Baby's First Bites


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Dec 19, 2015
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New London, CT
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Really challenging lighting here -- while I've been playing with a speedlite and bouncing light, I came around the corner and my wife was already at it with my sister-in-law. Grabbed my camera and clicked off as many shots as I could get in. I really liked this one.

There was a heavy shadow falling across her face. I ended up using the adjustment brush in LR to try to raise the exposure there, but it was my first time trying to use it for this purpose. Any hints? What would you all do differently?

20151224-_MG_2649 by jwa04, on Flickr
I would take the image and pull the overall exposure downward, darker, until the highlight density is about where you think it ought to be, and then using the Dodge tool on the raw image in Lightroom zoomed to 1/2 life size or maybe 1:1, at the setting shown below in my screencap, brush on lightening until you have revealed the things you want the eye to go to most.

Dodging setting, approximate:
Dodge tool settings.jpg

Working at 0.70 EV and at lower flow and lower opacity makes it easier to do this without the painted-on setting being one shot or nothing! You can do this in steps, and see after a pass what the effect is.

The basic philosophy is to darken the whole image, then to paint back on the desired "lighting" in a way that makes it fairly easy to do, without the need for super-refined skills. This is the way I've been doing a lot of stuff the last few months. I think "revealing" from a dark capture is much easier than burning things in with the burn tool.
I like that. After looking at your settings, I understand what each of them does a little better, and I think the result is much better overall. What's the difference between using the lightening setting versus the exposure setting?

20151224-_MG_2649 by jwa04, on Flickr

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