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HELP!!! particularly with hotspots
Old 06-08-2005, 06:06 PM   #1 (permalink)
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At Mr. Smith's suggestion, I am giving the assembly a chances to help a struggling amateur who is trying to master this whole post production thing. While I have asked for some asssitance with getting the metering right in the first place in another forum, I would like to see what folks can do with this. This is the largest version I could post as I do not have a web site. It is an auto-scan of B&W film from the lab I use at 3087 X 2048. I have a Nikon Coolscan 4000 which I will use for a higher quality scan once I get some better ideas. Any help will be greatly and deeply appreciated.

regards

mark sharfman






p.s. here is what I came up with quickly using the healing brush, burn tool and and the noise filter:


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Re: HELP!!! particularly with hotspots
Old 06-08-2005, 06:26 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I am not sure I understand your issue, and even if I did I am not sure you have provided enough information. You say you have a hot spot problem, well that is pre-scan. Are you asking people for a method of correcting the image you shot? I'm not being simplistic, but there is a point in time when the photographer needs to say 'I did not do that right, and while I can spend multiple hours trying to fix it, wouldn't it be better to use my time to reshoot it?'

[img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/confused.gif[/img]
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Re: HELP!!! particularly with hotspots
Old 06-08-2005, 06:53 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Mike: Thanks for the post and my apologies for the confusion. Actually, I am asking for both kinds of help. I believe the real problem is that I do not yet have metering techniques perfected to the point where I get quality exposures in the first place. (The obvious problem with trial and error learning - lots of error regardless of the number of trials.) Suggestions on books, on-line courses, ideas etc. that will help me with what I see as the major problem are my first priority. I am reasonably comfortable with my composition but really need better, more consistent exposures. Fredrick Smith suggested that I also get some PP help so that I might to improve the images post processing. I am out here in the middle of Oklahoma with no access to quality instruction and because of family commitments really can not travel much either. As such, I am asking for the help of the community in both issues to the extent to which they will give it. Does that clarify things?

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Re: HELP!!! particularly with hotspots
Old 06-08-2005, 07:04 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Mark

I know little about your specific camera nor do I know what lighting system you are using. If you have flash heads and softboxes then I could give some thoughts. If however you are using home depot lighting or mini-flashes that is different. If the lights you are using do not allow you to at least get a concept visually in your mind before you shoot then you are going to wander aimlessly. Tell me what you are using to create these images.


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Re: HELP!!! particularly with hotspots
Old 06-08-2005, 07:38 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Mike:

Thanks again for posting so quickly and for the interest. The following is a summary of my equipment:

I am working with old (but well maintained) Canon A-1's with power winders and usually a 100mm F2 Canon lens. I generally shoot with Fujichrome Provia when I am shooting slides or Ilford FP4 for B&W. I have four Novatron heads with a 1200 watt Power Pack which while clearly not 'Bees seem sufficient. Two of the heads have multiple stops and two are fixed. The Power Pack itself has three power settings so I have some flexibility in power both ways. I use Photoflex softboxes and umbrellas of various sizes plus have a variety of sizes/colors of Photoflex reflectors with which to work. The studio is small with the main shooting area about 15x15 although I have a long aisle to get full torso shots like the ones I posted. I use a Sekonic incident meter (a 408 I believe) which works well with my lights. While not the best equipment, it is sufficient for my state of development. I can not blame the equipment but rather operator error in not really knowing to use the equipment properly or at least to its full extent to get the exposure right the first time.

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Some possibilities ...
Old 06-09-2005, 12:52 AM   #6 (permalink)
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First off, that's a damn nice image - good ighting, graceful pose and beautiful model. Second, whatever is going on, no need to apologise for your equipment, it's pretty much what I used while operating a commercial studio. those Novatrons will do as good a job as any light out there.

For an instant repair, use try the burning in tool set for a brush size a bit larger than the hot spot and at about 10%, 20% at most. Make repeated passes over the area so that densiity builds up slowly. But that doesn't prevent the problem.

There's a possibility that you meter and camera shutter and/or aperture hve an error. It isn't at all unusual for an aperture to have a half stop or more error, in either direction. If you have access to a second lens, try the same pic with each lens and compare the results. Try bracketing exposure, a full stop change in each direction and examine the results.

But with all that said, I suspect the problem is in the scan. A little to much contrast during the scan can cause just what you are seeing.

Finally, remember skin is made up mostly of wather with a lot of oil. Having the model dust herself thoroughly with powder before shooting can do wonders to prevent hot spots.
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Re: HELP!!! particularly with hotspots
Old 06-09-2005, 06:00 AM   #7 (permalink)
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just an attempt, burned parts, noise reduction, some blurring, some healing, blacks more black.... what do you think?

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Re: HELP!!! particularly with hotspots
Old 06-09-2005, 08:14 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I use Novatrons but a more recent system where I can vary power in 1/1oth increments. I tend to agree with Doug that the scan can be pushing too much contrast. Also how she is posed does push her chest which is a broad skin area up towards the light source. When you sit back and just look at the scene. Decide where the strongest lighted area is. Meter that, then meter the area down by the feet and meter her face. You would expect it to drop off towards her feet and that is one of the things that I like here. But if there is a stp and a half between chest and face that in my mind would mean change pose slightly until you can get them closer. Since you use film then Doug's idea a bout bracketing until you can decide which meter to believe may not be a bad idea. With a digital I can see pretty quickly where hot spots are, but I remember my fil days and I remember what it was like to have a negative with solid black on skin.

I don't scan much anymore so I could not tell you if your scanner is known for contrast issues or not.

Sorry i could not be anymore help.


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Re: Some possibilities ...
Old 06-10-2005, 10:07 AM   #9 (permalink)
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[ QUOTE ]
First off, that's a damn nice image - good ighting, graceful pose and beautiful model. Second, whatever is going on, no need to apologise for your equipment, it's pretty much what I used while operating a commercial studio. those Novatrons will do as good a job as any light out there.

For an instant repair, use try the burning in tool set for a brush size a bit larger than the hot spot and at about 10%, 20% at most. Make repeated passes over the area so that densiity builds up slowly. But that doesn't prevent the problem.

There's a possibility that you meter and camera shutter and/or aperture hve an error. It isn't at all unusual for an aperture to have a half stop or more error, in either direction. If you have access to a second lens, try the same pic with each lens and compare the results. Try bracketing exposure, a full stop change in each direction and examine the results.

But with all that said, I suspect the problem is in the scan. A little to much contrast during the scan can cause just what you are seeing.

Finally, remember skin is made up mostly of wather with a lot of oil. Having the model dust herself thoroughly with powder before shooting can do wonders to prevent hot spots.

[/ QUOTE ]

Doug:

Thanks for the kind words and suggestions. I used the burn tool on the small image - my big problem with it is patience. The equipment issue is one I have to check to make sure that it is not the problem. The camera I used was recently reconditioned so it should be OK but the lens may not be so I will check it. As for bracketing, I had been doing so but only 1/2 stop at a time so I will go a bit broader to see what happens. Unfortunately the problem is in the neg and not the scan. I have contact prints and they look just like the scan. I also scanned the neg with my Nikon Coolscan and the same problem exists. Again, the issue is likely operator error on the original exposure. I am intrigued however, by the powder idea - do you know a good neutral color product that I could use?

thanks again

regards

mark
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Re: HELP!!! particularly with hotspots
Old 06-10-2005, 10:08 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Looks nice - I will try some of the same for my final image.

regards

mark
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