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my second post after some landscape shots. I thought I'd share a few shots taken through a Helios 44-2 58/2 a few weekends back using my SD14
I'm really enjoying playing with this camera M42 lens combination.
You're right - I never actually noticed. I'm still having problems with my white balance or whether the camera has a slight yellow cast as I seem to be compensating or maybe even overcompensating for it. I'll upload some examples in the weekend as any advice would be welcomed. The helios (and the SD14) produces some really interesting results and I love it!
No not at all - you have definitely improved them. I just bought a Spydercube to try and help with my white balance as I seem to have trouble getting it right with the SD14. I've never had trouble before with my D70. It's one helluva learning curve, the SD14 as well as the SPP software. I actually use NX2 as well and didn't think to move the SPP shots into NX2 (which I really love with the NEF files). Thanks very much for demonstrating what more could be done to the shots.
The work-flow I use....SPP to convert the Raw to JPG files...and touch them up in SPP first...then move them to NX2 and play with them as JPG's there...then if I still need spacific things done...I use PS or Lightroom....
As Steaphany pointed out in another thread, if doing further post processing after SPP, it might be somewhat better to export from SPP as TIFF, and only convert to JPEG as the very last step of the workflow. Then one isn't adjusting a lossy image.
Thanks for all the suggestions everyone and I will move to tif editing from jpegs. I'm still having trouble with my colours. I'm working on this pano
and I'm still not happy with the colour - i'll start from scratch again and edit as tif and see whether I'm happier
Like Tony did earlier, I was curious about finding image locations where I could reference a correct white balance and see if I could measure the exact white error. I saved off the uploaded pano from your post but the resulting jpg could not be opened by IrfanView, Photoshop, GIMP, and Paint Shop Pro.
Within Firefox, the image is displayed fine.
FYI, within SPP, there is a eye dropper color picker which allows you to select a point in the image to reference a white balance point. You can save and reapply the corrections to all the images prior to saving as Tifs for stitching.
Thanks for your help. perhaps this should go into another thread but here's one of the photo's taken as part of the pano with the raw .x3f file converted as is into a jpeg. You can see the yellow cast; this was a greyish morning by the lake
Thank you for the JPG. I'll see what I can do when you can get the X3F file to me, it would be interesting to see if a pure SPP manipulation could fix this image, but until then, I was able to make some nice color balance improvements.
I opened the JPG in Photoshop and created a Levels Adjustment Layer. I then picked a Black point using the Black Color Picker and a White point using the White Color Picker. The important thing to consider is what to sample when choosing these reference points. This is what I used:
The foreground back lit leaf was easy and only produced a subtle correction. The cloud up and left of the Sun made a good White reference. I did not choose the region of the intense white where the Sun's located since these value are too extreme to make a good Levels White set point.
This is the result:
The bright area surrounding the Sun is brighter, while still preserving sufficient obscuring cloud detail, The sky is blue, and the image has a better over all contrast.
No other manipulations were made except those needed to post the images here.
So you can play with this yourself within Photoshop and to see exactly how I did this, here is a RapidShare download link to the Photoshop PSD file:
To use it, just download and save the XML file to your computer. In SPP, click on File, then Import to read this file. When you have an X3F file open, the Sams_Fix setting will be available in the Settings Pull Down Menu.
To see the results first hand, here is the download link to the saved 16 bit per channel (48 bit per pixel) Tiff file, 27MB in size:
Remember, the SD14 uses 12 Bit Analog to Digital Converters. When a file is saved as a JPG, you loose 4 bits per channel in available dynamic range. Saving a file as a 16 Bit Tiff preserves the dynamic range, provides some head room for the adjustments, and the compression is completely lossless.
If your pano stitcher can read and work with these Tiff files, you will be able to get the best possible composite image. If by any chance your stitcher can not read these 16 bit per channel Tiffs, you can use Photoshop to open the Tiff and save the file into another stitcher compatible format. Just make sure to preserve the image bit depth and that any compression is lossless.
As a preview, I converted the Tiff file to JPG with a resolution reduction to fit here:
Look at the difference between this and the JPG corrected in Photoshop. The foreground backlit leaves are green, you can see them and they are no longer deep within shadow, the Sky is blue, the distant horizon is clear with out any toxic green smog, It's brighter with good contrast.
Wow, thank you very much - it goes to show how much i have still to learn. I am still in the process of downloading the files but in the meantime using your settings in SPP I end up with the final product (downsized for uploading) like so
There are still bits of noise that I'd like to clean up, perhaps also in the way I expose, but this learning process is fun. Thanks heaps for your guidance here.
To get a handle on the noise, here's a suggestion, never photograph darks . I know, an impossibility, but you can get less noise if you create High Dynamic Range images which you then stitch together to create your pano.
The trick is to shoot multiple exposures of each frame so that, among the frame collection, every thing in the scene is photographed at an ideal exposure in at least in one of them.
Shoot bracketed exposures. For this scene, a point to start may be -2, 0, and +2 EV. Or you can manually select the exposure if you need to exceed +/-3EV. Manually setting the exposures will also permit more than 3 images, allowing for exposure set of -5, -2, 0, +2, and +5 EV. What complicates a pano such as your example here is that in one frame, you have the Sun and in others your look well away from the Sun at far darker scenes. The bracketing range needs to potentially span quite a large range.
Post processing now becomes more complex since you'll need to stack each frames multiple exposures into a single HDR image prior to or as you stitch the images together. Some pano stitchers have HDR functionality. Others may require you to HDR merge the individual frames as a separate operation, potentially with a different piece of software, prior to stitching.
Be careful with the HDR merging. I have seen examples where the source exposures were "too ideal" and when merged the final image had an unreal look with obvious shadow areas being brightly lit.