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Author Topic: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery  (Read 39848 times)

Sporgon

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Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
« Reply #75 on: April 04, 2013, 05:13:20 PM »
The scene is irrelevant; it's all about the light. Great light in a junkyard will make for awesome art. Bad light in formal gardens will generally make for bad art, unless you work with it to paint a picture of contrasts. And trying to shoot anything in bad light but make it look like good light?
Ok. Define "bad light" then.

Why do people put diffusers on flash guns ? After all it's just light.

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Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
« Reply #75 on: April 04, 2013, 05:13:20 PM »

TrumpetPower!

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Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
« Reply #76 on: April 04, 2013, 05:15:32 PM »
The scene is irrelevant; it's all about the light. Great light in a junkyard will make for awesome art. Bad light in formal gardens will generally make for bad art, unless you work with it to paint a picture of contrasts. And trying to shoot anything in bad light but make it look like good light?
Ok. Define "bad light" then.

Well, it's very much a subjective thing, as with any other art form. And context is everything.

Think of it like pepper. Some dishes call for being literally encrusted in pepper. Some are perfect with one turn of the grinder and ruined with two turns.

Classically, good light is the Golden Hour for landscapes, and a large north-facing window in the Mediterranean for portraiture.

However, if I was making black-and-white pictures of an urban concrete jungle, I may very well opt for noonday Sun.

I think, if I had to offer a concise and all-encompassing definition...good light is light which needs no modification to be rendered as you desire for the image you wish to create. Bad light is light which requires you to manipulate the image to represent your vision.

So, good light for landscapes generally is low and directional with lots of warm red and gold tones to it, at enough of an angle to create interesting shadows, and filtered enough that there's good balance between the shadowed and lit portions.

But, as I mentioned, that's for classic types of landscapes...if you want a very contrasty, graphic, harsh rendition of a scene, you want contrasty, graphic, harsh sunlight. I'm thinking here of a particular stereotype, such as a bleached skull on gravel with a cactus in the midground, and either a clear sky or a mostly clear sky with a couple large puffy white clouds.

Give me a few hours and I'll post an example or two....

Cheers,

b&

LetTheRightLensIn

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Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
« Reply #77 on: April 04, 2013, 05:20:52 PM »
Oooooh, art_d, that last paragraph of yours is sooooooo wrong.

From a picture point of view, not just photography, the lighting is a fundamental part of the picture, irrespective of how you might expose it in photography.

Go and look at some paintings produced by really great artist and then tell me they are not all about the light.

And by the way, your eyes don't see, your brain does.

I gotta agree with Sporgon here, and it really goes to the heart of the matter.

It's all about the light.

Period, full stop, end of story.

The scene is irrelevant; it's all about the light. Great light in a junkyard will make for awesome art. Bad light in formal gardens will generally make for bad art, unless you work with it to paint a picture of contrasts. And trying to shoot anything in bad light but make it look like good light? That way Elvis portraits on black velvet lies.

Cheers,

b&

And sometimes there is some pretty awesome light to be found in a high DR scene. Is the light in the scene good if you shoot it with one camera and suddenly 'terrible' light if you shoot it with a different camera?

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Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
« Reply #78 on: April 04, 2013, 05:25:20 PM »
On a sunny day, look out a window. Does the inside of your room suddenly go black?

Have you ever done that experiment, yourself?

Really done it?

Because what you'd know if you had is that, yes, when you're intently looking out the window well enough to see all the detail out there, if you keep your eyes pointed in that same direction and observe your room with your peripheral vision, yes, your room is very dark indeed. And when you move your gaze back to the inside of the room, it takes a moment for your eyes to adjust. After they adjust, the room looks very normal, but it's impossible to perceive anything but a lot of brightness out the window. And if you keep switching your perception from the one to the other, you'll see that the room is quite dark but you have a good idea of what it looks like, and that the outside is quite bright but you still have a good idea of what it looks like.

I'm sitting inside right now. The lights are off but I've got a lot of windows and a skylight, so the illumination is pretty good and even inside. Not bright, but it has a feeling of very comfortable open shade. One far corner isn't quite as well lit. Plenty of light to read comfortably, but noticeably darker. Right next to it is a window. There's a thin high overcast, so the sky is a very bright white.

And it's exactly as I just described.

If I was going to photograph the scene, I'd render the room a bit on the dim side -- no more than a stop underexposed, probably just a half a stop. I'd let the far corner go on the dark side, probably about two stops underexposed. And I'd tame the outside to the bottom end of Zone VIII -- it'd be very bright, but not so bright that all detail was lost (though certainly a fair amount would go to not much more than slightly textured tone). And I'd let some of the blacks in that far corner block up -- even when I'm looking directly at them from where I'm sitting with the bright window blocked from view, I still can't see anything more than a suggestion of texture in, say, the underside of a Canon battery charger.

If it was the other way 'round, if I was outside looking in, I'd turn all that upside-down. The outside I'd render basically normally but maybe a touch on the bright side, and I wouldn't try to lift the inside above Zone III.

That's if I was going for a documentary type of rendition.

If I wanted something for a real estate agent's brochure to sell the place...well, then I'd probably be fixing the light, first. I'd probably start by actually turning on the lights, for one, and maybe add some strategic flash. Only if that wasn't an option or still not enough would I start mucking around with digital fill flash -- and, even then, the goal would be compression of dynamic range, not the elimination of it.

That's probably my biggest pet peeve with a lot of the HDR photography I see out there today. Even the stuff that's not tonemapped tends to be so heavy-handed as to make it look like there were invisible floating softboxes everywhere. Your prison scene is a perfect example.

The world doesn't look like there are invisible floating softboxes everywhere. And, yes -- there is a time and a place where it's most appropriate to turn a photographic representation of a scene into a magical faeryland with invisible floating softboxes everywhere. But why does every photo have to look like that? What's worng with simply and accurately representing what you actually saw? Why can't our photographs have the well-lit areas be brighter and the shadowed areas be darker?

And, you know, there's another advantage to a light touch with the reprocessing. When the light is magical, the results from a light touch are far more wonderful to what you get from digitally fiddling with a scene with bad light.

Cheers,

b&

1. we are used to scanning scenes
2. even when you don't do that, I was just looking at a white sky with the sun really bright behind thin clouds and yet I could still see color and details on a cup I held out of my direct line of sight and the side of the cup I was looking at wasn't even getting any direct light. I shoot the scene and either the sky blows to pieces or the cup looks pitch black.

art_d

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Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
« Reply #79 on: April 04, 2013, 05:53:26 PM »
The scene is irrelevant; it's all about the light. Great light in a junkyard will make for awesome art. Bad light in formal gardens will generally make for bad art, unless you work with it to paint a picture of contrasts. And trying to shoot anything in bad light but make it look like good light?
Ok. Define "bad light" then.

Why do people put diffusers on flash guns ? After all it's just light.
Sure. Like I said, it is how we utilize light that is good or bad.

When you put a diffuser on a flash gun it is because you are looking to utilize light in a specific way. A diffuser is a great tool to help you achieve a specifiuc goal.

But does that mean light that comes from flash guns without diffusers is in and of itself "bad"?

I've seen plenty of good photos made with flash guns without diffusers. If it's "bad" light how would that be? Some photographers don't have a grasp of techniques for using high key light straight from a flash gun, and so a bad photo may result. But it's not the light's fault. It's the photographer's fault.

This is more of a philosophical point I take on photography. As photographers it is our job to know how to work with light. People are quick to say "oh you need good light to make a good photo." But that's just a cliche which I find very hollow. It's not the light that makes the photo good. It's what you as the photographer do with the light that makes it good.

But again, just a philosophical take....

:)
« Last Edit: April 04, 2013, 09:51:17 PM by art_d »

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Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
« Reply #80 on: April 04, 2013, 06:03:55 PM »
I think, if I had to offer a concise and all-encompassing definition...good light is light which needs no modification to be rendered as you desire for the image you wish to create. Bad light is light which requires you to manipulate the image to represent your vision.
So by that definition a huge number of photographers are unwittingly taking photos in bad light. Anyone who has ever used a fill flash, a reflector, a graduated neutral density filter. Not only does that include myself and pretty much every interior photography job I've ever shot, but wedding photographers and photojournalists who use flash guns. And fashion photographers working in studios with strobes. And landsape photographers using graduated filters, and all those National Geographic photographers you imply would never do something so as to modify the light in their images.

Photography is at its very core about the manipulation of light.

TrumpetPower!

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Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
« Reply #81 on: April 04, 2013, 06:09:46 PM »
I think, if I had to offer a concise and all-encompassing definition...good light is light which needs no modification to be rendered as you desire for the image you wish to create. Bad light is light which requires you to manipulate the image to represent your vision.
So by that definition a huge number of photographers are unwittingly taking photos in bad light.

Well, yes, actually.

Quote
Anyone who has ever used a fill flash, a reflector, a graduated neutral density filter.

*sigh*

You seem intentionally doing your hardest to miss the point spectacularly.

What, pray tell, do you think light modifiers do to light?

Nothing says that the only good light is that which happens without human intervention. Most emphatically the opposite.

And I know that I've indicated that the solution to shooting in bad light is to fix the light, either with artificial lighting or by waiting for the right time of day or whatever.

And, really. This is all like Photography 101 stuff. Do you really not know any of this, or are you just arguing for the sake of arguing?

b&

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Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
« Reply #81 on: April 04, 2013, 06:09:46 PM »

art_d

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Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
« Reply #82 on: April 04, 2013, 06:13:53 PM »
Looking outside a window, you can still see stuff in the room.

Actually, you can't. I do believe it's a common undergraduate psychology lab experiment to have a subject close her eyes, have the experimenter re-arrange the scene, have the subject open her eyes and look straight ahead at a well-lit scene, and be utterly unable to even vaguely describe what's off to the sides and not directly lit (but by no means in the dark) without directly looking at them.

Now we are getting somewhere. Because this gets to the core of the issue: percpetion. It's the brain which constructs a cohesive scene for us. It's what allows us to perceive a scenario with widely varying illumination as being more evenly illuminated. It's why we don't perceive a room as turning black whenever we look out a window.

This is the message I am trying to get across. The prison photo example, that is how a person standing there actually perceives the scene. To be a good photographer, you have to understand how human perception is different from what is actually recorded by a camera, when it is necessary to reconcile those differences, and how to do so when necessary.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2013, 06:21:43 PM by art_d »

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Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
« Reply #83 on: April 04, 2013, 06:19:51 PM »
And I know that I've indicated that the solution to shooting in bad light is to fix the light, either with artificial lighting or by waiting for the right time of day or whatever.
So those are the only ways to "fix" the light? We were talking about evening out illumination in an interior scene, were we not? And as I recall, you were telling me it would be more appropriate to leave the scene as it appeared in a single exposure, with the murky shadows on one side, and not modify the lighting?

Let me repeat your definition:
Quote
good light is light which needs no modification to be rendered as you desire for the image you wish to create.

And in the next post you say:
Quote
Nothing says that the only good light is that which happens without human intervention.
So I apologize if you think I'm being argumentative, but it may come across that way to you because I'm confused by what your're trying to say. First you say that good light needs no modification. Then you say good light can indeed result from modification. This seems to be a contradiction.

« Last Edit: April 04, 2013, 06:48:28 PM by art_d »

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Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
« Reply #84 on: April 04, 2013, 07:42:39 PM »
The scene is irrelevant; it's all about the light. Great light in a junkyard will make for awesome art. Bad light in formal gardens will generally make for bad art, unless you work with it to paint a picture of contrasts. And trying to shoot anything in bad light but make it look like good light?
Ok. Define "bad light" then.

Why do people put diffusers on flash guns ? After all it's just light.

So, are you claiming that without a diffuser on a flash, the light is "bad"? No! Light is light...again, HOW YOU USE that light is what matters. You may want diffuse light, you may want hard light. Most of the time how you control your continuous or flash light only matters when you have control over it. If you are intentionally working with NATURAL light...well, diffusers or snoots don't come into play at all. Light is light when your talking about entirely natural lighting...you shoot what's there.

You and Trumpet are really starting to mince words. That's not necessary. If we look at the facts of the discussion, the scene in question here was lit naturally by a skylight in the ceiling. The room was gray. A lot of naturally diffused bounced light. That light was neutral in color cast. Every large surface was some kind of middle-toned gray, so that diffuse bounce would have GREATLY increased the average ambient light level in the entire room. Flash was not involved, so questioning whether "light is light", and why someone might use a diffuser on their flash, is moot and irrelevant to the discussion at hand.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2013, 07:44:35 PM by jrista »
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jrista

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Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
« Reply #85 on: April 04, 2013, 08:06:28 PM »
And I know that I've indicated that the solution to shooting in bad light is to fix the light, either with artificial lighting or by waiting for the right time of day or whatever.
So those are the only ways to "fix" the light? We were talking about evening out illumination in an interior scene, were we not? And as I recall, you were telling me it would be more appropriate to leave the scene as it appeared in a single exposure, with the murky shadows on one side, and not modify the lighting?

Let me repeat your definition:
Quote
good light is light which needs no modification to be rendered as you desire for the image you wish to create.

And in the next post you say:
Quote
Nothing says that the only good light is that which happens without human intervention.
So I apologize if you think I'm being argumentative, but it may come across that way to you because I'm confused by what your're trying to say. First you say that good light needs no modification. Then you say good light can indeed result from modification. This seems to be a contradiction.

His statements are not contradictory. Your taking them out of context. In the original context, "good light" referred to natural light. It may not have been explicitly qualified, but from the context of the discussion, "good light" obviously means good *natural* light.

The second statement, which came from a DIFFERENT context of a tangent of discussion that is largely irrelevant, adds the qualification that "good light", in the context of ALL LIGHTING, need not only be "natural"...good light can happen with human intervention, or without.

Again, mincing words here guys. You've derailed the conversation and taken it so far off topic that it is irrelevant to the original discussion. Lets stop taking things out of context, stop mincing words, and stop playing games.

Let's set the context of the discussion: The setting of Art_d's prison photo, and whether it was rendered "realistically", whether the shadow lift was "extreme". A stark, colorless, gray, room with a single primary light source (a skylight), and a small number of artificial light sources. The original as rendered by art_d was lower contrast, middle toned, without any deep shadows. The argument against was that Art_d's rendition required an "extreme" shadow lift, and thus invalid, and therefor not a mark against the 5D III. The argument for was that the rendition was accurate as far as replicating what human vision would have seen, and therefor a prime example of why the greater DR of the D800 is meaningful. The focal point of the debate is dynamic range, and whether a camera like the D800, which offers two more stops of DR over what the 5D III is capable of, has value when it comes to tuning the rendition of a RAW photo.

If we get back to the original discussion, the question is not whether light is light, or whether only natural light is real light, or why people might use a diffuser on their flash. Moot discussions. The question is whether Art_d rendered his scene accurately, and if so, does that mean more DR is a good thing. The question is NOT, or at least SHOULD NOT, be whether the increased DR of a camera like the D800 invalidates the 5D III, or means the 5D III is not a good camera, or that it does not offer good DR. Those, again, are all moot points.

Not everyone needs more DR, but some do. Not everyone who needs more DR always needs it. Even when someone HAS more DR, they may not necessarily be able to reduce the complexity of their workflow.

If the goal of the ARTIST, who in this case was Art_d, was to replicate in the final output image how a human would have seen that prison cell block, and it required a multi-shot HDR image to do so with the 5D III...then YES, the D800 offers something very valuable! If the artistic intend, which Trumpet you have said yourself is a subjective matter, was to lift deep shadows by four stops, then that is the artistic intent. If the intent was based on the memory of a room that was much brighter, with little shadows below a middle-toned gray, and the only person in this forum who actually HAS that memory says it is so, then it is so, and the rendition is accurate.

Assuming you, a party who was not present at the time the photo was hot, who has no information to go by other than the original photo itself as uploaded by Art_d, know better...well, rather arrogant...wouldn't you say? All these tangents about lighting (a factor which Art could not control without bringing in flash, and bringing in flash would not have solved his problem in a way that allowed him to achieve his artistic goals), customer expectations, screen resolution, print resolution or print size, sharpness, etc. are entirely based on assumption, and simply diversionary tactics. None of them have anything to do with the question:

Is more DR valuable? Is the 5D III incapable of getting the shot, in a single shot, as Art_d ENVISIONED IT, given that his vision was to replicate what he SAW while standing there? Does the use of HDR complicate a workflow, thus making a camera with more DR an exceptionally valuable tool when faced with a high dynamic range scene and a specific artistic vision?
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TrumpetPower!

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Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
« Reply #86 on: April 04, 2013, 08:58:47 PM »
First you say that good light needs no modification. Then you say good light can indeed result from modification. This seems to be a contradiction.

If you're modifying the light itself, the light after modification -- if you've done your job right -- is now good light.

But if you're doing your modifications to the art, the light is still bad. That could be an artist painting a high-contrast scene as a low-contrast scene, or a photographer digitally (or in the darkroom or whatever) reducing contrast, or whatever.

First, a digression. I'm attaching three pictures to this post. The first two are the digression; the third I'll discuss later.

The first attachment is perhaps the archetypal cheesy Internet dynamic range test -- shooting into a garden shed on a bright day. I used a 5DIII and a Shorty McForty. 1/250 @ f/8 @ ISO 100 -- less than a stop dimmer than Sunny f/16.

You'll notice that the inside of the shed is very dark. And, indeed, it's basically exactly as dark as it appeared from my position. That's because this is a colorimetric rendering of the scene...which is different from the way most RAW developers tend to render scenes.

You see, film has a characteristic S-shaped curve to it -- a curve that's not natively present in RAW digital exposures but that almost every RAW developer since the dawn of time has intentionally and painstakingly mimicked. That is, film always stretches the contrast in the midtones but compresses the contrast in the shadows and the highlights. That's just the chemistry and physics of how film works.

Photographers have generally liked that rendition, because it creates images with more "pop." But they've also, perhaps unknowingly, fought against it, because it's exactly that S-shaped curve that causes loss of shadow and highlight detail both. There's no such thing as a free lunch, after all; if you increase contrast in one part of the image, it can only come at the expense of contrast in some other part of the image. Since it's generally the midtones that most people care about and don't mind a loss of detail in shadows and / or highlights, the default S-curve is often a good thing. But it's a real bitch to recover that shadow and highlight detail, especially after the S-curve has been applied, and doubly especially if you don't know that it exists. It can only be done by reducing the contrast in the midtones -- or, of course, by treating different parts of the image differently...and then you're left with an even bigger mess with the transition areas between those parts of the image. Adobe has worked some true magic with their RAW processors, but it's all done by hiding a lot of stuff under the rug. (Did I mention that there's no such thing as a free lunch?)

Anyway, with this colorimetric rendition of the shed, you can just barely pick out some texture in the interior, enough to guess at what's in there. And, from where I was standing, that's exactly what I was able to do: see just enough texture to guess at what I was seeing.

That brings us to the second picture. It's a 100% crop of the exact same RAW file, still a colorimetric rendition, but with four stops of digital push applied. And, surprise surprise! You can now easily see what those contents are -- just as if you were standing inside the shed itself. But, of course, the exterior is now vastly overblown.

I'll also note that I've here taken a four-stops-underexposed image and digitally pushed it. And not applied any noise reduction at all. If you've got any experience with these sorts of things, you should know that the noise that's there would clean up very easily and very well. Even if you didn't do anything to it, it wouldn't even be visible at anything less than a 12" x 18" print -- and even then, you'd have to look closely to see it and it wouldn't at all be objectionable.

Holy Cow! A Nikonista might exclaim. I must have used a D800! So little noise in shadows pushed four stops to a normalized exposure! No...I just exposed properly and I started with a colorimetric rendition.

That's where a lot of these problems come from. Photographers start doing whatever they do with the S-curve already applied, and the contrast in the shadows already flattened into mud. The detail was there...you're just trying to recover it after it's already been thrown away.

Enough of the diversion. Back to light.

There are, of course, times -- lots of times -- where you have no choice in the matter of the light. Sometimes, even, the extreme contrast is the whole point of the exercise and you've got no choice but to bracket and combine exposures to capture everything. I have an example of that here:

http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=12617.0

That's as extreme an example as I can possibly imagine: a single image that includes the disk of the new moon silhouetting the Sun itself, plus a fully-lit (and backlit) near foreground of the Grand Canyon, plus the deep shadows at the bottom of the Canyon. And it's a fair representation of the scene as I perceived it -- but not in a single glance! The Sun looks very much as it did when I looked at it through solar viewing glasses, and the rest looks very much as it did without the glasses. (With the glasses, of course, everything but the Sun was black.) The foreground was very contrasty and a bit too bright to look at, and it was very hard to pick detail out of the Canyon. And the layers of the Canyon very definitely did fade into intolerably bright glare in the distance, becoming practically indistinguishable at the horizon.

I'd call that bad light, but it was such a spectacle as I'll never forget -- and that rendering of the scene is very faithful to what I remember, even though I had to blend together a half-dozen exposures in order to create it. But, again, it includes detail all the way from the deep shadows of the Grand Canyon to the very Sun itself.

Here's another example of bad light, one that I've repeatedly discussed in this thread and therefore won't keep beating up on:

http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=13771.msg249243#msg249243

I mainly mention that bad light in order to segue into what good light actually is and what it looks like.

Here's what I actually went to the Lost Dutchman State Park on the day when I made that fisheye shot above -- the third attached photo.

With one minor and one insignificant caveat, this is, once again, a colorimetric rendering of the scene. As in, this looks almost exactly like what I saw, and it's almost exactly what the camera recorded. Again, the 5DIII, this time with the TS-E 24 II...and 1/6s @ f/16 * ISO 1600. Just a smidgen of chroma noise reduction and my typical capture and output sharpening.

The insignificant caveat is that the yellow of the the poppies is actually outside of the Lab gamut -- let alone Adobe RGB or even Pro Photo -- so that yellow got compressed / clipped to the perimeter of the Beta RGB gamut and then perceptually mapped into sRGB.

The minor caveat is that I had to darken the sky by about a stop to bring back the color and texture of the sky.

Perfect light would have resulted in a straight-out-of-the-camera colorimetric rendition that didn't need to be touched. This was as close to perfect as you're going to get in landscape photography.

It still took me a fair bit of fiddling with the sky to bring back the detail. Not because it was clipped in the raw exposure; I still had about a stop of headroom there. But the sky was a bit brighter than the foreground; the two never did quite perfectly equalize. I used a variety of methods to get this end result, but it's equivalent to about one stop of underexposure -- certainly less than two stops.

You can see a hint of haloing around the horizon, especially if you know it's there and you take a step back / reduce the image size. That is, the sky near the ground is a touch lighter than the sky a bit higher, and the tops of the ground are a bit darker than the ground below the horizon. That is an example of the lack of free lunches in action.

However, i like to think that I did a good job on this one. I don't think the transition is very noticeable, and it's certainly a lot less noticeable than if I had used a graduated filter (or waved a lens cap in front of the top half of the lens or whatever).

This is what good light looks like. Again, perfect light would have been with the sky about a stop darker and / or the foreground with about a stop brighter, but there wasn't any color left in the clouds when the light did equalize a few minutes later.

This post is already way too long, so I'll just end it here. Hope it helps.

Cheers,

b&

P.S. I lied. I can attach a fourth picture, so I will. It's perfect light, in a studio (with flash). This is a straight-out-of-the-camera colorimetric rendering, and absolutely zero post-processing. The feline photobomb was a fortuitous incursion that helps indicate scale...he's not perfectly lit, of course, but I like the way it makes him look like he's sneaking in from the wings of the stage. b&

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Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
« Reply #87 on: April 04, 2013, 09:55:39 PM »
@Trumpet: There is a lot more noise in  _06C2339 - overexposed.jpg than you would have if you shot that with a D800. You are again assuming that is "clean". If you take that same shot with an actual D800 and push the same, you'll realize that it is most definitely not "clean". It's noisy...and it HAS chroma noise. The D800 might exhibit significantly less luma noise, probably wouldn't exhibit any chroma noise at all, and the detail would be much higher.

It would be nice if someone who actually has both a D800 and a 5D III could take a shot like that, and lift both by the same amount. It's not that the 5D III is "bad"...its most definitely not, its quite good, relative to the last decade of digital photography, and even to a lot of film photography. However it is not as good as a D800.
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Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
« Reply #87 on: April 04, 2013, 09:55:39 PM »

art_d

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Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
« Reply #88 on: April 04, 2013, 10:24:42 PM »
First you say that good light needs no modification. Then you say good light can indeed result from modification. This seems to be a contradiction.

If you're modifying the light itself, the light after modification -- if you've done your job right -- is now good light.

But if you're doing your modifications to the art, the light is still bad. That could be an artist painting a high-contrast scene as a low-contrast scene, or a photographer digitally (or in the darkroom or whatever) reducing contrast, or whatever.
I think jrista is right in that we are both now just mincing words, so I will concede this point on "good light vs. bad light." As I said in another post, it's just a philosophical perspective of mine that it is up to the photographer to work with the light. Or put another way, any light can be good light if you know what to do with it or how to manipulate it. Which I think is what you are saying anyway when you talk about "modifying the light itself."

However--since it does relate to the prison photograph we were discussing--I would like to offer the point for discussion that the exposure blending technique I used is not in principle different from the use of a graduated neutral density filter (or for that matter the black card technique mentioned previously in this thread, which too is a way of modifying the light itself prior to it reaching the camera). With a GND you are manipulating the light before it passes through the lens so that less light is transmitted in a portion of the scene. Exposure blending  does essentially the same thing. The only difference is that instead of modifying the amount of light passing through one portion of the scene, you modify the amount of light in a separate exposure and then combine the desired portions of those exposures to get the desired result.

So exposure blending in this manner achieves the same net effect as a GND, although there are several advantages, such as not having to put another optical surface in front of your camera, and being able to be far more careful and selective in how the portions of the scene are blended. So it seems to me that if you accept GND filters as a valid technique for modifying light, then exposure blending should be acceptable as well.

So now let's bring it around full circle. The reason why we must use GND filters or exposure blending in the first place is because of dynamic range limitation. And so, if we accept that GND filters and exposure blending are useful to address dynamic range limitations, then we come to the inevitable conclusion that sensors that natively posses more dynamic range are useful.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2013, 10:30:20 PM by art_d »

TrumpetPower!

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Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
« Reply #89 on: April 04, 2013, 10:54:21 PM »
@Trumpet: There is a lot more noise in  _06C2339 - overexposed.jpg than you would have if you shot that with a D800. You are again assuming that is "clean". If you take that same shot with an actual D800 and push the same, you'll realize that it is most definitely not "clean". It's noisy...and it HAS chroma noise. The D800 might exhibit significantly less luma noise, probably wouldn't exhibit any chroma noise at all, and the detail would be much higher.

<sigh />

Did I claim that it was clean? No. I noted that there's damned little noise in there -- there is -- and that is is totally without noise reduction -- it is -- and that it would clean up very nicely with a bit of noise reduction. And, sure enough, it does. See attached.

Frankly, if I can lift Zone I shadows four freakin' stops to midtones like this and get results like this, I really couldn't give a damn that Nikon can do more. It's like comparing the pickup truck that has a top speed of 105 mph with the one that has a top speed of 115 mph. Who gives a damn, really? Neither is going to get that load of gravel to the job site any quicker.

I mean, honestly. In what sane and rational world would one ever want -- let alone actually need -- to do what I just did here with the archetypal cheesy Internet measurebator snapshot of a garden shed? And in what truly messed-up world would it not be enough?

I mean, you do realize that I could make a 3' x 5' print of this as sharp as what you see on your display, as free of grain as you see here, no?

Pushed four stops! Four stops! From 135 format!

Cheers,

b&

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Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
« Reply #89 on: April 04, 2013, 10:54:21 PM »