Postprocessing an underexposed photo (Lightroom)

Discussion in 'Photo Assignments & Technical Challenges' started by nicolasnico, Dec 4, 2016.

  1. nicolasnico

    nicolasnico TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2016
    Messages:
    47
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Kyrgyzstan (Central Asia)
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    hello everyone,
    my question is about post-processing a picture that underexposed. Generally, my pictures are underexposed so as to bring up (while shooting) the colors I see with my eyes. Requires then postprocessing. Now, I've been struggling with the picture here enclosed. When I change the exposer (in Lightroom), the colors become maybe unreal, I loose the areas of shades vs light...
    Any advice? (I'd be interseted to work that out with someone). Thanks!
    PS: I would send you the DNG file but it's not possible to upload them.


     

    Attached Files:

  2. john.margetts

    john.margetts No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2015
    Messages:
    810
    Likes Received:
    168
    Location:
    Lincoln
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    On this particular image, no advice I'm afraid. In general, do not under-expose. To get the most information as possible in the image file you need to expose to get the histogram over to the right . You can always get Lightroom to ignore some of the the image information (reduce 'exposure') but you cannot use image information you have not recorded.
     
  3. weepete

    weepete TPF Supporters Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2011
    Messages:
    4,083
    Likes Received:
    1,269
    Location:
    Glasgow, Scotland
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Here is my attempt

    [​IMG]

    There is no reason to underexpose this shot though, as the dynamic range is fine. By underexposing you are just making things more difficult for yourself in post. If you are trying to keep as much detail as possible then you are better off overexposing as long as you don't blow the highlights as more data is retained at the lighter end (AKA ETTR). By underexposing you just introduce more chance of shadow noise
     
  4. smoke665

    smoke665 TPF Supporters Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2016
    Messages:
    4,450
    Likes Received:
    1,795
    Location:
    Alabama
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    As others said it's better to shoot for the correct exposure for the image. However that doesn't mean always expose "right" or "never" underexposed. You didn't say which version of LR you have. Older versions had a Recovery Slider, that has been replaced with a highlights, shadow, black and white slider, in the later versions. Unlike a blown highlight (no detail at all), shadows can hold a lot of detail, by adjusting the sliders, you can recover most of it. In my opinion though you have several other issues. White balance looks wrong, and the only thing I noted even close to being in focus was the large stem (center top), none of the flowerettes were in focus.
     
  5. The_Traveler

    The_Traveler Completely Counter-dependent Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2006
    Messages:
    18,339
    Likes Received:
    7,569
    Location:
    Mid-Atlantic US
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    By underexposing you are losing information and gaining noise.
    Expose as far to the right as you can without blowing highlights; that will give you information and will separate the lower tones from the ambient noise.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2009
    Messages:
    40,184
    Likes Received:
    5,482
    Location:
    Iowa
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    If a digital camera uses 12 digital bits to encode a photograph those 12-bits can only encode 4096 levels of tone, and unlike our eyes which are non-linear, a digital camera records light in a linear manner.

    Because digital at it's most basic uses a base-2 numbering system and the camera we are using uses 12 bits to encode the photo, with the 4096 levels, then level 2048 represents 1/2 the number of photons recorded at level 4096.
    Another way to put it is that it takes 4096 photons to make the camera record level 4096 and 2048 photons to record level 2048 - a linear relationship.

    Lets next assume, for the sake of simplicity, that this camera has only 6 stops of dynamic range. Your camera has more dynamic range than just 6 stops.
    The brightest stop of exposure will have 1/2 of the 4096 levels, or just 2048 of the 4096 levels available.
    The next brightest level (stop) will only have 1024 levels, the next brightest will have 512, the next brightest will have 256, the next brightest will have 128, and the last will only have 64 levels.

    By under exposing you are limiting how many photons can get to each pixel and you are not utilizing the full dynamic range of your camera.

    With digital cameras we need to expose for the highlights and let the dark areas be whatever they are.
    With film we did the opposite. We exposed for the dark areas and let the highlights be what they are.

    Use the histogram that can be displayed on the rear LCD of a digital camera to gauge exposure, not the photo itself, because the rear LCD of a digital camera is to small and is used in to wide a variety of lighting conditions to judge if the exposure is accurate, or not.

    http://www.adobe.com/digitalimag/pdfs/linear_gamma.pdf
    Optimizing Exposure - Luminous Landscape
    Expose Right - Luminous Landscape
    Exposing to the Right
    Exposing to the right - Wikipedia
     
  7. Ysarex

    Ysarex Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2011
    Messages:
    5,294
    Likes Received:
    2,326
    Location:
    St. Louis
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Create a free Dropbox account and you can post the DNG file -- be happy to look at it. I can't agree more with what others have said: Do not underexpose.

    Joe
     
  8. dennybeall

    dennybeall No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    May 13, 2014
    Messages:
    2,081
    Likes Received:
    368
    Location:
    Crystal River, Florida
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    IMG_8785.jpg Just played a bit for a different look..................
     
  9. adamhiram

    adamhiram No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2015
    Messages:
    122
    Likes Received:
    53
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    The two biggest issues I see here are exposure and white balance - the photo looks to be underexposed by about 1.5 stops, and the white balance is way too warm. I'm not sure how closely it matches what you saw in person, but the image looks pretty usable to me once those two items are fixed.

    Keep in mind that the only reasons to overexpose or underexpose are to preserve shadows or highlights that otherwise would have been lost. If you're not at risk of getting blown-out highlights, there's no reason to intentionally underexpose the image.

    IMG_878_edit.jpg
     
  10. table1349

    table1349 Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2006
    Messages:
    0
    Likes Received:
    3
    Zombie Thread Day.jpg
     
  11. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2009
    Messages:
    40,184
    Likes Received:
    5,482
    Location:
    Iowa
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Looks like it was a now banned spammer that dug up the thread.
     
  12. OGsPhotography

    OGsPhotography No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2015
    Messages:
    769
    Likes Received:
    340
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit


    Looks like Gryph dug it up with the meme lol.

    Dill?

    FYI the yellow part on Dill which looks like this may be is the more dilly part of dill. The green fronds in comparison have no flavor.
     

Share This Page