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Old May 10, 2009, 1:49 PM   #1
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Default Kelly & Siri

A friend of my wife asked me to take some photos of her and her horse.
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Old May 10, 2009, 5:23 PM   #2
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#2 looks darn near perfect. The rest seem a bit washed out. Did you do any pp on the 2nd?
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Old May 10, 2009, 6:44 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by soliz39 View Post
#2 looks darn near perfect. The rest seem a bit washed out. Did you do any pp on the 2nd?
Thanks very much.

Actually, except for cropping and resizing (for posting here) they're all straight from the camera. #2 & #3 are with the same lens at the same aperture.
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Old May 10, 2009, 11:08 PM   #4
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Comments from a novice:

They are all nice looking shots with the exception that the (human) subject's face is getting hit by glare in each picture. So is her hand/arm - at least partly.

It seems that #1 might be little soft.

I also like #2 the best. The setup is really nice. They look like buddies standing there. But part of the right side of the woman's face and her right hand are "lit up."

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Old May 11, 2009, 1:52 AM   #5
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I find your capturing the relation between the horse and its owner in a natural setting quite appealing. Yet, I also share the concerns mentioned above. On the other hand I appreciate the difficulty of shooting under the uneven lightening thanks to the piercing sunlight. Actually, attaining a proper exposure for the face on the whole would inevitably cause partially blown areas! I'd use the fill fash at least to reduce the contrast between the lit and unlit parts and a polarising or a ND filter to decrease the dependent shutter speed & aperture setting by a few stops in order obey the maximum flash sync speed (assuming you're using the on board flash). Again, good job mate!
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Old May 11, 2009, 8:40 AM   #6
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Yes, #1 is a little soft.

And with the subjects being a dark chestnut horse and a woman wearing a navy top, her skintone was likely to get blown. I was aware of that and tried to keep the lighting indirect as much as possible, but it was hard to get the horse to cooperate. (After all, his mind was on the nice juicy grass where we were standing.)

I hadn't thought about using a CPL, and I had one with me! Next time. Thanks.
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Old May 11, 2009, 11:18 AM   #7
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These are the histograms for #2.

The image appears to be well exposed except for the peaks at the extreme right side, which are from the blown highlights of the skin.
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Old May 12, 2009, 11:06 AM   #8
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Actually, except for cropping and resizing (for posting here) they're all straight from the camera. #2 & #3 are with the same lens at the same aperture.
Yes, but your shutter speeds indicate that #3 was exposed more than a stop brighter than #2 (as were the other images in the series). ;-)

It looks like you were using Center Weighted Metering. Chances are, the dark top your wife's friend was wearing caused the metering to overexpose most of them. It looks like loss of contrast from veiling flare was probably an issue, too (likely from the brighter sky in the images). I'd remove any protective filters to see if that helps and try to keep the lens as shaded as possible in that type of lighting.

It also looks like your ISO speed setting caused an issue. It was set to 80 (which is for Low Key Zone matching using a KM 5D). Your KM 5D will lean towards overexposure if you use that setting (in order to pull out more shadow detail). Then, it adjusts the image via tone curves in the image processing pipeline so that the mid tones and highlights don't appear as overexposed (i.e., reduces the values captured in the non shadow areas so that they look more like a normal exposure again).

So, you will often end up with clipped highlights trying to use low key zone matching in harsher lighting where you have a wide range of bright to dark, because it's leaning towards exposing the image brighter (even if the metering isn't already overexposing because of issues like a darker subject color). It looks like you were shooting in raw, but even raw can only recover so much when you have blown highlight areas due to overexposure.

IOW, I wouldn't try to use Low Key zone matching for those types of photos when you have "hot spots" from harsher lighting on your primary subject (i.e., your wife's friend).
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Old May 12, 2009, 12:38 PM   #9
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Thanks, JimC.

Yes, I was using Lo80 on my KM5D. I was hoping that it would give me more detail in the horse's dark coat. I was hoping for an overcast sky, but no such luck, and as a result, the skintone highlights were blown.

The first was shot with the Minolta 135/2.8, the second and third were shot with the Minolta 50/1.7, and the last was shot with the Minolta 70-210/4 Beercan.

The second was shot during one of those rare moments when the early morning sun was behind a cloud, resulting in the slower shutter speed and probably the slightly warmer color as well.

I was shooting JPEG, and wasn't using any filters.

What do you think of bahadir's idea of using a CPL?
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Old May 12, 2009, 2:10 PM   #10
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Try it and see. ;-) A typical polarizer will reduce light by a couple of stops, depending on how it's rotated (which would help to keep shutter speeds within flash x-sync speed limitations as he pointed out). You could stop down the aperture a bit more if needed to reduce shutter speeds in order to use a built in flash for fill, too.
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