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AaronBBrown
01-28-2006, 08:38 AM
I'm trying to make the best out of what I think is a cool shot, but a poor exposure. I am a complete amateur at photoshop, so I could use some assistance with technique.

Here is the before picture:
http://www.soggydiving.com/gallery/albums/userpics/10001/IMG_1204before.jpg

Obviously, the rock is overexposed (I used a fill flash on low power because she was back-lit) and the rest is underexposed.

After using the magic lasso extensively, here is what I was able to produce, by manually adjusting the background, her face, and the rock:
http://www.soggydiving.com/gallery/albums/userpics/10001/IMG_1204after.jpg

The biggest problem I am having is the edge on the rock appears unnatural and I'm not sure how to make it blend better. Any suggestions are welcome. I imagine there is probably something I can do with layers, but I just don't know enough about those techniques. If anyone has any links on this type of topic (disperate exposures in a single photo), I'd appreciate it.

The original shots are much higher quality, but the resizing caused some artifacts to appear, so please disregard that aspect. There is also additional editing to be done to make this into a real decent shot and this is just a rough cut.

Thanks!
Aaron

JTL
01-28-2006, 09:30 AM
A big part of the problem is that your subject is out-of-focus. Another is the composition. You have a very bright foreground object and a very dark subject to start with...your eye naturally goes to the bright object...the rock. So, I ask...is it a picture of the rock or the person? And I'm not being sarcastic.

In all honesty, it's not a great photo, so all the photoshopping in the world will not really improve the overall shot IMO. Exposure, focus and composition are all off. But, you've done an amazing job so far in photoshop for someone new to all this.

What I did was take the "Soften" tool in PSP X (I'm sure there's a similar tool in Photoshop) and softened the entire rock, including the edge so that your eye is drawn more toward your subject...it makes a subtle but profound difference. I'm sure you could get a similar effect using layers, but this is a quick solution...:)

AaronBBrown
01-28-2006, 09:42 AM
Thanks for helping out.

Perhaps I should have asked this question in a more generic sense. Composition aside, what would be a good technique to fix the exposure differences between the rock and the rest of the shot without having an unnatural line between the rock and the rest of the shot? I realize this is not a great work of photography, but I'm trying to use it as a learning tool.

JTL
01-28-2006, 10:58 AM
Thanks for helping out.

Perhaps I should have asked this question in a more generic sense. Composition aside, what would be a good technique to fix the exposure differences between the rock and the rest of the shot without having an unnatural line between the rock and the rest of the shot? I realize this is not a great work of photography, but I'm trying to use it as a learning tool.As far as the original shot goes, there is no way to do this effectively in such a high contrast situation...especially with the flash reflecting directly off the lighter surface. And, exposure technique and composition cannot be separated since the composition has a direct effect on the exposure. But, the S2 does have a Spot Metering Mode (not even available on Canon's 350D dSLR!). So, you could meter for the brightest area so that it is not overexposed. But...with your particular image, that wouldn't help you at all, because the rock is the brightest thing. Expose for it and you subject would be even darker. Expose for your subject and the rock would be blown out. So, you see, composition is everything...

In post processing, you were on the right track...fix the rock and your subject on separate layers and combine them...

AaronBBrown
01-29-2006, 03:32 AM
In post processing, you were on the right track...fix the rock and your subject on separate layers and combine them...

That's the part that I don't know how to do and am looking for advice on. :)

rjromero10
02-01-2006, 08:38 AM
This is my attempt at your picture. I used PSP x but I know PS works some what the same. I used both of your photos. I used your ps version as the background then copied the original as a layer. I used the eraser to erase the top layer except the rock. I then used freehand selection tool w/smart edge and selected the rock. Just used brightness and contrast adjust tool and lowered both to get the rock a little darker. I did not spend much time on this about 5 min. if you take your time you will get alot better results. I hope this helps with your question.