What is the right technique ?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Amamba, Jul 11, 2005.

  1. Amamba

    Amamba Guest

    Hi,

    I am a newbie to digital photo. I have a very common problem with a lot
    of pictures, where I would take a snapshot either inside with poor
    lighting, or outdoor on a sunny day, and end up with person's face
    darkened agaings a bright background.

    Now, what is the best method to "fix" this ? I have Adobe Photodeluxe
    4.0, and so far I've been using the following method:


    - select the area I want to brighten with "Smart Select" tool
    - manually adjust Brightness / Contrast until it looks decent
    - run "Instant Fix" tool to see if it makes it better (I usually end up
    cancelling results 70% of time)

    I tried using "Lightness" adjustment tool but it didn't seem to produce
    the results I was looking for.

    Now, with the above method, I am getting close to what I'd like to see,
    but not exactly there. Are there any other methods I could use ?

    Thanks !
    Amamba, Jul 11, 2005
    #1
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  2. Amamba

    Owamanga Guest

    On 11 Jul 2005 11:15:36 -0700, "Amamba" <> wrote:

    >Hi,
    >
    >I am a newbie to digital photo. I have a very common problem with a lot
    >of pictures, where I would take a snapshot either inside with poor
    >lighting, or outdoor on a sunny day, and end up with person's face
    >darkened agaings a bright background.
    >
    >Now, what is the best method to "fix" this ? I have Adobe Photodeluxe
    >4.0, and so far I've been using the following method:


    Hold it... Stop right there.

    Go to bookstore, buy any beginners guide to photography book and read
    it. Basic errors like you describe can be prevented at the time of
    shooting, and will take forever to fix in photoshop afterwards. Get it
    right when you take the picture. Start there.

    >Now, with the above method, I am getting close to what I'd like to see,
    >but not exactly there. Are there any other methods I could use ?


    Yes. Stop & think before pressing the shutter. Don't **** it up in the
    first place and then you won't have a problem that needs fixing.

    BTW, Once you become a competent photographer and simply want to do
    minor exposure/color balance etc adjustments to 'perfect' an already
    stunning set of images, then post your questions to
    alt.graphics.photoshop or comp.graphics.apps.photoshop where you'll be
    on-topic.

    --
    Owamanga!
    http://www.pbase.com/owamanga
    Owamanga, Jul 11, 2005
    #2
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  3. Amamba

    Amamba Guest

    I am using fill-in flash, where possible, but taking pics of active
    children means you have to do it on the fly and under less than perfect
    conditions. It also means you have very little time to change your
    camera settings. I also assume that the techniques will be the same
    regardless of what software I use, just the steps to get there will be
    software-specific.

    No need to be snooty.
    Amamba, Jul 11, 2005
    #3
  4. Amamba

    Martik Guest

    "Amamba" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Hi,
    >
    > I am a newbie to digital photo. I have a very common problem with a lot
    > of pictures, where I would take a snapshot either inside with poor
    > lighting, or outdoor on a sunny day, and end up with person's face
    > darkened agaings a bright background.
    >
    > Now, what is the best method to "fix" this ? I have Adobe Photodeluxe
    > 4.0, and so far I've been using the following method:
    >
    >
    > - select the area I want to brighten with "Smart Select" tool
    > - manually adjust Brightness / Contrast until it looks decent
    > - run "Instant Fix" tool to see if it makes it better (I usually end up
    > cancelling results 70% of time)
    >
    > I tried using "Lightness" adjustment tool but it didn't seem to produce
    > the results I was looking for.
    >
    > Now, with the above method, I am getting close to what I'd like to see,
    > but not exactly there. Are there any other methods I could use ?
    >
    > Thanks !
    >

    Try increasing the exposure compensation when the subject is backlite,
    takes about 3 secs. (on my camera). I usually forget and just post process.
    Martik, Jul 11, 2005
    #4
  5. Amamba

    Martik Guest

    Martik, Jul 11, 2005
    #5
  6. Amamba

    wilt Guest

    Various things you can do.
    1) if your camera allows light metering to occur linked to the zone
    chosen for focus, point the area of focus on the person's face, press
    half way on the shutter to lock the focus and the exposure, then
    reframe your composition and press the shutter the rest of the way to
    take the photo.
    2) if your camera does not do the above, you can experiment with
    exposure compensation. Just remember that strong backlight requires
    MORE exposure of the person, so you give + compensation. How much
    depends upon how the background biases the light reading, and will vary
    with background brightness as well as with how much or how little the
    person fills the frame.
    3) use fill flash on the subject

    --Wilt
    wilt, Jul 11, 2005
    #6
  7. Amamba

    Roy Guest

    "Amamba" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Hi,
    >
    > I am a newbie to digital photo. I have a very common problem with a lot
    > of pictures, where I would take a snapshot either inside with poor
    > lighting, or outdoor on a sunny day, and end up with person's face
    > darkened agaings a bright background.
    >
    > Now, what is the best method to "fix" this ? I have Adobe Photodeluxe
    > 4.0, and so far I've been using the following method:
    >
    >
    > - select the area I want to brighten with "Smart Select" tool
    > - manually adjust Brightness / Contrast until it looks decent
    > - run "Instant Fix" tool to see if it makes it better (I usually end up
    > cancelling results 70% of time)
    >
    > I tried using "Lightness" adjustment tool but it didn't seem to produce
    > the results I was looking for.
    >
    > Now, with the above method, I am getting close to what I'd like to see,
    > but not exactly there. Are there any other methods I could use ?
    >
    > Thanks !



    Hi there.

    Owamanga may have been a little bit unkind, but his suggestion was
    absolutely correct.

    If you get it wrong when you take the shot, then you will need to spend a
    lot of time trying to get it right in post processing. Not only that, but
    many times you will not be able to correct the fault.

    The very best and most sensible way is to get the picture correct when you
    press the button. In spite of what you read in Camera Adverts, the
    photographer (YOU) has to know what they are doing.

    So go get those books and do a bit of reading up on exposure control.

    The D70 seems to under-expose a bit when using Flash, so check the histogram
    immediately after you take the shot, to ensure the Graph is Centred. If it
    is over to the left then add some Flash compensation and take it again.

    Post processing is a valuable tool, but it should only need to be used to
    correct minor errors of exposure, or to get all shots in a series to have
    similar characteristics as far as colour and exposure are concerned.

    The program you are using is pretty far down the pecking order of Image
    Manipulation Programs, and is rather limited in its abilities.

    Roy G
    Roy, Jul 11, 2005
    #7
  8. Amamba

    Skip M Guest

    "Amamba" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >I am using fill-in flash, where possible, but taking pics of active
    > children means you have to do it on the fly and under less than perfect
    > conditions. It also means you have very little time to change your
    > camera settings. I also assume that the techniques will be the same
    > regardless of what software I use, just the steps to get there will be
    > software-specific.
    >
    > No need to be snooty.
    >

    Program mode and something like the 420EX flash, if you have a Canon, some
    other smallish shoe mount flash if not, will work wonders for fill flash on
    the run.
    Otherwise, you're working with Layers, if in Photoshop, and pulling out the
    darkened areas, which can lead to an increase in apparent noise.

    --
    Skip Middleton
    http://www.shadowcatcherimagery.com
    Skip M, Jul 12, 2005
    #8
  9. Amamba

    vixen2yall Guest

    Roy wrote:
    > "Amamba" <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    >
    >>Hi,
    >>
    >>I am a newbie to digital photo. I have a very common problem with a lot
    >>of pictures, where I would take a snapshot either inside with poor
    >>lighting, or outdoor on a sunny day, and end up with person's face
    >>darkened agaings a bright background.
    >>
    >>Now, what is the best method to "fix" this ? I have Adobe Photodeluxe
    >>4.0, and so far I've been using the following method:
    >>
    >>
    >>- select the area I want to brighten with "Smart Select" tool
    >>- manually adjust Brightness / Contrast until it looks decent
    >>- run "Instant Fix" tool to see if it makes it better (I usually end up
    >>cancelling results 70% of time)
    >>
    >>I tried using "Lightness" adjustment tool but it didn't seem to produce
    >>the results I was looking for.
    >>
    >>Now, with the above method, I am getting close to what I'd like to see,
    >>but not exactly there. Are there any other methods I could use ?
    >>
    >>Thanks !

    >
    >
    >
    > Hi there.
    >
    > Owamanga may have been a little bit unkind, but his suggestion was
    > absolutely correct.
    >
    > If you get it wrong when you take the shot, then you will need to spend a
    > lot of time trying to get it right in post processing. Not only that, but
    > many times you will not be able to correct the fault.
    >
    > The very best and most sensible way is to get the picture correct when you
    > press the button. In spite of what you read in Camera Adverts, the
    > photographer (YOU) has to know what they are doing.
    >
    > So go get those books and do a bit of reading up on exposure control.
    >
    > The D70 seems to under-expose a bit when using Flash, so check the histogram
    > immediately after you take the shot, to ensure the Graph is Centred. If it
    > is over to the left then add some Flash compensation and take it again.
    >
    > Post processing is a valuable tool, but it should only need to be used to
    > correct minor errors of exposure, or to get all shots in a series to have
    > similar characteristics as far as colour and exposure are concerned.
    >
    > The program you are using is pretty far down the pecking order of Image
    > Manipulation Programs, and is rather limited in its abilities.
    >
    > Roy G
    >
    >

    good suggestions, only thing i would add would be programs available.
    grab a copy of gimp. do a google search for it. 2.0 was the latest
    version i've got but there may be a newer one out. it's a GNU licence so
    it's free. just make sure the copy you get is for your operating system.
    the user interface isn't the best but, the program all around is spot
    on! will do most of the things PS will do and i think you can even add
    in PS plug ins. although so far i haven't needed to.

    also do a google search for neatimage. (one word) they have a non
    expiring shareware that is pretty good on fixing minor issues, like out
    of focus and the like. if i'm not cropping an image it's usually the
    first program i'll use on corrections, even before PS or corel.

    hope that helps
    cheers
    kat
    vixen2yall, Jul 12, 2005
    #9
  10. Amamba

    Ron Hunter Guest

    Amamba wrote:
    > Hi,
    >
    > I am a newbie to digital photo. I have a very common problem with a lot
    > of pictures, where I would take a snapshot either inside with poor
    > lighting, or outdoor on a sunny day, and end up with person's face
    > darkened agaings a bright background.
    >
    > Now, what is the best method to "fix" this ? I have Adobe Photodeluxe
    > 4.0, and so far I've been using the following method:
    >
    >
    > - select the area I want to brighten with "Smart Select" tool
    > - manually adjust Brightness / Contrast until it looks decent
    > - run "Instant Fix" tool to see if it makes it better (I usually end up
    > cancelling results 70% of time)
    >
    > I tried using "Lightness" adjustment tool but it didn't seem to produce
    > the results I was looking for.
    >
    > Now, with the above method, I am getting close to what I'd like to see,
    > but not exactly there. Are there any other methods I could use ?
    >
    > Thanks !
    >

    You could try to avoid, or minimize the problem by using fill flash,
    and/or careful framing. Don't be afraid to move around for a better
    background if time permits. Otherwise, your method of correcting for
    the problem seems to be a good one.


    --
    Ron Hunter
    Ron Hunter, Jul 12, 2005
    #10
  11. Amamba

    Amamba Guest

    Thanks all for your replies, I appreciate the effort even though the
    answers weren't what I exactly expected. :)

    I _do_ make every effort to get the pics right the first time. I _do_
    often end up with some pictures that are darker than expected. I still
    want to be able to fix them, and all I am asking for is some info on
    what tools / techniques to use. Telling me that I should've been taking
    these pictures in a different way doesn't help much. It's like reading
    someone a lecture on how to prepare for a trip in advance, instead of
    giving them directions.
    Amamba, Jul 12, 2005
    #11
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