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What is wrong with this image?
Old 06-11-2007, 07:44 AM   #1 (permalink)
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I know this is off topic and has nothing to do with glamour, but I do value all of your's opinions and wanted to get some input.

Most of the images I take out of the studio have this flat, hazy, unimpressive look to them. Can anyone tell me why this image (and most of my other's) look so "off"

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What is wrong with this image? 
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Re: What is wrong with this image?
Old 06-11-2007, 11:15 AM   #2 (permalink)
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My guess is slightly underexposed and too low of contrast. Hard to tell with out the original file and Encrypted Data(whose name I can't remember right now)
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Re: What is wrong with this image?
Old 06-11-2007, 01:23 PM   #3 (permalink)
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i ain't no architectural shooter, unless we're talking female architecture, but it seems to me there isn't a vertical line that's plumb anywhere in the image and that might be problematic.
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Re: What is wrong with this image?
Old 06-11-2007, 01:27 PM   #4 (permalink)
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you don't see all of the building...and I would have done a merge of two shots to get the inner detail of the entrance to come out. (2 different exposures)
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Re: What is wrong with this image?
Old 06-11-2007, 06:59 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Assuming this is a raw image, you have everything you need to get a decent image out of this. You need to adjust the curves, and bump up the color saturation a bit. If you've ever looked at a film reproduction curve (D Log E for you techies out there) you'll remember the S curve. Try and adjust the curves to something similar and you'll be on the right track. Adjustment layers can be great for this.

Other notes about square, level and plumb are all valid, can be easily fixed using the perspective tools in ps, or a tilt/shift lens.

As far as using HDR (high dynamic range) merge in photoshop, I've played with it a few times and haven't gotten any results I really like, anyone had success with it and care to share?

Good luck

SB
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Re: What is wrong with your head?
Old 06-12-2007, 12:51 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I think what you have here is a common problem with digital shooters. It seems that you don't know shyt about photography. Turn the little dial until the camera doesn't think for you... most cameras have a setting which requires thought to make something happen... most are labeled "M".

Once you take the camera off all "auto" functions - you'll find that you decide what's light and what's dark. Then you can look at all your subjects and think about how the subject affects you... and strive to make your images affect the viewer similarly.

Fortunately, you caught it in time. The next phase of this affliction is your nuts fall off and you start to think that a man-purse is a great camera bag.
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Re: What is wrong with this image?
Old 06-12-2007, 01:17 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve_Buchanan View Post
Assuming this is a raw image, you have everything you need to get a decent image out of this. You need to adjust the curves, and bump up the color saturation a bit. If you've ever looked at a film reproduction curve (D Log E for you techies out there) you'll remember the S curve. Try and adjust the curves to something similar and you'll be on the right track. Adjustment layers can be great for this.
This is where the problem lies! Most of the pictures I take require massive amount of post production. It seems that they all have this "haze" over them, and I need to play with the contrast and saturation to get them right. I know the exposure is right (or at least close), and so is the white balance, but I can't for my life figure out why I need to adjust every image I capture.

I know that is particular picture has many other things wrong with it, like composition, perspective, and some hard shadows, but I only used it as an example of this "hazy picture" problem.
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Re: What is wrong with this image?
Old 06-12-2007, 01:43 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I would suggest working with the camera parameters. You can choose contrast, color, wb, sharpness, etc and some camera's offer even more.
Exposure can be tricky on these shots and I agree with the basic thrust of Christian's proposal, but think it could have been phrased a bit more politely.
These kinds of shots are often better shot in Manual mode. You can apply a zone system to determine the exposure. Meter the highlights and shadows and also pick out what area of the photo you want to be 18% gray (or close). Then make your exposure choice based on this information. But this usually means that you must do post processing to get the full dynamic range. See below for a suggestion on how to do this.

It looks like the sky is reasonably exposed, but because of the contrast range you have underexposed areas in front. Also the contrast settings don't seem right.

So, what you need to do is to experiment with the camera parameters. Go shoot a similar shot about 20 or 30 times in a row each time changing one of the camera's parameters and keeping track of what changes were made (although most of them will show up in the "m e t a" data). Keep the light the same. Now in photoshop look at each photo and find the one that looks the best and then you'll have a good idea of what works for that type of lighting. But keep in mind that one size does not fit all and you may have to do the same thing for each new lighting setup.

You can also shoot in RAW, and set the Auto mode of the RAW processor to do the same things as the parameters do. I tend to use that approach myself and it works well.

If shooting in RAW your current shot could have had the dark problem in front corrected by just processing the RAW shot twice. One for the main building and sky and one for the dark area (making it lighter). You then layer the two images together and use the black mask and white brush technique to paint in the dark area making it lighter. See my tutorial in one of the forums on this (search for black mask).

Cheers,
rfs
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Re: What is wrong with this image?
Old 06-12-2007, 02:20 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ffppro View Post
This is where the problem lies! Most of the pictures I take require massive amount of post production. It seems that they all have this "haze" over them, and I need to play with the contrast and saturation to get them right. I know the exposure is right (or at least close), and so is the white balance, but I can't for my life figure out why I need to adjust every image I capture.

I know that is particular picture has many other things wrong with it, like composition, perspective, and some hard shadows, but I only used it as an example of this "hazy picture" problem.
This is a bit off topic, but you might want to view daily dose of imagery photoblog. He often shows buildings and other structures. Most of his photos have undergone significant Photoshopping.

Just thought I would toss that out. Fwiw, I have no affiliation with the photoblogs, other than someone who tunes in frequently.
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Re: What is wrong with this image?
Old 06-12-2007, 07:08 PM   #10 (permalink)
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You have missed the whole point to photography. You should have had to work in a real darkroom with chemicals adjusting contrast, brightness, grayneness, ect with chemicals paper and time. Boy talk about being spoilded. Go back to basics. Get a k-1000 and learn to use it. You will be supprised what you will learn.
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