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Author Topic: Post-processing...Is my camera not working properly?!  (Read 3763 times)

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« on: July 04, 2006, 10:04 »
Hey everyone,

I find that I have to do alot of post processing when it comes to  my landscape shots - as in exposure modifications, and shadows, and brightness.  Its always about 0.5 from the original picture from the camera, but I'm wondering if you other guys have the same issues where you have to do some post processing to get the picture to look the way you want.

Is that normal?  I'm using a Digital Rebel XT and I just want to make sure that its not broken in any way.

Greg Boiarsky

« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2006, 13:13 »
I find that I have to do a LOT of post-processing work.  Keep in mind that landscapes are just about the most difficult exposure to judge because they have such a wide range of light--often over a 7-stop range.  The fact is, with landscapes you have to adjust your exposure to the existing conditions; in the studio, you can create the lighting to match your preferred exposure parameters.  You have control over both the light and the camera.  In the field, the image you'd like to capture may be fleeting because the lighting conditions are changing on you.  This just adds to the difficulty.

My experience with my 10D has been to underexpose just about every landscape by a half stop (I shoot aperture priority, usually f8 to f11).  Then, I bracket like mad.  I do this because a properly exposed image always looks better; you can only do so much adjusting with a RAW image before you either blow your highlights or introduce unacceptable noise in the shadows and skies.  My experience has also been that I need to examine each image on the camera's LCD as soon as possible, if possible.  I've fixed many problem images on-site doing this.

To make things worse, landscapes really test your glass.  You can find yourself shooting under extreme conditions, wide open and at maximum or minimum zoom.  This means that you're rarely getting ideal sharpness and must post-process if possible.  I find that only the best glass satisfies me.  (I want to win the lottery and purchase the 24-70 f4l.  I'd also accept it as a gift, if anyone has an extra gathering dust.)  I don't use primes for landscapes because a) I don't own one and b) I often can't be in the spot demanded by a fixed focal length lens.

Post processing landscapes is also a bear.  Because landscapes often have a ton of minute detail, it can be very difficult and time-consuming to add adjustment layers to modify small parts of the image (trees, grass, clouds, etc.).  Here's an example:

So, the short answer is:  Your camera's not broken--you are. ;)  For that matter, so am I. :D
« Last Edit: July 04, 2006, 19:46 by Greg Boiarsky »


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