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Old Feb 12, 2007, 10:29 PM   #1
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My husband took one look at this picture and descibed it as a really ugly tree. I find it very interesting, especially because of where it is (at the end of a 2 mile walk and at over 8800 feet elevation, a really lovely spot). But have yet to take a good picture of it, and I try just about every time I go up there (tried macro, tried capturing as much as I can of the tree and the view, tried isolating the tree against the sky etc.).

Up until recently I used to always underexpose my pictures a bit so that I wouldn't blow out the highlights. However, recently I forgot to change my camera from manual to something else when I changed to an A lens, and this picture is very overexposed. It didn't have much dynamic range, so I thought I would see what I could recoup using ACR. Here is the picture as it came out of the camera, resized to post here.
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Old Feb 12, 2007, 10:31 PM   #2
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Here's what ACR came up with when I made changes in highlights, mid-tones and shadows.

While its not any more interesting, and it isn't perfect, I was surprised how much I could recover. And yes, there's dust or something on the sensor, now gone.
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Old Feb 13, 2007, 11:24 AM   #3
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A good case for shooting Raw! One of these days when I have time to learn Pentax Photo Lab (and eventually ACR) I'll start shooting Raw photos. Sadly not in time for my upcoming trip to Ottawa. 'Tourist mode' jpegs for me! I'll have to grab some raw files of particularly interesting shots and archive them until I figure out how to PP them.

On that note, I'll be visiting some museums while I'm there, and flash will probably be prohibited. Will there be a big advantage to shooting raw for these ambient light shots? Without a doubt the SR will be a bonus. I'm really interested to compare photos with one of my travelling companions Oly E500.

Chris
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Old Feb 13, 2007, 11:38 AM   #4
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silverstone wrote:
Quote:
On that note, I'll be visiting some museums while I'm there, and flash will probably be prohibited. Will there be a big advantage to shooting raw for these ambient light shots? Without a doubt the SR will be a bonus. I'm really interested to compare photos with one of my travelling companions Oly E500.

Chris
Chris

The big advantage to shooting raw, Would Be the abilty To adjust the Wht balance. Since you will be shooting inside and with out flash. RAW will help

Just my
2 cents

Phil
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Old Feb 13, 2007, 11:45 AM   #5
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Does ACR support K10D PEF files yet?

Tom
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Old Feb 13, 2007, 11:58 AM   #6
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Hey Mtngal. Have you ever tried using UFRaw or the raw converter that came with the camera? In the past, I've noticed that with UFRaw I could do RAW conversions that looked better than ACR when overexposed because for whatever reason, ACR tends to get green halos around the blown out areas (which I can see in your sky), where UFRaw tended to look much more natural. With both a Canon Digital Rebel and my Panasonic FZ30 I've observed the same thing, but have yet to try it with a Pentax. Anyway, just thought I'd mention it in case you wanted to try.
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Old Feb 13, 2007, 12:12 PM   #7
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I recommend this now-famous article on Luminous Landscape: "Expose (to the) Right." Explains what you have discovered by yourself.

Will
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Old Feb 13, 2007, 1:25 PM   #8
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You just talked me into trying RAW. Thanks for showing me the difference.

TOTALLY WACKY roger
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Old Feb 13, 2007, 1:45 PM   #9
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Tom - I'm still using the version of ACRthatdoesn't recognize K10 PEF files - I've been usingDNG files for RAW(I've always kept both DNG and PEF files for back-up anyway).

Will - I had read the article, but didn't quite believe that you could recapture so much from over-exposed pictures. When I first read it, I assumed he was mainly talking about getting correct exposure by watching the histogram. So I thought this might show how much you can recover with something that's not totally blown out.

Chris - PhotoLab appears intimidating, but really isn't. Best thing to do is take a raw picture and open it with PhotoLab, then play with the different screens to see what they do. You can make basic changes quite easily with it. It will really help when it comes to shooting in strange museum lighting - sometimes the lighting will change from room to room and its a pain to be constantly changing your white balance. Take a fast prime if you can, and be prepared to use higher ISOs.

Corpsy - I don't like the way ACR handles parts that are really blown out, or really white things - it doesn't just leave a halo, it leaves a ring between what's really blown out and what's not. This picture isn't bad, but try taking a picture of a light bulb or a bright setting sun. PhotoLab does do a better job in those situations by not having such hard edges and rings. I've never used UFRaw - I usually use ACR simply because I've been using CS2 for so long, it's just easier. I'll probably change the way I do things when I get Lightroom, though (assume that it will support K10 PEF files, I'll hopefully will find out soon).
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Old Feb 13, 2007, 3:43 PM   #10
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mtngal wrote:
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Will - I had read the article, but didn't quite believe that you could recapture so much from over-exposed pictures. When I first read it, I assumed he was mainly talking about getting correct exposure by watching the histogram. So I thought this might show how much you can recover with something that's not totally blown out.
Well, that's the key right there: not blowing out the highlights. Whatever is blown out is beyond recovery. But I always think of the great scene in the Princess Bride where they take Wesley to Mad Max (Billy Crystal), who explains that "mostly dead is not the same as all dead." Almost blown out is not the same as actually blown out. Almost blown out means not quite blown out, which means recoverable.

Useful also to remember that what you see in your editing program is a rendered version of the Raw data - it's NOT the image itself. The Raw data is basically a whole bunch of numbers. As long as the numbers aren't at the outer limits (blown out), then you can shift everything to the left. Harder to do that if you convert the image to JPEG in the camera. It's possible to pull the exposure of a JPEG to the left as well, of course, but you don't have as much data to work with when you do, and the results aren't likely to be as good. That's why the "shoot to the right" technique assumes that you're shooting Raw.

Will
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