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Tuesday, 25 October 2022


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I never tire of well written posts about the Sigma fp. Fun to read and also one of the few interesting cameras on the market right now. Double win.

“I hope my new camera is not overstaying its welcome.”

Quite the contrary, I find your new camera, and how you’re working with it, to be rather fascinating.


I am glad you shared this off-the-cuff HDR method with us all. I use it frequently when out and about in the glare and do not want to think about whether I have enough dynamic range to "make adjustments to a single file" in post.

BTW, if you have LightRoom Classic, the photomerge HDR features found in photoshop are built in.


Nice work, Mike. It loos like that your new camera is working out for you. Will you be making prints? For me at least, that would be the real test.

When I was using 4x5 chrome for interior photos I would often 'flash' the film with a low exposure through a diffusion filter to lift the value of shadows or dark materials. Once I put too much diffusion exposure on the shot and it came out very flat. I scanned it and hit auto contrast in PS and it was perfect.

"Pre-exposure" takes me back to darkroom days. But instead of using it when exposing the negative in the camera, we would use it for printing very contrasty negatives in the darkroom. It was called "flashing" and was done by giving the printing paper a short exposure (the threshold exposure time determined by test strips) under the enlarger and then placing the negative in the carrier and exposing the print on the flashed paper. It was useful for bringing down extreme highlights to a manageable level for burning in.

Nowdays it's just a few camera settings, some sliders in Lightroom and Photoshop, and maybe a touch of HDR. How I love digital!

I'm loving the black & white images. AA is one of my favorite photographers.

For me, the content of a photo is more important than the tonality. For which I'm satisfied with the sort of corrections gotten by dodging and burning in.

Mike, have you tried the same scene using more steps for your HDR?
The finished results are sometimes better using five or seven exposures.

Mike, have you tried the same scene using more steps for your HDR?
The finished results are sometimes better using five or seven exposures.

I don’t think it’s overstaying its welcome. It’s like a photography version of a dramedy—you and the new camera falling in love. Who doesn’t like such a story?

"Where I see it most is in the fact that digital just doesn't have enough information in the highlights. It's one of the main reasons (IMO) for using a high-resolution, high-megapixel camera—the highlights can have more information in them, and thus can look more natural. "

This is untrue at the sensor level; in fact, the reverse is true. A pure Raw file looks very dark, with the top stop occupying over half the histogram.

In the process of raw conversion, application of Gamma correction creates something than looks normal to our eyes by stretching the bottom and compressing the top. Converters such as ACR/LR also apply profiles than may increase or decrease highlight compression.

Conversions to an 8 bit format, such as JPEG, further compresses highlights and loses some tonal data to compression. Reread Ctein's posts about ISO and curves in digital files. Choice of ISO for the reasons he explains and curves with relatively horizontal tops may also lead to highlight compression.

I have for years had my digicams set to -0.7 EV as standard, because I value highlights. Among many other things, I regularly shoot things like white, yellow and red flowers in the sun. Retaining the subtle tonal details of surface texture, etc. is important to me - and possible.

The data is there, if you expose correctly, and process correctly. The fault lies not in the number of pixels.

My experience is like Eric Brody's. I often bracket exposure in high contrast situations, and very seldom use more than one. As he says, HDR turns UGLY really easily. Even when not obviously bad, the rearrangement of tonal values tends to look unnatural.

When I do use more than one exposure, I'm much more likely to create layer masks and adjust brightness/contrast separately for different areas than apply overall HDR

HDR and Whatever has been done to these photos, they seem to my eye to have flat highlights:

The 2nd one really personifies the Finger Lakes for me. Love it.

Good road shot.

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