Correcting an under exposed image

creativeclickscreativeclicks Beginner grinnerPosts: 9Registered Users Beginner grinner
edited August 22, 2012 in Grad School
during a shoot last week i somehow managed to switch from AV to M for 3 shots and didn't notice.
of course the best family shot of them is one of the ones that is totally underexposed.
i didn't shoot in raw stupidly. ISO 400 F 8 1/320 is the data.
is there any way of saving this photo in PSE so that it can be printed as an 8X10 or will it be way too grainy. i have tried screening it several times which lightens it but its really grainy. ignore the messed up watermark please : ) HELP iappreciated!!!. thank you
539163154_a9kLK-XL.jpg

Comments

  • Art ScottArt Scott Have PASSPORT will TRAVEL WICHITA, KS USAPosts: 8,959Registered Users Major grins
    edited May 17, 2009
    Could you enlighten the gurus of post on what software you are using for post processing.....that might help them out.
    "Genuine Fractals was, is and will always be the best solution for enlarging digital photos." ....Vincent Versace ... ... COPYRIGHT YOUR WORK ONLINE ... ... My Website

  • creativeclickscreativeclicks Beginner grinner Posts: 9Registered Users Beginner grinner
    edited May 17, 2009
    I am using PSE 5.0
  • ruttrutt Cave canem! Posts: 6,511Registered Users Major grins
    edited May 18, 2009
    This image is never going to look as good as it would if it had been properly exposed, but it can be improved to the point of being a nice snapshot to preserve a pleasant family memory.

    I don't know PSE, perhaps someone who does will add to this discussion.

    Do you have a raw version? If so, you can probably get a better result. Even if not, there are still many options to try in LightRoom and PS proper. Some of the PS techniques are very advanced. Here is a stab each with ACR and PS:

    Color balance and fill light in ACR (or LightRoom)

    This will work best on a raw version if you have one. If not, you can force PS to open in ACR in the open dialog box by selecting "Camera Raw" from the Format drop down list. Then:
    1. Use the Color Balance Dropper to select something you know should be a neutral color. I like the father's tee shirt.
    2. Work the sliders from bottom to top to open up the image. I only used the Exposure and Fill Light sliders for this image. I'm not as proficient with ACR as many, so I'm sure someone else can do better.
      539614020_xQt8k-L.jpg

    Screen Layers in Photoshop
    1. Make a layer and set the blending mode to "Screen", which will make the image lighter. For your image, I found I needed to stack about 5 screen layers before I had lightened the darkest things that I wanted to be lighter.
    2. Once you have done this, make a duplicate of the original bottom layer, and stack this on top.
    3. Adjust the opacity of the top layer to make the image look the best you can. My Layers Palette looked like this:
      539616405_JZGm6-L.jpg
      The image looked like this:
      539614049_MoaX8-L.jpg
      Perhaps too light on the sunlit part of the girl-with-the-bow's face?
    4. You can do better by being more selective about application of the lightened image by using a layer mask on the topmost layer.
    5. Add a layer mask to the topmost layer.
    6. Adjust the opacity of the topmost layer until the lightest significant part of the image is roughly right (the sunlit part of the girl-with-the-bow's face.) This is the least adjusted part of the image. We'll want to adjust the other people more.
    7. Use a big soft brush with low opacity (<10%) to paint on the layer mask and reveal more of the screened and lightened image. My Layers Palette looked like this:
      539616408_t25Tk-L.jpg
      And the image looked like this:
      539614031_v3BCc-L.jpg
    8. With the image lightened, the color balance problem is revealed. A quick fix is to use a curves layer for a one click color balance fix. I balanced on the father's tee shirt again and got this:
      539614861_TenB3-L.jpg

    Both of these techniques are just starting points for more refined solutions. After ACR, you could open in PS and try to improve further with screen layers. Or you could develop twice in ACR with different settings and merge in PS . Or you could try the Exposure Adjustment (I couldn't get a good result with it.) Or you could try a false profile (a powerful but advanced technique, deserves it's own thread.) Or...

    Other ideas?
    If not now, when?
  • WingsOfLovePhotoWingsOfLovePhoto Major grins Posts: 807Registered Users Major grins
    edited May 18, 2009
    I can see why you don't want to lose this photo. Very cute. Don't know about an 8x10 but from the image here I gave a QUICK go at it. Screened 3 times, noiseware run, a little dodging and changing to black and white (always the best option with a grainy photo, as they were back in the day)

    539830394_LxSNf-XL.jpg
    Snady :thumb
    my money well spent :D
    Nikon D4, D3s, D3, D700, Nikkor 24-70, 70-200 2.8 vrII, 50mm 1.4, 85mm 1.4, 105mm macro, sigma fisheye, SB 800's and lots of other goodies!
  • ruttrutt Cave canem! Posts: 6,511Registered Users Major grins
    edited May 18, 2009
    B&W is a good idea. Wish I'd thought of it. It did prompt me to take another look and notice that a full size original is available. I thought I'd redo using it and see how far I could take it.

    Here are result in color:

    539889447_fTZnz-L.jpg

    Full size here

    And B&W:

    539889704_DKJjm-L.jpg
    Full size here

    For the color image, I followed the screen layer technique outlined in my first post. Then I used a kind of advanced technique:
    1. Let Noise Ninja do it's default auto sampled thing.
    2. Duplicate the image and convert one copy to CMYK and the other to LAB. Set the CMYK version aside and work in LAB.
    3. Correct the L curve to set a light and dark point. This has the effect of lightening even further and yet
      keeping good contrast.
    4. Steepen the A and B curves using the K channel from CMKY as a layer mask. This makes the lighter parts of the image more colorful. I steepened A more than B to get more magenta into the flesh which I thought was too yellow. I also steepened the magenta end of A more in order to get some of the green out.
    5. Flatten the A and B curves slightly using the inverted K channel from CMYK as a layer mask. This gets the color out of the darker parts of the image.
    6. Paint over the dark green parts of the man's face on a color blend layer to get rid of that horrible green shadow.

    After converting back to RGB, I ran through Silver EFEX Pro to get the B&W. My preferred B&W conversion technique brings out detail in flat faces, just the opposite of what we want here.
    If not now, when?
  • creativeclickscreativeclicks Beginner grinner Posts: 9Registered Users Beginner grinner
    edited May 18, 2009
    WOW! thank you guys so much for your time and effort at fixing my horribly exposed photo. I think I'm going to be able to use it now!!! I can't tell you how thankful I am, it was their favorite photo and I felt terrible!
    This group is amazing! I hope to one day be able to contribute and pay it forward : )
    you guys rock!
  • jirojiro observer Posts: 1,865Registered Users Major grins
    edited October 15, 2010
    I tried to experiment on your photo....
    and here is what I came up with:

    1. Followed the same idea as what others have recommended by copying the background layer (I'm using photoshop btw) 4X all in screen blending mode.

    2, Merged all these 4 layers into one and then invoke a noise reduction tool like neat image or noise ninja on the merged layer.

    3. Applied some color correction on it and then some additional contrast adjustment.

    4. Some selective dodging was applied to bring out some details on the faces on the photograph and then used some 'selective color adjustment' mode to lessen the green cast.

    5. Copied the original sky and leaves data and merged it on the top layer to exchange this underexposed data of the sky and leaves from the overexposed data due to the successive screen blending mode done before.

    6. Did one last pass of a noise reduction tool to further take out some more noise on the image.

    This is what I came up with from this process:
    Sitting quietly, doing nothing. Spring comes and the grass grows by itself.

    http://imagesbyjirobau.blogspot.com/
  • talniniotalninio Beginner grinner Posts: 8Registered Users Beginner grinner
    edited April 22, 2011
    Nice job indeed.
    However, you can achieve the same brightening effect with Levels or Curves adjustment layers, instead of duplicating the pixels.
    This way you wil not increase the file size. Creating 6 copies of the Background layer will multiply file size by 6... That can be heavy...
    In addition, note that using Screen blend mode will bring quite a lot of noise in the brightened areas.
    You will need to take care of that as well.
  • JonnyDoesPhotosJonnyDoesPhotos Beginner grinner Posts: 4Registered Users Beginner grinner
    edited August 22, 2012
    talninio wrote: »
    Nice job indeed.
    However, you can achieve the same brightening effect with Levels or Curves adjustment layers, instead of duplicating the pixels.
    This way you wil not increase the file size. Creating 6 copies of the Background layer will multiply file size by 6... That can be heavy...
    In addition, note that using Screen blend mode will bring quite a lot of noise in the brightened areas.
    You will need to take care of that as well.

    Yes, that is the right way to correct an under exposure.
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