Canon 5D Mark lll, Lightroom 4 Shadow Detail at 100%


Following yesterday’s post on 5D Mark lll shadow detail I’ve had numerous requests for a pair of shadow detail images, one of the full shot, the other of a 100% detail from the same image. The image below was shot in direct sunlight, with deep shadows in the seaweed, and highlights in the barnacles for a broad dynamic range in the image. (For the geeks, this was shot at ISO 100,  f/11, 100th of a second, at 65mm with a Canon 24-105 f/4L IS USM lens). Here’s a jpg reduction of the full image, cropped in height for the subject, but the full width (minor direction) of the original file:

Mermaid's Wigstand

Below is a crop from the center of the image, at 100%, so its showing the individual pixels, with minimal jpg compression in this version of the image. The image was opened into Lightroom 4.1. Three adjustments were made, all of them lens-specific. A sharp prime lens would probably require less, if any, adjustment for all three of these controls. They  were: an increase to Shadows, and increase to Clarity, and an increase to Saturation. Your mileage (and lenses) may vary. Please click on the detail below for a 100% view. For more articles on the 5D Mark lll, and on Lightroom 4, please consult the right column.

Mermaid's Wigstand Detail at 100%

Credits: C. David Tobie, Copyright 2012. Website: CDTobie.com Return to Blog’s Main Page

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5 responses to “Canon 5D Mark lll, Lightroom 4 Shadow Detail at 100%

  1. Interesting.

    More useful (I would think) would be to compare this basic shot idea with a 5DMK2 as well as say a Nikon. If you want to get totally crazy, compare this shot against a large sensor camera like a Mamiya or a ‘blad.

      • Very interesting indeed. From my “untrained” eye, the differences don’t look linear. How that translates into shadow detail/capability to resolve would be interesting to see. And I stand by my “crazy” scenario question: how does the Mk3 compare to a large sensor camera.

      • Well, linear is how devices see light, but not eyes. So we are always in that uncomfortable corner with small changes at the dark end between, say, Gamma 2.2, which is a conveniently simple formula for converting device capture and human perception, but not terrible close to human vision, or L-star, which is based on human vision, but is a more complex formula. Then there are differences that occur with the eye’s adaptation to brightness or to color temperature.

        So when all is said and done, its really about how shadows “read” in the image or print. For instance, tall, narrow streets in old European towns look lovely to the eye; we shoot them, and the shadows inevitably covering one side of the street look terrible in the resulting image. At that point I want an attractive, smooth, believable image that more or less resembles what I thought I saw. And good dynamic range in the raw file, plus good controls to manipulate those extra levels without posterization or reversals is what I’m looking for to correct that. I could choose to open the shadows in the seaweed here in a similar manner, but the punch, contrast, and bright sunlight effect means more to me than seeing texture in the deep shadows. Thats what the crow with the Easter egg was about: thats an image where I wanted to open the shadows way up to put detail into the crow, so that he would not be a black blob.

  2. What I find a bit depressing is that, out of several hundred people who have viewed this page, only a bit over thirty of them have taken my advice and clicked on the 100% detail, to actually blow it up to 100% detail. It reminds me of Obama’s acceptance speech, at night in a big park in Chicago. The audience was a sea of glittering sequins; lovely, but each one representing a photographer who didn’t know enough to turn off their camera’s flash before trying to shoot an image of the stage…

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