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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Macro Talk 
Thread started 22 Mar 2014 (Saturday) 16:30
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Photographing red flowers?

 
socalrailfan
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Mar 22, 2014 16:30 |  #1

What is the key to photographing red flowers? Whenever I shoot them the exposure and color just seem wrong. It just seems digital cameras don't like red in general. Here's a rose I shot the other day, it should be deep red yet it's not. It seems if I have enough outside the image it turns out OK, but shooting macros it's all off.

This one is just wrong. The red should be much deeper.


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GJim
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Mar 23, 2014 06:02 |  #2

Reading EXIF data, you used auto white-balance on both photos. Have you tried setting your 60D for actual shooting conditions? What happens if you change white-balance in processing?


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Lester ­ Wareham
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Mar 23, 2014 14:01 |  #3

Yes always set to daylight of cloudy or whatever. Even better use a spectrographic reference card for a custom white balance. This all gets a lot easier if you shoot RAW as you can do all the work at your PC with a single click.

Another thing with red and blue flowers is to ensure the appropriate channel does not saturate, if it does this can cause desaturation and washed out colours. One sometimes has to back the exposure off more than one would expect with flowers.

You second shot could be suffering from that. Another thing is to use a polariser to cut the shine off the petal surface.


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socalrailfan
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Mar 23, 2014 18:44 |  #4

Thanks for the info. I'll have to play around with setting the next time I'm out in the gardens.


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Mar 23, 2014 18:48 |  #5

Trying to photograph red flowers set me on my ETTR exposure workflow. Also, shooting red flowers in full sun is an exercise in futility. I got a 1 stop handheld diffuser that works really well.


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socalrailfan
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Mar 25, 2014 11:49 |  #6

I shot the same rose yesterday trying different white balances and didn't notice any difference, but I also forgot to shoot in RAW.


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Mar 25, 2014 11:56 |  #7

Link: another thread about difficulties with red


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Mar 25, 2014 12:03 |  #8

its very easy to blow up the red channel... while shooting raw, the color profile also matters, opening the raw on DPP or Photoshop gives different results


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Apr 05, 2014 12:22 |  #9

This is something I struggle with, as well. My problem is that reds and magentas are always over saturated, though. ESPECIALLY when shot in bright sunlight. I always try to find a shaded spot on sunny days, but even when I do, I still have issues in PP. Like in your second shot, I tend to have blown areas more with red/magenta than other hues. I do a lot of my editing in LR, and I do shoot in RAW. I'm going to check out the other thread posted. I still have SO much to learn where macro is concerned, but it has become my favorite thing to shoot!


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Apr 05, 2014 12:34 |  #10

Try using spot metering and meter for the red zones.


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windpig
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Apr 05, 2014 15:36 |  #11

Alveric wrote in post #16811800 (external link)
Try using spot metering and meter for the red zones.

But how much compensation are you going to dial in either way? Incident meter or ETTR with RGB histogram using picture style of neutral and negative contrast, then adjust in post is what I do.


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Alveric
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Apr 05, 2014 16:40 |  #12

windpig wrote in post #16812064 (external link)
But how much compensation are you going to dial in either way? Incident meter or ETTR with RGB histogram using picture style of neutral and negative contrast, then adjust in post is what I do.

Incident metering is best, of course. Pure red is roughly 50% brightness (i.e. mid tone) so, metering for it will yield the best exposure. I don't care for histograms or ETTR; as long as there's no clipping (and sometimes I even want clipping of shadows), I go by brightness values and memory tones. And if saturation is desired, a bit of underexposure will help: pushing tones towards the right will wash them out.


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Apr 05, 2014 17:25 |  #13

There are two techniques that help you get rich colors that are also 'correct'. To capture the colors properly, first set the white balance correctly, preferably by using a white balance card and the camera's custom white balance. Set picture style to neutral and check the RGB histogram to make sure that you're not clipping any of the channels.

As for getting rich colors, the more light you add to an object, the more washed out it looks. Use ETTR, but then reduce the exposure of the object in post to get rich colors. Even better, diffuse/change the light falling on the object to reduce the dynamic range of the scene. This is why I find flash far more useful in bright sunlight than in darker scenes.




  
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windpig
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Apr 05, 2014 17:36 |  #14

Setting proper WB is a must in getting the best exposure using ETTR.


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ceriltheblade
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Apr 07, 2014 08:38 |  #15

i have never understood the idea of "cliiping" a specific channel - esp red


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Photographing red flowers?
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