Anybody want to provide some photoediting advice?


TPF Noob!
Jul 22, 2013
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Hi guys,

I'm fairly new into photography, editing especially and I just wanted to see if any of you had any advice on improving a picture like the one below. I've been taking pictures a long time without ever thinking much of it but I recently dove in and bought a dSLR, which I'm beginning to understand. I have no experience whatsoever with digital editing though.

I was home last week and I took this picture of my parents. I like the photo quite a bit but it came out quite, I feel, dull and flat in color, especially the skin tones. It was a pretty bright day but they were in the shade. While not totally necessary, the shot had been taken at ISO 400 but I feel like my camera (Canon T4i with stock lens) should be able to handle that ISO without noise regardless.

So my first question then is, can anyone can explain why the color really dampened?

Also, in post-editing is there a way to compensate for this?

Thanks!! I totally appreciate whatever comments and suggestions you feel like providing.


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    $mod IMG_2487.JPG
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Just increase saturation a little bit, should be good. Play with the photo editing software that comes with the camera. It is pretty decent. It would also be a lot better if you had shot it in RAW and edit it.
It's desaturated due to flare... you shot into the sun and light splayed into the lens and bounced all over. This resulted in a lack of saturation.

I loaded the image, and first brought the black point up to the left side of the histogram. I then put a bit of a bump into the top end of the curve. Bumped the saturation up, and topped it off with some sharpening.


mod img_2487.jpg

This is a 30-second, 2-step edit.

First edit: Look at your histogram. It tells you a great deal about your image. In this particular case take note that the left side of the data plot hits the bottom of the graph before it reaches the left side of the graph. This means that there is no true black in the image, and there should be. I adjusted the image so that there was a true black point by adjusting the histogram. That brought the clarity up to what it should be.

Second edit: The white balance was off so I set the white on the coffee cup so that it truly was white and not blue.
Thanks folks!

It looks great. And I think I understand the steps you took... as well as the color aberration. Guess I should think about picking up a lens hood!
sounds like what you're looking for is to add some vibrance (i find to much saturation does funky stuff to skin tones) sharpening and a little bit of clarity should make a great bit of difference.
Im guessing your style settings is auto, you could adjust it so the camera adds more sharping, contrast, saturation to your jpeg, but if youre gonna shoot it raw you can add all this later and do a much better job.
$mod IMG_2487a.jpg

Fix WB and adjusted the levels. Click and view the full image.

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