Olympus UK E-System User Group
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Foto Fair Post your photos for friendly, non-critical feedback. This is the place to show pictures if you aren't yet ready for full-blooded critique, or simply want to share an interesting picture with other e-group visitors.

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  #1  
Old 29th April 2012
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How do I...

Get from this:



Closer to this:



without doing the post processing? I seem to get a lot of grey washed shots which are easily correctable later but I'm keen to learn to avoid it in the first place. Are there any golden rules to help get better colours?
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  #2  
Old 29th April 2012
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Re: How do I...

Presuming you are shooting Jpeg and not raw then simply increasing the contrast setting and saturation settings in the camera menu will get you to image 2.

But be warned this will also make it easier to lose highlight detail, just has you have lost it in the left hand wall with the adjusted version.
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  #3  
Old 29th April 2012
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Re: How do I...

If you're shooting in the natural or muted modes of your camera with the contrast set low then you'll get a more subdued looking image. Shooting natural or vivid and boosting the contrast in camera will give you something that is more attractive, albeit potentially at the cost of more blown highlights. However consider this:

- In camera sharpening isn't up to much
- You are therefore going to get a better image by applying unsharp mask in post processing anyway
- So while you're at it, you may as well get on with doing the rest.

My preference at the moment? I like to shoot using the vivid mode of the camera but still keep contrast and sharpening down. My post processing on that consists of a little contrast and some unsharp mask.
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Old 29th April 2012
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Re: How do I...

I like the photo, a lot!
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  #5  
Old 29th April 2012
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Re: How do I...

Well - in my opinion it was slightly overexposed, the exif shows an exposure compensation of +0.7, this will lighten the colours.

Nothing wrong with a bit of over exposure if you are keen to make sure you retain shadow detail - but you do then need to do a bit of curves processing as the default jpeg curve assumes perfect exposure.

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  #6  
Old 30th April 2012
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Re: How do I...

Ok, so I'll set to vivid and keep on with the PP. And noted about the exposure - I wanted to keep the detail. Perhaps I should have bracketed? I didn't notice so much of the blow out on the LH wall, perhaps was more fixated on the brickwork contrast.

I have got some RAW of the whole set which was a gut busting transfer to the laptop but with the ones that I've had time to play with there is a lot I've got out of it. "Trolley wheel" on my Flickr was from a RAW and ended up at 17.5MB...

I love JPEG for the simplicity but since firing up the first RAW I'm sold, need to buy some more 4gb cards now though. The added pixels were a bonus and made what was one bad shot just fit into the frame.

@Stuart: I'll put the rest of the set on my Flickr hopefully this week.
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Old 30th April 2012
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Re: How do I...

The whole JPEG vs RAW thing is an interesting debate - Oly cameras can produce some great pictures in JPEG mode without post processing, and IMO too much emphasis is put on using RAW to 'fix' a bad photo in post (we all do it though!).

I always shoot in RAW myself, and sometimes I find it a bit hard to see past the general dullness I get in LightRoom with RAW photos. I love the extra versatility it gives though. The new processing engine in LightRoom 4 is great too, its much better at preserving detail when pushing levels etc.

If, for some reason, I need a 'finished' picture ASAP after taking it, I stick it in RAW+ JPEG. Then, I have a decent JPEG image I can use straight away, and I still have the RAW image for revisiting if I need to!
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  #8  
Old 30th April 2012
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Re: How do I...

Gazza,

I do like the JPEGs but I also like the sharper colours I can produce with PP - I can do that with either RAW or JPEG. I don't dislike most of the shots I take, I just like getting more pop. I'm still experimenting and will save my settings in GIMP when I'm happy. Then it gives me a set piece for PP - RAW conversion, little sharpening and some colour etc. and that will be all.

Because I'm a little competent with GIMP I actually think that shooting RAW is more forgiving for me at the moment. While I'm learning how to photograph, I can still PP what I shoot if I'm not happy with it. I never take a picture thinking I'll just touch it up. But my photography skills, in terms of getting colour and using light/exposure/WB/ISOs, shutter and aperture aren't up to it at the moment. I'm compensating for my beginner skills with the camera with my better computer skills. And working in RAW has made that so much easier
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  #9  
Old 30th April 2012
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Re: How do I...

I'd say it's worth downloading a copy of Olympus Viewer 2 as this will bring a couple of things to the party:

- You can play around with in camera settings (picture modes, contrast, saturation, art filters and so on) on the raw file
- For example, reducing the exposure on the above image by 0.3 would show you what you would have got if you'd made that decision behind the camera
- Sometimes, Olympus Viewer might give you a great starting point for where you want to go with an exposure.

For some of my recent photos, I've taken my favourites, got the general "look" I want in Olympus Viewer (without adding any of the more destructive stuff like boosting contrast of sharpness) and then exported the TIFF to Aperture for the things that Aperture does well.
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