Desperately Need Help! (photo editting...)


TPF Noob!
Aug 28, 2005
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Oakwood (125km north of Toronto) Canada
I just became an uncle yesterday :) .. and my sister, who was giving birth, gave me the job of taking photos of her, her husband, and her newborn.

Well, so far there hasnt been a problem... except one... and that's a pretty big problem!
There's a book that my sister is going to write in... it's like a diary/scrap book, called My Babys First Book. It's where you write down your experiences before, during, and after giving birth. You also post pictures, etc. There is one part of the book that asks you to stick/glue on the very first picture taken of the baby... and... well... since i was the photographer, it was obviously my duty to take the very first photo.

I made a huge mistake.. The first picture i took, ended up being WAAAY over exposed... I wonder, if there is any possible way i could fix this picture? Or if it's completely ruined... i've taken many other photos of this baby where they all turned out fine, but my sister really wants to keep this photo, since its the first one ever taken...

So... am i gonna get in big trouble from my sister or is there a way i can somehow save this image using photoshop or some other photo editting program?


Thanks in advance!
its not fixable. you could kinda make certain parts like the babies face somewhat darker but thats about it. the data in the white part is as good as gone.
Try to do it anyway, you may like the effect however its not fixable in the traditional sense.
You'd have to adjust levels/curves and i would suggest highlight/shadow detail.... but you cannot replace the detail which is at its most blown. Doing this could also cause some pixel distortion. One way of making it look acceptible would be to convert to B+W aswell. This would make the blown out area less noticable, but the mother would probably want it in colour ...right?
i.e...... just quickly ran it through, you'd get better results from the higher rez image.

Hi guys - this doesn't really belong in the critique forum, sorry! :) I'm moving the thread over to Graphics forum where you can get some more advice on the editing you'd like here.

Good luck with it - congrats on becoming an uncle, too! :thumbup:
To answer your question... yes it may have helped if it was shot in raw as you can adjust the exposure settings better with less chance of producing unwanted artifacts. If you can get away with b+w... you could spend more time playing with it to get the best results.... not sure if you can rescue a colour version too well tho because unfortunatly the blown area is in the most important area of the image!.... could have maybe done something if it wasn't so near the focal point.
Archangel has done a good job here. I think it's the best you're goign to get it
DLL_4ever said:
Digital Matt> No .. would that have helped?

For god's sake man, yes! There's not much you can do when you overexpose, but you can recover a lot more detail from a raw file then you can from a jpg.
For future reference it's much better to under-expose than over-expose. IMO PS's shadow/highlight tool does quite a good job of recovering detail from dark images. On the other hand, as has been pointed out, blown-out sections of photographs literally lose most or all of their "data."
ShutteredEye said:
Yes, you can save up to 2 full fstops in either direction most times!

That's open to interpretation. You can recover shadow detail from 2 stops, but it will be very noisy, and it's a matter of preference whether or not it's usable. As for grabbing detail from overexposed areas, your luck runs out far below 2 stops. Every camera is different in terms of how much highlight detail it will retain, but the results are never "great" even if you get more than a stop back. It often makes the highlights greyish and lacking sharpness and detail.

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