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Author Topic: Need help - photographs on dull days  (Read 6662 times)

Narcolepsy

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Need help - photographs on dull days
« on: September 07, 2012, 12:11:59 PM »
I need help....
For work I have to take photos and can't choose the weather
I was wondering how to make the best of photos taken in flat light like the example I attached

I find the areas of the picture where the subject is against the sky particularly problematic

Any advice on post-processing or exposure (preferably without flash) would be gratefully received

RAW is here:
https://dl.dropbox.com/u/61771147/Exercising%20ECG%20Gallop.CR2

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Need help - photographs on dull days
« on: September 07, 2012, 12:11:59 PM »

RLPhoto

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Re: Need help - photographs on dull days
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2012, 12:14:19 PM »
I need help....
For work I have to take photos and can't choose the weather
I was wondering how to make the best of photos taken in flat light like the example I attached

I find the areas of the picture where the subject is against the sky particularly problematic

Any advice on post-processing or exposure (preferably without flash) would be gratefully received

RAW is here:
https://dl.dropbox.com/u/61771147/Exercising%20ECG%20Gallop.CR2

5D2 24-105 @105mm 1/800 f4.5 ISO800
Shot Raw - curves and black point in PP

You could get lower to the ground and use the sky as a giant White seamless. I've used that many times before.

rcarca

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Re: Need help - photographs on dull days
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2012, 05:16:42 PM »
Try Lightroom 4. It is brilliant IMHO in bringing life back to your photographs.

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Ewinter

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Re: Need help - photographs on dull days
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2012, 06:17:25 PM »
+1 on lightroom 4, it really is a quick way of turning around images like this. I had a crack at it, maybe took me 30 seconds.
As for exposure, it was bang on for something to play with in lightroom. If i was shooting straight out of the camera, I might look at a different colour space. Attached is my first crack at it.
I might have gone a little overboard on the vibrancy slider, but literally took me about 20 clicks to do this.
I applied a little cropping, lens correction and a touch on curves, vibrancy and contrast

Hillsilly

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Re: Need help - photographs on dull days
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2012, 07:18:28 PM »
Would black and white be acceptable?
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squidgyg

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Re: Need help - photographs on dull days
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2012, 09:58:38 PM »
Probably a bit too extreme in my example (only spent a minute in LR4), but for dull sky's I usually lower exposure, lighten the shadows, add a bit of clarity, and then raise the blues, and lower the luminosity for the blues. Play with colour temperatures and vibrance til i get what I like.

squidgyg

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Re: Need help - photographs on dull days
« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2012, 10:22:41 PM »
Here's another go.
I dont know haha, probably still a little extreme.

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Re: Need help - photographs on dull days
« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2012, 10:22:41 PM »

scottkinfw

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Re: Need help - photographs on dull days
« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2012, 10:29:30 PM »
Would you consider flash with high speed synch, and a better beamer?  This is a difficult scenario indeed.

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Narcolepsy

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Re: Need help - photographs on dull days
« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2012, 11:12:28 PM »
Thanks to everyone who has answered so far... and I am beginning to think I need to invest in Lightroom or perhaps learn to use what I have better? (I have Aperture, NikSoft - full suite, Photoshop CS3)...

I am afraid that flash is out of the question for this (could scare horse and rider....)
Also need a color image if at all possible

Thanks again - and be glad to hear any more advice

adhocphotographer

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Re: Need help - photographs on dull days
« Reply #9 on: September 09, 2012, 12:03:55 AM »


You could get lower to the ground and use the sky as a giant White seamless. I've used that many times before.

+1 would make a very interesting angle too if you don't mind getting in close (i would be scared to hell, but since your job appears to be horse orientated, i guess you're fine with them).
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fotofool

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Re: Need help - photographs on dull days
« Reply #10 on: September 09, 2012, 12:42:06 AM »
With flat light I sometimes use split toning in LR4.  On your pic I gave highlights a yellow cast and shadows a blue cast.  I also cranked the clarity slider up to 70, darkened the sky and added a blue cast, turned down the green and yellow channels and added some vignetting.  It probably took 5 min.  Clearly all these things can be done with the software you have but maybe not as quickly.

It's too bad you can't do monochrome.  It sounds like you have Nik Silver Efex Pro.  I'll bet you could do good things with this image using that!

Good luck!

dirtcastle

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Re: Need help - photographs on dull days
« Reply #11 on: September 09, 2012, 03:17:11 AM »
Lightroom.

And-Rew

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Re: Need help - photographs on dull days
« Reply #12 on: September 09, 2012, 05:08:56 AM »
+ 1 on Lightroom 4 - especially since the huge price drop for version 4 (slightly more than Photoshop Elements).

It is extremely easy to use, and very quick to use - times of 5 minutes on an image means some one was taking their time to get it right  ;)

If you're shooting in RAW, then i'd say you've already covered the main option...

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Re: Need help - photographs on dull days
« Reply #12 on: September 09, 2012, 05:08:56 AM »

Narcolepsy

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Re: Need help - photographs on dull days
« Reply #13 on: September 09, 2012, 10:38:32 AM »
With flat light I sometimes use split toning in LR4.  On your pic I gave highlights a yellow cast and shadows a blue cast.  I also cranked the clarity slider up to 70, darkened the sky and added a blue cast, turned down the green and yellow channels and added some vignetting.  It probably took 5 min.  Clearly all these things can be done with the software you have but maybe not as quickly.

I like many of the renditions - but I really like this one

Thank you to everyone for their advice and excellent manipulations of my image

acoll123

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Re: Need help - photographs on dull days
« Reply #14 on: September 09, 2012, 12:21:47 PM »
I have Aperture and spent a few minutes on your .jpg file. You probably know you can always do more with a raw file . . . No doubt you can do more in LR but are you sure you've pushed the limits with Aperture? I use it alone 95% of the time and the other 5% I use Photoshop Elements . . .

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Re: Need help - photographs on dull days
« Reply #14 on: September 09, 2012, 12:21:47 PM »