First time posting here, but I have been reading a lot. My Dad recently died and I am now owner of his Canon Rebel EOS300D with EF-S18-55 mm f/3.5-5.6 lens with built-in flash. Not the greatest camera or lens, but sufficient for my needs for pleasure photo taking. (Well actually I want an external flash and a fast 28-105 lens but that is a different story) I have always been an "auto setting" person, but want to learn more so that I can deal with low light and backlight situations.
I took photos of an event for my BIL and I knew I was going over the limits of my camera's ability in low light (with the lens I have). When I downloaded the photos I was surprised they are so very underexposed...even more than I expected. Two weeks later when shooting a birthday party in a brightly lit room, the photos are still too dark. That's when I realized that although I had fully charged the battery...it was dying. (when I got the camera manual out Dad had written the date of camera purchase...almost 8 YEARS ago, and these are the original batteries (have 2).
So, how can I correct these underexposed photos to a passable 4x6 print without have to test print all of them? My PC monitor is not calibrated (just read about this on ya'll's forum). When I test print, the prints are darker than what the monitor is showing.
Now, don't cringe...but I have been using Microsoft Digital Image Pro 10 for basic corrections. I just installed Adobe Photoshop Elements 2 that came with the camera which seems very similar to what I have been using, but is probably better. I downloaded GIMP but due to lack of tutorials it will take me a longggg time to master this program - can't learn it soon enough to help these photos.
If I was "rolling in the dough" I'd put them on a flashdrive and take them to a professional who knew what he/she was doing...but alas that isn't an option.
I know they aren't going to be the greatest, there will be considerable noise, etc. but what is my best option in bringing the color/exposure balance to a fairly natural looking photo?
I am posting (hopefully, if I can do it right) one of the original photos.
PS. Not all of the photos (maybe 100 out of 300) were too dark - just the ones taken in low light.