How to avoid banding on A7RIV when taking lightning pictures?

Started 4 months ago | Questions
OP 82300sd New Member • Posts: 16
Re: How to avoid banding on A7RIV when taking lightning pictures?

g2tegg wrote:

Strange. I've shot hundreds of lightning shots and never had banding, with or without ES (Not with the A7RIV, but A7iiI/Z6). Rain bands can for sure look like banding though. How far was the shadows pushed/highlights recovered?
Take a look Jim's finding. The little banding he finds looks a lot different then your image, which is why it almost looks like bands of rain.
https://blog.kasson.com/a7riv/pdaf-striping-in-the-sony-a7riv/

I don't think it;'s PDAF striping, as the pattern is different

OP 82300sd New Member • Posts: 16
Re: How to avoid banding on A7RIV when taking lightning pictures?

The 'verticals' are bands of rain/drizzle the horizontal >I THINK< is either over processed shadow recovery or similar, or some kind of refection from the light on the sea.

Many pictures are PP to the limits, seeing a post like this doesn't really tell you what was done with the image.

The banding I was referring to is the horizontal ones, that looks like anamorphic lens flare

OP 82300sd New Member • Posts: 16
Re: How to avoid banding on A7RIV when taking lightning pictures?

My guess is that this is an EFCS artifact; probably caused by the fact that lightning isn't a continuous lightsource, it flickers, and I think that's what you've captured here.

I don't suppose you took any shots with the camera in portrait orientiation? If so, did the stripes change direction?

For those that haven't noticed it, we're talking about the horizontal stripes across the image, particularly visible around the right hand lightning strikes.

I haven't seen this with my A7R2. I have yet to take any lightning shots with my A7R4 though.

In addition to the horizontal striping, there's some fairly pronounced CA visible around all the strikes.

Here's my version:

Frequency separation and selective dodging/burning on the coarse detail layer. Some gaussian blur on the areas of the coarse detail layer where nothing much is happening.

Camera Raw Filter to mop up the CA using de-fringe. A bit of painting in color mode to fix the grey areas created by the de-fringe filter.

I did take some in the portrait orientation and the horizontal stripes remained horizontal.

Amazing clean up!  Thank you so much for the tips and technique on how you cleaned that up!

OP 82300sd New Member • Posts: 16
Re: How to avoid banding on A7RIV when taking lightning pictures?

sybersitizen wrote:

The curvy, almost vertical bands are rain.

Did you alter the angle of the horizon at all when you cropped the result you posted?

If you didn't, the horizontal bands were not precisely horizontal in the original image, so they were probably present in the atmosphere rather than caused by the camera.

The banding I was referring to is the horizontal ones, that look like flare from an anamorphic lens.

I did not alter the angle of the horizontal when I cropped it.  That is an interesting observation, I didn't think they were present in the atmosphere, as I thought it was something with the lens or the camera

OP 82300sd New Member • Posts: 16
Re: How to avoid banding on A7RIV when taking lightning pictures?

Snowfella wrote:

My guess is that this is an EFCS artifact; probably caused by the fact that lightning isn't a continuous lightsource, it flickers, and I think that's what you've captured here.

I don't suppose you took any shots with the camera in portrait orientiation? If so, did the stripes change direction?

For those that haven't noticed it, we're talking about the horizontal stripes across the image, particularly visible around the right hand lightning strikes.

Don't think it could be an EFCS artifact due to the 30 second shutter speed, the lightning strikes would of happened at a time when the shutter was fully open.
Only time you will see banding from the EFCS is with high shutter speeds or HSS flash.

Snowfella, in all the documentation that I read about EFCS from the camera manual, it did say high shutter speeds too, so I was really surprised that it could have been the EFCS that might have somehow caused it, it was just a guess on my part.  Unfortunately, I did not turn off EFCS to test it that night to see if that was the case

OP 82300sd New Member • Posts: 16
Re: How to avoid banding on A7RIV when taking lightning pictures?

jmbillings wrote:

The thing they immediately reminded me of was cellphone pictures people take at night where you get similar bands (at an arbitrary angle, but could be horizontal) around bright light sources- basically a smeary lens.

Is your lens perfectly clean?

I had never thought that could have been a possibility.  But I could see how that could have caused it.  The rain was far away, and not where I was talking the pictures.  As for the answer if the lens was dirty, I couldn't definitively tell you that it was clean as a whistle that evening

Magnar W
Magnar W Veteran Member • Posts: 5,255
Re: How to avoid banding on A7RIV when taking lightning pictures?
1

Is it really horizontal banding? I can't se a regular, repeated pattern. Or it is layers of haze that is lit differently as the lightning, with variations in brightness, is moving trough the air?

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Barugon Veteran Member • Posts: 8,925
Re: How to avoid banding on A7RIV when taking lightning pictures?

The Davinator wrote:

splashy wrote:

I don't see banding, the only banding I see is rain/drizzle.

Love the picture btw.

If you can’t see banding here...you may wish to have your eyes checked

I see rain virga, cloud layers behind the lightning, color fringing on the edges of the lightning and a bit of noise but I don't see any banding. perhaps the cloud layers are what you think is banding?

A-Marc
A-Marc Contributing Member • Posts: 690
Re: How to avoid banding on A7RIV when taking lightning pictures?

82300sd wrote:

Your pics look pretty clean, Did you have EFSC on as default?

yes, efsc was on.

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A-Marc
A-Marc Contributing Member • Posts: 690
Re: How to avoid banding on A7RIV when taking lightning pictures?

Barugon wrote:

The Davinator wrote:

splashy wrote:

I don't see banding, the only banding I see is rain/drizzle.

Love the picture btw.

If you can’t see banding here...you may wish to have your eyes checked

I see rain virga, cloud layers behind the lightning, color fringing on the edges of the lightning and a bit of noise but I don't see any banding. perhaps the cloud layers are what you think is banding?

banding would appear in a uniform way. the "stripes" in your image appear not to be uniform. leading me to the conclusion that this is reflected light bouncing off the clouds and off the water surface.

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OP 82300sd New Member • Posts: 16
Re: How to avoid banding on A7RIV when taking lightning pictures?

Magnar W wrote:

Is it really horizontal banding? I can't se a regular, repeated pattern. Or it is layers of haze that is lit differently as the lightning, with variations in brightness, is moving trough the air?

This is what I have been wondering, if it's something natural in the environment, or a product of the lens and/or camera, like a lens flare or shutter

OP 82300sd New Member • Posts: 16
Re: How to avoid banding on A7RIV when taking lightning pictures?

A-Marc wrote:

banding would appear in a uniform way. the "stripes" in your image appear not to be uniform. leading me to the conclusion that this is reflected light bouncing off the clouds and off the water surface.

Thanks for your comment, I had not considered the possibility of it being reflected light bouncing off the clouds and off the water surface.  I thought it was an anomaly of shooting lightning with a wide open aperture.  I wish I had stopped the lens down from being wide open, as a test that night

aSevenArr
aSevenArr Senior Member • Posts: 2,480
Re: How to avoid banding on A7RIV when taking lightning pictures?

82300sd wrote:

Magnar W wrote:

Is it really horizontal banding? I can't se a regular, repeated pattern. Or it is layers of haze that is lit differently as the lightning, with variations in brightness, is moving trough the air?

This is what I have been wondering, if it's something natural in the environment, or a product of the lens and/or camera, like a lens flare or shutter

There's been some post processing done to this shot. In camera?

So it's difficult to tell what's real, what's a processing artifact, what's actually from the camera hardware and what's from the environment.

But I've seen layering effects like that in fog and clouds before. And some of the bright horizontal bands may be reflections of the lightning from the water surface (such as are more obvious in the foreground).

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Magnar W
Magnar W Veteran Member • Posts: 5,255
Re: How to avoid banding on A7RIV when taking lightning pictures?

82300sd wrote:

Magnar W wrote:

Is it really horizontal banding? I can't se a regular, repeated pattern. Or it is layers of haze that is lit differently as the lightning, with variations in brightness, is moving trough the air?

This is what I have been wondering, if it's something natural in the environment, or a product of the lens and/or camera, like a lens flare or shutter

The "banding" structure is not even enough to be caused by the camera, so I am pretty sure that this is how the scene looks like during lightning.

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dth29 Forum Member • Posts: 78
Re: How to avoid banding on A7RIV when taking lightning pictures?

I too would agree that these are any atmospheric, natural effects - no issue with the camera or the lens. Layers with uneven humidity could cause this. I would not try to postprocess it - it is part of the picture.

Nebell Regular Member • Posts: 315
Re: How to avoid banding on A7RIV when taking lightning pictures?
1

The Davinator wrote:

JohnNEX wrote:

splashy wrote:

I don't see banding, the only banding I see is rain/drizzle.

Love the picture btw.

Yeah, I don't see banding here either. I *think* you are referring to the roughly horizontal lines in the bright section behind the lightning, which are clearly clouds in the background, but all the 'lines' are either clouds or rain. Good photo.

Those are not clouds.

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macrouser
macrouser Contributing Member • Posts: 697
Re: How to avoid banding on A7RIV when taking lightning pictures?

If that is banding from the lighting flicker and not a reflection off the waves, then you need to have flicker suppression turned on.

If you use silent shooting,  that disables flicker suppression and you will get banding with any light that flickers.

Lightning is not a steady light but a series of flashes.

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