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Old Apr 26, 2011, 12:42 PM   #1
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Default Exposure & Detail Question

How do you get good detail-brightness without getting blowouts?
Here is a picture of question. It's nice sunny day. Using the A55 with a Sigma 105mm macro lens.

The detail in the center of the flowers gets lost.



Using the RAW file I can bring out a bit of the detail but it seems to mute the picture and appears a little flat.

I used the Image Data Converter program which comes with the A55






I used the RAW file in Elements 9 on this one






I used the RAW file in Zoner Photo Studio 13 here




Should I be using a fill flash to bring out the details? I'd like the camera to do it without having to extensively edit the RAW file.

The only other way I've found is to underexpose it but then you get a dark looking picture.

Any help is greatly appreciated.
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Old Apr 26, 2011, 1:08 PM   #2
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I asked the exact same question a while back because my shots of white flowers always blow out, and here's an article somebody directed me to. Don't know if it helped me much but some good information. I think you have to meter off the bright object and deal with the rest of the image being underexposed. I'm like you, I hate to over-PP.

http://www.betterphoto.com/article.asp?id=57
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Old Apr 26, 2011, 1:20 PM   #3
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You may want to reset your camera back to factory defaults and see what you get.

I can't see any EXIF in those images. But, if you're doing stuff like increasing saturation, etc., you may be causing individual channels to clip too early; or you may have changed color space to something other than sRGB causing a problem in non color managed viewers (especially since they're not tagged images), causing flat looking images. For example, if you changed to Adobe RGB, that would cause issues in most viewers. Your DRO settings can also cause a problem (I keep it turned off with Sony cameras much of time, because it can make images look flatter when it pushes the shadow areas, and I prefer more contrast with most subjects).

Note that Sony's IDC may also be honoring your jpeg settings during raw conversion unless you change them in the converter (causing a problem using it, too).

Without any EXIF info, it's hard to say what's going wrong. But, I'd reset the camera back to factory defaults as a first step and see what you get (as that sensor does have very good dynamic range).
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Old Apr 26, 2011, 1:32 PM   #4
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It's not the brightness but saturation that's the problem here - if you split the first image into Hue, Saturation and Lightness you can see the flowers are only a mid brightness but a fully saturated yellow. I had the same problem recently with a red tulip (a580) and found that I had to leave saturation at 0 and make sure the WB is set right. If either was wrong the reds became fully saturated and I lost all detail. I also have contrast set on -2 because I think it also loses shadow/highlight detail if you boost it in-camera.
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Old Apr 26, 2011, 1:42 PM   #5
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Jim, here is a link to Picasa - you can see the EXIF info under "full details page" to the right of the picture.

https://picasaweb.google.com/Clint50...bUkLaH9OiK3AE#


I checked and I'm on sRGB and I DRO off.

I have been shooting in Vivid mode with Sat +1 and Sharpness +2.

I'll try Standard all set to Zero.

I generally get good exposures except for yellows and whites in sunlight. As Saly said those are the ones that seem to get blown-out unless I underexpose. I'm also using center weighted metering mode.

Thanks Saly - I'll take a look at the article.
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Old Apr 26, 2011, 2:00 PM   #6
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That's what I do with Sony cameras (standard or neutral, depending on what's available with a given camera model), and I usually keep the rest at defaults (although sometimes I'll go -1 with Contrast in harsher lighting).
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Old Apr 26, 2011, 10:03 PM   #7
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Clint,

Increasing highlights can help. First picture

Generally to make yellow stand out - first decrease green lightness and after that increase yellow saturation

2 cents

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