Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Underexposure correction

You can spend lots of time and money planning out your trip, but sometimes you just can't plan for the sun being behind the shot of the site you have been dying to visit. Making for an impossible lighting situation. A poorly exposed image can ruin what would be a picture perfect postcard shot. What can make it worse, is if the adjustments made in Photoshop to correct it are noticeable. Especially when making it in to a large print.

This tutorial posted by Sean Dugan on Layers magazine shows you how to correct your underexposed images with a combination of processing the raw file and Photoshop CS3. One very useful tip is where he shows you how to eliminate the halo or "blooming" you can get around the edge of an object where it meets the sky.

Photoshop CS3: Underexposure S.O.S.

Let’s face it, even though you should always try to get the best exposure in the camera so you don’t have to spend a lot of time fixing it in Photoshop, every once in a while you end up with a badly underexposed image. In this tutorial, we’ll focus on ways to improve a severely underexposed RAW file using both the controls in Adobe Camera Raw and Photoshop....

Double-click the Zoom tool to zoom in to 100% and check for artifacts caused by the Fill Light adjustment. Use the Hand tool to scroll over to the far left side of the image. Dramatically lightening the image with Fill Light has produced an unnatural outline fringe around the temple roof. There’s also a noticeable purple coloration along the roof edges. This is called “blooming,” a digital capture phenomenon created by the overly bright sky behind the darker temple. The brightness of the sky pixels has “spilled over” onto the pixels of the roof edge. We’ll address the noise later.

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