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Old Apr 9, 2008, 10:18 PM   #1
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I wasn't going to post any more pictures for a while - I've started far more threads in the last couple of days than I've ever done in the past. However, I thought this was worth showing.

Today I headed over to the track at lunch time to see what the K20 would do with sports. I use the manual focus A*300 f4 for sports, and I usually set a fairly fast shutter speed since it's not the easiest lens to hand-hold. I didn't think about using TAv mode and using a smaller aperture (and higher ISO), I had it set to P and so the camera chose f4 (a lesson learned, here).

But that's not "Oooops". Last night I made sure the new 4 GB card worked by shooting my hubby indoors. The camera was set to AWB and the picture looked horrible. I switched the white balance to tungsten, and was really happy with the change - the K20 looks very nice at this setting. Then I forgot to reset the white balance so I shot some track (and one tennis) shot in bright sunlight with the wrong white balance setting. I really like one of the pictures, even though the framing is not great and the white balance is horrible.

This is the original picture, only resized in photoshop.
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Old Apr 9, 2008, 10:20 PM   #2
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So I did an adjustment to the white balance in Lightroom and cropped it a bit (I'm not sure that I like the crop as well as the original). I was surprised that Lightroom could make a fairly major change like this on a jpg without loosing too much.
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Old Apr 10, 2008, 7:40 AM   #3
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I'd send this one to Sports Illustrated!

Jay
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Old Apr 10, 2008, 7:51 AM   #4
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It really is a "decisive moment" with the subject literally hanging in midair.

Great timing.



Phil
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Old Apr 10, 2008, 10:48 AM   #5
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Thanks for the compliments about the picture - now that I'm at work, it doesn't look like Lightroom made as much difference in the color as I had originally thought (different monitors, this one not calibrated). And I do think I like the uncropped version better for some reason. I know it's not what one thinks of for sports photography (you should be close enough and show the emotion on the person's face, etc.) but there's something I like about it. What do the rest of you think about the crop vs. the original framing? Composition is the weakest area for me in photography and I'm always willing to hear other opinions.
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Old Apr 10, 2008, 11:17 AM   #6
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Hi Harriet,

I think that you could crop it even further, taking out the little section of track at the top, even if it ends up not having the same proportions. Either 5x7 or 8x10 would probably still give you the full length of pole and bar support which are both necessary for some height perspective.

Scott

BTW, nice shot -- even with the WB error.
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Old Apr 10, 2008, 11:34 AM   #7
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Very, very well done Harriet. I'm tinkering with being able to do justice to some action shots especially before summer arrives. I'd be more than excited with results like these

Well Done....again

Brian
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Old Apr 10, 2008, 3:30 PM   #8
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Thanks for doing all this research for us. Looks like Lightroom might be an alternative for me. Is it faster than Pentax Photo Lab?

Kjell

PS I'm with Scott on the cropping. Something like this? DS
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Old Apr 10, 2008, 11:54 PM   #9
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Thanks, Kjell and Scott, for suggesting that I crop even closer - it does seem to be the best way to go.

I've been using jpg and the default "bright" setting for the pictures I've been taking. When I was taking wildflowers I switched to natural once or twice and couldn't see much difference on the LCD. When I looked at them on the monitor, the natural setting creates a slightly softer picture, but the color/saturation was the same.

Today I took pictures at a retirement get-together for someone at work. It was outside under some trees, in a courtyard that was surrounded by buildings that were mostly white and brick, lit by a very bright sun. So the background was very bright and the faces were in shadow. I used Ev +.3, which did pretty well for compensating for the lighting. However, the bright setting produced very oversaturated pictures - faces were way too red/magenta. SoI looked at the saturation that's associated with each setting (the K20 has a setting under the fn menu that allows you to see what differences the camera makes under the various picture settings).Natural doesn't change the saturation, just the sharpness and contrast. I would highly recommend avoiding either one of them (or try changing the saturation down a bit, I'll try that tomorrow) when shooting people. There's also a setting for "portrait" but it didn't look like it makes a change in saturation (something new to play with tomorrow).

The reason I mention this is that I went back to the original jpg file tonight. Instead of going through Lightroom to adjust the white balance, Iopened the file in CS2 and,based on a suggestion by someone I know at work, used the "auto color" adjustment in CS2. I wasn't quite happy with the guy's shirt, so I did a hue/saturation layer and took some of the saturation out of the blue, changing the hue slightly also, then cropped it as both of you suggested. The cropdefinitely improves it, especially over my original crop. No sharpening at all (Idid use bicubicsharpen when I resized, but that's all) It looks OK for color and saturationon my monitor at home - let me know what you think (I may have taken a little too much saturation out).



Kjell - I've always preferred Lightroom's conversion program with the other Pentax cameras - it's more intuitive to me, and has a number of ways to work more efficiently. It does a whole lot more than PhotoLab, too. I think it's quicker than PhotoLab, but that might be perception. I'm not sure it'sfasterdoing raw conversions with the big K20 files -today was the first day I shot raw (after the party should have changed before it)and I'm still experimenting. I've actually been rather pleased with the K20's jpg files, and my first reaction this evening looking atthe casual snaps I took at lunch, I'm not convinced thatraw isas significant an improvement as I thought it was with the K10and the K100. The other advantage you have is that Adobe always offers an education discount!

P.S. First try the grass was still too blue, adjusted the color balance again and think this works.

P.P.S. Hmmm - I think the Lightroom version is still better with the color. I'll go back to that version and crop it.
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Old Apr 11, 2008, 12:10 AM   #10
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Went back to the tif file that was exported from Lightroom - it is definitely better.

I hope I didn't bore too many people with this, but I found it interesting that I can get better results with Lightroom than I can with CS2. I hadn't actually tried comparing them, just knew I thought Lightroom was easier.


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