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Thread: Blown highlights at the zoo

  1. #21

    Default Re: Blown highlights at the zoo

    TS, sorry borrow about the overblown HL.

    Rashkae, do consider this as overblown...


  2. #22

    Default Re: Blown highlights at the zoo

    Quote Originally Posted by drewdam View Post
    TS, sorry borrow about the overblown HL.

    Rashkae, do consider this as overblown...
    I would say that the picture had a goo amount of -EV, and the saturation is excessive. The sky looks unnatural. Maybe lots of curve adjustments in PS?
    Alpha

  3. #23
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    Default Re: Blown highlights at the zoo

    Quote Originally Posted by cimman View Post
    at the zoo, there is no choice. Since you are there, you have to take the pics.
    Are you a professional on a deadline? If you really have to, you could always look for stock photos... otherwise, how about accepting that for outdoor photos, you depend to a considerable extent on the cooperation of mother nature?

    I'm thinking of using flash in the bright sunlight and metering off the highlights. The shadows will at least be brighter with the flash, compared to metering off the highlights without the flash.
    Would this work ? Didn't have a chance to try this out as I forgot to bring the flash along the trip.
    I think using flash is not particularly nice towards the animals who must already be stressed out enough by the usual hordes of bratty visitors (on the other hand, you can argue it doesn't really make much
    of a difference anymore). Also, you would need a pretty powerful flash to make a difference in bright sunlight for animals that are 10 or 20 meters away, and you may have problems with burned out foreground. It's also a matter of taste - many people are happy with fill-in flash. I usually find the resulting pictures rather unnatural.

  4. #24

    Default Re: Blown highlights at the zoo

    Quote Originally Posted by Rashkae View Post
    I would say that the picture had a goo amount of -EV, and the saturation is excessive. The sky looks unnatural. Maybe lots of curve adjustments in PS?

    ha...ya...push the saturation during PS...and this is the original..


    ok, i will stop here..

    Cimman...sorry to disturb your thread..am using E500 btw..

  5. #25
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    Default Re: Blown highlights at the zoo

    Quote Originally Posted by Rashkae View Post
    The olympus cameras use a small sensor. and the E1 is also known for blowing highlights.
    Blown (i.e. clipped) highlights are a "problem" of all digital cameras which is easily avoided by not overexposing. Best tip I can give is to meter for the highlights and, when in doubt, bracket. Cameras with reasonable dynamic range should record enough shadow detail that can be brought out by dealing with the contrast with the usual darkroom/image processing techniques.

  6. #26

    Default Re: Blown highlights at the zoo

    Quote Originally Posted by LittleWolf View Post
    Blown (i.e. clipped) highlights are a "problem" of all digital cameras which is easily avoided by not overexposing. Best tip I can give is to meter for the highlights and, when in doubt, bracket. Cameras with reasonable dynamic range should record enough shadow detail that can be brought out by dealing with the contrast with the usual darkroom/image processing techniques.
    Correct, but the 4/3 cameras, especially the older generation like the E1, have very very poor dynamic range.
    Alpha

  7. #27

    Default Re: Blown highlights at the zoo

    Quote Originally Posted by Rashkae View Post
    And, if you're wondering, it's a problem with the small, 4/3 size sensors. Also, you're talking about 2003-era technology.

    If you look at the bottom building pics here, you'll see highlight clipping on the building:

    http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/OlympusE1/page17.asp

    You'll also notice the comparison to the Sony F717 here:
    http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/OlympusE1/page21.asp

    I really think you're just hitting the limitations of the E1.
    can we get around the problem by metering off the highlights and using a flash ? that way, the flash will bring out the details in the shadows, while the highlights are metered correctly.

  8. #28

    Default Re: Blown highlights at the zoo

    Quote Originally Posted by cimman View Post
    can we get around the problem by metering off the highlights and using a flash ? that way, the flash will bring out the details in the shadows, while the highlights are metered correctly.
    Yes, this is essentially fill-flash, but as pointed out earlier, you'd need a MASSIVE flash to make a difference in bright daylight from 10-20m away. Plus, you'd scare the poor animals.
    Alpha

  9. #29
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    Default Re: Blown highlights at the zoo

    Hope this help...

    The Sunny f16 is also call the "Basic Daylight Exposure".
    http://www.glamour1.com/tips/bdeguide.php

    on the Sunny day (subject under sunlight with distinct shadows), you will get a lens aperture of f16, with the shutter speed same or close to your medium ISO, eg, 1/125s with ISO 100, 1/500 with ISO 400...etc.

    on the Sunday day but if you are at beach or snow scene, more light will get reflected by the sand, water or snow, so you will get f22 instead.

    this rule is very accurate, of course if the photographer can't differentiate between a sunny day and cloudy day, than will not get the correct results.

    print out this chart, keep one in your camera bag, it will be handy if your meter fail you.
    Last edited by excelglsi; 16th February 2008 at 05:51 AM.

  10. #30

    Default Re: Blown highlights at the zoo

    Quote Originally Posted by cimman View Post
    I'm thinking of using flash in the bright sunlight and metering off the highlights. The shadows will at least be brighter with the flash, compared to metering off the highlights without the flash.
    Would this work ? Didn't have a chance to try this out as I forgot to bring the flash along the trip.
    Camera: Olympus E1
    Flash: FL36
    the flash should not work as most animals are quite far away and you probably need a REALLY powerful flash to light up as bright as sunlit areas.

    The DR of E1 is not very good but I don't think it is that far off from other DSLRs. If you want a good one, get a fujifilm s3pro/s5pro. There are leagues away from other DSLRs.

    The point of shooting in DSLRs is always expose for the highlights. Once you overexpose... gone. If you underexpose, you might be surprised how much can be saved from post processing.

    Don't point the fault at the camera UNLESS you did manual exposure compensation and expose for the highlights, ie you have set the exposure as high as possible without blowing the highlights and find that the shadows are way too dark to recover even after shooting RAW.

    All cameras will overexpose sometime or another if you shoot auto all the time. Frankly I find that my E330 can handle 99% of the shots I want to take but I have to manually set exposure on some of the more tricky ones. Setting manual exposure is a HASSLE and sometimes not possible.

    example,



    the background is slightly overexposed but frankly, I could have improved this shot if I have exposed it like 0.5 stops lower. But errr... this kind of shot no retake as my wife very lazy model one.
    Last edited by wind30; 16th February 2008 at 07:57 AM.

  11. #31

    Default Re: Blown highlights at the zoo

    Quote Originally Posted by Rashkae View Post
    Correct, but the 4/3 cameras, especially the older generation like the E1, have very very poor dynamic range.
    have you used the E1 before?

    I have used plenty of cameras including E1, KM7D, D70, s3pro, E330, E510.... frankly the oly DR is slightly worse than others but not that far off. only the S3pro has a significant difference in DR.

    The E1 is "better' as it only has 5 megapixel

  12. #32

    Default Re: Blown highlights at the zoo

    Quote Originally Posted by LittleWolf View Post
    Are you a professional on a deadline? If you really have to, you could always look for stock photos... otherwise, how about accepting that for outdoor photos, you depend to a considerable extent on the cooperation of mother nature?



    I think using flash is not particularly nice towards the animals who must already be stressed out enough by the usual hordes of bratty visitors (on the other hand, you can argue it doesn't really make much
    of a difference anymore). Also, you would need a pretty powerful flash to make a difference in bright sunlight for animals that are 10 or 20 meters away, and you may have problems with burned out foreground. It's also a matter of taste - many people are happy with fill-in flash. I usually find the resulting pictures rather unnatural.
    no, I'm not a professional. I only go to the zoo when my kid pester me. It's about $17 per entry per person, can easily go up to more than $100 with entire family and meals and rides and drinks, so I can't go there as often as I please. So whenever I'm there, I try to maximise my time/investment by enhancing my phototaking skills.
    Of course I can wait for cloudy weather and go to the zoo, but like I said, my main reason for going to the zoo is because of my kid. Once you're a parent, you have to fit your schedule to your kid.
    So the question is, given the unfavourable conditions, how do I use the best of the situation, or how do I work around the situation ?
    I don't think I need too powerful a flash, since the ambient light is quite strong, I just need enough flash to put some light into the shadows. It does not need to be as bright as the sunlit areas.
    Last edited by cimman; 16th February 2008 at 11:22 AM.

  13. #33

    Default Re: Blown highlights at the zoo

    Quote Originally Posted by wind30 View Post
    have you used the E1 before?

    I have used plenty of cameras including E1, KM7D, D70, s3pro, E330, E510.... frankly the oly DR is slightly worse than others but not that far off. only the S3pro has a significant difference in DR.

    The E1 is "better' as it only has 5 megapixel
    yes, I don't think the E1 is that bad. It's just that given the situation, it is difficult to capture the DR of bright mid day sun and shadows. I'm sure the other cameras would not have done much better given the same situation. Blame it on the current state of sensor electronics, it is still very primitive compared to the DR of the human eye.

    For me 5 Megapixel is good enough, as my largest print is 8x12. It's just a matter of price/performance. To some people, Toyota is good enough, no need to get Ferrari. Sure who wouldn't want a Ferrari if you can afford it?

    That being said, if for the same price for a 4/3 sensor, I get a full frame sensor, then that is value for money. hmm.. really have to think about that upgrade to the E3.
    Last edited by cimman; 16th February 2008 at 11:19 AM.

  14. #34

    Default Re: Blown highlights at the zoo

    no, I'm not a professional. I only go to the zoo when my kid pester me. It's $20 per entry per person, can easily go up to more than $100 with entire family and meals and rides and drinks, so I can't go there as often as I please. So whenever I'm there, I try to maximise my time/investment by enhancing my phototaking skills.
    Of course I can wait for cloudy weather and go to the zoo, but like I said, my main reason for going to the zoo is because of my kid. Once you're a parent, you have to fit your schedule to your kid.
    So the question is, given the unfavourable conditions, how do I use the best of the situation, or how do I work around the situation ?
    Best situation
    - look out during animals feeding time when they are active
    - as for exposure, no change and depend on your luck. Best lighting is still morning, cloudy day and later afternoon.
    - use longer focal length to capture closer view so as to avoid the area with too many exposures difference and the distracting objects in the background
    - mostly depend on luck and capture the animal unusual behaviors

    I don't think I need too powerful a flash, since the ambient light is quite strong, just enough to put some light into the shadows.
    Yes fill in flash is recommended

    Below is some of my animal shots taken at the zoo sometimes back

    http://gallery.clubsnap.com/showphot...o/31/ppuser/26
    http://gallery.clubsnap.com/showphot...o/30/ppuser/26
    http://gallery.clubsnap.com/showphot...o/23/ppuser/26
    http://gallery.clubsnap.com/showphot...o/26/ppuser/26
    Last edited by megaweb; 16th February 2008 at 11:34 AM.
    See my Photo Gallery at the Clubsnap

  15. #35

    Default Re: Blown highlights at the zoo

    Quote Originally Posted by Rashkae View Post
    Correct, but the 4/3 cameras, especially the older generation like the E1, have very very poor dynamic range.

    All modern DSLRs have more DR than most people can use, it's all about processing. Of course dedicated HDR cameras such as Fuji S-series have the advantage here, but again without processing the images will turn out flat and lifeless (I find you can pull 1 stop more either way with S-series RAWs). In harsh lighting, you can blow highlights with ANY camera.

    To TS:
    The worst time to shoot is between 11 to 3, anyway that should be time for lunch! With the sun directly overhead it is very difficult to avoid dark shadows, so if die die you want to shoot during that time, the best bet is to be creative with your shooting (s.g, the samples that megaweb posted are a good example).

    If you're shooting jpegs, one way to maximise DR is to turn down the contrast and saturation to the lowest setting, and then you pull them up in post.

  16. #36

    Default Re: Blown highlights at the zoo

    Quote Originally Posted by wind30 View Post
    have you used the E1 before?

    I have used plenty of cameras including E1, KM7D, D70, s3pro, E330, E510.... frankly the oly DR is slightly worse than others but not that far off. only the S3pro has a significant difference in DR.

    The E1 is "better' as it only has 5 megapixel
    Yes, i've used the E1. I was very disappointed by daytime shots.
    Alpha

  17. #37
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    Default Re: Blown highlights at the zoo

    Quote Originally Posted by cimman View Post
    It's about $17 per entry per person, can easily go up to more than $100 with entire family and meals and rides and drinks, so I can't go there as often as I please. So whenever I'm there, I try to maximise my time/investment by enhancing my phototaking skills.
    I see ... the point I'm trying to make is that a trip to the zoo can be very enjoyable even without taking many photos.

    So the question is, given the unfavourable conditions, how do I use the best of the situation, or how do I work around the situation ?
    I believe most things have been said - don't overexpose, record raw data (or if you have to use JPEG, use low contrast settings), process the data carefully, maybe use a flash.

    Maybe you could provide a sample picture, just to see how severe your problem is.

  18. #38

    Default Re: Blown highlights at the zoo

    Quote Originally Posted by Rashkae View Post
    Yes, i've used the E1. I was very disappointed by daytime shots.
    frankly I was a little dissappointed too. That is why the next camera after the E1 was the s3pro (not sony/nikon/canon) and the s3pro was really much better. But that was the s3pro. Frankly, I don't think the sony/nikon/canon DSLRs is much better in terms of DR.

    Although, I certainly hope so as I am more or less thinking of going with twin A300s with 2 sigma lens, 10-20mm and 50-150. The A300 has everything I want, a E330 kind of live view, stabilization, cheap WA, cheap f2.8 50-150mm zoom, and hopefully better DR and noise performance

    But frankly, from all the various objective reviews out there, I really doubt that other than the fuji S series, most of the DSLRs have pretty similar DR with oly 4/3s being slightly lower (less than 1 stop) and the rest better. And Fuji S series is around 2 stops better than the rest.
    Last edited by wind30; 16th February 2008 at 06:45 PM.

  19. #39

    Default Re: Blown highlights at the zoo

    Quote Originally Posted by megaweb View Post
    Best situation
    - look out during animals feeding time when they are active
    - as for exposure, no change and depend on your luck. Best lighting is still morning, cloudy day and later afternoon.
    - use longer focal length to capture closer view so as to avoid the area with too many exposures difference and the distracting objects in the background
    - mostly depend on luck and capture the animal unusual behaviors


    Yes fill in flash is recommended

    Below is some of my animal shots taken at the zoo sometimes back

    http://gallery.clubsnap.com/showphot...o/31/ppuser/26
    http://gallery.clubsnap.com/showphot...o/30/ppuser/26
    http://gallery.clubsnap.com/showphot...o/23/ppuser/26
    http://gallery.clubsnap.com/showphot...o/26/ppuser/26
    very nice pics. I see that you have cropped the pics so that it is zoomed to an area where the shadows are not messing up the pics. That's a thought. Most of my pics are wide angle, so can see shadows and sunlit areas.

  20. #40

    Default Re: Blown highlights at the zoo

    Quote Originally Posted by wind30 View Post
    frankly I was a little dissappointed too. That is why the next camera after the E1 was the s3pro (not sony/nikon/canon) and the s3pro was really much better. But that was the s3pro. Frankly, I don't think the sony/nikon/canon DSLRs is much better in terms of DR.

    Although, I certainly hope so as I am more or less thinking of going with twin A300s with 2 sigma lens, 10-20mm and 50-150. The A300 has everything I want, a E330 kind of live view, stabilization, cheap WA, cheap f2.8 50-150mm zoom, and hopefully better DR and noise performance

    But frankly, from all the various objective reviews out there, I really doubt that other than the fuji S series, most of the DSLRs have pretty similar DR with oly 4/3s being slightly lower (less than 1 stop) and the rest better. And Fuji S series is around 2 stops better than the rest.
    so looks like the Fuji camera would be the next in line for the upgrade bug. So much for the E3 for the next in line, though I do like the feel of the E1, very comfortable and  solid.

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