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What is the Best Way to Darken the Background and Lighten the Subject Without Blowing Out the White?
Mar 20, 2021 21:44:29   #
Shooter41 Loc: Wichita, KS
 
I like my shot of the male Mallard taken when he was in the shade so I didn't blow out his white feathers. But I don't know how to accurately select him so that I lower the exposure on his background to darken it and secndly raise the exposure and lighten him, but not his reflection. When I try to use the magic wand I get too far outside his border or inside his border, using Photoshop CS4. When I use Topaz Mask I can only get the file back as a TIFF and I don't know how to convert the TIFF mask to JPEG by locating a permanently free converter. After 30 days Pixillion started driving me crazy to buy on a Social Security budget. Any suggestions would be welcome. Please feel free to download my image and show me a better way if you are so inclined. Muchas Gracias


(Download)

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Mar 20, 2021 22:10:33   #
Dave327 Loc: Duluth, GA. USA
 
This is a quick edit in PS Express on my iPad. I used about 4 tools to edit.


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Mar 21, 2021 00:27:52   #
Ourspolair
 
Open the TIFF in the CS4 version of PhotoShop and go from there.

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Mar 21, 2021 03:37:58   #
twosummers
 
Hi Shooter41 - almost any image viewer/editor will open any file and save as any other format. There are lots of free online apps that will convert files and these are free.

As for your image - there IS a lot of detail there so you should be able to get what you want by editing - you can try adjusting shadows/mid-tones/highlights slightly - I also played around with contrast and micro-contrast to bring out detail on the duck.

However what I did notice was lots of "artefacts" on the image (I don't think they are digital noise but may be water splashes or dust). I removed a few as a test and they will go - you'll need a bit of time to get them one at a time. If you have the original high resolution file from your camera (better still a RAW image) then you can start from that point. You can produce a much better image and all you need is time and patience.

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Mar 21, 2021 09:14:09   #
Shooter41 Loc: Wichita, KS
 
twosummers wrote:
Hi Shooter41 - almost any image viewer/editor will open any file and save as any other format. There are lots of free online apps that will convert files and these are free.

As for your image - there IS a lot of detail there so you should be able to get what you want by editing - you can try adjusting shadows/mid-tones/highlights slightly - I also played around with contrast and micro-contrast to bring out detail on the duck.

However what I did notice was lots of "artefacts" on the image (I don't think they are digital noise but may be water splashes or dust). I removed a few as a test and they will go - you'll need a bit of time to get them one at a time. If you have the original high resolution file from your camera (better still a RAW image) then you can start from that point. You can produce a much better image and all you need is time and patience.
Hi Shooter41 - almost any image viewer/editor will... (show quote)


Dear twosummers...Thank you for your helpful comments. After carefully studying my image in Photoshop CS4, I realized that my exposure was off by having the setting for ISO on auto. I am going back to Botanica and set my camera on "manual" slow down the shutter speed from 1/1250 to 1/500. keep the aperature set at F4 to allow the light in; set the ISO at 1600 rather than the 6400 the auto set it at; shoot in both JPEG and RAW to have more editing options. I think I can get a better exposure and then have far more options during editing. I will try to be patient, which is not my wheelhouse.

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Mar 21, 2021 09:23:09   #
R.G. Loc: Scotland
 
Shooter41 wrote:
.....raise the exposure and lighten him, but not his reflection.....


The duck doesn't need brightening. If anything it could do with being toned down a bit.

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Mar 21, 2021 09:30:13   #
R.G. Loc: Scotland
 
Shooter41 wrote:
...I realized that my exposure was off by having the setting for ISO on auto.....


Using Auto ISO doesn't result in over-exposure. In this case it's your use of exposure compensation set at +0.7 (referred to as exposure bias in the EXIF data).

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Mar 21, 2021 11:00:14   #
Shooter41 Loc: Wichita, KS
 
R.G. wrote:
Using Auto ISO doesn't result in over-exposure. In this case it's your use of exposure compensation set at +0.7 (referred to as exposure bias in the EXIF data).


Dear R.G...If I understand you correctly, the basic reason the white feathers on the ducks belly were blown out was my EXIF date at +0.7 rather than Zero. So changing my camera setting to Zero and checking the Histogram of my first shot and adjusting the ISO for proper exposure of the duck should result in more detail in the white areas as well as the black areas? Thank you for your suggestions.

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Mar 21, 2021 11:15:39   #
R.G. Loc: Scotland
 
Shooter41 wrote:
Dear R.G...If I understand you correctly, the basic reason the white feathers on the ducks belly were blown out was my EXIF date at +0.7 rather than Zero. So changing my camera setting to Zero and checking the Histogram of my first shot and adjusting the ISO for proper exposure of the duck should result in more detail in the white areas as well as the black areas? Thank you for your suggestions.


The photo shows the sort of situation that can catch out your camera's metering. You used pattern metering which evaluates the whole scene, and in this case it is predominantly dark except for the white feathers. The camera will have metered for the predominance of darkness and kept the exposure up as a result. Without the exposure compensation the feathers may not have been blown, but the EC was enough to push the feathers over the limit.

If you ever have a combination of a mostly dark scene which has small bright highlights that you don't want blown, you need negative exposure compensation to protect the highlights.

My advice is that you shouldn't think of ISO as a way to control exposure. The two factors that determine how much light is captured are the aperture and the shutter speed. As a very general rule you should get into the habit of thinking "What's the widest aperture (the lowest f-stop) that I can use that will still give me sufficient depth of field, and what's the slowest shutter speed that I can use that will still give me sharp images (no motion blur and no camera shake). If you find your ISO bottoming out at its lowest value (usually 100 but sometimes lower) you can lower the exposure by using a faster shutter speed. When you're using Auto ISO you need to watch out for the ISO bottoming out or topping out. Some cameras don't give you any warning when that's happening.

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Mar 21, 2021 12:46:42   #
SonyA580 Loc: FL in the winter & MN in the summer
 
Don, Here is an attempt to correct a few things with the mallard. I darkened everything using the mid-range slider in Photoshop "Levels". Then I blurred the background to get rid of some of the noise. On my monitor this looks about right (everyone's monitor is different). Looking at the EXIF data shows you shooting wide open (f/4) at ISO 6400 and 1/1250 second. I think the ISO 6400 probably caused a lot of the noise.

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Mar 21, 2021 12:52:27   #
Shooter41 Loc: Wichita, KS
 
SonyA580 wrote:
Don, Here is an attempt to correct a few things with the mallard. I darkened everything using the mid-range slider in Photoshop "Levels". Then I blurred the background to get rid of some of the noise. On my monitor this looks about right (everyone's monitor is different). Looking at the EXIF data shows you shooting wide open (f/4) at ISO 6400 and 1/1250 second. I think the ISO 6400 probably caused a lot of the noise.


Dear Sonya580...Thank you for your comments. How does this edited version look to you?


(Download)

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Mar 22, 2021 09:30:26   #
SonyA580 Loc: FL in the winter & MN in the summer
 
Shooter41 wrote:
Dear Sonya580...Thank you for your comments. How does this edited version look to you?


Very nice!

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