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Old Sep 18, 2011, 3:17 PM   #1
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Default Clouds

This is the time of year, here on the Cape, when weather fronts come through very often. With the change in temperature and dryer air, morning and evening skies can be quite remarkable .

Here are a couple of landscape scenes taken this morning with the E30 and the 12-60mm SWD Lens. I just love this lens. Both images are 5 exposures AE bracketed @.30 then pp thru Photomatix Light:




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Old Sep 18, 2011, 4:47 PM   #2
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Those a very nice Zig!
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Gears: OM-D E-M5 Mark II and E-M1 MK 1 with 14-150mm Mark II, 12-40mm f2.8, 15mm f8 cap lens, 60mm Macro, 75-300mm, Olympus Trinity -> 25/45/75mm f1.8. On the 4/3 side: 9-18mm and 50-200SWD with the MMF-2 4/3 adapter, FL-36R and FL-50. Also Rokinon mFT 7.5mm f3.5 Fisheye, Pentax 50mm f1.7 with K to m4/3 adapter, Olympus OM 200mm with OM to m4/3 adapter.
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Old Sep 18, 2011, 5:20 PM   #3
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Hey Zig

THat first shot is real nice.. now.. if only we could have a sensor that had that kind of DR in an Oly E body!


Cheers

Harj
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Old Sep 18, 2011, 6:13 PM   #4
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You're becoming quite the man at these shots zig. I like the quiet serenity you've captured here.
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Old Sep 18, 2011, 6:31 PM   #5
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[QUOTE=Scouse;1255262]You're becoming quite the man at these shots zig. I like the quiet serenity you've captured here.[/QUOTE

Have to agree. My first thought in looking at these shots was the word "serenity". Well done.
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Old Sep 18, 2011, 8:29 PM   #6
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Beautiful pictures pictures Zig, the second one is my favorite because the projection of the clouds on the water and the nice HDR treatment.

Are you processing the RAW files in Photomatix or just the JPGE's?

Can you share some tips about your workflow please?

Have a great week.

Marcelo
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Old Sep 18, 2011, 10:08 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarceloLI View Post
Beautiful pictures pictures Zig, the second one is my favorite because the projection of the clouds on the water and the nice HDR treatment.

Are you processing the RAW files in Photomatix or just the JPGE's?

Can you share some tips about your workflow please?

Have a great week.

Marcelo


Hi All,
As always, thanks for taking the time to look and comment. AND, I'm happy to think that my work shows improvement in your eyes.


Hi Marcelo,

I'll try and answer your question as to my post processing workflow as best as I can.

But before I do that, you need to be aware of the following

1-Regardless of subject matter, I shoot RAW as it gives me the greatest flexibility in post processing to change, enhance or recover as necessary.

2-The only time I stray from that is when i use the m43 E-P2. then I shoot jpeg.

3-As for my E-30 (or D90) I'm always in manual mode. This goes back to my film days and I'm simply more comfortable setting the aperture, shutter speed, and metering.

The one thing I do let the camera choose is the WB, leaving that at auto.

I also set an ISO range limit, leaving the camera to decide the best ISO setting. My ISO limit does not exceed ISO1600.
When I shoot frame exposures for HDr images, I turn the auto ISO off then use ISO200


As for post processing workflow, I use the following software packages:
Photoshop CS5
Adobe's Camera RAW
Photomatix Light (for generating HDR images).
Creative Capture 2 by Pixel Genius for sharpening, smoothing, and adjusting depth of field issues.

When an image is completed and ready to print, depending on the size and type finished product, I print using:

Canon Pro9000 MKII printer
Epson P4000W wide carriage printer
Epson Stylos Photo 2200 printer.

Now for my post processing And please bear in mind, that I'm post processing & printing photographs for sale
My pp would be radically simpler if it were otherwise.

I'll use the 2 photos above as examples of my process.

The first steps in the post processing process are to take properly composed, framed and sharp images in the first place. This is not a case where you make a diamond out of a lump of coal by running it thru Photoshop.

I also use a tripod for 5frame exp bracketed shots that I know will go thru the HDR process. If you don't,. you'll have trouble overlaying the 5 images without having significant blur.

Once home, I upload my images to my Imac using Adobes bridge for CS5.
Next step is to run a slideshow of all the uploaded images to make sure they are worth messing with. Here, I'll delete the images i think are not acceptable for a myriad of reasons.

Next I choose 1 set of 5 frames that I want to run thru Photomatix Light.
Photmatix Light is a stand alone software package and not a plugin. Once I've
chosen the settings in Photmatix Light that gives me the best result, I save it as a separate file. as for what those settings are, that's a whole other topic on it's own and requires a fair amount of knowledge on that software to make any sense.

Once the file is saved (as a jpeg). By the way, P light accepts RAW files so you don't need to convert them.

I then open the jpeg HDR file in Adobe Camera RAW which is a plug-in that comes with CS5.


BY THE WAY, ONCE I HAVE THE HDR FILE, THE FOLLOWING IS MY WORKFLOW FOR ALL MY IMAGES.


The first thing I look at is white balance. Did the camera get the right WB- if not, I adjust it using the dropper found on the top tool bar.

Noise - HDR processed images are usually noisier than normal images.
So, I tend to start with the clarity slider and slide into negative territory. This is a better approach to removing noise than using the luminance noise slider.
If, after, you adjust clarity, noise is still there, then I adjust the luminance slider and color noise slider.
My adjustments for both tend to be:
color noise; 5 to 10
Luminance noise; 10 to 20

Sharpness: I do not use the sharpness and detail sliders found in ACR RAW.
I prefer to do that with a plug-in called PhotoKit Capture 2 released by PixelGenius. it is a comprehensive software package that can adjust sharpness, noise, depth of field, detail and a myriad of other problems.

If very little sharpness is required, then I'll use the Smart Sharpening slider found in Photoshop CS5 instead.

Using the 12-60mm SWD, can at times, result with complex distortion issues. ACR Camera RAW has the ability to deal with them thru the use of sliders. They are self explanatory and fairly straightforward.

Once all the adjustments are made in ACR RAW, I change the file size to the largest file setting possible. that's done by clicking on the blue colored field at the bottom of your screen in ACR RAW. It will include the pixel dimension, file size and ppi. I usually set this for the largest size possible (25mp) and 300dpi.
Once that's done, I open the file in photoshop.

Here, I crop the image to the desired size first. Then with the healing tool or clone tool, clean up the image by removing unwanted blemishes, people, or wires. Anything you don't want in the final image.

At this point I change the view to actual pixels, then open up Creative capture 2 sharpener plug-in and adjust as necessary. Next up is the noise adjustment - if any is required using Creative capture 2 smoother and finally using Creative capture 2 sharpener for printing .

The good news is that all 3 plug-ins create layers and can be easily finetuned using the layers sliders.

Once that is done, by flattening the layers, I take final checks of the contrast, color, and tone. Again adjusting those in CS5 check.

Once done, I'm ready to print.

Sounds like a lot of work. And, I guess it is. BUT, for most images it can all be done in a matter of 5 to 10 minutes. HDR images usually take me 20 minutes to 1/2 hour depending on complexity.

Think I'm going to go and make myself a cup of tea now.

Zig
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Old Sep 20, 2011, 8:13 PM   #8
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Wow Zig..!!

Thank you for taking your time and explain in perfect detail your workflow.

It is raining and not the perfect time to take pictures so I did shot some bracketed pictures today inside my house to try it according with your workflow, I have Photomatix Pro and CS 5.

I will post some pictures with the results.

Thank you again.

Marcelo
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Old Sep 20, 2011, 8:28 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarceloLI View Post
Wow Zig..!!

Thank you for taking your time and explain in perfect detail your workflow.

It is raining and not the perfect time to take pictures so I did shot some bracketed pictures today inside my house to try it according with your workflow, I have Photomatix Pro and CS 5.

I will post some pictures with the results.

Thank you again.

Marcelo
I'm looking forward to your results.......

Zig
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Old Sep 20, 2011, 8:42 PM   #10
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Default a couple of more shots of clouds

Here are a couple of additional photographs of colorful skies with clouds. These were taken last evening:

Camera used E-30 with 12-60mmSWD lens. 5 frame exp bkt HDR processed thru Photmatix Light:




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