Low Light, Misty Weather. Processing techniques

bjd

EOS 7D MK II
Aug 29, 2011
534
24
Hi,
currently, every morning around 7 AM these two Kestrels mate. Weather today was slightly
misty, just around sunrise time. 5DMK4, EF 500 + 1.4x extender, ISO 5000, 1/180th Sec at f/5.6.
Anyone have any tips on how to process for better results?

Kestrels by Diane and Brian Dorling, auf Flickr

LR settings are shown plus 25% Luminance NR and 18% dehaze.

Cheers Brian
 

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Neutral

EOS RP
Oct 19, 2012
335
6
For high ISO shots in low light after importing and checking them first in LR I usually send selected file to DXO PhotoLab and process it using PrimeNR.
As result I have very clean image for further processing.
Then if needed i do final adjustements in LR . Please note that default lens softness prosesing is too much agressive, i usually move it down to (-1.5) value
 

bjd

EOS 7D MK II
Aug 29, 2011
534
24
Neutral said:
For high ISO shots in low light after importing and checking them first in LR I usually send selected file to DXO PhotoLab and process it using PrimeNR.
As result I have very clean image for further processing.
Then if needed i do final adjustements in LR . Please note that default lens softness prosesing is too much agressive, i usually move it down to (-1.5) value
Thanks Neutral I'll check that out.
Cheers Brian
 

bjd

EOS 7D MK II
Aug 29, 2011
534
24
Neutral said:
For high ISO shots in low light after importing and checking them first in LR I usually send selected file to DXO PhotoLab and process it using PrimeNR.
As result I have very clean image for further processing.
Then if needed i do final adjustements in LR . Please note that default lens softness prosesing is too much agressive, i usually move it down to (-1.5) value
Hi Neutral, I tried with DXO, easy as they have a free 31 day trial, but I could not get any better
rseults than with other software I tried.
I guess the shots are just trash.
And I did shoot using three bracketed exposures so I had various input images to play with.
I just assume that I need to get to a position where I have direct sun on the bird, even if it is misty.
No amount of exposure compensation will help when the light is not there.
Thanks for your suggestion.
Cheers Brian
 

stevelee

FT-QL
Jul 6, 2017
1,293
311
Davidson, NC
bjd said:
Hi Neutral, I tried with DXO, easy as they have a free 31 day trial, but I could not get any better
rseults than with other software I tried.
I guess the shots are just trash.
And I did shoot using three bracketed exposures so I had various input images to play with.
I just assume that I need to get to a position where I have direct sun on the bird, even if it is misty.
No amount of exposure compensation will help when the light is not there.
Thanks for your suggestion.
Cheers Brian
What's wrong with a photo looking like it was taken on a misty day? Or a photo taken near sunrise or sunset looking like it wasn't taken at noon?
 

unfocused

EOS 1D MK II
Jul 20, 2010
5,152
1,647
66
Springfield, IL
www.mgordoncommunications.com
stevelee said:
What's wrong with a photo looking like it was taken on a misty day? Or a photo taken near sunrise or sunset looking like it wasn't taken at noon?
I would agree.

However, if you aren't satisfied, here are a few thoughts:

I went to a workshop with Scott Kelby once and he remarked that he seldom found that lowering the contrast improved a picture. I agree.

Your shadow recovery seems fairly conservative to me.

Raise the contrast, raise the exposure and play with the shadow slider. You will probably end up making the sky white, but you might get back a bit more punch in the birds.

The only way to get some color back in the sky would be to process for the birds first. Open as a smart object (shift-open) and then make a second smart object layer (right click and select make a new smart object layer --
or whatever the exact term is); process that one for the sky and then mask one of the layers -- although I don't like to do that because you can usually tell it's been masked in my view.

You aren't going to get a beautiful blue sky and even if you cheated and put in a new sky, it's going to be obvious because the lighting on the birds just won't have the same quality. Since there is not much color in the Kestrels anyway, I think I'd also experiment with a black a white or toned image, where you let the sky go completely white.