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Mavic Air - High Desert Sunset Still Photo
906 15 2018-2-16
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Spaceman_66
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Shot this one during one of my new Mavic Air's first set of batteries / maiden flights last Saturday 10 February from 120' AGL over my NE Mesa, AZ high desert property. This was taken as an HDR still (using a Polar Pro ND-8 filter from their Cinema Series, Shutter Collection), and the 3 exposures were subsequently combined/composited using Adobe Photoshop Elements, cropped (to take the local neighborhood out at the bottom of the image) and enhanced just slightly to bring out the best I could. Tough lighting always - almost by definition - shooting sunsets; difficult to balance minimizing blowing highlights out with keeping enough exposure and contrast in the ground. I know it's the same sensor as in the Spark, but I'm already seeing what to me seem noticeable differences in both the still and video outputs. DJI has clearly wrung some more "oomph" out of this sensor - very impressive.
HDR2_Crop_Enhanced_sm2.png
2018-2-16
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Montfrooij
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Flight distance : 2016040 ft
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Nice shot.
2018-2-16
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GoldenSun
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Flight distance : 681903 ft
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Still a little overexposed?
2018-2-16
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hallmark007
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Ireland
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Cool looking sun, maybe just a little heavy on the saturation.
2018-2-16
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Spaceman_66
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GoldenSun Posted at 2018-2-16 14:49
Still a little overexposed?

For sure. But I found that exposing 100% optimally for the sky/sun (to completely eliminate the blow-out) just turns the ground to absolute mud; impossible to pull any detail out of it. It’s a compromise almost no matter what. Very tough lighting. I rocked the ND16 the next day. In hindsight that would have been a better choice, but that particular day’s sunset was sadly far less photogenic. Luck of the draw to some extent.
2018-2-16
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Spaceman_66
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hallmark007 Posted at 2018-2-16 15:46
Cool looking sun, maybe just a little heavy on the saturation.

Agree, it was literally the 2nd ever HDR shot I attempted from a brand-spanking new Mavic Air on its very first day of flying, so pucker factor was slightly high. Quite a few piloting & other assorted distractions (including curious neighbors wandering by & wanting to chat); still very much a newb & learning with each & every flight since my Christmas self-gift of a Spark. Whatever the sensor / camera and its capabilities & limitations, at the end of the day I think it really does come down to the photographer and his/her eyes in composing a pleasing shot and making conscious aesthetic choices in order to best capture it.
2018-2-16
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hallmark007
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Spaceman_66 Posted at 2018-2-16 16:20
Agree, it was literally the 2nd ever HDR shot from a brand new Mavic Air on its very first day of flying. Quite a few piloting & other assorted distractions (including curious neighbors); still very much a newb & learning with each & every flight.

Your learning fast. Looking forward to seeing some more.
2018-2-16
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GoldenSun
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Spaceman_66 Posted at 2018-2-16 15:59
For sure. But I found that exposing 100% optimally for the sky/sun (to completely eliminate the blow-out) just turns the ground to absolute mud; impossible to pull any detail out of it. It’s a compromise almost no matter what. Very tough lighting. I rocked the ND16 the next day. In hindsight that would have been a better choice, but that particular day’s sunset was sadly far less photogenic. Luck of the draw to some extent.

I see. Yeah it's often most beautiful when you expect it least. Better luck next time ;)
2018-2-16
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Leftyguy
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Great Shot thanks
2018-2-16
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Aeromirage
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Nice shot!
I suggest you play around with HDR. You'll like it.
2018-2-16
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Spaceman_66
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GoldenSun Posted at 2018-2-16 16:31
I see. Yeah it's often most beautiful when you expect it least. Better luck next time ;)

Love the one you’re using for your avatar. Very nice shot indeed.
2018-2-19
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A CW
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Not a bad shot there!
2018-2-19
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eddieNoob
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GoldenSun Posted at 2018-2-16 14:49
Still a little overexposed?

I think that's about the best that could be done with it, under the circumstances, and very good, too.
2018-2-19
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GoldenSun
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Spaceman_66 Posted at 2018-2-19 11:56
Love the one you’re using for your avatar. Very nice shot indeed.

Thanks ;) Keep flying and have fun!
2018-2-19
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Cameleon
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Other than the blown out sun, it looks great. You say you made it with 3 exposures? I see that the MA has AEB as an option, did you use that to bracket the exposures and that's what you combined in PS? I haven't tried this yet, but looks like you can get 3 or 5 shots of 0.7EV variation, that would have helped a lot in this case but maybe not quiet enough.
2018-2-20
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Spaceman_66
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Cameleon Posted at 2018-2-20 02:07
Other than the blown out sun, it looks great. You say you made it with 3 exposures? I see that the MA has AEB as an option, did you use that to bracket the exposures and that's what you combined in PS? I haven't tried this yet, but looks like you can get 3 or 5 shots of 0.7EV variation, that would have helped a lot in this case but maybe not quiet enough.


Thx, didn't know that but will play around some more. Wasn't sure why BOTH HDR Shot and AEB Shot appear as options; still learning my way around the new MA. But yes, when I selected HDR Shot (and no other options that I could see) and pressed the shutter button it took one nominal and two EV bracketing exposures. On the SD card, in addition to the usual DCIM/Media folder, it created an HDR folder, with the raw goods from each shot there in a subfolder. Much like happens with pano shots going into a separate Panorama folder. In PS Elements 12 (YMMV), I shift-clicked all 3 images to import the 3 shots, then from the Enhance menu, all the way down at the bottom I selected Photomerge, then from that sub-menu select Photomerge Contrast (the next-to-last option). The rest is done automagically, and afterwards you can still play around with the image if you want. This was with JPGs; haven't (yet) tried it with RAW/DNG.

P.S. here's another one with the sun much less blown out, at the expense of an inky ground. Also, it was dark enuf by that time that even to get the sky (ND 8 or 16 [I forget] filter was still on, in hindsight) I had to bump up the ISO, as you can see from the grain in portions of the sky. Still a decent pic, tho, I think.

DJI Mavic Air shot of AZ desert sunset's waning moments

DJI Mavic Air shot of AZ desert sunset's waning moments
2018-2-20
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