Tag Archives: 2

Post-Processing: A Shadow Recovery Example

(In another forum someone asked a question – actually, more like posed a challenge – related to how much usable detail and quality could be extracted from a raw file that contained areas of very low luminosity, as could happen with a badly underexposed image or with an image of a scene with a very large dynamic range. Since I went to the work of responding and illustrating my response, I figured that I might as well share it here, too. With minor revisions, here it is.)

First, I actually have a “real” version of this photograph in which highlights were slightly blown, but which I preferred to use since I could bring them back in post and get a bit more shadow detail to start with. (It looks a bit bright to me as an on-screen jpg, but it makes a fine print.) That photograph ended up looking like this:

Kolob Canyon, Morning - Morning light slants over the top of sandstone cliffs above early autumn foliage in Kolob Canyon, Zion National Park
Morning light slants over the top of sandstone cliffs above early autumn foliage in Kolob Canyon, Zion National Park

This photograph and the other I’ll move to below were both shot from a tripod with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II at ISO 100 using the Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at f/16. While the “keeper” used for the photograph above had a 1/4 second exposure, the example I’ll use below was shot at 1/30 second.

The exposure challenge in this scene was the very large dynamic range between the bright spot of sky at the head of the canyon and the much darker colorful foliage in relatively deep shadow in the foreground. Exposing for optimal quality in the foreground would completely blow out the sky, while exposing for the sky would necessarily grossly underexpose the foreground.

I originally thought that I might like to have four bracketed exposures in case that would let me produce a better final image via layer blending, but it turned out to be unnecessary and the final image (as shown above) has a single source file with no blending. However, this means that I still happen to have one very badly underexposed (by three stops) version at 1/30 second which I’ll use here as the starting point for what I plan to illustrate in this post. Follow along with me and see what I can do with the very underexposed version of the file… Continue reading Post-Processing: A Shadow Recovery Example

B&H: Holiday Deals Update and Last Day for Holiday Standard Shipping

See the Deals Page for updates on the following and more:

  • Today is the last day to order from B&H with “guaranteed” holiday delivery via standard shipping. (You can still procrastinate a bit and pay more for expedited shipping if you want! ;-)
  • The special price in the Canon 5D Mark II body is still available.
  • I have added an updated listing of this weeks holiday specials at B&H – they include a wide range of camera bodies, lenses, and more from Canon, Nikon, and other manufacturers.

G Dan Mitchell is a California photographer and visual opportunist whose subjects include the Pacific coast, redwood forests, central California oak/grasslands, the Sierra Nevada, California deserts, urban landscapes, night photography, and more.
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Text, photographs, and other media are © Copyright G Dan Mitchell (or others when indicated) and are not in the public domain and may not be used on websites, blogs, or in other media without advance permission from G Dan Mitchell.

Canon 6D is Arriving – With Price Reductions

Shortly after releasing the Canon EOS 5D Mark III (and the Canon EOS-1DX and assorted other goodies), Canon announced a forthcoming less-expensive full-frame DSLR, the EOS 6D, a 20+ MP with a range of attractive features and a price barely above $2000. Right now site-sponsor B&H is offering a $200 “instant savings” on the Canon EOS 6D Digital Camera with Canon 24-105mm f/4.0L IS Lens bundle that lowers the cost of the lens and camera to only $2,699. The product is also eligible for the B&H “2% reward” – read more about that at the link.

Where does the 6D fit into the Canon eco-system? I think that for many people looking for a first full-frame body, and for many whose primary consideration is purely image quality, the 6D is going to hit the sweet spot. A 20 MP full frame image, assuming you shoot with skill and understand how to post-process, can produce an outstanding print in sizes much larger than the typical user will ever produce. There is every reason to think that the image quality produced by this camera will be essentially indistinguishable from that produced by the fine Canon EOS 5D Mark III. I have not used the camera, but from many reports I have read from those who have had their hands on a copy, it sounds like it will be a fine performer.

G Dan Mitchell is a California photographer and visual opportunist whose subjects include the Pacific coast, redwood forests, central California oak/grasslands, the Sierra Nevada, California deserts, urban landscapes, night photography, and more.
Blog | About | Flickr | Twitter | FacebookGoogle+ | 500px.com | LinkedIn | Email

Text, photographs, and other media are © Copyright G Dan Mitchell (or others when indicated) and are not in the public domain and may not be used on websites, blogs, or in other media without advance permission from G Dan Mitchell.

B&H Holiday Deals

It has been a while since I’ve posted one of these updates, but I’ve just updated the DEALS page on this site to include some holiday offers at site-sponsor B&H, including deep discounts on a large group of Canon lenses and speedlites, Canon DSLR/lens bundles for six of their cameras, a Nikon D600 offer, a deal on the Sony Alpha and lenses, specials from tripod manufacture Manfrotto

G Dan Mitchell is a California photographer whose subjects include the Pacific coast, redwood forests, central California oak/grasslands, the Sierra Nevada, California deserts, urban landscapes, night photography, and more.
Blog | About | Flickr | Twitter | FacebookGoogle+ | 500px.com | LinkedIn | Email

Text, photographs, and other media are © Copyright G Dan Mitchell (or others when indicated) and are not in the public domain and may not be used on websites, blogs, or in other media without advance permission from G Dan Mitchell.

Canon EOS 5D Mark II Price Drops to $1799

B&H has the Canon 5D Mark II body on sale for $1799 right now. If you have been holding out for a full frame body, this seems like a great opportunity. While the newer Canon EOS 5D Mark III offers some improved features that can make a difference to some photographers, for others the 5DII can perform essentially equally well. For example, those photographing subjects like landscape or architecture and so on will find that the 5DII produces image quality that essentially equals that of the 5DIII, and that they likely won’t miss the newer features. (I considered upgrading from my 5DII, but I decided that the 5DIII – as fine as it is – won’t provide compelling advantages for my photography.)

It is also worth noting that this makes the price of the 5DII barely more than 50% of that of the 5DIII!

G Dan Mitchell is a California photographer whose subjects include the Pacific coast, redwood forests, central California oak/grasslands, the Sierra Nevada, California deserts, urban landscapes, night photography, and more.
Blog | About | Flickr | Twitter | FacebookGoogle+ | 500px.com | LinkedIn | Email

Text, photographs, and other media are © Copyright G Dan Mitchell (or others when indicated) and are not in the public domain and may not be used on websites, blogs, or in other media without advance permission from G Dan Mitchell.

In Praise of the Canon 24-105mm f/4 L IS

Sometimes it seems like the Canon 24-105mm f/4L IS lens just doesn’t get the respect it deserves. It probably doesn’t help that it is regularly described as a “kit lens” because Canon bundles it with some of their full frame DSLRs. Having a maximum aperture of only f/4, it lacks the f/2.8 aperture found on some of  the other Canon L zooms. It uses the zoom design that extends the front element when the focal length changes, and some mistakenly associate that design with lower quality lenses. It certainly doesn’t have the panache of the high-end, large-aperture primes, with their big  f/1.4 or f/1.2 maximum apertures, the big and impressive f/2.8 L zooms, or the exotic and equally expensive tilt/shift lenses——nor does it have the equivalently large selling price. Continue reading In Praise of the Canon 24-105mm f/4 L IS

Canon EOS 5D Mark III 24-105mm Lens Kit Back in Stock at B&H

I see that the Canon EOS 5D Mark III Digital Camera Kit with Canon 24-105mm f/4L IS USM AF Lens is back in stock at site-sponsor B&H Photo. The camera was recently announced, but initially was very hard to find – and then became virtually impossible to find while Canon was dealing with some inevitable first-batch issues. But it sounds like those issues have now been resolved, and the camera is again becoming available.

The 5D3 is in some ways very similar to the previous model, the 5D2. The MP count is only very slightly higher – and the small increase won’t have any practical effect on still photographs. Whether a full-frame DSLR has 21MP or 22MP, in the hands of a skillful photographer it will be capable of producing photographs that can be printed quite large. The 5D3 does build in the 5D2 and it offers real improvements – to mention two, the new camera has an upgraded auto-focus system and a significantly higher frame rate. Features like these expand the camera’s useful to encompass a wider range of photographic subjects and situations.

I use the 24-105mm f/4 L IS zoom that is include in this bundle. For most people looking for a first lens for this camera, the 24-105 is likely to be the best option. It provides excellent image quality, image-stabilization, and a usefully large focal-length range. For many types of photography it can be sufficient all by itself.

If you have been waiting for this Canon EOS 5D Mark III Digital Camera Kit, you may want to act quickly – B&H reports that the current stock is limited.

G Dan Mitchell is a California photographer whose subjects include the Pacific coast, redwood forests, central California oak/grasslands, the Sierra Nevada, California deserts, urban landscapes, night photography, and more.
Blog | About | Flickr | Twitter | FacebookGoogle+ | 500px.com | LinkedIn | Email

Text, photographs, and other media are © Copyright G Dan Mitchell (or others when indicated) and are not in the public domain and may not be used on websites, blogs, or in other media without advance permission from G Dan Mitchell.