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Author Topic: Histogram Help  (Read 3748 times)

Sabaki

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Histogram Help
« on: August 07, 2015, 12:11:30 PM »
Hi everybody :)

I'm looking for some advise please.

I have encountered scenes where my histogram displays something like the attached example.

The histogram presents strong clipping of both the blacks and whites. My logic tells me to reduce the overall dynamic range and I'm sure filters would do the job but I'd like to ask if anybody has a practical workflow for scenarios such as these.

Thanks in advance :)
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Histogram Help
« on: August 07, 2015, 12:11:30 PM »

scyrene

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Re: Histogram Help
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2015, 12:17:09 PM »
Depends what the image is! Can you provide an example?

In general, if the clipped highlights are specular (reflections on metal, water, etc), then you don't need to do anything with them (those ALWAYS blow out). Otherwise, I'd always try to avoid highlight clipping. You can't get blown highlight detail back, but often shadows can be brightened and cleaned up (whatever people say, even with Canon sensors!). But keep the highlights as close to the right as possible :)
Current equipment: 5Ds, 5D mark III, 50D, 24-105L, MP-E, 100L macro, 500L IS II; 1.4xIII + 2x III extenders; 600EX-RT.
Former equipment includes: 300D; EOS-M, EF-M 18-55, Samyang 14mm f/2.8, EF 35 f/2 IS, 70-200L f/4 non-IS and f/2.8L IS II, 85L II, Sigma 180 macro, 200L 2.8, 400L 5.6

StudentOfLight

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Re: Histogram Help: In-camera or on PC
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2015, 01:50:54 PM »
Hi everybody :)

I'm looking for some advise please.

I have encountered scenes where my histogram displays something like the attached example.

The histogram presents strong clipping of both the blacks and whites. My logic tells me to reduce the overall dynamic range and I'm sure filters would do the job but I'd like to ask if anybody has a practical workflow for scenarios such as these.

Thanks in advance :)
Firstly:
1) "What is your subject?" - Eileen Rafferty
2) What is the tonality of your subject?
3) Are you shooting high key or low key?
4) Do you need highlight detail, do you need shadow detail or do you really need both? 
5) Would HDR techniques be better suited to achieving your artistic vision?

Secondly:
Is this an in-camera histogram or is this what it looks like in your editing software?

If this is the back of the camera histogram...
I predominantly shoot RAW and use the RGB histogram to check for channel clipping. I also set the following custom picture-style settings:
+7 Sharpening
 -4 Contrast
 -2 Saturation
+0 Color Tone

People might think these are stupid settings but they work for me as I can get a reasonable simulation of what it might look like on the computer if I:
a) Wanted to maximize sharpness in post~
b) Stretch out the dynamic range to show shadows without clipping the highlights

In the field I might fine tune my Kelvin Temperature and White Balance Shift if I'm showing my images to other people on the back of the camera or if I'm gelling flash to get a realistic representation of the relative colors of light sources. Painting in adjustment layers after-the-fact (when I could just have put on a different gel) is a waste of time.

Of course if I'm shooting JPG then I fine-tune the picture style for the desired output, as there is much less wiggle room for post-processing.
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TS-E: 45mm f/2.8 L,  EF: 40mm f/0.8,  100mm f/1.4,  18-28mm f/2, 28-85mm f/2, 
EF with 1.4xInt: 100-300mm f/4 ,  500mm f/5.6 L

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: Histogram Help
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2015, 02:17:13 PM »
Its likely that the scene has too much dynamic range to capture.  The sun or a bright reflection in a scene that also has deep shadows can't be handled by any camera.  If its a real issue in the photo you are viewing, and not just a histogram issue, there are techniques used to photograph scenes with extreme dynamic range, google HDR.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-dynamic-range_imaging


 Imagine the issues they had photographing a nuclear explosion and still showing the surroundings.  Kodak developed a special film that enabled it.   

Color film capable of directly recording high-dynamic-range images was developed by Charles Wyckoff and EG&G "in the course of a contract with the Department of the Air Force".[23] This XR film had three emulsion layers, an upper layer having an ASA speed rating of 400, a middle layer with an intermediate rating, and a lower layer with an ASA rating of 0.004. The film was processed in a manner similar to color films, and each layer produced a different color.[24] The dynamic range of this extended range film has been estimated as 1:108.[25] It has been used to photograph nuclear explosions,[26] for astronomical photography,[27] for spectrographic research,[28] and for medical imaging.[29] Wyckoff's detailed pictures of nuclear explosions appeared on the cover of Life magazine in the mid-1950s.

scyrene

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Re: Histogram Help
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2015, 04:27:47 PM »
Its likely that the scene has too much dynamic range to capture.  The sun or a bright reflection in a scene that also has deep shadows can't be handled by any camera.  If its a real issue in the photo you are viewing, and not just a histogram issue, there are techniques used to photograph scenes with extreme dynamic range, google HDR.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-dynamic-range_imaging


 Imagine the issues they had photographing a nuclear explosion and still showing the surroundings.  Kodak developed a special film that enabled it.   

Color film capable of directly recording high-dynamic-range images was developed by Charles Wyckoff and EG&G "in the course of a contract with the Department of the Air Force".[23] This XR film had three emulsion layers, an upper layer having an ASA speed rating of 400, a middle layer with an intermediate rating, and a lower layer with an ASA rating of 0.004. The film was processed in a manner similar to color films, and each layer produced a different color.[24] The dynamic range of this extended range film has been estimated as 1:108.[25] It has been used to photograph nuclear explosions,[26] for astronomical photography,[27] for spectrographic research,[28] and for medical imaging.[29] Wyckoff's detailed pictures of nuclear explosions appeared on the cover of Life magazine in the mid-1950s.

Genuinely fascinating!
Current equipment: 5Ds, 5D mark III, 50D, 24-105L, MP-E, 100L macro, 500L IS II; 1.4xIII + 2x III extenders; 600EX-RT.
Former equipment includes: 300D; EOS-M, EF-M 18-55, Samyang 14mm f/2.8, EF 35 f/2 IS, 70-200L f/4 non-IS and f/2.8L IS II, 85L II, Sigma 180 macro, 200L 2.8, 400L 5.6

Sabaki

  • EOS 5DS R
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  • Posts: 765
Re: Histogram Help: In-camera or on PC
« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2015, 07:18:22 AM »
Hi everybody :)

I'm looking for some advise please.

I have encountered scenes where my histogram displays something like the attached example.

The histogram presents strong clipping of both the blacks and whites. My logic tells me to reduce the overall dynamic range and I'm sure filters would do the job but I'd like to ask if anybody has a practical workflow for scenarios such as these.

Thanks in advance :)
Firstly:
1) "What is your subject?" - Eileen Rafferty
2) What is the tonality of your subject?
3) Are you shooting high key or low key?
4) Do you need highlight detail, do you need shadow detail or do you really need both? 
5) Would HDR techniques be better suited to achieving your artistic vision?

Secondly:
Is this an in-camera histogram or is this what it looks like in your editing software?

If this is the back of the camera histogram...
I predominantly shoot RAW and use the RGB histogram to check for channel clipping. I also set the following custom picture-style settings:
+7 Sharpening
 -4 Contrast
 -2 Saturation
+0 Color Tone

People might think these are stupid settings but they work for me as I can get a reasonable simulation of what it might look like on the computer if I:
a) Wanted to maximize sharpness in post~
b) Stretch out the dynamic range to show shadows without clipping the highlights

In the field I might fine tune my Kelvin Temperature and White Balance Shift if I'm showing my images to other people on the back of the camera or if I'm gelling flash to get a realistic representation of the relative colors of light sources. Painting in adjustment layers after-the-fact (when I could just have put on a different gel) is a waste of time.

Of course if I'm shooting JPG then I fine-tune the picture style for the desired output, as there is much less wiggle room for post-processing.

Hey everybody :)

Firstly, thanks for the replies. I thought this post was dead in the water :P

The subject was a landscape, about 3-5min after sunrise. The sunlight was sharp and glaring whilst the air seemed to lack the clarity one normally encounters that time of the morning.

My composition had trees with very large leaves to the left and to the right was where the sun was rising.

I was using my standard landscape set up: MANUAL | f/11 | ISO 100 | EVALUATIVE | shutterspeed was determined by observing the histogram in live view.

The scene's dynamic range far exceeded what my camera could read but I could not come up with a logical manner in how to handle that, aside from bracketing.

Student of Light, I'll save those settings to my camera and give it a try :)

Thanks again everybody
Canon EOS 6D | Canon EOS 7D mkII | Canon EF 16-35mmL f/4.0 IS | Canon 24-70mmL f/2.8 II | Canon 70-200mmL f/4.0 IS | Canon TS-E 24mmL f3.5 | Canon 50mm f/1.8 | Canon 100mmL | Canon 400 f/5.6 | Canon MP-E65

meywd

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Re: Histogram Help
« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2015, 08:31:14 AM »
Hey everybody :)

Firstly, thanks for the replies. I thought this post was dead in the water :P

The subject was a landscape, about 3-5min after sunrise. The sunlight was sharp and glaring whilst the air seemed to lack the clarity one normally encounters that time of the morning.

My composition had trees with very large leaves to the left and to the right was where the sun was rising.

I was using my standard landscape set up: MANUAL | f/11 | ISO 100 | EVALUATIVE | shutterspeed was determined by observing the histogram in live view.

The scene's dynamic range far exceeded what my camera could read but I could not come up with a logical manner in how to handle that, aside from bracketing.

Student of Light, I'll save those settings to my camera and give it a try :)

Thanks again everybody

But this is the exact reason for bracketing, either that or Dual_ISO
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Re: Histogram Help
« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2015, 08:31:14 AM »