Brilliant Flower, Not-so-Brilliant Processing
Retina-Searing Vivid ( Unfortunately, rendered here sort of dark and mushy, so you'll have to use your imagination ) -- Rootstown, Ohio, USA -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 200 mm — 1/125 sec, f/5.6, ISO 250 — map & image datanearby photos
Retina-Searing Vivid
( Unfortunately, rendered here sort of dark and mushy, so you'll have to use your imagination )

Anthony started summer school today, and had a great time.

We saw a bunny in the lawn when we came home, and so Anthony did his ninja-sneak moves to get a close look at it. In the process, we saw another bunny, two groundhogs, and a gaggle of geese. Country living has its benefits.

Along those same lines, while stalking the bunny, a particularly vivid flower almost burned my retinas. There are flowers of every imaginable colors all over my folks' property, but these particular flowers, even though it was mostly cloudy and overcast with some impending rain, positively glowed as if they were from Chernobyl.

Rootstown, Ohio, USA -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 200 mm — 1/160 sec, f/6.3, ISO 400 — map & image datanearby photos

Sadly, the current state-of-the-art in digital imaging just can't handle this kind of scene.
(Update: Sadly, my joe-consumer MacBook LCD can't handle this scene.)
I underexposed it a bit so that I wouldn't blow out any of the color channels, so the detail has been captured, but restoring the brightness even a little causes the detail in the flower to be totally lost. It all becomes one big solid mushy mess.

I'm not exactly sure why this needs to be this way – is the dynamic range of the flower really that wide? – but it's likely related to the dynamic-range issues I brought in my post on HDR.

Rootstown, Ohio, USA -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 200 mm — 1/640 sec, f/4, ISO 400 — map & image datanearby photos

Along “country living” lines, after returning to take a picture of the flower, I saw the aforementioned gaggle of geese down by the lake, I thought to get a picture of them. I'm so mean... I ran down there and startled them, just to get an action shot.

Feathers Flying -- Rootstown, Ohio, USA -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm — 1/500 sec, f/4, ISO 400 — map & image datanearby photos
Feathers Flying

They left a cloud of downy feathers that slowly settled amid a few honks of objection. I'm horrible.


All 5 comments so far, oldest first...

“I’m so mean… I ran down there and startled them, just to get an action shot.”

That’s ok. If you ran down near the geese to startle them, they’ll have had the last laugh – check your shoes.

— comment by Marcina on August 5th, 2008 at 10:33am JST (9 years, 4 months ago) comment permalink

Vow! Nice lake. Is it part of your parents’ property too 😉

— comment by britto on August 5th, 2008 at 11:07am JST (9 years, 4 months ago) comment permalink

Have you experimented with the new camera profiles form Adobe? Perhaps the Camera Vivid or Camera Landscape profiles would perk up the flower?
I did some work on an orange flower and posted the results on my webpage. The profiles do tend to perk things up. Just a thought!

I did, and the results with all the new profiles were generally much worse than with the standard “ACR 4.4” profile. I’m not 100% sure that the problem isn’t that the consumer-quality LCD on my MacBook simply can’t show the details. (I have a relatively high-end Eizo monitor at home, but I’m on vacation now, so am stuck with the laptop.) —Jeffrey

— comment by Mark on August 5th, 2008 at 12:27pm JST (9 years, 4 months ago) comment permalink

Have you tried printing? I recently had some similar photos, reds totally blown on my MacBook LCD, even though the ProPhotoRGB histogram showed nothing was close to clipping. You’re right, dynamic range doesn’t seem to be the problem.

Popped in to Photoshop and turned on proofing for my Epson R1900, turned on Gamut Warning, and very little was out of gamut. Switched to my monitor’s profile and the whole image turned ‘warning’.

Sure enough, it printed great.

Moral: cheap LCDs suck.

Indeed. I ran that image by the Lightroom engineer in charge of the color rendering, and yup, it was just my LCD. I should have known better before complaining (or, at least, I should have complained about the proper thing). I wonder if I can get a Mac laptop with a high-gamut screen? 🙂

Thanks for your *great* pages about color management, btw! I learned so much and have linked others to them countless times. Thought about writing a book?

Well, I did write a book…. just not about color management. 🙂 —Jeffrey

— comment by Peter Davis on August 5th, 2008 at 1:03pm JST (9 years, 4 months ago) comment permalink

I think your red flower experience is related to gamut clipping in sRGB. The global exposure reduction is bringing the reds back in gamut at the cost of darkening the entire scene. You might like the result better if you use the LR HSL adjustments (saturation and/or lightness) to bring the reds back into gamut without effecting the rest of the photo.

— comment by Mike on August 5th, 2008 at 8:55pm JST (9 years, 4 months ago) comment permalink
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