GH3 low light indoor acrobatic show

Started Sep 1, 2013 | Discussions
ronfab1
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Re: GH3 low light indoor acrobatic show
In reply to Kim Letkeman, Sep 2, 2013

Amazing. Not jumping in because I'm smart as you with the technique, but you're still nitpicking his shots for the "couple or 3 of them where small areas of highlights have lost some detail. Your shots seem muddy in shadow details to preserve your highlights. They do. Guys' beards crushed, can barely see guitar in another.

Yet you give the OP no props for the huge areas of very nice low light detail. In fact you never said one nice word.  They smoke your shots in results and level of difficulty.  I would expect you to save the small areas would have taken out too much in the much larger dark areas. Like on your blog. If you say no, then why did you?

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Kim Letkeman
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who let the dogs out ... woof, woof woof, woof woof ...
In reply to ronfab1, Sep 2, 2013

ronfab1 wrote:

Amazing. Not jumping in because I'm smart as you with the technique, but you're still nitpicking his shots for the "couple or 3 of them where small areas of highlights have lost some detail. Your shots seem muddy in shadow details to preserve your highlights. They do. Guys' beards crushed, can barely see guitar in another.

Very small and very dark venue for the SkyDiggers (that is Andy Maise in that photo) opening for Billy Bragg ... shot with a small 1/2" sensor compact at 3200 ISO. But the exposure was excellent and the image is clean and looks like a concert. You don't want to see every detail of the stage, since there is always a bunch of junk back there. They rarely, if ever, sing in front of a curtain.

Have you ever shot a small venue concert with a small sensor camera? With all your vitriol, you imply not even a shred of personal experience.

Yet you give the OP no props for the huge areas of very nice low light detail.

One thing that you should note is that larger venues with well lit stages are not really low light venues. And that stage is too well lit for my taste. Not helped at all by compositions that leave me cold.

In fact you never said one nice word.

Yes, I did break the "attaboy" code. Sorry about that.

He shot the best m4/3 camera available, yet he got bad exposures and as I mentioned, compositions that are nothing to write home about. Better to just focus on one specific issue than hit him with all of that, no? You have of course forced it, so there it is on display now. Congrats on that.

They smoke your shots in results and level of difficulty.

Really? So you have looked through my entire gallery to see why I distilled my advice the way I did on my blog?

I thought not.

In fact, you have no idea what I have shot over the years to lead to that article ... you think those examples suck yet you do not look at the equipment and the settings to see whether or not I might be on to something. You concentrate instead on your personal opinion of how I processed the images.

This is what people mean when they lament a lack of critical thinking on the Internet (and no, criticism is not a substitute, despite sounding similar )

I would expect you to save the small areas would have taken out too much in the much larger dark areas. Like on your blog. If you say no, then why did you?

I cannot parse that paragraph as written. It probably made a bit of sense in your head ... or maybe not.

So since you want to judge me ... here are a few examples and the equipment I shot them with. I have never said that all my images are perfect ... far from it in fact. But I have shot dozens of concerts in venues from tiny to large and thus am familiar with how you have to handle concert lighting. Most of the time, I use cheap little compacts ... it is very rare that I get to shoot an event with serious hardware as the OP had there.

1. An early attempt with the Fuji F10, a compact that does not feature manual control at all. The Tragically Hip ... note the shirt and note the incredibly bright light ... will that satisfy you? Probably not

So the best I could do with those was to shoot -2/3EV compensation. Note that the OP's blown out shots show 0EV ... not at all what should be used when metering a contrasty scene in matrix mode with an auto exposure mode.

So you see what I mean by "reasoned arguments" instead of the approach you chose, which I might characterize as "rabid whinging" ...

I got to see the Hip a few years later and this time I had the Canon G10 with me. I filmed most of the concert with the G10, but when I was not filming I was shooting. He wore a white shirt, which of course was also the OP's nemesis ... so I set the camera to -1.67EV ... a massive under exposure. I barely saved the shirt and I got a lot of noise, but I still prefer these shots. And note that teh G10 has very poor dynamic range, quite unlike the class leading dynamic range on the GH3. Please try to be aware of such things when you attack

That image is not perfect by any stretch, but it shows a lot of range and the right things are pushed into shadow. Again ... remember the tiny sensor.

By the way, the Hip are an amazing experience live ... you can 2 hours of this concert here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U6zSNl-49Tc

So now to the concert where you said the guy's beard is crushed. That was shot with the F70EXR at 3200ISO, and that has a 1/2" sensor ... so what would you expect? Shot the way the OP shot, the images are completely unusable. As I shot the camera, I got some memories that actually look ok ...

That was one of the darkest major venues I've ever seen. It requires a lot of practice to handle such a venue. YMMV (assuming you actually shoot concerts at all.)

Same camera at a major venue with lots of bright lighting ... this is a heavy crop, so it is not perfectly clean, and some of the bright areas could not be saved ... but again remember the 1/2" sensor ... the GH3 would not have been allowed in, but had I shot with it I would have had a much different exposure and the bright areas would have detail.

Considering the big deal you make of on stage detail, here is one for you ...

This camera's last hurrah was at the NAC for Mama Mia! ... and I thought it did a marvelous job ...

Remember the 1/2" sensor

Now this next shot of that play does look a little like the lighting the OP dealt with ...

I did get to shoot the Ottawa Folk Fest with my D300 a few years ago (note that the GH3 actually has better IQ than the D300 because of much newer sensor technology) ... I shot rather extreme compensation (-2.67 here) to handle the lighting on the main stage ...

For Bruce Cockburn I used the same exposure but nice low ISO at 500 ...

Yes, the backgrounds were dark to start with

Somewhere around that time I got to shoot Jakob Dylan (yes, Bob's son) in Florida at a private concert at a conference ... I had the D300 and this was frankly like shooting fish in a barrel ...

Yes, I sometimes go higher key depending on the nature of the lighting ...

Two days later, at the same conference, I had the pleasure of shooting William Shatner at the same conference (banner year) ... and again, the D300 from 30 feet with the 70-300VR did a nice job ... it's too easy with larger sensors ...

This is another play, the Lion King ... I had another 1/2" sensor camera with me -- the F550EXR -- and of course I was able only to get images stealthily since our venues are remarkably anal ...

Now, I was able to shoot at 0EV only because this is an EXR sensor and I was shooting RAW+JPG at M size and DR400, which enables the camera to blend two exposures to save the highlights. It still required processing, but you can see plenty of detail in both foreground and background and there is detail in the headdress too ...

Another very bright image ...

For Bob Seger, I shot spot meter at 0EV and the EXR sensor in the F550 helped me again ... you do have to understand your technology ...

Lots of light there ... but the performers did me a favour and wore dark colors ...

Notice the detail retention in his rather silver beard ...

Anyway ... I think that's enough. You remain unconvinced I am sure, but I thought I would give you a larger sample so you would have something to really froth over

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ronfab1
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Re: who let the dogs out ... woof, woof woof, woof woof ...
In reply to Kim Letkeman, Sep 2, 2013

Wrong beard, wrong shot, nice try. The guy with a black shadow below his face and where the hair on the right side of his head should be also crushed. The other artist where you can barely make out his guitar. That was OK collateral damage with your preferred style? And with teeny weeny low resolution shots preaching to all of us. Perfect.

Now you're bashing the composition on his shots too??? Really??? You have to be kidding. I can only imagine how many people you have ticked off in a high per cent of those 30,000 posts telling others how they're not doing it right.....like you. "Vitriol" A drama queen too? I couldn't care less about you. Just calling it as I see it from someone who has seen all kinds of good, positive and other "forum" behavior on all types of forums.

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Jeff Tokayer
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Re: who let the dogs out ... woof, woof woof, woof woof ...
In reply to Kim Letkeman, Sep 2, 2013

I have done better than that with my X-Z1.

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Jeff Tokayer
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Re: GH3 low light indoor acrobatic show
In reply to hifi, Sep 2, 2013

Nice shooting, hifi. You seem to be enjoying the 60 Sigma.

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PC Wheeler
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Re: GH3 low light indoor acrobatic show
In reply to hifi, Sep 2, 2013

Nicely done and several at pretty high ISO.

I tired of searching the longish follow-up messages: Did you shoot these in RAW or JPG?

Never mind: RAW + JPG   I assume the posted jpegs came from process the RAWs.

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Phil

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ronfab1
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Re: who let the dogs out ... woof, woof woof, woof woof ...
In reply to ronfab1, Sep 2, 2013

Kim

Props on the latter pics. They do look fine. Much as that hurt. 

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purpleray
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Re: GH3 low light indoor acrobatic show
In reply to ronfab1, Sep 2, 2013

ronfab1 wrote:

OK since these photos have been posted for 5 hours now without a peep from anyone (amazingly), I will say they are very, very nice. The 800 ISO does the lighting great and very cleanly. (Just came on Micro Four Thirds and saw them).

I wonder what the deal is with the "view count" being at 0 when I first opened them up? Can that be right? Everyone just ignored them for 5 hours?? Weird. Anyway great shots. I love my GH3, along with A77 and NEX 5N. Glad to see 800 looked that good as I use mine primarily for video.

Where do you get the view count?

This is an important part of a forum.  A poster on the Oly SLR Forum was concerned about the lack of replies to his picture posts.  Aside from pointing out the gear and sensation focus of the forum, many of us advised him that the views were probably much higher.  On other sites, it can vary from 2 to a 100 times the actual posts.  I didn't think there was a way to find out on DPR.

Cheers

Ray

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ronfab1
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Re: GH3 low light indoor acrobatic show
In reply to purpleray, Sep 3, 2013

I was wondering the same thing a day later myself as I was looking at what was now available at that point, and it was only replies in the column. I thought I had seen "views" somewhere with this then not replied on thread. Maybe.... apparently.....not.

Hey look, everyone, Kim included....sorry for getting too invested in what I thought was just not fair play. To pick on small parts of only 2 or 3 out of 8 very nice photographs, when the recommended, right approach linked to small file, way less than great examples of similar photos seemed just wrong. And then it kept up with no appreciation at all for the OP's photos which are nice. I even thanked Kim at the outset for the methodology. Just seemed like the old "people living in glass houses shouldn't be throwing stones" analogy to me. If with his blog information he had put up all of these later pics, not the poor examples (who's looking at camera type?) fine. That's it, am done. Sorry for taking this off topic.

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Pete Berry
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Re: GH3 low light indoor acrobatic show
In reply to Kim Letkeman, Sep 3, 2013

!Mein Gott! fellow, you're really swimming upstream and onto the rocks here! First, you have no idea what my monitor shows, do you, except that I told you I see only shades of grey in the shirt with some detail, where you tell me you see white blown out - which is 255/255/255 in my book. And measuring the numbers confirm that this is not the case, and the grey is not uniform, with some gradation shown.

I've selected all of the shirt, as well as the shirt of the woman to check the histogram, which shows a very low percentage of blown pixels, with 99% falling below 248 - ninety-nine%! Now if you've adjusted you monitor so that these areas look white to you, rather than shades of grey, you've got a problem, and no way could you see level 254 - or even 244 (if Lagom went down that far). Can't have it both ways, old bean.

So you pull the backward logic obfuscation that all was blown, but has been obscured by either reducing the levels output white point or manipulating the highlight slider in LR/ACR, which will, of course eventually reduce the levels of totally blown pixels to a featureless light grey -which his isn't. At any rate, the fact that overbright areas have been dimmed a bit seems to exercise you greatly.

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Kim Letkeman
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Re: who let the dogs out ... woof, woof woof, woof woof ...
In reply to Jeff Tokayer, Sep 3, 2013

Jeff Tokayer wrote:

I have done better than that with my X-Z1.

Not quite clear but I presume you want acknowledgement that yours is bigger

There are many very nice images in there ... but it is one concert with one camera and a fast lens from one position ...

What surprised me was that I saw quite a few that are dominated by a hazy sort of noise. Mottling would be one description. I don't mind displaying film-like luminance noise but I would avoid displaying hazy images, which might require harsher tone curves and it might require black and white ... whatever it takes ...

Anyway, a nice series ...

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Kim Letkeman
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Re: GH3 low light indoor acrobatic show
In reply to Pete Berry, Sep 3, 2013

Pete Berry wrote:

!Mein Gott! fellow, you're really swimming upstream and onto the rocks here! First, you have no idea what my monitor shows, do you, except that I told you I see only shades of grey in the shirt with some detail

And I believe that is all I attributed to you, isn't it ...

where you tell me you see white blown out - which is 255/255/255 in my book.

It is simply a bright white ... it cannot be 255 since Photoshop does not show that according to you. But it is a brightly lit white short under concert lighting, which means it should not be grey as you are seeing it.

It takes no extrapolation to know what your description means ...

And measuring the numbers confirm that this is not the case, and the grey is not uniform, with some gradation shown.

Trivial amounts of detail ... even creases disappear into the flat area.

I've selected all of the shirt, as well as the shirt of the woman to check the histogram, which shows a very low percentage of blown pixels, with 99% falling below 248 - ninety-nine%!

I see that all the time in posted images and I explained it to the OP as well ... dropping the highlights and the whites in Lightroom turns blow outs to greys ... but the lack of detail remains and the image looks unnatural.

Now you repeat your measurements again. So be it ... I'll ignore the rest because you so clearly want me to be wrong and are not going to be convinced.

So to summarize, the OP posted images with no real detail in several areas. No matter how your perfectly calibrated monitor displays them, there is still basically no detail. The OP admitted to turning down the highlights and anyone who has worked with that stuff for a while knows what that does.

So go bore someone else already ...

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Kim Letkeman
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Re: who let the dogs out ... woof, woof woof, woof woof ...
In reply to ronfab1, Sep 3, 2013

ronfab1 wrote:

Wrong beard, wrong shot, nice try. The guy with a black shadow below his face and where the hair on the right side of his head should be also crushed. The other artist where you can barely make out his guitar. That was OK collateral damage with your preferred style? And with teeny weeny low resolution shots preaching to all of us. Perfect.

Now you're bashing the composition on his shots too??? Really??? You have to be kidding. I can only imagine how many people you have ticked off in a high per cent of those 30,000 posts telling others how they're not doing it right.....like you. "Vitriol" A drama queen too?

You speak in ad hominems ... calling it vitriol was close enough. That is not the equivalent of playing the victim card, in case that's what you meant by drama queen. I find your tone more in that vein frankly.

I couldn't care less about you.

That would be believable were it not for your constant attacks

Just calling it as I see it from someone who has seen all kinds of good, positive and other "forum" behavior on all types of forums.

You are the best, and everybody knows it now.

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Kim Letkeman
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Re: who let the dogs out ... woof, woof woof, woof woof ...
In reply to ronfab1, Sep 3, 2013

ronfab1 wrote:

Kim

Props on the latter pics. They do look fine. Much as that hurt.

Thanks

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Pete Berry
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Re: GH3 low light indoor acrobatic show
In reply to Kim Letkeman, Sep 3, 2013

Kim Letkeman wrote:

Pete Berry wrote:

!Mein Gott! fellow, you're really swimming upstream and onto the rocks here! First, you have no idea what my monitor shows, do you, except that I told you I see only shades of grey in the shirt with some detail

And I believe that is all I attributed to you, isn't it ...

where you tell me you see white blown out - which is 255/255/255 in my book.

It is simply a bright white ... it cannot be 255 since Photoshop does not show that according to you. But it is a brightly lit white short under concert lighting, which means it should not be grey as you are seeing it.

It takes no extrapolation to know what your description means ...

And measuring the numbers confirm that this is not the case, and the grey is not uniform, with some gradation shown.

Trivial amounts of detail ... even creases disappear into the flat area.

I've selected all of the shirt, as well as the shirt of the woman to check the histogram, which shows a very low percentage of blown pixels, with 99% falling below 248 - ninety-nine%!

I see that all the time in posted images and I explained it to the OP as well ... dropping the highlights and the whites in Lightroom turns blow outs to greys ... but the lack of detail remains and the image looks unnatural.

Now you repeat your measurements again. So be it ... I'll ignore the rest because you so clearly want me to be wrong and are not going to be convinced.

So to summarize, the OP posted images with no real detail in several areas. No matter how your perfectly calibrated monitor displays them, there is still basically no detail. The OP admitted to turning down the highlights and anyone who has worked with that stuff for a while knows what that does.

So go bore someone else already ...

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One question: At what luminance value does white become grey in your "book"? Oh, and another, how do you know the shirts were not a dirty white (that would be greyish) in the first place.

It seems you want the "whites" to be much brighter to prove in some very nice shots that everyone but you blows highlights, needing only salvation through your blog to correct their errors, with the price of ending up with blocked shadows whose lifting has made some nasty noise - thus the chicklet-sized images you display.

For you perusal below, the OP's first image with the shirts cut out on the left, leaving pure 255/255/255 white with a spike to the top of the right side of the histogram. The two spikes to the left of the end represent the light and dark greys of the histogram surround.

And on the right, the shirts are unchanged, but have been selected, and it's histogram reflects the shirts only. Nice, broad peak, isn't it, centering on about level 235 - not the narrow spike you'd see with artificially dimming an area of totally blown highlights. And guess what? you can even drop the selected shirts' white input level down to 235-40, brightening them considerably without erasing all detail, due to the dispersion of values in the shirts below that level.

Enough already about the effectively rescued shirts, which have enough detail and gradation seen on my monitor to satisfy me that they weren't blown blobs, and I presume to anyone else with a fully calibrated monitor and not blinded by their agenda.

What I really want to know is what the dude in the funny hat is doing!

HiFi's #1 image: (L) - shirts selected and cut out, leaving pure white. (R)- histogram of selected shirts. Original appearance

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