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Here's a few random ones from my Flickr.
7x50 by Darren Stephens, on Flickr
Lets 'ave a go! by Darren Stephens, on Flickr
solis occasum by Darren Stephens, on Flickr
And another three.
IMG_3101-2 by Darren Stephens, on Flickr
IMG_1126 by Darren Stephens, on Flickr
On the Wing ~ Explored Aug 16, 2011 #38 by Darren Stephens, on Flickr
Some lovely work there Darren. Love the Monochrome.
Blown highlights... I may not be able to fix them but at least I'm starting to recognize them. But aside from that, here's a picture of Alfie from yesterday entitles "Pasta for Supper"
Blown highlights... I may not be able to fix them but at least I'm starting to recognize them.
That is the big problem with digital photography. With only 255 levels between total white to complete black it is very difficult to get the range right. Digital will never totally replace film until that issue is resolved.
Shoot RAW and you have lots of leeway to recover blown highlights. I tend to expose to the right and clip the highlights knowing that I can recover them in post production and retain more shadow detail as a result. the newest sensors have great dynamic range.
I don't have the software to deal with RAW images or I would.
The software that came with your camera should do it, John.
Get a copy of Photoshop Elements. What I did when Elements 12 came out was picked up a copy of 11 dirt cheap from the remainders bin! Might still be able to find one out there. Cost me about a tenner IIRC - pucker version that I was able to register with Adobe.
I have a very old copy of Photoshop (v3, IIRC) which is still way too complicated for me! I also have an equally old version of Elements, but I've never used it, as it seems (to me) that Photoshop does a little more. Both were free from the Adobe site as they are so old I think they just give away the downloads now.
Alas, neither handle RAW.
However, with my camera (a Panasonic Lumix G3 CSC) there came some software called Silkypix, which does handle RAW. I had a go with this yesterday. Looks very complicated and the manual doesn't offer much help... But I shall experiment shooting in RAW and seeing if I can't work out Silkypix through trial and error.
Might be able to blow away my blown highlights!
The software that came with my Nikon D80 allows me to convert the RAW images but not to manipulate them. I use Photoshop 8 but have no way of manipulating RAW images in it either. I also have Photoshop Elements but never use it. Don't know what version. It is stuck in a drawer.
Elements should be able to process RAW files.
Been meaning to buy a remote cable release for the little Panasonic ever since reading the first chapter (about how to get sharp images) in Scott Kelby's book. It being payday, I thought I'd invest.
Bloody 'ell - Panasonic want £50+ quid for one.
Ordered an alternative for a fiver off Amazon. The reviews suggest it works so worth a punt at a that price I feel.
I reckon with a cable release, RAW files engaged, and a trailing wind I might be taking my second step forward (first step was buying a camera that you could adjust settings on!).
Got a free download of Photoshop CS2 and downloaded Camera Raw 3.6, so I can fiddle with my photos in RAW mode. I have a rough idea of what I am doing so I will experiment over the next few weeks and get back to you when I have something to report.
Two more photos. The first one I simply chose a default setting in Silkypix (RAW editing) and the second one I left as it came out of the camera as it looked okay to me.
Both look nicely exposed.
This working with RAW is really great. The Camera RAW 3.6 I use is fairly basic compared with some of the later versions, but what a difference to my images.
Just ordered "Portrait Pro Studio 12" for my portrait work. I have an earlier version I like to use but it has no RAW software.
My Mrs said she would buy me the latest Photoshop CS6, until I told her the price!
Nicely exposed, but could use a bit of punch. RAWs are generally a little flat and a levels tweak nearly always helps lift them.
The amount of leeway you have with highlights is the greatest advantage apart from the obvious white balance benefits.
Here is an image I took as an experiment. I have tried taking pictures of gulls beside this lake on numerous occasions but because of the trees and the white feathers the camera auto exposure always burns out the gull (I know I can use manual exposure but I am not that into photographing birds that I would take the trouble). Processing in RAW, prior to my usual setting of top and bottom values has given me a useable image.
Nice gull, Jocko!
Nicely exposed, but could use a bit of punch. RAWs are generally a little flat and a levels tweak nearly always helps lift them
Thanks 23rdMan. I Guess the secret is knowing what to tweak and where to tweak it to! I was watching Countryfile earlier (best TV show of the week!) and they were interviewing Villager Jim. His photos were superb! They all had that gloss about them that you also had in the photos you posted at the beginning of this thread. Mine lack that - but I don't know why. Is it light?Here's a couple I took on this morning's cycle-ride.
Comment and advice welcome
You obviously have a nicer cycle than I do. Only comment I would make is about Photo 1. I think it needs a boost of contrast to make it really pop.
For my sins I have another gull!
I was up VERY early this morning (one of the joys of old age and a sedentary lifestyle) and have been processing the images I took on my RAW experiment outing. One of the things I am very fussy about is how I name my images. This stems from sorting through some old family photographs a number of years back. I was digitising old black and white photographs taken by my late mum, dad and grand parents. Most of the people in them I could recognise, but some I didn't know from Adam. The locations, likewise. However there were a set my father had sent back from Ceylon during the war, and on the back he had written who, where, what and the date. It was great. I decided to do similar with all my digital images. With people, I name them left to right, then the location, then the date. A typical file name will read, "Tom, Dick and Harry, Dalkeith 2-7-14". This way, I hope that whoever looks at my photographs, when I am gone, sees them as a useful collection, not just a lot of unidentified faces and places.
Photography is all about light. I don't know what post production software you have, but you'd both get a lot out of this tutorial...
http://www.apogeephoto.com/may2010/watts52010.shtmlGetting the levels correct often means that no adjustments to contrast are needed.
The other thing to consider, particularly with Jocko's first gull shot by the side of the lake, is whether it actually needs to be in colour as it's pretty monochromatic to start with. If that was my shot I'd have probably made it black and white, possibly cropped it in closer on the gull (but not central) and would have experimented with an IR treatment to make it grainy and high contrast. I'd like to think I could get a nice threatening Hitchcock effect!
I find playing with black and white and a tweak of the contrast can often produce good results from shots taken on dull overcast days where the colours aren't vibrant to start with.
It's not really the done thing to shoot wildlife in mono. I'm not a massive fan of over the top pp either, but YMMV.
Mileage does indeed vary considerably.
I grew up with film. I played around a bit with IR film when doing my photography C&G. Therefore I consider the application of an IR effect in digital processing the equivalent using an IR film. In fact, it's one of the areas where digital is lacking. I used to be able to stick an IR film in my film camera, whereas to shoot native IR in digital I'd need a dedicated camera as I understand it (don''t think you can just do it with filters, but happy to be educated).
As for "not the done thing" to shoot wildlife in mono, please can you point to where that is enshrined in the Magna Carta? I recall plenty of mono wildlife documentaries before the colour service started on BBC2 in 1967.
If that was my shot I'd have probably made it black and white, possibly cropped it in closer on the gull (but not central)
A bit like this maybe?
The reason I didn't crop the original close is I wanted the wake of the passing duck in the rear of the shot.