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07-15-2012, 03:36 AM   #1
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PDCU - fix highlight in picture...

Hi all,

I have decided to give Pentax Digital Camera Utility a chance to keep my workflow to finished jpgs as easy as possible.

Working with curves is partly new for me and I have problems to bring down the highlights which seems to be burned out.

The link is pointing to a PEF with my white haired grandfather. If someone can fix the picture exposure AND also make his hair not to be burned out, a pic of the curve settings would be really appreciated.

Thanks in advance,

Other tips and ideas to fix overexposed pictures in PDCU are welcome.

07-15-2012, 05:55 AM   #2
aurele's Avatar

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the hair of the right guy are burned. No chance you can change that.

i don't use PDCU, in photoshop i increased a bit the luminosity and contraste. dark a little bit too.

And then it's perfect.

I suggest you to play with curves only when marginal adjustement like exposure /contraste / luminosity are not enought.

It's hard to play with curves and keep the DR of a picture.

About the white hair : it's something a bit hard to get perfect shot with some. When there is someone with white hair, i tend to underexpose all picture for 1EV then recover it on the computer, just to make sure hair are not burned.
07-15-2012, 08:06 AM   #3
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To be honest, I wouldn' care much about the overexposed bits of hair, as they don't seem to be a problem with the image, but there you go:

I opened the image in PDCU and here's what I've done (I usually don't touch the curves, as I find that most of the time PDCU does an excellent job simply with minor adjustments in other tools).

1. Reset the picture to all default values.

2. Set exposure to -1 (or you can try -0.75). If you check the hystogram, you'll see that the brightest parts of the hair get close to the limit, but stay around 250 or less.

3. Set Shadow Compensation to Medium.

In Custom Image:

4. All sliders to center, except Shadows contrast (the one above Sharpness), set to two increment steps, and Saturation (the first slider), to minus one increment step - this is to eliminate the slight reddish cast on the gentleman's face. Finally, one increment step in Contrast (the centre slider).

Adjust sharpness as you wish.

Hope it helped.
07-15-2012, 08:12 AM   #4
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PS - I have been using PDCU quite a lot lately, and I must say it gives the best results of all RAW software I've tried. This is especially true concerning faces, where the skin tones given by PDCU are really amazing, much better than Lightroom or others.

I still use LR 4, which does a good job (much better IMO that 3.6) with PEFs, but for those pics where I want to get the best quality I use PDCU, export as TIFFs and make final adjustments in Photoshop - and then High Pass filter for sharpening. The results are the best I can get from my PEFs.

07-15-2012, 02:23 PM   #5
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Thanks alot for the answers! I did follow your steps Penta x Tuga and it went well.
07-15-2012, 03:34 PM   #6
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The white hair is not burned out. To correct, I reset to Portrait image tone defaults, dropped sensitivity by 2/3 Ev, added 50% dodge, +1 high key, +1 contrast, -1 saturation. I added +2 sharpness, because this is not a very sharp image. I added more sharpening in Picasa because uploading and displaying here looks softer than on my monitor. The reflection off the building in the top left corner was burned out, so I removed it using Picasa Retouch tool. I also took the liberty of getting rid of the soccer ball and some red leaves and I straightened.

The full resolution result is here:

Last edited by audiobomber; 07-15-2012 at 06:02 PM.

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