How to fix photo with white shirts!

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Reyna, Nov 30, 2009.

  1. Reyna
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    Reyna New Member

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    I have been practicing a ton lately. My bff had me do a few photos of her family at the park and they both came with white shirts on! I can't seem to fix it in PS even though I took them in RAW.

    Is there anything I can do to fix them or did I just mess them up??!! Here is an example....

    [​IMG]
  2. TJ K
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    TJ K New Member

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    It's pretty much all blown out with no info. I would try to lower the exposure in that area and burn it and see if you can get it to work.
    tj
  3. Reyna
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    Reyna New Member

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    What info is needed? I know how to lower the exposure once in JPEG, or are you talking about before converting while still in RAW? I have no idea about burning it.... I have never done that before!

    I didn't shoot with a flash and it was in RAW so I don't know how I would have gone about taking them properly.
  4. KmH
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    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish

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    No info, means there is no image data (info) in those areas that can be recovered.

    They should not have been in direct sunlight. Look at how hard the shadows are behind them. You had them facing almost directly into the Sun. In this situation the only way to get a good exposure on the shirts is to spot meter them. But then their faces will be to dark. Side light is much more flattering but you have to use a reflector or fill flash on the camera for the shadow side.

    With the Sun that low but comming from the side, a friend or assistant could have held a diffuser so the side light wasn't so harsh. It would have made making the exposure much easier.

    Keep practicing. It's ok to make mistakes, we all do.
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2009
  5. Big Mike
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    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member

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    He meant that you needed to lower the exposure settings on the camera...before taking the photo.
    When a photo (or parts of it) are 'blown out'...the information (the color & tone info) is gone. The camera just records it as pure white...so no matter what adjustments you make on the computer...there is no detail to pull out...it's just pure white.

    RAW does give you more latitude, but even that won't help if the details are completely blown out.

    For future reference, check your images when you are shooting...that's the biggest benefit of digital. Most DSLR cameras can be set so that blown out highlights will flash when you look at them on the screen. Better yet, use the histogram display to check the exposure of your images.
    Understanding Histograms

    Also for future reference...bright white is often a poor choice of clothing because it's so much brighter than most everything else. And direct sunlight is a poor choice of lighting/location.
  6. Dwig
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    Dwig New Member

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    You can't recover highlights that aren't there and therefore you can't fix them in PS if they are clipped in ACR.

    The fix, if possible, will be in ACR and not in PS. Reopen the RAW file in ACR and click the "highlight", and while your at it "shadow", icon on the histogram (upper corners) to enable ACR's clipping display. The clipped highlights will be displayed in an alternate color (red). Make adjustment in ACR until the highlights no longer show the clipping alert color. Only then should you click the Open button to process the image and pass it into PS itself. Also, you should set ACR's preferences so that it passes a 16bit image and not an 8bit. With a 16bit image you will have better adjustment ability in PS, but will have to convert the image to 8bit before it will Save/Save as... in JPEG format. You can Save in PSD or TIFF formats while it is a 16bit image.
  7. Reyna
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    Reyna New Member

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    Thank you so much, this is very helpful. Most of them came out ok, just a few that look like this. I knew I could count of this forum to help me understand.
  8. Aritay
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    Aritay New Member

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    All things equal (yeah, I know this is never the case, but still) - - is there a color preference you could advise future subjects to wear if they are coming to a portrait session?
  9. mtfd635
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    mtfd635 New Member

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    Anything equal to or darker but not too much than skin tone
    caucasians are pretty close to neutral gray, that's 18% if I remember correctly
  10. ANDS!
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    ANDS! New Member

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    They can wear white, you just need to know how to position them. Same with black. Of course if you don't want a headache (or a cliche picture - family in all white. . .again?!) ask them to come in colors that match the seasons or the area you are going to be shooting at.
  11. pkirchner
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    pkirchner New Member

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    When you shoot, check your histogram. You would have seen right away that parts of the image were beyond recovery. Pete

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