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italianfemmy
3rd of July 2007 (Tue), 11:13
Hi everyone. So, I went out yesterday with my girlfriend and got her to dress up like my pretend bride so I could take some photographs.

I shot in RAW and I upped the exposure because that's the only way I could properly expose her skin. The dress is blown in almost every picture but the background in most of the pictures is well exposed, as is her skin. (In most of them.) I have been reading some of Scott Kelby's books and attempted to dodge and burn. Well, parts of the overexposed dress burned quite nicely and other parts still stayed way overexposed. So, I repeated the process over and over and over again, which never fixed the overexposure on several large blown spots on the dress.

Are there any other ways that I can fix blown spots on the dress without altering the background? I also tried selecting the dress and adjusting the exposure to bring the highlights back in but no matter how many different ways I tried this, something always looked off and seemed cut and pasted in.

Also, there are a couple where she is lit well, her dress is exposed nicely but the sky is way blown out. Again, how can I fix this without selecting it and changing the exposure?

If I adjust the exposure of the entire pictures, then my girlfriend looks way too dark and the picture looks underexposed. I got some pretty good shots so I hope I am able to fix them. Please help.

goatee
3rd of July 2007 (Tue), 11:19
Hi - I can't speak for the others, but what I do when shooting brides, is meter off the dress, and set +1 Exposure compensation - this seems to work pretty consistently to have the whites of the dress as bright as can be without being blown - though there may be better suggestions.

cosworth
3rd of July 2007 (Tue), 11:23
Asuming Photoshop on a PC here:

Open the RAW file and adjust exposure for background. Open file.

Open the same RAW file again and adjust exposure for the dress. Open file.

Select-all on the dress file. Copy. Paste it into the background file. Make sure the dress layer is highlighted and press the ALT key while clicking on the layer mask button.

Select the decent sized brush with say %50 opacity and paint in the darker dress exposure over top the blown out dress.

cosworth
3rd of July 2007 (Tue), 11:25
...though there may be better suggestions.

Spot metering, M mode, fill flash, magic pixies... the list is pretty long but we'd have to see the image and everyone's technique/comfort zone will vary.

BaliHai
3rd of July 2007 (Tue), 11:26
I was told in a Doug Gordon workshop to spotmeter just below the eye on the face and if it was a couple with different skintones spotmeter off the person with the lightest skintone.

LeesaB
3rd of July 2007 (Tue), 11:39
Show us a couple of the pics so we can see....

picturecrazy
3rd of July 2007 (Tue), 11:40
Worry about the dress and faces. Don't worry about blowing out the sky. It's just something that will always happen.

Phil V
3rd of July 2007 (Tue), 11:44
There's loads of metering techniques, but don't get confused, because there's one simple truth. DON'T BLOW THE HIGHLIGHTS.

In the field, after you've set your exposure - check the histogram. You need the highlights to be far to the right - But not beyond the edge of the histogram. Basically you can dodge and burn all you like, but you can't recover highlights that aren't there.

As a few people have said, there's lot's of techniques and personal taste. Personally I don't care about blown skies if the people are exposed good. It's almost a given in the UK with our almost constant overcast skies, but the bride will want to see the detail in the dress.

italianfemmy
3rd of July 2007 (Tue), 11:49
How do I post a large RAW file here? That's what I can't figure out.

cosworth
3rd of July 2007 (Tue), 11:52
You upload it to your webspace and give us a link.

If you have internet you have webspace through your ISP in most cases. And if you are shooting weddings I assume you have a website, so put it on there and give us the link.

mkuriger
3rd of July 2007 (Tue), 11:53
That's exactly what I do!



Asuming Photoshop on a PC here:

Open the RAW file and adjust exposure for background. Open file.

Open the same RAW file again and adjust exposure for the dress. Open file.

Select-all on the dress file. Copy. Paste it into the background file. Make sure the dress layer is highlighted and press the ALT key while clicking on the layer mask button.

Select the decent sized brush with say %50 opacity and paint in the darker dress exposure over top the blown out dress.

italianfemmy
3rd of July 2007 (Tue), 11:55
Actually, no I don't have a websit yet. I am just getting started which is why I am using a my girlfriend to model to practice bridals. I don't want to take a wedding on until I am ready. A website will be something that will come later. And, I don't believe I have a webspace. :-(

cosworth
3rd of July 2007 (Tue), 11:56
http://www.yousendit.com/

italianfemmy
3rd of July 2007 (Tue), 11:58
Where do you want me to send it?

italianfemmy
3rd of July 2007 (Tue), 12:01
http://www.yousendit.com/download/bWJvNHArUzdBNkUwTVE9PQ

sapearl
3rd of July 2007 (Tue), 12:06
Or perhaps just take one of the representative "problem" shots, save it as a 100K 800x600 image, and post it here. I realize it's not the same as your original RAW, but it will give us a pretty good idea of what you're dealing with. The blown highlights and her underexposed face will be quite obvious.

But as others have said, the sky is the last thing I'd be concerned about - a nice bonus if you can keep it - but dress is paramount with face a very close second for "perfection."

I like cosworth's excellent suggestion - I'll have to try that myself sometime since I shoot everything in RAW. Thanks for the tip Jason!

Actually, no I don't have a websit yet. I am just getting started which is why I am using a my girlfriend to model to practice bridals. I don't want to take a wedding on until I am ready. A website will be something that will come later. And, I don't believe I have a webspace. :-(

cosworth
3rd of July 2007 (Tue), 12:06
You've linked the XMP file. Try the RAW file.

italianfemmy
3rd of July 2007 (Tue), 12:07
I don't think it did it right. It said it was ready in like 1o seconds and now I am doing another one that is half the size and it is taking 8 minutes. And, I can't open that first link.

italianfemmy
3rd of July 2007 (Tue), 12:11
Well, here it is as a JPG:

rhys
3rd of July 2007 (Tue), 12:12
My suggestion...

Using DPP raise the bottom bar on the viewing frame. This has the effect of contracting the brightness range, giving more detail in the lights without harming the darker areas.

LeesaB
3rd of July 2007 (Tue), 12:14
Ok...here is just a suggestion, and I know you are not going for the portrait shot, but clone out those rails..or whatever..I like the fountain area...

I think you can bring the exposure down a bit, her color is still good but even in that, to me, looks like the exposure is too high for both...also..do you have lightroom? There is a cool "add black" that I love when I do some shots that are a bit "over exposed"

What do you have to work with? CS? I can't remember what you had...

I bet you can play with that and get it really nice...play with the hue also...

Not sure what your other suggestions were above this, but those are from my limited knowledge bank.

italianfemmy
3rd of July 2007 (Tue), 12:17
Her complextion is light skinned. I have CS2 and I do plan on cloning out the rail once I can figure out how to. I was simply posting the original unedited file.

Here is the link to the other one where the dress is real blown out:

http://www.yousendit.com/download/bWJvNHArUzdBNkUwTVE9PQ

italianfemmy
3rd of July 2007 (Tue), 12:18
I don't know what keeps happening. It keeps saving it as an xmp and making it 7kb. I don't know why.

italianfemmy
3rd of July 2007 (Tue), 12:24
Here's the other one as a JPG. I am haivng problems saving these RAW files to get a link. I don't know why. But, I only just started shooting RAW a week ago. I have more to learn.

suyenfung
3rd of July 2007 (Tue), 13:00
i can't help you recover these images, however -

the dress reflects much more light into your lens than her skin. because of this, her skin may appear to be too dark in a properly exposed image. also remember anything not white will always look dark next to white.

in this case, if you want her face bright without blowing out the dress, you need more light reflecting from her face. your only option is to add light. your 430 into an umbrella would have really taken these to the next level.

italianfemmy
3rd of July 2007 (Tue), 13:09
I don't have an umbrella but I did use the 430 for fill flash.

suyenfung
3rd of July 2007 (Tue), 13:16
right on. in the future use manual mode to set the exposure for the dress. don't let it blow out. use the flash to light the face. adjust flash power to taste. it is two exposures and you should think of it that way. let your camera settings determine how bright the dress is, and use the flash to determine how bright the face is. get the flash off camera for added control.

sapearl
3rd of July 2007 (Tue), 13:38
Alicia, these are not terrible pictures - they can certainly use a little improvement but I have seen far worse.

In the absence of an umbrella, you can also use a cheap reflector - large white card, etc - mounted on a stand or held by an assistant, reflecting some additional ambient (sky) light into her face to brighten it up a little. It also won't cost much.

I realize the horse is already out of the barn, but I avoid like the plague direct sun, or direct sky even on a bright cloudy day. It throws off a lot more light than we realize, causing blowout problems. Whenever possible I stick to brigh shade under a canopy of trees, the shadow of a building, under an awning - obviously that was not possible here.

italianfemmy
3rd of July 2007 (Tue), 13:46
Yeah, she wanted to go to the water fountain place. I have about 30-40 out of 70 that I took that I LOVE but the dress or sky is blown in almost all of them.

sapearl
3rd of July 2007 (Tue), 13:58
Well, we do the best we can with the venues we have ;) .

Periodically I will get into gentle debates with brides about how the midday sun on the steps of the white marble museum really is NOT the best of environments for fine wedding photography. Usually I can gently persuade them into a more shaded area. Much of this is an education process for the client.:D

Still, this is an excellent exercise and gives you a very good idea of the types of challenges you face when shooting under less than perfect conditions.

Yeah, she wanted to go to the water fountain place. I have about 30-40 out of 70 that I took that I LOVE but the dress or sky is blown in almost all of them.

cosworth
3rd of July 2007 (Tue), 19:24
http://www.jasonhollister.com/images/Bridal_fixed.jpg

RazorAngel
3rd of July 2007 (Tue), 21:15
I think you keep clicking on the XMP file and not the CR2 file ... yousendit wouldn't just grab the wrong file.
If you can get us the raw file we might be able to give better suggesitons.

islandphoto
4th of July 2007 (Wed), 04:19
Alicia - I don't see anything majorly wrong with the dress. Personally, I dont' worry too much about blown out highlights or a blown out sky. I think that composition and emotion and the look on a person's face is way more important than the technical stuff... I mean yeah, we all want to get the exposure right on - but I don't think you're really off here. Just my 2 cents.

Also, try some without flash in nice lighting - I doubt you would see the blown highlights in that situation.

cdifoto
4th of July 2007 (Wed), 04:28
Is your monitor calibrated? If not, you might be trying to fix what isn't really broken.

sapearl
5th of July 2007 (Thu), 07:44
Alicia, as I suggested in your other thread your contrast and brightness controls may be set too high. This could give the appearance of a problem that may not really exist to the extent you believe. What numbers do you have those two set at?

Bob Charnier
5th of July 2007 (Thu), 09:28
Alicia,
I agree with what Cosworth suggested.... upload an image with properly exposed dress, water, etc and then upload properly exposed darks & shadows and merge the two images in PS. You cannot burn back blown-out exposures. What's not there is not there. I always try to err on the side of underexposed if I am not sure. You run the risk of losing shadow detail, but I would rather lose the detail of a tux than a bridal gown.

cosworth
5th of July 2007 (Thu), 09:40
The image I posted above was as Bob described. I merged two lighter and darker exposures together, painting in the darker details into teh white dress. It was bit of a crap shoot since I only had the jpg to work with and opened them in ACR. Pixel bruising is something I try to avoid.

This works far better in RAW.

sapearl
5th of July 2007 (Thu), 12:08
VERY nicely done though cosworth ;) .... fine job for what you had to work with.

The image I posted above was as Bob described. I merged two lighter and darker exposures together, painting in the darker details into teh white dress. ......

cosworth
5th of July 2007 (Thu), 12:13
Thanks. I'm the king of blown highlights. I shot in the Caribbean for months! :cool:

sapearl
5th of July 2007 (Thu), 12:22
Well, I guess that makes you the "Recovery Ranger" then :D .

We learn a lot from our successes, but even more from our errors. Now I know where to refer for this sort of advice ;) .

Thanks. I'm the king of blown highlights. I shot in the Caribbean for months! :cool:

cosworth
5th of July 2007 (Thu), 12:24
Well, I guess that makes you the "Recovery Ranger" then :D .



Ssssh. Please no. I am happy with my title as is. :)

sapearl
5th of July 2007 (Thu), 12:44
Gotcha'.... never know when the Avatar fairies will strike again.... look what happened to me, the brunt of "he who shall not be named" for reasons of which I know not......:rolleyes:

Ssssh. Please no. I am happy with my title as is. :)

Bob Charnier
5th of July 2007 (Thu), 13:04
I agree wit Stu....Nice job!! The waterspout on the left side of the original I would have figured was gone, but you did a great job of recovering the detail. After that, everything else should have been a cakewalk!!

italianfemmy
5th of July 2007 (Thu), 13:39
Sorry I have not been back to this thread. I don't know how to check the numbers that u are referring to Stu.

I did merge the two together as was suggested but did not get that good of a result. Nice job Cos. I just need more practice and time to learn it all.

Scott Kelby's photoshop book has been helping me some. I just take a little more time than some people to process things for them to make sense for me, unless I am learning from someone directly who can show me. I don't get things easily when reading. Step by step print screen tutorials normally work well for me though, because it's just like someone showing you. :-)

lippy113
5th of July 2007 (Thu), 14:38
186753

Its always best to under expose than over Adobe Lightroom has a great tool called recovery to bring the detail back in the dress is this looking more like the dress ?
What do ya think...................Ady

italianfemmy
5th of July 2007 (Thu), 14:50
It is still dark but better than being blown. Just wish my girlfriend did not have to be darkened in order to achieve that effect?

sapearl
5th of July 2007 (Thu), 14:54
Your monitor will likely have separate buttons on the face - frame edge area - for contrast and brightness control. When you push them, on most models a slider scale will appear on-screen. Zero may me marked on the left, and 100, the brightest on the right.

Many monitors come out of the box with both brightness and contrast set to 100. This makes games and movies look great, but stinks for trying to properly adjust a photograph. Keep in mind this is independent of color temp adjustment and calibration. We are just talking brightness and contrast.

I find on my Viewsonic LCD that my optimal contrast and brightness settings are in the mid '70's and THAT particular scale. Anything set higher and my highlights get blown out and I don't see truly representative shadow detail. High settings will also play havoc with color rendition. I am guessing that your sliders are set WAAAY to far to the right, making everything overly bright and contrasty. If you can run your camera, which you can, this is something you can very easily check yourself.

Sorry I have not been back to this thread. I don't know how to check the numbers that u are referring to Stu....... :-)

Bob Charnier
5th of July 2007 (Thu), 15:35
Alicia ~
When you merge the two images together, you basically keep the best part of both images and erase the bad parts. For example, the image with the good dress exposure would have the darks way too dark, so you would place the good dress exposure as your top layer and then erase or brush away the bad areas which would leave the bottom layer that has the good dark areas show through. You can do this with masks, but it sounds like you aren't to that point yet in PS and this way is a lot easier. Probably not explaining this very well, but it really is not that hard to do. It does assume that you have good images to start with. I sometimes will take two shots of the same image and under expose one and over expose one so I can do this and get a good image.

cosworth
5th of July 2007 (Thu), 15:43
I wonder if this type of little tutorial would be a good thing to record or to use webex with. Imagine a little group of post processors doing a bi-weekly webcast or webinar on this. Might be fun.

I'll see if I can record an edit on my machine at home. That might be kinda cool to share with my photo club too. Powerpoint is so boring for me now.

Bob Charnier
5th of July 2007 (Thu), 15:55
Sounds good! I know I have a much more difficult time reading a procedure when I can usually pick it up pretty quick if I can watch it. I always look for video tutorials on the web when I see someone post one. I even watch the small demo one by Julian Kost and Eddie Tapp when they are trying to get you to buy their DVD's. Amazing what you can learn in a 3 min demo.

cosworth
5th of July 2007 (Thu), 16:00
While not video, this should help flesh out what we're talking about:

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tutorials/digital-blending.shtml

italianfemmy
5th of July 2007 (Thu), 16:01
yeah, scott kelby's book shows you step by step which has really helped me a lot. I never knew you could turn someones frown into a smile. That was fun to do!

cosworth
5th of July 2007 (Thu), 16:02
I'm patiently waiting for his CS3 book, pushed back a month to august 1st.

aparends
6th of July 2007 (Fri), 09:52
Hi,
This is my take on your second pic. Hope you don't mind me :)

Regards,
Ari

Rhinotherunt
26th of July 2007 (Thu), 17:58
He was my go at it the second...
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t66/Ryan_McGill/Sample1.jpg
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t66/Ryan_McGill/Sample2.jpg

Rhinotherunt
26th of July 2007 (Thu), 18:09
Just a shot at the first...

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t66/Ryan_McGill/Sample1-1.jpg

CyberPet
26th of July 2007 (Thu), 20:26
I dunno, this image speaks to me.... or.... she is! :D

http://the-halls.se/edited/AliciasBabe.jpg

(I hope you don't mind me playing a bit.... I'll take it down if I've overstepped any boundaries)

sapearl
26th of July 2007 (Thu), 20:30
Petra, that is just tooooooooo much!! :lol::lol: You are one very funny person!

italianfemmy
26th of July 2007 (Thu), 20:36
now that was funny. Made me laugh to tears. And here I was wondering why this old thread got brought back to life. haha.