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Nikon Capture Question (from Reznick e-book)

Discussion in 'General Technical Discussion' started by helmet155, Nov 9, 2005.

  1. When Ron refers to sampling in his e-book using capture, which tool exactly is he referring to. The references to sampling occur often:

    Does this mean the 'bullseye' icon in the Curves Palette? If not, which tool do I use to set the WB and to set the 'bug' for adjusting the RGB curves. I'm using the latest version of Capture - 4.3.2...

    Another question: When following along in the e-book and using the images Ron provides, when I open them up do I have to reset the Curves to Neutral and click on the 'Original' marker to follow the steps? If I don't do that it seems the image is the processed version...

    Thanks in advance for taking the time to help :) 

  2. Gale


    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    I will be interested in the answer to this myself.
  3. Gale, I figured out some of it...it just clicked...

    For sampling WB, you can just hover over a part of the image that is near neutral gray and check for symmetry in the channels, if there isn't symmetry then adjust the WB in the White Balance palette to obtain the most symmetrical graph and symmetry in the RGB numbers in the info palette...

    When dialing in the EV, sampling once again is by hovering over the image and checking the luminosity data on a point that still has some detail as in the forehead on the BCN Heron example in Ron's book and also by checking the histogram to stuff the histrogram as far to the right as possible without blowing out those highlights...

    Now, for the shadow data, the way to sample the area and create the bugs is by using the 'target' feature within the Curves palette (on the right) for each R, G and B channel. Next is to adjust each of the shadow sliders to the 'bug' point and adjusting the gamma slider back to the middle setting. The final contrast setup using the RGB channel is done by adjusting the shadow slider to the bug point and then adjusting the gamma slider to set the curve to match the gamma ramps and any gamma plateaus that are displayed in the RGB histogram.

    OK, that was a mouthful but I seem to be grasping it...I think...
  4. I still need to verify all of this on MY images when I have the time, maybe later tonight...

    Also another answer to my questions above, from what I can tell, when opening Ron's examples I must set the Market Palette to Original and reset all the curves to Neutral, to properly follow along...
  5. Gale


    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    yes I would say your grasping quite well.

    I need to take some time to get back into the e-book.
    extra time for me is a darn challenge.

    thank you for the reply.
  6. Gale let's learn together then and communicate in this thread??!!

    Let's start with the first few images from Ron's ebook (the Egret and the Night Heron) and ask any questions here...maybe we can answer eachother's questions and bridge some of the gaps...

    The book is so technical it's easy to get lost for me...



    Reznick methods attempt:


    Lab Color Test, straight from Dan's book in chapter one:


    Which do you prefer? I think the Reznick attempt could be done better with regard to the shadow points but overall the contrasts look better to me...

    EDIT: I added the Lab example for kicks...
  7. I was hoping to hear from more Reznick-ites who use Capture based on Ron's techniques!!

    Anyone else out there? Gale and I need help :) 
  8. Gale


    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    I hate to say this, but the processing on that image in LABooks better, crisper and better color.

    However, you could probably bring the clarity and colors up with Ron's tecnique also.

    What do you think.

    I like working in LAB. Have that book also. I like it. Need more free time to get into all this stuff more. So much can be done. ..
  9. The only thing I don't know about LAB yet is how to adjust for White balance and exposure after opening the image in ACR...the image is so small in ACR that I would maybe prefer to the WB and EV adjustments in Capture, then save to TIFF and do the LAB workflow in PS CS2...

    Just thinking out loud
  10. Hi gang :^)

    Since the eBook was originally done, there have been some changes in the software that make a few things a little easier. First, to sample a section, you can use a watchpoint to create a fixed sample of either a pixel, 3x3 or 5x5 (the size is set in the Options menu). On the Info palette, there is a little button that allows you to set a watchpoint. This spot, once set, will be displayed below the info palette as a set of RGB values and an average. You can set up to four watchpoints.

    When setting EV, you can use any one of several methods, or a combination. If there was white in the image, almost all of the time there will also be near-white. The white shows up as a spike at 255. Near-white would be a gradual curve leading up to that spike. If there is a flat spot before the spike, it's likely the exposure was low. If the curve leading up to the spike is quite a ways above the histogram baseline, it's likely that your exposure is too high. What you're looking for there is a gradual rise to white. Another way to set EV is if you know what the luminosity of a specific part of the image was -- sample that area and check the value, adjust as necessary. Another way is to look for gamma indicators and alignment with the gamma line. If they line up, you're very likely right, but this can be tricky as sometimes you can't see gamma indicators easily, and quite often the dynamic range of the scene is greater than the camera can capture... in cases like that we tend to underexpose to avoid highlight blowout, and then the midtones will be low, requiring a gamma boost. If your monitor is calibrated, quite often you can set EV pretty closely just by using your visual evaluation of the scene... then fine-tune based on specific parts of the image that have known luminosities.

    Setting WB can be done by sampling a neutral area and adjusting Kelvin temperature until it's showing identical or near-identical RGB values, or use a marquee sample in the Set Grey dialog of the WB palette. This works well if you have a true neutral. If not, you can use the method of looking for a peak in the mid-shadow/lower-midtone area and adjusting the WB until you achieve maximum amplitude in the peak with optimum symmetry (the R+B will sum when in balance, causing reinforcement of the peak, and fine-tuning will cause the peak to be symmetrical). Remember, neutrals are not purely neutral when in color-skewed light. If you have a grey card or something grey, try looking at it in sunset light -- not neutral anymore... is it? Often, we like shooting in color-skewed light (e.g. sunrise, sunset, etc.). Don't neutralize color-skewed 'neutrals', or you'll change the quality of the light.

    In the scene showed, you are shooting in fairly strong light. What you are hopefully going to yield from the processing is a strong contrast and high saturation of colors. You can set WB using near-white sea-foam, or work from a peak as described above. Balance the shadows to a specific point in the curve in each channel, and set black point as desired. Then, you can decide whether or not you want to make any alterations to saturation, chroma, hue, etc. Often, the D2x, which has a wider color gamut than the other camera bodies, can benefit from a little saturation adjustment, plus a little goose to Color Lightness, Chroma and Hue. The LAB methods essentially allow you to adjust saturation by balancing colors, or making adjustments to chroma and hue in the AB color channels as well as adjusting luminosity in the Lightness channel. You can do this in the RGB space as well. Here are two .set files you may want to try for 'goosing' the D2x color:


    Use the one with Blue in the file name when there is lot of blue sky or water, and the other when there isn't. See what you think. Check the LCH editor to see what I did...

    Getting a little long-winded... but hopefully some of this was worth reading.

  11. Flew


    Jan 25, 2005

    Just saw this thread. Will have to spend a little more time with it then I get home. :smile:

    Hi Ron. :wink:
  12. Ron: I just read your response and I follow you. It wasn't long winded, just very detailed and will pull together some of the info from the e-book. I will verify later tonight that what I read here clicked in my head and try to process some more images and post them here. The thing that got me was the word sample the image, until I played around a little more with Capture and found the crosshair icon on the Info Palette...

    Some things I need to figure out just after reading your response: I need to better identify neutral areas and where to sample in my images (as opposed to your examples) properly...not only for setting WB but for shadows as well...

    Frank: Glad you spotted the thread, I was going to point to it in the General Discussion...I'll be looking forward to hearing more from you on PP - since you seem to be a Reznick student as well...
  13. Gale


    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    Thank you Ron for stopping by.
    Sure was hoping you would.
    Hope all is going well on your end. You must be very busy as we have not heard from you in some time.
    Great to have you here.

    Thank you for more detailed information on processing.
  14. Practicing again on another image that I liked but still is weak as far as composition goes...
    Processed using Ron's ebook and his insight from this thread:




    More comments and help appreciated...


  15. Gale


    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    Looks really good to me.
    I think the comp is fine. From the first forground object , i am drawn right into the scene, around and back out.

    From what I can see the processig looks good.
    The shadows may be blocked up a tad. Looking at the shooting data you must have had some really strong light and held the hilghlights pretty good.

    That really is a great image even before processing.
    I was just trying to nit pic (can't find much) lol

    Nothing wrong with it really :>))
  16. Thanks for the thurough explanation Ron.

    So how close is close enough for setting a WB right. I set up a few marque points in the lower shadows of this picture and they where say 6 for red and 8 for blue, do you consider that close enough or how close do you go before you are happy?
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    BTW I trust you will spend a fair amount of time on the WB issues in the next version of the E-book?
  17. Tweaking WB

    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 16, 2005
  18. So what is this Reznick Capture book?
  19. jfenton


    Jan 26, 2005
    Haverhill, MA
    Hey DR

    What......you don't own and haven't read Ron's book?????????????????????

    Not to sound like a salesman, but once I learned what Ron was teaching (I'm a bit slow at times and too all of you who are going to jump in and agree with me...back off :) , processing my images in NC is so easy, it's silly.

    Not only does Ron teach you how to process and then final process for output, you'll learn the single most important thing of all as far as I'm concerened....the art of exposing correctly (Ev compensation) so that you're processing work is truly minimal and also so that you're getting the most out of the data you're recording when you acquire that shot.

    There are excellent explanations of the different focus modes, metering modes, etc.

    It's a pretty hefty read that unless you're brilliant to begin with or a self admitted geek such as Ron, but I guarantee you.....you'll learn overall more from that book than you'll learn in a lot of years on your own.
  20. JayR


    Jul 6, 2005
    Redmond, WA.
    Here you go ..


    I agree with Jim. I am much better at PP after reading Ron's book even though I do not use it to its full potential. I probably need to get it out and read it again.

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