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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Critique Corner 
Thread started 15 Jul 2015 (Wednesday) 17:07
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Which Exposure is Proper?

 
RandMan
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Jul 15, 2015 17:07 |  #1

Hi,

I'm editing a collection of images in Lightroom and I keep going back and forth on a bunch of them by a difference of literally 1/3 stop. One minute it looks fine, then I bump the exposure a tiny bit and think it looks better, then back to the first adjustment and I just keep see-sawing. I'm driving myself crazy! Here's the same image with two different exposures. Can you tell me which one you think looks better?


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Jul 15, 2015 17:27 |  #2

I like #1




  
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itsallart
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Jul 15, 2015 17:31 |  #3

I personally prefer #1 for the focal point being on the child; #2 has that little pillow (?) as a focal point but the definition of that object is somewhat lost and the boy's face is more flat. #1 still shows the subtle texture of the fabric and his face is still very 3D :)


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Jul 15, 2015 17:33 |  #4

I actually like #2 better. The brighter face makes the image pop a bit more. However, it looks like the pillow is made of a radioactive fabric in both pics (worse in #2). It looks more than just overexposure/blown highlights. Did you do something in post-processing to the pillow to make it glow like that?


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Left ­ Handed ­ Brisket
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Jul 15, 2015 17:36 |  #5

the exposure on the subject is the most important, so one seems to fit that best.

at least his face.

even in days past exposure could be manipulated to make a better print. In number one the hair is getting close to a black blob, and the mid tones of the background are maybe a bit dark, those can be fixed in post. It's pretty rare that i fix an exposure by moving the exposure or brightness sliders. if you aren't familiar look into levels and curves to fix specific areas of shadows, 3/4 tones, mid tones, quarter tones, and highlights.


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Jul 15, 2015 18:15 |  #6

I like 1 but I would tone down the pillow a bit.


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Jul 15, 2015 18:22 |  #7

#1 looks better if you got rid of the pillow. The pillow is an unnatural glowing.


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Jul 15, 2015 18:25 |  #8

I think that the [pillow is receoverable if you selectively play with either the contrast or levels whichever works better :)


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davesrose
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Jul 15, 2015 19:36 |  #9

RandMan wrote in post #17632791 (external link)
Hi,

I'm editing a collection of images in Lightroom and I keep going back and forth on a bunch of them by a difference of literally 1/3 stop. One minute it looks fine, then I bump the exposure a tiny bit and think it looks better, then back to the first adjustment and I just keep see-sawing. I'm driving myself crazy! Here's the same image with two different exposures. Can you tell me which one you think looks better?

So are you just scrubbing your exposure sliders? That is a good way to decide overall contrast. I'll usually first hit ALT while sliding blacks and whites (to see when the image reaches its clipping points between white and black). I'll then adjust highlights and shadows to either add or subtract contrast in those areas. Another tool I'll often use in photos such as this is the mask brush. I think you might be preferring the exposure of the 2nd's background (as the shadows have a bit better contrast range) and the 1st's skin tones (as it's exposure is slightly darker and offers better contrast range in the skin tones). With the mask brush, you can have the best of both worlds: have the image's overall exposure like #2....then mask in areas of the face and pillow to push the exposure down a bit and get better contrast there. Though utilizing all these tools can also get you spending more time with PP :)


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RandMan
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Jul 16, 2015 19:28 |  #10

Wow! I had no idea that pillow would get so much negative attention. This better?


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davesrose
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Jul 16, 2015 21:06 |  #11

RandMan wrote in post #17633956 (external link)
Wow! I had no idea that pillow would get so much negative attention. This better?

Maybe if you mask in the fingers to make it more believable that the plate is being held :p Seriously, folks are just being honest that the pillow seems a bit blown out. Overall contrast range of #2 may be better, but selectively mask in those lighter areas to get some more contrast there. That's it, and IMO not being that negative.


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Jul 17, 2015 10:12 |  #12

#1. A lot of highlights are blown out in #2.




  
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Jul 23, 2015 10:30 as a reply to  @ RandMan's post |  #13

Great edit! *LOL*

for a portrait, you want the focus on the face, and our eyes tend to go to the brightest object in the frame.. the pillow.

tone down the pillow, and you have a very nice one in either version.

I would also fix the vertical, if possible, looks like there is a tilt to the left a smidge. JMHO.


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CheleA
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Jul 23, 2015 11:50 |  #14

My vote goes for #1, the highlights are clipped in #2. Nice shot.




  
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albailey
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Jul 24, 2015 10:12 as a reply to  @ CheleA's post |  #15

Both exposures are proper. Photography is an expressive art. It expresses a photographers thought, point of view, feeling, etc. Based on the subject I like #1 because it focuses more on the subject.




  
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Which Exposure is Proper?
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