thanks for the kind comments.
Well, digital image processing is a highly, interesting thing ... worth to be mastered ... but should not end it itself.
It is worth the effort whenever it can serve to polish up a photo which has good image-material.
I do not like any photo-compositions which include foreign image materials.
If I do so, all picture material is from my own hands.
Those who are handy with digital tricks do best, never to admit it!
If they do admit so, everybody is then looking for digital tricks!
The shots above are most honest! The only thing is that I had a fight with the extreme contrasts between the dark shady parts in the portraits and the very bright highlights on the other hand. Well, our SDx cameras do record these image info ... you just have to work it out from the RAW-data.
To give you an impression... That is the way pictures look without image processing:
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Here we are without any structures in the highlights and shades. The image information is contained (as my pictures above illustrate) but must be made visible. Only X3F-RAW-mode makes this possible! Go for jpg-mode and you lose the match.
Therefore I always point out clearly that good SIGMA-Foveon results strongly depend on the photographer's digital-darkroom abilities. Often you do not get good results out of cam.
Most camera-testers do not seem to have understood the cameras' potential, simply because they neither can work the cameras nor do they manage their RAW-data. Most of them never went beyond jpg-mode... a sad story.
Let me give a short instruction how to work shots that contain such extreme dynamic range (extreme contrasts).
1) Check camera exposure carefully at the scene using the overexposure indicator (display shows overexposed areas red). The display warns early enogh. Speed up exposure so, that the first red areas are already displayed ... believe me you are save then .. the foveon has its reserves in the highlights.
This "expose to the right" procedure realizes the full dynamic range.
For a most scientific explanation have a look here!
Digital-darkroom procedure on the computer using SPP 2.5 converter
2) Adjust "exposure" precisely ... watch the histogram most carefully
3) Turn on over-exposure warning mode and do the necessary FILL LIGHT adjustment. The extreme Dynamic range of the pic becomes compressed now. Highlights and shadows now gain structures. Do not care all that much about noise that now comes up in the shadows ... that can be fixed later on.
4) Do fine corrections with the highlight and shadow sliders until all the picture's details are nicely visible. I always find it fascinating what the SIGMAs really see.
Be very carefull with the contrast slider ... it tends to destroy a lot ... I just use it very rarely.
5) Save the image! Then work on possible picture noise which turned up using large amounts of fill light, using other software, do colour corrections, crops and so forth.
As I pointed out so many times ... Arcsoft Darkroom / RAW PHOTO STUDIO provides the best filters to the typical Foveon low frequent RGB (chromatic)-noise.
Neat Image is a very sophisticated tool to do luminace-noise.
See you with nice pictures