Bright Light on one side

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Don Dunlap, Dec 2, 2004.

  1. Don Dunlap

    Don Dunlap Guest

    I took this photo from inside through a window out to my patio:

    The light from the left washed out one puppy but the other on the right
    looks normal. Is there any way with Photoshop CS that I can correct the
    lighting on the left side without affecting the right? I am not a PS
    expert, but just learning and I can't find a way. Anything I do affects the
    whole frame, which I am beginning to believe is inevitable. Am I wrong?

    Don Dunlap
    Don Dunlap, Dec 2, 2004
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  2. Don Dunlap

    Bill Hilton Guest

    From: "Don Dunlap"
    You can try the Shadow/Highlight tool ... Image > Adjustments >
    Shadow/Highlight ... in the 'Highlights' box set the Amount to 50 - 100% (play
    with it) and leave the Tonal Width at 50% ... this is a really neat feature in

    If you select the eyedropper and check the Info palette for readings you'll see
    that some of the fur is totally burned out (255/255/255) and only a reshoot
    will help on that, but the S/H tool will pluck out a lot of details from the
    other parts of the image.
    You can always mask off different areas to limit the changes to certain areas
    (read up on masking in the CS Help files), but that's done automagically for
    you with S/H ...

    See if that helps ...

    Bill Hilton, Dec 2, 2004
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  3. Don Dunlap

    Don Dunlap Guest

    I appreciate the info. I'll try that and let you know how it worked. It
    looked to me as if her fur had just been burned out by the sunlight also.
    I'll see what I can do with the rest of it.

    Don Dunlap, Dec 2, 2004
  4. Don Dunlap

    Don Dunlap Guest


    I changed the Highlights and the Shadow and made minor changes to a couple
    of other settings. I was experimenting. This is not a big change but it
    looks much better to me. It is the original size rather than large, but you
    can select large to see the total effect. The fur on the left puppy is more
    noticeable. Thanks for helping. I need to experiment more - I seem to
    stick only with things that I KNOW work.

    Don Dunlap, Dec 2, 2004
  5. Since you mentioned that you are new at this,
    I'll point out that blown spots on digital photos
    are almost impossible to recover, since data
    in the raw sensor output has been clipped.
    If you have access to a histogram display on
    your camera, that's handy to avoid this kind
    of thing in the future, and some advanced
    cameras even have clipped-zone highlighting
    to tell you if an area is too hot.

    On the other hand, under-exposed images
    can almost always be repaired, so if you spot
    meter at the bright point, turning it gray, while
    your image will be very under-exposed, you
    can bring it up with post-processing or bracketing
    up with exposure compensation in the camera.

    This particular shot should be leveled, IMHO,
    and cropped to put the two dogs at the
    corners. That would make a much greater
    improvement than trying to recover the dog's
    fur at left. There is a very wide dynamic range
    (bright to black), so I'm pretty sure the
    blown area is gone. Selective dodging almost
    always looks bad, ending up with a "pasted-on"
    gray area where you tried to recover detail.

    That said, personally I don't mind blown areas.
    Negative space and black areas with no detail
    are considered proper and esthetically pleasing,
    but everyone always comments about "blown
    highlights." To my eye, a blown area can be
    part of the presentation.

    (This is akin to intentionally violating the
    damnable "rule of thirds" everyone always
    learns in Photo 101, then insists everyone follow
    for the rest of their lives. I also like some
    centered subjects and some right-across-the-
    middle horizons.)
    Peter Shuffle, Dec 2, 2004
  6. Don Dunlap

    Bob Williams Guest

    One way is to use the linear gradient tool to make a mask and then
    adjust levels.
    The darker red part of the image is less affected by the adjustment than
    the lighter red area. Check your CS manual for details if necessary.
    Bob Williams
    Bob Williams, Dec 2, 2004
  7. Don Dunlap

    Aerticeus Guest

    <sharp intake of breath>

    Maybe it is a good idea bracketing exposures?

    It the scene doesn't change too much it gives you a chance but at (255, 255,
    255) there is not much you can do based on the captured data

    Ah! A second thought!

    I see that ISO is set at 200 - can you reduce this to, say, 50?

    If you can try to replicate the shoot (similarity based on the light) at a
    lower ISO. IMHO ISO 200 is a bit too fast for this scene

    Aerticeus, Dec 2, 2004
  8. Don Dunlap

    Don Dunlap Guest

    I am using a Canon 20D and I still haven't learned everything about it or
    CS. I believe that a histogram is available but I am not at that lever on
    the use of the camera yet. It is a complex piece of equipment and I still
    have a lot to learn.
    I thought that I had cropped it that way, but maybe I didn't do it well
    enough. I'll look at it again. Thanks
    Blown areas, to me, really look bad in certain situations, such as this one.
    They may be appropriate in some shots, but with animals or people, I would
    have reservations. Maybe I just don't have the artistic ability necessary
    to 'see' this. I know that I am weak in this area.

    Don Dunlap, Dec 2, 2004
  9. Don Dunlap

    Don Dunlap Guest

    You are way over my head here. I will have to check more on CS to find out
    what you are talking about. I plan on taking a course on Photoshop in
    January at the local Community College. It may be a waste of time, but I
    have the time.

    Don Dunlap, Dec 2, 2004
  10. You have histogram display. Look into it.
    It's an extremely powerful tool for exposure.
    Spending a couple hours learning about histograms
    can change the way you take pictures forever.
    I'm talking about two things. One is to level
    the horizontal lines like the table and the back
    of the porch. CS has a simple tool to do this,
    or you could rotate the shot to the right. Even
    though it may be slanted in real life, in the photo
    I think it would look better leveled off. The
    second thing I would do is crop closely. You
    show a lot of porch wall and floor, which detracts
    from the dogs. You may be fond of the porch,
    but it might make a better photo if you close-
    cropped. Try putting one dog in each corner
    (after leveling) and ruthlessly cutting everything
    else out. Try getting as close to the dogs as
    you can, with just a pixel of space at the edge.
    Then you can try using that damned rule of thirds,
    putting one dog at each focal point. See which
    you like best. Ask your spouse or a friend what
    they think. I'll bet that everyone picks a shot that's
    cropped closer and doesn't show so much porch
    (or lanai if you're west of me).
    Peter Shuffle, Dec 2, 2004
  11. Don Dunlap

    Bill Hilton Guest

    You can try the Shadow/Highlight tool
    Hi Don, I took the liberty of downloading your jpeg and running S/H on it at
    about 65% or so, here's what I got without any other adjustments ... ... to me the left dog
    looks better and you can see more details in the wall at the back. I'll delete
    this today since it's a copyright violation on my part but thought I'd put it
    up FYI. I did add a © Don Dunlap to it.

    In another post to this thread you mention not yet knowing how to display (and
    maybe interpret) the histogram ... I don't have that particular model camera or
    I'd tell you, but I would say that learning how to use the histogram will save
    you a great deal of editing effort, especially if you set it to flash burned
    out highlights. Well worth the effort of looking thru the manual and finding
    out how to preview images with the histogram showing. Here's a link to a site
    that briefly explains how to interpret the histogram display ...

    Also, if you shoot RAW mode you can often rescue burned out highlights IF all
    three channels aren't clipped (ie, are less than 255). This is one of the
    advantages of shooting RAW mode compared to jpegs. The Photoshop CS RAW
    converter does a good job of this.

    Bill Hilton, Dec 2, 2004
  12. Don Dunlap

    Bill Hilton Guest

    From: Bob Williams
    This is a very good idea when the drop off is gradual (like flash fall-off) but
    I tried it initially on Don's image and it didn't work as well due to the way
    the light is striking the scene.
    Bill Hilton, Dec 2, 2004
  13. Don Dunlap

    Don Dunlap Guest

    OK, I'll try that and post what I end up with. I think I know what you are
    talking about now. I hadn't thought about rotating the shot and it still
    seems a little strange, but I'll experiment.

    Don Dunlap, Dec 2, 2004
  14. Don Dunlap

    Don Dunlap Guest

    I took your settings and Peter's suggestion about cropping and rotating, and
    came up with this. This will be the last time I bother you guys. I want to
    thank you all for your suggestions

    Don Dunlap, Dec 2, 2004
  15. Don Dunlap

    Don Dunlap Guest


    I cropped it and rotated it 5 degrees clockwise and it is posted at:

    I see now, after I posted it, that I didn't crop quite enough at the top.
    There is a thin line of wall showing over the top of the dog on the left and
    it is distracting. I didn't notice it at first, but after looking at it a
    second time, it looks bad. Thanks for the assistance and I know that I have
    a lot to learn. Tips from everyone on the forum are invaluable and might,
    just maybe, improve my composition and management of my photos.

    Thanks again,
    Don Dunlap, Dec 2, 2004
  16. Or need to leave more margin, because I
    gave you bummer directions! Anyway, you
    have a couple new tools to play with. Enjoy!
    Peter Shuffle, Dec 2, 2004
  17. Don Dunlap

    JPS Guest

    In message <f1a21$41af7f28$452346c4$>,
    Just cycle through the review modes by pressing the info button while
    reviewing an image.
    JPS, Dec 3, 2004
  18. Don Dunlap

    JPS Guest

    In message <f1a21$41af7f28$452346c4$>,
    You can expose images so that they don't blow out, and experiment with
    blowing them out in software.

    In most "levels"-type tools, you just grab the input highlight slider
    and move it to the left to start blowing out the image.
    JPS, Dec 3, 2004
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