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Topics - Marsu42

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Post Processing / Other postprocessing forums, anyone?
« on: December 10, 2014, 05:27:24 AM »
Yo all, currently I have a couple of questions regarding post-processing technique, but looking at the current participation over here (thanks for always replying, pdb :-)) I guess I should also ask on another site for this specific matter.

Question: What other photog sites are out there (English or German) that deal with post-processing and have users sharing their results, discuss them and give advice?

Reason for asking is that I am quite picky about forums, I hate over-moderation of smug mods and the participants should be considerate and have a wide range of points of view. Fortunately, at least among photogs it's less likely to run into total nerds with the social competence of a potted plant like with coders :-p

Thanks for any links/advice!

Photography Technique / What can old-school photogs do better (or not)?
« on: December 08, 2014, 04:16:41 PM »
Today I was out shooting horsies with a friend of mine, a cameraman with 20 years experience in the studio and film biz. Nowadays, he's doing mostly landscape stills. So I asked him to do some portaits of me with the animals for my website.

He used a 5d2, a light meter, a good 50mm mf/m lens and shot in full M mode apparently mostly f2.8 (there's no exif on that). And a mf film camera, claiming that a good scan of the negative beats any 135 digital out there in resolution. So far, so impressive. Except for the 5d2, I was shocked by its pattern noise after raising shadows +2ev. So if I ever said anything negative about my 6d except for its still crappy af system I take it back :-o

The bad: after looking at his digital shots I have to say I'm kind of surprised: only 1/10th are barely in focus, maybe 1/20th are just ok-ish for websize, and even less rally nailed. And he screwed up the horizon level and framing even worse than I usually do, and I feel I'm pretty bad at it.

The good: He has a very good eye for composition and lighting, he didn't pray & spray but waited for the right light to show up and got nice rim lighting. For using full M, the exposure was also mostly ok +-1ev from nailing it.

The Question: Are we too focused on pixel peeping these days and forget about the good traditional values of the great photogs of the olden days? Or do some long-time legacy photogs simply need a kick in the proverbial to use af like the rest of us?

I'm asking because this is not the first time I feel very ambivalent about working with or talking to old-school photogs. It's like there's a curious mixture of very solid knowledge, but coupled with a seemingly lack of understanding of modern camera's capabilities or usage. Or is it they simply have completely other priorities than us digital kids, and wildlife shooting isn't really what the legacy is back from the days?

Thanks for sharing any insights about the film photog generation in the digital age!

Post Processing / Best practice for post brightness/gamma!?
« on: December 05, 2014, 05:20:28 PM »
I'm just through processing through a batch of my horsies photos, and send the preview link to a friend of mine. One feedback is that he feels that the exposure from post is too bright for his monitors.

I have absolutely no clue how to get around this issue. On my calibrated monitors the global brightness looks just fine. However, I admit I work in strongly varying ambient light. My simplistic approach so far is to put the main bump of the histogram near the center at least on low-contrast scenes when I've got the choice.

My specific shooting style, however you like it, makes it worse: I like to have back-lit subjects, so the internal brightness distribution (gamma) matters a lot as the subjects either look over-brightened or too dark and details are lost.

Question: Are there any guidelines (links?) on how to process digitial images for optimal brightness with general display? Or is this more a matter of personal, subjective perception? Do you know this problem, how do you handle it?

Photography Technique / Share 3x your own advice to yourself!
« on: November 26, 2014, 06:36:23 PM »
Here's good ol' Marsu's latest scheme to help each other out by sharing some knowledge :-)

If you could time-travel 3 short pieces of advice back to yourself when you started of with photography, what would it be?

I'll go ahead!
  • shoot loose
  • calibrate your monitor
  • tell a story

Now, don't be shy! What did you miss back then you've learned by now?

Post Processing / POLL: Do you need to fill the histogram in post?
« on: November 21, 2014, 01:44:58 PM »
I'm currently post-processing a bunch of wildlife shots (horses, my favorite subject) and would like to know how you feel a histogram should look like after postprocessing. I'm using ACR (Lightroom).

Personally, I try to adjust sliders and tone curve until I get whites and blacks somewhere, i.e. the shot fills the histogram with the main data neither to the very left or right. If I cannot manage that straight away, I usually resort to some local editing with ACR's tools like the brush.

At times, this can be a bit awkward if the scene was low-contrast in reality. The other problem is that if for example an animal's eye is the darkest part, it tends to cave in if I adjust black clipping accordingly and I need to do local editing (contrast) to make it look "alive" again.

Question: Am I painting myself into a corner with that approach, i.e. should I simply leave some part of the histogram empty? What's your take on "histogram after postprocessing"?

Note: I'm talking about natural scenes like wildlife or landscape, not about shots that are meant to be "artistic" from the start.

"Light-field photography is the future" - or is it?

Here are two reviews on the new Lytro Illum, still seem to be work in progress, but an interesting concept. And you can emulate a f1.0 lens :-)


What do you think: Is old-school single-dof photography doomed?

Post Processing / POLL: What picture styles do you use?
« on: November 11, 2014, 01:11:19 PM »
Even when shooting raw, the picstyle determines the preview result. Even if postprocessing from raw you have to set some camera calibration which includes camera emulation styles (at least with Adobe - though "Adobe Standard" is the default).

What picture style(s) do you use?
Anyone out there actually using Landscape for landscape and Portrait for Portrait?

Fyi: You can download several custom styles from

Business of Photography/Videography / Online rating/comment app/site?
« on: November 06, 2014, 02:33:44 PM »
I'm currently sorting through my heaps of wildlife shots and am writíng captions for them. As there are so many opinions as there are potential viewers, I have a couple of friends who are willing to give their personal rating for the shots, write comments or even text captions for them.

The problem: My current approach "create a web slideshow with numbered shots, then let the people write back via e-mail" has a lot of overhead and creates a lot of hassle for the volunteers.

The question: Is there some pic site where I can upload my shots that includes the option to rate the pictures online and write captions/comments for them? It doesn't need to have multi-user security, I can simply share my login.

I have my own website, so if there's some ready-made (sql/php) web app I can also simply use this - but writing my own interface with a cms like drupal is currently too time-consuming for me. A free or at least inexpensive solution is definitely preferred. If it has a nice interface, I could also use it to let clients chose the shots they like from pre-processed proofs.

Lighting / Yongnuo killed my batteries - warranty case?
« on: October 22, 2014, 09:53:52 AM »
I am a victim of the rather unreliable Yongnuo rt trigger which only performs at least so-so if you put a pair of spanking new, fully charged batteries into it.

But Yongnuo keeps surprising me, now the unit killed my batteries (two rather new Eneloops): I left them in for ~3 months because I didn't use the trigger anymore, and now they're stone dead and refuse to be recharged.

Questions: Does anyone know this behavior? Is this a warranty case (the unit itself works with another set of batteries)?

Thanks for any advice!

It has been mentioned in another thread about the $180 Yn clone, but imho this deserves a thread on its own:

Their first model "SN600SC" doesn't have rt built in, but you need an additional "SN-E3-MD" clip-on rt receiver - for slave flashes, I don't think this is too much of a problem. Like Yn, their sales site mentions they've got a "SN600EX-RT" in the queue which will be an integrated part.

Let's hope these things actually work, either there's some big catch here or otherwise these prices are outright crazy vs. Canon. However, as one victim of the unreliable Yn ST-E3-RT transmitter, I'll be very cautious esp. because the firmware seems to be still work in progress.

Lighting / POLL: What flash modes do you use?
« on: October 06, 2014, 02:16:48 PM »
Whenever I switch my 600rt flash from M to ETTL, the flash makes me cycle through these strange modes as there's no way (I know of) to disable them altogether. And I'm always wondering: How uses these anyway?

I hope a lot of people participate so we can get an impression if these exotic flash modes are dead weight (ext.whatever) or legacy modes (multi) that were useful before you could blend images in postprocessing.

Feel free to elaborate what your application is if you happen to use anything beyond ettl and m!

Don't like Canon's never ending firmware crippling game? Want 4k? Fyi: "AXIOM Beta: The first open digital cinema camera"...

The plan is to democratize camera technology and put the power back into the hands of the users. It is a self liberation by creating high end tools that we ourselves love to work with - fully independent of any of the big established camera corporations. The time has never been better for such a revolution than it is today!

I'd like to ask about input and inspiration about a problem that wildlife photogs are bound to face:

The heap of digital data grows and the *absolute* "good enough" threshold for most purposes seem to be reached - so it's getting harder to excel just by using the latest gear. On the other hand, the *relative* iq progresses, so your 18mp shots from now will be obsoleted by the 36mp shots from tomorrow if they basically look much alike.

How do you handle this problem, what's your idea of being different?

Even more expensive gear (200-400L...)? Even more remote shooting locations? Novel postprocessing styles? Or as an amateur, is it you simply don't care if your shot of a white-bellied heron looks exactly like every other as long as you know it's *your* shot with *you* being there?

Thanks for any inspiration, and if there are some good replies I'll share my approach :-)

Looking at some posts about dslr beginners reasoning what camera bodies and lenses to buy, I'm asking myself: Does it really matter if you start with a 7d1 vs. 7d2 or 5d2 vs. 5d3? Do you need a 16-35L/4 instead of a 17-40L/4? Or isn't it smarter to save the money, learn a lot and then buy the next better model in a couple of years?

I know for me, "just" buying a 60d was a smart choice - a 5d2 would have been wasted. With the €1500 saved back then, I now bought a 6d basically for "free" and can even profit from it as my skill is up to it by now.

What about you? If you would have had top gear right from day one, would have it been "worth it"?

Now we know we're all great photogs, well, at least we would be if our cameras would have more resolution and dynamic range :-p. But there is an infamous fix for the latter: bracket the scene, let loose the tonemapping app of your choice and dial everything to 11!

Looking at the neighboring "best hdr shots" thread, I've got the impression that a typical photog evolution seems to include loving surreal hdr shots with histogram inversion (i.e. parts that were darker in the original now is brigher). So here's your chance to show courage and let the world see your very early creations!

Note 1: Please only link/post your own shots and not those of others around CR, even if it is tempting :->

Note 2: No cheating, only real skeletons in your closet, unlike saying "My weaknesses are perfectionism and forgetting to cash in my overtime slips" in a job interview.

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