Suggestions for reducing blue around OoF branches

YuengLinger

EOS R6
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Dec 20, 2012
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I think I'm noticing this for the first time because I've rarely shot into trees with a lens that can go to 500mm, and now I'm doing it in all kinds of light.

I'm seeing, in the light shown in these pictures, a pretty consistent pattern of a LOT of blue around out-of-focus branches. I've applied lens corrections. For in-camera, would stopping down help? The two examples were taken "wide open" at f/7.1.

Note how I'm shooting upwards, and the light is coming in from fairly low in the sky and just over my right shoulder. If I weren't trying to photograph birds, I could change my position, etc., but birds don't hang around and pose like models...

Any tips for reducing in post processing?

Thanks!
 

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Mt Spokane Photography

I post too Much on Here!!
CR Pro
Mar 25, 2011
16,675
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Those shadows along branches always seem to be present. Unfortunately, in your photo, they have a blue shade. Here is a example of a slightly underexposed photo (that's part of my issue) and a edited version. I increased exposure and contrast to try to reduce it. The vertical branch to the right of the bird was the most noticeable so I worked on it. This is a heavy crop from the original so everything is magnified including slight issues.

I have a before and after editing. This is with my 100-400L, I forget the camera, 5D MK III ?

The first is just the cropped original, settings zeroed out.
birds in the snow6008-3.jpg





The second is edited to try and remove the shadow adjacent to the vertical branch.



birds in the snow6008-2.jpg
 
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Neutral

EOS RP
Oct 19, 2012
342
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I think I'm noticing this for the first time because I've rarely shot into trees with a lens that can go to 500mm, and now I'm doing it in all kinds of light.

I'm seeing, in the light shown in these pictures, a pretty consistent pattern of a LOT of blue around out-of-focus branches. I've applied lens corrections. For in-camera, would stopping down help? The two examples were taken "wide open" at f/7.1.

Note how I'm shooting upwards, and the light is coming in from fairly low in the sky and just over my right shoulder. If I weren't trying to photograph birds, I could change my position, etc., but birds don't hang around and pose like models...

Any tips for reducing in post processing?

Thanks!

This is interesting and I think there could be explanation for that.
Did you shoot RAW and if so where this files were procesed ? PS,LR, DXO or C1 ?
Last two could give a bit different and better results (especially C1) compared to the first two.
Could you provide RAW files so we could check them?
I think I could see here combination of several factors - might be including lens OOF performance itself, but mostly sharpening and clarity applied to OOF areas ( applied to the whole image and not selectivly to what is in focus). I think I see too much sharpening or clarity applied in OOF areas and this is what is causing your problem.
In C1 i would try to do the following:
1. Reduce a little bit sharpening or/clarity for the whole base image so that your problem (if exists in C1 - it is much better RAW converter than anything else) is less pronounced.
2. Create a layer , mask bird and areas in focus and apply local sharpnes, and clarity - (general and structure) to your taste. Make sure to have very smooth edge of the mask.
3. Duplicate layer, invert mask ( to select OOF areas) and reduce sharpnes, clarity and maybe contrast to minimize and possibly eliminate that problem that your described.
4. In case when you have strongly colored background (saturated blue sky) which create color casts/modulations on the transients you might need to desaturate transient areas - on separate layer. This could be done quickly using C1 color editor advanced tab, pick sky color with color picker, desaturate sky, apply luma range so that this affects only dark areas and not the sky itself ( sky will come back to normal) and all done.
In C1 using Wacom tablet all this above could be done in couple of minutes - depending how fast and precise your han with pen.
You can do the same in LR or DXO using local adjustments but is is much less efficient - much more to do.
In DXO you might need to reduce default lens sharpness - better to create preset or profile for that - by default DXO a bit aggressive on that.
Basically you need to make transitions between dark and light ares in OOF areas as smooth as possible without transients (or oscillations) visible on your image and remove blue cast in shadows.
 
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YuengLinger

EOS R6
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Dec 20, 2012
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This is interesting and I think there could be explanation for that.
Did you shoot RAW and if so where this files were procesed ? PS,LR, DXO or C1 ?
Last two could give a bit different and better results (especially C1) compared to the first two.
Could you provide RAW files so we could check them?
I think I could see here combination of several factors - might be including lens OOF performance itself, but mostly sharpening and clarity applied to OOF areas ( applied to the whole image and not selectivly to what is in focus). I think I see too much sharpening or clarity applied in OOF areas and this is what is causing your problem.
In C1 i would try to do the following:
1. Reduce a little bit sharpening or/clarity for the whole base image so that your problem (if exists in C1 - it is much better RAW converter than anything else) is less pronounced.
2. Create a layer , mask bird and areas in focus and apply local sharpnes, and clarity - (general and structure) to your taste. Make sure to have very smooth edge of the mask.
3. Duplicate layer, invert mask ( to select OOF areas) and reduce sharpnes, clarity and maybe contrast to minimize and possibly eliminate that problem that your described.
4. In case when you have strongly colored background (saturated blue sky) which create color casts/modulations on the transients you might need to desaturate transient areas - on separate layer. This could be done quickly using C1 color editor advanced tab, pick sky color with color picker, desaturate sky, apply luma range so that this affects only dark areas and not the sky itself ( sky will come back to normal) and all done.
In C1 using Wacom tablet all this above could be done in couple of minutes - depending how fast and precise your han with pen.
You can do the same in LR or DXO using local adjustments but is is much less efficient - much more to do.
In DXO you might need to reduce default lens sharpness - better to create preset or profile for that - by default DXO a bit aggressive on that.
Basically you need to make transitions between dark and light ares in OOF areas as smooth as possible without transients (or oscillations) visible on your image and remove blue cast in shadows.

Neutral, the shot of the solo dove had my default LR CC Sharpen value of 25. It was shot at ISO 1250, 1/2000th, f/7.1. I had applied some global Contrast, Shadow, Exposure, and Highlight adjustments, but nothing else.

Attached here is from LR CC again, but "Zeroed" out. (No adjustments by LR CC, except for Adobe Standard, Process Version 5). I'm pretty sure this is a capture issue.

I like your suggestions for correcting in post, but I'm going to have to translate them into PS CC adjustments. Thanks for these!

Today I will try and take the same photos in nearly the same lighting condition--but with a couple other lenses. I think I'll go with the Rf 70-200mm 2.8 and the ef 135mm f/2, just to see how those handle the branches.

Seems I've wandered into such a challenging new realm! I had the 100-400mm II until about 18 months ago, but I had almost always used it to shoot at more or less eye level and below--except for a few attempts at BiF. And when I did shoot into trees, I wasn't very close, and the leaves were so dense that the sky wasn't visible as you see in these photos. Now with the rf 100-500mm, I take it hiking, many trees are still bare, and the only birds I see are doves and even smaller warblers and sparrows. (Plus a few elusive hawks, and some woodpeckers that only show up when I have no camera in my hand.)

Mt Spokane, thank you! Your processing is lovely here, very natural. Great example.

I would like to better understand how colors affect OoF areas in front of subjects. I've rarely used OoF areas in front for portraits, but I've admired such portraits when done well. For birds, seems a part of the package.

Ok, time to take care of honeydews before getting out for photographs!
 

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Neutral

EOS RP
Oct 19, 2012
342
17
Neutral, the shot of the solo dove had my default LR CC Sharpen value of 25. It was shot at ISO 1250, 1/2000th, f/7.1. I had applied some global Contrast, Shadow, Exposure, and Highlight adjustments, but nothing else.

Attached here is from LR CC again, but "Zeroed" out. (No adjustments by LR CC, except for Adobe Standard, Process Version 5). I'm pretty sure this is a capture issue.

I like your suggestions for correcting in post, but I'm going to have to translate them into PS CC adjustments. Thanks for these!

Today I will try and take the same photos in nearly the same lighting condition--but with a couple other lenses. I think I'll go with the Rf 70-200mm 2.8 and the ef 135mm f/2, just to see how those handle the branches.

Seems I've wandered into such a challenging new realm! I had the 100-400mm II until about 18 months ago, but I had almost always used it to shoot at more or less eye level and below--except for a few attempts at BiF. And when I did shoot into trees, I wasn't very close, and the leaves were so dense that the sky wasn't visible as you see in these photos. Now with the rf 100-500mm, I take it hiking, many trees are still bare, and the only birds I see are doves and even smaller warblers and sparrows. (Plus a few elusive hawks, and some woodpeckers that only show up when I have no camera in my hand.)

Mt Spokane, thank you! Your processing is lovely here, very natural. Great example.

I would like to better understand how colors affect OoF areas in front of subjects. I've rarely used OoF areas in front for portraits, but I've admired such portraits when done well. For birds, seems a part of the package.

Ok, time to take care of honeydews before getting out for photographs!

If you use LR+CC you can easily translate what I was describing for C1 into your workflow.
Actually I think your problem is general problem for OOF transients when you have areas with different colors - as each color blocks edges are blurred they are overlapping with each other with different intensity - and this is done in lens optically.
First create profile in LR for this kind of photos with a bit reduced clarity, sharpness and saturation to develop images with softer transitions.
The rest is in PS - if transients are smooth (no oscillations - no halos in other words ) - then create color correction layer with desaturated blue color and use blendif option for mixing layers so that color cast on branches caused by overlapping blue is reduced to required level. This is similar how it is done when selecting person hair in front of saturated color background and there is strong color cast on hair contours due to this.
Ii might be that latest PS CC even have special tool for this, earlier it was done using layers blendif tool.
 

snappy604

EOS RP
CR Pro
Jan 25, 2017
567
440
I think I'm noticing this for the first time because I've rarely shot into trees with a lens that can go to 500mm, and now I'm doing it in all kinds of light.

I'm seeing, in the light shown in these pictures, a pretty consistent pattern of a LOT of blue around out-of-focus branches. I've applied lens corrections. For in-camera, would stopping down help? The two examples were taken "wide open" at f/7.1.

Note how I'm shooting upwards, and the light is coming in from fairly low in the sky and just over my right shoulder. If I weren't trying to photograph birds, I could change my position, etc., but birds don't hang around and pose like models...

Any tips for reducing in post processing?

Thanks!
I assume you have tried adjusting purple Defringe? Otherwise adjust single colour (blue or cyan or purple to, you'd be surprised) to lower saturation or shift the shade a bit left/right
 

YuengLinger

EOS R6
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Dec 20, 2012
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I assume you have tried adjusting purple Defringe? Otherwise adjust single colour (blue or cyan or purple to, you'd be surprised) to lower saturation or shift the shade a bit left/right
Hi, snappy604, thanks, yes I did try LR CC's Defringe too. No significant change unless I pushed it so hard that odd colored borders started forming around the in-focus subject--and even then the blue areas did not improve.

And this morning, while we still had blue skies, I took shots with an Rf 24-105mm f/4L IS and with an Rf 70-200mm f/2.8L IS. Both showed the same behavior as the 100-500mm, but the 24-105mm had more purple in the OoF areas. (I haven't had a chance to try the older ef 135mm f/2L.)

I'm seeing that much of the intensity of the effect has to do with the angle of light and my position relative to the subject. It will be useful to find a good method for reducing the effect in post processing, and I'll be aware now while I'm capturing images. If I can't avoid the "bad" angle because I don't want to take a chance of scaring off a bird while I move to a better position, then it will be very helpful to have techniques in LR/PS CC.

I think Neutral is right about this being a general problem with the shooting scenario--not a particular lens or body. Attached is a shot with similar lighting, taken with the Rf 70-200mm f/2.8L IS
 

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Viggo

EOS R5
Dec 13, 2010
4,775
1,460
Choose Manual in the defringe panel in Lr and use the eydropper on the branch. Be sure to view at 100% and move around to see if it was to aggressive and desaturated some wanted blues.

I would’ve expected better performance from a lens this slow and at that price to be honest..
 

snappy604

EOS RP
CR Pro
Jan 25, 2017
567
440
Hi, snappy604, thanks, yes I did try LR CC's Defringe too. No significant change unless I pushed it so hard that odd colored borders started forming around the in-focus subject--and even then the blue areas did not improve.

And this morning, while we still had blue skies, I took shots with an Rf 24-105mm f/4L IS and with an Rf 70-200mm f/2.8L IS. Both showed the same behavior as the 100-500mm, but the 24-105mm had more purple in the OoF areas. (I haven't had a chance to try the older ef 135mm f/2L.)

I'm seeing that much of the intensity of the effect has to do with the angle of light and my position relative to the subject. It will be useful to find a good method for reducing the effect in post processing, and I'll be aware now while I'm capturing images. If I can't avoid the "bad" angle because I don't want to take a chance of scaring off a bird while I move to a better position, then it will be very helpful to have techniques in LR/PS CC.

I think Neutral is right about this being a general problem with the shooting scenario--not a particular lens or body. Attached is a shot with similar lighting, taken with the Rf 70-200mm f/2.8L IS


Yep pretty normal scenario for birding when you don't have much choice.. I usually start with what I can get and slow moving to a better position taking pictures... until the bird spooks or I have what I want.
 
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Nemorino

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Aug 29, 2020
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JPAZ

If only I knew what I was doing.....
CR Pro
Sep 8, 2012
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one other post possibility is to eliminate those branches that are the most distracting using PS. Then, bring up the exposure on the birds to get them a little brighter. It will take some time and experimentation.
 
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Czardoom

EOS RP
Jan 27, 2020
300
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Bokeh isn't magic. It's simply a blurring of adjacent areas. You have a branch with a dark edge and a vivid blue sky. Blur them together and what do you get? If it really bothers you, aim for a wider depth of field. That's my guess as to the best solution.