Which setting determines lifelike?


DrSpock

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Mar 12, 2009
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#1
This 'life-like' issue in photo taking has been bugging me from quite a while now and whenever I see a photo that is so 'real' and it was as if I'm standing there & then while other times I look at another photo as if it's 'overprocessed' and not so real like.

To give an illustration of what I mean. Take for example these two photos I borrowed from this thread .

Photo courtesy of siahweiian


Photo courtesy of lqysg


Obviously you can see the 1st photo looks more real than the 2nd photo. Of course you will agrue that one is taken using a CMOS vs a CCD sensor, 12.3MP vs 10.3MP & the settings of both cams are obviously diff but what I want to know is which setting is ideal? What about Picture control like Neutral or Standard or Vivid how big a difference they make?

I've been using diff modes/meterings/controls to try capture this 'real-life' image & looking thru sometimes I got it but another time it's not:dunno: Can the experts pls stand up:lovegrin:
 

Feb 17, 2009
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#2
it looks like the sunlight give the pic #1 more life
 

Jun 24, 2003
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#3
Obviously you can see the 1st photo looks more real than the 2nd photo. Of course you will agrue that one is taken using a CMOS vs a CCD sensor, 12.3MP vs 10.3MP & the settings of both cams are obviously diff but what I want to know is which setting is ideal? What about Picture control like Neutral or Standard or Vivid how big a difference they make?

I've been using diff modes/meterings/controls to try capture this 'real-life' image & looking thru sometimes I got it but another time it's not:dunno: Can the experts pls stand up:lovegrin:
Assuming the two photos are of the same flowers (a common flower in Singapore) then there are two factors which may be "playing tricks" on you:

1. White balance
2. Colour Saturation:

Talking about 2, I find it to be the easiest. I always leave my cams on Neural and shoot raw. If I need a photo to be saturated, change color tint etc well that's a job to be done in photoshop (or whatever equivalent you are using).

The 1st point is the harder one. During a Nikon talk on the trip to Japan, the leading pro said that its best to adjust white balance at the end of each day's shoot, when you remember the colours of what you have shot. Others use expo disk (or however it is spelt :) ) and for a good reason. Alternatively, switch off white balance and make a decision based on the lighting condition you are in (under cloud etc), and fine adjust it if need be.

I am not convinced that it is a case between different sensor technologies (but if you are throwing Nikon stuff out, pls remember my nick :bsmilie: )

-- marios
 

ovaltinemilo

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Sep 12, 2009
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#4
if you compared both, for me, I think it's the exposure. Do you notice in #1, there are natural shadows on the petals making it feels more 3D. Comparing #2, there's no shadow and I would perceive that kind of flat light as not-so-real-life. I think this works the same for painting too...some paintings are so well painted because the lighting + shadows are convincing and real life like.
 

wmayeo

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Feb 11, 2008
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#5
Pardon from my newbie vision, maybe i'm wrong, the second photo shows high CA.

from these comparsion, i would say lens characteristics is first follow by camera settings (picture control). But picture control can adjust back to the one you prefer or like the almost original colour you have seen.

The second photo looks like taken in a bright day light except first photo is under shade. Second ovaltinemilo opinion on exposure. :)
 

Spectrum

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Jun 22, 2003
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#6
Btw, you need to know what is 'Kelvin' in photography. Different lighting in outdoor shoot will greatly depends on Kelvin. If there's sunlight, Kelvin is between 5600 - 6300. If it's an overcast day, Kelvin will be around 6800 - 7300. Go google & find out more what Kelvin's means in photography terms. All the best.
 

lsisaxon

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Nov 29, 2004
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#7
Photo 1 - neutral colour and neutral curve. You may up the saturation a little bit, up the contrast a little bit to give a bit more 'bite'. I usually shoot using 'Cloudy' WB and 'Portrait' picture control if I want a natural image.

Photo 2- blown colours. Oversaturated and without tonal details.

I would shoot in 'Cloudy' WB or 'AWB' with a more vivid picture control like 'Landscape'. And as with shooting slides, I would underexpose by 0.3 stops to get a richer tone.
 

pinholecam

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Jul 23, 2007
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#8
IMO, the Orchid does exist in both types of colors as shown in #1 and #2.
I can't tell which is right or wrong.
It could just be a perceived right or wrong influenced by what the viewer per-conceived.
 

tetrflare

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Apr 13, 2007
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#9
I would say is the correct exposure and the DOF.
With the right exposure, colour saturation and tone gives the correct atmosphere.
With right DOF, you can change the feel from dreamy to lifelike to over realistic.
Even with bad shadows, wrong white balance and blur photos, lifelike photos are possible.
 

Dec 12, 2008
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#10
imo the composition & post process has to accentuate the part the photographer wants to show the viewer. So what if #1 looks natural? #2 causes me to look at the details of the orchid, at the veins and the 'tongue'. If this is what the photographer is drawn to when he chanced upon this flower, to take the photo and process it in a way to present to the viewer clearly, then #2 is more successful than #1.
 

henry soh

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Aug 29, 2008
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#11
Hi, I think the 2nd is closer to camera resulting in brighter bokeh than 1st one which is taken farther away from camera. There is therefore the difference in the light being captured by the camera, making the two pictures looking different in colour saturation.
 

Rashkae

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Nov 28, 2005
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#12
Hi, I think the 2nd is closer to camera resulting in brighter bokeh than 1st one which is taken farther away from camera. There is therefore the difference in the light being captured by the camera, making the two pictures looking different in colour saturation.
You mean brighter background. There is no "brighter bokeh".
 

johnlim

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Feb 26, 2004
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#14
The 1st image which shows more background & less 'out of focus', was taken with a wider lens(zoomed to 35mm?); 2nd one with a shallow depth of field, was probably taken with a macro lens(maybe about 100mm).

As we know, longer lens tend to compress the subject, which we can see here in the 2nd image; Also, the lighting is flat, so that explain why it looks flatter/less 3D than the 1st one.

Whereas, wide angle lens always produce a more '3D' effect to a subject, even in macro photography. Try this with a compact camera(zoom to wide angle range) and focus at very near distances( within centimeter away); Dslr can't focus that near.

I used to shoot flowers with a compact at the wider 35mm range & I can go very near, getting the flowers in focus and yet renders the background blurred. If I shoot at 70mm, it will not look as 3D as the wider lens.
 

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