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Old Oct 8, 2003, 11:02 PM   #1
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Default Photos in daylight with people of different color

I am having difficulty in taking photos of my dark skined wife with lighter skinned people in daylight.

I am using an Olympus C-2100.

She looks too dark and when I adjust the gamma the lighter people get washed out.

Is there a lens filter I should use or a good software?

I am using the Olympus software to edit the photos.

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Old Oct 9, 2003, 10:59 AM   #2
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Camedia software is just about useless for that kind of thing. You really need to get a decent image editor.

My recommendations would be PhotoImpact, Paint Shop Pro and Photoshop Elements in that order. PhotoImpact and PSP are about equal in features and power but PhotoImpact is a little easier to learn. There are more online tutorials for PSP though. Photoshop Elements is a scaled down Photoshop. The advantages are that it is easy to use and easier to transition to the full Photoshop. Amazon has Elements for $60 after rebates. Both PhotoImpact and PSP have free 30 day trials. I would try one or both of those.

The technique you want to use is probably this:
Create a duplicate layer.
Desaturate the layer (make it black and white).
Invert the layer so it is a negative of the scene.
Now you have a negative that is dark where the image is bright and light where it is dark.
Merge the two layers as overlay.
Apply some gaussean blur to the B&W layer until it looks nice. You can also reduce the opacity of the layer a little.

You donít want to mess with the camera exposure so your wifeís face is light and you burn out the others. If you blow highlights they are just gone, but detail that is too dark can usually be brought out. Once you get a decent editor one of the first techniques you will learn is to select things or cut them out. You could also select your wifeís face and just do image adjustments on that without touching the other parts. One thing you will learn early is to not use the brightness and contrast controls in an image editor. There are much more sophisticated ways to adjust an image that give better results.
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Old Oct 9, 2003, 4:11 PM   #3
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My colleague states that he's never properly exposed in photos, because he has the darkest complexion. I was able to get good success using the method outlined below. My suggestion is to switch to spot metering, set exposure on your darkest subject (using the half press focus/exposure lock), and then frame your picture before depressing fully and taking the shot. You may have to use exposure compensation, but with +/- 2.0 stops you should be able to get a good enough start to avoid major post editing.

Experiment also with autobracketing, for those situations where you can't repeat the shots. Just delete the two or four images you don't need.
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Old Oct 9, 2003, 8:25 PM   #4
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Thanks for all of your help.

I figured that I would need better software.

I will also try adjusting the camera setting.
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