DxO PhotoLab 4 and Candid Photos

Most of what I’ve been reading in this forum, and the videos I have been watching, and the Webinars is all information on how to make the best possible image, suitable for display, and very likely printing. This means being very careful when taking the photo, and adjusting everything “just so” - optimizing all the PL4 settings for an awesome result.

Something I have been doing since the 1960’s is “candid photography”, trying to capture people just being themselves, at whatever they might have been doing. My 35mm film cameras were great for that, and I read up on how others did it, then tried on my own.

One thing about candid photography - it’s usually a fun thing to do, and while I took some dull, dreary shots, like in the New York City subways, I loved taking photos of people just enjoying themselves.

Nowadays, I find my DSLR cameras to be too big and too prominent to be able to get a candid photo, as people notice the camera and react to it, no longer just being themselves. My old 35mm film cameras were great for this. My Nikon F cameras, and the digital ones that replaced it were too noisy and too big. My Leica M cameras are fine, but I don’t always have them with me. My Fuji X100 cameras were good for this, but only if I was wearing one. In India I finally settled on a Canon G7X Pro Mk II as the perfect camera, because I could carry it on a small case that my belt went through. In India, it got to where I was always taking it with me, unless I wanted to take along something different.

Today was a fun day to try it out - my Leica batteries are charging, and I wanted to do something different. I walked down to the drawbridge I go to quite often, got in the middle and held the camera over the guardrail shooting some of the boats as they came by. For photos where people noticed me, those image are useless. What I wanted was people spontaneously having fun, as the boat was to sail under the drawbridge. (I remember being on boats going under bridges, and it felt like something special, and exciting!)

Ot of all the photos I took, I only got one that I liked, as the people were expressing themselves, oblivious to my being on the bridge with a camera. Maybe that’s because the camera was resting on the guardrail, not being held up to my eye. I’ll attach that photo here - processing it in PL4 was more fun than work. I had to crop it in PL4, as without holding the camera up to my eye, it was too difficult to capture the boat properly without cutting part of it off. My goal was to direct people’s eyes to the people on the boat.

(As always, anyone is free to mess around with this image, and maybe come up with a different way of processing it.)

(Most of what I’ve learned here was done - the histogram fills the whole box, there are no blown out areas, highlights or shadows, the white shows texture all over, and I added a little vignetting just for fun.)

IMG_0723 | 2021-01-23-G7X boats.cr2 (26.7 MB)

IMG_0723 | 2021-01-23-G7X boats.cr2.dop (11.6 KB)

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Looks ok. But a strange suggestion of the moving direction. I miss something in the image to explain that.


Apart from a couple of minor fine contrast and other tweaks, I cropped it the 4:5 and allowed marginally more space at the front than the back to provide somewhere for the boat somewhere to go.

@mikemyers another “LF-photo” :star_struck:

unblock the shadows and you are good to go for web

IMG_0723 2021-01-23-G7X boats.cr2.dop (11,1 KB)

Look to the color of the water and compare it with that in the former thread.
In the former thread I corrected the white balance with a picker on the boat.
The color of the water in that former image and this one is about equal, but this image you just posted is with awb.
I didn’t see the original before my first posting, but the boat is going fast backwards. That makes a crop looking strange for me. Heads\eyes are opposite the moving direction and the scum in the front can’t be explained in that crop.


To my taste, on my screen, calibrated to 80cd/m2, your version appears quite dark but I like the little bit more space you’ve put in front of the boat.

There is nothing to say that Mike used AWB. The original was shot at 5000°K and I corrected it in my version to 5600°K

One of the reasons I don’t use the picker on things like white plastic is the tremendous variation you can get. Here are three different readings all taken from various places on the front of the boat…

The white water at the front of the boat is the bow wash from the boat going forwards and hitting a wave, not from the propeller, which is at the other end of the boat and wouldn’t produce white water where you can see it.


‘my’ version from above, now shadow (from bridge) lifted

IMG_0723 2021-01-23-G7X boats.cr2.dop (53,4 KB) = virtual copy

Joanna, can you check the colours? My screen is set to 5900° Kelvin / 80 cd/m² ARGB.

Both jpg-files were explicitly exported as sRGB.
With screen (profile) set to sRGB, they ‘lose’ colour .

I don’t know how to read this. But it’s in the exif.
The wb in this one in pl is 5079.

The white water in the front might be due the boat’s downwards movement and the picture was taken at its upwards movement. Could be. At first glance it looked strange to me.


by cropping it that close all the “motion” and place awareness is gone.
shadows which doesn’t show it’s origin are not good for this image in my eye’s.
So my quick take;
contrast, lifting shadow, saturation for the colors, some highlight compression/restore. clearview as extra to boost the colors more.

this shows the place and where, shadows are connected to the origin. Now i see the spontaneous contact of people passing by. (you could clean up the leafs in the water for the distraction.)

take 2, leafs cleaned and cropped in just a tad more for more “eye contact” keep some space around the boat shadow and keep some space for the boat to move in.

i think this would my safe image.

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I don’t see a problem with the colours. It looks good to me.

PL doesn’t show whether it was auto or not but ExifTool shows that it is, but at a different temperature…

[MakerNotes]    WB RGGB Levels As Shot          : 2161 1024 1024 1804
[MakerNotes]    Color Temp As Shot              : 5807
[MakerNotes]    WB RGGB Levels Auto             : 2161 1024 1024 1804
[MakerNotes]    Color Temp Auto                 : 5807

I can’t help that - the boat is moving forwards, but it is following another boat that in turn was following several other boats. So the water looks “unusual”. You’re right though - it does make a strange wave pattern in the water. I don’t think there is anything I could do to help with that, except maybe cropping tighter to the boat in the front?

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Hmm, that’s the opposite of what I just wrote, but you’re right - more space “for the boat to go” does make it look more like the boat is going forwards - but for the wake from the previous boat, I’d never have cropped it so close. You also made the front of the boat look more “three dimensional”, by emphasizing the shadows that help give it some shape. I will remember this for the future.

Ah. So that’s the reason. Well, I was sort of right in saying that it had hit a wave, of sorts :nerd_face:


The camera hadn’t been used in a year or so. I went through the menus looking for things that needed adjustment. I missed the AWB configuration menu. I went through everything this morning, and WB is now specifically set to 5600.

I haven’t found a way to change from sRGB to AdobeRGB yet. I may need to call Canon on Monday morning. I did check online, and found this as the reply to someone else with the same question:

Canon can output jpegs with one of two color spaces; sRGB and AdobeRGB. sRGB is the standard and is what the camera defaults to. AdobeRGB actually allows for more colors, but the software has to understand it to use it properly, and not all software does. I just checked your manual, and you do not have that option.”

I think I’m stuck with sRGB, but I’m much more likely to be using my Leica or Nikon cameras for anything even semi-serious. …but the small Canon is good for always having it on me, if I start doing that here like I do in India.

I’m surprised. I thought by making the people as large as I could, their expressions would show up better, but your second image is better in the it gives enough space so sense that the boat is going somewhere.

I think I’ll compromise - go with your second photo, but crop a little more from the right side, which will make the people and their expressions seem a little larger. As a photo, I like this one the most.

You wrote: “So my quick take; contrast, lifting shadow, saturation for the colors, some highlight compression/restore. clearview as extra to boost the colors more.” …In the past, whenever I used “clearview” someone suggested there were better ways to accomplish the same thing. Can you please post your “dop” file so I can see exactly how you are using ClearView, and therefore “why”?

If I go back there today, same spot, same everything, I’ll take a similar photo now that the camera is set specifically to 5600K. I can’t change the ‘sRGB’ to ‘AdobeRGB’ - I don’t think this camera provides that ability. I’ll check with Canon Tech Support on Monday.

If I’m smart, I’ll do the same thing on Monday, but using my M10 or Df.

After trying to understand all the additional things each of you has suggested, other than the ClearView, and with also lightening up the shadow at the bottom just a little, this is what I came up with. In ways I was oblivious to yesterday, I now like it much more. It still shows the expressions, but it shows what was going around near the boat - and I learned that maybe I need to look around more for stuff like floating leaves that I ignored yesterday.

IMG_0723 | 2021-01-23-G7X boats.cr2.dop (11.9 KB)

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You’re sure you took the right file? My exiftool tells me 5200.
For some reason the color temperatures are always some different. I don’t know why but 600 is to much.


Take another shot. That wave in the front belongs to the downward movement of the boat but the shot is taken with the upwards movement of the boat. Next time pay attention to that.


Hmm, I was paying attention to other things. Maybe next time I’ll use “continuous” shooting. I knew roughly where I wanted the boat to be, and I was mostly watching the people. I did take shots before/after, neither of whic I liked. A fraction of a second later, the expressions were gone.

I never considered paying attention to the vertical movement of the boat - once again, it sounds obvious (but only AFTER you pointed it out).