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What is the right technique ?

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Anonymous
July 11, 2005 3:15:36 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

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 !

More about : technique

Anonymous
July 11, 2005 4:44:19 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

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.
Anonymous
July 11, 2005 7:12:13 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

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
Related resources
Anonymous
July 11, 2005 9:12:29 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

"Amamba" <egroy@mailexcite.com> wrote in message
news:1121111059.004498.154750@o13g2000cwo.googlegroups.com...
>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
Anonymous
July 12, 2005 12:10:50 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

"Amamba" <egroy@mailexcite.com> wrote in message
news:1121105736.593307.139080@g43g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
> 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.
July 12, 2005 2:27:39 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

"Amamba" <egroy@mailexcite.com> wrote in message
news:1121105736.593307.139080@g43g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
> 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
Anonymous
July 12, 2005 2:27:40 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Roy wrote:
> "Amamba" <egroy@mailexcite.com> wrote in message
> news:1121105736.593307.139080@g43g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
>
>>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
Anonymous
July 12, 2005 8:04:20 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

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 rphunter@charter.net
Anonymous
July 12, 2005 6:40:48 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

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.
!