Friday, July 16, 2010

Can this photo be saved?

Tis the season for attending weddings! Rob and I went to two in about a week's time. I took quite a few photos:

... but I will share them in a separate wedding-related post. First I wanted to show you this photo of Rob and I (before one of the weddings) that we took with my D-SLR on auto mode using the self timer:

Yuck. My camera was pretty confused by the lighting. It was super bright to begin with, but some dark clouds were passing over and drastically changing the lighting. Anyway this is proof that a nice camera does not guarantee a good shot.

"The single most important component of a camera is the twelve inches behind it." - Ansel Adams

At any rate, can this photo be saved?

Well, kinda. It will never be an award winner, but there are a few tricks that make it acceptable. I first opened the photo up in Lightroom 3 so that I could adjust the exposure. This is classic example of why I always shoot in raw. With the raw file type, you can easily adjust exposure and white balance. I nudged the exposure up quite a bit, to +.60. I bumped recovery to 20, fill light to 25, and brightness to +67. I also nudged the temp up to 5678, which made the photo look a little warmer.

Getting a little better. However the photo was quite noisy (lots of grain in the shadows and details). Luckily Lightroom 3 has an awesome noise reduction feature. I went a little crazy on the noise reduction (as you can see below). But like I said, not trying to win any awards here. Just trying to get a Facebook-worthy pic of my husband and I.

I also cropped it.

Next I did one of my favorite tricks for skintones in Lightroom. I went to the color section and bumped up the luminance for orange shades. The difference is subtle but nice. I also bumped up the recovery light just a little more and added a washed edge.

We clean up nicely.



This post is a part of Photo Friday, a segment of the blog dedicated to posts about photography, photo editing tutorials, resources, and other related topics.


Cindy @The Flipping Couple July 16, 2010 at 10:45 AM  

Wow! I'm impressed. I take a lot of way-too-dark photos but have no idea how to fix them. Nice work!

Kelly@TearingUpHouses July 16, 2010 at 12:41 PM  

Okay, I know this post is about lightening photos, which I'll definitely use later, but I just had to comment on what a great figure you have!


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