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PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2007 8:40 am 
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Just returned from a trip to the Alps in Germany, where there was the first major snow this winter. It was around four in the afternoon, cloudy sky and not snowing (fortunately) and around -10°:
http://flickr.com/search/?s=int&w=38912 ... now&m=text
I took all photos with the camera set to automatic (incl. pop up flash) with no correction of white balance or exposure whatsoever, as I firmly believe that this can be corrected with CaptureNX afterwards. This was my first try with the Nikon D80 under these circumstances and without any experience how the automatic will work, what would have been the point of correction anyway?
Apart from the usual, I tried to capture some of the colors in the sky where the setting sun was painting some redish tones in the otherwise cold gray sky. Did I succeed? Well, I was a bit disappointed. Correcting the white balance to the warmer side certainly brings out some warmer hues in the sky, but it still doen's match my memories.
When I analysed the red/green/blue saturation to find out whether there were any problems I found that I was right not to correct anything. Overall, there was not a single pic where a color was overexposed. So one can say that the D80 auto-exposure is pretty conservative with respect to the lights. But did it leave too much headroom by beeing so cautious? Well, this was a mixed bag: around half of the photos had almost no headroom (e.g. 1153/54/55/57), so exposure was dead on. The other half had headroom of around 1EV up to almost 2EV (e.g. 1134/39/41/48 ). The worst beeing this shot: http://flickr.com/photos/38912116@N00/371662894/
Interesting though: if I correct that pic to the max it certainly looks overexposed to me and does not reflect the "feeling" of the late afternoon light. I would only correct this pic for +1EV.
Is there a clear pattern, which pictures had to much headroom? I don't know! So for me it was right, not to follow the standard advice of shooting everything in snow with +1EV. That way I would have certainly lost some detail in the sky and/or snow.
Later I will try some other levers in CaptureNX to bring the colors in the sky closer to my memories...

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Last edited by Thomas on Thu May 17, 2007 9:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2007 2:33 am 
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Hi Thomas, those are lovely photos!

It's also reassuring to see your D80 exposed correctly for the snow under normal settings. It's usually a challenging subject for exposure systems as you know, and +EV compensation is normally recommended...

Gordon


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2007 7:46 pm 
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What was most interesting for me was the fact that I could not predict, when the D80 automatic would leave too much headroom. That in consequence means that I could not predict when to add +1EV to the exposure.
So in some cases details in the dark shadows get lost, but with snow pics you normally have enough light on your main subject reflecting from everywhere that you don't see a degradation in picture quality when you correct the low exposure by software afterwards.
If you run around adding +1EV on all your snow pics chances are that you loose some detail in the lights that are critical to your main subject. And that is then irretrievably lost and no amount of post processing will bring it back

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2008 6:35 am 
Heh..almost a year since the last post in this thread..time for a revival, since we are in the snowy season yet again.

Personally, I've always tried to use a lens hood for snow pictures.

Even more so than on water, the "fractal nature" of snowscapes mean that light is directly reflected to your lens from a near-infinite amount of points. Not only does that increase the overall level of light tremendously, but it makes a great deal of the ambient light unidirectional.

Throw in some overcast skies, and you have a very bland light-setting.

To help my camera analyze the light in my composition, I use a lens hood to reduce the amount of directly aimed light at the lens. I believe it helps the sensor determine the right exposure a lot better and it yields pictures that are exposed more "correctly".

I put this is quotation marks because what I am trying to say is that if everything that is NOT in the pciture itself was instead..dirt...even if everything that is IN the picture remains the same, the exposure would be better. The lens hood simulates that.

Cheers :-)


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2008 5:31 pm 
The pic with the sheep is piece of art. Congratulations!

pravdo


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2008 8:23 pm 
Really nice shots Thomas! I especially liked the composition of the one where the tree fills the right side of the picture (narrow pano). It's amazing the D80 did so well in Auto, but then Gordon made that claim in his video -- guess you confirmed it. :shock: :D


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