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

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by SHAKY HANDS, Jul 31, 2007.

  1. SHAKY HANDS

    SHAKY HANDS Guest

    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
    SHAKY HANDS, Jul 31, 2007
    #1
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  2. SHAKY HANDS

    Paul Mitchum Guest

    SHAKY HANDS <> 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/2007/070416_argument.html
    Paul Mitchum, Jul 31, 2007
    #2
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  3. SHAKY HANDS

    Steve B Guest

    "SHAKY HANDS" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > 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.
    Steve B, Jul 31, 2007
    #3
  4. SHAKY HANDS

    Gino Guest

    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" <0m> wrote in message
    news:1i242l4.vyd0cm1ul89ygN%0m...
    > SHAKY HANDS <> 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/2007/070416_argument.html
    Gino, Jul 31, 2007
    #4
  5. SHAKY HANDS

    SHAKY HANDS Guest

    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
    SHAKY HANDS, Jul 31, 2007
    #5
  6. SHAKY HANDS

    SHAKY HANDS Guest

    On Jul 31, 10:55 am, "Steve B" <>
    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 __pissed
    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
    SHAKY HANDS, Jul 31, 2007
    #6
  7. SHAKY HANDS

    Geist Guest

    "SHAKY HANDS" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > 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
    Geist, Jul 31, 2007
    #7
  8. SHAKY HANDS

    bugbear Guest

    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
    bugbear, Aug 1, 2007
    #8
  9. SHAKY HANDS

    Steve B Guest

    "SHAKY HANDS" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > On Jul 31, 10:55 am, "Steve B" <>
    > 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 __pissed
    > 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/english/products/ds3/camera.html
    Steve B, Aug 1, 2007
    #9
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