Thank you for stopping by! As I rarely have time to update this blog anymore, please come visit me at my new photoblog, Cari Berry Photography where I'll blog the occassional Beauty and the little Beast story, as well as post sneak peeks and stories from all my photo sessions. I try to give return blog love to all visitors over there, and hope to start giveaways there in the very near future!

For visitors to this blog, please accept my apologies, but I've had to turn on captcha because of the insane amount of spam comments I've been getting. Dontcha hate it when one bad apple ruins it for everyone else??!! ;)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

I Heart Faces, Constructive Feedback Friday

HELP!! I'm a beginner and I often find my photos under or overexposed. I know that I need to work on getting the exposure right straight out of the camera, but when I don't, are there tricks for rescuing a photo that I've ruined? I don't know, but I hope the experts at i Heart Faces can provide the answer! They'll be dropping by today to offer tips for fixing my photo!

Below is a shot I took of Beauty several months ago on my Sony Cybershot. She has the cutest expression and I want to salvage this photo but don't know what to do with it, since it's so terribly composed and underexposed. I've tried two different crops, increased the exposure, upped the contrast and played with color and effects in Picnik. Nothing has worked. Maybe you all can do better. Thanks in advance for any advice, examples, tricks you can offer! Please feel free to leave some suggestions for what I could do in Photoshop or Elements since I often use GIMP which is similar enough that I can usually translate PS directions into GIMP tasks. Thank you.

The original: f/2.8; 1/25 sec; ISO 100; 9 mm (I know, I know. I needed a higher ISO and faster shutter speed. I took this the first day I ever put my camera in manal and didn't know what I was doing!)

Sepia:


Color Pop:


(At the last minute, just before linking up, I changed the photo I wanted help with. The first few comments are from regular readers who saw the first photo I posted. Thanks)

37 comments:

The Me/ The Wife/ The Mom said...

Love the color popped version!

Hey...haven't been blogging much lately....but love the new look of yours!

Melissa said...

I like the sepia edit. You're right, her eyes are beautiful!

Amber said...

I can't get enough of the sepia edit picture. GREAT job!

Sorry, no constructive words for you.

Mighty M said...

Sorry - no tips! I am just starting to learn about my Photoshop Elements program. I love the color pop one the best - it really cuts down on the overall brightness, while really showing off that color!

BlogBaby said...

Carebear, I think you've done a commendable job here. Since I don't use the editing software you own, I can't really give you specific tips but I can say that you are on the right track. Decreasing the overall exposure worked to bring back some of the blown out highlights, the darkened background and crops are both good choices. These kinds of images are most easily corrected when the image was shot in RAW, something to think about trying when you decide on a DSLR. Overall though, very well done!

BlogBaby's BabyMama

Christina said...

Love the Sepia edit here (usually go for the color pop) because the background is darker so i focus more on the face...drawn directly to the eyes!!!

Christina said...

Even better would be sepia with just the blue popped!!!

Becca said...

This is really a cute picture! :-) I am scared of shooting in manual and I dont even know how to change my shutter speed so really i have no advice for you. other than to keep putting your cute girl in those adorable baby legs :-)

BlogBaby said...

You changed you image! Man I must be a stalker to comment TWICE on one post!

Hmm..this ones tough. Because of the low light and ISO issue there is a lot of detail missing in this image. It's hard to bring back this detail in a Jpg without pushing your pixels over the edge. Plus the image is slightly blurry probably because of your low ISO.

I personally thought the image should be rotated horizontally and cropped vertically to bring the focus to beauty's ummm..beauty! I did a quick edit of this image for you if you want to see it. I'll e-mail it to you.

BlogBaby's BabyMama

Julie Rivera Photography said...

This is a fun shot and I can see why you want to keep it! I am amazed at the clarity given the extremely slow shutter speed. You have hands of steel! :)

You really did compensate for the underexposure well...the sepia did a great job of masking some of the skin tone issues. I would recommend, though, burning the blanket upon which she is laying to remove the distraction and focus attention on her cute face.

The problem with the color pop version is the all over effect of the conversion. It is great on her colorful leggings but makes her skin tone too yellow. If possible, select her body and reduce the impact of the color pop there.

I played with crop, too, and was not getting anywhere with a standard 4x6 or 5x7. A square crop, though, could do wonders for this image.

Any luck with the DSLR hunt?

Abby*Lane said...

First, I LOVE your header! Too cute!!

I would first suggest that if you don't have enough light in the room you are taking photos, one thing that can bring in some pretty and soft light is a chinese lantern. Try and keep your ISO at at least 400 if you are going to shoot in a room that is not well lit.
Your edited photo is a good start. The color on it is just slightly off. Your reds and yellows were a little to prominent, so I suggest tweaking those slightly. When I played with your edited photo in photoshop cs3, I decreased the red and yellow, and smoothed the skin, and the picture looked as if it had a more natural skin tone. You're doing well! Keep on playing!!

AJ said...

How cute is that!

What about a horizontal crop. I did an 8x10 and it looked pretty good. Cropped out the extra fabric at the bottom and unfortunately part of those cute baby legs.

I also brightened it quite a bit and used CoffeeShop's Perfect Portrait action for some skin smoothing. It's not really necessary, but fun :).

It is really sharp to be 1/25. Seriously! I couldn't do that with me DSLR :).

I agree with Julie that the color pop is a little too much. Look at her hairline and in the shadows. You'll see colors that don't belong there. That's a sign you've gone too far. But if you are using layers you can always erase back the changes to the skin and keep it pretty and baby-ish.

I hope that helps!
Amanda J.

theArthurClan said...

Hi Carebear!

I just hate it when I know I have a super-cute image of one of my kids, but the exposure is WAY off. It makes me crazy. :)

I use Photoshop CS3 so I'm not sure if this will be very helpful to you or not. I went into CS3 though and opened up your photo in Camera RAW. This feature on Photoshop alone is worth every penny I had to pay for it!

In Camera RAW I was able to bump up the fill light and the exposure a lot and it made an amazing difference to this photo even before I ran the rest of my normal editing workflow on it.

One problem for me with this photo was the dead space at the bottom of it. The tight in-camera crop at the top (by your sweet baby) made it impossible to crop this photo as a standard 4x6 or 5x7 (I usually think 5x7's are the most visually pleasing.)

I instead ending up cropping it as a 5x6 to leave enough of the blanket at the bottom and still get her entire body in the shot. Even a 5x5 crop didn't seem to work for me.

One last thing, the blanket seemed to stark and wrinkly to me once I was able to see it in Camera RAW. Because of that I added a layer to this photo and used a gaussian blur on the second layer and then painted your baby back into the photo. It seemed to tone down the blanket nicely. I really wish that I could have changed the color of the blanket to match the pastels in her clothing, but wasn't able to figure that out (and my sister wasn't answering her phone for me to ask her. Hee!)

Here is my final (quick) edit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/thearthurclan/3514360866/

I hope this helps you a bit!

~Angie
co-founder of iHeartFaces

wife.mom.nurse said...

I like all three. How can you go wrong with such a precious model!

Susie said...

I think that they all look great!!

Life with Kaishon said...

I love the picture and have zero words of advice since I am the worst editor in America : ).

Stephanie said...

What a great shot! Is she wearing BabyLegs? I really love the Color Pop version. The colors really just...well...pop. :)

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