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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos RAW, Post Processing & Printing 
Thread started 13 Aug 2017 (Sunday) 19:52
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How to edit heavy back lighting (Help)

 
xarik
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Aug 13, 2017 19:52 |  #1

I hope this is allowed here.

I am having issues with editing this image with very heavy backlighting from a large window. It is affecting many of my images from the shoot and I didn't have much of a way around it in camera since it was such a large light source on only one side of the room. I am using lightroom 6 and I just can't seem to find an answer. I've been playing with the dark slider and shadow slider as well as with the histogram, but nothing is really fixing it much. I don't expect it to be perfect, but it's either WAYYYY to constraty or just ugly. Any help would be great. Can use PS as well, but not as skilled in that.

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davesrose
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Aug 13, 2017 20:22 |  #2

Can you post a RAW? Judging from that photo, you won't be able to get a photo that has 0% of blooming going on. It looks like a challenging photo. During the shoot, I would have used a flash to help light your subject. I'm guessing with the RAW that the window will stay white and there might be a ring of highlight going around the groomsman on the right. I think you can first crop in to frame more of the central figure (and minister being a secondary subject of interest). Then, for optimal post processing, I'd work in Photoshop. For photos that I can spend time with, I'll create separate layers of exposures and/or sharpness. Then I'll mask them in. Lightroom has mask brushes, but you can do more fine tuning with PS. In PS I'd look at doing some lifting of shadows and using adjustment layers. If you post the RAW, I can attempt some editing and show you my workflow.


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xarik
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Aug 13, 2017 20:33 |  #3

Sorry, forgot to get a RAW upload. This is SOOC, but here's a link to the actual image. I'd love any input! I struggle with PS unless it's something bigger. Simple tasks like this (which seem simple) are always harder for me for some reason :/.

https://www.dropbox.co​m …a01dykd/IMG_977​9.CR2?dl=0 (external link)


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tim
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Aug 13, 2017 20:48 |  #4

Options tend to be
- Shoot ambient light and use a great quality lens (Nikon 24-70 2.8 works great for this). Add contrast in post.
- Add light (often not practical in a ceremony)


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xarik
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Aug 13, 2017 20:51 as a reply to  @ tim's post |  #5

Yeh the amount of light I was adding was about as much as I dared since I wasn't allowed a stand and I was shooting this wedding dirt cheap for a friend. Pretty sure I used one of my better lenses on this one.


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Nogo
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Aug 13, 2017 21:05 |  #6

It would be a lot of work but you could go back to the venue and retake a bracket of shots of the windows and the brick wall. Align the images in Photoshop and make an HDR type photo where the background is a different exposure than the foreground.

That would not be hard to do. The work will be masking the overexposed background in the foreground layer to remove it and still have it look natural.

Of course if you ever go it again a little more fill flash would be much easier.


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mike_d
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Aug 13, 2017 21:39 |  #7

I downloaded the cr2 and played with it a little. A big problem I see is lack of contrast from shooting straight into the windows. Did you have a filter on by any chance? I have a 70-200 too and don't typically get that much flare unless I'm outside shooting right into the sun.




  
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davesrose
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Aug 13, 2017 21:43 |  #8

I've looked at the RAW....it wouldn't be worth it to try going back just to bracket the background. The picture is shot at ISO 1250. Unfortunately, the dynamic range of the subjects are very limited. Having more light on the subject would have really helped. I did just a quick edit: you can crop and separate the background with having original exposure and bringing up some of the people. Unfortunately there isn't much detail with them. I took out some of the bloom going on on the central figure by using the burn tool.


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xarik
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Aug 13, 2017 21:50 as a reply to  @ mike_d's post |  #9

No filter on, just crappy angles :/


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xarik
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Aug 13, 2017 21:51 as a reply to  @ davesrose's post |  #10

Ok so still pretty stuck with the blue haze all over? Thanks for trying!


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davesrose
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Aug 13, 2017 22:19 as a reply to  @ xarik's post |  #11

Yeah, I was hoping that the RAW would have more contrast.....but it wound up not being the case. Your subjects are blocked up shadows, and with the 5D2's limited DR at that ISO, there isn't much detail to extract. You can tone down the blue haze, but then it would be all black. I don't think there's any post processing wizardry you can do....chalk it up to an experience and what to look for in the next shoot.


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Left ­ Handed ­ Brisket
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Aug 14, 2017 05:37 |  #12

I don't use it, but lightroom is great for global edits while photoshop is made for local edits.

global = whole pic at once
local = using brushes and masks to keep changes confined to a certain area

much of what you have is going to require local edits

recovering highlights in Lr can often have a good effect even if it doesn't actually recover the whitest areas. you can dodge and burn individual channels in Ps or possibly even just desaturate those blue areas.


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kirkt
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Aug 14, 2017 07:22 |  #13

This is a tough situation but, if the image is really meant more for sentimental value and not so much as a hero image for a client, you can massage it to something acceptable-ish. The shot itself suffers from a few problems, including the focus (the guy on the right of camera is blurred) - the camera probably had some trouble focusing in the harsh backlighting and f/2.8 gives you little room for error or out-of-plane subjects. Next time maybe f/4 at ISO 1600? The noise is what it is, and is not terrible and can be handled in raw conversion. Underexposure is leading to color issues as you boost the shadow tones. And, as pointed out, the lens flaring is causing a blue local cast across the main subject. Fortunately, he is wearing a dark suit and the loss in contrast and the blue cast caused by the flare can be burned down into the suit.

Once you get raw conversion generally done, you can burn locally to balance the suit tones. Then add some local contrast to the faces and hands of the subjects to re-establish form and add some sharpening.

The background is irretrievable and not worth attempting to reconstruct, reshoot. You can burn in the wooden beams in the window to darken them as well if you want.

As you can see, the guy on camera left (cropped out of my posted image) is pretty well-exposed. Next time, try to shift your location to shoot the main subjects without a window behind them, perhaps.

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Aug 15, 2017 10:11 |  #14

Not in front of my computer right now but here's how I would start:
Use Lightroom's gradient filter, pull it in from the right to cover the affected area - about 2/3 of the image.

On that gradient filter, apply positive values to the "dehaze" slider very carefully to do most of the work. it may need a little bit of extra contrast/clarity, lifting the shadows and pulling down the highlights, maybe very slightly adjusting the temp/tint slider to warm it up and remove some of the green/cyan.

You may need to do some additional local fixes using the radial filter for that flare spot near the center of the image - high feathering on the radial filter, and adjust using a bit more positive dehaze and clarity, maybe reduced exposure, almost certainly warming up the temp.


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MCAsan
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Aug 16, 2017 07:48 |  #15

Move the image to an environment where you can do luminosity masks. You can do that in Photoshop once you install some Actions that can generate 10-16 or more levels of masks. You can even use Macphun Aurora on a single image and use its 10 step luminosity masks to pick the right levels and bring up or down the exposure...etc.




  
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How to edit heavy back lighting (Help)
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