S90 - First RAW shots after sunset - Feebcack requested

Started Aug 2, 2010 | Discussions thread
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schaf
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S90 - First RAW shots after sunset - Feebcack requested
Aug 2, 2010

All,

I have viewed many stunning photos here that many of you have taken in the RAW format and or at night and have been trying to learn by your excellent examples. Being relatively new to the S90 (and any camera that provides this level of control) I took my first batch of photos after sunset, capturing everything in JPEG+RAW. I used a combination of Program AE, Av and Tv modes and resisted my temptation to click it into Auto for the more difficult shots (from an exposure perspective). I have the camera set to use the Center Focus Frame Option and I have metering set to Evaluative. All shots were hand held. Even though several would have benefited from use of a tripod, my goal was to do the best I could doing them hand held.

I have created an album for them here:

http://www.dpreview.com/galleries/6201733844/albums/s90-after-sunset-first-raw-shots

All were imported into Aperture 3 and in general, the following very minor adjustments made:

1) Adjusted the White and Black points
2) Used the preset Brighten Shadows

3) If Brighten Shadows was over zealous (which is usually was), then reduced the Shadows and Vibrancy controls slightly
4) On a few, a White Balance adjustment usually under 1K
5) For those at ISO 800 and higher I did a very minor De-noise adjustment

In doing the adjustments my goal was to bring the images as close to original scene as I could remember but not to otherwise enhance them in any way.

Of the shoots looking across the pond and into the sunset, I found the JPEGs to be overly dark and not showing the details off the buildings across the pond that were (barely) visible at the time. By doing the above adjustments I was able to bring out the details while still keeping the buildings very close to the black that they were.

I am really looking to those of you more experienced in both RAW and night shots for feedback on what I could doing better or different in terms of camera settings, adjustments in Aperture or composition. In particular, the clear portion of the sky seems a bit blown out on photos IMG_1084, IMG_1085, IMG_1086, IMG_1087 though it is probably a fairly accurate representation of the sky at that time. It is blown even further on the JPEGs.

I have been quite impressed thus far with the quality of the JPEGs out of the S90. However, as I learned in this little project they simply do not compare to the RAW. Even straight out of the camera with no adjustment, the RAW images deliver a dynamic ranges and level of clarity that the JPEGs do not.

Thanks for your assistance and patience and this newbie continues to learn.

Schaf

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