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Photo help with exposures: How would you take this picture?

Discussion in 'Pro/Adv Discussion' started by Octoruss, Sep 21, 2016.

  1. Octoruss

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    Hello phello photographer phriends, I would like some guidance on how to best take a photo with the need for multiple exposures in one shot.

    I do a lot of residential photography in Florida, where it's tropical and sunny. I often encounter a situation whereby I need to get the bright background (of the sky or the beach), but also a part of a house that may be in a shadow. See the example below.

    If I underexpose the shot, the sky looks great but the backyard and pool is too dark. If I overexpose the shot, the backyard and pool look fine, but the sky is a washed-out bright blur. This photo was taken with a ND4 filter on it.

    I don't have the budget to afford Photoshop, where I understand I can do some spot adjustments of exposure. But is there anything I can do on the camera itself to get a better balance of brights and shadows?


     
  2. sonof40

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    Maybe a graduated filter?
     
    #2 sonof40, Sep 21, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2016
  3. BigAl07

    BigAl07 Moderator
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    Have you tried "Bracketed"? AEB takes pics under exposed, auto, and over exposed and then you combine then in POST with another program. You have to be steady as blur is a problem if you're not careful.
     
  4. Meta4

    Meta4 Moderator
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    Have you tried experimenting with bracketing?
    Use the AEB feature in the Go app to shoot 3 or 5 exposures with an exposure difference of 0.7 stops.
    Combine them in an HDR program like Photomatix or try a stitching program like Microsoft ICE (free)
    The HDR feature built into the app is another option but it isn't very good.
     
  5. matti

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    Bracketing might be useful in addition to shooting .dng and post-processing the best shot with apps like Lightroom. Subscription model is not appealing to me so I continue with Lightroom 5 until some OS update breaks it.

    Buying Lightroom used to be easy but current options seem to be:

    Adobe's monthly subscription CC Photography Program includes Lightroom, Photoshop, and unlimited syncing of photos from Lightroom to Lightroom mobile for mobile devices, and to Lightroom web. The cost is $9.99 USD/month, and all future updates are included in the price.

    The stand-alone perpetual license of Lightroom 6 is priced at $149 USD for new users, or $79 USD to upgrade from any prior version (Lightroom 1-5.)
     
  6. RJ_Make

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    I think the easiest solution is to correct in post. Shoot raw (.dng), slightly underexposed and fix in Post, (Lightroom, ACDSee, etc)
     
  7. Octoruss

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    Thanks for your replies. I did try bracketing, and experimented with both the 3 and 5 exposure shot. But although the middle one was best (see examples below), it still wasn't very good.
     

    Attached Files:

  8. BigAl07

    BigAl07 Moderator
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    Now you combine them all three into a single image. The middle one is usually the "Auto" exposure that would be used if you only took a single picture. Others in the series (3 or 5 shot) are under exposed and over exposed. Here's a quick untouched version of them combined. DJI_0099_100_101_HDR.jpg
     
    Lefty63, matti and RJ_Make like this.
  9. Trinimon

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    First off, you need to be shooting in RAW format as opposed to JPEG to get max information to be used later in post editing.

    Set image format to RAW
    Set size to 4:3 (you can always pano it in post)
    Set White balance to AWB or daylight etc. You can adjust in post
    Set Style to Custom (-2,-2,-2) and add contrast, sharpness saturation in post
    Set color to D-Log

    Try and shoot at 1/120" or faster and try to keep ISO under 400 if possible.

    Your RAW images will come out pretty bland looking but it would contain the most amount of shadow detail that you can easily pull in using LightRoom or similar post editing app. You can't pull in/recover much detail from a highly compressed JPEG esp dark shadows etc.
     
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  10. BigAl07

    BigAl07 Moderator
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    Great advice if they have the programs but the OP stated:

     
  11. ElGuapo

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    I think the best would be to take the shot in RAW as it will easier to work with in Lightroom and Photoshop elements.
    I hope you do not mind but I took one of your shots and fiddled with it in my LR just to give you an idea.

    DJI_0100-2.jpg DJI_0100-3.jpg
     
  12. SanCap

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    Photoshop is only 10 dollars a month which should be easily paid for by just 1 real estate shoot.
     
  13. Trinimon

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    What professional photographer doesn't have LightRoom or similar? Just kidding...kinda.

    Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop for $9.99/mo and just and just cancel when you don't need it.
     
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  14. matti

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    Thanks for the tip. Although those images weren't shot using a tripod, the merged HDR was quite good with my quick test on Photoshop CS6 (Lightroom 5 does not have HDR built-in). The initial image was good but post-processing the 16-bit .tif further in Lightroom allowed some extra tweaking (I prefer to do that in Lightroom).

    I'll keep this in mind if post-processing a single raw .dng isn't enough.

    I have briefly tried the P3P's built-in HDR option but didn't get good results for some reason.
     
  15. BigAl07

    BigAl07 Moderator
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    I've had the same results.
     
  16. Octoruss

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    Wow, thank you everyone for the very helpful replies, and especially the sample images! You have certainly made a convincing case why I need to have and learn this. The pictures straight out of the phantom are great, but could be so much better!


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