Why does my photo lack detail...?

Started 11 months ago | Discussions thread
Contributing MemberPosts: 922
Re: Why does my photo lack detail...?
In reply to CosmoZooo, 11 months ago

CosmoZooo wrote:

Almost Bingo

I'm surprised no one has noticed or mentioned it yet, but the sun looks really harsh yet the shadows are not that dramatic or deep which leads me to believe that DRO must have been set to 4 or 5 which indeed does apply noise reduction to the shadows as it pulls them up. So, yes, it does have to do with RAW vs. JPEG because the RAW file would show much more detail in her face but would be much darker at the same time.

Thanks for the observation and it's a good one. I always have Auto DRO enabled...I figured why wouldn't I. In fact, I didn't realize one could pick levels untin you mentioned it and I looked and noticed the options button...lol...you live and learn.

But I think you're likely to be correct here...DRO could have been easily what resulted in what I see as considerable noise at this level of light. I wondered why if there is any reason to ever not have it enabled and I guess the answer is "yes" Good catch!

One way to think about DRO is from an ISO perspective. What I mean by that is, lifting shadows up 3 or 4 stops in brightness effectively means 3 or 4 stops of gain is added, so even though you are shooting the overall scene at ISO 100, in effect the shadow bits are being rendered at ISO800 or ISO1600 where there is certainly noise that has to be dealt with. I'm not well versed in DRO since I shoot RAW, but everything I've read on it says to use it in high contrast situations only, stick to levels 1 and 2, and use levels 3, 4 and 5 at your own risk.

Not to keep the RAW/JPG argument going because to each his own as far as I'm concerned, but Lightroom 4's ability to lift shadows is close to incredible.

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