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Author Topic: Insufficient Dynamic Range - how best to process?  (Read 2652 times)

Offline SimonW

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Insufficient Dynamic Range - how best to process?
« on: September 09, 2009, 09:27:45 PM »
I took this in very bright sunlight. Got the exposure almost correct for the swans so i could see feathers and almost no burning out of detail, but the rest of the shot was really far too dark. Tried two different RAW developments, putting the light one on top of the dark one and erasing the light swans so the dark ones showed through. After all that work, didn't like it as much as this one, just lifted it drastically using curves.



Almost Extinct

Is there anything else I might have tried?


Simon Warren
(in Dunning, Scotland)

Offline nickt

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Re: Insufficient Dynamic Range - how best to process?
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2009, 10:26:52 PM »
I think what you've done is correct. Expose to the right and develop for the left. (I'm refering to the histogram). It's important to expose for the swans and then bring the shadows back with curves or levels.
Nick

Offline Oldboy

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Re: Insufficient Dynamic Range - how best to process?
« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2009, 10:37:08 PM »
Yes, agree with nickt. Curves is a magic tool and should be used often.  ;D

Offline Jonathan

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Re: Insufficient Dynamic Range - how best to process?
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2009, 07:35:53 AM »

Is there anything else I might have tried?


Yeah - don't shoot white swans against a dark b/g on a bright sunny day ;)

A passing cloud, shadow from a boat or even really (really) skillful flash would have helped here.  Reduce the dynamic range to the point where you can capture it.
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Offline greypoint

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Re: Insufficient Dynamic Range - how best to process?
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2009, 07:47:25 AM »
Jonathan's advice is the most relevant for me. As a prolific swan shooter, in the photographic sense ;), I'd always try to take advantage of the light and accept that there are days and conditions where it just is'nt worth it. For subjects which are less readily available then it's worth having a go whatever as might only have one chance to capture it. Having said that, I'll always have a go if they're having an argument or doing something really silly or photogenic - these often end in the recycle bin after a few days though!

Offline Hinfrance

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Re: Insufficient Dynamic Range - how best to process?
« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2009, 09:00:05 AM »
Here's one I took with the swan partly shaded, but some of it is in direct overhead strong sunlight and the detail in the feathers has not been lost. This is a jpg straight out of the camera, P E N T A X (just in case the swear filter has been mucked about with again) K20D with extended dynamic range switched on. The internal processing is set to neutral with one step increases in brightness and contrast.



So my tip is buy a P E N T A X  ;D

PS, wouldn't have posted this normally as I know it is a bit blurred.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2009, 09:02:08 AM by Tringle WP »
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Offline SimonW

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Re: Insufficient Dynamic Range - how best to process?
« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2009, 11:53:48 AM »
Thanks for your tip Tringle - but a P e n t a x is what I've got- the K10D. I really like the way it handles. And thanks everyone for the other tips - maybe I'll try a large flash next time. On the other hand, how often has the sun been bright enough to need it....
Simon Warren
(in Dunning, Scotland)

Offline Oldboy

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Re: Insufficient Dynamic Range - how best to process?
« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2009, 12:26:01 PM »
On the other hand, how often has the sun been bright enough to need it....

In July and August you needed flood-lights!  >:(

Offline Hinfrance

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Re: Insufficient Dynamic Range - how best to process?
« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2009, 08:00:00 PM »
Thanks for your tip Tringle - but a P e n t a x is what I've got- the K10D. I really like the way it handles. And thanks everyone for the other tips - maybe I'll try a large flash next time. On the other hand, how often has the sun been bright enough to need it....

Perhaps I should pay more attention. I have a K10D too, but alas it does not have the dynamic range enhancer - still a RAW image should have contained enough data.

I couldn't agree more with nickt's exposure rule. Very sensible and proven advice.

One last thing - lens hood; always helps.
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The theory seems to be that as long as a man is a failure he is one of God's children, but that as soon as he succeeds he is taken over by the Devil. H.L Mencken.

 

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