What should I have done different

Started Jun 12, 2012 | Discussions
agent888
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What should I have done different
Jun 12, 2012

Now that I've got my OM-D I've been taking it on walks with my wife. I snapped this photo, because I like landscapes with a lot of greenery, but I think that I could have done better.

I thins that the sky is too bright and lacks color/definition. It was evening and I was facing west.

Is this a "Know what time of day to shoot facing west" issue? Is there something in post processing I can be doing?

Ollie 2
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Re: What should I have done different
In reply to agent888, Jun 12, 2012

If you have it as a RAW file a simple tweak in LR4.1 Shadows/Highlights will bring back an amount of detail that may astonish you.

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ryan2007
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Re: What should I have done different
In reply to agent888, Jun 12, 2012

I would try a few things. First use fill flash for one shot to see. I would also shoot two fames at a plus 1 and plus 2 exposure compensation. I would also try changing the white balance setting to cloudy for one shot.

Now if your goal is silhouette then expose for the shadow area. The bright area will try to under expose, but you still need to bracket.

Last, change meter to center weight.

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cantman
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Re: What should I have done different
In reply to Ollie 2, Jun 12, 2012

I probably would have tried a neutral density soft grad filter teamed up with a polarizer and see if the result was what I had envisioned.

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gollywop
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Re: What should I have done different
In reply to agent888, Jun 12, 2012

I fear your OP image is hopeless. The sky is completely, one-hundred percent, blown and any color or definition that was there is gone and unrecoverable. You can see some of what might have been in the reflections in the water -- but that's all.

If you ever hope to obtain a decent image of a scene like this (without resorting to HDR), you want to shoot raw and expose the bright sky to the right, i.e., expose to preserve the sky with little or no blinkies. The rest of the image will be dark as the dickens, but you may be able to pull up the shadows and background in ACR while preserving the sky.

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s_grins
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Re: What should I have done different
In reply to ryan2007, Jun 12, 2012

Are you really going to fill all this landscape with fill flash?

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sunhorse
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Re: What should I have done different
In reply to ryan2007, Jun 12, 2012

ryan2007 wrote:

I would try a few things. First use fill flash for one shot to see. I would also shoot two fames at a plus 1 and plus 2 exposure compensation. I would also try changing the white balance setting to cloudy for one shot.

In a lanscape shot like this, fill flash would not be very useful since the idea is to pull up the shadows, then the trees are too far away, unless you position multiple flashes around the trees and use wireless remote flash to trigger them.

Changing WB would help.

Now if your goal is silhouette then expose for the shadow area. The bright area will try to under expose, but you still need to bracket.

I don't understand this. If your goal is to achieve a silhouette, meaning the foreground objects would appear black or near black, then you would be exposing for the sky. Bracketing is always a good idea in tricky lighting situations.

Last, change meter to center weight.

Center or spot metering would help. Taking multiple shots and going for HDR would do the trick too.

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gollywop
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Re: What should I have done different
In reply to gollywop, Jun 12, 2012

gollywop wrote:

If you ever hope to obtain a decent image of a scene like this (without resorting to HDR), you want to shoot raw and expose the bright sky to the right, i.e., expose to preserve the sky with little or no blinkies. The rest of the image will be dark as the dickens, but you may be able to pull up the shadows and background in ACR while preserving the sky.

Here's an example.

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1041&message=41501994

One of the beauties of the OM-D is that it gives you quite a bit of latitude in pulling up the shadows -- but you've got to shoot raw to really take advantage of it.
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s_grins
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Re: What should I have done different
In reply to agent888, Jun 12, 2012

If I where you, I'd spend time to find that sweet shooting spot where sun does not wash out the sky to the very extend. This Is the beauty of mirrorless cameras with EVF
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Martin Ocando
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A quick try
In reply to agent888, Jun 12, 2012

You can't fixed a badly exposed image. Sky is all blow out with no detail, but at least you can recover some shadow detail and do something like this. Is not perfect, but at least it has some depth.

I also corrected the strong Chromatic Aberration that the original image had.

Everything was done in LR4.1

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gmac68
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Re: A quick try
In reply to Martin Ocando, Jun 12, 2012

Another, very simple trick might be to simply place less of the sky in the photo, when you take the shot. It looks to me as if your shot was more for the trees and the reflections in the water. In that case, reducing the amount of sky in the picture might allow a more even exposure that works out OK for a little patch of sky and the rest of the scene.

You might do that by simply angling the camera downward, or perhaps get on one knee while you take the picture to lower the entire view. You might need to find a slightly different location when you compose. You would just need to experiment.

If you really want the sky as a main element, you would need a tripod and several photos to merge different exposures IMHO. Lightroom 4 is great but to my eye shadow pulling begins to look unnatural if pushed too far and highlights of course need data there to begin with.

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benarden
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Re: What should I have done different
In reply to agent888, Jun 12, 2012

agent888 wrote:

I thins that the sky is too bright and lacks color/definition. It was evening and I was facing west.

Is this a "Know what time of day to shoot facing west" issue? Is there something in post processing I can be doing?

  • your asking a Lot of any camera out there with this kind of shot.

Take Several shots with different exposure values using a tripod '

then combine the best exposures of each shot using GIMP / Photoshop or whatever;

  • There are doubtless other ways ; HDR, throttling back on the color saturation ?

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Tomas Rotger Cardona
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Re: What should I have done different
In reply to agent888, Jun 12, 2012

Try again in an hour you have the sun behind you, with rays of light almost horizontal (if possible); with the spot meter measures a bright area and keep it there. Shot!

Better light = better photo. Photography is patience

Tomàs.

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tedolf
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For starters......
In reply to agent888, Jun 12, 2012

agent888 wrote:

Now that I've got my OM-D I've been taking it on walks with my wife. I snapped this photo, because I like landscapes with a lot of greenery, but I think that I could have done better.

it is underexposed. Probably by a full F stop.

The dynmic range of the scene might exceed the DR of the sensor. If so you have to choose do you want to expose for the shadows or the hightlighhts?

Here I would choose the shadows as there is no detial in the highlights anyway.

So just center weight/spot meter for the shadows-or just fiddle with the EV compensation until you see what you want.

Live View has taken all the guesswork out of this kind of stuff.

I thins that the sky is too bright and lacks color/definition. It was evening and I was facing west.

This scene is a good candidate for hand held HDR. Use continuous shooting + exposure bracketing and get a three shot bracket.

Combine them in PP and I think it wold look great.

Is this a "Know what time of day to shoot facing west" issue? Is there something in post processing I can be doing?

yes, bring up the shadows.

TEdolph, RIP

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Louis_Dobson
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Re: For starters......
In reply to tedolf, Jun 12, 2012

tedolf wrote:

agent888 wrote:

Now that I've got my OM-D I've been taking it on walks with my wife. I snapped this photo, because I like landscapes with a lot of greenery, but I think that I could have done better.

it is underexposed. Probably by a full F stop.

Er, the sky is over-exposed. How can you say a shot like this is under or over exposed?

The dynmic range of the scene might exceed the DR of the sensor. If so you have to choose do you want to expose for the shadows or the hightlighhts?

The DR of the sensor is more than adequate for this.

Here I would choose the shadows as there is no detial in the highlights anyway.

At that point, a better solution is just to go home.

So just center weight/spot meter for the shadows-or just fiddle with the EV compensation until you see what you want.

Live View has taken all the guesswork out of this kind of stuff.

This is perfectly simple. Shoot RAW. Expose for the sky + 0.5EV.

Load into LR4. Reduce EV by 0.5EV. Selection brush area that is not sky and bring up until slightly under exposed.

Apply a gradient and finish bringing up ground.

Bosh, done.

I thins that the sky is too bright and lacks color/definition. It was evening and I was facing west.

This scene is a good candidate for hand held HDR. Use continuous shooting + exposure bracketing and get a three shot bracket.

Combine them in PP and I think it wold look great.

Is this a "Know what time of day to shoot facing west" issue? Is there something in post processing I can be doing?

yes, bring up the shadows.

TEdolph, RIP

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jcharding
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Re: What should I have done different
In reply to agent888, Jun 12, 2012

Less sky - which isn't doing anything for the image.

Experiment with different locations - other side of the water; same side of the water but a few yard further up; whatever.

The scene has a lot going for it - a nice leading line and a point of interest (the bridge) Maximize those two items. For example if you stayed on the same side of the water, moved forward some (to emphasize the bridge more), and got rid of the sky you would probably have a really interesting image.

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tedolf
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Come on Louis......
In reply to Louis_Dobson, Jun 12, 2012

Louis_Dobson wrote:

tedolf wrote:

agent888 wrote:

Now that I've got my OM-D I've been taking it on walks with my wife. I snapped this photo, because I like landscapes with a lot of greenery, but I think that I could have done better.

it is underexposed. Probably by a full F stop.

Er, the sky is over-exposed. How can you say a shot like this is under or over exposed?

Because you can't see any detail in the foliage by the stream and the shadows there are not that deep!

You know that.

Why are you trying to start a rediculous argument?

Everybody knows it is underexposed.

The dynmic range of the scene might exceed the DR of the sensor. If so you have to choose do you want to expose for the shadows or the hightlighhts?

The DR of the sensor is more than adequate for this.

Yes, you are probably right. Again evidence that it is underexposed.

Here I would choose the shadows as there is no detial in the highlights anyway.

At that point, a better solution is just to go home.

Why?

You could have gotten this shot.

Even I could have gotten this shot!

So just center weight/spot meter for the shadows-or just fiddle with the EV compensation until you see what you want.

Live View has taken all the guesswork out of this kind of stuff.

This is perfectly simple. Shoot RAW. Expose for the sky + 0.5EV.

why is that easier than using JEPG exposure compensation?

Seems harder to me.

Trying to pick a fight?

Load into LR4. Reduce EV by 0.5EV. Selection brush area that is not sky and bring up until slightly under exposed.

Why go to all that trouble?

Just set EV to +1 and take the photo.

If you want to get fancy, bracket and do a three shot HRD.

Apply a gradient and finish bringing up ground.

Bosh, done.

Silly.

you are overworking the problem.

it is not a difficlut shot to get in camera.

I thins that the sky is too bright and lacks color/definition. It was evening and I was facing west.

This scene is a good candidate for hand held HDR. Use continuous shooting + exposure bracketing and get a three shot bracket.

Combine them in PP and I think it wold look great.

Is this a "Know what time of day to shoot facing west" issue? Is there something in post processing I can be doing?

yes, bring up the shadows.

TEdolph, RIP

TEdolph, RIP

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SeeRoy
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Re: What should I have done different
In reply to s_grins, Jun 12, 2012

s_grins wrote:

Are you really going to fill all this landscape with fill flash?

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That little clip-on flash is more powerful than it looks... maybe?

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Phil Rose
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Ummmm...
In reply to Martin Ocando, Jun 12, 2012

You're essentially right about not much to be done in PP with a blown out sky, but...this?

Although the originally posted image might be somewhat underexposed, let's not forget that the OP states, "it was evening..."

Phil
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Louis_Dobson
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Re: Come on Louis......
In reply to tedolf, Jun 12, 2012

tedolf wrote:

Louis_Dobson wrote:

tedolf wrote:

agent888 wrote:

Now that I've got my OM-D I've been taking it on walks with my wife. I snapped this photo, because I like landscapes with a lot of greenery, but I think that I could have done better.

it is underexposed. Probably by a full F stop.

Er, the sky is over-exposed. How can you say a shot like this is under or over exposed?

Because you can't see any detail in the foliage by the stream and the shadows there are not that deep!

You know that.

Why are you trying to start a rediculous argument?

Everybody knows it is underexposed.

And yet the sky is blown out. There is no "correct" exposure for this shot. Either it will have to be done in post, and the camera settings are a starting point, or it is simply not worth shooting.

The dynmic range of the scene might exceed the DR of the sensor. If so you have to choose do you want to expose for the shadows or the hightlighhts?

The DR of the sensor is more than adequate for this.

Yes, you are probably right. Again evidence that it is underexposed.

Here I would choose the shadows as there is no detial in the highlights anyway.

At that point, a better solution is just to go home.

Why?

You could have gotten this shot.

Even I could have gotten this shot!

Only with a horrid blown out sky. If you had Elvis standing with a gun on the grassy knoll in the foreground then fine, expose for the ground and shoot it, but as an attractive evening scene it is dead Jim, dead, without PP.

So just center weight/spot meter for the shadows-or just fiddle with the EV compensation until you see what you want.

Live View has taken all the guesswork out of this kind of stuff.

This is perfectly simple. Shoot RAW. Expose for the sky + 0.5EV.

why is that easier than using JEPG exposure compensation?

Seems harder to me.

Trying to pick a fight?

No, I'm suggesting the settings to give you a RAW file that can be PPed. Either setting is useless OOC.

Load into LR4. Reduce EV by 0.5EV. Selection brush area that is not sky and bring up until slightly under exposed.

Why go to all that trouble?

Just set EV to +1 and take the photo.

If you want to get fancy, bracket and do a three shot HDR [edited]

Why bother? You'd have the same problem with an HDR - the sensor is quite capable of recording all the data needed in a single shot, it is how to display it that is the issue. What I suggested would take less than 30 seconds tops. Six clicks of a mouse and a cheery wave across the picture.

Apply a gradient and finish bringing up ground.

Bosh, done.

Silly.

you are overworking the problem.

it is not a difficlut shot to get in camera.

I thins that the sky is too bright and lacks color/definition. It was evening and I was facing west.

This scene is a good candidate for hand held HDR. Use continuous shooting + exposure bracketing and get a three shot bracket.

Combine them in PP and I think it wold look great.

Is this a "Know what time of day to shoot facing west" issue? Is there something in post processing I can be doing?

yes, bring up the shadows.

TEdolph, RIP

TEdolph, RIP

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