High Key IMAGE CAPTURE and LIGHTROOM EDITING of a Carmine Bee Eater in Botswana with Janine Krayer


Hi I’m Janine from Pangolin Photo Safaris
and I’m with you on the Chobe River Today I’m going to explain to you
how to photograph dark subjects against a bright background such as the sky. Over here we have a beautiful Southern
Carmine Bee-Eaters however it’s now ten o’clock in the morning and the light
has gotten quite harsh and he looks very silhouetted and dark against the very
bright sky. So if we actually want to see his red color and not just a black bird
we’re going to have to over-expose our shot significantly. I’m going to go to +4
here all the way up to plus four in order to try and make his color visible
again. He’s sitting on that beautiful reed over there. Therefore we can apply
the rule of thirds. He’s looking to the right. I’m going to shift my focus point
to the left onto his eyes so the reeds is at the bottom third and the carmine
bee-eaters on the vertical left third of our picture. That seems to be quite
beautifully balanced in the photograph. There we go. Here you can see our sky is
turning perfectly white but we have blue skies all over the world so we are
interested in that very colourful bird and his red colors really popping nicely
in front of the wide sky. You can’t easily do action shots this way because we’re asking for so much extra light that our shutter speed, our aperture in
our ISO is working hard to get us this extra light. If we now would want
1/4000 of a second to catch him in flight aswell we would block out
too much light. So I’m bringing my shutter speed down to about a 1/1000
of a second. I can’t go much lower with my long lens in order to ensure that we
get enough light into our camera for this high key image Hi I’m Janine and I’m with Pangolin Photo
Safaris in the editing room of the Pangolin Chobe Hotel today. Earlier on
we’ve been photographing a carmine bee-eater rather challenging light
conditions together and now I quickly downloaded the photograph for you so we can have a look together how we can work on it in post-production. Let’s get started. Alright these are all the photographs I’ve taken of the carmine
bee-eater while I was trying to explain to you the high key concept on a
colourful picture. You see there’s quite a lot of photographs and a lot of people
ask me how do you make the choice of of your best picture afterwards how do you
know which one to delete and which one you don’t want it to delete. Well it’s
quite easy because you want to be rather strict with yourself you want to figure
out which is the best photograph. You want to have the bird looking towards you. Ideally you want to have everything in your frame. Maybe you want to have a
little bit of space to crop. So this photograph for instance I would know from the start I could delete. He’ not even looking towards us.
Once you’ve found your ideal photograph you just delete the rest. There is no
point in making yourself unsure about what you want to do, if you
already found the best in there. Here you see you have the carmine bee-eater he
still has a little bit of shadow on his back on that beautiful green Reed of
ours. It’s always important if you press “i” you get the information on Lightroom
to have a quick look at your settings. It will teach you a lot about what you
did maybe right or wrong. I was on 1/2000s because the read was also swaying in the wind and a low f-stop for a nice portrait. Background doesn’t need to
be blurred because it’s into the sky. But I’m trying to collect as much light as
possible here. If you remember correctly we were over exposing quite
significantly around +4 and that means that our ISO is shooting up high
to provide us with enough light to get +4 of light into our screen so our ISO
hit 3200 and that means in post-production we’re gonna have to keep an eye on the grain in our photograph. let’s go to develop mode. I first want to crop it a little bit. I was saying in the
movie that I would like the reed to be roughly at the bottom third.
Obviously we really don’t want to crop that little tail off here. That tail is
part of the bird so maybe we can’t reach a full 1/3. Also the reed is bent
maybe where it exits and enters the screen, left and right, it can hit roughly 1/3.
We want to have the bird sitting on the left vertical third here. We
always say very significant features such as that eye look very good if they lie on
the cross points of the horizontal and vertical lines of thirds. So this could
work quite well. Naturally I’m going to shift them a little bit more to the left
actually. I work a lot according to my my belly feeling and then I’m going to
start with our basic settings here. Having a look at our histogram shows us
that our histogram is way off whack. We’re doing a high key photograph so it is
running off to the right hand side showing us a lot of blown-out areas. All
this white around in the background should be blown out that was the goal.
In the basic settings I’m trying to get my exposure right. Obviously yes we want to
have the whites as white as possible but as I said the backside of the bird is still a bit shady. We want to pull those shadows out
a little bit. So let’s see that we get the whites as
white as possible without losing contrast in our bird and putting the
whites even wider I’m gonna try and pull the shadows out of the bird.
It looks very pale and yucky now. So in turn I’m gonna bring some of the
highlights back in to give them a little bit of structure and actually bring the
entire exposure down enough so that the red bird doesn’t look pale in our frame. By pulling the blacks to the left a little
bit it’s now fine balance between pulling the shadows out and not losing
our contrast. So you see I’m balancing between pulling making my blacks
stronger and pulling my shadows out of the bird. Here we go. If we look into the
bird you see the grain quite hectically. There’s nothing you can do about it at
that stage. If I would pull my clarity to intensify the looks of the bird the
grain will increase even more. So Im going to be very careful with that. I was shooting as a raw image – it’s a .cr2 file and therefore I’m gonna have to
sharpen my image as well. With sharpening you have the same problem as with clarity If you have a very noisy image to start with you see if I sharpen it
now here on the right hand side the grain and the noise becomes quite
intrusive so be very careful with sharpening a high ISO image. Something
that could help you is to mask your image. Masking means that you do not
sharpen the entire surface area of your image but you only take the most
contrasty feature, the outlines of the image. I press my ALT button and
therefore I can see which areas I sharpen. All the white bits in my
frame are being sharpened and you’ll see it as only the outline. If I sharpen only
the outline the rest will not struggle so much with noise. You know I can pull
my sharpness even a bit further. There we go. Between trying to get your exposure and the bird right and sharpening your image
that’s pretty much all you need to do with this photograph and if you
find the green colours and the reeds are a little bit too fake. You can adjust
your colours individually within your HSL/Colour column. I’m going to go to
the green and I’m gonna play with the luminance of my green
color to make it less lime green and a little bit more saturated green.
However I’ll take a little bit of that saturation out so that that reed is not
competing with the colours of my bird. The bird is after all still the main feature
in this photograph. Let’s have a look on full frame there we go a very clean-cut
high-key image in colour. Most high key images look best when they’re photo when they’re turned into black and white. After all you really don’t want to be
losing the red colours of our carmine bee-eaters so this is one of the few exceptions. I really hope you enjoyed this and it was
helpful to you .If you enjoyed it please don’t forget to subscribe or press the
little bell button at the bottom to get notifications for any further videos
coming out in the future. Thank you very much for listening in. Bye-bye

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