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Photograph banding

GarethRobinson 11 1.0k 2 United Kingdom
31 Jan 2013 10:36AM
If you don't push the exposure on the sky in pp is it okay?, if yes then get the exposure for the sky correct in camera and the gradients in the sky will not show banding. From experience if I have a sky with similar gradients as in the image posted and don't expose correctly I also will get some banding.

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GlennH 13 1.9k 1 France
31 Jan 2013 10:36AM
There's a general consensus that a low luminance level is better because it more accurately mirrors the 'brightness' of a piece of printing paper in a typically lit room. However, there's an opposite opinion that says this is totally unnecessary - that the adaptability of our eyes combined with techniques such as softproofing is sufficient to produce a good print, and moreover that plummeting monitors to a low luminance level often damages their performance.

Personally I wouldn't set a monitor to 80cd/mē, partly because I'm very far from being a prolific printer but also because it seems likely to me that it'll harm performance - that a setting too high or too low hits a wall where the monitor gamut and dynamic range is adversely affected. But aside from my stabs in the dark you might want to look at this thread from someone altogether more qualified to comment. You'll note that the Dells he mentions are prone to banding when a low luminance level is set ('he' being Ethan Hansen, of Dry Creek Photo).

Providing ambient light is subdued and not brighter than your monitor you certainly don't need a very low luminance level.
Andy1979 11 754 2 England
31 Jan 2013 10:50AM
I did try gareth trying to get the exposure right but really it was impossible without doing two shots one for the sky and one for the forground maybe thats the problem here is the overall exposure of the picture and the cloudless skys as it doesnt seem to happen if there are clouds in the sky its a hard one!. Thanks glen for your time i know this monitor isnt the best for what i do but maybe in a few years i will get a expensive one but for now i will just have to struggle with the banding problem it looks like,. Can other see the problem on there screens or is it just me.
GarethRobinson 11 1.0k 2 United Kingdom
31 Jan 2013 10:50AM

Quote:But this shot doesnt have any filters on as i managed to get it all in the histogram it is just when i try to open up the sky to lighten it starts banding

the histogram may well be showing perfectly, there is no blown highlights on the street lamps etc which is great. To resolve this I would be shooting say 3 images 1: exposed for the lights, 1: for the sky 1: for the shadows and blend in pp.

try that and see what happens
GarethRobinson 11 1.0k 2 United Kingdom
31 Jan 2013 10:52AM
Ha i was slow at typing, I think you have seen where the problem is and it is not your monitor or a fault of your camera.
Andy1979 11 754 2 England
31 Jan 2013 11:03AM
It looks like it gareth,. I see what you mean that some shots are just to hard to get everything right something has to give i suppose cheers for your help will try this next time i am out to see what happens.
Andy1979 11 754 2 England
31 Jan 2013 11:17AM
This is a shot about 30 minutes earlier with a 0.6 grad on with no banding.-amw3324.jpg

GlennH 13 1.9k 1 France
31 Jan 2013 11:23AM
Gareth's explanation seems plausible, although the sticking point for me is that I can't actually see a lot of banding in your first picture, other than perhaps a harsh transition a little above the buildings?
Andy1979 11 754 2 England
31 Jan 2013 11:24AM
So for images such as the ones i have put up on the thread you think i should do different shots for the different light levels?
Andy1979 11 754 2 England
31 Jan 2013 11:28AM
the sun was setting to the right of the metro radio behind the building, so maybe that is why i am getting alot of colour shifts. As its dark at one side and light at the other?
GarethRobinson 11 1.0k 2 United Kingdom
31 Jan 2013 11:30AM
I would, to be honest. Some people will say to use grad filters to balance the sky etc that is fine for some scenes. But try using a grad in images like the above and the grad filter will also darken the higher buildings, which to me looks wrong. So blending two or more images as long as the blending is kept looking natural I think works better.
User_Removed 14 3.3k 4 United Kingdom
31 Jan 2013 12:20PM
Did you check that your gfx card isn't set to 16 bit?


User_Removed 14 3.3k 4 United Kingdom
31 Jan 2013 12:26PM
It occurs to me that you are shooting using a wide gamut colour space (AdobeRGB) but you're processing in a narrow space (sRGB). This could cause banding when you make adjustments.

Conventional wisdom is to process in widest space possible then do final output in suitable colour spaces (such as sRGB for web, CMYK for process printing etc)

The analogy I like is that you are baking a cake, the end result might be only an 8 inch diameter but you mix the ingredients in a much bigger bowl.
Andy1979 11 754 2 England
31 Jan 2013 12:38PM
Hi chris checked my graphics settings i have two graphics cards in my pc and they are in sli mode its for gaming. I have checked the settings it is true color (32bit) 59 herz. I have camera raw set up to prophotorgb and also cs6. I convert pictures for web to srgb before i save them
GlennH 13 1.9k 1 France
31 Jan 2013 12:47PM
I'm a little confused because I don't think it's that easy to create posterisation even with an 8-bit JPEG unless you repeatedly open and close it or apply some heavyweight adjustment (the Photoshop 'exposure' slider is a JPEG bruiser). When it is evident it's usually accompanied by a raked or tooth-combed histogram, or a 'crashed' one when caused by saturation clipping.

I still think it may be a monitor issue, mostly because I can't see much of a problem on my own banding canary of a screen. I'm not sure that I've ever created this issue by opening shadows, either - usually I just unearth a load of noise. I'm not a landscaper, that said - probably not at ninja level in the art of unfolding subtle hues.

Processing ProPhoto RGB files in 8-bit would cause a heap of problems, but I don't suppose that's happening here (and again, it'd be obviously reflected in the histogram).

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