My image is way too dark...can it be fixed??

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by KrazeeKaylee, May 16, 2007.

  1. KrazeeKaylee

    KrazeeKaylee Guest

    Hello all, I posted this on a yahoo group as well, but I figured I'd
    try it out here as well.

    A little about me and my photography background before I ask my
    question. I
    just started getting interested in photography about a year ago. I
    first saved up my money and purchased a decent 35 mm film camera. I
    quickly became convinced I should have gone digital, but couldn't
    afford that route. (I'm in jr. high and working for less than
    minimum wage!) Well, joy of joys my parents gave me a Canon Digital
    Rebel XT for my 14th birthday. I know that this isn't the best of
    all digital cameras, but for me it is awesome! I have been playing
    with this quite a bit and trying to learn as much as I can about
    it. One thing I quickly saw was that I need a better flash than
    what is on the camera. And this leads to my problem...

    I have an image that I took in Hawaii of a fire eater at a luau. We
    were pretty far from the stage, and yeah I was able to zoom in, but
    my flash was too weak. The image is dark. Very dark. I have since
    learned more about my camera and what I could have done to
    make the shot better from the start, but at the time I was working
    without a tripod and they had the front part of the seating roped off
    for a
    wedding reception. Anyway, I am making
    a wedding photobook online for my sister and brother-in-law and want
    include this image in my final copy which will then be ordered and
    But I'm very picky. I want it to look better than it does. I have a
    copy of Photoshop Elements and have been playing with brightness and
    contrast, but the image keeps getting grainy and pixelated, or
    whatever the proper term is! I've also tried adjusting the
    background lighting and some color balance, but the same thing keeps
    happening. I admit, I don't know much about photoshop. I've never
    used it until now. What I'm hoping is that someone can tell me if
    there's something else I can do to try to get the image brightened
    up without it becoming so pixelated. Below is a link to the
    original and one my edited images. You can cleary see the problems
    the edited image. I have no idea if there's anything else
    that can be done, but I'm hoping someone with more editing
    experience might know better. So if anyone has the time to take a
    peek at the photos and give me the benefit of their greater
    knowledge, I would appreciate it very much! Thank you for your time!

    KrazeeKaylee, May 16, 2007
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  2. KrazeeKaylee

    petamass Guest

    I think you're just too picky :) Anyway, I think you've done a very
    good job already.
    You can change your photobook's layout so that the picture will be
    printed out smaller in size.
    You can also bring print out the photos at local pharmacy or Walmart
    and see for yourself. Photos actually look better when they were
    petamass, May 16, 2007
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  3. I'm afraid the edited version looks fairly decent to me, given what you
    had to start with.

    I'm not sure what you're seeing that you're calling "pixelated"; maybe
    color noise? (Frequently present, even severe, when you're pulling a
    lot of tones from the deep shadows up into the midrange). If so, then
    software like Noise Ninja or Neat Image could help considerably. This
    also might be a candidate for the "synthetic HDR" technique.

    In a quick try using the Photoshop Highlight/Shadow tool, I pulled the
    levels up far enough that you can see the performer's tattoos fairly
    clearly. I'm not so sure this is a lot better than your version,
    though; I rather like the extremely dramatic rendering in yours. Maybe
    using some masking to pull up just the performer, and let the background
    go very dark (there are green-tones in the bamboo highlights that are
    fairly ugly; if not leaving the whole background dark, at least
    something needs to be done about those). I did also do a quick Noise
    Ninja run on it. If you want, I can email you the version I just made
    (I worked from the 1600x10xx version on Yahoo), let me know (direct
    email is morely likely to come to my attention than just posting in the
    David Dyer-Bennet, May 16, 2007
  4. KrazeeKaylee

    Marvin Guest

    I got a better result in Paint Shop Pro X by converting the
    original image to gray scale, increasing the brightness, and
    then colorizing to a red cast. I can't post it here, but
    I'll send it by e-mail krazee.kaylee.
    Marvin, May 16, 2007
  5. KrazeeKaylee

    aniramca Guest

    I am using Paintshop Pro v.7 (old one), and I used to get dark images
    too when I take photos with small flash in a large room. My best bet
    for these kind of photo is to use "gamma correction". I used this
    feature almost all the time. It can make night or dark images to
    daylight. But, as you indicated, it will get grainy. Check your
    photoshop if it has this option.
    Hope that this helps you
    aniramca, May 16, 2007
  6. KrazeeKaylee

    Xiaoding Guest

    Irfanview, gamma correction.
    Xiaoding, May 16, 2007
  7. KrazeeKaylee

    ray Guest

    IMHO - this one is so underexposed, I don't think you can do much better.
    ray, May 16, 2007
  8. KrazeeKaylee

    Sonny Guest

    If I were you, I am going to try the following within PhotoShop

    1) Duplicate The Background Layer
    2) Change The Blend Mode Of The New Layer To 'Screen'
    3) Adjust "Opacity" to your desired effects.
    4) If you still fell the picture is too dark, then Duplicate The New
    Layer If Needed, or more as you want.

    Have a try and let us know. Good luck!
    Sonny, May 16, 2007
  9. KrazeeKaylee

    Warren Block Guest

    I'm using GIMPShop, but the menus and dialogs should be very similar:

    From the menus, choose Image/Adjustments/Levels. This opens a window
    with a histogram (graph of brightness levels).

    Notice that tiny bump at the very far right? That's the bright fire,
    and it's causing some trouble, so it needs to be clipped off. Drag that
    triangle to the left so only the main "bump" of the graph is included
    between the left and right triangles.

    Once you've done that, adjust the middle triangle left or right for
    overall brightness. You should be able to get an image that's better
    than the edited one on the Yahoo page.
    Warren Block, May 16, 2007
  10. This is as good as I can get, quick and dirty, in PictureWindow Pro 4.

    Lightened the image with gamma adjustment and moved the midpoint to
    the right, in levels. If you wanted to spend the time in PS you could
    get a more pleasing image.... maybe.

    Just plain Dave, May 17, 2007
  11. KrazeeKaylee

    Mike Russell Guest

    Here's my take. I used Photoshop on your edit image, which had a clearer
    looking tattoo, assigning a pseudo profile, followed by Curvemeister in Lab

    I see what you mean by pixelization - maybe the appearance will be improved
    using the original image.
    Mike Russell, May 17, 2007
  12. KrazeeKaylee

    KrazeeKaylee Guest

    Thank you to everyone who answered my question on what to do with my
    dark image. And wow, people even played around with the images I had
    up on guys are awesome! I'm going to try the different
    suggestions tonight and see what I can get. I know I'm being too
    picky, but it's a good way to learn and test things out. I'll report
    back with what worked best. Thanks much!

    KrazeeKaylee, May 17, 2007
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