Help my daughter/s-i-l out

Discussion in 'Digital Cameras' started by Tony Cooper, Feb 7, 2014.

  1. Tony Cooper

    Tony Cooper Guest

    My daughter and son-in-law live in a beach town in northern Florida
    and do quite a bit of photography involving ocean waves. S-I-L does
    mostly surfers.

    Too often, the whitecaps result in blow-out and complete absence of
    color and detail. Like this:
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/lgkqm8u7dxxoach/166c.jpg

    Any suggestions on how to avoid this?
     
    Tony Cooper, Feb 7, 2014
    #1
    1. Advertisements

  2. Tony Cooper

    Joe Makowiec Guest

    First would be get a newer generation of camera. The newer sensors have
    more dynamic range.

    Does their workflow involve raw files (NEFs in their case)? If not, they
    should use them, because the raw files give more dynamic range; they can
    adjust more in post.

    Another might be to shoot in manual mode. Use some method to determine
    exposure (grey card, test shots, 'sunny 16'), then adjust as needed to
    get somewhere near the correct exposure. In the situation that picture
    represents, odds are that most of the pictures are going to be fairly
    close in exposure, so exposing manually - given a good exposure to start
    - will result in most pictures being well-exposed.
     
    Joe Makowiec, Feb 7, 2014
    #2
    1. Advertisements

  3. Learn ETTR, and teach it to the kids.

    Just as with highlights on the face in a portrait, the
    highlights in other images should not be brighter than
    about 246 if detail is wanted in either a print or
    when viewed on a computer monitor.

    In that image virtually all of the white water is
    literally at 255, and all detail has be permanently
    lost.

    That may be a result of processing, in which case a RAW
    file would allow for better processing. It also may
    actually be over exposed and the RAW file may not be of
    any real help.

    The shot was made at ISO 320 using a D2XS camera. The
    D2 series of Nikon bodies has a maximum dyanmic range of
    about 8 stops, and at ISO 320 is just better than 6
    stops. That means you literaly must nail exposure with
    every shot, and given that JPEG can encode more than 8
    stops there will necessarily be either blocking of
    blacks or clipping of whites.

    In that shot the whites are clipped, and what would have
    been nice is if the blacks were blocked instead.

    Honestly though, with a well to do photog in the family,
    ahem... they should pressure you to gift them a decent
    modern camera body! Get at least a D610, or better yet a
    D800 or D4.
     
    Floyd L. Davidson, Feb 7, 2014
    #3
  4. Tony Cooper

    me Guest

    polarizing filter, spot metering on the whitewash, exposure
    compensation, etc, etc.
     
    me, Feb 7, 2014
    #4
  5. Tony Cooper

    Alan Browne Guest

    What Joe said - esp. shooting raw.

    + spot meter for the highlights and open up 2 to 2.3 stops - 2.5 stops
    with more recent (last 5 years) cameras.

    + shoot nearer to the 'golden hour(s)' where the scene DR is
    more compressed.
     
    Alan Browne, Feb 7, 2014
    #5
  6. Tony Cooper

    Eric Stevens Guest

    The histogram suggests that the exposure is almost exactly spot on.
    Either that or the image has been manipulated in post. If that is the
    case then that is where the answer to your question lies.

    Assuming that the exposure has not been manipulated in post, although
    there is a smidgeon of room at the dark end of the histogram, this
    shot appears to have filled the entire histogram and overflowed
    slightly at the bright. There doesn't seem much that one can do in the
    particular circumstances without overflowing the histogram at one end
    or the other.

    It may be possible to pick a day with a less suitable light.
    Alternatively your S-I-L could find a camera with a wider dynamic
    range.
     
    Eric Stevens, Feb 7, 2014
    #6
  7. Tony Cooper

    Alan Browne Guest

    Looking at the image, it is clear the "foam" below the lower dolphin is
    completely blocked white - so of course the histogram of the JPG reveals
    a nearly balanced RGB - that's what white is and can't indicate anything
    whiter.

    The in-camera histo (or the raw) would have shown a very spiked right edge.
     
    Alan Browne, Feb 7, 2014
    #7
  8. Tony Cooper

    Tony Cooper Guest

    They don't shoot RAW. Most of the shots with this problem are shots
    of surfers in action, and that extra step in post is one they are - so
    far - unwilling to take on because a typical shoot is 100 or so
    images.

    I bought Lightroom for them, so I'm in hopes that they'll convert to
    RAW since using LR eliminates that extra step. They're not yet
    comfortable with LR, but we're getting together in the next few weeks
    to go over it again. I am trying to convince them to convert to RAW.
    They already use Manual most of the time.
     
    Tony Cooper, Feb 7, 2014
    #8
  9. Tony Cooper

    Tony Cooper Guest

    They are in their mid-40s.
    What ISO would you recommend for surfers and such?
    I'm rather hoping they'll gift *me* with a fancy new camera.
     
    Tony Cooper, Feb 7, 2014
    #9
  10. Tony Cooper

    Tony Cooper Guest

    Most of their shots of this type are taken in the early morning with
    the camera shooting west to east into the sun. If the subject is
    surfers, the shots have to be taken when the surfers surf.
     
    Tony Cooper, Feb 7, 2014
    #10
  11. Tony Cooper

    Robert Coe Guest

    : On Fri, 07 Feb 2014 10:56:46 -0900, (Floyd L.
    : Davidson) wrote:
    :
    : >>My daughter and son-in-law live in a beach town in northern Florida
    : >>and do quite a bit of photography involving ocean waves. S-I-L does
    : >>mostly surfers.
    : >>
    : >>Too often, the whitecaps result in blow-out and complete absence of
    : >>color and detail. Like this:
    : >>https://www.dropbox.com/s/lgkqm8u7dxxoach/166c.jpg
    : >>
    : >>Any suggestions on how to avoid this?

    Any chance that bright light is polarized? It wouldn't hurt to screw on a
    filter and see if it helps.

    : >Learn ETTR, and teach it to the kids.
    :
    : They are in their mid-40s.

    So are mine. They're still kids. Well... They were until they had their own
    kids of double-digit age. ;^)

    : >Just as with highlights on the face in a portrait, the
    : >highlights in other images should not be brighter than
    : >about 246 if detail is wanted in either a print or
    : >when viewed on a computer monitor.
    : >
    : >In that image virtually all of the white water is
    : >literally at 255, and all detail has be permanently
    : >lost.
    : >
    : >That may be a result of processing, in which case a RAW
    : >file would allow for better processing. It also may
    : >actually be over exposed and the RAW file may not be of
    : >any real help.
    : >
    : >The shot was made at ISO 320 using a D2XS camera. The
    : >D2 series of Nikon bodies has a maximum dyanmic range of
    : >about 8 stops, and at ISO 320 is just better than 6
    : >stops. That means you literaly must nail exposure with
    : >every shot, and given that JPEG can encode more than 8
    : >stops there will necessarily be either blocking of
    : >blacks or clipping of whites.
    : >
    : What ISO would you recommend for surfers and such?

    200

    : >In that shot the whites are clipped, and what would have
    : >been nice is if the blacks were blocked instead.
    : >
    : >Honestly though, with a well to do photog in the family,
    : >ahem... they should pressure you to gift them a decent
    : >modern camera body! Get at least a D610, or better yet a
    : >D800 or D4.
    :
    : I'm rather hoping they'll gift *me* with a fancy new camera.

    The compromise is to buy yourself a new camera and give them one of your
    current bodies.

    Bob
     
    Robert Coe, Feb 7, 2014
    #11
  12. Tony Cooper

    Robert Coe Guest

    : On Fri, 7 Feb 2014 19:10:48 +0000 (UTC), Joe Makowiec
    :
    : >On 07 Feb 2014 in rec.photo.digital, Tony Cooper wrote:
    : >
    : >> My daughter and son-in-law live in a beach town in northern Florida
    : >> and do quite a bit of photography involving ocean waves. S-I-L does
    : >> mostly surfers.
    : >>
    : >> Too often, the whitecaps result in blow-out and complete absence of
    : >> color and detail. Like this:
    : >> https://www.dropbox.com/s/lgkqm8u7dxxoach/166c.jpg
    : >>
    : >> Any suggestions on how to avoid this?
    : >
    : >First would be get a newer generation of camera. The newer sensors have
    : >more dynamic range.
    : >
    : >Does their workflow involve raw files (NEFs in their case)? If not, they
    : >should use them, because the raw files give more dynamic range; they can
    : >adjust more in post.
    :
    : They don't shoot RAW. Most of the shots with this problem are shots
    : of surfers in action, and that extra step in post is one they are - so
    : far - unwilling to take on because a typical shoot is 100 or so
    : images.

    Well... er... My last shoot was 590 images (winnowed down to 204 in PP), and I
    always shoot RAW. If your kids are serious about it, they'll have to take that
    step.

    : I bought Lightroom for them, so I'm in hopes that they'll convert to
    : RAW since using LR eliminates that extra step. They're not yet
    : comfortable with LR, but we're getting together in the next few weeks
    : to go over it again. I am trying to convince them to convert to RAW.

    Tell them they don't get your current camera until they do.

    I haven't seen much of your SIL's work, but your daughter is known to be a
    talented photographer. She's got to make the move to RAW to get to the next
    level. (Tell her I said so. She'll listen to me. I could be Ansel Adams's
    grandson, for all she knows.)

    Bob
     
    Robert Coe, Feb 7, 2014
    #12
  13. Tony Cooper

    Tony Cooper Guest

    I shoot with a Nikon D60. Hardly an upgrade to anyone.
     
    Tony Cooper, Feb 7, 2014
    #13
  14. Tony Cooper

    Robert Coe Guest

    : On Fri, 07 Feb 2014 16:44:55 -0500, Alan Browne
    :
    : >On 2014.02.07, 12:54 , Tony Cooper wrote:
    : >> My daughter and son-in-law live in a beach town in northern Florida
    : >> and do quite a bit of photography involving ocean waves. S-I-L does
    : >> mostly surfers.
    : >>
    : >> Too often, the whitecaps result in blow-out and complete absence of
    : >> color and detail. Like this:
    : >> https://www.dropbox.com/s/lgkqm8u7dxxoach/166c.jpg
    : >>
    : >> Any suggestions on how to avoid this?
    : >
    : >What Joe said - esp. shooting raw.
    : >
    : >+ spot meter for the highlights and open up 2 to 2.3 stops - 2.5 stops
    : > with more recent (last 5 years) cameras.
    : >
    : >+ shoot nearer to the 'golden hour(s)' where the scene DR is
    : > more compressed.
    :
    : Most of their shots of this type are taken in the early morning with
    : the camera shooting west to east into the sun. If the subject is
    : surfers, the shots have to be taken when the surfers surf.

    Do they have surf on the Gulf side? If so, tell them to go over there to
    photograph surfers in the AM. If they stay 'til nightfall, they can get
    sunsets too. Sunsets over water are tough to get on the East Coast. (That's
    why we have Cape Cod.)

    Bob
     
    Robert Coe, Feb 7, 2014
    #14
  15. Tony Cooper

    Joe Makowiec Guest

    They didn't on the shot you posted...
     
    Joe Makowiec, Feb 7, 2014
    #15
  16. Tony Cooper

    me Guest


    I know BOAT is a four letter word, but it's not that hard to make use
    of. There's also quite a few barrier islands strung up and down the
    coast.
     
    me, Feb 7, 2014
    #16
  17. Tony Cooper

    Tony Cooper Guest

    I don't mean to force you to drag information out of me, but S-I-L
    makes a nice side income selling his photographs to the surfers. He's
    also been published in some of the surfing magazines.

    Photographing local surfers is key to the income aspect. He's known
    to all the local surfers, and they contact him for prints or
    downloads. He has to shoot locally - east coast - to do this.

    The blow-out problem is less important to the surfers than it would be
    in another type of shot. All they care about is what they look like
    in the image. Still, aesthetically, it would be good to reduce the
    problem.

    Daughter has done some good sunrise shots.
     
    Tony Cooper, Feb 8, 2014
    #17
  18. Tony Cooper

    Tony Cooper Guest

    I think that one was taken when they were out on a fishing boat. When
    doing shots of the surfers, he either uses Manual or Shutter Priority.
     
    Tony Cooper, Feb 8, 2014
    #18
  19. Tony Cooper

    PeterN Guest

    That is a neat shot, shame the whites have been blown out.
    You don't need LR to make multiple adjustments. It is not really an
    extra step. If a shoot was done under the same lighting conditions, just
    select the images to be adjusted, and apply the develop settings to all.
    As to the blow ut issue, I have the same problem with white birds, when
    there is a dark background. I have two solutions, that seem to work when
    I remember to apply them. I underexpose about 1.7 - 2 stops; or I meter
    for the white, and over expose in manual, by one stop. (You do remember
    metering snow.) Thjese work best in RAW. If they continue to shoot jpeg,
    they will continue to have those issues.
     
    PeterN, Feb 8, 2014
    #19
  20. Tony Cooper

    PeterN Guest

    Therefore, even if my kids, (both in their mid forties,) never have
    children, they will always be my kids. ;-)

    We have three grandchildren, with 12 legs between them, one of whom is
    competing in Westminster tomorrow.
     
    PeterN, Feb 8, 2014
    #20
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.