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under exposed image

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  #1  
Old 02-21-2007, 01:21 AM
Lithodia Lithodia is offline
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under exposed image

here is the image that i am trying to work on. I am soo bad at adding light!! it seems i just go too bright and have trouble evening out the light. I have tried, alpha channels and curves, the exposure and the shadow highlight feature but I just cant seem to get this down! I have no trouble with skin, or hair or anything thats pretty normal, but when photogs give me pics like this to retouch I get stuck. Please anyone with experience in underexposed photos please help me out! I've included the original and my loser attempt at fixing it. Any tips you can give would be great!!!! Im not a beginner beginner but i need to figure out the professional way of handling situations like these.
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File Type: jpg _X5Y4126.jpg (93.7 KB, 67 views)
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  #2  
Old 02-21-2007, 01:27 AM
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Sweetlight Sweetlight is offline
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Re: under exposed image

When faced with an underexposed image, my first try is always creating a new layer, changing it to screen on the layers pallet and then working the opacity til I am close. I then flatten and work. Most times that works without making things too difficult. You can also do it within a selection as well like her right eye should have had a reflector bounced into it. Try making a nice feathered selection, layer via copy and play with the mode on the layers menu. Hope this helps.
Chris
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  #3  
Old 02-21-2007, 01:33 AM
Lithodia Lithodia is offline
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Re: under exposed image

hey Chris,

Thanks that really helped a lot!! I never quite knew what "screen" did, but your right its definitely easier then what I was doing, and makes a much easier starting point.

Thanks!!
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Old 02-21-2007, 08:45 AM
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mistermonday mistermonday is offline
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Re: under exposed image

Lithodia,
Here a couple of other things to try.

1. If you have Photoshop, Image>Adjust>Shadow/Highlight. Values for the Shadow Sliders around 35, 50, 30. Highlight slider set to 0.

2. Duplicate the layer. Press Ctrl+Alt+~ to select the mid tone to highlights. Next Ctrl+Shif+I to invert the selection. Ctrl J to take the selection to a new layer. Then change the blend mode to screen and tweak the opacity if req'd or if it is still too dark, Ctrl J to duplicate that layer (it will automatically be set to sreen by default).

Regards, Murray
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  #5  
Old 02-21-2007, 08:48 AM
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Swampy Swampy is offline
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Re: under exposed image

I used CS3 Beta to open this in Camera Raw. Raised the exposure, used "Recovery" to decrease any light areas that might have gotten blown out, then added a little fill light to bring out the detail (pleats) in her skirt.

I can see where being able to open and adjust JPEGs and TIFFs in Camera Raw will be a big time saver for production work.
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  #6  
Old 02-21-2007, 10:16 AM
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DCobb DCobb is offline
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Re: under exposed image

This is my try. Auto levels adjustment followed by shadows/highlights.

dc
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  #7  
Old 02-21-2007, 12:06 PM
madclark madclark is offline
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Re: under exposed image

I think with this image you have to go beyond a simple global adjustment because the lighting is pretty stark. To bring out the details of the skirt, you have to blow out the highlights and contrast in the rest of the image.

That being said, I would suggest two different things. Either:

A. Run an Auto Levels first to bring the image to a neutral point. Then use CS2's Shadow/Highlight adjustment. You'll want to bump up the shadows to about 70%, bring down the highlights about 30%, pull up midtone contrast to about 10% and bring down saturation to about 10% as well. you can play with the Tone and Radius settings to suit.

This will give you a nice, neutral, and in my opinion boring, picture.

B. What I prefer is this. Run an Auto Levels on the image. Then Alt+Click the new layer button, choose Overlay as the mode and click the option for Fill with Overlay-neutral color. In this layer you can now paint with white (try a 10% opacity with a large, soft brush) to bring up shadows or paint with black (same brush settings) to decrease highlights. Select the background behind the model and create a mask in the Overlay layer. Now you have complete control over shadows and highlighting in the image.

You're able to create a much more subtle and artful end-result.
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File Type: jpg Shadow_Highlights_Fix.jpg (25.7 KB, 20 views)
File Type: jpg Overlay_Layer_Fix.jpg (24.4 KB, 38 views)
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  #8  
Old 02-21-2007, 03:27 PM
madclark madclark is offline
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Re: under exposed image

One more try and I have to correct myself on something. The original image has a slight warm color cast on it and I should have fixed that in my first try. The background should have a slight blue cast and the skirt should have a slight green cast. If you leave it to the auto settings in either a curves layer or levels layer in this image, it will try to make one or the other grey and render what's left in an off-shade.

1. Use Threshold to find your white and black points. Set these with your color sampler.

2. Add a Levels layer. Auto adjust and the pull the midpoint down to lighten the image.

3. Add two Brightness/Contrast layers. In one, reduce the brightness and only leave the highlights showing through a soft mask (face and shoulders). In the other, increase the brightness and only leave the shadowed area through (skirt).

4. Finally, use a Curves layer. Hand adjust each channel so your input matches the values of the color samples and adjust the output so all your black levels match 247 and white matches 8 in the color samples. This is a technique you can always use to correct a color cast.

5. This might leave the image a little too cold, so I've added an orange color layer at 10% to warm it up some.

To me this gives better original contrast while correcting the lighting situation.
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File Type: jpg Curves_Levels.jpg (25.1 KB, 21 views)

Last edited by madclark; 02-21-2007 at 03:46 PM.
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  #9  
Old 02-21-2007, 04:33 PM
videosean videosean is offline
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Re: under exposed image

Layers, top to bottom:
1: Duplicate of original, Linear Dodge, Mask out the model. This brightens the background... in case that would be a good thing.
2: Duplicate original, Screen, blending options: alt click highlight slider for underlying layer and drag to 152.
3: Duplicate original, Screen.
4: Original.
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  #10  
Old 02-21-2007, 09:38 PM
Lithodia Lithodia is offline
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Re: under exposed image

wow, thanks for all your advice...this is as far as i got with the image. I must say it doesn't inspire me. I cant seem to figure out where to go from here.. I just dont know what can save this boring image.. Any ideas?
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