D800: Really serious shadow lifting

Started Jun 1, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Kabe Luna
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D800: Really serious shadow lifting
Jun 1, 2012

Last night I photographed repairs on a sign I designed for a medical system I worked for. My goal was to preserve the vibrant colors of the sign while also showing the surrounding clinic architecture. I didn't have a tripod along, so multiple frames composited wasn't an option. Instead, I metered the vibrant blue letter faces to avoid clipping and fired away at ISO 200 (because I have read that using as low an ISO as possible rather than setting a higher sensitivity may actually result in less noise and greater dynamic range), 1/15 @ f/8 on my D800 + 24-120/4VR (24mm, VR engaged) to get as much dynamic range as I could. The time of exposure was 9:45pm.

This is the original image as shot:

This is the final image after positive exposure compensation, geometric distortion and CA correction and shadow lifting in Lightroom 4–no complex masking, and no further work (other than sharpening) in post. Notice the D800's sensor is even sensitive enough to distinguish the faint blue glow of the very last vestiges of daylight:

I think this is a great example of how the additional dynamic range and freedom from pattern noise allowed by the D800 can be exploited in a real world way to simplify the job of creating images under difficult lighting circumstances.

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 Kabe Luna's gear list:Kabe Luna's gear list
Nikon D800 Nikon Df Sigma 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM Nikon AF-S Nikkor 16-35mm f/4G ED VR +8 more
Nikon D800
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