good touches. I look forward to reading your comments.
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