Where did my contrast go?

mhedgesmhedges Posts: 685Member
Any tips on maintaining contrast in backlit type situations? I do urban exploration photography and come across this problem where I just can't get a good shot of something without it looking washed out.

Here is a good example:

lost contrast small

Am I just overexposing?

Comments

  • ggbutcherggbutcher Posts: 224Member
    The contrast is low.

    I opened your jpeg in my raw processor to view the histogram:



    Note the low end of the data is not at 0, it's more like at 27. So I added a curve tool and slid the lower control point over to 27:



    You can do this in most any image program with a curve tool.

  • NikoniserNikoniser Posts: 100Member
    Its got nothing to do with exposure. Its all about the lens, its flare resistance, coatings on the lens elements, and how well the lens is internally blacked out.

    Generally speaking, the more expensive the lens, the better the performance. Lenses with fewer elements, and Nikons Nano coating perform particularly well. Sigma and Tamron lenses are often very poor in this respect.

    I am given to understand the 58mm f1.4 is very good in this regard.

    You can also reduce the level of flare by using a flash or reflector to add extra light to the scene.
  • mhedgesmhedges Posts: 685Member
    Thanks all! I tried two lenses - my kit 18-55 and my 35 1.8. The 35 was a little better but still had the issue.

    Glad to see that I can probably edit this out. I have the RAW files - I'll give it a shot.
  • mhedgesmhedges Posts: 685Member
    ggbutcher said:

    The contrast is low.

    I opened your jpeg in my raw processor to view the histogram:



    Note the low end of the data is not at 0, it's more like at 27. So I added a curve tool and slid the lower control point over to 27:



    You can do this in most any image program with a curve tool.

    Can I ask which image processor you used for this?
  • ggbutcherggbutcher Posts: 224Member
    I didn't like any of the others, so I wrote my own. It's on github; the releases page has .zips and installers for windows.
    https://github.com/butcherg/rawproc
    It's a little obtuse to use, just one customer, after all. :smiley: If you have questions, post here and I'll answer.
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