© 2010 Alfie Goodrich. All rights reserved.

The shady spot; Hie Shrine, Akasaka, Tokyo

I was out the other day with Francois, who is in town for a while. We were doing a lesson together and a bit of a walk. Hie Shrine in Akasaka is a good spot to have some photo fun, as it has a nice courtyard - getting nuked by sun the other day when we were there - and a great set of torii gates around the other side from the main exit/entrance.

Full breakdown here, with screengrabs of the some of the post-pro stages;

This spot was shady which is why both we and this lady were finding some sort of sanctuary there.

Got a few nice candids of her and she didnt seem to mind me shooting.

Issues with this shot straight out of the camera were;

Odd lighting: green cast coming through the leaves, red cast from all the items in the shade reflecting that sun back in from camera-right. Temp of the shade and temp of the light coming in were very different. This can cause problems getting the WB right on location.

Muddy shadows and highlights that were partly a white-balance issue and partly because there was an enormous dynamic range going on which meant me setting an exposure to try and capture as much of it as possible.. and you cant have your cake and eat it.

Post-pro solutions:

Made two TIFFs from the RAW; one made through ViewNX and one through Capture One. Reason? This was shot with a custom pic control in the Nikon and ViewNX preserves that and Capture 1 doesnt, as it does not read the Nikon algorithm. So, I made the best of both pieces of software because they each have their own quality of RAW conversion. This allowed me to expand the dynamic range and bring some of the intense colour through from the Nikon picture control. Both TIFFs were opened in P'shop, pulled into the same canvas as two layers and layer masking used to bring out the best in both.

Cleaning up the WB was something that was done with a combination of removing colour cast in Nik Color Efex 3 and then finally using the PhotoStylizer filter, set at 0%, to do a deep clean of the whites and greys. This filter in Nik also pumps the red and blue channels which worked well with this shot.

Final little bit of output sharpening using Nik and that's how we ended up.

Will post a full workflow breakdown of this post-pro sometime today as I worked on this image with Joanna yesterday as part of a Photoshop class I was giving her. If I'd been doing this shot on my own, not showing someone step-by-step, it still would have come in at just about or over my 10minute rule for post-pro. I spend enough time in front of screens. I dont like to spend more than ten or 12mins per shot to edit. :-)

Nikon D700
Nikkor 50mm f/1.2 Ai

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