Poor Lighting

Besisika

How can you stand out, if you do like evrybdy else
Mar 25, 2014
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Montreal
With a great posture, expression and DOF like this I wouldn't mind spending 15min in post. She deserves it. Shot in raw?
 

Marsu42

Canon Pride.
Feb 7, 2012
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Berlin
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Mt Spokane Photography said:
Direct sunlight is really difficult
The shot has an interesting look, but this is when high dynamic range (i.e. little shadow noise and banding) helps. I'm sure after heavy postprocessing with some locals the hard contrasts in the image can be recovered unless the whites are blown. This works better in dxo pro optics "single shot hdr" than lightroom, the latter struggles with high dr highlight recovery.
 

Mt Spokane Photography

I post too Much on Here!!
Mar 25, 2011
15,550
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Marsu42 said:
Mt Spokane Photography said:
Direct sunlight is really difficult
The shot has an interesting look, but this is when high dynamic range (i.e. little shadow noise and banding) helps. I'm sure after heavy postprocessing with some locals the hard contrasts in the image can be recovered unless the whites are blown. This works better in dxo pro optics "single shot hdr" than lightroom, the latter struggles with high dr highlight recovery.
DXO does indeed make it easier to save a image like this one, but in some cases, their formula also ruins a perfectly good image. There is something to be said for having the ability to control the parameters, but it takes time and skill..
There seems to be no single piece of software that does everything I'd like, and no single camera either. The best we can do is to pick a system that works for the majority of the photos we take. Individual images can be helped by post processing, I do it all the time, but when there are a lot of them, its best to get it right and avoid / minimize all that work.
Of course, there are cases where there is no choice, you just do the best you can with what's available.
 

Marsu42

Canon Pride.
Feb 7, 2012
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Mt Spokane Photography said:
DXO does indeed make it easier to save a image like this one, but in some cases, their formula also ruins a perfectly good image. There is something to be said for having the ability to control the parameters, but it takes time and skill..
+1, I just ran some images through dxo's superior "prime" noise reduction and (again) noticed three things:

1. dxo's lens correction is better than acr (ps & lr), no surprise.
2. the prime nr only makes a difference @100% crop and takes ages to process
3. on topic: the dxo results look somehow more artificial and overprocessed than acr, even with absolutely no other processing applied than lens correction. It seems to be their raw conversion engine is to blame, but of course this is a subjective impression w/o much in-depth testing.

So as a result I'm happily sticking to lightroom, even if recovering shots like the above is a pita as you need all kinds of tone-curve wizardry to pull down the highlights.
 

mackguyver

Master of Pain
Marsu42 said:
Mt Spokane Photography said:
DXO does indeed make it easier to save a image like this one, but in some cases, their formula also ruins a perfectly good image. There is something to be said for having the ability to control the parameters, but it takes time and skill..
+1, I just ran some images through dxo's superior "prime" noise reduction and (again) noticed three things:

1. dxo's lens correction is better than acr (ps & lr), no surprise.
2. the prime nr only makes a difference @100% crop and takes ages to process
3. on topic: the dxo results look somehow more artificial and overprocessed than acr, even with absolutely no other processing applied than lens correction. It seems to be their raw conversion engine is to blame, but of course this is a subjective impression w/o much in-depth testing.

So as a result I'm happily sticking to lightroom, even if recovering shots like the above is a pita as you need all kinds of tone-curve wizardry to pull down the highlights.
Marsu, I agree that LR/ACR are much easier to use and give better results right away, but if you really dig into the settings and understand how to manipulate them, DxO will give better results. I have challenged myself to process photos in both many times and DxO always wins. It just takes more work and I've had to read the manual :)o) and some of their tutorials to get the most out of it. The default settings are usually pretty flat and colorless in comparison to ACR, but tweak away and you'll get great photos. Some of the features that I love are the lens sharpness, which is a really sophisticated unsharp mask based on the lens profile. It sharpens less at the center and more at the edges, and at all but the highest settings, it's practically artifact free. I've never loved sharpening in ACR. Also, DxO has a tool that reduces color saturation for clipped or nearly clipped color channels to pull out more detail. It works great with photos of flowers or other highly saturated colors and can be adjusted so it doesn't wash out the colors, either.

PRIME is really useful, but is pretty much pointless below ISO 3200 as their standard NR works just fine. On low ISO photos, it takes forever to process because there is so much data in the file, but on photos at ISO 6400 or higher, it really is amazing and isn't as slow. It brings back lost color and detail unlike anything I've ever seen and makes ISO 12800 and 25600 photos usable for all but the largest prints, assuming good equipment, technique, and ETTR are used.

As for the first shot Dolina posted, if I was in DxO, I would set the exposure to Highlight Recovery-High, and then use the tone sliders to recover detail in the the shadows (as the photo would now appear very dark and underexposed), pull up the midtones a bit, and potentially drop the highlights further. I might use that color saturation tool to recover detail in her top as well and I think the results would really surprise most people.
 

Marsu42

Canon Pride.
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mackguyver said:
Also, DxO has a tool that reduces color saturation for clipped or nearly clipped color channels to pull out more detail.
That's interesting - where do I find this option in dxo (w/o reading the manual :p) ... I'd like to test that since I really hate the color saturation/clipping problem - for example strong blue borders around tree branches in front of a partly overexposed blue sky. ACR would really deserve more intelligence than the current rather "dumb" highlight slider.
 

mackguyver

Master of Pain
Marsu42 said:
mackguyver said:
Also, DxO has a tool that reduces color saturation for clipped or nearly clipped color channels to pull out more detail.
That's interesting - where do I find this option in dxo (w/o reading the manual :p) ... I'd like to test that since I really hate the color saturation/clipping problem - for example strong blue borders around tree branches in front of a partly overexposed blue sky. ACR would really deserve more intelligence than the current rather "dumb" highlight slider.
It's called "Protect saturated colors" under the Light & Color palette. You can see how it works on this tutorial page:
http://www.dxo.com/intl/photography/tutorials/mastering-color-saturation-dxo-optics-pro-8#anc4