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vermonter16

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 III

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So, I've been using my camera like mad when I have time.  After always shooting in auto my whole life I now adjust my aperture and shutter speed depending on what I'm shooting.  I don't know specifically the ins and outs of aperture, etc but I adjust it based on the outside light.  I took a few good photos of a bluebird the other day...and thought they should have been brilliant but the color of them didn't quite 'pop' if you know what I mean.  I was thinking of getting a circular polarizing filter to use at times.  Thoughts?  Again, I have been putting myself through my own bootcamp of sorts and taking a ton of photos and then looking at what I like about each one and don't like and what I need to do to improve.  

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10 hours ago, vermonter16 said:

So, I've been using my camera like mad when I have time.  After always shooting in auto my whole life I now adjust my aperture and shutter speed depending on what I'm shooting.  I don't know specifically the ins and outs of aperture, etc but I adjust it based on the outside light.  I took a few good photos of a bluebird the other day...and thought they should have been brilliant but the color of them didn't quite 'pop' if you know what I mean.  I was thinking of getting a circular polarizing filter to use at times.  Thoughts?  Again, I have been putting myself through my own bootcamp of sorts and taking a ton of photos and then looking at what I like about each one and don't like and what I need to do to improve.  

 

Check your camera's menu. Color settings are usually set for "standard" saturation which is a little muted to avoid blowing out detail is some colors. I tend to leave mine set there and add saturation if needed later but you can set your camera to "vivid" or "saturated" to increase the intensity of the color right out of the camera.

 

Dave

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Just a setting to consider, and not take as gospel - since color settings really are up to your personal taste and desire...however, I have always been pretty happy through 8 different Sony cameras over the years with the same general color profile and setup.  I mainly shoot scenic/landscape, travel, and wildlife...so it works well for me...

I set to 'Vivid' mode, then turn Saturation down to -1.  For me, that gives colors that look more lively and a better contrast profile, but turning down the saturation by one helps avoid the colors being TOO lively and blowing out the color channels.  You can fine-tune and play around with the various picture settings, and the three adjustments within each (saturation, contrast, sharpness) to find what works best for you.

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12 hours ago, vermonter16 said:

So, I've been using my camera like mad when I have time.  After always shooting in auto my whole life I now adjust my aperture and shutter speed depending on what I'm shooting.  I don't know specifically the ins and outs of aperture, etc but I adjust it based on the outside light.  I took a few good photos of a bluebird the other day...and thought they should have been brilliant but the color of them didn't quite 'pop' if you know what I mean.  I was thinking of getting a circular polarizing filter to use at times.  Thoughts?  Again, I have been putting myself through my own bootcamp of sorts and taking a ton of photos and then looking at what I like about each one and don't like and what I need to do to improve.  

 

Good to hear you're getting your bearings on the Aperture and Shutter modes. I also like to set my ISO on Auto--which many may scoff at--but I trust my gear when I shoot.
 

While a circular polarizer can be a rather useful tool, I would agree with checking your picture profile setting (Vivid, for instance. Remember that these only affect the JPEG file--so if you shoot RAW, you're still going to get the fairly flat profile. If you are reviewing your images on your computer and notice that they lack the "pop"--confirm that you are looking at the JPG file, rather than the ARW file. No matter how saturated and vivid the JPG picture profile--your ARW (RAW) file will always look flat...to maximize the dynamic range and allow for a better baseline for further editing.

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So do you think I can achieve much the same effect without the polarizing filter?  I have been playing with shooting in jpg and RAW though RAW takes up so much space and to be honest, I'm not at the RAW level at this point.  I also have been shooting Extra Fine for just convenience as well.  My husband says to get it because I'll have it for glaciers and such, etc.  But, I'm still on the fence.  I have the X4 UV filter from Breakthrough and would get the polarizer from them as well if I do get it.  

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2 minutes ago, vermonter16 said:

So do you think I can achieve much the same effect without the polarizing filter?  I have been playing with shooting in jpg and RAW though RAW takes up so much space and to be honest, I'm not at the RAW level at this point.  I also have been shooting Extra Fine for just convenience as well.  My husband says to get it because I'll have it for glaciers and such, etc.  But, I'm still on the fence.  I have the X4 UV filter from Breakthrough and would get the polarizer from them as well if I do get it.  

 

 

It will be tough to get the CPL effect without the CPL, as it actually works with optical physics which, in most instances, is tough to do with software. However...a CPL isn't critical for pictures that "pop." In some situations, a CPL can actually skew the colors too much and remove sharpness. Wise choice with the brand--this is what I would recommend: https://breakthrough.photography/products/x4-circular-polarizer?variant=31547348881?rfsn=722215.a4df84 but make sure you get it for the RX10's diameter. The filters they make tend to have the best control on color shifting.

 

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Also--when you are seeing the images lacking "pop" are you on your computer or on a mobile device?

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 As mentioned, the CP will help with things like cutting reflections on water or haze and such...but shouldn't be necessary just to get color and pop from photos.  I wonder if you could post your bluebird shots to help analyze why they don't pop as much as you thought they would?  There are other factors that can affect how an animal, especially a bird, will look - light the most obvious, but also the exposure of the shot (overexposed can remove a lot of color and contrast), the angle of the bird, the color settings of the camera of course, and so on.

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I can totally do that.  I am at work right now and probably won't be able to do it until possibly tomorrow.  I went ahead and ordered the filter just to have it and to practice with it.  I have a lot to learn so any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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5 hours ago, spthealien said:

 

Good to hear you're getting your bearings on the Aperture and Shutter modes. I also like to set my ISO on Auto--which many may scoff at--but I trust my gear when I shoot.
 

While a circular polarizer can be a rather useful tool, I would agree with checking your picture profile setting (Vivid, for instance. Remember that these only affect the JPEG file--so if you shoot RAW, you're still going to get the fairly flat profile. If you are reviewing your images on your computer and notice that they lack the "pop"--confirm that you are looking at the JPG file, rather than the ARW file. No matter how saturated and vivid the JPG picture profile--your ARW (RAW) file will always look flat...to maximize the dynamic range and allow for a better baseline for further editing.

 

 

I usually have ISO set on Auto. However, I also set an upper limit of 800, which I adjust if poor light conditions. Typically using aperture priority.

 

I found simple auto could give me huge numbers, and grainier than the Sahara Desert. 

 

Again the caution on polarising — practise, practise, practise. Sort out your adjustments in order to get enough light. Remember that they can take out reflections, but reflections may “make” your image. Etc, ad nauseum

 

Enjoy.

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55 minutes ago, Docker123 said:

 

 

I usually have ISO set on Auto. However, I also set an upper limit of 800, which I adjust if poor light conditions. Typically using aperture priority.

 

I found simple auto could give me huge numbers, and grainier than the Sahara Desert. 

 

Again the caution on polarising — practise, practise, practise. Sort out your adjustments in order to get enough light. Remember that they can take out reflections, but reflections may “make” your image. Etc, ad nauseum

 

Enjoy.

 

I totally agree with setting an upper limit. If your camera allows, you can also set a minimum shutter speed to coincide with that ISO. For instance, on the a7RII, you could tell it that you wanted it to have a minimum shutter speed of 1/60th and it would change the ISO relative to that.

 

On the 1" sensor cameras, I would top off at 800 as well--if I was printing it large, I would probably drop that down even. On the full frame cameras, I could bring that up to 3200 or even 6400 depending on the subject.

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Posted (edited)

I suppose maybe the color isn't too bad....could just be the bland background.  I did take this through a window which I forgot all about so that probably affected it too.  It is not the best because I just grabbed my camera with the settings I had on it to get the pic.  The light wasn't good either at the time.

DSC02573.JPG

Edited by vermonter16

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OK - definitely a few factors happening on the bluebird.  The first is that the light wasn't very good on the bird - he's mostly in shadow or overcast, and the background is even brighter than him...so that will hurt the contrast, and color of the shot for sure.  Taking it through a window will also affect the shot's sharpness and contrast.  It looks like either there's a very slight misfocus or minor shake, but that also could just be the window glass causing the softened look.  Obviously windows aren't designed to high megapixel optical standards like lenses are!  I think you could process that shot to improve the brightness and contrast and add a little more saturation to pull the colors up, but it's never going to be comparable to taking the same bird in direct sunlight.

 

The grackle/blackbird isn't too bad considering the distance, and the pigeon obviously has a lot more light on him, so the iridescence is coming out more and the colors look better.  For those shots, adjusting the JPG picture settings would definitely increase the colors and the 'pop'.  That's where you might consider the Vivid mode, or bumping saturation a bit in your preferred mode and adjust contrast up a bit, so JPGs come out of the camera with a bit more oomph without requiring post-processing or RAW conversion.

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Yes, the bluebird is definitely softened.  I don't take lots of pics in the evening since I'm only home 2 nights a week.  I think it was a slight misfocus and could be camera shake at the same time with the bluebird, I noticed that too.  I changed my settings and hopefully will get to take some shots next week.  Thanks for the advice.  

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