Sunday, November 28, 2010

underexposed {a semi-tutorial}

Remember this bath photo from a while back?
The SOOC shot was typical of most bath time photos, it was pretty underexposed.
I tried something different with the curves and managed to bring it photo brilliance!
Okay maybe not photo brilliance, but I sure did save it from the pit of the trash bin.
I can't give you an exact tutorial for that one. There was so much back and fourth between minor curve and minor contrast adjustments, I'm sure I couldn't do it again. The basic idea of what I did, however, I have used quite a few times since then to save under exposed photos. Honestly it doesn't work on all under exposed, but I've had pretty good luck with it.


Start with an under exposed photo. One that you just can't toss because of the sweet expression on your little ones face.

sooc



This curve adjustment is what I typically do with photos. It's basically a nice contrast boost. You can see though, that it doesn't work great with the underexposed photo.
001



Here is the curve adjustment I do now with my underexposed photos. I pull the line up, near the top and the bottom (usually slightly more on the bottom).
002




Boost your contrast! Your making your subject look ghostly on the curve adjustments, and then making up for that ghostlyness on the contrast. Don't over do it though, just go as far as you can without washing out any of the bright areas.
003



Back to another curve adjustment. At this point I do quite a few back and fourth with very slight adjustments. I've found that giving that ghostly look in the curve adjustments, is a great way to brighten  the photo while keeping the already bright areas in check. After 4 or 5 times going back and fourth, once it's just right I'll do that contrast boost with the curves, that I mentioned in the beginning, only it's a very slight one.
004

Another hint for brightening photos is this free redness relief action from the coffee shop blog. I've found that with just about any contrast boost comes extra redness, this is an easy way to get rid of it.


thanksday 059a


Check out my fun make-shift studio. This house has very little natural light, so this was the best I could do for lighting. It was pretty cold, but at least we were out of the wind.
garage 'studio'

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