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Old Feb 1, 2005, 6:14 PM   #31
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YourFace wrote:
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That LumiQuest ProMax system looks pretty good. I guess it's not as soft as the UltraSoft because it doesn't have the front diffuser material but I am intrigued by the Gold insert idea. I'm wondering if that would help with getting more natural skin colors while using flash at concerts. What do you think? Which of the inserts do you use, when, and why?

I wonder if you're getting bad color balance because your camera is set to auto white balance... and in the club, the light is probably much more on the "warm" side than your white (and a little blue) flash. So if the camera is color balanced to the warmer light, and you take a flash picture, the flash will make the primary subjects look bluish.

I have used the gold insert with the Lumiquest system in portraits (just poking around, still learning) and it ranges... sometimes it's a nice warm tone. Other times people look a little jaundiced.

You mentioned about about photoshop techniques. What you want to do is learn to use photoshop's LAYERS and MASKING functions. For example, if you want to change the brightness and contrast in the singer's face but keep the brightness in the singer's black clothing, one way to do this is

1. Create a new adjustment layer --> Brightness/Contrast (or Levels... or Curves) (in the layer menu)

2. On the adjustment layer in the layer palette, find the layer mask box (it's to the right of the layer name... it's a white box). Click on it.

3> using the lasso (or other highlighting) tool, draw around the singer's face.

4. feather the selection by a few pixels

5. In the select menu, choose select inverse

6. Now fill the selection with black.

I'm not describing this perfectly... people in the Photoshop forum can do a better job (or you can buy a book on photoshop layering and masking). But what this does is it will apply the adjustment layer effects only to the area not masked out (that is, what appears white in the adjustment layer's layer mask). Then, when you click on the adjustment layer, you can make your brightness/contrast (or levels, or curves) adjustment to just one part of the image... and best of all, if you don't like it, you can change it later! (It's "non-destructive!")

All of your needs (like changing color balance of one part of the image, etc) can be accomplished through similar techniques... but it requires creating new layers or adjustment layers, masking out part of the image (or just copying parts of the image to new, independent layers) and then applying effect there. I hope I haven't confused more than I've helped...


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Old Feb 1, 2005, 7:49 PM   #32
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Do you guys shoot with the UV filters attached? The store I bought them from said to always leave them on to protect the lenses but the guy at the local camera store said always take them off when you shoot because they degrade image quality. He said, "Why would I shoot with a $10 piece of glass over a $1000 lens"?

Also, do any of you use warming filters? How about using a warming filter with the flash to correct the skin tone?

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Old Feb 1, 2005, 11:13 PM   #33
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I rarely use a UV filter on any lens. Sometimes at higher altitudes or as spray protection when needed, I'd rather wipe a 10$ piece of glass with my tee-shirt than the lens. :lol:. Normally I think they just offer another air/glass/air interfaceto assist with ghosting and stray light reflections.

I use polarizers most often. The standard circular polarizer I use arethe HoyaHMC on normal lenses, and the Hoya Ultra on wide-angles. I also use the Cokin 173p blue/yellow polarizer occasionally, but I thinkthe Singh-Ray blue/goldhas a muchnicer effect.

Warming filers, yes with film used to use the81a often and sometimes 81c, haven't used them since switching to digital.

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Old Feb 2, 2005, 5:23 AM   #34
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YourFace wrote:
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Also, do any of you use warming filters? How about using a warming filter with the flash to correct the skin tone?
... Again photography is all about lighting! :idea:
(and lot of folks here want IS so they can shoot is the worst possible lighting)

WB is good, but sometime you don't want to be white or end up too 'cold'. You want to create 'moods' through light, sometime with tungsten vs flash, and sometime with light modifiers such as theses (roll over the buttons for the effects): http://www.photoflex.com/photoflex/i...uct=litedisc&1

Filters are too restrictive since they apply to the whole scene, and Photoshop is only a fix/enhancer - You want to start with a 'good' image first!
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Old Feb 2, 2005, 8:56 AM   #35
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My son sings in a local Alternative Band doing 85% original music. I have gotten pretty good results from shooting indoors with my on-board flash, until I got the Canon 420EX.Most all were takenwith the28-135IS zoom. I have used it sparingly outdoors on the 300D & outdoors on my EOS-3 shooting some 400 speed print film & the 75-300 IS lens. I also have added the Metz 54AF-1 to my lineup & plan on testing both indoors at a gig in Late February. Take a look at my pix at: http://www.pbase.com/hurtman go to the Music Gallery & check out the band Enursha. - http://www.enurshamusic.com

I also did some outdoor stuff with the 28-135 IS zoom at ISO 400 & No flash of a band called Brandy McKay & the Doubleshot band. Check them out as well.

Good luck in what you are doing! And, show us some results!

David
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Old Feb 2, 2005, 9:50 AM   #36
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Hey guys! I went and shot SeepeopleS at the Pour House in Raleigh last night. I mostly used the 50mm f/1.8 and 100mm f/2.0 lenses without the flash. The lighting was decent but uneven. This is a typical situation I've encountered where some musicians on stage are better lit than others and I constantly have to adjust my settings when photographing each of them. Last night was the first time I used the Vivitar 730AF and also the first time I used the LumiQuest UltraSoft diffuser. I am very pleased with the results so far. In fact, I was able to shoot with the low-power flash in most occasions. I just needed that little light boost to be able to get a decent exposure where I wasn't able without a flash. I also used the 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 and 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lenses with and without the flash in order to shoot photos of half the band or the whole band. This particular club was really too dark to shoot even at 18mm and 28mm at f/3.5 without the flash. I took some shots that way that I might be able to lighten on the computer. With these darker lenses, I think I switched to the higher power on the 730AF flash. I am really excited that I got NO red eye at all in any of the flash shots and the lighting was much more even and there weren't any noticeable shadows. Also, the skin tones were generally much better with the external flash and LumiQuest diffuser than they are with the onboard flash and no diffuser. It still might be nice to have an amber gel to use with the LumiQuest Ultrasoft.

Of the 200 or so photos I took, I kept about 120 and then I selected the 38 I liked best. I am going to work on enhancing these photos on the computer, put my name in the corner and send them to the musicians. I'll let you guys see the results too. In fact, this is the strategy I've decided to take with all the shows I shoot. Rather than worrying about all the photos, I'm just going to pick out the best ones from each night and work on those. I have probably taken 1500 photos in the past two weeks so I obviously don't have time to work on all of them.

So...why not use the warming filters with digital? Do you use the Hoya, Singh-Ray, and Cokin polarizer filters inside? Would you use them in a low-light concert environment. The light modifiers are interesting but impractical for concert environments. Railfire, I checked out your concert shots. They're great but I'd like to see more low-light ones since that's my specialty.
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Old Feb 2, 2005, 11:46 AM   #37
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Polarizers are mostly an outdoor filter, they can darken the sky and remove reflections. You would not want them around indoor low light as they cut the available light by2-3 stops.

I don't use the warming filters anymore as they affect the entire image, and with digitals a color shift can be done with a white-balance adjustment or curves in Photoshop where you have much more control on the amount of shift dialed in. With Photoshop you can also selectively pick the areas to modify.

I still like the Cokin p173 on occasion, instead of removing reflections it can shift the reflections in an image toward either blue or yellow. Though this effect probably can also be done in Photoshop now :lol:

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Old Feb 2, 2005, 11:51 AM   #38
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PeterP wrote:
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Polarizers are mostly an outdoor filter, they can darken the sky and remove reflections. You would not want them around indoor low light as they cut the available light by 2-3 stops.
That's what I was thinking but I just wanted to make sure.

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I don't use the warming filters anymore as they affect the entire image, and with digitals a color shift can be done with a white-balance adjustment or curves in Photoshop where you have much more control on the amount of shift dialed in. With Photoshop you can also selectively pick the areas to modify.
I'll have to try the procedure recommended by perdendosi and see what I can do...

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