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Monthly Archives: May 2018

  • You Should See what You’re Missing – Disadvantages of Shooting JPGs

    In this article, learn about some of the disadvantages of shooting JPGs. It’s easy to see issues when they are in plain sight, but it’s much more difficult to see things when they are hidden. This situation applies to photographic images containing deep shadows and bright highlights.

    When the tonal balance of a scene is unbalanced, some of the critical detail and even emotion of the photo can get lost in the process. The balance and distinction of all five tone-zones (highlight, quarter, middle, three-quarter, and shadow) are critical to image clarity.


    Two Ladies Dresden - You Should See what You’re Missing - Disadvantages of Shooting JPGs

    The above shot was captured in Dresden Germany while my camera was in Manual Mode (all the settings must be manually balanced). Obviously, my choice of exposure settings was horribly wrong. For that, I offer no excuses.

    When something like this happens and you don’t have the chance to retake the image, you can still salvage most of the colors and tones if your camera was set to capture RAW images. Then you can judiciously adjust the tonal settings in RAW interpreter software (you can see my adjustments for that image below).

    Two Ladies CR - You Should See what You’re Missing - Disadvantages of Shooting JPGs

    My normal mode of shooting is to capture both JPEG and RAW images for this very reason. Had I only captured the JPEG file, recovery attempts would have been ugly. RAW files capture a latitude of tones well beyond the limited range of JPEGs.


    Mirror - You Should See what You’re Missing - Disadvantages of Shooting JPGs

    Imagine trying to either shave or put on makeup in front of a fogged mirror. This would be a recipe for disaster. As long as water droplets remain on the mirror, the light waves are disrupted and the clarity is diffused. Mirrors, like good photos, rely on clarity. And in photography, clarity is always a product of contrast.

    When clear distinctions are not present in the tonal range, detail gets lost. In this case, both the highlight and shadow are indistinct. There is no clear distinction between the highlights (the very lightest zone in the picture) and the shadows (the very darkest zone in the picture).

    High Contrast Scenes

    This reenactment of Shakespeare’s Macbeth at Atlanta’s Renaissance Festival took place at high noon on a very bright and sunny day (images below.

    Renaissance image - You Should See what You’re Missing - Disadvantages of Shooting JPGs

    Original image

    While the camera correctly recorded both the strong highlight and the deep shadow, the contrast was so intense that detail was lost in both the highlight and shadow areas of the image. High contrast scenes often occur during daylight hours under cloudless or even partly cloudy skies.

    The sun’s light was so intense that entire areas of the image are brightly illuminated while others are quite dimly lit. While our eyes can adjust to a wide gamut of light, the digital camera sensor cannot adjust to both extremes at the same time.

    Renaissance image after - You Should See what You’re Missing - Disadvantages of Shooting JPGs

    After editing

    While detail is the product of contrast; I’m not talking about overall contrast, but internal tone-zone contrast. For a full range picture to display detail, there must be a clear separation of these five zones.

    5 Zone Histogram

    “Tone-zones” is a term I use to describe the five easily identified tones in a digital photograph. Almost all photos contain all five zones. The only exceptions are extreme high-key and extreme low-key photos.

    The same lack of detail can be observed in very high contrast scenes; ones whose lighting range covers everything from black to white. The photo below shows a scene typically found in strong sunlight situations. The drama of contrast certainly makes the picture attractive, but significant detail is missing, and it’s missing in broad daylight.

    Lost in the Shadows

    In the image below left, the camera’s exposure setting averaged the exposure between the darkest and lightest values in the scene. Unfortunately, the strong sunlight cast dark shadows beneath the walkways and the image sensor had no way to distinguish these tones. The image on the right is after processing.

    The most common challenge that we all face is when an image is bathed in light and perfectly exposed, but areas of deep shade conceal detail. The camera averaged all the light in the scene but could not compensate for the strong shadows. The image sensor captures the full range of light between highlights and shadows. But it cannot alter the internal contrast of the overall range, as it cannot discern what human eyesight perceives as “balanced” lighting.

    Genoa Bridge before - You Should See what You’re Missing - Disadvantages of Shooting JPGs

    The bridge pictured above is a prime example of the camera encountering too much light or dynamic range.

    Notice that both the highlights (top left) are completely blown out and the darkest shadows (inside the tunnel beneath the bridge) are also plugged up. This situation requires human intervention. Careful adjustments to the shadows and highlights via Photoshop’s Highlights/Shadows dialog restored the detail. I converted the grayscale image to RGB and added the sepia look via the Hue/Saturation dialog.

    Genoa Bridge After

    Your camera and your eyes see differently

    The tonality problem stems from the fact that your eyes can see and your mind can process much more dynamic lighting than your camera is capable of doing. The very scene that your mind pictured before you took the shot appeared a whole lot more detailed than the one that showed up on your monitor. So what happened, and why?

    Every time you focus your eyes on a subject, your eye adjusts to the lighting in the portion of the scene that you want to see. Your eye’s pupil opens up to see detail in darker areas and closes (like the aperture in your lens) down to filter out the extremely bright light. Your eye has a distinct advantage over a digital camera though because it adapts to the lighting in each portion of the scene almost instantly.

    When your attention shifts slightly, your eye adjusts to render the lighting perfectly. Well, almost perfectly. You still have limitations such as you can’t stare directly into the sun and see detail and you can’t distinguish serious detail under moonlight, but you get the idea.

    This visual acclimation happens constantly and quite automatically because your eyes see real life pretty much the same way that a video captures motion; scores of individual “still” shots projected onto your mind every second. They appear and are adjusted by your mind so quickly that you don’t even notice that it happens.

    Your camera is at a disadvantage

    Your camera, on the other hand, captures one frozen moment of time for each picture. And since the camera cannot adjust to different areas of the scene individually, the current exposure setting only captures as much light range as it can within a single shot. Your camera’s limitations are determined largely by the ISO, shutter speed and aperture settings that you dialed in at the time the shot was captured.

    This is in addition to the disadvantages of shooting JPGs.

    While your camera does have limitations, there are adjustments you can make to both the internal and overall contrast of each image. Making these adjustments will bring your photos much closer in appearance to what your mind perceived when you clicked the shutter.

    Low Contrast and Bad Color Balance

    No matter how advanced your camera or how experienced a photographer you are, occasionally you end up with an exposure dud like this one. If the subject is important enough, you’ve got to find a way to rescue and restore the image to its full tonal range, color balance, and detail. The interior lighting of this centuries-old castle chapel was mixed and dark.

    Your major adjustments are Hue, Saturation, and Luminance. To make the most of these tools I strongly suggest that you capture your images in RAW format and adjust them in a RAW interpreter (Lightroom, Camera Raw, Exposure X-3, ON1 Photo Raw, etc.). The major controls are very similar in each of these packages.


    So do not ever be satisfied with what first appears on your monitor. If you captured the image in RAW format, you’ve recorded all the color and light information possible. On the other hand, if you only saved a JPEG file, your adjustments will be quite limited. Learn to move colors and tones around in your RAW images to see what your missing.

    Push pixels around and stay focused.

    The post You Should See what You’re Missing – Disadvantages of Shooting JPGs appeared first on Digital Photography School.

    Source: DP School

  • It’s official: after eight decades, Canon stops making film cameras

    After 80 years, Canon has officially discontinued their last remaining film camera, the EOS-1V. This move marks the official end of the company’s film camera business, and the Canon EOS-1V no longer exist in the company’s inventory. Canon entered the camera industry in 1937. Over the eight decades, it has become a global leader in […]

    The post It’s official: after eight decades, Canon stops making film cameras appeared first on DIY Photography.

    Source: Diyphotographynet

  • 5 Landscape Photography Mistakes That Keep Your Images From Standing Out

    Shooting landscapes is one of the most popular genres of photography. Photographs of landscapes typically capture the presence of nature and can inspire you. Outside towns and cities, you are surrounded by beautiful scenery. However, taking a good photo of those epic views is not as easy as you think. Are you making these landscape photography mistakes?

    Here are some tips to help you uncover why your landscape photos are not working for you and how you can turn unsatisfying pictures into your best ever images.

    5 Landscape Photography Mistakes That Keep Your Images From Standing Out - HDR of Brecon Beacons

    1. Including too much detail in the frame

    Have you ever been on an amazing trip, gazed at a glorious landscape and captured the incredible scenery on camera only to find out your picture doesn’t stand out? There are several reasons why this is happening.

    Including too much in the frame is one of the reasons why your photograph is not appealing to you. Perhaps the trees you have included are overwhelming the scene and making the view too broad. If so, eliminate these objects from the frame. Crop inwards slightly and simplify the field of view.

    5 Landscape Photography Mistakes That Keep Your Images From Standing Out - field of tall grasses

    2. Wonky horizons

    One common mistake some photographers regularly make is to capture a scene with uneven horizon levels. You can become so engrossed in enjoying a breathtaking view that you can overlook this aspect.

    Make sure you pay attention to ensuring the horizon line is straight when photographing your next landscape image. Don’t leave it until you get home to find out that your pictures are unbalanced or crooked.

    Lauca - 5 Landscape Photography Mistakes That Keep Your Images From Standing Out

    3. Taking the picture without thinking

    Another mistake people make when photographing landscapes is to start snapping away without giving any thought as to what they are capturing. It is easy to get carried away with an incredible view in front of you. But if you take the time to consider why your photographs are not working for you, your results will improve.

    poppy field and mountains - 5 Landscape Photography Mistakes That Keep Your Images From Standing Out

    Take a view of the location with just your eyes, think what you would like to capture, and then take your photo. This approach of “seeing the scene” first can help you to take better pictures rather than just picking up your camera and taking a shot without thinking about what you are photographing.

    green field with a rainbow - 5 Landscape Photography Mistakes That Keep Your Images From Standing Out

    4. Shooting flat, uninteresting scenes

    Imagine your dream landscape scene is right in front of you. You’re standing at the top of a magical mountain, alongside a beautiful flowing river, or above some rolling hills in the countryside, for example, and you start photographing the beautiful view.

    When you check your images you discover they look dull and uninteresting. So you ask yourself why they are not standing out?

    A major factor that can make or break an image of that stunning panorama is light. Without directional sunlight in your shots, the images can look flat and lifeless with few textures and tones. Below is an image where the sun catching the hills adds warmth to the image to make it more interesting.

    golden hills - 5 Landscape Photography Mistakes That Keep Your Images From Standing Out

    On your next landscape photography trip, I recommend paying attention to the light and trying to take pictures of more illuminated scenes. I suggest taking a photograph in no light and comparing it with one captured in some light.

    Look at the differences and see how the images vary. Ask yourself how do they contrast? Is one better than the other? What makes it stand out?

    5. Including distracting elements

    Once you have found a visually compelling location and have some nice light, give some thought to the composition. Consider what subject matter looks interesting and only include that.

    You will not be making the most of a scene if you include unsightly aspects of the surroundings such as telegraph poles or overhead electricity cables. If you have no choice but to capture these elements in your composition, you can always remove them in post-processing.

    Below is an example where I have eliminated distracting elements after taking the picture, in the post-production phase.

    foggy scene before - 5 Landscape Photography Mistakes That Keep Your Images From Standing Out


    foggy landscape scene after -5 Landscape Photography Mistakes That Keep Your Images From Standing Out

    After editing.

    Editing the photo to remove the unsightly wires enhances the image and helps to focus attention on the church, trees, and the mist.


    With this article, I have identified five key landscape photography mistakes as to why your images might not standing out, and to help you take better pictures at your next photography outing. Now it’s time for you to put these tips to the test, so get out there and capture your greatest ever landscapes.

    Do you have any tips you would like to share?

    The post 5 Landscape Photography Mistakes That Keep Your Images From Standing Out appeared first on Digital Photography School.

    Source: DP School

  • 6 Light Beauty and Fashion Lighting Setup

    I know it’s extremely trendy right now to say that ‘one light is all you need’, and although in certain situations this is true, a of the time extra lights will likely look better, or at the very least make your life easier. Now before you rush to the comments section to proclaim the purity […]

    The post 6 Light Beauty and Fashion Lighting Setup appeared first on DIY Photography.

    Source: Diyphotographynet

  • How to build this heavy duty DIY camera car rig for only $30

    Mounting cameras to cars is a lot of fun. It can allow us to get some unique and unusual perspectives in photos and videos. But how do you attach a camera to a car? There are a bunch of different ways from inexpensive triple suction cup mounts (that work surprisingly well) to extremely expensive commercial solutions. […]

    The post How to build this heavy duty DIY camera car rig for only $30 appeared first on DIY Photography.

    Source: Diyphotographynet

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