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Places ShowcaseFirst sunshine of 2018!

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LindaShorey
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Re: First sunshine of 2018!

Post by LindaShorey » Thu Jan 11, 2018 6:08 pm

I first became aware that a smaller aperture is not usually better during my first photo shoot of Cascade Mountain wildflowers. I used f/32 (or whatever the number is up there) on my Canon Rebel with kit lens and was so disappointed!

After your mention of infinity (moon) and dof, I checked the dof calculator website re my 75-300 mm Oly lens. I seem to have become resistant to thinking about anything technical these days, so sometimes I have to hear it preached more than a few times :) Thank you for the gentle nudges, Chuck!

Diffraction I think I only learned about in the past year or so, partly thanks to Minnie. I tested the Lumix lens (14-140 mm) on far distance landscape elements and was shocked how poor the smaller apertures looked - even though she'd warned me, and even though she has said several times that some of her landscapes are with very wide apertures. Gentle nudges indeed!

One of the additional shots I took at same time/location is the one below (Oly lens 75-300 mm). I was a little surprised that f/6.7 produced this amount of dof (since it was prior to my checking the calculator, lol), but I know I can't be truly scientific unless I use a tripod for stability, and also focus on something less challenging than the wispy branches of this weeping willow.

#1 and #2 are from raw, with a little unsharp mask, but mostly edits just to levels, color and light & a bit of cropping to #2. The biggest difference between these two is white balance. #1 has a sky I like better, but the second is more how I remember the golden light, less than 1/2 hour after sunrise. Now to figure out best way to get the right color sky (this one has been much harder than it should have been!).

#3 is the jpg sooc for comparison. I have the jpg's set to standard/neutral choices. Briefly I used more aggressive settings and was delighted with the results, especially the 2x digital zoom versions on eagles and such.

Re sharpening:
My PS Elements 13 has an Adobe camera raw module with it. I've always left it on "Adobe standard" (2012) pre-sets, which assign a sharpening amount of 25, radius 1.0, detail 25, masking 0.

I have no idea how that compares to any other software, such as the full raw module of Photoshop, nor how it might change when I buy Elements 2018. The reason I don't care is because I do almost all my edits within the main part of Elements or Nik Collection or Topaz (Simplify or Detail).

Many thanks for further discussion!
Attachments
1 P1100070.jpg
1 P1100070 diff wb more crop.jpg
jpg P1100070.jpg
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Charles Haacker
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Post by Charles Haacker » Thu Jan 11, 2018 8:54 pm

LindaShorey wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 6:08 pm
I first became aware that a smaller aperture is not usually better during my first photo shoot of Cascade Mountain wildflowers. I used f/32 (or whatever the number is up there) on my Canon Rebel with kit lens and was so disappointed!

After your mention of infinity (moon) and dof, I checked the dof calculator website re my 75-300 mm Oly lens. I seem to have become resistant to thinking about anything technical these days, so sometimes I have to hear it preached more than a few times :) Thank you for the gentle nudges, Chuck!

Diffraction I think I only learned about in the past year or so, partly thanks to Minnie. I tested the Lumix lens (14-140 mm) on far distance landscape elements and was shocked how poor the smaller apertures looked - even though she'd warned me, and even though she has said several times that some of her landscapes are with very wide apertures. Gentle nudges indeed!

One of the additional shots I took at same time/location is the one below (Oly lens 75-300 mm). I was a little surprised that f/6.7 produced this amount of dof (since it was prior to my checking the calculator, lol), but I know I can't be truly scientific unless I use a tripod for stability, and also focus on something less challenging than the wispy branches of this weeping willow.

#1 and #2 are from raw, with a little unsharp mask, but mostly edits just to levels, color and light & a bit of cropping to #2. The biggest difference between these two is white balance. #1 has a sky I like better, but the second is more how I remember the golden light, less than 1/2 hour after sunrise. Now to figure out best way to get the right color sky (this one has been much harder than it should have been!).

#3 is the jpg sooc for comparison. I have the jpg's set to standard/neutral choices. Briefly I used more aggressive settings and was delighted with the results, especially the 2x digital zoom versions on eagles and such.

Re sharpening:
My PS Elements 13 has an Adobe camera raw module with it. I've always left it on "Adobe standard" (2012) pre-sets, which assign a sharpening amount of 25, radius 1.0, detail 25, masking 0.

I have no idea how that compares to any other software, such as the full raw module of Photoshop, nor how it might change when I buy Elements 2018. The reason I don't care is because I do almost all my edits within the main part of Elements or Nik Collection or Topaz (Simplify or Detail).

Many thanks for further discussion!
Thanks for great examples and full info on them. I prefer 1 and 3, finding the color or 2 to be too orange overall, but that's purely subjective. Right now I am looking mostly at the sharpening, and all three strike me as more than adequately sharp, but not oversharp, with excellent DOF. Where I look is the fine detail, in this case the wispy branches at the top of the tree. All three look almost equally sharp to me (and I'm not on my big desktop but the Toshiba, but I have total faith in this screen for good reason). I like the jpeg maybe a tish better for it being softer; #1 strikes me as maybe a little too snappy by comparison, but in both cases it's not a sharpness thing but a contrast thing. The "Adobe standard" presets of 25, radius 1.0, detail 25, and masking 0 are all fine in my own experience. The big thing to watch for in sharpening is oversharpening, pretty easy to do but also easy to spot. I look first for haloing around edges, which I think is a sure sign of oversharpening (all sharpening actually does is increase edge contrast so oversharpening shows up on edges). What I am learning about sharpening in general is that all raw files need some having none out of the camera, but in-camera jpegs are often fine as is. I'm also learning that there seems not to be a one-size-fits-all sharpening, but that it depends on a host of factors. It took me a while to understand what masking does: it prevents sharpening of large areas with no detail, say, sky, where no sharpening is needed because nothing is there. Masking prevents sharpening of the noise. Again, though, there seems not to be a one-size-fits-all amount. If you see noise in the sky at 100% try sliding the masking up until it is reduced or eliminated.

I know you shy away from high ISOs and indeed you should, but since I like to chase a small child that moves like a lighting bug in the dark but hate to use flash I will often use my "floating" ISO "capped" at 6400 (my camera goes even higher but beyond 6400 noise "control" is kindofa oxymoron). I've found that just using Lightroom (which is just ACR with cooler controls) I get pretty decent noise control with masking for the big empty areas (maybe as much as 100%!), luminance up to 40 or 50 (higher and it degrades sharpness and the Sharp Maniac cannot allow that), and color to 20 - 30%. I've discovered that, at least for me, the high ISOs tend to introduce a lot of color noise, that looks like confetti. Cutting the luminance does not kill it, so raising the color slider under noise control reduces it to what I perceive as reasonable considering that I'm working in what really amounts to available dark. Did you see this picture? This was hand-held at f/4, one stop down from wide open, 46 mm, 1/40 sec, ISO 800. It is not as sharp as I'd prefer but I couldn't go for a tripod or I'd have lost the light. Even at the reciprocal of the focal length it's pushing it. But there's really not a lot of noise, at least not enough to bother me, and masking took care of a lot of it in the sky. I have Nik but haven't yet used it for noise control (I bet it's even better). I don't have Topaz but I'm struggling with too much stuff as it is.

Your DOF calculator has shown you how DOF increases with range irrespective of aperture. My approach is to try never to shoot either wide open or stopped all the way down unless there's a very compelling reason, and zooms are notorious for being really bad at both ends which is why I made that capitol shot at f/4 instead of f/2.8, though in retrospect it might have been better to for the higher shutter. ISO plays a role as well; in that case I dialed in ISO 800 because I knew anything higher and I'd get even worse mush. We can begin to see why so many serious landscapers put up with tripods; in the long run if ya want the sharpest possible ya hafta keep the ISO down and the aperture in the sweet spot, but the light doesn't always allow for a decent hand-holdable shutter so, 3-legged monster 👹
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Post by LindaShorey » Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:44 pm

I almost never sharpen beyond that ACR pre-set, because I either use Topaz Detail or some filter or three in Nik that get me where I want to be...or I soften everything, lol.

But that is super to know about how the masking tool works in ACR, thanks Chuck!

Besides Nik's module dedicated to noise reduction, I have tools in Elements. I've used masks and varying opacities to do more or less noise reduction in specific areas, though I'm sure I don't employ the tools to the best I could.

If your night capitol shot is the one you posted to pM, yes I did see - and find it stunning!

I'm not sure what you mean by this statement: Your DOF calculator has shown you how DOF increases with range irrespective of aperture. Are you just referring to subjects like the moon? Because even at 1,000 feet, there's a difference between f/4 and f/11. The site I used was
http://www.dofmaster.com/dofjs.html

As for tripods, though I say I should (or might probably, maybe) get another, it's unlikely to get used very often as it's just not feasible for the majority of situations I encounter. Now, if I were to spend a summer on a Maine lake with sunset views, then yes for sure :)

Many thanks, Chuck!
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Post by PietFrancke » Fri Jan 12, 2018 12:01 am

Linda, I LOVE that red raggedy tree. And that sharp eyed eagle is wonderful. Now... about the goat. Perhaps have the goat climbing on the left side or angled up - It's goat butt needs to match the moon. If not for reasons of reality (that I am not fully sure off), for the poetic reasons. Make that goat's butt a matching moon, for the symmetry of it! edit - your shot cracks me up!!! LOL

Two moons and a goat:
goat2.jpg

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Post by LindaShorey » Fri Jan 12, 2018 12:52 am

PietFrancke wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2018 12:01 am
Linda, I LOVE that red raggedy tree. And that sharp eyed eagle is wonderful. Now... about the goat. Perhaps have the goat climbing on the left side or angled up - It's goat butt needs to match the moon. If not for reasons of reality (that I am not fully sure off), for the poetic reasons. Make that goat's butt a matching moon, for the symmetry of it! edit - your shot cracks me up!!! LOL

Two moons and a goat:
O.M.G. - I love it, Piet!! Thanks so much. And you know, it actually looks more realistic because these bighorn SHEEP climb the steepest hills, just like goats do :D
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Post by Charles Haacker » Fri Jan 12, 2018 9:56 pm

LindaShorey wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:44 pm
I'm not sure what you mean by this statement: Your DOF calculator has shown you how DOF increases with range irrespective of aperture. Are you just referring to subjects like the moon? Because even at 1,000 feet, there's a difference between f/4 and f/11. The site I used was
http://www.dofmaster.com/dofjs.html
I was trying to find your camera but could not, but it doesn't matter for the demo. The big thing to watch here is what happens when the range, "subject distance" changes, and what happens at the same range when the f/stop changes.
This first one the camera is focused 10' away. At f/16 the calc says we have roughly 5' of DOF.
Screenshot 2018-01-12 at 2.03.04 PM.png
f/16 10 feet
If we do nothing but change the focus (range to target, "subject distance") to 50 feet, see what happens to the DOF? About 23' to infinity @ f/16. (That may lead to the question, How Far Is Infinity, which is a tough one, but I tend to think for most photographic applications infinity is somewhere beyond 50' from the camera.
Screenshot 2018-01-12 at 2.04.07 PM.png
f/16 50 feet
So let's dial the "range" back to 10' and open to f/5.6. Whoa! DOF shrinks to less than 2' overall. The larger aperture really has an effect at that range.
Screenshot 2018-01-12 at 2.05.08 PM.png
f/5.6 10 feet
Staying with f/5.6, if we refocus on something 50' away the total DOF expands to 52 feet. That's quite a lot. The point is that the f/number is not the only determinant; the range affects DOF a great deal. The greater the range the greater the DOF at any given f/stop. (The converse is also true which is why you need smaller apertures at closer focus; the DOF shrinks dramatically.)
Screenshot 2018-01-12 at 2.18.16 PM.png
f/5.6 50 feet
Now staying at 50', if we stop back down to f/16 without changing the range the DOF expands all the way out to infinity, the Far Horizon.
Screenshot 2018-01-12 at 2.04.07 PM.png
f/16 50 feet
What happens if we open to f/5.6 and refocus 120' away (your tree may be about that far so focus on it). Zounds! f/5.6! All the way to Infinity, just by changing the "range to target." This is why I suggest that landscapes need not be made at very small apertures. Wider apertures give us a better chance at successfully hand holding. YES tripod mo'bettah. But am I supposed to not take it because yes I am a lazy bum and I left the thing inna car? C'mon!
Screenshot 2018-01-12 at 2.07.28 PM.png
f/5.6 120 feet
Finally notice here how f/16 alters the overall DOF very little at the same range. We gain about another 30' of closer "focus" (remember it's actually an illusion) but lose 3 shutter speeds. Moreover f/16 may induce diffraction and actually fuzz the shot more than a wider aperture, but you have to test lenses to know where each has a "sweet spot."
Screenshot 2018-01-12 at 2.08.17 PM.png
f/16 120 feet
You will notice that if you focus on a faraway target, infinity, the near distance of the DOF shifts farther away, but don't overlook that depth of field is only apparent. That's why personally if I am going to shoot the moon for itself I will probably focus at Infinity, but if I want to shoot the moon and hold focus on the barn in the foreground then I will use a DOF calculator and compromise. It means that theoretically neither the barn nor the moon are wire sharp, but if the illusion is there who cares? If the barn really has to be wire sharp then focus on it and let the moon go fuzzy. (Y)
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Post by LindaShorey » Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:04 am

Thank you so much for your time on this, Chuck I'll give it a thorough study tomorrow. I couldn't find the EM-10 either, I think I used EM-5. Great stuff - much appreciated!
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Post by St3v3M » Thu Jan 18, 2018 2:34 am

I read something once that said a soft image makes the viewer look a little more, it makes them take a deeper look. Whatever the truth I like the first the way it is! It reminds me of the mystery of low light and really works with the colors!

The eagle is worrisome, wow those eyes pierce the soul! And I wouldn't have known you added the bighorn, wow! S-
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Post by LindaShorey » Thu Jan 18, 2018 12:08 pm

St3v3M wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 2:34 am
I read something once that said a soft image makes the viewer look a little more, it makes them take a deeper look. Whatever the truth I like the first the way it is! It reminds me of the mystery of low light and really works with the colors!

The eagle is worrisome, wow those eyes pierce the soul! And I wouldn't have known you added the bighorn, wow! S-
I love that idea about softer, Steve. Thanks so much!
"What's important in a photograph and what isn't." http://photographylife.com/whats-import ... -what-isnt

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