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Olympus E-510 E-510 specific discussion.

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Old 3rd March 2011
gregles gregles is offline
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Advice on metering please.

Can anyone advise on how I could have avoided blowing the highlights in the shot below please. Taken with an Olympus E510, Sigma 10-20, F11, 10seconds, iso 100.

The lens had a cpl and a ND grad. I used evaluative metering and this shot is a merge, in PS, of 4 differently exposed shots from one raw file. Would I be right in thinking that if I had used a different metering setting that I could have saved a bit more of the highlights?



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Old 4th March 2011
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Re: Advice on metering please.

Beautiful scene, Greg (even better when the horizon is levelled ).

In one way, I might ask - do you need to recover the highlights? It looks very good as it is.

But if there is detail in there to be recovered, then you would need to expose for the highlight and I would recommend bracketing and then if necessary overlay one or more differently exposed versions and mask in the highlights. HDR is anther option, or you could try shadows and highlights if you are using Photoshop.

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Old 4th March 2011
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Re: Advice on metering please.

What Ian said. I wouldn't have bothered with the ND grad. I'd have bracketed several exposures and then blended one or more differently exposed versions or done an HDR.
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Old 4th March 2011
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Re: Advice on metering please.

Hi Greg, in situations like these I find spot metering the lightest patch of sky near the sun (but not the sun itself) gives a good exposure if shooting raw and you can bracket around it for safety.

Saying that, in this case only one raw exposure was taken and processed in Lightroom 3.3.

Also taken on the very same E-510 you now own.

Orig Raw




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Old 4th March 2011
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Re: Advice on metering please.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gregles View Post
....
Would I be right in thinking that if I had used a different metering setting that I could have saved a bit more of the highlights?
...

Greg
nope, or not necessarily - it's not really a metering issue, and after all that processing we aren't really looking at the output of the metering either.

on a shot like this you can use any metering you want - then adjust the next/final eposure based on the initial 'trial' and histogram.

alternatively flick into exposure bracketting and fire of 5 raw files and deal with it all later because you clearly need more DR than the 510 can give you from 1 file.

having said all that it's a super shot as presented
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Re: Advice on metering please.

Hi Greg, sometimes I think we worry too much about "blown" highlights in pictures like this. The truth is, in reality the highlights probably appeared blown to the naked eye anyway! But, as is so often the case, we always want to embellish reality just a bit, don't we?

You've already had some good suggestions for bracketed shots for blending or HDR, but you could still do it the old fashioned craftsman's way with filters. I suspect you used a 2 stop ND grad with the transition aligned with the horizon. I would have stacked a 3 stop soft on top of this, but cutting across the frame at an angle, tracing the line of the edges of the blown areas both in the sky and the water. Some filter systems allow two holders to be stacked and independantly offset, otherwise attach the second filter outside the holder with blutack or hold it in place very carefully.

It's your choice whether to use filters at the time of capture or to post process multiple files, there isn't a right or wrong way. Incidentally, there's a distinctive light-toned patch at the top left of the water which I can't make out. Was it a reflection from a bright patch of sky just out of frame or is it a reflection on lens or filter causing a loss ofcontrast?

Super shot, BTW!
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Re: Advice on metering please.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zuiko View Post
You've already had some good suggestions for bracketed shots for blending or HDR, but you could still do it the old fashioned craftsman's way with filters. I suspect you used a 2 stop ND grad with the transition aligned with the horizon. I would have stacked a 3 stop soft on top of this, but cutting across the frame at an angle, tracing the line of the edges of the blown areas both in the sky and the water. Some filter systems allow two holders to be stacked and independantly offset, otherwise attach the second filter outside the holder with blutack or hold it in place very carefully.

Super shot, BTW!
In my film shooting days I'd have done something similar using 2 ND grads. I don't think I've used my ND grads in the past three years despite still having them in my camera bag.
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Old 5th March 2011
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Re: Advice on metering please.

Quote:
Originally Posted by David M View Post
In my film shooting days I'd have done something similar using 2 ND grads. I don't think I've used my ND grads in the past three years despite still having them in my camera bag.
Yes, at least now there are a number of alternatives. I do still like to dabble in the dark arts of yesteryear from time to time and despite the E-3's sophisticated metering still use a Pentax digital spot meter on occasions. In some ways it was much easier in those days because it was much harder to get great results with transparency film, if you get my drift.
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Old 5th March 2011
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Re: Advice on metering please.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian View Post
Beautiful scene, Greg (even better when the horizon is levelled ).

In one way, I might ask - do you need to recover the highlights? It looks very good as it is.

But if there is detail in there to be recovered, then you would need to expose for the highlight and I would recommend bracketing and then if necessary overlay one or more differently exposed versions and mask in the highlights. HDR is anther option, or you could try shadows and highlights if you are using Photoshop.

Ian
Thanks for the reply Ian

Yep I love the scene in this shot but when I came to look at it, after processing it, the areas of white just bugged me. On reflection though, you may have a point that there is very little detail there to be recovered. Bracketting is of course an option and one I overlooked at the time

HDR is outwith my range of options for the moment but definitely an area I would like to explore further when I eventually purchase Photomatix

Thanks Ian

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Old 5th March 2011
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Re: Advice on metering please.

Quote:
Originally Posted by David M View Post
What Ian said. I wouldn't have bothered with the ND grad. I'd have bracketed several exposures and then blended one or more differently exposed versions or done an HDR.

Thanks for the reply David

yep, bracketting the shot would have been a clever idea at the time It is something I do from time to time but unfortunately ......lesson learned.

I take it you would blend in PS manually? I had a go at manual blending, using elements 8, from the 4 files created from the raw but it was a disaster

I have much to learn

Thanks David

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Old 5th March 2011
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Re: Advice on metering please.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OlyPaul View Post
Hi Greg, in situations like these I find spot metering the lightest patch of sky near the sun (but not the sun itself) gives a good exposure if shooting raw and you can bracket around it for safety.

Saying that, in this case only one raw exposure was taken and processed in Lightroom 3.3.

Also taken on the very same E-510 you now own.

Orig Raw




Thanks for the reply Paul

You may find this surprising but here goes When I was thinking about this, the very shot you posted above, with the bench, came into my head and also your dandelion shot, which I hope you remember

Your suggestion of spot metering an area of bright sky also came to me afterwards but I think I read that on the four thirds forum

Bracketting the shot seems to have been the correct way to have dealt with this, after correcting the exposure, but then some skill in elements would be required to manually merge the exposures rather than using the photomerge exposure option, which I used. To be honest after struggling through the mud to get to the low water mark, I was knackered It was getting a bit scary and definitely not a place to take the kids. Just getting a shot was worth it, hopefully.

My impressions of my E510? It is a very capable camera. It will never let me down. It is capable of producing the goods even when the operator malfunctions and like a good guitar it has absorbed its history

Once again though I have a lot to learn and appreciate all the comments and advice from everyone Although if you were of a mind to lead me further in the right direction I would be avery happy fella

Cheers Paul and thanks for a great piece of kit

Greg
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Old 5th March 2011
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Re: Advice on metering please.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zuiko View Post
Hi Greg, sometimes I think we worry too much about "blown" highlights in pictures like this. The truth is, in reality the highlights probably appeared blown to the naked eye anyway! But, as is so often the case, we always want to embellish reality just a bit, don't we?

You've already had some good suggestions for bracketed shots for blending or HDR, but you could still do it the old fashioned craftsman's way with filters. I suspect you used a 2 stop ND grad with the transition aligned with the horizon. I would have stacked a 3 stop soft on top of this, but cutting across the frame at an angle, tracing the line of the edges of the blown areas both in the sky and the water. Some filter systems allow two holders to be stacked and independantly offset, otherwise attach the second filter outside the holder with blutack or hold it in place very carefully.

It's your choice whether to use filters at the time of capture or to post process multiple files, there isn't a right or wrong way. Incidentally, there's a distinctive light-toned patch at the top left of the water which I can't make out. Was it a reflection from a bright patch of sky just out of frame or is it a reflection on lens or filter causing a loss ofcontrast?

Super shot, BTW!
Thanks for a great reply John

your advice regarding angling the grad filter rings a very loud bell You have previously advied me to completely reverse the grad when taking dandelion shots with a very low sun Did I remember that when I took this shot

At the moment I am only using my ebay nd grad but hopefully will get a hold of a set of hitech grads very soon. That means in the next year or so

You also mentioned the weird area on the left of the shot. The shot below will explain what was happening but I should have cropped it out and straightened the horizon



Many thanks John

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Old 5th March 2011
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Re: Advice on metering please.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gregles View Post
Thanks for a great reply John

your advice regarding angling the grad filter rings a very loud bell You have previously advied me to completely reverse the grad when taking dandelion shots with a very low sun Did I remember that when I took this shot

At the moment I am only using my ebay nd grad but hopefully will get a hold of a set of hitech grads very soon. That means in the next year or so

You also mentioned the weird area on the left of the shot. The shot below will explain what was happening but I should have cropped it out and straightened the horizon



Many thanks John

Greg
Ah, seeing the wider view puts it into context, thanks Greg.
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Re: Advice on metering please.

BTW the version you've just posted has close to perfect exposure and needs no adjustment other than a moderate increase in contrast.
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