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Thread: Hand feathering a shot

  1. #1
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    Default Hand feathering a shot

    This is not strictly Bar Stool chat, but there is no 'techniques' section.

    Forgotten your ND Grad?
    Can't afford one?
    CBA to go downstairs to get it (as per this shot)?

    The more experienced members will be aware of this technique, however, some may not.

    Basically, camera on a tripod (or deck fence as per this shot), meter for the shadows, make a longish exposure of 2 seconds or more, wave your hand for part of that time over the area of the picture you want to under expose (the more you wave, the darker that part of the shot will be).

    Two examples shot from my bedroom deck the other night;-

    #1 = exposed for the shadows, no hand feathering



    #2 = exposed for the shadows with 70% of the timed exposure blocked by my hand



    That is all.


  2. #2
    weka2000 Guest

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    Cheers Paul now I know where the sun is setting in the coro

  3. #3
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    Very good tip - thanks
    Shooting with Nikon D40 , D50 , 2 X D90 , 2X SB800 2 X SB24 1 X SB400 . Tarmon 17-50 F2.8 , Tamron 28-75 F2.8 Nikon 35mm F1.8 50mm F1.8 , 85mm F1.8 , 18-200VR , 18-105 VR , 70-200VR , Fuji F31fd .
    http://desmond-downs.blogspot.co.nz/...-depth-of.html

  4. #4
    duncan Guest

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    this must be the most useful thing I've learned me all day. thanks!

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    Great tip, remember reading about that in a book somewhere years ago, will have to try it. While we're talking hands I remember another tip being to take a ttl spot meter reading of the palm of your hand if you didn't have a grey card or wanted to work out ambiant exposure for a difficult scene. Used to work well on my Seagull (Minolta copy) Film SLR.

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    so say you block half of a 2 sec exposure, reckon its better to block the first second or the second second? Im guessing you'd be better to start off blocking and then let the light in at the end of the exposure.

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    I know some people use this technique to great effect (Anthony Ko with his black card), but isn't just simpler and more precise to take two exposures rather than guessing how long to leave your hand in front of the lens (and whereabouts to place it etc)? Given this only works with a reasonable long exposure (i.e. tripod needed) and a distinct separation of foreground and sky, I don't see why a simple blend of two exposures wouldn't be trivial. I prefers GND filters myself so I see the advantage of having it all in one shot, but waving hands/fingers in front of the lens seems a bit hit and miss for no reason....
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisgin View Post
    I know some people use this technique to great effect (Anthony Ko with his black card), but isn't just simpler and more precise to take two exposures rather than guessing how long to leave your hand in front of the lens (and whereabouts to place it etc)? Given this only works with a reasonable long exposure (i.e. tripod needed) and a distinct separation of foreground and sky, I don't see why a simple blend of two exposures wouldn't be trivial. I prefers GND filters myself so I see the advantage of having it all in one shot, but waving hands/fingers in front of the lens seems a bit hit and miss for no reason....
    I understand what you are saying - but personally I would rather be a skillful photographer than just another 'photoshopper' if possible .
    Shooting with Nikon D40 , D50 , 2 X D90 , 2X SB800 2 X SB24 1 X SB400 . Tarmon 17-50 F2.8 , Tamron 28-75 F2.8 Nikon 35mm F1.8 50mm F1.8 , 85mm F1.8 , 18-200VR , 18-105 VR , 70-200VR , Fuji F31fd .
    http://desmond-downs.blogspot.co.nz/...-depth-of.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by Desmond View Post
    I understand what you are saying - but personally I would rather be a skillful photographer than just another 'photoshopper' if possible .
    I guess if you want to avoid post-processing then yes, that would be a valid reason for this technique. You also prefer JPEG rather than RAW don't you? Or am I thinking of someone else?
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  10. #10

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    I've never really tried this technique, I'd rather shoot multiple exposures and blend later..Desmond yes its processing after the fact but nothing that someone like Ansel Adams wouldnt be doing now.
    Canon 5DmkII, 400L, Canon 17-40L, Canon 24mmf3.5 TS-E, Canon 70-200f2.8L, Tamron 90mm SP AF Di f2.8 Macro, Sigma 50mmf1.4 EX HSM, Nissin Di866 flash, Manfrotto 190xprob & Markins Q3t head, Lee filters, Lowepro Flipside 400AW, Yong Nuo rf 602 triggers.


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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisgin View Post
    I guess if you want to avoid post-processing then yes, that would be a valid reason for this technique. You also prefer JPEG rather than RAW don't you? Or am I thinking of someone else?
    Yes I do - I like to be able to get as much as possible right in-camera - that's how you learn more skill .

    Quote Originally Posted by rjd View Post
    I've never really tried this technique, I'd rather shoot multiple exposures and blend later..Desmond yes its processing after the fact but nothing that someone like Ansel Adams wouldnt be doing now.
    He may or may not - my personal preference is to use PS as little as possible .
    Shooting with Nikon D40 , D50 , 2 X D90 , 2X SB800 2 X SB24 1 X SB400 . Tarmon 17-50 F2.8 , Tamron 28-75 F2.8 Nikon 35mm F1.8 50mm F1.8 , 85mm F1.8 , 18-200VR , 18-105 VR , 70-200VR , Fuji F31fd .
    http://desmond-downs.blogspot.co.nz/...-depth-of.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by Desmond View Post
    Yes I do - I like to be able to get as much as possible right in-camera - that's how you learn more skill .
    You could try those high speed balloon bursting shots with just a camera and no sound trigger - that would take some skill (don't tell me you already do that....!)
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisgin View Post
    You could try those high speed balloon bursting shots with just a camera and no sound trigger - that would take some skill (don't tell me you already do that....!)
    Actually ...... yes . But I do use a solenoid and I've called my new invention "superspeed" photography because it can be done at the shutter speed you select to freeze the motion - using only ambient light .



    But as mentioned I rely on the capacitor discharge through the solenoid to burst the balloon with a needle - maybe once I've fine tuned it I will be able to do it at higher shutter speeds and it's probably a world first


    Shooting with Nikon D40 , D50 , 2 X D90 , 2X SB800 2 X SB24 1 X SB400 . Tarmon 17-50 F2.8 , Tamron 28-75 F2.8 Nikon 35mm F1.8 50mm F1.8 , 85mm F1.8 , 18-200VR , 18-105 VR , 70-200VR , Fuji F31fd .
    http://desmond-downs.blogspot.co.nz/...-depth-of.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by RPM View Post
    While we're talking hands I remember another tip being to take a ttl spot meter reading of the palm of your hand if you didn't have a grey card or wanted to work out ambiant exposure for a difficult scene.
    This is the only 'grey card' I use

  15. #15

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    your hands not grey though, you can work out the exposure but not wb!
    Canon 5DmkII, 400L, Canon 17-40L, Canon 24mmf3.5 TS-E, Canon 70-200f2.8L, Tamron 90mm SP AF Di f2.8 Macro, Sigma 50mmf1.4 EX HSM, Nissin Di866 flash, Manfrotto 190xprob & Markins Q3t head, Lee filters, Lowepro Flipside 400AW, Yong Nuo rf 602 triggers.


  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Desmond View Post
    Yes I do - I like to be able to get as much as possible right in-camera - that's how you learn more skill .
    This was shot with filters and about as 'right' in camera as it was ever going to get, shot raw so no default processing from the cameras feeble jpg engine.



    Processing images is every bit as much a skill as shooting them in the first place and every bit as relevant now in the digital age as it was in the film days.
    Canon 5DmkII, 400L, Canon 17-40L, Canon 24mmf3.5 TS-E, Canon 70-200f2.8L, Tamron 90mm SP AF Di f2.8 Macro, Sigma 50mmf1.4 EX HSM, Nissin Di866 flash, Manfrotto 190xprob & Markins Q3t head, Lee filters, Lowepro Flipside 400AW, Yong Nuo rf 602 triggers.


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    Quote Originally Posted by rjd View Post
    This was shot with filters and about as 'right' in camera as it was ever going to get, shot raw so no default processing from the cameras feeble jpg engine.



    Processing images is every bit as much a skill as shooting them in the first place and every bit as relevant now in the digital age as it was in the film days.
    I agree , but too many people are lazy about getting it right in camera when they should be getting both right , not just processing .
    Shooting with Nikon D40 , D50 , 2 X D90 , 2X SB800 2 X SB24 1 X SB400 . Tarmon 17-50 F2.8 , Tamron 28-75 F2.8 Nikon 35mm F1.8 50mm F1.8 , 85mm F1.8 , 18-200VR , 18-105 VR , 70-200VR , Fuji F31fd .
    http://desmond-downs.blogspot.co.nz/...-depth-of.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by Desmond View Post
    I agree , but too many people are lazy about getting it right in camera when they should be getting both right , not just processing .
    Well if "getting it right in camera" means getting the amount of exposure I want, aperture, shutter and composition as I want then I agree.
    I suspect however that the raw image that comes out of the camera would often have some people questioning whether I had got it right though.
    "Getting it right in camera" can mean very different things to different people.
    Nikon D600 and a bag full of prime goodness..

  19. #19

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    UniWB+ ETTR + flat jpg conversion isnt going to make the best looking pic no!
    Canon 5DmkII, 400L, Canon 17-40L, Canon 24mmf3.5 TS-E, Canon 70-200f2.8L, Tamron 90mm SP AF Di f2.8 Macro, Sigma 50mmf1.4 EX HSM, Nissin Di866 flash, Manfrotto 190xprob & Markins Q3t head, Lee filters, Lowepro Flipside 400AW, Yong Nuo rf 602 triggers.


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    Quote Originally Posted by JED View Post
    Well if "getting it right in camera" means getting the amount of exposure I want, aperture, shutter and composition as I want then I agree.
    I suspect however that the raw image that comes out of the camera would often have some people questioning whether I had got it right though.
    "Getting it right in camera" can mean very different things to different people.
    To me it only means doing the best you can with your settings in-camera ensuring the least amount of adjustments to compensate for settings you should have used for optimum results later , It can't mean much else .
    What I'm trying to get at is that people shouldn't get lazy and think that they can still be 1 or 2 stops off on their exposure and think that photoshop is there to fix that . Or think that shooting RAW and adjusting wb later means they don't need to gel their flash in mixed lighting .
    Of course if you're shooting RAW you need to edit them later - and when shooting jpeg each image usually needs a tweak to look its best as well .


    Quote Originally Posted by rjd View Post
    UniWB+ ETTR + flat jpg conversion isnt going to make the best looking pic no!
    I didn't say it would and I didn't say people shouldn't edit their pictures
    Uniwb isn't 'getting it right in-camera either .
    I'm not saying people shouldn't edit their images , all I'm saying is that if they can get the result they want without having to rely on photoshop except for
    basic adjustments then they will become more skillful photographers - not just photoshoppers .
    Shooting with Nikon D40 , D50 , 2 X D90 , 2X SB800 2 X SB24 1 X SB400 . Tarmon 17-50 F2.8 , Tamron 28-75 F2.8 Nikon 35mm F1.8 50mm F1.8 , 85mm F1.8 , 18-200VR , 18-105 VR , 70-200VR , Fuji F31fd .
    http://desmond-downs.blogspot.co.nz/...-depth-of.html

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    How many people here would stand a chance of ever seeing their image in National Geographic ?
    "I took two exposures and blended them in photoshop " - nope .
    "I hand feathered this shot over a two second exposure " you're in !.............

    Your Shot
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    We trust our users to submit unaltered files. We want to see the world through your eyes, not through photo-editing tools. Please read our Photo Guidelines before submitting. See our Rules and FAQfor further details.
    Shooting with Nikon D40 , D50 , 2 X D90 , 2X SB800 2 X SB24 1 X SB400 . Tarmon 17-50 F2.8 , Tamron 28-75 F2.8 Nikon 35mm F1.8 50mm F1.8 , 85mm F1.8 , 18-200VR , 18-105 VR , 70-200VR , Fuji F31fd .
    http://desmond-downs.blogspot.co.nz/...-depth-of.html

  22. #22

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    DODGING AND BURNING: Dodging (to brighten shadows) or burning (to darken highlights) is OK
    BLACK-AND-WHITE IMAGES: OK

    HAND-TINTED IMAGES: OK

    CROPPING: OK

    STITCHED PANORAMAS: OK

    FISH-EYE LENSES: OK

    HIGH DYNAMIC RANGE IMAGES (HDRI): OK

    It seems to me they are fine with taking 2 shots and blending them in photoshop. Theres little practical difference in using a graduated filter to using 2 shots and blending later, apart from using 2 shots requires processing but doesnt require an expensive filter.

    "We want to see the world through your eyes" A camera does not capture what you see, processing is one way of making the image better approximate what you saw at the time.

    I can use a tilt shift lens or an f1.2 lens to produce something spectacular (and indeed NG mention fish eye lenses) this is most certainly NOT what you see with your eyes!

    All they want is something that in practical terms is based on reality, not that hasnt been processed.
    Canon 5DmkII, 400L, Canon 17-40L, Canon 24mmf3.5 TS-E, Canon 70-200f2.8L, Tamron 90mm SP AF Di f2.8 Macro, Sigma 50mmf1.4 EX HSM, Nissin Di866 flash, Manfrotto 190xprob & Markins Q3t head, Lee filters, Lowepro Flipside 400AW, Yong Nuo rf 602 triggers.


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    Quote Originally Posted by rjd View Post
    I can use a tilt shift lens or an f1.2 lens to produce something spectacular (and indeed NG mention fish eye lenses) this is most certainly NOT what you see with your eyes!
    "through your eyes when you look through the viewfinder" .
    Shooting with Nikon D40 , D50 , 2 X D90 , 2X SB800 2 X SB24 1 X SB400 . Tarmon 17-50 F2.8 , Tamron 28-75 F2.8 Nikon 35mm F1.8 50mm F1.8 , 85mm F1.8 , 18-200VR , 18-105 VR , 70-200VR , Fuji F31fd .
    http://desmond-downs.blogspot.co.nz/...-depth-of.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by Desmond View Post
    How many people here would stand a chance of ever seeing their image in National Geographic ?
    "I took two exposures and blended them in photoshop " - nope .
    As Rob pointed out, this is acceptable.....

    Quote Originally Posted by Desmond View Post
    "through your eyes when you look through the viewfinder" .
    And again this is what blending multiple exposures can achieve....

    So what was the point of your post again? I suspect you just have a thing against post-processing, but it's just another tool used as part of photography (and granted, can be over-used). It would be like a builder who refuses to use an automatic nail gun, saying that hammering them by hand is his preference and requires more skill. Fair enough, but it's just a harder, more traditional way of doing the same thing...
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisgin View Post
    As Rob pointed out, this is acceptable..... so what's your point again?
    Yes after reading all their rules I see they allow it .
    My whole point is that there are many "over edited" images here that would not make it due to excessive processing as many have come to rely on editing to
    get the effect they want - when there are perhaps things they could have just got right in the first place with the correct settings.
    Shooting with Nikon D40 , D50 , 2 X D90 , 2X SB800 2 X SB24 1 X SB400 . Tarmon 17-50 F2.8 , Tamron 28-75 F2.8 Nikon 35mm F1.8 50mm F1.8 , 85mm F1.8 , 18-200VR , 18-105 VR , 70-200VR , Fuji F31fd .
    http://desmond-downs.blogspot.co.nz/...-depth-of.html

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