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Improving RAW images

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    22 Nov 2007 - 7:27 AM

    I have recently taken some sunset shots with people in the foreground. Sunset is great but unfortunately flash didn't fire and people in foreground are in silouette/under-exposed. Pics are taken using RAW and I need some advise on getting some light/detail back into the people without losing the sunset detail.


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    cameracat  108578 forum posts Norfolk Island61 Constructive Critique Points
    22 Nov 2007 - 12:06 PM

    Layers may well help, First create a duplicate layer, Then use levels to try and bring out the people, That done to your taste or satisfaction, Use the Erase tool to remove the Levels effect on the sunset.........Yeah! it will involve tracing around the people.....set the erase brush mode to a medium soft, might help.

    There are other ways, But they start to get complex and you need an in depth knowledge of Photoshop.

    However My guess is that even if you do manage to pull some detail out for the people, The noise will be horrendous, And all this hinges on there being enough Data in the people to work with.

    Hopefully someone with a greater knowledge of PS than I will come along.......Soon.

    riprap007  101568 forum posts England37 Constructive Critique Points
    22 Nov 2007 - 12:08 PM

    this is sound enough advice, you need to see what could be in the image before deciding it's worth the PP work

    justin c
    justin c  104527 forum posts England36 Constructive Critique Points
    22 Nov 2007 - 12:10 PM

    Another method is to convert the raw file twice, once for the shadows, once for the highlights and then blend them in Photoshop. One way of doing this is to copy and paste one of the converted files onto the other one. Create a layer mask and use a soft edged brush to reveal or hide the underlying image. Black will hide, white will reveal.

    Last Modified By justin c at 22 Nov 2007 - 12:10 PM
    Hugeknot  91212 forum posts Iceland2 Constructive Critique Points
    22 Nov 2007 - 12:17 PM

    Hi, it depends what RAW program you use. Lightroom has an option to boost shadows - 'fill light'

    Alternatively, you could make a copy of the original and boost the exposure on the copy and merge the two in photoshop.

    But whatever method you use, the silouettes will look better because you wont get any nice detail from boosting the shadows.

    22 Nov 2007 - 1:45 PM

    Thanks guys and in particular Tony for mentioning Lightroom. Just downloaded trial version and so far, quite impressed.


    22 Nov 2007 - 7:31 PM

    Lightroom is the dog's .........
    Just got to end of my 31 day trial and absolutely loved it.
    Unfortunately, I just ordered myself a fully licenced copy from Adobe website (cos I'm the proud owner of a student card and wanted to take advantage of their student rate which is less than half of the full price) but it's gonna take 3 weeks to arrive :-(
    So, having just got to grips with LR, I gotta wait a while til I can play with it again .......... but it really is the business !!!!

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