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Old 10-01-2007, 11:47 PM
AdrianW AdrianW is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2003
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Default Re: To AdrianW: Critic

> I really wanted to keep the image as natural as possible, so didn't really play with it in Photoshop. I took 4 shots of the scene. While 2 of the others were sharper and clearer, I didn't like the sky as much. It was just a moment, looking out the bedroom window.

It's a lovely shot; and honestly I don't think sharpening will do anything but enhance that side of things. Give it a go. Resizing causes a loss in sharpness; so you *need* to compensate for it. It's not playing with it; you're just compensating for the resize step.

> I've used bracketing before, but you need to have the shot composed and set. The clouds were moving a good bit, so even that may not have worked.

I haven't come across a cloudscape yet where it doesn't work; particularly since you have 6.5fps at your disposal ;) If the clouds are moving quickly you'll find it just gives the clouds a slightly greater feeling of depth, if you manage to align in properly at least. For handheld HDR alignment I tend to use PTgui Pro. You don't need it for the ground though; so I'd just cut along the horizon; and keep only the HDR sky.

> The images were taken in 14bit raw, processed and then converted to 8-bit jpg. I've spoken to a few professional photographers, who say that for web processing, doing it in 16-bit will make no difference at all over the 8-bit.

Ahh, now therein lies the rub; just because someone's being paid to do something doesn't mean they know everything about it. Something is clearly wrong with the tonality around the headland, have a look at the green channel in Photoshop, and then increase the contrast a bit; you'll see there are clear steps in there. Those visible gradations just shouldn't be there. They wouldn't be there in my 10D or 400D shots, and those are only 12bit; you have a massively greater colour pallette, so your shots should reflect that.

There was a bug in one of the earlier versions of DPP that caused stepping, but I'm not sure whether that version could handle the 40d. (it was DPP 3.0.1 I think)

If it isn't DPP that leaves excessive tonal adjustments in 8-bit mode. Since I didn't think the version of DPP for the 40D was affected by the bug; adjustments seemed like the most likely cause.
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