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02-27-2011, 09:28 PM   #1
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This is my first posting to the critique forum. The picture I'm sharing is a shot of my dog laying near a sun patch. The focus is on the closest eye, which doesn't have a light capture in it. How can I get that without overexposing? I tried fill flash, but that really overexposes the background, which I fear is already in danger of being overexposed. Other thoughts are welcome too! Thanks!

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02-28-2011, 09:21 AM   #2
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It's hard to keep my attention to the dog as the background is so bright, there's the colorful ball next to it, and as you said, there isn't a spark in the eye.
What I probably would've tried is to close down the aperture a bit more and focus on the ball and see what happens.
But I'm thinking that without serious modifications to the lighting it's really hard to capture this pic with an eye catching way.
It is a nice pic of a beautiful dog nonetheless.
02-28-2011, 10:38 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by kberm Quote
The focus is on the closest eye, which doesn't have a light capture in it. How can I get that without overexposing?
That's an easy fix if you have the right tools. Just increase lightness with a curve adjustment and mask it to the desired portion of the image; something like this should do the trick:

Last edited by Manel Brand; 07-08-2011 at 11:01 AM.
02-28-2011, 11:25 AM   #4
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@Manel - Amazing! I have no idea what you did, but it must be some post-processing. What program do you use? I'm still fairly amateur and haven't delved into the wonder of post-processing.

02-28-2011, 01:07 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by kberm Quote
...it must be some post-processing. What program do you use
I've used a levels adjustment layer in photoshop elements . After getting the exposure/brightness that you want, it's just a matter of masking it out in a way it only affects the area that you want to adjust.
That may sound complicated but it fairly easy once you know how to do it. There's plenty of demos about layer adjustments and mask editing on the web.

BTW, You can grab a copy of photoshop elements 8 and Corel Painter for free if you buy a Bamboo Wacom tablet, which in turn is a cheap but powerful tool for image editing and computer design.
I think some bundle of the Intuos 4 tablet with Adobe Lightroom 3 is available also.

QuoteOriginally posted by kberm Quote
I'm still fairly amateur and haven't delved into the wonder of post-processing.
Go easy on this but take it seriously.

Download a trial version of the software and follow some tutorials to see what it can do for your photos.
02-28-2011, 01:17 PM   #6
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Thanks for the tips - you may have turned my hobby into a more time-consuming endeavor!
02-28-2011, 01:27 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by kberm Quote
you may have turned my hobby into a more time-consuming endeavor!
Stop watching TV and put that time on it.

One more important tip I've forgotten: shoot raw format, not jpeg (recovering from problems like the one with your dog's photo it's much easier).
02-28-2011, 06:31 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Manel Brand Quote
That's an easy fix if you have the right tools. Just increase lightness with a curve adjustment and mask it to the desired portion of the image.
I suspect messing with the curve in the Pentax photo editor would have done most of the trick as well. No masking in there, but it'll do 80% of the work of PS.

Also, there's always the gimp, which isn't as friendly as photoshop but free.

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