04/28/13 324 W, 7 I - + 3 - 2 Adventures in Fireground Flash Photography (and RAW Post-Processing)


Let's look at some shots from Saturday morning on Gradate Lane. Very dark scene on three sides, plus the usual white and red lights in the front. Required a high ISO, and some flash in spots. 

Camera is a Canon 7D, shooting in medium-quality RAW, with an EF 17-40mm f/4L lens. External Canon Speedlight 580 EXII flash. Post-processing using Canon Digital Photo Professional. Auto white balance, Faithful picture style, +2 contrast, +2 color saturation, +10 (max) saturation.

Example #1 - No flash, ISO 2500, Shutter-Priority AE Mode, 1/40 shutter, 4.0 aperture. On right, same shot with +2 brightness/exposure compensation in RAW post-processing. Click to enlarge:
 

 
Example #2 - Flash with -1 2/3 flash exposure compensation (dialing it down).  On right, same shot with +1.33 brightness/exposure compensation in RAW post-processing, and -5 highlight adjustment, to improve the clarity of the reflective strips (which district anyway, but what can you do?). Click to enlarge:
 

 
Example #3 - Flash with +1 1/3 flash exposure compensation (dialing it up). Plus that -5 highlight adjustment. On right, same shot with -.67 brightness/exposure compensation in RAW post-processing. Still don't like the reflective strips, on the gear of on the ladder truck. So be it. Click to enlarge:
 

 
Example #4 - Flash with -1 2/3 flash exposure compensation, plus +.5 brightness boost in post-processing This time, though, we're shooting into light, and there are fewer reflective surfaces in the shot. Just the helmet patches. The balance of light and glare and wash works well. Could tweak further, but it's good for now. Click to enlarge:
 

 
See the full series of photos by Mike Legeros (in progress, that is. Finishing them this today). Next question, what did the scene look like to the human observers, who didn't possess either flash lighting or exposure compensation for their eyeballs? It was pretty dark, except where it wasn't. Commence discussion of art versus reality, values and ethics of post-processing, etc.





Who is that tall guy with the red helmet and glorious mustache?
Kermit - 04/28/13 - 18:14

Some fireman…
Legeros - 04/28/13 - 18:16



  
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