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Old Mar 10, 2007, 11:13 AM   #1
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Still having fun learning the optimum way of working with these E330 files. Last night while I was sitting at the station waiting for my train to go home this image presented itself. The skyscraper in the background is where I work (thankfully, only on the 19th floor). Just a note, the building barely visible in the lower-right, now a citycollege, was the original Neimans Department store in the early 1900's before the formation of Neiman Marcus..



Shot in SHQ mode with centerweighted metering so I could determine the mainarea of the scene I wanted to meter. I included part of the shadow area to make sure and not lose detail in that part of the scene. When I opened up the file in Photoshop I duplicated the file, giving me a two layer image to work with, using the Levels slider I adjusted the lower layer to get the shadows tothe level of visibilityI wanted, then added a layer mask to the top layer and painted over thatpart of the image to reveal the shadows as I wanted themand then flattened the file andadded sharpening via the Smart Sharpen filter.

In working with the in-camera sharpening I've decided, after a lot of experimenting,the best work around to get the look I like when in SHQ is to set to -2 and do all sharpening in Photoshop later. In comparing images sharpened in-camera with thosesharpened afterwards in Photoshopthere's just a little too much "softness" for my taste in the ones where sharpening was done in-camera, even though they do still look nice.Here is a perfect example. These two guys needed an image to send to their regional manager the minute I took it, so I shot it in a combination of RAW+JPEG so I'd have a "sharp" file emmediately. Set the in-camera sharpening to +2, downloaded the file on myoffice computer right after taking it and emailed it to the appropriate person.



At home that evening, I opened the RAW file and processed it, adding Smart Sharpening to taste. Here is that resulting JPEGfile:



I realize in looking at these two files at this size, there's not a huge difference. The detail/sharpness in their faces and hair- the main areas where the two files differ at 100% viewing-are, really, TOO sharp for a portrait. Just don't think about that in looking at these! This is just an exerciseof comparing sharpening effects. If this were an image of a cathedral in Paris like I took last yearor a shot at Chantilly Chateau (one of the places we are going this September)in France, you'd rather have the later in terms of thesharpness. You also see an obvious difference in color rendering as I made no attempt to match the two files. The out-of-camera JPEG, and this was shot with the color set to "Natural", has a more vivid coloring, and the guy's face has too much red in it. I can only imagine how it would have looked if I had the camera set to vivid.In processing the RAW file I toned it down to get his face to a more natural color, but I like the colors in the original JPEG better everywhere else. I could have easily duped the JPEG file as I did in the landscape above and fixed the coloring ofhis face had I had theopportunity to do so before having to send the file off.

in showing these two versions of the same image, the last thing this was, is an attempt on my part to say one way of doing this is better than the other. To be honest, at this time I'm having more fun shooting SHQ JPEG's and doing whatever manipulations I need to do in Photoshop rather than Adobe Camera RAW. As shown above in the initial image of the post, even scenes with high contrast can be handled when shot in SHQ JPEGif you meter the scene right and do a little extra work in Photoshop later. Had it been an even higher contrast image, I would have simply bracketed 3 images at .7 stop and picked the right one to work with.
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Old Mar 10, 2007, 12:04 PM   #2
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just a few comments and questions thanks Greg

how much did you feel you gained in the skyscraper frame, in say stops
did you reduce opacity anywhere ?
i think thats an interesting way of attacking too narrow a tonal range
its beautifully sharp too


in the office shots
the colours seem better in the first, is one thing thats strikes me immediately
the latter seems desaturated
the sharpening technique is pretty adventurous too
Im interested to see more
look at the difference where the phone is at left


BTW: is that the new US camouflage ?

Riley
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Old Mar 10, 2007, 12:25 PM   #3
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Rriley wrote:
Quote:
just a few comments and questions thanks Greg

how much did you feel you gained in the skyscraper frame, in say stops
did you reduce opacity anywhere ?
i think thats an interesting way of attacking too narrow a tonal range
its beautifully sharp too


in the office shots
the colours seem better in the first, is one thing thats strikes me immediately
the latter seems desaturated
the sharpening technique is pretty adventurous too
Im interested to see more


BTW: is that the new US camouflage ?

Riley
Hi Riley,

Regarding the train station shot, I think I gained around 1.5 stops or so in the shadows by doing what I did. The exposure (ISO 320, 1/1000 sec. at f5.6 at 14mm with the 14-54 Zuiko) was biased with the skyscraper in mind, so it was the shadows where I needed to lighten things. I did not save the original JPEG, I just SAVED after making the various manipulations, but inthe original file the shadows were considerably deeper than in the image I posted above. The one thing I need to start remembering is to preserve the original file when I start adjusting an in-camera JPEG. In a higher contrast situation I can see myself doing one of two things depending how severe the contrast is: either bracketing SHQ JPEG's or reverting to RAW for those images where I feel it would work better. As you can probably tell from my various posts I could be termed a type B, randompersonality...I don't necessarily do things the same way every time, and not always for the best!

Yes, I like the colors infirst image of the two workers better too. It was the SHQ JPEG with in-camera sharpening applied. The second image, which was the RAW-converted JPEG, I toned down the saturation to remove the red from the guys face. In hind-site it would have been better to process the RAW file twice, once to retain the saturation in the rest of the scene and once to get the skin tones right and then combine the two.

I see what you mean about the attire. I didn't even think about that! Thankfully we work in a casual environment these days in my department at the bank...no suits and ties for me.



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Old Mar 10, 2007, 1:47 PM   #4
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Hi Greg

Like the first shot a lot - the colours and the composition/framing look just spot on. Really pleasing to the eye.

The office shots - sharpeness with the RAW files just jump at you. I've ntoiced the same with the E1 files - sharpenss even at +2 doesn't seem to make much difference. Skin tones and overall colout in the first shot (SHQ jpeg) look better but if you fixed that in the RAW shot like you stated to Riley, I'd say from what I've seen the RAW would be the better file.

Cheers

HarjTT

:? :O


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Old Mar 10, 2007, 2:07 PM   #5
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there is a credible difference in sharpness
if you look at the edge sharpness, the telephone,
and detail like hair and earings, filefolders near the centre
it is quite different

do you think the same plan applies to SHQ jpeg's too
that is, set -2 in camera, and do all the sharp PP ?

i shall experiment with E-300 tomorrow

Riley
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Old Mar 10, 2007, 10:59 PM   #6
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Rriley wrote:
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do you think the same plan applies to SHQ jpeg's too
that is, set -2 in camera, and do all the sharp PP ?
I just did some of that today at the Dallas Arboretum. Sharpening set to -2 and sharpened in Photoshop CS2 with Smart Sharpen. It was bright out there today, not the best type day for saturated colors and/or low contrast shooting,with anall-blue sky. Didn't do anylandscape type shooting- too many people. Mainly floral closeups with the 50-200, either by itself or with the macro tube/tele converter mounted, but there is one or two thrown in taken with the 14-54 Zuiko..


















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Old Mar 11, 2007, 6:22 AM   #7
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well I gave it a shot, but then I reaslised that the process you had was very different. So the results were disapointing, but i did find an article in Luminous Landscape, which looks like what you are referring too.

certainly without that method, Im better off with +2 and my own wet plastic profile
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Old Mar 11, 2007, 6:28 AM   #8
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and in my profile
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Old Mar 11, 2007, 6:37 AM   #9
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it doesnt perform too badly, but im always interested in another way
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Old Mar 11, 2007, 6:42 AM   #10
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and a crop
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