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Old 04-25-2014, 06:08 PM   #1141
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Tell me about the "hows" of the cable car photo. Love the colors.
The picture came out pretty good out of the camera (RAW format). In post processing, using Nik Color Efex, I used a neutral density filter to darken the sky and accentuate the clouds. I increased contrast and saturation a little bit, brought down the highlights in the white building on the left and developed some details in the foreground shadow. No HDR on this one.
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Old 04-25-2014, 06:54 PM   #1142
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Nice shot of Nob Hill FIREd. I was convinced that it had been given a spot of the HDR treatment until you indicated otherwise. I have read the the X100S sensor handles dynamic range very well, and it would appear so from this image.
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Old 04-25-2014, 07:28 PM   #1143
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Nice shot of Nob Hill FIREd. I was convinced that it had been given a spot of the HDR treatment until you indicated otherwise. I have read the the X100S sensor handles dynamic range very well, and it would appear so from this image.
I will let you be the judge. Here is the shot as it came out of the camera:



I used 100% for the dynamic range as opposed to auto.
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Old 04-25-2014, 08:09 PM   #1144
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Well, I'm not as smart as I like to think I am about these things, but you've got a scene with bright sunshine as well as what must be some pretty deep shadow on the street. I cannot photograph such scenes on my old DSLR without blowing highlights or losing shadow detail.

It's looking good to me - thanks for posting that SOOC image.
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Old 04-25-2014, 08:44 PM   #1145
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Last weekend I was able to compare the dynamic range of the X100S with that of my Canon's. With the X100S, I can get really good highlight and shadow details in one shot, except in the most extreme conditions. With my Canon, I have to use bracketed shots and HDR to get the same level of detail. Also the X100S allows you to further fine tune highlights and shadows right from the quick menu.
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Old 04-25-2014, 08:45 PM   #1146
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Don't know the technical details behind my photos- I have a Sony Alpha which is set on Auto for 99.9% of the time. I liked the look of the sky in this one above my astronomy dome. I took about 6 or 8 shots and it was interesting how each one turned out so different in terms of the amount of color, contrast, etc. They were taken over about 10 seconds and only variable was the amount of zoom to frame the image? This red/orange sky is pretty common but still draws my eye when I see it.


When you zoom, you change the exposure because the ratio of aperture size to focal length changes. If you look on a zoom lens, it shows 2 max apertures: one for each extreme of the lens' focal length.

And the meter probably changed the exposure as you zoomed in, because the ratio of highlights to shadows changed. The more dark areas in the image, the more the camera opened up the exposure. And vice versa.

Light color also changes rapidly at suns rise/sunset. Maybe that made a difference as well.
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Old 04-25-2014, 09:40 PM   #1147
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Last weekend I was able to compare the dynamic range of the X100S with that of my Canon's. With the X100S, I can get really good highlight and shadow details in one shot, except in the most extreme conditions. With my Canon, I have to use bracketed shots and HDR to get the same level of detail. Also the X100S allows you to further fine tune highlights and shadows right from the quick menu.
Don't do this. Please don't do this to me. So far I have managed to hold off from purchasing it

But seriously, this is a very useful comparison and result. I have read many raves about the excellent quality of images from the X-Trans sensor, but many of these general evaluations are hard for me to judge by looking at images posted on websites. If I see a scene with beautiful tones and smooth transitions from light to shade, how do I know how much of this is due to the camera's rendition of the scene, and how much to the photographer actually picking and framing it? Your shot of Nob Hill makes the way this camera handles dynamic range very obvious to me. For all I know, other modern cameras would do a similar job. What I do know is that my 9 year-old Canon 20D would not.

The funny thing is when I first saw that shot, the wide dynamic range actually gave me pause. I wasn't even sure I liked it, because I am so used to what you might call a more traditional photographic aesthetic in this regard i.e. loss of highlight or shadow detail (or both). However, I think I can get used to it , and I certainly appreciate the ability to capture all this information so that the decision as to what to do with it all can be made in post. Don't misunderstand me though. It's a neat shot, and I like it.

Then there's that leaf shutter which can even flash sync at 1/1000th second and f/2.

Now whether to get the silver and chrome model, or the all-black one.......
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Old 04-25-2014, 09:59 PM   #1148
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Don't do this. Please don't do this to me. So far I have managed to hold off from purchasing it
My plan is working...

If you are interested in street photography stealth, go for the all-black model. The silver model will get you noticed. I have the latter and I have never had so many people stop me on the street to ask about my camera.
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Old 04-25-2014, 10:22 PM   #1149
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My plan is working...

If you are interested in street photography stealth, go for the all-black model. The silver model will get you noticed. I have the latter and I have never had so many people stop me on the street to ask about my camera.
I was thinking the same thing but then, to my eyes, the silver and chrome model has such a classic look.

My current line of thought is to get the silver and chrome one and if I need to make it more stealthy, to cover the chrome in gaffer tape, like David Hobby has done with his in the photo in this post. It also has the advantage of making the camera look shabby and perhaps not worth stealing, which could be an advantage to street photographers.

I am not normally prone to any type of group-thinking at all, but knowing that you have one and really like it is pushing me ever so slightly closer........
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Old 04-25-2014, 10:37 PM   #1150
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I was thinking the same thing but then, to my eyes, the silver and chrome model has such a classic look.

My current line of thought is to get the silver and chrome one and if I need to make it more stealthy, to cover the chrome in gaffer tape, like David Hobby has done with his in the photo in this post. It also has the advantage of making the camera look shabby and perhaps not worth stealing, which could be an advantage to street photographers.
Cartier-Bresson too used to wrap his Leica in black tape to be stealthier. I also like the classic look of the silver model, and I think that's why people notice it. They see me shoot using the viewfinder and using manual focus and they assume it is a vintage film camera.
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Old 04-25-2014, 11:00 PM   #1151
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Does anyone use the pen tool much in Photoshop? I've recently gotten somewhat ahead of the learning curve on it and once that's done it's pretty neat, although labor-intensive. But the results are worth it. This is an "afterthought" shot I took while at the roundhouse, of a light fixture on the train station.

I did the cutout of the fixture in about 45 minutes, more practice will cut that a lot. There are some places where the rust on the bottom of the fixture is almost the exact same color as the brick so using a color-based or contrast-based selection tool would be difficult at best. Plus, since the pen tool is based on lines, not pixels, so you get a much cleaner cut when the path is turned into a selection.

Anyway the image with the brick wall included has the path imbedded if anyone wants to play with it. I don't know if other software will read that or not. According to this article almost every image editing program has some variant of it:

There is also a 'magic wand' which selects a group of similar color pixels - use it holding down the shift key (I think) and you can select an object more quickly. It may need some cleanup around the edges, but is quicker. You can then use inverse selection to select everything but the object, then cut the background out.
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Old 04-26-2014, 02:33 AM   #1152
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Are there any particular settings that are best for a decent HDR result?



For my first shot I am just attempting a shot of a small barn in the late afternoon. I am getting jagged edges on the straight edges after I combine the photos in the HDR software.



I realize I am clueless.........................

Are you selecting the box which makes the program automatically align the photographs after loading the images?
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Old 04-26-2014, 05:19 AM   #1153
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Are you selecting the box which makes the program automatically align the photographs after loading the images?
I did not because I used a tripod (or in this case set it on the deck railing and use a remote switch). After I select the three images the image that comes up looks fine. All the options on the right are very pixalated. I will play some more today...................
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Old 04-26-2014, 09:07 AM   #1154
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I did not because I used a tripod (or in this case set it on the deck railing and use a remote switch). After I select the three images the image that comes up looks fine. All the options on the right are very pixalated. I will play some more today...................

The options on the right are low res. I think using very mild modifications give more realistic results. Glad you're having fun ...
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Old 04-26-2014, 10:09 AM   #1155
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Just a note, Jack - as best as I can determine, HDR is rendering software, such as one renders a 3D object. For a more realistic effect, with more work, you can combine those images in PhotoShop or GIMP (free) by making each exposure it's own layer - one on top of the other - and combing the best features of both by making layers translucent, or using numerous other tools. More effort, more realism (fewer artifacts from over manipulation), IMO. I think it depends on the effect you want the image to have on the viewer. I happen to like some of the effects created by tone mapping, in HDR, though I'm still learning myself.
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Old 04-26-2014, 10:12 AM   #1156
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ImageUploadedByEarly Retirement Forum1398525102.164576.jpg

A single image rendered in HDR with some minor healing in the clouds for contrast.
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Old 04-26-2014, 05:00 PM   #1157
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took these today



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Old 04-27-2014, 04:48 PM   #1158
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Thanks to Walt, I've been re-reading the Strobist blog/website and going through his lighting 101 course. I sold my Hensel Porty system a few years ago, but his site reassured me of a couple of things -

1) with a very modest expenditure, I can use a single flash (as opposed to a studio strobe) on a light-stand with a shoot-through umbrella, if I ever want to get back into using flash for portraits again, and

2) if I ever do want to buy a studio strobe, I don't need to spend a lot of money on one of the more "pro" brands. I went this way before, buying a Hensel Porty system and while it was really great, boy, did I drop a lot of cash for it! David aka The Strobist speaks highly of Paul C Buff's Einstein lights and I'm thinking I could a lot with one of these lights and a few modifiers.

This all got me to thinking about the fun days when I was playing around with studio lighting for the first time. I didn't really know what I was doing, and never learned how to light properly, but did discover that I really loved the quality of light I could get from a medium softbox fitted with grids. The grids gave the soft light a beautifully smooth transition from light into deep shadow. It also meant that with just the one strobe, if I positioned it correctly, I could control the amount that fell on the background, and create a nice gradient. Here's a bassist I shot in my front room -



IIRC, the softbox and grids were replaced with a simple reflector on the strobe for a harder light with this next shot. I also applied a bit of extra post-processing in Photoshop which I wouldn't do again today. This particular process was known as enhanced local contrast. I am now not keen on too much post-processing, but at the time was still easily blindsided by "neat effects".

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Old 04-27-2014, 05:19 PM   #1159
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Portrait lighting isn't all that difficult, and working with a pair of inexpensive flashes off camera is fine. Use gauze as a diffuser. It's a simple matter of deciding where to put the key light to compliment the subject's face.


http://digital-photography-school.co...r-should-know/

Each lighting type complements a particular face structure. Shooting from the same angle, but different light locations changed the makeup of the bassist's face in your two photos. His face looks fuller in the top image.

I like the top portrait. The only distraction is the button for the guitar strap on the guitar - right at face level. Good use of the prop, and using the flash to light the background.

You have a good eye
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Old 04-27-2014, 05:49 PM   #1160
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I went to a baseball game yesterday and I thought it would be a great place to practice high speed photography. Unfortunately, my Canon SX50HS camera never was able to freeze the ball, even at 1/1600s with wide-open aperture and pumped up ISO setting...

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