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12-20-2010, 12:12 AM   #1
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Comments on the PP of this portrait, please
Lens: DA 35mm f2.4 Camera: Pentax K10D Photo Location: Oulu, Finland ISO: 100 Shutter Speed: 1/90s Aperture: F4 

I took this shot (and plenty of others, but only this had potential) of my girlfriend around sunset. It's metered for the sunset, making my girlfriend here around 4 stops underexposed! I used some tricks like merging two outputs from Lightroom in Photomatix to get this shot. Do you think it works? I've played around with it so much I'm blind by now. Obviously it's such heavy PP that if that's not your thing you're not going to like it... Still, criticism welcome.

Here's the two versions from Lightroom to show the problem...

Last edited by brkl; 12-22-2010 at 04:20 AM.
12-20-2010, 06:07 AM   #2
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Metering to the sunsed and use a bit of flash was not an option?
12-20-2010, 06:25 AM   #3
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She's a nice well-defined shape (no flowing hair, for example) so you could develop twice and manually mask & merge the two images in photoshop (or PSP, GIMP, etc).

Alternatively, developing it 3-4 times at a range of exposures then feeding the bitmaps back into some HDR software might help you, if you can keep the "HDR look" to a minimum.

(edit: I just noticed that second suggestion is what you already did.. oops.)

Last edited by timh; 12-20-2010 at 09:05 AM.
12-20-2010, 07:06 AM   #4
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it works for me, maybe she is a bit oversaturated?
as timh suggested, merging and masking the two last images provided would do the trick

12-20-2010, 07:31 AM   #5
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Or post the raw file and turn it into a challenge.
12-20-2010, 07:44 AM   #6
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Keeping in mind that I have no idea what I am talking about when it comes to this type of PP; I like the final result but..... I think the background turned out fine (at least for me) but she looks much more natural in the underexposed sky shot. Is there anyway to combine what you have done to the sky with the middle picture without touching her in PP? Hope this helps.
12-20-2010, 03:04 PM   #7
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In my un-humble opinion, you did a fantastic job.
12-20-2010, 07:37 PM   #8
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IMHO, I think the face, hair and scarf are now just too warm. Masking the face and adjusting the color balance for just the face would probably do the trick! Certainly, keep the sky!


12-20-2010, 09:15 PM   #9
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"He was just blinded by the light
Cut loose like a deuce another runner in the night
Blinded by the light
Mama always told me not to look into the sights of the sun
Oh but mama that's where the fun is!" Blinded By The Light Bruce Springsteen
12-20-2010, 09:59 PM   #10
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Good work getting the result you wanted with the underexposed original.
Indeed next time you do this kind of shoot, consider fill flash to balance the ambient light.
That way you get good exposure of the subject, and the right exposure of the background sky.
12-20-2010, 10:26 PM   #11
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Hey, Brkl.

Ash is right about that being a prime time to use fill flash, I think.

But I think you did a great job merging the two exposures.

Others might have good points about the color balance and over-saturation. But that seems an easy fix if you want to go that route.

Still, the end product looks good, and it doesn't look heavily post-processed to my eye.

12-21-2010, 06:17 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sparkle Quote
Blinded By The Light Bruce Springsteen
Your comment is irrelevant and your info is incorrect. Springsteen? Come on!
12-21-2010, 06:27 PM   #13

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The first photo doesn't display for me, but I'd be very happy with the 2nd one as-is.

12-22-2010, 04:15 AM   #14
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Thanks for the comments, guys! The first photo broke because I changed it. I applied a brush to her face that lowered saturation a bit.

I tried to do masking & merging but that ended up with a faker looking picture. Plus, there's some hair that's impossible to mask. Also, when I was taking the pictures I did switch to a fill flash, but those shots just weren't very good.

Thanks, people!
12-26-2010, 05:13 PM   #15
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I like it, i think you did a great job of combining both images .

If i was to do anything it would be to change the color balance on her just a little (make it a little cooler), and reduce the saturation a bit on her hair/scarf (they look the same color almost but in the 2nd photo you can see a distinct difference. Id then lighten both sides of her jacket a little (the center seems fine) to make it look more like the 2nd photo.

But good work and a great work around to the problem you had with fill flash

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