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Thread: Keeping an open mind to presentation

  1. #1
    Shore Crawler Dylan & Marianne's Avatar
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    Keeping an open mind to presentation

    I thought I would bring this topic up because of many discussions which have occurred on various forums regarding lots of issues.
    The specific issue I wanted to briefly discuss was the handling of a scene with very high dynamic range (eg shooting at a foreground object into the sun which would otherwise be silhouetted)
    There are literally dozens of ways to achieve the end result and most people have a different variation of similar concepts
    For me, reading about all of these methods broadens my horizons and has me trying out these methods to see which scenes would benefit.
    In part of the discussions though, it seems clear that many are dogmatically adhering to their one technique and not wanting to consider other methods? Why is this? I presume they are not masochistically wanting to restrict their ability to present a scene so I can only presume it's an issue of 'pride'



    This is a compilation of methods I've come across and tried ( by no means exhaustive)
    Feel free to add !
    1. Using GND's creatively to enhance dynamic range in the one shot : limited by grad lines and positioning of filters and non-straight edges
    2. Taking a most evenly exposed shot possible and bringing out shadows, reducing highlights in post process (limited by getting desired effects of the scene for shutter speed and ability to recover information from RAW)
    3. Taking multiple exposures and using automated plugins or programs to blend (limited creatively by automated process giving images their own 'branded' look)
    4. Taking multiple exposures and hand blending using luminosity masks (limited by areas of the darks and brights affected which can make an image look flat and midtoned heavy)
    5. Taking multiple exposures and blending using other masks (eg contrast masks, channel masks, 'refine edge' tool, 'blend if' modes)
    6. complete manual blending (limited by time and accuracy)
    7. Reprocessing a single RAW for multiple simulated exposures and reblending. (limited by the fact that is still a single RAW which may or may not handle the whole dynamic range of the scene)

    The discussion on facebook is here if people are interested : https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?f...type=1&theater
    There are lots of good ideas there but I have been spammed by lots of messages stating why I should have done one technique over another........
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  2. #2
    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dtoh View Post
    ...
    This is a compilation of methods I've come across and tried ( by no means exhaustive)
    Feel free to add !
    1. Using GND's creatively to enhance dynamic range in the one shot : limited by grad lines and positioning of filters and non-straight edges
    2...
    An interesting dissertation, Dylan, as usual. But one point I would raise about the GNDs: surely you would use a GND to reduce, not enhance dynamic range.
    Consider that you are using it to bring down an area of brightness closer to an area that is less bright.

    Am.
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  3. #3
    Just keep plodding away... Mat's Avatar
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    This is one area I am always trying different combinations / methods.
    Out of your list I mainly do #1 nearly allways, #2 in combinadtion with #1.
    #4, #5 and #6 I use depending on the results form the initial capture determined from the histogram.
    #7 I have used and there is also another benifit from this and that is you can adjust the colour balance to the RAW ( I use LR for the initial processing work) and open as a smart object and apply layer masks to enhance a particular part of a scene.
    Mat.

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  4. #4
    http://steveaxford.smugmug.com/ Steve Axford's Avatar
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    And then of course, there's flash fill or reflector fill if the dark object is close and relatively small.

    I think the method you use will depend on the subject. When I first read you post I thought of subjects of all sizes, from the micro frame of a few mm to a scene of maybe 40km. In the first case a reflector is perfect, in the second quite useless.

    The darker areas (or lighter) could be static or they could be in motion. If they move a lot theen it really needs to be a single shot

    They could be speckled across the scene or in one clear lump. If it is a clear lump the manual blending is quite easy and if it is a straight line separation then a grad ND could be very good.

    If it is a person or similar sized object then flash fill may be good.

    The method used will vary greatly with the type of subject. I don't see all the different blending options as being anything more than variations of the one technique. But that may be just me. I prefer to get as much right in the camera as possible, but then I do take a lot of macro which makes lighting adjustments much easier than when taking mountains.

  5. #5
    Shore Crawler
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    thanks guys - great to see a non landscape perspective as well Steve! A lot of those are relevant for the wedding shots we've been taking but I didn't stop to think about the other genres!

  6. #6
    Sir Rattus79 - The Proclaimant
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    Yep. I think steve hit the nail on the head. Use the method that best suits the particular image

    Greg Bartle
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  7. #7
    Shore Crawler
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    definitely Greg - not sure why people would want to just be so dogmatic about their one preferred method ........

  8. #8
    http://steveaxford.smugmug.com/ Steve Axford's Avatar
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    I think that landscape photographers tend to be one of the most pedantic groups of photographers - present company excluded, of course Perhaps this is because it is hard to find a unique landscape or even a unique angle - so they have to be meticulous about time of day, weather, etc, etc.
    I can imagine using one method more frequently, but to become dogmatic about it makes no sense at all. I will sometimes get lazy and use the one method for something, only to find that I am missing opportunities. As with anything, it is best to keep an open mind. You don't have to try everything, but at least be aware of the possibilities.

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