Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2005/02/22

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Subject: [Leica] Too flat P3200TMZ WAS PAW 7 dlridings
From: daniel.ridings at (Daniel Ridings)
Date: Tue Feb 22 00:51:42 2005
References: <> <011701c51883$0c07fe40$82f7fea9@D1WTYD41>

On Mon, 21 Feb 2005, bill harting wrote:

> One of the consistent characteristics of pictures you have posted, 
> including
> the recent TMZ examples of your son and daughter, have an agreeable or
> better range of mid tones bracketed by whites and blacks. This latest
> example misses that, at least in its representation on my screen. It looks
> flat, almost like a surveillance camera image. To my eye it needs more snap
> (whatever that is).

Thanks Bill. I know what you mean (whatever it is) and I'm trying to do
something about it.

There are several possibilities. One of them is "workflow". Every other
week I rush off to Oslo on Sunday afternoon. This was such a week. I take
the pictures on Saturday afternoon, process that evening, scan on Sunday
morning, burn a CD and leave for Oslo, where I run them through Photoshop.

I don't usually work on my pictures at the office so Photoshop hasn't been
fine-tuned to the monitor I have here. At home I am pleasantly surprized
at the relationship between what I see on the screen and what I get out on
prints. It's almost perfect (for b/w). So part of the problem might be
that this is the only batch that I've worked with on another computer than
my own.

Then there is the rush factor. People are spoiled now-a-days and want that
immediate gratification. I didn't tweak every shot the best I felt I
could. In fact, I didn't even save any full-sized ones because I knew I
was just going to re-do it for the sake of printing when I got to my real
home. But I did want to get some shots over to the folks running the
website. Hurried too much.

Then there is the lighting. There is a window lamp in the main. I'm not a
bit interested in the details of the lamp, of course. But when it comes to
setting the white-point of a scan it gets tricky. I would have wanted the
white pattern on his shoulder to be the "bottom out" of the right hand
side of my histogram (highlights) but that silly lamp is there. I don't
mind if it gets blown out, but I don't know where, on the histogram, the
whites I really want are. It becomes a guessing game and I can miss. Mind
you, this lighting is bad, bad. Think 1/8 @ f2.0 with EI 400 film. There's
not much of it. I piff it up a bit to make it look better, but I'm afraid
to go too far (not enough experience yet).

The final, most likely factor, is that I'm not familiar enough with the
film to get the best out of it yet.

I've tried to at least do something about the main:

But that's still on my office computer and I'm not really satisfied. By
comparison here's the original that I posted yesterday:

There's not a lot of difference, but a little. For the first one I used
curves rather than levels to adjust the contrast.

Now I'm going to go back and push it a little further to see how it works

Thanks for the feedback!


Replies: Reply from daniel.ridings at (Daniel Ridings) ([Leica] Too flat P3200TMZ WAS PAW 7 dlridings)
In reply to: Message from daniel.ridings at (Daniel Ridings) ([Leica] PAW 7 dlridings)
Message from wharting at (bill harting) ([Leica] PAW 7 dlridings)