Old 09-29-2008, 03:21 AM   #1
CG_F45
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Default Night shot contrast...

Evening everyone,

http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...key=1165265997

How should I adjust the contrast to improve this image? Does it need less?

Thanks!
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Old 09-29-2008, 03:28 AM   #2
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First of all, I don't think I've ever seen a Bad Contrast rejection on a NIGHT photo lolol

Anyways, it definately needs contrast. Looks "hazy", which to me, means it needs more "dark stuff". But, this is tricky. If you give it more contrast it might make the photo too dark. Just watch how much you give it, play it as you see it. If using PS, make sure the "preview" box is checked then adjust your contrast. I love this feature, gives a realtime preview of what your adjustments will do.



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Old 09-29-2008, 03:36 AM   #3
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Chris, your histogram does not span the 0-255 range; the low end starts at about 18 or so. Do a levels adjustment to fix this. Another way to put this is to say, as Ben said, that you don't have enough black, which lies below the 18 level. You have dark gray.
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Old 09-29-2008, 03:49 AM   #4
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More Cowbell!

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Old 09-29-2008, 03:50 AM   #5
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Lloyd, I swear to goodness gracious, I am seriously honestly wearing my "I've got a fever" t-shirt...........

*enter twilight zone music*




*....quickly followed by some Blue Oyster Cult*


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Old 09-30-2008, 01:26 AM   #6
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Thank you guys very much for the advice! I went back to the original image and tried again, this time leaving it in color... but I still don't think I have the hang of this contrast thing...

http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...key=1067841854

Oh well. Is there any hope for this shot, or should I let it be?
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Old 09-30-2008, 01:57 AM   #7
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I think you improved it a bit. Now, I'm going to throw this idea out--radical surgery. One of the "famous quotes" I heard during a college photography class was, "If the shot lacks impact, move in closer." Not sure who the famous person was that said that, but let's consider the point. What if you were to crop off the top, just below the overpass railing, crop off the sign on the left side, and crop off the overpass support on the right. The bottom is OK. I tried this by pushing around the window on my monitor to cut off those parts, and it does seem to help maybe. See what you think. Often we try to include too much in a frame, and the result is the subject loses its impact.


Kent in SD


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Old 09-30-2008, 02:19 AM   #8
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I don't like that quote, and I don't like the angle, so I'm going to have to agree that a new one is needed.
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Old 09-30-2008, 03:33 AM   #9
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One other thing you might consider with these kinds of shots. How you see the scene is one thing, but how the camera sees it is another. If you are using matrix, what it sees is the one area of VERY bright light (headlight) and lots of areas of very deep black. This of course exceeds the dynamic range of the sensor. The meter will then try to come up with an exposure it thinks is "correct". It will be a balance, sometimes with the idea of lightening the shadows to more of a middle tone. If that happens, the photo will appear washed out. To counter it, take test shots and check the histogram, paying close attention to what's happening on the left side. You can then dial in exposure comp if needed, reshoot and re-analyze. Sometimes the train is moving too fast to do that though. Two strategies that work are to (1) try to spot meter a neutral lit area ahead of the train, hold the ExpLock button down, recompose shot and take it. Second idea is to simply dial in -1.0 ExpComp. Which is likely to be most correct comes down to knowing your meter and how it reacts. This comes with practice, like everything else. I agree and also have some doubts about the angle.


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