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


  1. #1

    Default Contrast with digital cameras Guest

  2. #2

    Default Contrast with digital cameras

    I've been shooting digitally a year or so , and it's great and all, but I notice that with hard light,
    skin tones can look lot more severe that with film. I'm wondering what folks tend to do about this. I assume all possible solutions are better done in photoshop and in camera. Guest

  3. #3

    Default Re: Contrast with digital cameras

    Can you elaborate a bit on your specific shooting situation, including camera, settings, raw processing software, etc. Guest

  4. #4

    Default Re: Contrast with digital cameras

    If you expect the exposure latitude of color or B&W negative film, it ain't gonna happen.

    You have an exposure latitude with digital more like that of slide film, if not narrower. You need to expose for the highlights not the shadows..

    Keith Guest

  5. #5

    Default Re: Contrast with digital cameras

    Knowing what your camera is, what your settings are and how you are saving the images, it's hard to tell you.

    Keith is right, though. Digital capture is very unforgiving of improper exposure. Your latitude is minuscule. Underexpose and the noise gets overwhelming; overexpose and your highlights are totally n.
    Ramón_G_Castañ Guest

  6. #6

    Default Re: Contrast with digital cameras

    ours is not to reason why....? Guest

  7. #7

    Default Re: Contrast with digital cameras


    I assume all possible solutions are better done in photoshop and in camera.

    Whether you're shooting film or digital, getting it perfect in camera is *always* the best goal to strive for. As mentioned already, digital capture is less forgiving than neg film, so yze the scene and decide what detail is important and go about setting the exposure to protect that detail. You'll find the detail that needs protexting is usually the highligths.

    Where Photoshop comes in is the point where you want to open up midtone and shadow details of your image, while holding the detail levels in the highlights that you so carefully protected during capture. Levels and Curves (and adjustment layers) are valuable assets with this chore.

    Good luck. Guest

  8. #8

    Default Re: Contrast with digital cameras

    Is this the kind of outs your talking about:


    Click on the 5th photo of the portrait of the oriental woman. I couldn't get the link to download that image.

    I don't know if you've been to this site but they are the most detailed I've come across including exposure settings for a ton of cameras. Guest

  9. #9

    Default Re: Contrast with digital cameras

    Overly dark shadows are not uncommon with digital cameras, and the shadow/highlight adjuster does a great job in improving these. I'd recommend you try this in PS CS and see if it helps your images. Guest

  10. #10

    Default Re: Contrast with digital cameras

    Link did not work well -- black page, timer kept spinning. Please provide direct url if you can...

    I'm shooting mostly jpeg fine so far.

    I'm used to shooting slide film metered perfectly-- Kodak 100SW-- and even with tight beauty, face shots with very hard direct strobe light, getting beautiful nice skin tones. nice shadows...

    In my limited experience so far with digital, with hard light, skin -- tight face shots -- come out so unforgiving -- and yes, too hot... ok on part of face ok on others. all in all hideous looking.

    I seen that ogy before about digital is like slide film. Maybe that does not wash. Maybe slide film is a lot more forgiving... Guest

  11. #11

    Default Re: Contrast with digital cameras

    Sorry about that Scotty, I have IE 5.16 and that link brings me to the Sony DSC s85 gallery site with a split top window. The top showing the series of samples and the bottom pane showing the first of the samples.

    Here's the link for just the listing of the Sony's gallery, if you want to fool with it. Scroll down to the Sony DSC s85 link in the list:

    <> Guest

  12. #12

    Default Re: Contrast with digital cameras

    Again: what camera, lens(es) etc. please? Without that info our comments are a waste of our time. E.g., solutions for a first generation Elph and for a 1Ds are very different. Guest

  13. #13

    Default Re: Contrast with digital cameras


    Still without knowing what camera/processing technique you are using, it's hard to be specific. What I can tell you is that I have been using a 1Ds for about six months now and have not had the problems you refer to. Exposing digital files is not the same as film. In fact, most digital camera makers have their metering systems underexpose a bit just so the highlights don't hlow out, so going by a handheld meter might have a tendency to overexpose. Shooting raw files will give you more options in terms of image tonality than jpegs, including exposure, sharpening, color balance and white point. I ALWAYS shoot a frame and if not outright processing the raw file, at least look at it in PhaseOne DSLR to check for exposure, focus etc. before embarking on the rest of the shoot. If I'm still not sure, I will process a bracket of images and bring them up on the Artisan to see what is the optimum setting for that shoot. Guest

  14. #14

    Default Re: Contrast with digital cameras

    page c85 goes to another black page that keeps spinning and spinning around....

    I'm on Nikon D-100 with older AF 85mm lens. Is there a processing techinique? I put card into FW card reader.

    Peter: issue I'm bringing up is specific to hard, direct light with no diffusion. With diffusion, umbrellas etc, everything is more or less fine. Have you seen results with digital with direct strobe light compared to same with slide film? It's scary, and thats why I'm wondering what people do in this specific situation to get those faces looking nice again. Guest

  15. #15

    Default Re: Contrast with digital cameras

    Sorry, Scottie. I guess not all of the internet can be reached due to browser settings or versions. It downloads fine on my OS 9.2.2 Mac using IE 5.16. I have Enable Active X turned off, Show Frames, Enable Scripting, Show Style Sheets and Enable Plug-Ins turned on.

    Here's the home page:

    <> Guest

  16. #16

    Default Re: Contrast with digital cameras


    If the highlights on those faces are n out, the detail just isn't there at all. There's nothing one can do to "to get those faces looking nice again".

    If there is at least a bit of information in those areas, you can try duplicating the layer, setting the blending mode to Multiply, and adjusting the Opacity as needed. Then you can mask the other areas accordingly. Occasionally, a third layer set to multiply helps, but only if you absolutely must save the image at all costs.
    Ramón_G_Castañ Guest

  17. #17

    Default Re: Contrast with digital cameras

    You sure this isn't just an oily skin or makeup problem? "Digital" doesn't know soft light from hard.

    Light doesnt get much harder than a focusable spot! <>

    (Well, there's a touch of fill in there.)

    -phil Guest

  18. #18

    Default Re: Contrast with digital cameras


    What you describe is almost certainly due to poor lighting. Use the histogram and highlights review screens to review/reshoot to correct your lighting/exposure. Also, verify the White Balance setting.

    RAW is a D100 luxury that I don't have time for; I too shoot JPEG Fine, no problem there. Instantly reviewing pix to verify lighting/exposure helps a lot to minimize post processing. The histogram and out screens are right next to each other sequentially, so it literally only takes one second to review.

    All that said, pix shot with hard, direct light look... hard and direct. Digital SLR images are much less filtered/lossy (or whatever adjective is correct) than most 35 mm film scans, so what you are describing actually may be the digicam medium itself being less forgiving of harsh lighting; I don't know.

    Compare digicam images to scans, not to slides themselves. The one-up fully og film medium truly is a different beast. Guest

  19. #19

    Default Re: Contrast with digital cameras

    Thanks for tip Ramon and others. I'm gonna takes notes for future reference.
    Phil, I assume that was a digital shot and it did look nice (of course, I'm not seeing it on my monitor close up and before any spotting.) I think though that tight face/beauty shots with hard and somtimes shadowy light may be the most difficut thing for digital compared to traditional film. Guest

  20. #20

    Default Re: Contrast with digital cameras

    Scottie -

    Yes, that was captured with a getting-lowlier-by-the-minute Canon D60. I processed the RAW image literally seconds before posting it here. Save for a tiny Levels adjustment, It hasn't been tweaked in the least as I just used the "As Shot" settings in ACR. But at capture time, I was using a custom white balance and exposure was verified with a Powerbook. If a laptop isn't possible, the camera's LCD is the way to go as Allen suggests.

    I just posted it to show I wasn't experiencing your problem. (At least, I assume your results are different.) Can you link an example?

    -phil Guest

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