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Help out with heavy shadows

Discussion in 'Retouching and Post Processing' started by stevehughes, May 8, 2007.

  1. Hi !

    I shot this photo of a friend's grandson the other day. Should have used fill flash !

    It was shot in RAW. Here's an uncorrected JPG straight out of NX.


    And here's my best rescue effort, using mostly D-Lighting and a bit of a fiddle with colour balance.


    It's a nice expression etc and I'd like to fix it up the best I can to give to grandma. Can anyone do better ? If so could you please share your techniques. I've got lots to learn about PP.

    Amongst other things, there's an uneven cast on the shaded side of his face. His forehead is much yellower than his chin, perhaps due to the reflection from the blue ball. I don't know if there is any way to fix that.

    Thanks in advance for your time.
  2. ACR4 (comes with Photoshop CS3) or Lightroom has a tool called "Fill Light" as part of the raw conversion process that is perfect for correcting this.
  3. Peano


    Jun 22, 2006
    Washington, D.C.
    You can probably do a lot with the raw file, but a lot can also be done with the jpeg. The color cast on the lower part of the face is probably reflected from the cyan on the ball. I removed that by selectively applying a warming filter.

    Anyway, I duped the image, applied the shadow/hightlight filter, then masked that out and painted back in just on the side of the face in shadow. Above that I painted on a blank layer in soft light mode to further open the shadow side.

    Also applied a hue/sat layer to darken the background (including the ball), and applied lens blur to the ball.

  4. Gale


    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    I did one peano, but much lighter. I see you kept it in the atmosphere of the image.
    Sure better than mine.
    Seems I have a prob balancing the light sometimes in photos like this


    Apr 30, 2005
    I used your retouched jpeg and just added in CS3...

    *burn/dodge/sponge of highlights/midtones/shadows
    *removal of some shadows via selective cloning. (example: area below right ear and eye)
    *selective hue/sat

    Your retouch is very nice. Its all boils down to 'artistic license' :) 


  6. Peano


    Jun 22, 2006
    Washington, D.C.
    Thanks. To keep things within bounds, I first ran shadow/hightlights, covered that with a mask, then made a selection like this and painted white with a soft brush to bring back the s/h effect only on the face -- starting at the right edge and working across to the edge of the shadowed part.

  7. Gale


    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    Very nice peano for the instructions
  8. Thanks Walter. I do have LR though I don't use it much. I'll dig it out and have a play with Fill Light.
  9. Thanks Peano, both for your time and for the detailed instructions.
  10. Thanks for the ideas there Robert. Cloning is something I've never attempted. But then I've not got into Photoshop at all yet - I do everything in NX and I'm still working to learn that !

    Sometimes I do find it hard to know 'how far to go'. It is that artistic licence thing, preserving the original and all that.
  11. Steve, can you link the RAW file as I would like to have a play in LR and it works best with raw files please.
    Or email it to me at:

    cheers ocker......
  12. My attempt Steve.

  13. G'day Kiwi ....

    Yep, sure. I'm at work right now :Ouch: I'll send you a link when I get hom tonight.
  14. Thanks Dave. Mine looks pretty flat compared to yours.

    Can I ask what you use to generate the frame ?
  15. Steve, it a script I found on the net ages ago and I imported it into CS2, it is called marcoV.
  16. Cool.........:870: I'll give it a shot !!
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