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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 11th July 2010
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Help and advice

After waiting about 11-12 hours over the weekend the Kingfisher landed once for about 5 mins.
I wanted to get a middle F stop so used A.P. on F10 and to help with the speed I went wiith iso 400 and there was enough light for 1/400 @400mm on the 135-400 using an E 510. I also thought that spot metering and -0.3 ex comp would help.
On most Kingfisher shots the eye area is always dark but it also has that white patch on the face and on ALL the shots I took at various settings it was always blown....how could I have got it any better?
Anyone got an idea.
Keith
p.s. He was only about 15-20 feet away -only.
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Old 11th July 2010
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Re: Help and advice

Only advice I could offer would be to shoot in RAW

You know you want to
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Old 11th July 2010
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Re: Help and advice

O.K. Greg thanks for commenting.

I have the camera set to RAW on the Spanner 1 in Menu and they go through the Windows Photo Gallery that is on my Windows Vista.
They then go automatically to my Pictures and when i open them in P/shop 7 they are JPegs.....As I have said many times in the past I have an understanding level of nought aso i have not got the 1st idea what is happening.

Right,your advice was to shoot in RAW...if I managed to open them as RAWS how would it help my problem.

Cheers
Keith
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E500,E510 now dead,E520 (now retired),E600 and Grip,14-42,14-45,2x40-150,Sigmas 105 and 135-400 Now Dead..ex 25. Manfrotto 190. Plus lots of OM stuff.
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Old 11th July 2010
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Re: Help and advice

I've found the white patches on the side of the neck and throat always seem to blow out with film or digital.

There's a couple of film shots of a male Common Kingfisher in my gallery on Four Thirds User. One's taken on Kodachrome 64, the other on Fujichrome 50. The whites are blown on the Kodachrome shot, borderline on the Fujichrome.
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Old 13th July 2010
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Re: Help and advice

Thanks David...just checked them out and it seems you had it as well....
Anyone else have any views on this please ?
Keith
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Now also 4 items from the dark side...........
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Old 13th July 2010
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Re: Help and advice

Hi Keith,

First, let's get this into perspective. When I first saw this image my first reaction was, "Oh what a lovely picture of a Kingfisher," not "Oh dear, the highlights have blown."

You shouldn't need to access the spanner menu to select raw, it should be an option on the main info screen. I can't see how your computer is converting raws to JPEGs without going through a raw developer.

To preserve the highlights it might need a little more minus exposure compensation, then lift the shadows/dark midtones in pp. That runs the risk of increased noise so maybe drop the ISO to 200 and open the aperture by one stop. Would you have time to bracket? If so set auto bracket and continuous shooting to take a sequence.

Finally, have you tried the highlight/shadow adjustment in Elements to see if any detail can be pulled out of that blown area? Remember, you can make a selection of the white patch so that your adjustments don't apply to the rest of the image.
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Old 13th July 2010
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Re: Help and advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zuiko View Post
Hi Keith,

First, let's get this into perspective. When I first saw this image my first reaction was, "Oh what a lovely picture of a Kingfisher," not "Oh dear, the highlights have blown."

You shouldn't need to access the spanner menu to select raw, it should be an option on the main info screen. I can't see how your computer is converting raws to JPEGs without going through a raw developer.

To preserve the highlights it might need a little more minus exposure compensation, then lift the shadows/dark midtones in pp. That runs the risk of increased noise so maybe drop the ISO to 200 and open the aperture by one stop. Would you have time to bracket? If so set auto bracket and continuous shooting to take a sequence.

Finally, have you tried the highlight/shadow adjustment in Elements to see if any detail can be pulled out of that blown area? Remember, you can make a selection of the white patch so that your adjustments don't apply to the rest of the image.
Everything John says here is bang on the nail. I could not have put it better..

Pete
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Old 13th July 2010
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Re: Help and advice

The E510 is a PITA for clipping highlights on times and you did the right thing dialling in some negative exposure compensation but then as you found the shadows get very dark very quick and lifting them in PS etc often reveals alot of unwanted noise. Esentially it's the cameras Jpeg tone curve that is to blame - it is pretty severe in that it throws away quite alot of shadow - but more importantly highlight detail when it generates the jpeg. Near blacks get pushed to solid black and bright whites get pushed to solid white all too easily.

I can't remember just how many stops of dynamic range the E510 caputures in the OOC jpegs but I know that figure is usually noticeably higher shooting in raw and processing the image with ACR etc - or even Studio if you take the time to alter the tone curve during the RAW convertion. The few extra stops of dynamic range to be found in the RAW files can quite often be enough to mean that some blown areas in the jpeg contain detail in the RAW.

I threw together a very quick example, sorry it's not kingfisher related it's just one of my most recent images that I could remember being suitable...



From that you can see that the JPEG has plenty of apparantly blown highlights - you can just about see that there is a high single peak on the far right hand side of the histogram. In comparison the image developed from raw has fewer apparantly blown highlights as the smaller peak on the far right edge of the histogram shows and of course no matter what the histogram says to my eyes the extra detail in the highlights makes for a better image (even in this case where I deliberately overdone the "highlight recovery" and made the whites too grey).

Now how you choose to edit the RAW is a very personal thing - some like to do it all in lightroom / ACR whilst I prefer using layers and masks and adjustments inside of PS to get what I want. Really it's a case of some experimentation with different Raw developers (or even playing with the tone curve settings in master/studio/viewer) to see what you find the easiest / quickest / best.

Abandoning a simple OOC jpeg approach in favour of RAW development with others 3rd party software can though introduce all sorts of nightmares with re-creating the colours, detail / sharpness that the Olympus jpegs are known for. Some happily accept the changes, others like myself dislike them and are always looking for a better / more Olympus like output.

I'm sure Ive skipped over alot of important detail in the above but I hope it gives you some sort of idea of why shooting RAW might just improve your photos where getting a perfect exposure is very hard or impossible.
Paul.
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Old 13th July 2010
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Re: Help and advice

Keith I'll try to keep it simple and put it into perspective.

1- Windows Photo gallery does not convert raw files it extracts and uses the embeded jpeg, so you may as well shoot jpeg than rely on Windows

2- If you insist on shooting jpeg and want the most control then set contrast and sharpening to their lowest settings (-2 or whatever it is) as this will give you the most dynamic range that a jpeg can hold rather than have the camera settings clip the highlight and shadows.. Then make adjustment in your PS7.

3- Shoot raw for the most control over dynamic range, a simple program like Elements 7 for about 25 for raw conversion would be better than nothing or the Oly software. LR3 would be better but of course is more expensive.

The choice is yours which will be effected by personel prefrences and cost.

As a quick dirty example the camera setting jpeg output of guinea pig , the burnt out detail is unrecoverable in the jpeg.



Using the raw image
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Last edited by OlyPaul; 13th July 2010 at 10:01 AM.
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Old 13th July 2010
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Re: Help and advice

Well thank you,thank you everyone...blimey theres some stuff there to digest.

I think I need to step up a notch and will have to get some software....

Just one thing I thought you made the setting in Menu (RAW etc)and just looked at info to check what setting you had made ?

Thanks again for all your time consuming and detailed replies.
Keith
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Now also 4 items from the dark side...........
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Old 13th July 2010
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Re: Help and advice

To give some life to the eye of the kingfisher try adding a catchlight. May look artificial but it is worth a punt.
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Old 13th July 2010
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Re: Help and advice

Hi Ringneck

I went through the same learning curve some years ago when I cam to digital and found the articles by Wrotniak invaluable. He has a way of explaining how to use the camera and develop the images that is easy to get a handle on: I have enclosed a link to his E510 pages.

Personally I use RAW all the time now and use LightRoom and PS4, though LR is the main tool. I like this because it does not undertake intrusive changes to the file, rather it adds a layer of info. The main difference with RAW is that you have access to more detail and information contained in the image than any JPEG file so you can control the image as you want to.

LR will manage the downloading of the file and what you want to do with it as Windows does but it does not make any attempt to convert it's format, hence no loss.

It is not that hard.

http://www.wrotniak.net/photo/43/e510-rev.html
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Old 13th July 2010
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Re: Help and advice

Keith

From the exif data you have white balance set to cloudy this could also be the cause of the white not being white, if you set to RAW as described above you would be able to adjust this. also you are using spot metering,m I always use centre weighted as this tends to under expose again this can be adjusted in RAW blown shadows are easier to hide than blown highlights. all that said your patients has been rewarded with an image most people only dream about getting well done, I will look forward to seeing more as kingfishers will always return to a perch.
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Old 13th July 2010
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Re: Help and advice

And again some excellent stuff in there...thanks.
I used spot metering because of the water behind him and cloudy was only one of the options I tried.

Thanks
keith
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Now also 4 items from the dark side...........
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