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Contrast with digital cameras - Adobe Photoshop Mac CS, CS2 & CS3

Phil, You don't me at all. Your images are fine. It might be better for people to download them and then view them in Photoshop where they can take advantage of CM and view them properly. These days the only place where monitor gamma does make a difference is in non CM applications, like most web browsers. If your images are in sRGB for the web, then they should actually look more contrasty on a 1.8 system. There are so many variables to the monitor thing including the black point luminance, and ambient light, the age and brand and even ...

  1. #41

    Default Re: Contrast with digital cameras


    You don't me at all. Your images are fine. It might be better for people to download them and then view them in Photoshop where they can take advantage of CM and view them properly. These days the only place where monitor gamma does make a difference is in non CM applications, like most web browsers. If your images are in sRGB for the web, then they should actually look more contrasty on a 1.8 system. There are so many variables to the monitor thing including the black point luminance, and ambient light, the age and brand and even the size of the monitor, etc. that all affect calibration and performance, not to mention the eyes that are looking at it. Guest

  2. #42

    Default Re: Contrast with digital cameras

    They only look contrasty and saturated on my 1.8 system if I turn Colorsync on in IE prefs. I never know if the saturated look was what was intended.

    When viewing digicam samples on, some shots, such as close up of flowers, are too saturated so I turn it off. I also turn it off to see how the cam captures shadow detail in hair or bounced light in shaded outdoor scenes. Of course, some saturation is sacrificed.

    My 1.8 might be set a little to dark, maybe at 1.9. Guest

  3. #43

    Default Re: Contrast with digital cameras

    How could I put this so you would understand, you don't know what contrast is and you don't seem to understand the nature of light an shadow. You seem so frightened of it that you eliminated any real natural contrast in you images going to extraordinary efforts not reveal the source of light. So it is hard to say what you are shooting with as well as what you have to say about the subject except that you seem to think everything has no spirit or inspiration and so even when you try to use tried and true techniques for establishing drama, albeit unnatural drama, it still lacks any statement of expression.

    Does that get the point across, art is contrast, life is contrast, light is contrast, for every action there is a reaction, it is all relative except for your work.

    It doesn't matter where you use film, digital or even expose paper in a pinhole camera it would all come out flat. Because that is the way you see things even though that is not the way things are.

    Here is an image that my audience and just about everyone else I have shown it to likes a great deal. It is very quiet photograph and there is some orange construction barrier netting that retouched out and the sky had been fogged by the Parisian Airport Security, aren't they sweet, in the center portion of the image so that had to be restored and they Venetians were partying the night before so the c had to be dredge of litter.

    Quite and natural doesn't mean dull and I know this is not the exciting high pace world of fashion but it makes my point.

    Giudecca <> Guest

  4. #44

    Default Re: Contrast with digital cameras


    Have you scene the drama in this guy's work:


    The Ansel Adams of color photography. Guest

  5. #45

    Default Re: Contrast with digital cameras

    Thanks for the link, Tim. Awesome photo! <>

    -phil Guest

  6. #46

    Default Re: Contrast with digital cameras

    That is indeed a splendid picture. I wonder where it was taken. That area looks like a certain part of central California near Modesto on Hiighway 46. Maybe it's not even in the US. There aren't enough live oaks. Guest

  7. #47

    Default Re: Contrast with digital cameras

    You know it is very nice indeed, now don't get up set, but it is not my kind of thing.

    It is just not something I would want hanging in my home but I can see where others would find this kind of thing of great value to themselves.

    Different strokes for different folks.

    Of course we all know that Ansel Adams did color work as well and I kind of find his color work more interesting than his black and white. Now that is how I see it.

    Now as far as contrast in Digital photography it has problems in this area and you are being a little dishonest if you say it doesn't.

    I spoke with people from Kodak, Mamiya, Contax, Sinar Bron and they all fess up you are going to have a problem with contrast with digital capture.

    I think that this may have to rethinked before it is as viable as everyone wants it to be.

    Oh, yes the thing I dislike about the images posted is that they shout so loud that it almost hurts to look at them. Guest

  8. #48

    Default Re: Contrast with digital cameras

    Close Lundberg. The index page says San Benito County, Ca which is slightly north and west of Fresno. So somewhere in the Salinas / Hollister area. (Think you meant Highway 41 though. Hwy 46 is over 100 mi south of Modesto and only runs W/SE from Paso Robles to Bakersfield. I put enough miles on that boring road.)

    -phil Guest

  9. #49

    Default Re: Contrast with digital cameras

    Yeah, Pshock, that one is one of my favorites and jumped out at me. Thought of making it my desktop if only I didn't keep a gray motif.

    Wade, I don't know what you are calling contrast. I always thought film's contrast had to be achieved at the expense of loss of data in the shadow regions.

    Have you ever used a perceptual gamma curve rather than rely on default math based gamma curve profiles?

    I view Joe's work in 1.8 gamma. It gives a more natural desaturated look and opens up shadow detail. Of course I don't know if that's what he intended it to be viewed in but I like it. Guest

  10. #50

    Default Re: Contrast with digital cameras

    Film contrast is achieved in may ways the most difficult thing for professional and amateur to understand is density for instance from your approach you say it is a question of data loss. Well a think negative or under exposed would less information inherent in the latent image in the emulsion and would also lack contrast because of the lack of density.

    You are following me on this, correct?

    Ok and over exposed film would have a denser latent image in the emulsion and far more information and much more contrast as well.

    Now one can use the technique of over exposing a piece of film and under developing it to obtain a large latitude of information and even more contrast then one would get with either an over or under exposed sheet of film. this is the approach that of course Ansel Adams took. It was not a technique he invented but one that he formalized.

    You can expose your film at the correct optimal exposure and you would lose contrast compared to that method and perhaps some detail or information but you would have perhaps a more natural look depending on how it was printed.

    You can then use other methods of printing from that will yield increased detail and sharpness through maskings and improve both more contrast and a larger amount of detail or data. such a technique is the Dye Transfer.

    There are other techniques of deliberately printing a dark print and bleaching back the print either overall or by a spot method.

    Are you still following my train of thought? That's correct what I am saying is that things don't always appear to be what they are and the simplistic most comfortable easy to accept concept is not always the true. Guest

  11. #51

    Default Re: Contrast with digital cameras

    Can you post a linked image showing a side by side comparison of what you're talking about? I'm not a professional photographer, but I think I have a good eye for judging images as well as an open mind.

    If not an interesting discussion none the less. Guest

  12. #52

    Default Re: Contrast with digital cameras

    Tim -

    Don't let Wade's agenda to bash me and my work confuse you about any of this stuff. For whatever reason, my work has always seemed to threaten him and from day one, he's felt the need to play volunteer art critic and point out what's "wrong" with it. His comments about my "lack of understanding contrast" are nothing more than personal attacks and have absolutely nothing to do with the discussion.

    If learning about B/W film and printing is what you're truly interested in, investigate the Zone System. The non-self important explaination is - expose for shadows and develop for highlights. This method will indeed provide greater contrast that can be achieved with an "overall correct" exposure and normal development. However, it is possible to apply Zone System principals to digital imaging. A good book that gets into it is Photoshop CS Artistry by Haynes/Crumpler. (I'm assuming there's a CS version since they've updated every version beginning with PS 4)

    Lighting contrast and image contrast are two different things. The "art is contrast, life is contrast ...", pretentious bull$hit aside, it's quite possible to have good contrast in a scene which has relatively few shadows or highlights. Flat lighting doesn't automatically equate to flat contrast and conversely, a scene with contrasty lighting can indeed end up with low contrast.

    This scene is very flat in terms of light, yet has perfectly good contrast.

    -phil Guest

  13. #53

    Default Re: Contrast with digital cameras

    I am not attacking Phil I just think his work is very flat and I have made that same comment many times.

    I simply disagree with him on a lot of things and especially his understanding of contrast and notions about lighting.

    Now as I mentioned I also don't like Joseph Holmes work as I think it is a vulgar interpretation of the landscape. Now I can see people saying well I don't really care if he makes more of the photography than he does of the subject. I find it patented
    and trite.

    As far as posting examples as I pointed out you are familiar already with examples of the work as both Phil and I pointed out that Ansel Adams use this technique and formalized it by calling it the Zone System and created a kind scale for it. He tried to make a method out of this technique but no one seems to be able to follow his method though many professional still use the technique, keep in mind he did not invent the technique.

    BTW The idea that I am threaten by Phil's work tells you something about him. I enjoy helping people on the forum when I can and learning from both the professionals and user like yourself who are not professional although I suspect you are professional just not a professional photographer. You know what I mean, there is a lot to be learnt here, even about digital photography and even if digital photography doesn't last.

    Let's see what happens in ten years? Guest

  14. #54

    Default Re: Contrast with digital cameras

    I've not used digital much yet. Scanning film is great, though--you can pick your way through nearly-black shadows, and pull detail from n-out highlights.

    As an outsider, it looks like you treat digital cameras as a very fast transparency film (alas, without the speed). There's no latitude. If you try to push it, it's all noise and n-out highlights. If you pull it, it's a little flatter and more manageable--but it's still tonally compressed. I suppose this will change as 16-bits per channel takes over, so that there's more range. Guest

  15. #55

    Default Re: Contrast with digital cameras

    I suppose this will change as 16-bits per channel takes over

    There already is 16 bits per channel if you shoot in RAW Guest

  16. #56

    Default Re: Contrast with digital cameras

    You know what I mean, there is a lot to be learnt here


    I "learnt" there are (is) some (one?) closed mind(s) here... closed to thinking different... closed to utilizing new tools to exercise practiced concepts... closed to the notion that extending the perceived contrast range of film by over-exposing, then developing for highlights THEN scanning is NOT the only method of attaining the necessary dynamic range during capture... that film is NOT the only technology we have to make images these days.

    I've never posted a comment during a Wade "film is dead long live film (sans punctuation)" thread. For some reason, I found this one to be especially tiring (and aimed at Phil in a very unprofessional way).

    Elitism on BOTH sides of the digital argument is tiring. When it is spewed in an unprofessional rant ("rant" or "stream of too-lazy-to-proofread-or-even-use-punctuation consciousness"... take your pick... they're both the same in my eye), I find it difficult to remain silent.

    Phil, thanks for being a professional during these discussions... keep up the good work. Guest

  17. #57

    Default Re: Contrast with digital cameras

    But Paul I see my prejudices do you see yours! No one says you shouldn't shoot digitally am embrace it and have all the success in the world with doing so, But the idea that someone has to embrace a technique or technology because you or someone else like you does embrace such a technology is closed minded.

    In your case it is not even an attempt to see why the other person is rejecting the
    approach you just assume they are wrong because you know in your heart you are the way!

    My opinion is that Phils work is quite flat, but that is my professional opinion and the reason I point it out is that using his work to judge the merits or faults of digital or
    film would be very difficult for that reason. And he has posted his work often enough to prove points about the subject that his work simply is not showing.

    He posted a whole bunch of images in this thread and some digital and some film quite frankly I didn't see any difference in any of them as far tonal range contrast etc.

    He didn't make his point.

    If my honesty about digital capture offense you I guess that is your problem after all we are only talking about cameras and photographs! No? Guest

  18. #58

    Default Re: Contrast with digital cameras

    after all we are only talking about cameras and photographs! No?

    I'd like to think so. And I am not against the use of any method, using any technology, that is best for whatever image I am tasked with capturing. That I've chosen digital capture more often than film in the past two years to achieve this does not make me prejudiced toward it.

    I do think, however, that since your line of professional work requires and benefits from larger film formats, tilts and shifts, and ground glass focusing, you've lost some perspective in the digital v. film discussion. Whether there is or is not a digital capture solution for your own needs can be debated by folks in your own industry (I am not a large format shooter and will never pretend to be). But there are many professional photographers in this world who are shooting for many clients with a wide range of output needs. Some shoot film. Some shoot digital. And if they are making intelligent choices, it all works.

    Afterall, we're talking about cameras and photographs here, right?

    What continues to shine brightly, however, is your own professional application for film and its benefits argument applied to just about every discussion here that mentions digital capture. It's fine to be passionate about something, just don't let your passion illustrate ignorance or misunderstanding. Guest

  19. #59

    Default Re: Contrast with digital cameras

    Well, Paul, you guys may be talking only about cameras and photographs. I'm
    still talking about Phil's #1, #4, and #10.

    I mean, who are we kidding here? Our children will find this film/digital
    "controversy" quaint at best. They'll regard film the way I regarded Vermeer's
    mixing of paints from raw materials in "Girl with a Pearl Necklace" last night at
    the movie theater. (Of course, they'll look at our current methods of digital
    capture the same way.) So, as you suggest, it really doesn't matter if Wade
    clings to quaint and bersome film - "for all the right aesthetic reasons" -
    and I choose flat digital - "for all the right aesthetic reasons." The "raging
    debate" about film and digital will last about a nonosecond in the scheme
    of things anyway.

    But #1, #4, and #10? Ahh. Now there's timelessness. Phil, you dog you..... Guest

  20. #60

    Default Re: Contrast with digital cameras


    Thanks and I agree.

    My comments were posted in response to Wade's, and not in an effort to continue the "raging debate" about film and digital. Guest

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