Blown out tulips

Started May 19, 2013 | Discussions thread
Al Valentino
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Blown Red channel
In reply to tamras29, May 19, 2013

Below is a shot I took earlier this week. The picture looked great on the LCD and the Histogram confirmed it was okay because that histogram is only about luminosity (brightness). However, the RGB histogram shows the red channel is blown and as a result there is lost and compress detail in those hard red-magenta areas

The shot below is a jpeg. I opened it in ACR and tried to lower exposure and turn down the highlight slider. It worked in the sense that the right side of the histrogram was not a straight up/down line which is a sure sign of lost information. However, the result of doing that changed the distribution of pixels on the highlight end which created a horrible color shift by either lowering exposure or playing with highlight slider. Reducing saturation creates a different bad version. Again, this is a jpeg so I only have so much latitude. If this was shot as a RAW I would have more information to play with and possibly done better. However, there is a point, raw or no raw, that something get lost and makes the problem areas look artificial - because they are artificial.

It is a problem but not a terrible one since once you understand it and know to look for it, it all goes away. Just shoot raw and underexposure or use the exposure bracket mode... The above was shot in Velvia, which contributed to the problem, and I knew I could not trust the histogram. My mistake was I did trust the LCD (never scrutinized but did inspect) and it looked fine. Now I know the color space on the LCD is more limited than my computer and can watch for it. Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.

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