BetterPhoto.com - Become a better photographer today!
EMAIL:
PASSWORD:
remember me:     
     


BetterPhoto Q&A
Category: Best Photographic Equipment to Buy : Digital Cameras and Accessories : Digital Image Management Software

To participate in the Forum, become a BetterPhoto member or Sign In.

 
Photography Question 
Sharon Rizzo

member since: 3/29/2005
 

Photoshop Question - Exposure


I recently took some pictures that were underexposed. Is there a way to lighten the subjects (portrait of children) in Photoshop without making it look unnatural? Thanks.

9/8/2005 1:16:17 PM

 
Justin G.
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 7/13/2004
  Hopefully they aren't so underexposed that they lost all the detail, but put in Photoshop as a layer. Now copy that layer so there is one on top of that. Change the blending mode to screen and keep creating layers with the screen blending mode until you get it close to what you want. Here's the part where you get most control. Now that you've got it about to where you want it, do it once more so that it's too bright. Now play with your opacity and fill levels until you get what you want. Good luck.

9/8/2005 3:12:33 PM

 
Sharon Rizzo

member since: 3/29/2005
  Thank you Justin for the instructions. I will definitely give it a try.

Sharon

9/8/2005 5:08:29 PM

 
Mike Klostermeyer

member since: 3/22/2005
  How would this method be better/worse than the shadow/highlight tool? I use that a lot, but primarily because my PS skills stink, and it seems to do a fairly good job.

Mike

9/14/2005 5:58:16 AM

 
Dale Ann Cubbage
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 3/4/2004
  Sharon, I haven't tried Justin's idea but it seems like a lot of work to me. And the shadow/highlight or "dodge/burn" tool isn't reliable. It actually removes details as it highlights or shadows your image.

What I do is work with the levels. When you look at the levels graph in PS in a underexposed image it will show you most of the color in the image is on the left of the graph. Meaning there are no highlight colors. So what you want to do is move some of that color over. Here's how you do it.

1) open image tab
2) open Levels tab: when you pull it up you'll see that RGB level is highlighted. Click on it and pick red first.
3) move the slider on the right in the "red" level to the left until it touches the base of the "mountain" on your graph. Move it to just where it starts to go up.
3) click on red and choose blue and do the same thing.
4) click on green and do the same thing.
Now what you've done is add some highlights and bring the colors levels to almost a perfect level.
If your image is still not bright enough, then click on green and change it back to RGB.
5) In the RGB selection, move the MIDDLE slider slightly to the left, it will begin to bring the "light" level of all three colors up. But too much is too much, just move it a tiny bit until you are happy with your image.

I've had a lot of success using this method, and hope that it helps. If you find after doing this that there is a lot of grain in your image, then you may need to use somelike neatimage to clean it up. You can find a demo of neatimage at neatimage.com.

da

9/14/2005 6:20:29 AM

 
Justin G.
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 7/13/2004
  Changing the levels of all channels is a pain in the butt. To simple lighten a photo, duplicate the layer and change to screen. How in the world does that seem like a lot of work? It's a quick easy way to bring up exposure like you would using the zone system. Changing each channels levels and curves is for completely fine tuning a photo. It's pointless work. Sharon my way is easier. Duplicate the layer, change to screen. Not to hard. Have fun playing with levels/curves channels if you wish.

9/14/2005 8:08:34 AM

 
Dale Ann Cubbage
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 3/4/2004
  Justin, I didn't in any way mean to offend you or suggest your idea wouldn't work. I just wanted to share my method. It's not difficult or time consuming, it only takes a few clicks. I just wanted to offer Sharon some options, as we all know in Photoshop there is more than one way to do everything. I think sharing ideas and techniques is what this site is about. In fact, I have every intention of trying out your method. I'm always looking for new ways to do things. Just sharing, not trying to say my way is the best way or anything. Sorry if I offended you.

Sharon, good luck. And I hope you are able to save your images and get the look you want!!

Have a nice day!
da

9/14/2005 8:17:58 AM

 
Sharon Rizzo

member since: 3/29/2005
  Thank you both for the helpful information, but please do not get into a disagreement over this.

I think both ideas are great and will definitely try them out.

Sharon

9/14/2005 8:23:59 AM

 
Dale Ann Cubbage
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 3/4/2004
  Sharon, no disagreement here! I just wanted to apologize to Justin in case my comment sounded like I was discounting his method. Which I was not, in fact I'm working on an image right now using it!! I can't wait to see how it turns out!

da

9/14/2005 8:26:57 AM

 
Kerry L. Walker

member since: 12/21/2004
  Don't worry Dale. It's a disagreement, not a fight. There is a difference.

9/14/2005 8:28:14 AM

 
Justin G.
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 7/13/2004
  Dale Ann,
My apologies for sounding rude. You're idea is a great one, I've used it before, absolutely nothing wrong with it. Sharon, try both and find out which one is best for you.

Again I'm sorry for being a pain, kinda grumpy today and I guess I didn't control myself. You're comment wasn't anyway rude, just caught me on a bad day.

Justin

9/14/2005 8:33:39 AM

 
Dale Ann Cubbage
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 3/4/2004
  Justin, we're cool! I'm sorry I you're having a bad day!! We've all been there. The process of trying and learning new things is what makes BetterPhoto such a great site!! I really like your method, I've been working with it just now.

Have a better day!! ;)

da

9/14/2005 8:56:30 AM

 
Louis Kurland

member since: 3/25/2005
  Yes, there are many ways to achieve a result with PS. I just tried the levels, curves and layers methods with an image, and the differences I see are minor and a matter of judgement.

Is the image degraded less in any of the methods? Is the pixel loss any less in one method than another?

Thanks
Skip

9/14/2005 7:10:05 PM

 
Justin G.
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 7/13/2004
  The layers method is non image degrading. Levels and curves is also, unless you create a backup layer and hide it by turning the eye off. Levels and curves though does change the image, where the layers method just makes lighter copies, leaving the original alone.

9/14/2005 7:28:40 PM

 
Dale Ann Cubbage
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 3/4/2004
  Good question, Skip. I'm glad you asked and glad that Justin answered. I didn't know. I do know that I never work on my original image anyway, I create a copy to work with and my working file is always a tiff. My understanding is that a tiff file shouldn't lose any data or pixels. If I'm incorrect in my undertanding, someone please feel free in setting me straight!

da

9/14/2005 8:21:38 PM

 
Pete H
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 8/9/2005
  Sharon..Just wanted to add another technique you may wish to add to your arsenal of PS editing.

Under filters, go to "Adjustments/Threshold."
This produces a B&W image, no grey.
Move the slider to the far right edge..the image will be very black. Slowly move the slider left until you begin to see some white patches show up.
This is a value that is available (useable date) that can be printed. Note the numeric value.
Now slide to the other end..the photo goes almost pure white. Slide to the right until you begin to see some black. Again; note the threshold number.
Now close out of that and go to "Levels" You'll see three boxes for input levels. The center one is gray scale..The left is the darkest numerical value that is usable..generally close to Zero. Enter the lower number you took note of earlier. Enter the higher number in the right box.
What you have done is optimize the image to display the blackest black in the photo and the whitest white..any other values above or below this are useless.
Other than curves, this is one of the best methods to adjust under & over exposed pics.

Pete

9/14/2005 9:51:44 PM

 
Sharon Rizzo

member since: 3/29/2005
  Thank you Pete for your suggestion. I haven't had much time to try everything out, but I look forward to working it all the tips received.

Thank you all,
Sharon

9/15/2005 6:30:38 PM

 
Mellanie 

member since: 7/16/2004
  if you know how to use actions in PS, I would strongly recommend buying this:
http://actions.home.att.net/dSLR_Tools.html
I bought the set of actions ($15) almost a year ago and constantly use it! Especially on underexposed photos and for when I forget to use fill flash. A great investment in my opinion....

9/15/2005 6:40:02 PM

 
Erickjohn B. Kunst
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 7/6/2005
  Howdy all,

Justin's solution is certainly the best in my eye's. I had the opportunity to try it once and got it from a book titled, The Photoshop CS Book for Digital Photographers by Scott Kelby.

You will want to make sure you flatten the image after you get the exposure you want.

Thanks and have an Excellent Day,

Erickjohn B. Kunst

10/17/2005 4:19:17 AM

 
anonymous 
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 2/7/2005
  I use Justin's way all the time (well when I need it). It is very easy and you get it lighted without loosing contrast.

If it don't get exactly what you want, then use your eraser tool on low and erase in some shadows etc again.

10/17/2005 4:57:16 PM

 
Brian A. Wolter
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 2/15/2005
  You could also add a contrast mask as well.

10/18/2005 4:19:33 AM

 

To participate in the Forum, become a BetterPhoto member or Sign In.
 

Copyright 1996-2014 BetterPhoto.com, Inc. All Rights Reserved.