Sun 25-May-08 10:29 PM | edited Mon 26-May-08 12:45 AM by jrp
If the shutter speed did not record, there is a good chance the lens was not properly mounted. Remember to be alert to hear the "click" when it gets fully locked.
Not knowing your settings it is hard to make an appropriate diagnostic.
However, the image is almost perfect!
It just needed a touch of D-Lighting in Capture, adding contrast A bit soft so I can presume it was handheld The 300mm f/2.8 is a beast of a lens, usually benefiting from at least a monopod
I added a bit of Gaussian blur for a more pleasing skin effect and then FocusMagic to bring back the sharpness and even enhance it a bit Later selected the eyes area with some feather to tweak the levels
I love to make images like this. Tricky because of the eyes needing some light. You can either use a small light reflector from a side or a touch of fill flash
Below an old sample where I used a newspaper as a reflector to send back some light into the eyes
I actually find it a pleasing capture but I think I know what you are talking about, the black levels are quite light giving an impression of low contrast. Looking at where the light is hitting the hair, is it possible you have a little sunlight glancing the front element; this certainly can reduce the contrast on many lenses. The lowest possible power output from a strobe really can make a difference in back lighting. I assume that you did not increase the fill light in RAW processing to lighten up the face!
I agree with a previous poster. A little fill light from a flash would have been in order taking this shot. It would have soften the shadows in the face and neck which would have been more flattering to the model.
The real problem with the image is flare. The backlit situation with a bright piece of sky with, perhaps, the sun just out of the picture at the 1 o'clock position has caused a rather high flare level. This reduces the contrast by adding light to all areas.
As noted elsewhere, the shutter speed did record. My viewer shows it in decimal form "Exposure Time = 0.000666667" which is 1/1500th of a second. This matches the "sunny-16" rule for open shade (f/8 @ 1/ISO or f/2.8 @ 1/1600th with ISO 200) indicating that the meter set a reasonably good exposure. With evenly balanced highligh and shadow detail, you have to consider the image properly exposed.
When shooting into the sun in this manner, you should always use a lens hood, _never_ use any unnecessary filter, and keep the lens impecably clean. Still, even with modern coatings there will be some flare that lowers contrast and for which you must make corrections when post processing.
Wed 28-May-08 12:40 AM | edited Wed 28-May-08 12:57 AM by Jess Sturgeon
This would be along the lines of my guess as well... were you using a lens hood? I think you could also have gained some contrast back by shooting at f/4. As others have mentioned, what were your D-Lighting settings?
I did not use a lens hood, and the active D Lighting was set high. I suspect that Dwig is right; there is a slight lens flair. Below is a photograph of a red haired girl same lens on a D2h, same aperture different direction, different day. Note the deep color saturation and, in my opinion, absolutely stunning bokeh from this lens.
To my opinion it's not necessarily lens flare. The D3 measures light a lot hotter than all previous D-SLRs (all Nikon) I have shot with. This means that black is often not black and gives an image with little contrast as a result. Basically the D3 measures light more to the right of the histogram, which is one of the ways of reducing noice.
I get results like this often in situations where you have less than 6 stops of contrast in your scene. Increasing the black level solves the 'problem'.
-- In Hollywood, brides keep the bouquets and throw away the groom. -Groucho Marx-
Correct, it looks to me as if you were shooting into the sun. I've actually had more problems with my longer lenses shooting into the sun with the D3 than I did with the D2X. However, the D3 has a remarkable ability to remove the flare by increasing the black in ACR or boosting your contrast. I have had several images that I thought were ruined until I tweaked them in post.
Thanks. It has taken me longer than most to get to the point where I can use Photoshop to its best advantage. I started with Photoshop 4 which I received with a scanner bundle and have upgraded ever since.
I follow two personal rules; one is to stick with one editing program dilligently until I really know how to use it and secondly to be very careful not to overdo any correction.
I am lucky in one respect in that I use Photoshop at work as well as home.
That is a really nice job. Can you give us a little more detail on what you did to get the skin tone? I did one using one layer with a gaussian blur and opaqued it somewhat to obtain a similar result, but yours contains no obvious alteration. How was that done?