Can this overexposed pic be saved?


TPF Noob!
May 10, 2003
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It's been a while since I've posted anything on this forum.
I love this particular picture of my sister and her son but as you can see the exposure is a mess. I tried my rather limited photoshop knowledge but I couldn't get it right.
Any tips on Photoshop on how to make it better?

Did you shoot in raw? If so, some of the highlights might still be there on the original file and you could try messing with adobe raw to get some of the highlights back. It doesn't really look "that" bad to might be able to tone down her forehead with curves or levels if you don't have the raw file, or if this is a film shot.
Thanks! It was shot in JPEG at the highest setting. Pentax K100D Super. I'll play with it a bit more in PS and see how it goes.
Unfortunatly the only way it can probably be 'fixed' is with some clever PS work on the forhead. It's a blown highlight so lost data. A PS expert may be able to fudge a fix but levels and the like won't fix it.
heres my attempt using capture nx

Hi Ismael,

Over exposed portraits like this are tricky to fix - I had a go in PS using a slight curve plus adjusting the levels a little in an attempt to recover the blown highlights. I didn't have much success I'm afraid - here's my my attempt:

Something you could try if you run into this problem is converting to black and white. The overexposed image may not look as severe like this.

Out of curiosity: did you use the on board camera flash for this picture?

Try fill in flash next time and perhaps bounce from the ceiling and you should have a better outcome.

Hope this helps,
i use either photoshop or lightroom. lightroom, they have a feature called "recovery" and it does a pretty good job recovering overexposure. not to mension you can adjust the exposure with lightroom. also, you can mess around with the curves on photoshop as well.
Very difficult given the size of the original. A larger source file would give a few more options, but the job here is pretty difficult. I wouldn't be 100% happy with my edit, as the method is usually used to fix a few minor hotspots. This image unfortunately has them in spades. Unfortunately, due to the size of the areas, the general 'hot spot fix' creates some banding/posterization.

Thanks all for the responses. I do have the original big size file. This is just a resize for internet purposes. This picture wasn't even plan. I was setting up a place to take pictures of the baby. Turn back, saw them, flipped the camera and took the shot with only the on camera flash. The camera was in manual mode and set for the strobes.
I'm learning PS on my own with an older version. What exactly are the "curves" some of you mention?


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