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fill-flash technique

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  • fill-flash technique

    By Chris Hardman (chrish) on Wednesday, July 25, 2001 - 10:41 am:

    I’d like some assistance with this ‘snap’ given me by a friend for renovation. I rather think she’s expecting it back looking like something from an Ansel Adams folio. The basic image quality is poor and the lighting harsh. I’ve got rid of some scratching and other detritus by the usual means but any other suggestions as to its improvement i.e. the banding on the middle distance fields would be appreciated.
    Yes I know it should have been binned but the photo is a ‘aide memoir’ for the lady concerned ( she probably was seduced on the summit or something ) and she values it highly. Oh well we men were put on earth to make women happy ! Thanks.

    By Doug Nelson (doug) on Wednesday, July 25, 2001 - 12:27 pm:

    This looks like an excellent candidate for the "fill-flash" technique discussed in Katrin Eismann's book (page 59)

    By Chris Hardman (chrish) on Wednesday, July 25, 2001 - 12:42 pm:

    I've seen the book reviewed but it's not available over this side of the pond yet.
    The original print is very poor, from past experience I think the film has spent some time 'cooking' in the camera before processing. I thought I'd toss it in for comment but its not an image that will justify a lot of input. I think the owner will be pleased that some pretty severe scratches on the print itself have been sorted.Cheers Doug

    By Doug Nelson (doug) on Wednesday, July 25, 2001 - 05:28 pm:

    Ok, for the publishing challenged :

    1) have orig loaded in Photoshop
    2) Image>Duplicate
    3) Convert Duplicate to Grayscale
    4) Apply Gaussian Blur (3 pixels in this case, more for larger files)
    5) Image>Adjust>Invert
    6) Make orig window active and Select>Load Selection, under Document select your grayscale image, under Channel Select Black or Background Gray (book differs from my experience here)
    7) New Layer Via Copy
    8) activate Preserve Transparency
    9) Edit>Fill>50% Gray
    10) change Blend mode to Color Dodge
    11) erase anywhere you don't want dodging

    You can duplicate layer to increase effect, or crank down opacity to decrease

    By Chris Hardman (chrish) on Thursday, July 26, 2001 - 04:26 am:

    Sorry Doug, The book just been listed on UK Amazon !!!!!
    However I'll get to grips with your instructions for which I'm extremely gratefull. Arise 'Sir' Doug (don't you feel the difference) It would have been quicker to haul a camera back up the hill with her !!
    Last edited by Doug Nelson; 09-22-2001, 12:48 AM.
    Learn by teaching
    Take responsibility for learning

  • #2
    Do you by chance have another example foto that a fill flash would be used on? The one listed above is a dead link.

    Thanks in advance


    • #3
      A lot of photos that were backlit, and no flash was used, or no fill was added from a light object are good candidates for fill flash technique. This is usually used to lighten a face that is too dark, but can also be used to lighten shadows on other things.



      • #4
        That was from way back before we could attach files here. Maybe Chris would be kind enough to dig it back out and attach it here.
        Learn by teaching
        Take responsibility for learning


        • #5
          A college of mine (David Jaseck) wrote an action for this technique.

          It's available at


          • #6
            Originally posted by Dreamer
            Do you by chance have another example foto that a fill flash would be used on? The one listed above is a dead link.

            Thanks in advance

            ....Here you are .... In the attachment you can see the Before&After of a typical example of picture needing the 'Fill Flash' technique ...
            Attached Files


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