I'm trying to capture low light pictures with a P4 standard.

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I was sitting on my back porch enjoying the beauty of the evening after a rain. Half of the porch is covered and the other half is open. Good for me to keep out of the elements and a nice open place for my P4 to take off from. I love the peace and quite. The late fall leaves have their own uniqueness and the clouds added to it. It's what I see many times. It was near dark, but I decided to go for it. The flying was routine and behind my house is mainly forests. I never quit getting a trill flying here, it's my playground.
I was not happy with the pictures though. I did get some moisture on the camera lens to mess up the pictures. I can't get them to look right. I was hoping for better, but it isn't happening for me and my Adobe Photoshop. Maybe the video will come out ok. The trees are mainly yellow poplar and oak. Anything I tried to do in editing made the yellow poplar pop out bright. The photo's are a little brighter than what was. I tried stacking 3 shots, but didn't look any better than a single shot. I guess you can't make a bad shot good, so why try. Good shots need little editing. Any advice? I know, wait till the sun comes out. LOL

backyard2.jpgc.jpg


backyard.jpgc.jpg
 

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Looks like the “Smokies”. Maybe not perfect, but beautiful. I fly my P4 mostly but in the evening, grab the P4P. It’s just better in low light but still not perfect. Since the P4 is always at the ready, like you, just have to deal with the quality. Still learning editing so I can post something worth a look-see. Keep posting, love the views and won’t criticize. 😀 (if you won’t)
 
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What a beautiful playground indeed!

More often than not I'll shoot brackets when taking photos, especially when lighting is a challenge. Have you ever tried the hdr software, Photomatix? There's a pro and an essentials version, the essentials is currently available for free for a limited time.


Would recommend giving it a try with your stacked shots, if by stacked you mean bracketed (AEB). It can also work with just a single pic as well. It comes with lots of presets but I usually start with "detailed" or none then manually adjust it from there being careful to not overdo it. Afterwards one can do final adjustments in your regular photo editor.
 
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What a beautiful playground indeed!

More often than not I'll shoot brackets when taking photos, especially when lighting is a challenge. Have you ever tried the hdr software, Photomatix? There's a pro and an essentials version, the essentials is currently available for free for a limited time.


Would recommend giving it a try with your stacked shots, if by stacked you mean bracketed (AEB). It can also work with just a single pic as well. It comes with lots of presets but I usually start with "detailed" or none then manually adjust it from there being careful to not overdo it. Afterwards one can do final adjustments in your regular photo editor.
Sounds like great advice. I hate learning a new editor. My brain has limited retention. I took a 3 shot AEB bracket. I think the problem is more of a limitation of the P4 standard. To get the pictures I want I need to take a time shot on a tri pod. I think that is the only way I could ever convey the essence of what I was seeing and feeling. I love being able to get the position and angle that the P4 allows me to get. It’s not my Nikon. With it I can take great pictures with little editing. The flying of my P4 was a trill in that environment. It makes me feel like Superman or maybe Startreck. To venture where no man has traveled before. Lol
 
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Looks like the “Smokies”. Maybe not perfect, but beautiful. I fly my P4 mostly but in the evening, grab the P4P. It’s just better in low light but still not perfect. Since the P4 is always at the ready, like you, just have to deal with the quality. Still learning editing so I can post something worth a look-see. Keep posting, love the views and won’t criticize. 😀 (if you won’t)
No criticisms. I would love to see some of your pics/videos in your area. Did you make the fall trip to catch some color?
 

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My P4 was my first. Was a virgin and fell in love. Goes everywhere with me like a pet dog. That love never happened with the P4P, so the standard gets most of the air time. Followed closely by my Mini. Kept my original, wetsuited, P4P and sold the rest. Reason? Think the P4S is the toughest Phantom built. Pro not quite as rugged, even though it has a better camera. Fishing was more important than pics but hoping to change that with more P4P use. (Filming the P4 at work, fishing) have Photoshop but need Premier Pro or similar. $40 on resale market? Bought an awesome video/gaming PC just for that purpose. Need to learn How. 🤔

Stay safe y’all, vaccines and normalcy will happen. Hopefully soon. Just need to get our 💩 together.

In USA VOTE! it’s a Right, a Privilege, and Important 👍

sorry, got a bit off topic. Hope I didn’t break any rules ✌️
 

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No criticisms. I would love to see some of your pics/videos in your area. Did you make the fall trip to catch some color?
Had to cancel, son and daughter in law got Covid. They don’t use masks, social distance or quarantine! I’m shocked and disappointed. 🙁 but miss my family.

I have enough decent film that I can put something together. I’ll see what I can do.
 
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Sounds like great advice. I hate learning a new editor. My brain has limited retention. I took a 3 shot AEB bracket. I think the problem is more of a limitation of the P4 standard. To get the pictures I want I need to take a time shot on a tri pod. I think that is the only way I could ever convey the essence of what I was seeing and feeling. I love being able to get the position and angle that the P4 allows me to get. It’s not my Nikon. With it I can take great pictures with little editing. The flying of my P4 was a trill in that environment. It makes me feel like Superman or maybe Startreck. To venture where no man has traveled before. Lol
The camera does have its limitations compared to the P4P but like you said it's a sheer pleasure to fly!
 

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I'm not sure why you don't like these, Dubya. They do reflect the sweet soft low light of the day at that time. You can make them a bit more exciting with some contrast added. The dynamic range here is very manageable and so no need for any type of stacking or HDR. The main thing you need to do is keep the sharpness, which gets more difficult in low light, as the shutter speeds are typically longer. I typically use an aperture of f7.1 or smaller (higher value) to capture more depth of field, but when the light gets low I often go to f5.6 or less to recapture shutter speed. And, be sure to allow your Phantom to hover in place for a few seconds after obtaining your comp, to allow the aircraft to settle into it's position and remain more still, before pressing the shutter. Be patient with that! It's hit and miss too, as variables include wind, and the ability of your craft to hover still. And take a few, just seconds apart. Later, in post, look at them all at 100% to see if any are sharper than others, and then process those. This is where the phantoms are a bit better than the smaller drones, as they will remain still to a greater degree.
 
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I'm not sure why you don't like these, Dubya. They do reflect the sweet soft low light of the day at that time. You can make them a bit more exciting with some contrast added. The dynamic range here is very manageable and so no need for any type of stacking or HDR. The main thing you need to do is keep the sharpness, which gets more difficult in low light, as the shutter speeds are typically longer. I typically use an aperture of f7.1 or smaller (higher value) to capture more depth of field, but when the light gets low I often go to f5.6 or less to recapture shutter speed. And, be sure to allow your Phantom to hover in place for a few seconds after obtaining your comp, to allow the aircraft to settle into it's position and remain more still, before pressing the shutter. Be patient with that! It's hit and miss too, as variables include wind, and the ability of your craft to hover still. And take a few, just seconds apart. Later, in post, look at them all at 100% to see if any are sharper than others, and then process those. This is where the phantoms are a bit better than the smaller drones, as they will remain still to a greater degree.
Yes you are so right with the advice given. The Phantom getting still is one I'm learning. I understand aperture well and what I want from it. I never looked at it, but can I adjust the aperture on my P4 standard? I really had to stay away from the contrast. Touch contrast or whites and the yellow poplars turn flaming bright. Focus was lost quickly in low light, I notice from this learning experience. Thank you for your advice. It is much appreciated.
 
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I don't know for the P standard. At P4P it's easy.
But shooting in low light you must always balance between long exp. time and aperture opening. Shorter times gives you some more sharpness but for that you must open the aperture more and this means usually less sharpness. So - there you go! And if you elevate the ISO you decrease he sharpness as well (more grainy photo).
About photos you posted. Maybe just a little contrast and a little colour corrections and it will be fine. The brightness is on your taste depends on how you like it to be. As you have very much dark areas maybe even not needs more contrast but just a little bright yellow areas and the photo will begin to shine..
A low light photos usually need some brightness adjustments but there is no general advice. The most important is how do you like it to be.
I tried to do some minimal corrections but because of the low res image it is impossible to do much more.
 

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I don't know for the P standard. At P4P it's easy.
But shooting in low light you must always balance between long exp. time and aperture opening. Shorter times gives you some more sharpness but for that you must open the aperture more and this means usually less sharpness. So - there you go! And if you elevate the ISO you decrease he sharpness as well (more grainy photo).
About photos you posted. Maybe just a little contrast and a little colour corrections and it will be fine. The brightness is on your taste depends on how you like it to be. As you have very much dark areas maybe even not needs more contrast but just a little bright yellow areas and the photo will begin to shine..
A low light photos usually need some brightness adjustments but there is no general advice. The most important is how do you like it to be.
I tried to do some minimal corrections but because of the low res image it is impossible to do much more.
I like it. I need your editing skills.
 
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I was sitting on my back porch enjoying the beauty of the evening after a rain. Half of the porch is covered and the other half is open. Good for me to keep out of the elements and a nice open place for my P4 to take off from. I love the peace and quite. The late fall leaves have their own uniqueness and the clouds added to it. It's what I see many times. It was near dark, but I decided to go for it. The flying was routine and behind my house is mainly forests. I never quit getting a trill flying here, it's my playground.
I was not happy with the pictures though. I did get some moisture on the camera lens to mess up the pictures. I can't get them to look right. I was hoping for better, but it isn't happening for me and my Adobe Photoshop. Maybe the video will come out ok. The trees are mainly yellow poplar and oak. Anything I tried to do in editing made the yellow poplar pop out bright. The photo's are a little brighter than what was. I tried stacking 3 shots, but didn't look any better than a single shot. I guess you can't make a bad shot good, so why try. Good shots need little editing. Any advice? I know, wait till the sun comes out. LOL

View attachment 120500

View attachment 120501
I love the way you wrote about being on your porch. It was lovely and almost like being there :)

There are better photographers and editors than me, but I do have many years experience as a photographer.

Moisture on a lens or filter will diffuse light, soften the sharpness and desaturate colors. I rather expect there are many potential ways of approaching the task of correcting or improving these things in PhotoShop.

Someone mentioned HDR. HDR is intended to deal with high contrast situations. what you are faced with is the opposite. While there may be some tricks that various HDR software can apply, they have saturation tools, for example, it's basically marching in the wrong direction when you are trying to increase saturation and/or dynamic range.

I would be looking at adding Saturation and/or Vibrance layers in PhotoShop possiby adjusting certain ranges using the eyedropper tool to select specific tones/colors upon which I wanted the layers to act, as well as increasing the dynamic range via Cuvres or Levels layers using my eyes and histograms to guide me.

HTH
 
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I love the way you wrote about being on your porch. It was lovely and almost like being there :)

There are better photographers and editors than me, but I do have many years experience as a photographer.

Moisture on a lens or filter will diffuse light, soften the sharpness and desaturate colors. I rather expect there are many potential ways of approaching the task of correcting or improving these things in PhotoShop.

Someone mentioned HDR. HDR is intended to deal with high contrast situations. what you are faced with is the opposite. While there may be some tricks that various HDR software can apply, they have saturation tools, for example, it's basically marching in the wrong direction when you are trying to increase saturation and/or dynamic range.

I would be looking at adding Saturation and/or Vibrance layers in PhotoShop possiby adjusting certain ranges using the eyedropper tool to select specific tones/colors upon which I wanted the layers to act, as well as increasing the dynamic range via Cuvres or Levels layers using my eyes and histograms to guide me.

HTH
Some interesting and good advice. I’m not good at editing. I want a more natural look, but photography is art and always needs some contrast, etc, to express our artistry. Lol I think I need to work more in layers to make a more fine tune product. If the saturation is low, it is my fault. Every time I touched a white or highlight, my yellows would go crazy high besides using contrast. I was doing the desaturation, maybe to the point of messing it up. I only have the cheap version of Adobe. The other is over my head and doesn’t seem cost affective for my purpose. I’m having trouble with the bright fall shots also. It to deal with the super colorful trees. It seems I have no real point of interest. I highlight the center and vignette the picture, but it still seems like a mess of dizziness of color. I have been playing for hours to try to get it right. Very frustrating.
 
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Some interesting and good advice. I’m not good at editing. I want a more natural look, but photography is art and always needs some contrast, etc, to express our artistry. Lol I think I need to work more in layers to make a more fine tune product. If the saturation is low, it is my fault. Every time I touched a white or highlight, my yellows would go crazy high besides using contrast. I was doing the desaturation, maybe to the point of messing it up. I only have the cheap version of Adobe. The other is over my head and doesn’t seem cost affective for my purpose. I’m having trouble with the bright fall shots also. It to deal with the super colorful trees. It seems I have no real point of interest. I highlight the center and vignette the picture, but it still seems like a mess of dizziness of color. I have been playing for hours to try to get it right. Very frustrating.
Isn't the full version of PhotoShop available on a monthly subscription basis for about $10 a month? (I have an old stand alone version).

In order to adjust a photo it's helpful to know where it is weak and have an idea what needs changing. It's hard to hit a target if you don't know what you're shooting at.

For me, what I have learned in over 50 years of photography has come gradually and involved a lot of study and practice. Part of this was learning what makes a good photograph. This is not necessarily immediately apparent to the untrained eye. YouTube wasn't around when I was cutting my teeth and it can be a great resource, but again, understanding what's wrong is the first step toward making something right.

I always recommend looking at a lot of photos and thinking about what makes them great or not so great.
 
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Isn't the full version of PhotoShop available on a monthly subscription basis for about $10 a month? (I have an old stand alone version).

In order to adjust a photo it's helpful to know where it is weak and have an idea what needs changing. It's hard to hit a target if you don't know what you're shooting at.

For me, what I have learned in over 50 years of photography has come gradually and involved a lot of study and practice. Part of this was learning what makes a good photograph. This is not necessarily immediately apparent to the untrained eye. YouTube wasn't around when I was cutting my teeth and it can be a great resource, but again, understanding what's wrong is the first step toward making something right.

I always recommend looking at a lot of photos and thinking about what makes them great or not so great.
That's my problem. I don't know my problem. If I did, I would fix it. I know I have a problem with my head, but I have to use my head to fix my head which is my problem. I'm in trouble. LOL
I kind of hated digital cameras when they came to be. All that work in learning how to shoot film. My light meter is in the drawer. I quit carrying Vaseline and nylons for soft focus. No stop watch and counting the cost every time I clicked the shutter. It took some skill then. All it takes now is a techy person in Photoshop. Not me. Do I sound bitter? LOL
 
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That's my problem. I don't know my problem. If I did, I would fix it. I know I have a problem with my head, but I have to use my head to fix my head which is my problem. I'm in trouble. LOL
I kind of hated digital cameras when they came to be. All that work in learning how to shoot film. My light meter is in the drawer. I quit carrying Vaseline and nylons for soft focus. No stop watch and counting the cost every time I clicked the shutter. It took some skill then. All it takes now is a techy person in Photoshop. Not me. Do I sound bitter? LOL
Anything you learned shooting film should carry through to digital. It should actually give you an advantage. All the same principles apply.

PhotoShop is useless to someone who doesn't understand the principles of photography which are universal to film and digital capture. That said, digital manipulation is a separate skill, but it still requires a foundation in photographic and/or artistic principles.

People have often asked me what camera to get. I say it probably doesn't matter. What they need to do is to learn the principles of photography. A skilled photographer can do more with a cell phone than an amateur with a $5000 Nikon. After all, a camera is just a box with a shutter that holds a lens and sensor (or film) in proper relationship to each other.

Editing software is different in that the capabilities and methods may vary wildly from one to the other.

One thing that may be helpful to people who want to make better photos is to het involved with a group. Any independence study can also be valuable. When I started to het serious about photography I consumed a lot of literature on the subject. I didn't have to force myself because I was very interested.

The attached photo isn't a drone shot but rather one of my flower shots. It took many years to develop to the point where I could do something like this.
 

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Anything you learned shooting film should carry through to digital. It should actually give you an advantage. All the same principles apply.

PhotoShop is useless to someone who doesn't understand the principles of photography which are universal to film and digital capture. That said, digital manipulation is a separate skill, but it still requires a foundation in photographic and/or artistic principles.

People have often asked me what camera to get. I say it probably doesn't matter. What they need to do is to learn the principles of photography. A skilled photographer can do more with a cell phone than an amateur with a $5000 Nikon. After all, a camera is just a box with a shutter that holds a lens and sensor (or film) in proper relationship to each other.

Editing software is different in that the capabilities and methods may vary wildly from one to the other.

One thing that may be helpful to people who want to make better photos is to het involved with a group. Any independence study can also be valuable. When I started to het serious about photography I consumed a lot of literature on the subject. I didn't have to force myself because I was very interested.

The attached photo isn't a drone shot but rather one of my flower shots. It took many years to develop to the point where I could do something like this.
You did a superb job on that which exemplifies your skill in one photo. I'm an amateur, but love nature and photography.
It kind of gets under my skin to see people with their 5 to 10,000 thousand dollar set up and watching them not hardly have any idea what they are doing. I ask them when i can if they ever shoot from a tri pod. Most say why?
 

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