Would you have gotten the same?

Started 8 months ago | Discussions
jpena
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Would you have gotten the same?
8 months ago

Hello all,

I hate bothering people with my own particular problems but I also know I can learn so much from you. So here it is.

I attended Sunday a Christmas activity where I work and took this raw picture, unprocessed via Photoshop.

In case exif does not show, it is f/5.6, 1/160, iso 500, sony A700, with tamron 70-300@300mm. usd di.  Day was heavily cloudy, even rainy, so solar light was very low.  Ah, no flash, I was something like 30-40 feet away, I would say.

I processed it with Photoshop (levels and most likely contrast; no noise treatment) and cropped, and I got this one:

How good a job do you think I did?

Should I have pushed higher iso?

maybe shorter focal distance for a f/5, f/4.5 maybe?

is it as grainy on your monitor as on mine?

different post processing?

thanks in advance for your replies and for helping me learn.

Sony Alpha DSLR-A700
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Alan_S
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Re: Would you have gotten the same?
In reply to jpena, 8 months ago

Hi, I think you did a fine job, nice compromise of ISO sensitivity and struck a good balance in post processing with sharpening/noise reduction. Just enough fine grain to provide detail without being overly grainy at all on my screen without pixel-peeping.

Just one note of clarification though, you labeled the first shot as raw, "unprocessed via Photoshop" (the unprocessed RAW file itself will not display as an image without some processing & conversion to an image display format)... I think what you meant was the RAW file was processed/converted to JPG in Photoshop with whatever default settings are applied (which was a bit underexposed until you applied PP adjustments in the second photo). Correct?

jpena wrote:

Hello all,

I hate bothering people with my own particular problems but I also know I can learn so much from you. So here it is.

I attended Sunday a Christmas activity where I work and took this raw picture, unprocessed via Photoshop.

In case exif does not show, it is f/5.6, 1/160, iso 500, sony A700, with tamron 70-300@300mm. usd di. Day was heavily cloudy, even rainy, so solar light was very low. Ah, no flash, I was something like 30-40 feet away, I would say.

I processed it with Photoshop (levels and most likely contrast; no noise treatment) and cropped, and I got this one:

How good a job do you think I did?

Should I have pushed higher iso?

maybe shorter focal distance for a f/5, f/4.5 maybe?

is it as grainy on your monitor as on mine?

different post processing?

thanks in advance for your replies and for helping me learn.

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- AlanS

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AlphaTikal
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Re: Would you have gotten the same?
In reply to jpena, 8 months ago

I am on my mobile now, but it depends on what you want ll and is very personal thing. Do you just want talk about the iso and grain? What is your goal with that picture?

For the cropped one I would crop more the head below, if I wanted portrait of that woman.
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jpena
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Re: Would you have gotten the same?
In reply to Alan_S, 8 months ago

Alan_S wrote:

Hi, I think you did a fine job, nice compromise of ISO sensitivity and struck a good balance in post processing with sharpening/noise reduction. Just enough fine grain to provide detail without being overly grainy at all on my screen without pixel-peeping.

Just one note of clarification though, you labeled the first shot as raw, "unprocessed via Photoshop" (the unprocessed RAW file itself will not display as an image without some processing & conversion to an image display format)... I think what you meant was the RAW file was processed/converted to JPG in Photoshop with whatever default settings are applied (which was a bit underexposed until you applied PP adjustments in the second photo). Correct?

Alan_S

thanks for the reply.

and yes, that is what I meant. Default values.

I may have applied light sharpening on camera raw but very lightly indeed. No noise reduction whatsoever though.

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jpena
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Re: Would you have gotten the same?
In reply to AlphaTikal, 8 months ago

AlphaTikal wrote:

I am on my mobile now, but it depends on what you want ll and is very personal thing. Do you just want talk about the iso and grain? What is your goal with that picture?

For the cropped one I would crop more the head below, if I wanted portrait of that woman.
--
· http://www.flickr.com/photos/blackhole_eater/
· (All photos are creative common licensed. Check them out.)
· English is not my native language.

AlphaTikal,

thanks for the reply.

All I want is to see if other fellow photographers would've done anything differently, what you think of my pic, combination of variables...in a nutshell, your take on my technique with this pic.

The cropped image is just for this thread's discussion's sake, nothing beyond that.

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Michael Fritzen
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Re: Would you have gotten the same?
In reply to jpena, 8 months ago

Hi,

under these lighting and shooting conditions you left already the "comfort" or "security" zone at 1/160 and 300mm (BTW field of view of 450mm on APS-C) considering 1/FL as recommended exposure time. Shooting handheld this guards the risc of handshake. You could have increased the ISO - of course at the toll of more noise. There's no free lunch as it is the saying what means a compromise has to be found. I'd say under the given constraints I probably would have choosen similar parameters with a similar result. Perhaps I would have choosen ISO800 which is stll acceptable on the A700, always taking into account that one has a pack of capable noise reduction software at one's hand for eventually improving the result. Or one could downsize the image to the needed output resolution. So here are possible fixes. But there's none when the image is blurred due to handshake or subject move or both.

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Cheers,
Michael Fritzen

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digitalshooter
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I would have used the flash for fill flash (nt)
In reply to jpena, 8 months ago
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yndesai
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Re: I would have used the flash for fill flash
In reply to digitalshooter, 8 months ago

Flash is always welcome but it would flatten the image and ruin the background.

My Idea if you want to exploit same light.

1. Use a stand

2. I would use F6.3 (if 5.6 is the limit of this lens) and increase ISO to 800

3. Moving a bit close always helps if situation permits.

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tbcass
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Re: Would you have gotten the same?
In reply to jpena, 8 months ago

jpena wrote:

Hello all,

I processed it with Photoshop (levels and most likely contrast; no noise treatment) and cropped, and I got this one:

That's a pretty heavy crop so flaws are likely to show up. I believe your biggest problem was the original was underexposed so when you adjusted levels the boise was also emphasized.

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Tom
Look at the picture, not the pixels
------------
Miss use of the ability to do 100% pixel peeping is the bane of digital photography because it causes people to fret over inconsequential issues.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/63683676@N07/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/25301400@N00/

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tbcass
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Re: Would you have gotten the same?
In reply to tbcass, 8 months ago

tbcass wrote:

jpena wrote:

Hello all,

I processed it with Photoshop (levels and most likely contrast; no noise treatment) and cropped, and I got this one:

That's a pretty heavy crop so flaws are likely to show up. I believe your biggest problem was the original was underexposed so when you adjusted levels the boise was also emphasized.

boise=noise

-- hide signature --

Tom
Look at the picture, not the pixels
------------
Miss use of the ability to do 100% pixel peeping is the bane of digital photography because it causes people to fret over inconsequential issues.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/63683676@N07/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/25301400@N00/

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Draek
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Re: Would you have gotten the same?
In reply to jpena, 8 months ago

jpena wrote:

Hello all,

I hate bothering people with my own particular problems but I also know I can learn so much from you. So here it is.

Don't; we all learn something from these kinds of discussions, not just the one asking. So feel free to ask anything you need.

How good a job do you think I did?

Lack of eyes notwithstanding I think you did well enough -- it's somewhat noisy, certainly, but not so much it'd be bothersome in a print, and I think a longer exposure would've introduced unwanted camera shake. Colors are a bit saturated for my tastes, however, but that's more a matter of taste -- they're not garish, either. Oh, and I would've left a tad more background, as well, but it does depend on the print size you're aiming for, if one at all -- small prints and online sharing, it's best to have a tight crop to maximize the subject's apparent size.

Should I have pushed higher iso?

Considering the push you did in post, perhaps. Dunno if it would've affected things much, though.

maybe shorter focal distance for a f/5, f/4.5 maybe?

Considering the crop you did, no, you shouldn't.

is it as grainy on your monitor as on mine?

Yup, but not unpleasantly so -- looks like pushed ISO400 color film, to me. I do see some posterization on her shirt, but I couldn't tell whether it's a fault of the image or my monitor, since I'm at my work computer right now.

different post processing?

Other than the saturation thing and a wider crop, no, I don't think I would have. As I said, the grain looks noticeable but not unpleasant, and I think it'd print well, too.

thanks in advance for your replies and for helping me learn.

You're welcome, hope it helps

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jpena
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Re: Would you have gotten the same?
In reply to Michael Fritzen, 8 months ago

Michael Fritzen wrote:

Hi,

under these lighting and shooting conditions you left already the "comfort" or "security" zone at 1/160 and 300mm (BTW field of view of 450mm on APS-C) considering 1/FL as recommended exposure time. Shooting handheld this guards the risc of handshake. You could have increased the ISO - of course at the toll of more noise. There's no free lunch as it is the saying what means a compromise has to be found. I'd say under the given constraints I probably would have choosen similar parameters with a similar result. Perhaps I would have choosen ISO800 which is stll acceptable on the A700, always taking into account that one has a pack of capable noise reduction software at one's hand for eventually improving the result. Or one could downsize the image to the needed output resolution. So here are possible fixes. But there's none when the image is blurred due to handshake or subject move or both.

-- hide signature --

Cheers,
Michael Fritzen

Michael,

thanks for the reply.

One of the first settings was shooting at 1/450 or equivalent, but I would have had to raise iso. Too far away for onboard flash be of much use, I thought too. Maybe wrongly.

Again, thanks for your time and interest.

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jpena
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Re: I would have used the flash for fill flash (nt)
In reply to digitalshooter, 8 months ago

I deemed it to open a space and too far away for onboard flash to be any effective.

Would you have used onboard flash under these circumstances? Interesting. I will make sure I give it a try next time.

Thanks for the reply and help,

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jpena
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Re: I would have used the flash for fill flash
In reply to yndesai, 8 months ago

yndesai wrote:

Flash is always welcome but it would flatten the image and ruin the background.

My Idea if you want to exploit same light.

1. Use a stand

2. I would use F6.3 (if 5.6 is the limit of this lens) and increase ISO to 800

3. Moving a bit close always helps if situation permits.

-- hide signature --

Yndesai,

thanks for the reply.

I had my tripod with me but I did not want the risk of children/people tripping over it. Nor did I want to draw attention onto me.

I could have certainly gotten a little closer but I wanted the pic to be quite incognito. I love taking unsupected pics of people.

Again, thanks,

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jpena
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Re: Would you have gotten the same?
In reply to tbcass, 8 months ago

tbcass wrote:

jpena wrote:

Hello all,

I processed it with Photoshop (levels and most likely contrast; no noise treatment) and cropped, and I got this one:

That's a pretty heavy crop so flaws are likely to show up. I believe your biggest problem was the original was underexposed so when you adjusted levels the boise was also emphasized.

-- hide signature --

Tom
Look at the picture, not the pixels
------------
Miss use of the ability to do 100% pixel peeping is the bane of digital photography because it causes people to fret over inconsequential issues.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/63683676@N07/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/25301400@N00/

Tbcass,

thanks for the time and reply.

Yes, I know it was dark to begin with. But let me ask you this:

Would you have used higher iso?  onboard flash being about 30/40 feet away?

Thanks so very many,

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jpena
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Re: Would you have gotten the same?
In reply to Draek, 8 months ago

Draek wrote:

jpena wrote:

Hello all,

I hate bothering people with my own particular problems but I also know I can learn so much from you. So here it is.

Don't; we all learn something from these kinds of discussions, not just the one asking. So feel free to ask anything you need.

How good a job do you think I did?

Lack of eyes notwithstanding I think you did well enough -- it's somewhat noisy, certainly, but not so much it'd be bothersome in a print, and I think a longer exposure would've introduced unwanted camera shake. Colors are a bit saturated for my tastes, however, but that's more a matter of taste -- they're not garish, either. Oh, and I would've left a tad more background, as well, but it does depend on the print size you're aiming for, if one at all -- small prints and online sharing, it's best to have a tight crop to maximize the subject's apparent size.

Should I have pushed higher iso?

Considering the push you did in post, perhaps. Dunno if it would've affected things much, though.

maybe shorter focal distance for a f/5, f/4.5 maybe?

Considering the crop you did, no, you shouldn't.

is it as grainy on your monitor as on mine?

Yup, but not unpleasantly so -- looks like pushed ISO400 color film, to me. I do see some posterization on her shirt, but I couldn't tell whether it's a fault of the image or my monitor, since I'm at my work computer right now.

different post processing?

Other than the saturation thing and a wider crop, no, I don't think I would have. As I said, the grain looks noticeable but not unpleasant, and I think it'd print well, too.

thanks in advance for your replies and for helping me learn.

You're welcome, hope it helps

Thanks Draek,

for your time and interest.

Actually, the crop was just approximate, as I wanted to show her face above all. I did not care that much for how large or small the crop is as long as she can be seen in the cropped image.

I tend to like darkish  pics which, of course, hightens the noise.

Wonderful tips, thanks,

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dlkeller
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Re: Would you have gotten the same?
In reply to jpena, 8 months ago

It is hard for me to see the focus well without the eyes, however, my general view is the image is very soft--possibly due to motion blur.

I believe you could shoot a shot like this at 1600 with the A700 and get reasonable noise levels which could have been reduced with noise reduction in post processing.  Given a choice between exposure noise and blur I will take the exposure noise every time as you can do something with it in post processing.

You definitely need to crop the guy at the bottom, although if his eyes are of similar sharpness to hers it would reinforce what I said above even more.

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Dave

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Undah
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Was this RAW or JPG?
In reply to jpena, 8 months ago

Maybe I missed it in your description.

Either way, this is too noisy at iso500.

If it was RAW, adjust the noise reduction during the RAW development.

If it was JPG, the only way it would be this noisy at iso500 is if you underexposed and brightened up the dark areas.  You would still be ok but you need some noise reduction.  Try Neat Image plugin.

Hope that helps.

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tbcass
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Re: Would you have gotten the same?
In reply to jpena, 8 months ago

jpena wrote:

Tbcass,

thanks for the time and reply.

Yes, I know it was dark to begin with. But let me ask you this:

Would you have used higher iso? onboard flash being about 30/40 feet away?

Thanks so very many,

It depends on why the photo was under exposed. Some + EV to brighten things up would go a long way toward reducing noise. Using iso 800 could help.

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Tom
Look at the picture, not the pixels
------------
Miss use of the ability to do 100% pixel peeping is the bane of digital photography because it causes people to fret over inconsequential issues.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/63683676@N07/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/25301400@N00/

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MrChristopher
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Re: Would you have gotten the same?
In reply to jpena, 8 months ago

jpena, we can (and will) debate ISO and exposure on this image all day long, but I think what's lacking her is good composition and context.  This is not a studio, bright light, everyone smile and say cheese photo, it's an environmental portrait so it should reflect the environment and not a cameras ability to make it look like a sunny day. You accomplished that nicely, I can feel the weather in this shot and I like it.  But I cannot determine the subject and I assume the more prominent person is the subject yet my eyes are distracted from that and here's why:

A step back and you would have gotten the third person on the bottom right in the frame  and could have cropped to a standard 8x10 and moved it so the person on the far left is completely out.  That would have given you more environment to this environmental portrait and the stairs and other lines and such would help frame the subject (three people clustered together, with the main person looking off frame) and given you a more full background.

You're trying to convert it into a head shot and that's not working with half head man on the bottom right.  It is too distracting and the cropped image lacks context.  I can't stop looking at half head man.

I think your settings were perfectly fine (others will suggest otherwise) and the image captures the sort of over cast, dreary weather nicely.  But the confusing composition renders the image mostly unusable in my opinion.  Had it been me I would have stepped back to avoid extreme cut off of 3rd guy on bottom right and gone with the three of them.  Or I would have changed my angle so I could get a tight head shot of what seems to be the main subject without the guy below him showing up (photo bombing!).

People are suggesting lightening the image, well ok fine.  I might actually darken in to amplify the mood which I think you captured well.

And eyes are a critical part of judging a photo and blackening them out in not helping your cause. Are these criminals on the lamb who require anonymity?

These are just my opinions and suggestions, and most importantly, unless you are a commercial photographer the main person you need to please is yourself.  If you like the image and it speaks to you, it's a job well done.

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