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Thread: New Camera, New Lens, No Sun!

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    New Camera, New Lens, No Sun!

    Hi all, first post . . . bought a 550D in the New Year and then, after some research, an EF-S55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II lens. Being a newby to DSLRs this lens, for its price, has very good reviews. Arrived yesterday morning, but the sun didn't, so stayed in and spent a few hours linked to the laptop with Live View. The results after some experimentation and manipulation are below. I would welcome any comments and tips anyone is willing to pass on!

    The first three in 90% artificial light.
    flower-1.jpg

    flower-2.jpg

    flower-3.jpg

    The last two in 90% natural light with window light from the right and a piece of white card on the left.
    flower-4.jpg

    The best I think . . .
    flower-5.jpg

    Can anyone give me the link for checking monitor settings? The two computers I've used give quite different colour temperatures and I know I have seen a post with the 3 grey squares; can't find it now!

    Looking forward to getting the sun back!
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    Last edited by Deringer; 17th February 2012 at 07:10 PM.

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    Re: New Camera, New Lens, No Sun!

    Hi John,

    Welcome to CiC - it's great to have you with us.

    The "A" answer to monitor calibration & profiling is to use a hardware colorimeter like the Spyder IV.

    For many types of photography, a "fine, sunny, cloudless" day is actually a bad thing; if there is no cloud cover to diffuse the sunlight then what we get is termed "hard" or "harsh" light (unflattering sharp shadows are produced around objects). The best natural light is what we call "directional diffused" light where the sky is covered in cloud, but at a thickness where you can still see the direction the sun is coming from.

    Hope this helps

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    Re: New Camera, New Lens, No Sun!

    Thanks Colin. Fair point about the sun. It was just that the day was so overcast that everything looked grey. Today is much better. I'll see what I can gat this afternoon!

    The Spyder software is rather out of my league at the moment, which is a pity I know.

    Cheers

    John

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    Re: New Camera, New Lens, No Sun!

    Quote Originally Posted by Deringer View Post
    Can anyone give me the link for checking monitor settings? The two computers I've used give quite different colour temperatures and I know I have seen a post with the 3 grey squares; can't find it now!

    Looking forward to getting the sun back!
    Hi John,

    Here's the "B" answer

    http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tut...alibration.htm

    Welcome to the CiC forums from ....

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    Re: New Camera, New Lens, No Sun!

    This monitor is a relatively cheap basic one, just for internet use so I calibrate it by my eye which usually works reasonably well.

    But just out of interest, I tried that link and attempted to use those 3 squares. But I can't make any sense out of them. I don't appear to get much difference whatever I do; but perhaps I just haven't realised what is supposed to happen.

    Looking at the second test of the subtle graduations in highlights and shadows I get banding going over 3/4 of the way along the test strips. That is after resetting my monitor by eye.

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    Re: New Camera, New Lens, No Sun!

    Quote Originally Posted by Deringer View Post
    Thanks Colin. Fair point about the sun. It was just that the day was so overcast that everything looked grey.
    Hi John,

    That kind of day doesn't really change colours -- only how the human eye may percieve them. The "trick" to kicking photography up a notch is to know how to manipulate the camera (and also in post-processing) to capture something special even though it might not look that spectacular to the naked eye.

    Another option on "gray days" is greyscale ("B&W") photography.

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    Re: New Camera, New Lens, No Sun!

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Hi John,

    That kind of day doesn't really change colours -- only how the human eye may percieve them. The "trick" to kicking photography up a notch is to know how to manipulate the camera (and also in post-processing) to capture something special even though it might not look that spectacular to the naked eye.

    Another option on "gray days" is greyscale ("B&W") photography.

    I agree, hence photography is, "Vision to the Print" - even though some believe that digital processing is cheating....little do they understand photography if that is what they believe.


    *remember that is my opinion though.

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    Re: New Camera, New Lens, No Sun!

    Quote Originally Posted by PBelarge View Post
    I agree, hence photography is, "Vision to the Print" - even though some believe that digital processing is cheating....little do they understand photography if that is what they believe.


    *remember that is my opinion though.
    It's a topic that has been debated "until the cows came home" (as we say). Bottom line is it's impossible to produce any photo without manipulation (be it a small or a large amount). What I was more getting at though may be for example, a "bright and sunny day" where I line the model up and take a shot ... the customer is thinking "this is going to look awful - the sun is harsh and the sky is totally washed out". I'm thinking "if I under-expose the sky by 3 stops the sky will be beautifully saturated and I'll have a great silhouette".

    This shot is possibly a good example. On the day, it's the customer standing by a tree - it didn't LOOK like a good place to take a photo; although the tree gave us some shade (with a diffuser), the day was very bright (no natural contrast), and we had other crappy stuff behind. Customer is probably thinking "hope he knows what he's doing because I can't see a shot here" - whereas I'm thinking "reveal contrast in PP - open up to throw background out of focus - apply vignette to give appearance of targeted lighting etc"

    And the result?

    New Camera, New Lens, No Sun!

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    Re: New Camera, New Lens, No Sun!

    For me, this discussion is leading in an interesting direction. I've spent some considerable time with the camera, outside (both in sun and cloud), inside old buildings, the flowers above and taking some groups of young people at a Valentine's Ball. All have been challenging my knowledge of the camera and I feel I'm beginning to get to grips with it. I think I'm still at the stage of, "this is what I'm going to photograph" rather than, "I have a camera, what opportunities are going to present themselves today!" I am shooting in RAW and have discovered the advantages of doing so when using the bundled Canon software. I haven't got Photoshop, but do have GIMP.

    One of the projects I've set myself is to get a set of really good images of Exeter Cathedral. Light is the real challenge here. This is, I think, where Colin's original post in this thread about "diffuse" light is really needed; a bright day without the direct sun. It is a light building with large areas of glass, much of it plain, at least in the clerestory windows. It's so tricky to get the exposure just right. Here are two, both show the light issue. There was no direct sunlight at the time. Any suggestions, comments etc gratefully received.

    organ-nave-0001.jpg
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    Last edited by Deringer; 19th February 2012 at 08:55 PM.

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    Re: New Camera, New Lens, No Sun!

    Second image now vertical!

    organ-choir-0001.jpg
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