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Accurate representation of ambient light...

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  #1  
Old 01-26-2011, 11:18 AM
isabel95 isabel95 is offline
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Question Accurate representation of ambient light...

...or a brighter image.

I often take pictures in very low light and thus my histograms are missing content on the right side.

I try to replicate the ambient light at the time of capture rather than provide a bright image.

People have remarked that several of my images have histograms to the left of the graph...and that is so.

This image was taken in a dark restaurant which had floods or spotlight in a very high vaulted ceiling. The speaker had no light directed on him. It is a "dark" image, but represents as accurately as possible the level of light that existed at the time of capture.

What are your feelings about this?

Isabel
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Old 01-26-2011, 11:20 AM
isabel95 isabel95 is offline
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Question Accurate ambient light rrepresentation

(Not sure I stopped the previous post after I realized I had forgotten the link)
http://www.pbase.com/isabel95/image/132071144

I often take pictures in very low light and thus my histograms are missing content on the right side.

I try to replicate the ambient light at the time of capture rather than provide a bright image.

People have remarked that several of my images have histograms to the left of the graph...and that is so.

This image was taken in a dark restaurant which had floods or spotlight in a very high vaulted ceiling. The speaker had no light directed on him. It is a "dark" image, but represents as accurately as possible the level of light that existed at the time of capture.

What are your feelings about this?

Isabel
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Old 01-26-2011, 12:16 PM
Wolfman Wolfman is offline
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Re: Accurate representation of ambient light...

If allowed, a flash fill of maybe 1.5 - 2 stops under the available light or a curves or levels adjustment to brighten the image..... a curves or levels adjustment seems the simple and easy solution..... I think that answers your question.
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Old 01-26-2011, 12:39 PM
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Tony W Tony W is online now
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Re: Accurate ambient light rrepresentation

Seems to me that you have achieved your aim of capturing an accurate representation of the ambient light. Therefore the fact that your histogram is loaded to the left is largely irrelevant.

IMO a histogram just is, there is no particular right or wrong as the final image as visualised is the most important.

As to that particular image you could have increased exposure a little maybe 1/2 - 1stop but risk clipping the highlights a little - too far and the lady in the foreground would have been clipped too much.

Additional exposure to move the histogram to the right can offer benefits of capturing more shadow detail and may be appropriate but will depend on the detail you want to preserve in the highlights
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Old 01-26-2011, 12:41 PM
isabel95 isabel95 is offline
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Re: Accurate representation of ambient light...

That is certainly an alternative.

The reason I choose to use a fast lens is so that I can avoid flash. I hate bothering people with it. Since I'm not a pro, I have the freedom to shoot to please myself, I guess.
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Old 01-26-2011, 12:50 PM
isabel95 isabel95 is offline
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Re: Accurate ambient light rrepresentation

I am not crazy about blown out highlights and thus seriously underexposed this one.

I agree with you that a histogram "just is".

Isabel

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony W View Post
Seems to me that you have achieved your aim of capturing an accurate representation of the ambient light. Therefore the fact that your histogram is loaded to the left is largely irrelevant.

IMO a histogram just is, there is no particular right or wrong as the final image as visualised is the most important.

As to that particular image you could have increased exposure a little maybe 1/2 - 1stop but risk clipping the highlights a little - too far and the lady in the foreground would have been clipped too much.

Additional exposure to move the histogram to the right can offer benefits of capturing more shadow detail and may be appropriate but will depend on the detail you want to preserve in the highlights
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Old 01-26-2011, 03:26 PM
fraiseap fraiseap is offline
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Re: Accurate representation of ambient light...

There is a difference between "depiction of low light" and an underexposed image. Underexposed images just look flat and boring. (I agree that the histogram does not really matter)

Remember, our eyes adjust to low light so the exposure is not one of the aspects of an image that says "low light". The important clues to tell the viewer that the image represents a low light scene are hard shadows (because in low light there are small light sources) dark shadows (because there is no little reflected light to provide fill) and very bright highlights (because our eyes adjust to the low light and any lit areas look very bright)

To learn about the appearance of low light it is useful to study film noir.

I have attached an example
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File Type: jpg 72742-004-A40E46A2.jpg (26.7 KB, 26 views)
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