30 January 2013

before/after | fixing an under-exposed image

It has been entirely too long since I posted anything photography related. The truth of the matter is that when I'm not working, I'm with my kiddos, and when I have time to blog-- it's mostly about them. I tend to keep my professional life separate from my personal life, and photography related posts kind get lumped in as "work". KnowwhatImean?

With that said, though, I thoroughly enjoy my job as a Photographer and while I have been at it for years, I have a lot to learn. I am always trying to improve my photography & photoshop techniques, but am definitely more than willing to share what I know! So! Thought I'd jump in here with a quick workflow post. I'm hoping that I can find the time to incorporate more photography related posts back into rotation here at A Sorta Fairytale!

 The original photo was a test shot, meaning that it was one of the first photos I took when I got my camera out. I hadn't yet adjusted any of my settings and that's why this picture is so dark. I was a little disappointed, because I just gush over this picture of Bennett. Luckily, I have perfected the art of enhancing a image in Photoshop to bring out the details that are often lost when my manual settings are incorrect.

This is a simple run-through of how I would edit an underexposed photograph.

Original Photo (for reference)

1. Open original photo in ACR (adobe camera RAW). This particular image was shot in JPEG, but I can still take it into ACR.

Once I'm in ACR, I adjust the temperature and tint to my taste. Next, I adjust the exposure, fill light, and brightness to my liking. And already, you can see a huge difference in this image.

2. Once I have my basic edits taken care of, I then open the image in Photoshop to complete my workflow.

The next editing steps I took are as follows:

3. Filter > Unsharp Mask > {adjusted 'Amount' and 'Radius' to taste}
4. Used the Dodge tool > Midtones to lighten the shadows around his eyes. 
5. Ran Coffeeshop's "Redness Relief" action to reduce the redness around his eyes.
6. Ran a Photoshop action called "Hibiscus" by Florabella Collection > Opacity at 30%.
7. Lastly, I added a light Edge Vignette.


Total processing time ~5 minutes.

Original Unedited Photo      |      ACR Edit      |     Final Photoshop Edit

And that's it! Pretty quick and easy!! Hope that helped you a little! :)


Ariel @ Dreams To Do said...

Thank you so much for sharing this, Mandy!I'm just starting out on my photography adventure (just as a hobby) and still have a LOT to learn so I would love for you to keep posting these little tips. Love this! And love the pic of Bennett!

One question? Do you normally shoot in RAW or just JPG? Or does it depend? I've only ever shot in JPG, but I'm interested in learning what the standard is.


Sarah Halstead said...

Looks wonderful.

Mama Monkey said...

Awesome!!! For jpeg, that's amazing!! No grain? Seems like when I underexpose, my images get so grainy when I up the exposure.

fifth house on the left | family blog said...

thanks for sharing photography tips! i need all the help i can get so i appreciate when one shares their talents :)

Laura said...

Fabulous changes in the edited version!! LOVE this photo!!

Allycia said...

Thanks for these tips! He's so adorable!!


Faith said...

Love love love this edit!!

Maria said...

Aloha! I am so glad I found your blog! I just picked up my DSLR camera again and am trying to get the hang of it without throwing it out the window. Sometimes when I take photos they look great on the lcd playback and then I upload them and have this problem. Thanks for the tip! I am pinning this post too.