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Old Dec 30, 2008, 9:36 AM   #11
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To add to VTphotog and JimC posts you may use also several techniques to "compress" the dynamic range:
1. Cut down the highlight area by using a graduated ND -> this has the benefit of reducing the bright areas such as the sky as you can't increase the lighting on huge expanse of landscape
2. Add light - For subject at closer distances you can provide additional lighting to the shadow areas to bring up their details (without blowing up the highlight areas since nothing can be brighter than the sun) - Pros do this all the time with reflectors and or flashes: http://www.vanityfair.com/fame/featu...is_video200706
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Old Dec 30, 2008, 10:29 AM   #12
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JimC,

Just this morning I did just that. Dialed down the exposure. Checked my histogram and the display that shows what areas of the image is blown. Till no blown highlights were shown. Worked. Though, the lighting conditions are different. This time it's just some natural light from outside the window. Without the intense specular sunlight rays. But, this approach should work when the light is intense too.

And I was in Program shooting mode. Should just have dialed down the exposure. That or shoot in manual mode.

NHL,

I have a Tiffen Color Graduated 0.6 ND filter on the way. Was going to order a non-graduated one too but didn't. Might consider one later. Already had other filters included in that order (not to deal with highlights) like a warming polarizer and a few warming (Tiffen 812) filters.

Thanks for commenting guys. Happy shooting! And Happy New Yea!!
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Old Dec 30, 2008, 1:55 PM   #13
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DarkDTSHD wrote:
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... Was going to order a non-graduated one too but didn't. Might consider one later...
No need to - IMO a graduated ND is much more useful
-> A shade work just as well as an ND for your kind of subject to lower the high-key
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Old Dec 30, 2008, 4:20 PM   #14
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I don't know what it is. But since I began shooting the white roses in the bright sunlight I'm noticing, or am more aware, of things in the environment that might cause blown highlights. Was in Chinatown in LA doing some shooting.

But as in that article from Professional Photographer. Or I think it was that article. Some instances of blown highlights are acceptable. And even welcome. I guess it comes down to what you're shooting and your intent.

On another topic...software...which do you (or any one reading this thread) use to recover highlights and shadows? Which do you like the best and why? I have Aperture 2.0. Some say Lightroom is better. And in that Pro Photog article Lightroom came out ahead. Or at least that user was able to get better results using Lightroom.

And I was doing a bit of shooting this morning in Manual mode. Seems in some cases (e.g. white roses in bright Californian sun) are bound to have a little blown highlights out of the camera. I think the best result I got in M mode was at f/11 1/4000th with exposure comp set to +3 or +7.

Will be interesting to see what kind of results I'll get using the graduated ND filter. Will it make that much of a difference? I know lots of working photographers use it in the field. When doing landscapes.

Hopefully the roses will still be in good shape by the time I get the filter. Which should be next week.
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Old Dec 30, 2008, 7:25 PM   #15
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Another question for you all.

Are "blown highlights & shadows" only an issue with digital cameras? Would you also get them when shooting film? Or would SLR's have a much greater dynamic range making blown highlights or shadows a non-issue?
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Old Dec 30, 2008, 8:50 PM   #16
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Color negative film does have more DR than (at least most) digital. Slide film is very similar to digital, though. Developing the film was similar to PP with digital, and different effects could be achieved. Blown highlights happened with film, also, though maybe not as often.

As to software, I have found Raw Therapee to have a very good set of algorithms for highlight recovery, as well as good sharpening and noise reduction. I have had some difficulty getting colors to look right from my Pentax *ist D, so generally use Rawshooter for my Raw conversions.

How does exposure comp work in M mode on your camera? I can use it on mine to get the camera's exposure in "green button" mode, but that means the camera is setting the exposure, and it is really a type of auto.

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Old Dec 30, 2008, 9:22 PM   #17
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VTphotog wrote:
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How does exposure comp work in M mode on your camera?
There is no EC in manual mode. Adjusting aperture or shutter speed will simply move the chosen exposure up or down the scale. Same affect as EC in other modes - assuming the metering doesn't change. But it's not EC because you are not compensating for the camera's selection. For example +1 EC in AV mode will adjust the shutter speed up by 1 full stop over whatever the camera meters. Point the camera at one subject that the camera meters a speed of 1/250 and the +1 EC will set the shutter speed to 1/125. Slide the camera to another object that meters at 1/60 and the camera automatically adjusts to 1/30. In manual mode, however, you are not telling the camera to adjust metering up or down by a stop. You are saying use this specific aperture value and this specific shutter speed. Point the camera at anything and it still uses those same values. The amount of over/under exposure can change dramatically. So it's really not the same thing as exposure compensation.

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Will be interesting to see what kind of results I'll get using the graduated ND filter. Will it make that much of a difference? I know lots of working photographers use it in the field. When doing landscapes.
It depends on the framing. A ND filter is linear in it's grading meaing that you're cutting the frame in linear sections so it works best when the light levels behave as such.Depending on the situation you will find the dark section is over part of the image you don notneed to have it over. For instance if you have a hot spot in the center of the frame but don't want the shading over the top and bottom the ND filter won't work well. That's the challenge with using them.

Shooting RAW will provide you the greatest flexibility for recovering shadows and highlights independent of the software package. But the key is to try and get the shot as correct as possible in camera. Especially with the rose - it isn't going anywhere. Slow down, take your time and learn how to get the shot right in the first place. Sometimes you can't but that's a perfect example of a situation where you can.

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Old Dec 30, 2008, 9:28 PM   #18
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VTphotog wrote:
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*Color negative film does have more DR than (at least most) digital. Slide film is very similar to digital, though.* Developing the film was similar to PP with digital, and different effects could be achieved.* Blown highlights happened with film, also, though maybe not as often.

*As to software, I have found Raw Therapee to have a very good set of algorithms for highlight recovery, as well as good sharpening and noise reduction.* I have had some difficulty getting colors to look right from my Pentax *ist D, so generally use Rawshooter for my Raw conversions.

*How does exposure comp work in M mode on your camera?** I can use it on mine to get the camera's exposure in "green button" mode, but that means the camera is setting the exposure, and it is really a type of auto.

brian
Hello Brian,

Why don't I start with your last paragraph first. "How does exposure comp work in M Mode...?". I believe it works the same way it does in all the other modes (P, A and S). You would check your histogram and maybe a representation of your photo with the blown areas "illuminated". Then make adjustments to the exposure accordingly.

Thing is with M mode you really do need to have time to make test shots, make the adjustments to your camera and then hope you can still get the shot. So mostly I shoot in P, A or S modes. Unless the subject is stationary or is willing to "sit".

As for the software you are using to recover highlights...I'll definitely look into it. Hope there is a Mac OS X version.

And about film vs digital when talking about blown highlights...just wondered.

Take care.
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Old Dec 30, 2008, 9:55 PM   #19
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DarkDTSHD wrote:
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Are "blown highlights & shadows" only an issue with digital cameras? Would you also get them when shooting film? Or would SLR's have a much greater dynamic range making blown highlights or shadows a non-issue?
It will always be an issue when you have extreme lighting: If you noticed in the above video with Annie Leibovitch she was also shooting with medium format back with 12EV+ of dynamic range and still need flash

-> IMO you won't be able to find any affordable camera that can have an 'infinite' dynamic range
http://www.phaseone.com/Content/p1di...plus/P65+.aspx
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Old Dec 30, 2008, 9:55 PM   #20
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Hello JohnG,

I don't think I understand what you meant when you said there is no exposure comp while in M mode on my D300. You can dial in some under- or overexposure..

As for the white roses..their blooming man. If my ND grad filter doesn't arrive in the next few days I'll be shooting at stems. Unless I go buy some more and continue this challenge of mine.

Regarding shooting in RAW...I guess I could start shooting in RAW again tomorrow. Roses are still intact. Should have some intense Californian sun tomorrow morning again. Was a beautiful 73F today. Like summer!! Whereas it's -3C back home in Toronto.

Btw...does any one think shooting RAWs in 14-bit over 12-bit would make any difference in my ability to recover any blown highlights or shadows?

And I will be setting the function button for Auto Exposure Bracketing later.
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