[Nikon D70 Tamron 28-80 ISO200 raw F8 -2.0eV > dcraw -H 0 -w -W -O 1 -T> Gimp GND]
This one was originally totally black except for the sky. There was just no color to work with.
So those were various exposes and pushes. Just to see what it could do. Not too bad. A bit of chroma noise even at low ISO but not bad. Eminently useful for Flickr LOL The AWB is a bit cold but nothing outrageous (like the Sony DSLRs which are far too warm). Main thing is that the auto-ISO works fine, the sensor is in good shape, focuses well, only a minute speck of dust on the sensor, and away we go…just need something interesting to shoot LOL
"*make* something interesting, dammit! ")
I’m of the school that just about anything will look interesting if shot well.
I am sorry that I did not think of shooting this with the N80 which I had right there in my bag, with ISO200 film in it. Didn’t occur to me until hours later. But this would have been an excellent example of why I bought the D70 in the first place, instead of relying on film. Course you wouldn’t have seen the results for days 🙂
And a film shot would have come out better shooting almost straight into the sun like this, vs shooting away from it. The grain would have been an inescapable problem, only manageable through NR or through a reduction in size.. On the other hand for a digital camera as you can see your camera might have 10 stops of DR at low ISO, but you’re going to have to really struggle to get that into one shot. People don’t want to see 10 stops of DR, they only want to see one or two. Maybe 3 at the most. And their computer can only show 6 or 7 stops at the most, anyway.
But I like true HDR not that "squished HDR" look that is so popular now, in which the scene has 8+ stops of DR but through "HDR" processing the end-result has only 2 or 3 stops of DR. It’s *not* "HDR". That’s the whole point. So why call it "HDR"? Because they’re idiots, enslaved to fashion wrapped around a misnomer.
Would this look better if the building were brighter? Probably.
Would it look realistic? No. The eye adjusts between the sky and the building; you take that DR out, the eye doesn’t have to adjust at all, everything is nice and bright, that’s completely unrealistic. This isn’t realistic either (certainly because of the GND) but at least you get the sensation of great contrast between the sky and the building, which *is* realistic when looking into the setting sun. Options & choices. Again I could spend days dicking around with blends or just get something decent and be done with it.
And in any case, no matter what you do, someone is going to say that it would be better if it were lighter here and darker there with more sharpening here and less there, with perhaps a touch less contrast and a different white-balance & tint, shot from a different angle with a better lens & filter, etc. There are so many variables, and ultimately at some point you have to plant your flag, say "fuck it" and move on. Or you’ll spend forever screwing around with one shot.
You have 100 shots if you spend 30 minutes each that’s 50 hours of processing. You’re going to have 100 shots easy, I shot 20 shots to get this one, and with film it would have been at least 3 maybe 6 maybe 10, due to the HDR of the scene. I take 50 shots in a good afternoon of shooting, easy. Even 50 shots off a digital camera, not counting scanning and cleaning-up the sky, to spend 15 minutes each in post-processing that’s 25 hours and you can produce twice as many shots in that same time. There has to be an IQ-threshold for "sellable work" and a separate, much-lower IQ threshold for "Flickr-level" work. It’s that simple. If the shot is really worth the time, you can go back and spend an hour reprocessing it…if you still have the raw files, or the original scans, or the film. And for that one shot now you’re talking about an hour or two of post-processing to get it really good. On top of the 15 minutes to 1/2 hour that you spent on it the first time.
Those 100 shots can easily turn into a week of post-processing.
So I want to look into this software that I found yesterday, on the website of Max Lyons (Max Lyons’ website? 🙂 as while I may disagree with his photography philosophy, I cannot dismiss the fact that his software is useful, and well-focused. There are dozens of "HDR" software packages out there and certainly there are cameras now that will do it in-camera, to various degrees. But there is also something to be said for high-contrast, truly HDR shots like the above. It’s just a matter of getting the overall exposure right, so that it isn’t mostly black or mostly bright. So stacking & blending, these are valuable features. Many software packages try to do this, few do it well.
He keeps working on his blending tools, but personally I would be happy with the top one, maybe the middle frame pushed, here. That is, if…I just had to take a shot directly into the sun, in the first place. But I could see wanting to do that and not have the sun completely blown-out, especially if I’m trying to sell the shot.
But "just for fun" it would be interesting to try this again with such a tool.
The problem is the need to use a tripod.
And there’s definitely something to be said for being able to "fix" just one frame. Even if one has to bracket in order to get a good starting exposure. But a good scene is worth a few brackets, certainly. But in any case this is supposed to be "fun", not "work". We are not paid to take shots and post-process them for Flickr. So the "solution" has to be reasonably-effective yet quick, easy and, above-all, cheap. I’m not spending $250 for a blending tool. That is one good reason why I still use Gimp and certainly there are plenty of OS image-editing tools out there.
A former colleague of mine used to say, "…’pictures’? Hah!’ " but pictures can be worth a million bucks. Certainly there are paintings that have sold for far more than $1M. Images feed one of our major senses, they can start and stop wars, they can feed the hungry and put men on the moon. Photography is undoubtedly worth the time and effort, even as boring and trite as my pics are in general I still am impressed with some of my pics. That doesn’t mean that we should spend our lives, or even large fortunes, making pictures. But we don’t have to. We just have to find an "appropriate" level at which they are "good enough". And be happy from there. That level is different for every scene, every photograph, and every viewer. And "being happy", well, that is the goal of life, isn’t it? So if you can be happy with your own pics on Flickr, why then you’re well down the road towards being happy in life. The question becomes how much time & effort do you need to spend to be happy?
That is the thing that I love about pure "art". There are no objective standards for it. Its beauty, its value, its *significance*, is entirely in the mind of the beholder. It is the epitome of abstraction, in a world with a constant battle between rational and emotional thought. In art both sides have to concede that truth, beauty and value are completely in the mind of the beholder, and in art we are all free to be perfectly honest about what we see, think and feel. At least to ourselves. Art is at least one thing that is free of human corruption and hypocrisy.
And don’t get me started on hypocrites.
There is nothing worse than those who claim the power to judge and condemn others, yet demand to be above judgment and condemnation themselves. They want to be free to live a lie yet have the power to force others to live their lie as well. One good thing about photography is that you can’t convince others that your shots are better than they actually are based on the fact that you’re an "expert" or a high-ranking official. You can write books on Photoshop, you can have a whole slew of photographic awards on your mantel, you can own your own photography website and have a dozen pros working for you, contributing material, but despite all that your shots have to stand on their own. You can’t force people to think highly of your work, unless, maybe, they work for you and depend on you for a living. That’s not the case for most of the 2B people on the Internet. And no matter how good you think that you are or how much your gear costs or how highly-rated it is, there’s still an 8-year-old with a $50 hand-me-down point & shoot who is taking better pictures than you are. Photography brings all the phonies and the posers and their sycophants crashing down to earth, with the rest of us. Which is a very-good thing.
I’m removing the rest of my comments here about my long shots and the need for a Tamron 28-300VC, because I want to see how the film actually comes out before I say anything about it. I suspect that I didn’t actually reshoot this again at -3eV with the 500si simply because 1/1500s @ F8-F11 is actually achievable in broad daylight at 0ev evaluative at 300mm effective…but it completely depends on the light. Which can vary widely from overcast to broad daylight. In any case more text deleted pending scanned film, but one problem with the 500si is that it doesn’t tell me what eV it’s using, just what the exposure is relative to the set eV, which I have to use a button-press to find out from the top panel. And there are no lights on the top panel 🙂
…the thing is archaic 🙂
Anyway so you know that both Sony and Nikon have 14MP CMOS subframes out for less than $700 now, right? LOL
They’re never going to be small enough to drag nonostentatiously to a party 🙂
The fact that they won’t fit in the pocket and require some sort of bag is always going to be a "make or break" issue.
Posted by touristguy87 on 2011-01-10 07:17:53
Tagged: , U.Md. Nikon D70 Tamron 28-80 Gimp , Lightroom , GND ISO200 ISO320 ISO400