polaroid splotchy skies

Started Dec 5, 2012 | Questions
Dean Malencik New Member • Posts: 21
polaroid splotchy skies

I often use a Polaroid filter for my landscape shots, particularly when the sky is cloud free.  I note that in some wide angle shots part of the sky will be a dark blue while another area will be lighter.  How would you readers even out the color so I can get a natural look to the sky rather than the splotchy look I have now.

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Allen Gerdes Veteran Member • Posts: 5,629
Re: polaroid splotchy skies

Post a sample image and you will likely get many good ideas for correcting the problem.

Regards....Allem

OP Dean Malencik New Member • Posts: 21
Re: polaroid splotchy skies

Here is one

Allen Gerdes Veteran Member • Posts: 5,629
Re: polaroid splotchy skies

First of all, has this image already been retouched, because it looks to me as though it has been?  If so, we need the original out of camera image to work with.  If not, then here is my version, wherein I simply used Topaz Remask to extract the foreground from the sky and replaced with a solid color new sky.  Of course, one could use a graduated color or gradient, but since this is obviously a very clear dark sky to begin with, I opted for the simple solid color.

Regards....Allen

drh681
drh681 Forum Pro • Posts: 20,742
Re: polaroid splotchy skies

The problem is the polarizer. In combination with a wide angle of view.

A polarizer works best(most) when directed 90° to the axis of the light.

A wide angle lens will "see" far enough off that axis that the polarizing effect begins to diminish.

So what to do in the field? tuck that polarizer away when shooting wide angle or off angle landscapes. Shoot a bit under exposed. (say 2/3 or a stop?)

In post, you can do a selective color adjustment layer, and add some black to the blues and aquas.

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digital ed
digital ed Veteran Member • Posts: 3,529
Re: polaroid splotchy skies

Dean Malencik wrote:

Here is one

Looking at your original what I see in the sky is quantization due to inadequate number of digital levels to describe the gradual transition from darker to lighter. This can come about from enhancing the sky in post production. Of course, it could also be due to whatever DPR does to our photos in the gallery.

This was a common problem back when for pro video we only had 8 bit encoding. Pro video systems went to 10 bits to minimize the effect.

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OP Dean Malencik New Member • Posts: 21
Re: polaroid splotchy skies

Allen,

Here is another that is even a little worse and with no processing.

OP Dean Malencik New Member • Posts: 21
Re: polaroid splotchy skies

The jpg here has lines of color.  The nef file does not show this.

digital ed
digital ed Veteran Member • Posts: 3,529
Re: polaroid splotchy skies

Dean Malencik wrote:

Allen,

Here is another that is even a little worse and with no processing.

Your problem is lack of bit depth. As I said in an earlier post what you are seeing is digital quantization error. If your NEF does not have this what program are you using to create the jpg?

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OP Dean Malencik New Member • Posts: 21
Re: polaroid splotchy skies

Used photoshop cs6.  Saved jpeg with a "1" setting

digital ed
digital ed Veteran Member • Posts: 3,529
Re: polaroid splotchy skies

Dean Malencik wrote:

Used photoshop cs6. Saved jpeg with a "1" setting

Suggest you save it as a 12 to see if that helps the problem.

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mikes
mikes Veteran Member • Posts: 3,395
About banding.....

1) This is definately too much jpeg compression.

2) Try a different "save as" setting.

3) Work in a different color space (last resort).

4) During your workflow, watch carefully at when you begin to notice the lines. What I have done in the past is to induce noise into the affected area before doing adjustments. This seems to alleviate the "banding" that you see.

5) I want my house there, Beautiful country. Where is this, USA, Canada?

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digital ed
digital ed Veteran Member • Posts: 3,529
Re: About banding.....

mikes wrote:

4) During your workflow, watch carefully at when you begin to notice the lines. What I have done in the past is to induce noise into the affected area before doing adjustments. This seems to alleviate the "banding" that you see.

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Only when you can criticize yourself, should you criticize others. Mikes.

Pro video post production editors also added a small amount of noise to dither the lower digital bits to minimize the quantization effect with 8 bit systems. Helped some until 10 bit recording and processing became normal.

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GMack Senior Member • Posts: 2,928
A "Sky Fix Filter" is badly needed.

I've been waiting for someone like Topaz or Nik to come up with some sort of "Sky Fix Filter."  These current JPEG engines can really do damage to a subtle blue sky transition.

Add some pine tree branches to those shots demonstrated here and you'll have a post-processing mess on your hands with the sky.  Remasking that mess can take HOURS working in between branches or leaves and not getting any halos, banding, or color mis-matches among them.  Been there.

Now I've sort of trained myself to watch out for tiny bits of sky that will entail HOURS to fix and spot up later amongst the trees or whatever.

Mack

Babine Veteran Member • Posts: 6,845
Re: polaroid splotchy skies

Dean Malencik wrote:

....  How would you readers even out the color so I can get a natural look to the sky rather than the splotchy look I have now.

Some good advice towards preventing the obvious banding. I would also suggest starting your PP in 16 bit which will also help.

With your JPGs, I selected the FG and horizon with the quick selection tool and the green channel, feathered the selection a bit to overlap the mountains lightly, saved the selection to an alpha channel, selected the dark and light shades of blue in the sky with the eye dropper tool and used linear and radial gradients to add a new sky. The saved alpha channel and a mask contained the effect to the sky.

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Cheers.
Gary
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OP Dean Malencik New Member • Posts: 21
Re: About banding.....

First picture is in the San Juans, real close to Ralph Lauren's 20,000 acre ranch.  Incidentally he has some 20 miles of teak wood fence

second picture tetons

JulesJ
JulesJ Forum Pro • Posts: 44,935
Re: polaroid splotchy skies

Dean Malencik wrote:

The jpg here has lines of color. The nef file does not show this.

This is called feathering and is due to too little Dynamic Range. You have lost a smooth transition. It could be due to too small a file, working in 8 bit instead of 16 etc.

As for you original question it is tru what you say expecially when using a wide angle with the polaroid filter. The filter filters reflection of light best at one particular angle. you know this as you can see it change as you rotate the filter. With a wide picture the angle the light is hitting the lens at the extremities of the picture is quite different from that at the centre of the lens, hence the effect of the polaroid lens is different at the edges than it is in the middle. hence the falloff, or difference in brightness of say the sky. I hope this makes sense.

Jules

JulesJ
JulesJ Forum Pro • Posts: 44,935
Re: polaroid splotchy skies

Dean Malencik wrote:

Used photoshop cs6. Saved jpeg with a "1" setting

Why use jpgs, I never use them except for emailing or putting on the web. Convert from Raw into psd or tiff. Save them as that.

Jules

JulesJ
JulesJ Forum Pro • Posts: 44,935
Re: polaroid splotchy skies

drh681 wrote:

The problem is the polarizer. In combination with a wide angle of view.

A polarizer works best(most) when directed 90° to the axis of the light.

A wide angle lens will "see" far enough off that axis that the polarizing effect begins to diminish.

So what to do in the field? tuck that polarizer away when shooting wide angle or off angle landscapes. Shoot a bit under exposed. (say 2/3 or a stop?)

In post, you can do a selective color adjustment layer, and add some black to the blues and aquas.

-- hide signature --

Photons by the bag.
Gravitons no longer shipped outside US or Canada
-----.....------
You got a camera, now go out and get a life; or at least a picture of one!

Correct.

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