Photoshop the POW Special Edition II--12/27/10

Discussion in 'Wedding and Event' started by picturesque, Dec 27, 2010.

  1. This week, I've again selected an image from a recent wedding for you to Photoshop. I made it hard this time, with artistic decisions for you to wrestle with. :^)
    This image is straight from the camera except that I lifted the overall exposure by about 2/3 stop or so. There wasn't a lot I could do about the sun position and resulting flare, so I decided to 'go with it' and tried for some good flare rainbows. I shot a lot of off angle shots with and without fill flash, so there will be plenty of overall ceremony shots for the couple to choose from, with and without flare.
    So let's see what you all can do with this shot--whether to 'repair' the flare or accentuate it, etc. Have fun! For those of you unfamiliar with "PS the POW", a neutral image is chosen for everyone to Photoshop 'their way'.
    00XvIf-314945584.jpg
     
  2. You asked for it Nadine!!! You didn't say it had to be good or artsy! The 3 year old next door helped me.
    00XvOU-314997584.jpg
     
  3. :^) Thanks, Bob! C'mon, guys--let's see how you tweak flare shots or fix 'em.
     
  4. Added a vignette in lightroom, used a preset called Hawaii five-o medium to fade color, then I added grain, and cropped to center the B&G. I might try a couple of other treatments of this in different styles if I thought it was a worthy photo. Happy Holidays to everyone. Hope you all had a nice Christmas.
    00XvXL-315137584.jpg
     
  5. Nadine didn't like my 'funny version', so...a serious attempt, hard to do with such a small file, but you get the point, this is salvagable. Got rid of the flare in the BG area, and major crop so it's not so static:
    [​IMG]
     
  6. Shawn--it isn't that I didn't like your funny version. I think the bride and groom and their relatives deserve some respect, since they may possibly see these images, don't you? As wedding photographers, we are all aware of how much a couple's wedding means to them and their families. Images that poke fun at this don't have a place on a public forum.
     
  7. Absolutely, I wasn't doubting you, I was just trying to be funny without thinking about the implications (my post was about zapping the mother-in-law, who wasn't even in the frame, but I never thought to consider the lack of humour on the BG's part...my mistake). I hope my more recent post is better, and more appropriate:)
     
  8. Yes, thanks, Shawn. I appreciate your 'serious' attempt.
     
  9. Ok here is my version, cloned out the flares, removed sky detail or what was left of it, added some selective colour saturation and added some detail to the arch.
    Well the sky looked clean in PS anyway.
    00Xvc6-315227584.jpg
     
  10. I started playing with it again as a serious attempt. I did darken the sky, but it's hard to fix the glare. My attempt wasn't worth posting. I tried it in B&W and the pic doesn't pop.
     
  11. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    If I had to use it, one method I would look at would be to accentuate the contrast and just concentrate on pulling out the main faces - a rough, working from the small res sample, is below:
    WW
    00XvhJ-315305584.jpg
     
  12. here's my attempt
    00XviJ-315323584.jpg
     
  13. William, nice job cleaning it up. I didn't think of adjusting the contrast. Very cool!
     
  14. I've spent a lot of effort avoiding taking such shots and if I did get one like this I'd probably just trash it.....if I absolutely needed to attempt a repair it would go something like the image below.
    00Xvip-315333584.jpg
     
  15. David--as stated, I got lots of other angles with and without fill flash, with and without flare. Since the flare, at this angle, was unavoidable--no amount of shading would work--I decided to deliberately get the flare rainbows and see what I could do to accentuate it. I thought it would make a good PS exercise, both for trying to 'fix' it, and trying to accentuate it. Interesting that so far, most people have tried to fix it. I offered it to my clients with flare accentuated, and many other shots with no flare. I am not a flare fan, but I like some of these kinds of shots, particularly if you offer your clients choices.
     
  16. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    Thanks Bob.
    “Since the flare, at this angle, was unavoidable--no amount of shading would work--I decided to deliberately get the flare rainbows and see what I could do to accentuate it. . . etc.”​
    Breaking it down, there are two (Flare) issues. I took the attitude not to try and remove/fix the Lens Flare, (the rainbow dots) - rather just to leave it, it looks pretty.
    The other issue is the Veiling Flare. My guess is Nadine used a Tamron 28 to 75/2.8. The EXIF states F/9 and the lens was at FL = 28mm. Veiling Flare, at its worst, results in an appearance as if a milky filter has been used and also there is lack of mid tone contrast. It is a result of the images’ rays being in-efficiently baffled; bouncing around inside the lens; and subsequently being reflected back onto the film or sensor, thus “diluting” the acutance and contrast of the image - especially noticeable across the mid-tones.
    Veiling Flare is exaserbated by using wide lenses generally; zoom lenses at the wide are usually worse offenders; large apertures; and lens filters. As noted the angle of the sun is the killer in this shot – and impossible to avoid with any shade – such as using the free hand or a black card as a lens hood extender. The lens hood would be useless in this shooting scenario.
    Because the Mid-tones suffer so much, it is often fruitless making a B&W conversion to get out of the soup, (as mentioned), because often even a thicker pea soup results. Though I am sure a Post Production Guru can make something of it in B&W, I just saying it is often difficult. Half-tone or Bas Relief would be interesting, I expect, in a large print – but the Main Subjects are kind of small so for the web exercise I doubt it we could pull it off web size working form the low res sample.
    So, further to what I did in my rough: I burnt the horizon to make a darker platter for the faces; increased the saturation (especially RED and GREEN); reset the Black Point and then dodged the faces to bring them up. Basically my logic was, the mid-tones are shot to bits anyway, might as well nuke them – make the tux darker the faces lighter and the red dresses richer and to hell with the rest.
    WW
    PS - I had a go, maybe there is enough in it for a B&W? – This is a B&W conversion from my Colour attempt and then a second reset of the Black Point . . . but B&W kills the pretty Rainbow Flare . . . which was the point in the first place. No?
    00XvkM-315375584.jpg
     
  17. Would it be cheating to use Photoshop's content aware deletion to get rid of the flare?
     
  18. PSCS5 Content Aware tool to remove most of the hard flare ... contrast boost, and selective restoration of color, simple painted in sky with grad to horizon to keep it somewhat natural looking. Selected bride's dress to remove the discoloration caused by the flare.
     
  19. OOps ... here's the pic
    00XvnX-315443584.jpg
     
  20. My take, not in PS since it's a quick try on my netbook. In PS I would burn in the top of the arbor and also add contrast to the grooms face
    00XvoW-315461584.jpg
     
  21. Nadine, I would imagine that you got other images and at other angles that worked out, thus you wouldn't need this image and could simply trash it without any noticeable loss of coverage. However, stating that the flare was unavoidable in this case is not accurate, you could have used a free hand as a scrim to block/shade the lens. IMO, no amount of PS magic is really gonna provide what I would consider an acceptable image. Granted PS can make it better but I doubt it could be made good enough.
    While it is possible to get good results in some cases with lens flare, in practice it's very difficult to pull off well......... I also understand that the point of this thread is a learning exercise which is why I chose to participate and why I have discussed the photo from my own POV.
     
  22. Starting with "levels" in PS I increased the blacks, darkened the midtones, and decreased the highlights slightly. Next I reduced the saturation and then lightened the shadows and increased the overall brightness. It brought the rainbow flare out more and reduced the flare around the B&G.
    I also straightened and cropped it slightly for a little better composition.
    00XvpX-315487584.jpg
     
  23. I understand what you are saying David, but I can assure you that no amount of shading would have worked with the focal length and angle. In fact, I tried to do some shading with a longer focal length, but got nowhere. I also tried some at a low angle, to try to block the sun with one part of the arch--also no joy. About the only thing I could have done (to avoid flare), at this angle, was levitate maybe 10 or more feet into the air and shoot down, and I did not have a crane handy. :^) If I did, I might have tried that.
     
  24. This is an image I see in b+w. Processed with my conversion and flare removed by hand. Mid-tones boosted for improved contrast and graded texture added to compensate for missing detail in sky.
    Irrespective of the point of the exercise, this is an image I enjoy and find interesting for the composition and ingredients. I questioned whether to remove the flare as I wasn't at all convinced it spoiled the image. In the end I took it out to be thorough, although I could just as easily have gone the other way.
    I love the layers and my eye finds lots to explore here.
    [​IMG]
     
  25. Although the sun may be very low to the horizon, judging from the shadow that is being cast by the B/G/Officiant some shading of the lens would be possible, challenging perhaps but possible.
     
  26. Here's my take on it: Localized sharpening to increase contrast on the couple, lightened the mids on the bridal party, burned in the white chairs to make them less intrusive, lady in red dress is distracting so I desaturated her a little bit, dodged highlights on the plants behind the couple to accentuate the back lighting, burned in the guy's hair on the right with the rim light, the aisle carpet wasn't quite centered so I extended it on the right and burned in the highlights a little, added a little bit of blue back into the sky in the middle, added a slight vignette overall, bumped saturation by using curves. I think that was it. Oh and it was all done in LAB - saturation and USM are easy to control in LAB especially since you can sharpen on the L channel only without affecting color.
    John
    00XvxS-315603584.jpg
     
  27. My own quick & dirty humble attempt: (several of the others are pretty good! [esp. Schilling's])
    1. Shadows & Highlights
    2. Curves (inverted S)
    3. USM
    4. Crop
    5. Frame
    00Xvyz-315625584.jpg
     
  28. I went with a more dreamy vintage look and chose not to try and 'fix' the flare at all.
    00Xvzb-315639584.jpg
     
  29. A few minutes on my iphone PS app. Straigtened the horizon, desaturated, and crop to panaramoic.
    00Xw0R-315659584.jpg
     
  30. David--I don't agree (short of using the crane), but our disagreement is a distraction in this thread, which is about working with this particular image, which I deliberately shot with maximum flare in mind, so I will not expand on my opinions here.
    Alex DC--I am not normally a fan of the yellow look, but I like what you did here. I also thought a dreamy approach might work well, but more along the lines of a multi colored pastel haze.
    Thank you all for your contributions thus far. I find it very interesting, and as always, learn something new. Please continue.
     
  31. Its just one of those photos that could be rescued but probably shouldn't be. It has an uninspiring background. the flare tends to take the emphasis off the Bride and Groom and the crisp unflared parts are around the edges where you don't want emphasis. It just doesn't work. Its sort of like the old car that breaks down, you could fix it but is it worth it in the end.
     
  32. John--I appreciate your opinion. However, one of the reasons I chose this image for this exercise is to provide material for fixing, and material for people who don't have the same opinion as you--who think the image can be worked artistically. I am not providing this image solely 'to be rescued'.
     
  33. Nadine and all, while I grasp the exercise and involvement these Photoshop threads promote, perhaps John Crowe, David Schilling, and others have a point that shouldn't be dismissed so readily?
    The notion that Photoshop can be used to overcome almost anything seems to promote a reliance on post work that is already epidemic ... the results of which are rarely stellar.
    While I appreciate this was taken to provide fodder for an exercise ... the exercise and results provide a warning that Photoshop is not a miracle worker ... and even less so in a less experienced retoucher's hands.
    There are some scenes and angles we'd all love to capture, but if the light says "don't take the shot" ... then it's best to listen.
    BTW, we all face similar situations ... in this case, my first instinct in back-lit conditions like this (where hand shading just wouldn't work), would be to go lower.
    As example: shooting on a narrow dock forced use of a flare prone wide zoom. Shooting at full height produced the same sort of flare in the exercise photo (the sun was directly behind the Grooms head). Instead, used the subject to block the flare enough to produce a usable image ... so we didn't have much to "fix" in PS : -)
    00XwBd-315797584.jpg
     
  34. ... the exercise and results provide a warning that Photoshop is not a miracle worker ... and even less so in a less experienced retoucher's hands.​
    exactly. Furthermore there is not much fun to be had or anything even remotely resembling a passable result from such a low res image. All this proves is that Marc is spot-on.
     
  35. While I understand what Marc is saying his image above is very different from Nadine's. Just look at the shadows - it's clearly not as heavily backlit as Nadine's and the clouds are spreading the light from the sun. Further more, as you stand further away from the subject squating doesn't do squat.
    If you want to shoot wide as Nadine did (28mm on full frame) there is not much to do against mother Nature except shooting something completely different.
    PS. On the image I added some more flare and removed the white "carpet" as well as toned down the red dress on the right.
    00XwJK-315885584.jpg
     
  36. I thought about keeping the flair but I found it a little distracting, so I got rid of it.
    ~Jack
    00XwJm-315889584.jpg
     
  37. Marc--I certainly understand the idea that one should not rely on Photoshop to save images (me, of all people), and that for certain kinds of images and situations, one should never even attempt to take the photo to begin with. I am not a flare fan myself, but I did not intend this image as one to be necessarily rescued, as stated above. The fact that most people view it as such is interesting to me. The fact that most people don't "approve" of flare is also interesting to me, in light of the fact that flare is very popular right now. This is not to say anyone should do something because it is popular, or that this image is an example of a 'stellar' flare image. I note that some people--a minority--did not have such heavy disapproval and worked with the flare.
    This was my thought process. I photographed this wedding. While photographing, I notice that due to the sun position, I cannot get any 'straight on' shots without flare (David S. disagrees with me here--noted). I get lots of other angles without flare. But I take the flare shots to see if later, I can work something worthwhile out of the images--emphasizing the flare, not fixing it. I think this image might be good for an exercise for us, with some people fixing it and some perhaps, emphasizing it.
    Now it turns out that most people disapprove of my decision, both in taking the shot and using it as an exercise--so be it. Personally, the idea that a person viewing this thread would realize that "the exercise and results provide a warning that Photoshop is not a miracle worker ... and even less so in a less experienced retoucher's hands", is not such a bad thing. If that is an outcome, that is OK with me. However, may I point out that most people have ignored the fact that I do not present this image with only fixing in mind. I believe I explained my intent several times, yet people seem to persist in expressing disapproval. They may, of course, express disapproval, but I will continue to explain my intent, which is (I believe) not a dismissal. At least some people worked with the flare, so I don't believe I am totally off base here.
    I also don't see where I dismissed John's, David's and others' (?) points at all. John is complaining that the image is not worthy to attemp to fix at all. I tried to explain my intent, as I did above--again--is that a dismissal? I don't think so. David (I surmise) thinks I shouldn't have even taken the picture and insists that shading would have been possible. I disagree (I am allowed to disagree? :^) I see no point in a back and forth between David and I about this in this thread, but we can pursue it if you would like. Anyone else interested in talking about flare without submitting an image is welcome to do so.
    Ton--I will e-mail you a higher res version, or the RAW file, if you would like. I would not expect the results of heavy PSing to be smooth and perfect on a low res file, and there was no expectation that this would be the case. E-mail me if you would like the file.
     
  38. Nadine -
    I opted to get rid of the flare in this case because I saw no artistic value in keeping it and thought to remove it and *accentuate* the picture as you stated in your preamble. This is not to say that I dont think that *flares* are not artisitic, I just didnt see it in this sample photo, albeit i do like Pete S's. version.
    ~Jack
     
  39. Thanks for your thoughts, Jack.
     
  40. Now it turns out that most people disapprove of my decision, both in taking the shot and using it as an exercise--so be it​
    speaking for myself Nadine it's not that. I really do admire what you do in this forum although I hardly ever enter. But this was a lost cause to begin with in my opinion. I do think however that you should continue this but with a high res upload, that's all.
    Just keep it up. I for one enjoy these threads and I suspect a lot of people do.
     
  41. OK Ton. However, I reiterate--I didn't post the image just to fix, so while I respect your opinion that the image is a lost cause for fixing, I had the thought that some people might think in the opposite direction. If anyone wants a higher res file, I will be happy to e-mail it.
     
  42. Nadine-- I didin't mean to criticize your choice in taking the picture or presenting it for photoshopping. I think it is valuable as a lesson of a photo that you may not want to spend a lot of time on when others may be more worthy of your time and the decision making that must go on in the photographers mind. It is pretty much a must have shot for any wedding. I know a photographer that can't seem to take a photo without flare so it must be popular with some customers. I think it was a great idea to present this photo because it generated a discussion that is off track from what you intended but valuable none the less.
     
  43. Thank you, John. I did not take any offense at your comments. I respect your opinion, which is welcome here. As stated, I just wanted to leave room for a wide range of treatments, not just fixes.
     
  44. Just out of interest and Nadine has clearly stated that no way to possible to block the sun on this occasion, what do you do? Just ignore the ceremony or take the picture if just for an insurance policy?
    I am not a Wedding Photographer and I am aware that highlights get blown on occasion as sometimes it's inevitable, but I am genuinely interested if you have a situation like this with a back lit ceremony what you do if you don't own a crane?
    Seems like a nightmare scenario to me - Shoot tighter?
     
  45. " ... whether to "repair" the flare or accentuate it, etc. Have fun!"
    Yes Nadine you did say ... "accentuate it, etc.", as well as "repair". And indeed you did provide a tough one : -)
    As part of the "etc.", is it wrong to point out that lighting sometimes just wins the battle, and perhaps learning to NOT depend on PS might be a better path? That is not meant as an attack on anyone that thinks they could fix or enhance the shot, just be aware how hard and time consuming it would be.
     
  46. Simon, blown highlights and veiling flare are two related but different issues.
    The dynamic range of most 35mm DSLR cameras is about 9 to 10 stops. Some cameras have features like Nikon's "Active D Lighting" designed to mitigate exposure extremes. Other cameras have an AEB (automatic Exposure Bracketing) feature which allows you to very rapidly fire off three different exposures to be automatically lined up and blended in PS.
    Whether Nadine could have shot lower (depending where the sun actually was), or moved closer to get into the cast shadows, can only be answered by her. I doubt a crane shot would have worked much better since the WA probably would still flare when pointed toward the bright sun ... in either case it wouldn't be the same shot as posted.
    In this specific case the only thing I can think of that may have had a chance is AEB ... much more data to work with rather than making it up.
     
  47. Marc so you are saying if this is a wide open space and lets say for sake of the argument there are no sun blocking options, don't take the picture?
    I can't see how getting lower would really improve on what really is full on sunshine, I would not like to be in this situation I think the decisions are very difficult, if it were me I would just have to accept a blown out sky and I would not include the lens flare if it were a matter of choice.
     
  48. No, Marc, it isn't wrong. Discussion of the topic is fine. However, the comment assumes that a) the image needs to be flare-fixed and b) one desparately needs to fix it because one doesn't know how to shoot from successful, alternative angles. Also c) one didn't deliberately shoot for maximum flare. And d) perhaps the shot wouldn't make the cut anyway, but it is of small consequence.
    I really started this thread as (I thought) a light hearted exercise for people inclined toward having some fun in Photoshop. That it became so serious is a surprise to me. But if anything useful can be gleaned from the discussion, that is OK by me.
    If anyone wants to discuss flare in general--ways of avoiding it, ways of getting it--all well and good.
    Simon--I am hoping others will reply to you. As just stated above, what I do is take a picture, flare and all and see if I can do anything with it in post--not fixing it, but accentuating the flare, in addition to shooting the ceremony at different angles that have no flare.
    I don't know that the straight on angle is a 'must have' shot. You could get an angled shot that still included all the attendants and the background. You could also try a longer focal length, not for an overall view like this, but maybe of just the couple, with some hand shading, and get something either without flare or with slight enough flare that it could be fixed in post. I tried this at this wedding, but anything that included the arch was unsuccessful. Also, I am very short, which doesn't help.
    If you had a ladder, it might have mitigated the effect a little, but anything taller than a 2 step ladder would seem a bit odd at a ceremony, and a 2 step ladder would not have been enough.
    In an album, you could arrange 3 images of the 'parts' of an overall view across a spread, to mimic the effect. With the parts--just bridesmaid, just the couple, just groomsmen--you could avoid flare.
     
  49. I figured this could be of interest in this discussion.
    Since a lot of sky looks blown out I'll post a shot that shows what is in Nadine's raw file.
    • Purple means that one channel is blown out in the raw file.
    • Red means that two channels are blown out in the raw file.
    • Black means that all three channels are blown out in the raw file.
    As I'm sure you already figured out, the black circle is the sun.
    The reason the image is green is because what you see is basically a raw file and white balance, exposure correction, contrast and all the other good stuff you do in lightroom and whatnot hasn't been applied yet.
    Comment: If you include the sun in the shot there is simply no way to stop it from blasting into your lens and bouncing around all lens elements creating a serious amount of veiling glare and other artifacts.
    00XwSn-316005584.jpg
     
  50. I agree with Marc and John's sentiments exactly. Nadine, I don't believe you dismissed my comments at all, it felt to me like you critiqued them and judged them a "distraction" to the thread....since you're the moderator, I don't see anything useful about debating any issue here on the forum, but I do see value in discussing the merits of an image and the potential merits of attempting to enhance/repair an image in PS. It's true, I wouldn't have taken the image to start with and if I had it would have been culled/edited out of the final selections. Thus far, I haven't seen any PS enhancements artistic or otherwise that would change my mind....some look like a significant improvement when viewed at 72dpi on a computer monitor but I doubt that they would do well as an 8x10 or larger print.
    I don't inherently dislike images with a flare, it's possible to capture excellent images which include a flare but successful examples (IMO) are not the norm. Even so, I've commented on a few over the past year that have been posted on the forum or on a photographer's website that I personally thought were extremely good.
     
  51. David--the only thing I felt would be a distraction to the thread would be an argument between you and I about whether one could or couldn't shade the lens and not get flare, at this angle and focal length. I don't see how I critiqued your other comments. The shading argument would have no resolution, as it is not 'provable' at this point, and would therefore be a distraction. I would have said this even if I weren't a moderator.
    Any other comments or debate would have been and are, fine. In fact, carry on, if you wish. I understand your position quite well. I don't think you understand my position at all, however.
    As for my being the moderator, I hope I've made clear that one should treat me like any other photo.net member, in forum posts. When I speak as moderator, for 'official' business, I try to label the comments as such. I also hold myself to the same guidelines applicable to any forum member.
     
  52. As for the shading argument.....the shadow being cast by the the B/G which angles slightly to camera left tells me that some shading is possible. While it might be difficult to shade with a free hand, at that focal length, especially while avoiding having the hand in the frame, I do believe that a portable gobo in the shape of a free usher or assistant could have done the job. It also might have been possible by shooting from a kneeling position in the shade cast by a seated guest in the last row on the groom's side of the isle.
     
  53. To add to Pete's and Marc's recent posts, below is the same image, with the sky burned in, using Lightroom, so there is a lot of information there, short of the blown halo and sun (as shown in Pete's diagram). I burned the sky in hastily, so none of the other parts of the image have been treated in any way. Burning in, of course, does not take away the milky parts and flare rainbows.
    Also, I include an image which isn't so flare ridden, although it still has some characteristics of flare, particularly the milkiness. The sun is just behind the right curve of the arch. I burned in the sky a little but didn't go overboard, and burned in some of the veil. A good dose of fill flash was used. One cannot get the same effect, however, with the wide angle view.
    I notice that there are wispy clouds on the horizon, which probably diffused and scattered the sun's rays and allowed the sun's glare to be larger than just a bare, undiffused sun.
    00XwTT-316017584.jpg
     
  54. David--I still beg to differ. As I said--not provable at this point. This can only end up unresolved. As for the kneeling position, sure, I did some--from left and right, and all over. That angle is not the overall view from straight on at 28mm.
     
  55. This discussion is all well and good, but:
    About the only thing I could have done (to avoid flare), at this angle, was levitate maybe 10 or more feet into the air...​
    I think the big take-away from this thread is that Nadine is simply too short to prevent lens flare.
     
  56. No Simon I agree, I would have taken the shot if it was necessary to get all elements into the scene as shown by Nadine ... but would probably have done various exposures using manual metering to give me options in post that had enough data to work a composite ... or used AEB ... which is why most cameras have that feature.
    That is VERY instructional Pete ... from that diagram it is clear that shading the lenses would have been difficult to impossible because the sun is relatively low in relation to the subject, and that shooting from a lower perspective at that distance wouldn't have worked either because the sun is too high to use the subject to shade the lens ... plus you would have to move closer into the cast shadows which would be a different image, probably without being able to see the wedding party.
    As Sherlock would say, this is a three pipe problem ... LOL!
    Although not always possible at a fast paced wedding, AEB may have helped. But one has to set up their user interface for quick access to AEB to be a practical option.
     
  57. That's not an option I have Marc but would seem to be the best idea.
     
  58. Moderate adjustment.
    00Xwb2-316121584.jpg
     
  59. Ha ha...Ian, absolutely right. I curse my height every day and in particular, every wedding.
    Marc--I understand your methodology. However, what I don't get is how you are going to mine more information out of what is essentially the sun itself and the brightest parts of the sun's halo. There is actually a lot of information already in the sky on the file I shot. Or are you talking about the couple and wedding party? If so, you still get milky flare, although it would probably help (but just a tiny bit) to take any filters off the lens.
    Also, since we are running a small tutorial about dealing with flare, as in avoiding it, I want to add that fill flash helps a lot with the milkyness. It helped the close up photo of the couple and arch immensely. But since puny shoemounts can't go against bright sun too well, the flash does nothing for the wide angle view relative to the couple and wedding party, since they are too far away at the f stop needed to have any chance of taming the sky. I don't remember if I narrowed the beam angle but one can manually narrow the beam angle to the narrowest (105mm on my flash). This ups the guide number of the flash at that beam angle. Unfortunately for landscape shots, the narrowing isn't exactly where you want it (it narrows along the long dimension), but the extra power can help.
    I'm still open to any other interpretations, including accentuating the flare...
     
  60. Hi Pete, I found your analysis interesting as I am very digitally challenged and I liked your mod of accentuating the flair, I would have done similar if I had the post skills. Other than that if forced to take the same exact shot/lens etc. I most likely would have used a grad ND on camera for some of the shots, "maybe" some use of a compendium and black vignette. Happy New Year all.
     
  61. I tried a bit.... Here's my outcome...
    00Xwl8-316257584.jpg
     
  62. You're right Nadine ... no one was there except you to exactly know what the lighting conditions really were.
    I do know that when working with a wide exposure extremes, pushing or pulling any area of the image heavily in PS leads to different noise textures, jagged tonal gradations, and artifacts. Multiple exposures of the same scene can avoid that.
    Whether the foreground subject could have been exposed to mitigate the veiling flare is a question ... however, working with separate layers would allow you to alter the contrast range more dramatically because it is non-destructive to the highlight areas on a separate layer.
    This is not a new technique ... landscape photographers do it all the time.
    Another method that is available to us is panoramic stitching to create wide sweeping views of a ceremony scene like yours ... allowing you to get closer (like the other shot you posted) and/or use a longer lens, that also is easier to shade because the angle of view is narrower.
    Photoshop has the stitching software, and it is included with most camera software, including Canon. I use a stand alone program called PTGui Pro which is very powerful, (A recommendation from an accomplished landscape shooter).
    We all face difficult situations, and have to think out-side the box to accomplish what we want. Digital has provided solutions to seemingly impossible objectives, and these solutions are being utilized by other photographic disciplines ... so why not us?
    As example ... I did a stitched image of an entire wedding scene. If I had used a 16mm lens to get it all in, the bare sun right above the wedding tent would have been in the frame and would have flared for sure. Instead, I used a longer focal length and shot a sweep of 8 images which were stitched in PTGui. The final was printed in an album spread 18" wide, and the client bought a print 36" wide for framing.
    The result can be viewed here:
    http://fotografz.smugmug.com/Photography/Lens-and-Camera-Demos/Panoramic-Images/15280785_o6Dec#1143232015_SqecA
     
  63. Thanks, Marc. I've seen your example before and admired it then. I'll look to see if I could work something up from the parts I got, but am not optimistic, since the shooting angles are not the same, because I was angling to cut out the sun differently for each part. The idea is similar to the one I mentioned above, about using 3 parts in an album spread (not stitched) to create the 'feeling' of the wide angle.
     
  64. Actually when talking about minimizing flare there is one thing that I think no one has mentioned yet - the lens.
    I have the same lens Nadine used above but with Nikon mount. It's a good light midrange f/2.8 zoom but there are lenses that can handle flare much better than others and are suitable for shooting directly into the sun. It's a design decision how well the lens handles flare and in general I think the wide angle primes are the type of lens that is best corrected and also uses fewer lens elements (probably not the f/1.4 primes though as they are optimized for low light).
    For Nikon (and Canon with adapter) the inside tip, according to Bjorn Rorslett, is the manual focus Nikkor 20mm f/3.5. Another is the manual focus 28/2. I'm sure that Canon have lenses as well that are excellent for this. Usually it's the landscape photographers who know these sort of things because shooting straight into the sun is something they do on purpose :)
    I have the Nikkor 20/3.5 I mentioned above and it is ridiculously small and light. Maybe getting a lens that one could bring out for these special situations might be an option to consider.
     
  65. Hey thanks, Pete. I have a Nikkor 28mm f2 that went with my FM in days past. Good thought--might test that, but I'd have to get a Canon adapter, unless I use the FM and film... Got any recommendations for an adapter?
     
  66. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    I'm still open to any other interpretations, including accentuating the flare...​
    Setting out to accentuate the (rainbow) Flare:
    Note the previous comments about the two types of Flare. The presence of and effect of Veiling Flare is counter productive to the enhancement of the "Rainbow" Lens Flare.
    Working on the RAW file, increase the exposure and reset the gamma to slightly overexpose the skin tones of the bridal party, and then work from that point.
    The original shot was: F/9 @ 1/200s @ ISO100.
    I would to bring it to equivalent: F/6.3 @ 1/100s @ ISO100 – so that’s about 1? stops increase exposure.
    The rationale is my F/16 working standard -
    Front lit sun F/16
    Side lit sun F/11
    Back lit sun F/8
    Maybe a radical idea and note that in post production, it will not be the same as shooting the scene at those exposure parameters, but anyway maybe worth it as a starting point for the next stage of any post production.
    Maybe worthwhile keeping in mind for similar shooting scenarios, but perhaps with a longer lens as the Flare Rainbows would be nicer and more dominate as there should be less Veiling Flare with a Longer FL Lens, and also a Prime rather than a Zoom.
    A 50mm Prime + 5D would be good at that distance in that situation.
    [As I was posting Pete S mentioned WA Nikkor lenses - yes I agree those Prime Lenses would be good and one could still capture enhanced Flare Raibows, with the correct angle - and not as much Veiling Flare]

    ***
    “If so, you still get milky flare, although it would probably help (but just a tiny bit) to take any filters off the lens.”​
    Discussing Flare in general -more on Veiling Flare:
    I reckon (and agree) that in this particular scene the filter has little effect one way or the other.
    (Assuming my guess of lens used is correct) - It is lens and the fact that it is a zoom lens and it is at the wide and the sun is direct on and at a low angle.
    I think there is little bounce off the filter, but rather it is mainly all internal, in the lens.
    Even stopping the lens down more, would not assist that much if at all.
    ***
    have some fun​
    Some more fun I had:
    [​IMG]
    Estimating the Groom is 6ft, then extrapolating the FoV(v) at the Plane of Focus is about 23ft (a bit more than three and one half Groom Heights = Pink Rectangles). Therefore, when using a 28mm lens on a 5D, the SD (Subject Distance/Shooting Distance) would be about 30ft.
    Taking the line of shadows (Black = Minister’s LH neck; Red = Centre of Pedestal; Green = Pointy bit of Hedge) the approximate location of the main light source can be reckoned.
    Congruence with the Centre of Axis of the Rainbow Flare Line confirms same.
    RAW data and Pete S’s commentary above also confirms this area as the source of light.
    Also the RAW file indicates that there is light cloud cover aiding the diffusion of the main source of light. Diffusion of a strong single light source into the camera is also another cause of exacerbation of Veiling Flare. And there is abundant Veiling Flare, present.
    Assume:
    The CE (Camera Elevation) is about 5ft (the Photographer has stated in previous posts, that she is just over 5ft tall).
    The Minister is a little shorter than the Groom, so assume his shoulder/neck (Black Line) is 5ft from the ground; The Minister is about 1½ft to 2 ft behind the Groom; Minister’s neck to Feet height is 5ft
    Extrapolate:
    At 5ft CE, and the camera horizontal, the bottom of frame with a 28mm on a 5D is about 9ft from the camera. And the Minister’s Neck Shadow just ends at the bottom of the image frame.
    Conclusion: The Minister’s shadow, (feet to neck) is about 20ft long.
    Conclusion: Angle of Sun to that Scene ≈ 14°.
    Conclusion: At an SD = 30ft, with a 28mm lens on a 5D; shooting head on onto the sun (offset only a few degrees to camera right); Sun’s elevation from the horizon = 14°, and the tallest light shield (6ft) being the group of three people (B&G and Minister), going to a lower camera angle would not shield the Direct Flare.
    Shooting Prone from Ant Level, at that camera viewpoint, the effective upward angle / line of sight, would be about 11° to the Groom and totally inadequate to block the sun’s direct rays into the lens.
    ***
    Field Test:
    It’s my opinion that (having whacked a 28 on my 5D and played for while with it, yesterday) shooting head on into a slightly offset light, elevated from the horizon at 14°, it is impossible to scrim or shield the Direct Flare in any manner without a physical vignette.
    (The shadow from the Arched Vine structure is off to camera left and at that shooting position would miss shielding the camera from direct and diffuse sun’s rays, even in fully Prone Shot.)
    One main reason why a lower camera angle worked to shield the Flare in the sample provided by Marc is because the shooting distance was much shorter; by going lower the upward angle of the camera eclipsed the downward angle of the sun, hence blocking the Flare.
    Also intersting to note is the shorter SD in Marc’s sample would have allowed more easily employment of on camera Flash Fill, to gain an advantage of better mid tone contrast.
    However in Nadine’s sample, shooting at about 30ft, all bets are off, for Flash Fill, from a camera position.
    ***
    Moving to the “Crane Solution”
    Keeping the assumptions, conclusions of SD and Sun Angle, and my field test of a28mm on my 5D at sunrise 14° angle yesterday morning - a 10Fft Crane elevation would not be enough to be safe.
    I think you need about 20ft to 25ft "Crane Elevation" for an adequate downward angle, to be sure you can shield all Flare and Veiling Flare.
    A fork lift would suffice.
    I am sending a light weight fork lift and mounted shooting platform, tomorrow.
    WW
     
  67. Hey thanks, Pete. I have a Nikkor 28mm f2 that went with my FM in days past. Good thought--might test that, but I'd have to get a Canon adapter, unless I use the FM and film... Got any recommendations for an adapter?​
    Hey Nadine, you're a lucky girl! There are not that many 28mm f2 around, for instance keh has one that is bargain grade for $275. Anyway check the serial to confirm it's a real AI lens because I think the older versions are not multicoated and can probably not handle flare as good.
    I don't know about adapters but there seem to be some variability in quality from cheap the ebay adapters in the $15 to $30 range. Fotodiox has a pro quality adapter though that everybody seems to agree is good but it's $80. I'd probably got one of those because they seem solid and they guarantee infinity focus which means the thinkness of the adapter has to be dead on. As I'm sure you know these adapter don't have any glass in them so image quality is unaffected as long it's mechanically good.
    @WW,
    Your analysis sure is in-depth but as always a good read :)
     
  68. Pete--I'm sorry, I was wrong--I don't have the 28mm f2. I have the 28mm f2.8, so I don't have the magic lens... :^) But I'm still interested in that line of thinking--thanks for the adapter suggestion.
    William W.--I sure hope you had fun doing those calculations...you are blinding me with science! :^) I have studied your post carefully, as I hope others have/will. As previously stated, were I trying to avoid flare in the shot I took, I probably should have been thinking about all you wrote.
     
  69. Pete, yours is by far the best I've seen so far as artistically really helping it. It makes the flare make more sense. I love it. For future exercises Nadine, if you wouldn't mind either providing the RAW file or a higher res version of the image as a JPG, I think people could really do more with it as an exercise. I think it is still a good exercise to do, because you can see some people, like Pete, really can save the image, if that was by random chance, the ONLY shot you had of a moment the couple REALLY wanted.
     
  70. I've been studying my "Light Science and Magic" textbook today, which inspires this question.
    Kind of off-topic (but not really after reading all the posts!), would anyone have quickly spun-on a polarizing filter? Forgetting the flair for the moment (though I'm guessing it should have suppressed it somewhat), would the filter have helped the image overall, particularly regarding blown sky, whites in the crowd, etc?
     
  71. A polarizer mitigates reflected light ... in this situation it would have acted more like an ND filter and mostly just cut the over-all exposure equally across the whole frame, but done little to alter the light balance.
    An ND Grad could have helped ... but they are a pain to use at a wedding.
    Mother Nature won this skirmish, you just do what you can and move on.
     
  72. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    I've been thinking what possible way would a Polarizing Filter could assist and I don't come up with much either. I was thinking if any assist it might help the distant hill, LHS, this would be dependent upon how humid, specificically how much humidity was hanging low aroud that area. But I reckon that's therory, rather than a difference that we might easily see.
    WW
     
  73. One idea to avoid flare would be to do an exposure blend but not a regular one.
    Take first shot as usual (ideally under exposed to retain detail in the sky) and the second shot properly exposed but blocking the sun with the hand in front of the lens. That would cut down the flare substantially.
    Blend the two images in photoshop with layer masks. Take the sky from the first shot and the rest from the second.
     

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