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Focus or Metering?

wesmannmsu

US
302 posts

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wesmannmsu Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Mar 2011
Fri 10-Jun-11 04:28 PM

I have an images that I am not sure where I am going wrong, so, any help is appreciated..

First off, here is the orginal NEF in a ZIP file.
https://docs.google.com/leaf?id=0B6mYDWTA3XCwZmEwNzZkNzctZjVkZC00ZjkzLWIzNWEtNzlhZDFiMjdhYjQ5&hl=en_US&authkey=CL3tkqUG

and the full EXIF as a link
https://docs.google.com/leaf?id=0B6mYDWTA3XCwMmViMmFjZWUtMjBiNi00MTc5LWI4YWUtNGJiYWQ3MTVjNmEw&hl=en_US&authkey=CK7Rj7gI

To Boil down the EXIF its:
Focus Mode : AF-S
AF Area Mode : Auto-area
Shutter Speed : 1/6
Aperture : 9.0
ISO : 100

Tripod was used with "Delayed Exposure"

here is the image.. You can see, there is very little detail in the flower itself. Thanks for any help





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dm1dave

Lowden, US
13736 posts

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#1. "RE: Focus or Metering?" | In response to Reply # 0

dm1dave Administrator Awarded for high level knowledge and skills in various areas, most notably in Wildlife and Landscape Writer Ribbon awarded for his excellent article contributions to the Nikonians community Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 12th Sep 2006
Fri 10-Jun-11 03:24 PM

Hi Wesley,

The main problem here is in the exposure. This exposure problem is common with all digital cameras.

Overall the image is exposed well but if you look at the histogram...

Click on image to view larger version


You will see that the Red channel is overexposed. Here is the histogram for the red Channel only...

Click on image to view larger version


Notice that it butts up against the right side of the chart. This will cause details to be washed out of the image as you see in you shot.

100% crop of original with blown Red Channel (your original)...

Click on image to view larger version


Here in capture NX I reduced the exposure by -0.5 (a half stop of negative EV) to bring back that otherwise lost detail. I made no other adjustments.

(My fixed version)Much better detail.
Click on image to view larger version


This is a good example of the advantages of shooting RAW. This recovery may not possible if you had shot in JEPG only.

Here is the histogram of the -0.5EV image. You can see now that the Red Channel is no longer clipped. This pushed some of the background into underexposure but not by much.


Click on image to view larger version


Click on image to view larger version


As I said before this is a very common issue with most cameras. When shooting bright reds, yellows, orange and purples it is very easy to blow the red channel. When shooting these colors it is a good idea to shoot with a Neutral Picture Control and to check you RGB Histogram often and adjust to keep the Red Channel from overexposing. Sometimes you will not be able to get the Red Channel tones down without underexposing other parts of the image so you will need to compromise and fix the reds in post processing. As long as you shoot RAW you will have some exposure leeway.

I also did a version of this image where I changed the picture control fro Standard to Neutral. After changing the Picture Control the needed exposure adjustment was cut in half. I only had to reduce exposure by -0.2 to get the same effect that I got with a -0.5 adjustment with the Standard Picture Control.

I hope this helps.
Attachment#1 (jpg file)
Attachment#2 (jpg file)
Attachment#3 (jpg file)
Attachment#4 (jpg file)
Attachment#5 (jpg file)
Attachment#6 (jpg file)

Dave Summers
Nikonians Photo Contest Director
My Nikonians Gallery | Current Nikonians Contests

Click on image to view larger version

dm1dave

Lowden, US
13736 posts

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#2. "RE: Focus or Metering?" | In response to Reply # 1

dm1dave Administrator Awarded for high level knowledge and skills in various areas, most notably in Wildlife and Landscape Writer Ribbon awarded for his excellent article contributions to the Nikonians community Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 12th Sep 2006
Fri 10-Jun-11 03:40 PM

Here is a processed version of the full image.

Changed Picture Control from Standard to Neutral

Levels adjustment

LCH curves adjustment (to add contrast)

Unsharp Mask with Low intensity (5) and high Radius (90)

Crop

Resize for web

Photoshop Smart Sharpen.

Convert to sRGB

Save for web

Click on image to view larger version


The upper blossom is the only one that is really sharp. The other three may be just outside of the DoF of they could have moved slightly during exposure.
Attachment#1 (jpg file)

Dave Summers
Nikonians Photo Contest Director
My Nikonians Gallery | Current Nikonians Contests

Click on image to view larger version

wesmannmsu

US
302 posts

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#3. "RE: Focus or Metering?" | In response to Reply # 2

wesmannmsu Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Mar 2011
Fri 10-Jun-11 04:13 PM

Ok, I can clearly see that the Red Channel is blown out.. i didn't notice it when i took the picture..

Thanks for pointing that out, i would have missed it for a long time..

Still, is the lack of detail in the Red flower (even after PP) due to the color?

I guess, i have seen a 1000 pictures on this forum where something has "crazy" detail (flowers include)..

I guess the question is, am i too far out? Is this the wrong lens?

With the 24-70, F2.8, i need a Minimum Focus Distance 1.2ft.(0.38m), at that distance, i can not isolate a single flower..

Thanks, in advance, for helping me set up this shot.!

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dm1dave

Lowden, US
13736 posts

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#4. "RE: Focus or Metering?" | In response to Reply # 3

dm1dave Administrator Awarded for high level knowledge and skills in various areas, most notably in Wildlife and Landscape Writer Ribbon awarded for his excellent article contributions to the Nikonians community Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 12th Sep 2006
Fri 10-Jun-11 05:51 PM

Yes getting closer can really help bring out detail. These flowers are fairly small in your frame. Getting closer can also help the camera to better meter the scene.
You may want to look into a macro lens (60mm, 90mm or 105mm) for this type of photography. There is also a Cannon close-up lens (I cannot remember the name) that fits and works well on the 70-200. It reduces the minimum focus distance for the lens.

Keep practicing and asking questions and you will soon be posting picture with "crazy detail."

Dave Summers
Nikonians Photo Contest Director
My Nikonians Gallery | Current Nikonians Contests

Click on image to view larger version

Len Shepherd

Yorkshire, UK
12722 posts

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#5. "RE: Focus or Metering?" | In response to Reply # 0

Len Shepherd Gold Member Nikonian since 09th Mar 2003
Fri 10-Jun-11 06:12 PM

You have some good advice on exposure.
Turning to depth of field if the subject area is 2 feet wide (I do not know the size of the flowers) and the front flowers are 6 inches in front of the sharp flower f9 would not give enough dof to get both sharp.

Photography is a bit like archery. A technically better camera, lens or arrow may not hit the target as often as it could if the photographer or archer does not practice enough.

Len Shepherd

G