Day at the beach

Joined
Jan 3, 2007
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Texas
Have you ever taken a picture of someone and the shot is a perfect portrayel of the person. I took this picture of my daughter last week and it is very rare that I can get a shot of her when she is not posing or "putting on" a smile. She is a great, happy go lucky type kid and this picture is such a great representation of her so I would love to keep it. On the day that we were at the beach I was using the circular polarizing filter and I found it very hard to get the settings right so as you can see from the original it came out very dark. The second picture is how I tried to correct it but somehow I still think she is too dark. If there is any way this could be corrected that would be fantastic. I have a bunch more pictures of my boys that also turned out dark so if you can show me a way to correct it I can do the same with all the others. Just FYI, her skin has a reddish tint to it because she was sun burnt.
Thanks in advance for your time.

The original.
Image removed at the request of the poster. Greyflash

My attempt to change it.
Image removed at the request of the poster. Greyflash
 
Joined
Jan 29, 2005
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St. George, Utah
Cute young lady you have there. Unfortunately you are facing the age old problem of backlit subjects in bright sunlight. With beach scenes you can almost bet on that happening unless it is an overcast day. The solution (pre-picture) is to use a flash or reflector to get some light into the subject. The method I use to do this is to meter the bright background with my camera in manual and set the meter at -1. I then recompose and take the picture letting the flash (set on TTL) fill in the dark side of the subject. Post processing this image is more problematic. As you may notice, in recovering the shadow area you have taken it to the point that you are losing color in the stomach area (both left and right). By any chance did you take this shot in RAW?
 
Joined
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I was afraid there may be no way to fix it. Unfortunately I did not shoot in RAW. I did not think that there would be a problem as it was so bright out but I guess that turned out to the be the biggest problem in the end. I have to admit that using the flash would have been the last thing to cross my mind. I should really think of that in the future.
Thanks Gordon.
 
Joined
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Of course it would have been better, and the image easier to fix, had this been shot in RAW. I wouldn't give up on it yet. I will give it a shot tomorrow if I can carve out a bit of time. Perhaps one of the other mentors may like to give this a try as well.
 

Commodorefirst

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Well, I gave it my best effort in NX using color points and brightening up the skin, the forehead, and darkening the bikini and water.

This was a tough job because all of the colors are so closely related. I also did some sharpening and color adjustments on the water in the front.

This was about as good as I could do on the small file size, on a larger file I think you could do an even better job.

I tried to give the lady a nice golden red tan.

Cheers, and this is the perfect use for fill flash as mentioned above. You can see in your attempt that doing large scale global adjustments to the entire image creates other problems in the water and colors.

Wade

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Joined
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Thanks Wade. I really like what you have done with it. I see what you mean about changing one thing and it affects the whole picture. One has to isolate an area and work on it in a case like this. I appreciate your time and advice.
 
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