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HELP: Retouching (PS) image with white background

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Old 09-30-2003, 04:15 PM
ultravista ultravista is offline
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 50
HELP: Retoucing (PS) image with white background

I am using a white poly / cotton (non reflective) backdrop for the portraits of my 6 month old son. Using natural light and a Photogenic DR1250 Powerlight bounced for good lighting. Once and a while I'll use other colored backgrounds including yellow, blue, light grey and light green (sea mist).

The pictures come out nice, most are well exposed but in need of a minor Photoshop tweak here and there. My usual work flow is "Auto Levels" and a little bit of unsharp mask. This has always worked well (1000's of images) until I introduced the solid background.

Auto Level and or Auto Color blow my pictures out. The subject (baby) looses skin tone, becomes blotchy and overall, looks like crap. What am I doing wrong?

Is is the solid color (white) that is throwing the Auto Level process off? I have tried to run the process only on the subject, excluding the background but it never turns our right. This is becoming frustrating.

What can I do to properly retouch the photo? Is the key NOT to use a solid background? Should I meter different?

Like I said, the pictures appear to be well exposed so I am not asking for a miracle ... help.
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Old 10-02-2003, 01:18 PM
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Paulie Paulie is offline
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Sittingbourne Kent, England
Posts: 40
it would help if you post an example, the people on here are very friendly & will always help if they can. Some may even give you step by step instructions on how to achieve the results you are looking for.
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Old 10-02-2003, 01:46 PM
Doug Nelson's Avatar
Doug Nelson Doug Nelson is offline
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,069
Blog Entries: 21
You might try, instead of Auto Levels, using the Auto function from within the Levels dialog. This allows a much greater degree of control (under Options). Of particular interest are the clipping points, which you can raise or lower and set as defaults if you wish.

An excellent description of the various options can be found here.
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