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Thread: Red Haired Flower Girl

  1. #1
    Suzan J's Avatar
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    Red Haired Flower Girl

    Good Afternoon Everyone... Would you good folks kindly provide some C and C on this portrait shot. Are the shadows on the face complimentary or not? What could have been done to improve the photo? I was struck by the brilliant colour of this little girl's red hair and on my computer screen, it really shines.

    Red Haired Flower Girl
    _DSC0110 by Soo J, on Flickr

  2. #2

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    Re: Red Haired Flower Girl

    The shadow on her face is a bit of a problem; but if it was a choice between this and over harsh light, I would prefer this option.

    Using a bit of flash would probably have worked well. But this needs careful use.

    I would probably try a little bit of selective brightness enhancement on the shadow area; assuming suitable software is available. But don't over do it and end up with an unnatural looking edit.

    Also, I would crop tighter. Possibly try 5 x 4 ratio to lose the right side distraction. I doubt that 4 x 5 ratio would work.

    But, a good sharp real life shot.

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    Melkus's Avatar
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    Re: Red Haired Flower Girl

    Love it myself since I'm a sucker for kids. Like Geoff said maybe a fill flash would have tooken some of shadows away from her face and maybe a bit of a closer crop, other than that a nice shot.

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    Re: Red Haired Flower Girl

    I used the dodge tool of PSE-10 to reduce the shadows a bit and then used the burn tool to redarken her left eye which the dodge tool left too light...

    Red Haired Flower Girl

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    Suzan J's Avatar
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    Re: Red Haired Flower Girl

    Ah, yes. I can now see her face much more clearly. Thanks for taking the time to show me how much can be done to improve the photo. I have PSE9, but I have just started to work with it. Will I find the "dodge and burn tools" in that version or is it limited to version 10?

  6. #6
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: Red Haired Flower Girl

    Suzanne, I am sure that the Burn and dodge tools are available in PSE-9 as well as PSE-10. I use them quite frequently and they are an easy way of correcting dark or light portions of my image.

    On PSE-10 the dodge and burn tools as well as the sponge tool are located in one spot on the second tool from the bottom on the tool column at the left of your screen. Right clicking will expose the dodge, burn and sponge tools. The [ key decreases the circle size of the dodge and burn tools while the ] key increases the size of the circle. I usually make the circles a bit bigger that the actual area I am working with. Selecting too small a circle will make the burn/dodge are very moticable.

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    Re: Red Haired Flower Girl

    Quote Originally Posted by Suzan J View Post
    Ah, yes. I can now see her face much more clearly. Thanks for taking the time to show me how much can be done to improve the photo. I have PSE9, but I have just started to work with it. Will I find the "dodge and burn tools" in that version or is it limited to version 10?
    I've never got on well with burn/dodge tools, Suzan, so this is my alternative method.

    Add a Curves Adjustment Layer (with mask) and tweak to suit the face, ignore all other parts of the photo. Invert the mask (now becomes a 'hide all' mask) so the effects 'disappear' and the image reverts to how it previously looked.

    With the mask active, select a soft edged low opacity (say 20%) brush with the 'white' option selected from the colour options, which will only be white or black when the mask is active.

    Gradually paint over the dark areas and the lighter image will begin to appear. Build up the desired effect with several passes of the brush.

    Using Curves for brightness adjustment and editing with masks may seem a bit complicated but it is very easy once you master the principles and gives very controllable results. I now use variations of this option on all my photo edits.

    And as long as you keep the adjustment on a layer, it can easily be changed or even totally removed without actually changing the background image.

  8. #8

    Re: Red Haired Flower Girl

    Wow Geoff F - that sounds like a technique I really need! Trouble is, I am just not familiar enough with photo editing to follow what you did. Would you be prepared to add a bit more detail??

    The photo I am struggling with is one taken at my own wedding by somebody else - and I only have the jpeg, no access to the RAW version. It is strongly backlit and the camera did it's best, but the background is too flared out and the figures are too dark. I can get what I want for either the background or the figures, but I need to find a way to do this selectively!

    I have tried all sorts of ways of cutting out the figures to get a background layer I can adjust separately,and I can get what I want but you can always see the join. I suspect your technique might be able to do a better job.

    John

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    Re: Red Haired Flower Girl

    Have you seen this earlier thread, John. Sounds like the same problem.

    How to remove shadows in post processing?

    You could post your photo as a separate thread in the Image Editing Forum and let everyone have a go with it.

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