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07-23-2018, 02:11 AM - 1 Like   #1
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Editing software recommendations

I wondered if anyone could help by recommending any software to help me sort out a very underexposed photo. If the photo could be sorted ( I appreciate it may not) I don't mind buying a programme to do it. I was out with my children in a torrential rainstorm so had my K 30 in its case when I got the opportunity to take a photo of my children with a local wildlife presenter. Because of the weather conditions I grabbed my camera from its case, took 3 photos very quickly and put my camera away without checking the results. When I got home I realised the dial on top had accidently moved and the photos were badly underexposed. I now have 3 upset children. I have never edited photos before so wondered if there was anything I could do. The colour seems to have gone so should I make the photo black and white first. Thank you

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07-23-2018, 02:29 AM - 2 Likes   #2
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Yes, I can recover a very poor quality picture with Lightroom (or just about anything; PDCU that came with your camera should do the job). Unfortunately they are jpegs. If you had shot raw, you'd do much better.

This is the third of your photos; it was shot at f/18 and iso 100! Not the thing for a bleak Yorkshire day.
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Last edited by Paul the Sunman; 07-23-2018 at 03:11 AM.
07-23-2018, 02:50 AM   #3
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To even meaningfully try to rescue your photos, we would need the biggest-file versions that your SD card recorded, be it DNG/PEF or JPEG.

Did you, by any chance, have set your K-30 to RAW+ mode? Then you should have both RAW and JPEG versions, of which the RAW (DNG/PEF) would offer a lot more recovery potential of course.
07-23-2018, 02:53 AM - 1 Like   #4
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Lightroom/Photoshop (costs a bit of money if you do not intend to do much editing).
Affinity Photo - does a great job at a great pice.
Raw Therapy - FREE. People who use it, love it. Has some of the best RAW support for Pentax cameras. It will work with JPG too, but especially for your question above, I hope you have raw files.

If you shot raw, you should be able to recover a lot from the image.
You can try with JPG, but results will be much more limited. I am actually quite surprises by what Paul got above.

07-23-2018, 05:32 AM - 1 Like   #5
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Your third photo - at least 8 stops under exposed - if Important usable ;if not ?

Photo 1 - Windows 10 Photos - Free
Photo 2 - Affinity $69 version

---------- Post added 07-23-18 at 08:36 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by honey bo bo Quote
Photo 1 - Windows 10 Photos - Free
Photo 2 - Affinity $69 version
I use both frequently plus Picasa but never go too deep. e.g.. Just contrast ,cropping, some colour some exposure adjustment.

---------- Post added 07-23-18 at 09:04 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by honey bo bo Quote
Photo 1 - Windows 10 Photos - Free
Photo 2 - Affinity $69 version

---------- Post added 07-23-18 at 08:36 AM ----------


I use both frequently plus Picasa but never go too deep. e.g.. Just contrast ,cropping, some colour some exposure adjustment.
Also there is some fur in the sky . I dont know where its coming from but you can take it out with Affinity & Picasa

Last edited by honey bo bo; 08-07-2018 at 04:35 AM.
07-23-2018, 06:38 AM   #6
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As others said, the RAW file, if you have it, will give you much better results than the jpg. A jpg file will give you maybe 1-stop leeway for adjustment in the best cases while the raw file will give you a good 3-stops and even up to 5 could give acceptable results with some pictures (although obviously not a best case scenario). If the camera was set on jpeg-only, you now know why it's a good idea to use RAW+jpg and a bigger SD card rather than jpeg-only...


As for software, you already have PDCU that can do the job. And Raw Therapy seems the be the best free option.

But all software willbe quite limited in what they can achieve from a jpg file.
07-23-2018, 07:54 AM   #7
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As others have said, you need the Raw file.
At one time I shot JPG's,

I learned my lesson with something similar to this.

Now I shoot only Raw and just batch process if that's what I decide I want.

Raw Therapy is very good. I prefer Darktable myself of the free options.

Even FastStone image viewer isn't bad for a few things, probably not this though, but.

Try them all and a few others to find your preference.

As CarlJF said, you can't really do that much with a JPG. Unfortunate
07-23-2018, 08:45 AM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Roadboat24 Quote
As others have said, you need the Raw file.
At one time I shot JPG's,

I learned my lesson with something similar to this.

Now I shoot only Raw and just batch process if that's what I decide I want.

Raw Therapy is very good. I prefer Darktable myself of the free options.

Even FastStone image viewer isn't bad for a few things, probably not this though, but.

Try them all and a few others to find your preference.

As CarlJF said, you can't really do that much with a JPG. Unfortunate
My personal recommendation is RAW+ and only process the RAW files you need to - that way you don't waste time even in batch. A few files will need some massaging - but a large number will be pretty good right out of the camera if you adjust things right. But I still play with more than I should and get marginally "better" results from RAW than JPG even when I probably should have stayed with the JPG... LOL.

07-23-2018, 09:12 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
My personal recommendation is RAW+ and only process the RAW files you need to - that way you don't waste time even in batch. A few files will need some massaging - but a large number will be pretty good right out of the camera if you adjust things right. But I still play with more than I should and get marginally "better" results from RAW than JPG even when I probably should have stayed with the JPG... LOL.
I do the same. RAW+ is really the best of both world. You have a usable jpg that more often than not will be good enough, at least for casual pictures. But you still have the possibility to reprocess the picture if need be. Which often can be done in the camera, without the need to use post-processing software, for simple adjustements like WB or changing the picture style.
07-23-2018, 09:15 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by CarlJF Quote
I do the same. RAW+ is really the best of both world. You have a usable jpg that more often than not will be good enough, at least for casual pictures. But you still have the possibility to reprocess the picture if need be. Which often can be done in the camera, without the need to use post-processing software, for simple adjustements like WB or changing the picture style.
Going one step further. I have in the past (but not lately) used the EyeFi card and set my JPGs to low res and shared those to social media when desired. In that case I use two cards in the K-3 - one in slot 1 for RAW and 1 in slot 2 for JPGs.
07-23-2018, 11:29 AM   #11
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07-23-2018, 02:24 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by amoringello Quote
Raw Therapy - FREE. People who use it, love it. Has some of the best RAW support for Pentax cameras. It will work with JPG too, but especially for your question above, I hope you have raw files.
I just tried RawTherepee and I've never used such a slow slow slow program on my system. I'm used to Lightroom and DXO Photolab - this was in a league all by itself crawling. I'm not sure what was up. I may uninstall and try again. (I have to be fair an older windows 10 laptop Lenovo but it has an SSD and max ram and does not lag using the other programs at all. Also to be clear - file operations off of an SD card were all I got to. The program was so slow loading the DCIM folder that Panasonic created (all files in one giant folder) that I gave up.
07-23-2018, 04:54 PM   #13
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This is my attempt on the first one with DxO and Picasa. I used DxO's Smart lighting tool to select the faces and bring them up as much as possible, then raised the overall exposure. I used the sliders in the HSL section to desaturate red and green to remove blotches on the faces. Exported to Picasa and added a touch of fill light.
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07-23-2018, 05:21 PM   #14
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The second: Similar, but I warmed the white balance slightly - not sure that helped. Because raising the exposure blew out the sky (turned it white), I used the DxO local adjustments graduated filter to re-lower the exposure of the top of the sky to bring the clouds back, then cloned out the debris in the sky. Exported to Picasa and added a bit of fill light.
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07-23-2018, 06:01 PM   #15
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Third one: probably the best of the bunch in terms of material to work with. I tried something a little different. In the second version, I selected the faces and tried raising the exposure on them just a little more. this made it more possible to maintain the sky.Because there isn't much information to begin with in the pictures, there are limits to what can be done before the pixel blocks become obvious.
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