Assignment 5, earlier versions.

Along the way to assignment 5, the final version I made a couple of others.  For the assessment I think its important to show these and explain the evolution along the way.

This version here has the same images, however in this first version the format of the images changes from portrait to landscape.  This interrupted the flow so I changed it.   Also the soundtrack is different.  You can hear a heart beat in the background.  Also the captions are different.  I posted it on Flickr and thanks to the constructive feedback I received I decided to drop the heart beat as it was unnecessary and also to change the captions as these ones here were too prescriptive.

This slightly later version has more titles than the final version including one at the end.  When I took time to look at it a bit more I decided that there were a couple that were not really required so I removed them.

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Exercise 9 Scene Dynamic Range.

This first image was taken indoors late in the afternoon.  Measuring with the camera meter set to spot mode I measured a dynamic range of 8 stops from the brightest area to the darkest.  The histogram shows that most of the image is on the shadow end of the histogram and I am a little surprised at how little of the histogram is taken up by the window area off the scene.  The dynamic range is quite high and the histogram shows that.  If I zoom in on the subject the shadows and midtones are full of noise.  This is not an ideal situation for the perfect exposure and I think here you would be well advised to take it a different way.

This second photo is a low contrast or low dynamic range image.  While the histogram shows a full range of tones I would say than most of them are on the left and in the centre of the histogram.  I measure the scene dynamic range as about 2 stops.  I thought that the darkest part of the image would have been the book cover but it’s not, it’s the right hand top corner in shadow.

The next scene has approximately 6 stops in the difference between the darkest and the brightest areas of the images.  I would say that this histogram is on the high side in terms of dynamic range.  I guessed and measured the darkest area to be on the left under the tree and the brightest is on the right near the centre in the clouds but actually I think the brightest area is near the top right hand edge so in fact this could be nearer to 7 or 8 stops.

This image is a low contrast image.  The difference between the brightest and the darkest areas of the photo is 2 stops.

A high dynamic range.  I measure the difference between the highlights and the shadows as 10 stops,

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Exercise 18. Colours into tones.


The original colour file.

Desaturated in Photoshop.

Adjusted using the channel adjustment tools.  First set to monochrome then adjusting the RGB sliders to get the image the way I wanted it.  It was a quick and easy adjustment. The red channel seemed to have a much greater effect on the highlights.  This may also be because the original file was a tiny bit underexposed.

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Exercise 24. Sharpening for print.

this image is a portrait of my nephew Alex.  The first one is my unsharpened version.

Unsharpened version.  No noise reduction, no sharpening.

The second version has been slightly sharpened in Lightroom, the slider is set for 25.  When I zoom in on the screen I can just make out a very small difference between the two on my screen but it’s practicaly unnoticeable.

this third version below is sharpened some more in lightroom.  The slider is set at 90.

The sharpening shows up in the image above in the shadowed areas.  It looks like noise and is more noticeable now.

this final image is now sharpened to the maximum.  The slider is set for 150.  When I zoom right in on the screen, the sharpening shows up mainly in the shadows and also now in the mid tones.  It looks like  mosaic.


I printed the different versions from Lightroom.  The print dialogue in Lightroom has its own sharpening dialogue which is separate to the sharpening dialogue in the develop module.  I am not sure at the moment what the relationship is but I tried to print with two different settings.  In the first I turned off the sharpening dialogue in the print module and printed unsharpened and the highly sharpened version.  My first impression is that it is not at first obvious the difference between the two.  If i had to pick between the two I would pick the one that is highly sharpened.  The shadows are a little lighter and the edges are crisper.

In the second pair where I set the sharpening in the print module the one that is set to high sharpening is a better print.  The shadows and the highlights are better and again the  edge details are crisper.  I wonder is this because the DOF is very shallow here or would the same hold through for every image?

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Exercise 11. Raw.

The purpose of this exercise is yo look at the difference between the image quality of Raw and Jpeg files.  The first 2 pictures presented here are screen shots of what is a HDR image as can be seen by the histograms on the right hand side of the screen shot.  There are two images one DNG and one Jpeg.

Looking at the histogram I can see that this is a high dynamic range image.  It’s a little underexposed but not too bad and I can see that the shadows are a tiny bit clipped on the left.

This second image is a jpeg image and it surprise me to see that although the exposure setting is the same i.e ISO 500, f 16.0 and 1/250 second, the clipping of the shadows is much worse.  Both of these images are unprocessed.  The processed versions are below.







I was a little surprised to see that the shadows on the Jpeg version are very noisy after adjustment.  Also the difference between the 2 files to start with meant that the same latitude is not there to adjust the jpeg version as with the Raw version.

The next 2 images are taken under artificial light.  I guess it is more correct to say it is mixed lighting, artificial and natural light.

This first image is a DNG image.

The second image here is a Jpeg image.  The histogram shows these images to be of medium contrast.  Again its surprising to see that the colour in the two images are different.  The Jpeg image is cooler I think, especially around the shop dummy on the left, its more green.

The next two images are taken in natural light and are medium contrast.  I can see little or no difference between the two.  Even the noise levels are similar, there being a little noise in the shadow.


This is the DNG version.


This is the Jpeg version and there is little or any difference between the two.



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Towards assignment 3.

Looking over the work I have posted on my Flickr page for assignment 3 one of the things I can see is that I did not have a clear plan of what I wanted to achieve.  My plan was simple:  Take photographs of coastal Ireland (Water), pick the best of them and submit same to tutor.  I did plan on visiting several locations but other than that I had no plan.  I never even thought of looking at water as a bigger subject like the sea, lakes, river or even drinking water, bathing water etc.

There are several threaded that I can piece together though;










The image above is of a bridge in Dublin that I have always found interesting and I took several shots of it for the assignment.  As I said in the case above I dared to see what it looked like from underneath.



On the left here is another shot taken  on the same night but i decided that the one above had more power.

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Reflections on assignments and learning experience..

Today I have spent some time going through my files and also the images I have on Flickr because I am trying to reflect on what I have done and learnt on this course.  I have specifically been trying to work backwards from each of the finished assignments.  It is obvious from this that for the last 2 assignments my working methods have changed completely.  For each of these assignments I can demonstrate and show the development of a thread that can be traced back.

However for the earlier assignments that is not so easy.  In fact there is very little in the way of a thread.  Looking back now I realise that I did not know how to do this early on.  I think what happened back then was I would cobble together what I thought were “good” photographs and send them in.

After assignment 3 I began to actually communicate with my tutor about my ideas, about artists to look at and I began to read and research a lot more.  One look at the book page will confirm this.  Also, only recently I began to think of this blog as a notebook online where I could keep my resources, my research for a later date.  I have stopped doing things for the assessors benefit, to show him that I was studious and started seeing the value in the research because of how it changes my perception of my own photography.  I think in all of this I can see my own realisation that I have my own voice and I am beginning to learn how to use it.

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