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colour banding or simply the ocean being itself?

 
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The ocean changes colour suddenly depending on lots of different things.  But there's also an undesired digital artefact called "colour banding" which happens in photography.  

Any thoughts if this is simply the ocean being itself or if it's a problem with the image quality?



and a close-up

 
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If you look at native art that shows water , there are often a wide variety of colours. This look only exists for a few minutes at dawn and dusk, but it can be quite remarkable. The effect is often exaggerated in paintings, where a surreal look is desired.

 
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Unless you edit your photos into oblivion, color banding will not be an issue with a DLSR. Photos have noise and that noise prevents color banding by giving creating the space for more colors than one pixel could be.

To demonstrate this, I picked an image that would be a prime candidate for color banding: A Sunset.
The image from the camera contains noise, so I removed it on the right side by a denoising filter.
That by itself still leaves a good image (not shown), so I forced color banding forcing the image to only use 256 different colors. (GIF would do that.)

As you can see, the image still looks good on the left side even tho, it only uses 256 colors. This is due to the noise that disturbs the colors enough that they fall into a random color in the palette. The average colors still closely matches the original one – thanks to statistics.
noise.jpg
color banding a sunset, right vs left
color banding a sunset, right vs left
 
Sebastian Köln
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Sidenote: Measuring electronics sometimes add a controlled amount of noise to the signal to increase their resolution – by measuring thousands of times and taking the average. The noise makes the value sometimes be above or below the exact value, but pretty close to it on average. Without noise it could only measure a value below or above…
 
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looks like wind to me... small waves/ripples

as a kiter i read the water and stay away from areas with no wind

the water reflects clouds above to some extent too

but this looks like a light breeze which is unevenly distributed because of shore features
 
M. Phelps
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totally unrelated but an interesting effect happens when the wind gets over 70-80km/hr the choppy wind driven waves disappear and only swells and tiny ripples remain
the wind knocks the tops off any small waves

in the same way they determine how strong a tornado was according to the damage it created one can determine the windspeed (and what size kite to use) by observing things like blowing sand, waving branches, thrashing tree limbs etc
sometimes you go out on the water and when you come back to shore there are trees down everywhere!
bring a chainsaw if you want to be able to drive home
also the beach disappears due to seiche effects

sorry for hijacking the thread
 
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R,

I don’t think your ocean picture is showing any of the digital banding that annoys digital photographers.  Perhaps the color contrast setting is just set just slightly higher than desired for this particular picture.  Are you using a DSLR yet?  If so you might well be able to adjust this in the camera settings for future use.

What my semi-trained eye sees in your picture is the camera slightly enhancing the natural color differences naturally occurring in the ocean itself.  I don’t see the digital artifact effect of color banding where the camera makes abrupt color/brightness changes occur where they don’t naturally exist.  More simply put, I don’t see any example of the digital artifact issue known as banding.  I see a beautiful picture of of the ocean with the color contrast slightly enhancing natural color differences.

Eric
 
r ranson
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The only change I made to the raw file is the white balance.  I still need to adjust the highlights and shadows to get the rocks right, get rid of the crab buoys,  and apply lens correction... Regular stuff.
 
Eric Hanson
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R,

Are you using a DSLR now?  The reason I ask is the ability to alter the white balance right inside the camera.

Personally, I absolutely love taking pictures of dramatic sunrises.  My absolute favorite is sunrise to photograph is a situation where the sky is mostly/almost entirely overcast, but a break in the clouds just over the horizon exist just as the rising dun (not yet directly visible yet) shines brilliant pinks, reds and oranges up from beneath the sky and dramatically illuminates the underside of the cloud layer.  

I find these images dramatically brilliant.  But it is terribly difficult to get a good picture that maintains the dramatic color.  Most cameras will interpret all that bright color as white and the resulting in the color being almost completely washed out.  I have seen some spectacular sunrises that turned into mediocre pictures due to the auto white balance interpreting reds, oranges and especially pinks as white.

I had an old, ancient 3mp Sony camera that was notorious for doing this.  I found in the settings that the camera was set by default to use the average of the entire image to set the color balance.  I changed that particular setting to use only the center point to set the color balance.  I even learned a little trick to make this work even better.? That camera needed a sort of double press to take the picture.  The first, partial press adjusted the settings.  The second, full press took the picture.  If I aimed the center point of the camera to some other part of the picture that was not red/orange/pink (like a small patch of blue sky in a cloud break), then the color balance was such that the cloud color was dramatic and not whitewashed.

A decent DSLR is better because you can manually adjust the settings before you take the picture.  I had wanted a DSLR for some time but I waited until A DSLR with a “live view” came out.  Mine is a Canon Xsi with 12 megapixels (which is more than enough in my opinion), but allows me to set the various settings (color balance, white balance, exposure, aperture, the list goes on) and actually see what the camera sees before I take the picture.  This is great for my sunrises.  

Some cameras even come with situation specific settings.  I have seen settings like fluorescent, snow, and beach, all in an attempt to get the settings all just right for those specific situations.  I saw one camera that allowed up to 3 custom preset settings.  What I would love to see is a camera that had say 20 situation-specific preset settings.  Even better would be to have an online collection of settings where one could store an array of settings and then download as needed and store in the camera.  Settings I am thinking that could be good examples might include the following:  sunrise/sunset, beach, snow, jungle, night, and Christmas lights.  These are just a small collection.  Ideally, one could both download and upload settings for anyone to use if they wanted.

Anyhow, at the moment, these are all just a little pipe dream, but I do think it would be a great feature to have on a camera.

Eric
 
r ranson
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This was taken with a Canon T7i.  Not my camera.  Mine is a Canon M5 but I was curious about using this so I borrowed it for a few pictures.  I can definitely see why photography was a man's art for so long - DSLR are huge and there's no way I could use one of these for hours with tiny girl hands.  But the T7i is a compact DSLR and just right for the other person's hands.

The T7i is interesting.  Going through the photos on my PC, I notice that it has a stronger contrast than my mirrorless and sees different colours than I do.  We had it on auto white balance which makes it more interesting for adjusting the colours in post (I can't just batch adjust WB like I normally do).  But I also like the camera.  It's better handheld in the forest (mine like a tripod - but I also keep my ISO below 1600)
 
Eric Hanson
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R,

So it sounds like you did finally get your mirrorless camera?  Good for you.  How do you like it?  What features does it have, megapixels, etc?  I have been curious about this ever since we discussed it a few months ago.  

White balance is something I wrestle with, especially with my sunrises.  In a sunrise, the normal white balance function simply looks for the brightness part of the picture and assumes that point is white, adjusting all other colors, color temperatures, etc. accordingly.  Normally it does it’s job very well.  But if the brightness part of the picture is not white then the color is screwy.

Like I said in my last post, I would love to be able to have my camera save/store unique settings accessible from a huge public database.

Eric
 
r ranson
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I like the Canon EOS M5 tremendously.  It's the perfect camera for my needs and by the time I outgrow it, there will be even better cameras in my size-range.  (don't believe the reviews on battery life - I get 800 shots to the charge on raw, not the 300 they suggest)

It's a 24MP, APS-C sensor.

When I was researching, I noticed there wasn't much difference in the high-mid range.  So I got an idea of what I wanted and went to the shop.  I spent a few hours handling the different cameras and choose the one that fit my hand best.  

As for White Ballance, I set mine at daylight in camera and then modify it on the computer.  It gives a strong colourcast for indoor shooting, but having a consistent colourcast makes it easier to adjust the batch of photos.  
Note: I set f.lux to always go to off when I open an image editor otherwise it makes the monitor not show real colours.  
 
Dale Hodgins
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Here is an example of native art that exaggerates the colours and defines lines between them.

The sunset pictures were taken by me with a cellphone about 5 years ago.

I didn't label any of my photos but I see that the computer is doing it.
Screenshot_2019-12-14-20-03-02-1.png
colorful sky art
colorful sky art
20150717_213827.jpg
sunset
sunset
20150717_213846.jpg
colorful sunset
colorful sunset
20150717_213906.jpg
purple water
purple water
 
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