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How should I have shot this picture so it isn't so washed out?

 
 
SHAKY HANDS
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Posts: n/a
 
      07-31-2007
PICTURE HERE
http://www.intergate.com/~tobeornot2b/me/P7290011.JPG

This picture was shot on my Olympus SP-350 using SHQ (Super High
Quality) + an Automatic setting + Landscape Scene. The shot is just
so washed out, I really feel I need some guidance on how to shoot it.

I'd like to bring the shade of the background trees into focus, and
(if you'll look closely) you'll see my orange power cord lying there
-- I should be able to see that much more vividly. It's not sharp
enough. In short . . . this shot is pretty bad lol.

I'm not a photographer but I am darn proud I cut down this gigantic
tree by myself and I'd like to have photos of it (I also want help
with a PANORAMA shot from the inside of my house to get the full
length of this beast . . . but that's another thread).

Thanks for every piece of advice you can give me. I am clueless about
what I'm doing here!

SHAKY HANDS

\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ \\\\\\\\\\\\
HERE ARE THE STATISTICS FOR THE JPG IMAGE:

Original date/time: 2007:07:29 10:24:08
Exposure time: 1/60
F-stop: 2.8
ISO speed: 50
Focal length: 8.0000
Flash: Not fired
Exposure mode: Auto
White balance: Auto
Orientation: Top-left
Light source: Unknown
Exposure bias: 0.0000
Metering mode: Pattern
Exposure program: Creative
Digitized date/time: 2007:07:29 10:24:08
Modified date/time: 2007:07:29 10:24:08
Image description: OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Scene type: Photograph
User comment:
Custom rendered: Normal
Scene capture type: Landscape
Gain control: None
Digital zoom ratio: 0.0000
Contrast: Normal
Saturation: Normal
Sharpness: Normal
Olympus special mode: 0,0,0
Olympus jpeg quality: 1
Olympus macro mode: 0
Olympus (unknown 1): 0
Olympus digital zoom: 1.0000
Olympus (unknown 2): 9.0950
Olympus (unknown 3): 65324,65044,64935,65383,65151,65063
Olympus firmware ver: SX855
Olympus picture info: [pictureInfo] Resolution=1 [Camera Info]
Type=SX855
Olympus camera ID: "OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA" (snip)
Olympus more data: (snip)
Camera make: OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP.
Camera model: SP350
X resolution: 72.0000
Y resolution: 72.0000
Resolution unit: Inches
Camera version: Version 1.4
Colorspace: sRGB
File source: DSC

Before I did that, however, I shot the image using Olympus' RAW
settings for highest resolution etc. I can't display the RAW image
because I haven't settled on which RAW Converter I want to use (the
Thumbs Plus plug in does not support the Olympus SP-350 sigh).

\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ \\\\\\\\\\\\
HERE ARE THE STATISTICS FOR THE RAW IMAGE:
Original date/time: 2007:07:29 10:08:37
Exposure time: 1/30
F-stop: 2.8
ISO speed: 56
Focal length: 8.0000
Flash: Not fired
Exposure mode: Auto
White balance: Auto
Orientation: Top-left
Light source: Unknown
Exposure bias: 0.0000
Metering mode: Pattern
Exposure program: Normal
Digitized date/time: 2007:07:29 10:08:37
Modified date/time: 2007:07:29 10:08:37
Image description: OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Scene type: Photograph
User comment:
Custom rendered: Normal
Scene capture type: Standard
Gain control: Low gain up
Digital zoom ratio: 0.0000
Contrast: Normal
Saturation: Normal
Sharpness: Normal
Olympus special mode: 2007669128,2007669128,2007669128
Olympus jpeg quality: 6
Olympus macro mode: 0
Olympus (unknown 1): 0
Olympus digital zoom: 1.0000
Olympus (unknown 2): 1.0000
Olympus (unknown 3): 39304,30634,39304,30634,39304,30634
Olympus firmware ver: (snip)
Olympus picture info: (snip)
Olympus camera ID: (snip)
Olympus more data: (snip)
Camera make: OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP.
Camera model: SP350
X resolution: 72.0000
Y resolution: 72.0000
Resolution unit: Inches
Camera version: Version 1.4
Colorspace: sRGB
File source: DSC

 
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Paul Mitchum
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Posts: n/a
 
      07-31-2007
SHAKY HANDS <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> PICTURE HERE
> http://www.intergate.com/~tobeornot2b/me/P7290011.JPG
>
> This picture was shot on my Olympus SP-350 using SHQ (Super High Quality)
> + an Automatic setting + Landscape Scene. The shot is just so washed out,
> I really feel I need some guidance on how to shoot it. [..]


Time for you to learn the basics of exposure.

Your camera will try to make everything in the image as close to a
mid-tone as possible. In this picture, though, there's too much contrast
between the darks and the lights, so your camera has to guess what to
do. So for whatever reason it's favoring the shadows and letting the
highlights blow out.

The way to take a better picture of that scene is to wait for less
contrasty light to show up, like maybe in the early morning or the
evening. Or else use a flash, or else learn how to change the exposure
compensation setting on your camera. You could try EV -1 or -1.5 or so,
and that would pull the blowouts down into the realm of maintaining
detail, but also drowning out some of the shadows.

--
http://www.xoverboard.com/cartoons/2..._argument.html
 
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Steve B
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Posts: n/a
 
      07-31-2007

"SHAKY HANDS" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed) oups.com...
> PICTURE HERE
> http://www.intergate.com/~tobeornot2b/me/P7290011.JPG
>
> This picture was shot on my Olympus SP-350 using SHQ (Super High
> Quality) + an Automatic setting + Landscape Scene. The shot is just
> so washed out, I really feel I need some guidance on how to shoot it.
>
> I'd like to bring the shade of the background trees into focus, and
> (if you'll look closely) you'll see my orange power cord lying there
> -- I should be able to see that much more vividly. It's not sharp
> enough. In short . . . this shot is pretty bad lol.
>
> I'm not a photographer but I am darn proud I cut down this gigantic
> tree by myself and I'd like to have photos of it (I also want help
> with a PANORAMA shot from the inside of my house to get the full
> length of this beast . . . but that's another thread).
>
> Thanks for every piece of advice you can give me. I am clueless about
> what I'm doing here!
>
> SHAKY HANDS
>
> \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
> \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ \\\\\\\\\\\\




It's a high dynamic range shot, and the DR is wider than the camera can cope
with. Mainly, it's overexposed and the fix for that would be perhaps -1EV
(experiment) of exposure compensation, but then the shaded trees will
disappear into blackness. It may have been made worse by your camera being
aimed at the shaded trees, the camera may give some priority to the middle
of the picture in its matrix metering. Turning the contrast down in-camera
might help a bit.

I'm not familiar with your SP-350 apart from knowing it's quite good, but
has it got RAW? RAW would give you more scope, you take one shot and
develop it at 2 different exposures, one to get the highlights right, and
one to get the shadows right, then combine the best bits of each in a
program like PhotoMatix which can do it automatically. Alternatively, you
take several shots at different exposures and blend them, again PhotoMatix
can do this but subject movement can be a problem with this method but
otherwise it can produce the best results. Even a DSLR with a wider DR can
need help with shots like this.


 
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Gino
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Posts: n/a
 
      07-31-2007
As Paul said really.

To add, if your camera has a histogram on it, make sure there are no spikes
on the right hand side after taking the photo. If there are, adjust the
exposure compensation down so that it under-exposes the shot and take
another photo.

Although the photo will look darker being under-exposed, at least you can
post process it with image editing software. Once the whites have blown out
(like the bark of the tree), it is very difficult to get any image detail
back.


"Paul Mitchum" <(E-Mail Removed)0m> wrote in message
news:1i242l4.vyd0cm1ul89ygN%(E-Mail Removed)0m...
> SHAKY HANDS <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
>> PICTURE HERE
>> http://www.intergate.com/~tobeornot2b/me/P7290011.JPG
>>
>> This picture was shot on my Olympus SP-350 using SHQ (Super High Quality)
>> + an Automatic setting + Landscape Scene. The shot is just so washed
>> out,
>> I really feel I need some guidance on how to shoot it. [..]

>
> Time for you to learn the basics of exposure.
>
> Your camera will try to make everything in the image as close to a
> mid-tone as possible. In this picture, though, there's too much contrast
> between the darks and the lights, so your camera has to guess what to
> do. So for whatever reason it's favoring the shadows and letting the
> highlights blow out.
>
> The way to take a better picture of that scene is to wait for less
> contrasty light to show up, like maybe in the early morning or the
> evening. Or else use a flash, or else learn how to change the exposure
> compensation setting on your camera. You could try EV -1 or -1.5 or so,
> and that would pull the blowouts down into the realm of maintaining
> detail, but also drowning out some of the shadows.
>
> --
> http://www.xoverboard.com/cartoons/2..._argument.html


 
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SHAKY HANDS
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      07-31-2007
Gino, Paul, Steve . . . Thank you so much guys! It isn't fair for me
to ask you to teach me photography, but I think we can all agree I
need to learn the ABC's of -->>EXPOSURE.

Can you recommend a good site for a newbie like me to study this? I
have all the bells and whistles (the F~ whatevers etc. lol) on my
Olympus but (how can I put this kindly) the Olympus Advanced User
Guide is not exactly . . . er . . . friendly.

The damndest part of this is . . . the tree is beginning to die (well,
that is the goal here but the problem is I want to get pictures of
it before it turns brown. The crown is HUGE and I'm just so proud
that little old me chainsawed this monster down by her little lonesome
I want pictures!!

So if you have a site where I can, ahem, __quickly__ get this down I
would so appreciate it. I do extensive graphics work so manipulating
the image is something I'm very comfortable with; but, as you've all
said, the lighting range is so broad here that I'm overwhelming the
camera's AUTOMATIC limitations.

I'll try to research some of the unfamiliar terms you're using (EV~)
but any online guides that are mercifully short will be much
appreciated! And I'll of course upload the images as I progress so
you guys can critique it.

SH

 
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SHAKY HANDS
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Posts: n/a
 
      07-31-2007
On Jul 31, 10:55 am, "Steve B" <(E-Mail Removed)>
wrote:
> I'm not familiar with your SP-350 apart from knowing it's quite good, but
> has it got RAW?


I forgot to mention Steve, yes it absolutely DOES have RAW (and
believe me, working with graphics as much as I do that will be my
preferred format). I use Thumbs Plus ver. 7 and am mightily __****ed
off__ that -- with all the RAW converter plugins generously provided
for Canon and Nokia -- Cerious obviously discriminates against Olympus
camera owners. My SP-350 isn't in their pathetically-thin list.

I have that original RAW shot (see stats above) but need to hunt down
conversion software that works with ~.OLR files (the Olympus file
extension for RAW images) from a company less hostile to Olympus
owners.

SH

 
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Geist
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      07-31-2007

"SHAKY HANDS" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed) oups.com...
> PICTURE HERE
> http://www.intergate.com/~tobeornot2b/me/P7290011.JPG
>
> This picture was shot on my Olympus SP-350 using SHQ (Super High
> Quality) + an Automatic setting + Landscape Scene. The shot is just
> so washed out, I really feel I need some guidance on how to shoot it.
>
> I'd like to bring the shade of the background trees into focus, and
> (if you'll look closely) you'll see my orange power cord lying there
> -- I should be able to see that much more vividly. It's not sharp
> enough. In short . . . this shot is pretty bad lol.
>
> I'm not a photographer but I am darn proud I cut down this gigantic
> tree by myself and I'd like to have photos of it (I also want help
> with a PANORAMA shot from the inside of my house to get the full
> length of this beast . . . but that's another thread).
>
> Thanks for every piece of advice you can give me. I am clueless about
> what I'm doing here!<<



Actually, the photo is fairly salvageable. Some of the highlights have gone
for good - but opening your photo on Lightroom enabled me to make some quick
& easy adjustments that improve it a lot.

The recovery tool brings back many of the highlights - the louvered window
(thingy) for example, and the clarify tool (I love that one) helped the
focus.

All in all, it would be good enough for me - so have a quick play with the
LR demo (if you don't have the programme) and see what you think.

If you want to see the adjusted one I'll email it.

Regards


 
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bugbear
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Posts: n/a
 
      08-01-2007
SHAKY HANDS wrote:
> Gino, Paul, Steve . . . Thank you so much guys! It isn't fair for me
> to ask you to teach me photography, but I think we can all agree I
> need to learn the ABC's of -->>EXPOSURE.
>
> Can you recommend a good site for a newbie like me to study this? I
> have all the bells and whistles (the F~ whatevers etc. lol) on my
> Olympus but (how can I put this kindly) the Olympus Advanced User
> Guide is not exactly . . . er . . . friendly.
>
> The damndest part of this is . . . the tree is beginning to die (well,
> that is the goal here but the problem is I want to get pictures of
> it before it turns brown. The crown is HUGE and I'm just so proud
> that little old me chainsawed this monster down by her little lonesome
> I want pictures!!


In that case - since the target is comparitively stationary -
simply use bracketing.

(oh, and in general, if you have a tripod, use it.
Tripods very rarely make a photo worse, assuming you have
tinme to use one).

Grab your camera, and simply take the photograph you want.

Then turn your ev compensation to +1, and take it again.
And again at +2, and so on until you're at the limit of
your EV setting (+2 or +3 is common).

Now repeat through the negative numbers (-1, -2) etc.

If you want to be even more sure, use finer
increments. Most cameras operate either in
1/2 or 1/3 EV steps.

(p63 of your advanced manual)

One of these photos should be "the best". After you've
got the shot of your tree (before it turns brown) you can learn
enough to understand all this in your own time

BugBear
 
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Steve B
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Posts: n/a
 
      08-01-2007

"SHAKY HANDS" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed) ups.com...
> On Jul 31, 10:55 am, "Steve B" <(E-Mail Removed)>
> wrote:
>> I'm not familiar with your SP-350 apart from knowing it's quite good, but
>> has it got RAW?

>
> I forgot to mention Steve, yes it absolutely DOES have RAW (and
> believe me, working with graphics as much as I do that will be my
> preferred format). I use Thumbs Plus ver. 7 and am mightily __****ed
> off__ that -- with all the RAW converter plugins generously provided
> for Canon and Nokia -- Cerious obviously discriminates against Olympus
> camera owners. My SP-350 isn't in their pathetically-thin list.
>
> I have that original RAW shot (see stats above) but need to hunt down
> conversion software that works with ~.OLR files (the Olympus file
> extension for RAW images) from a company less hostile to Olympus
> owners.
>
> SH
>


Try Silkypix. There's a free version that will do the basics, and the SP350
is in the supported camera list.
http://www.isl.co.jp/SILKYPIX/englis...s3/camera.html


 
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