BetterPhoto Q&A
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Photography Question 
Alan Kirkpatrick

contrast on overcast snow

I often shoot sports photos of ski racing. On overcast days it's very difficult to get a good exposure, and to get contrast on the snow. I usually use the histogram display on my digital camera to get the best exposure possible, but both ends of the scale have no light. There is a gap at each end for white & black levels. In addition, in the photo the snow has very little contrast - it's all the same tone. I've found that if I use the Photoshop "curves" dialog box, I can often improve this dramatically by making a small dip in the right end of the curve (the white end). I don't understand why this helps, and also I would like to incorporate this into the camera somehow so I don't have to adjust this on every photo. I'd greatly appreciate any comments on this problem. I've attached a sample pair of images.

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12/29/2006 8:58:30 PM

Michelle    Hi Alan! I can't help you on the picture taking end bc I haven't seen any snow for years! LOL But this may save you some time.

In photoshop, if you create an adjustment layer and fix the curve there than open all the pics you took in cascade or tile you can 'drag and drop' the adjustment layer on to each of your photos rather than making the adjustment to each picture. Really saves some time if all the pictures need the same treatment.

Good luck!

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12/30/2006 7:12:13 AM

Alan Kirkpatrick   Thanks Michelle - Is it possible to run the adjustment layer in an "action"?

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12/30/2006 4:12:34 PM

Michelle    That I don't know. I'm not familiar with the term 'action'. I believe you have cs2 though and I have elements. You should give it a try and find out!


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12/31/2006 5:58:44 AM

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