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Old May 6, 2011, 11:58 AM   #1
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Default beautiful baby girl - comments on color correction, please

I just came back from the school where my wife teaches first grade. She asked me to take pictures of their "literary cafe", which is a brunch with the parents & families & then a production of "Peter Rabbit" by Beatrix Potter (first graders). My wife was the producer, director, set designer, costume maker, etc. etc. etc. Needless to say, I'm glad to have my wife back. Anyway, there was a beautiful baby girl there that stole my heart and I took a couple of pictures of her. The lighting was terrible: cheap, cool white flourescents, so I did some color correcting in CS5, decreasing the green, increasing the red/magenta. I'd appreciate comments, or any of you making corrections & reposting, if you have a good eye for this. THANKS!

#1: original
Name:  babygirleatingoranges2_rd.jpg
Views: 7228
Size:  197.3 KB

#2: my attempt at color correction
Name:  babygirleatingoranges2_clc_rd.jpg
Views: 2301
Size:  197.7 KB
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Old May 6, 2011, 12:47 PM   #2
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Jerry,

An additional problem is the shots are under-exposed. I always find it easier to correct exposure FIRST - colors look different when things are underexposed. So, fixing the exposure first might help with the WB.

A couple points. First, some lessons to be learned:
1) Helps illustrate the importance of flash for portrait work. External flash would have allowed for proper exposure and better WB control (since the flash could overpower ambient light and provide an even, stable WB).
2) helps illustrate the benefit of shooting raw. Both exposure and WB issues are then easily correctable when, for whatever reason, you don't use the right tools in the first place (in this case external flash).

Now, if you used some type of external strobe (i see catch-light - so there had to be some light source) then it wasn't powerful enough to both properly expose and overcome poor ambient light.

I think you made a good start with your correction in this photo. but the exposure is still too dark. Fix that and you and others will be better able to judge WB.
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Old May 6, 2011, 1:33 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnG View Post
Jerry,

An additional problem is the shots are under-exposed. I always find it easier to correct exposure FIRST - colors look different when things are underexposed. So, fixing the exposure first might help with the WB.

A couple points. First, some lessons to be learned:
1) Helps illustrate the importance of flash for portrait work. External flash would have allowed for proper exposure and better WB control (since the flash could overpower ambient light and provide an even, stable WB).
2) helps illustrate the benefit of shooting raw. Both exposure and WB issues are then easily correctable when, for whatever reason, you don't use the right tools in the first place (in this case external flash).

Now, if you used some type of external strobe (i see catch-light - so there had to be some light source) then it wasn't powerful enough to both properly expose and overcome poor ambient light.

I think you made a good start with your correction in this photo. but the exposure is still too dark. Fix that and you and others will be better able to judge WB.
All excellent points. This was a candid shot. I was literally hurriedly walking down the hall to get to the auditorium to take the "Peter Rabit" pictures when I passed this little girl. I stopped, turned around, snapped two quick shots using the in camera meter for aproximate exposure, & then hurried down to the auditorium. I didn't have time to put the flash on the camera, or I certainly would have done so.

Quote:
(i see catch-light - so there had to be some light source)
No, there wasn't any other light source than the overhead flourescent lighting. Not sure to what "catch-light" would be referring.

I also was shooting in RAW, made the color corrections in RAW before saving as a jpeg for upload.

I took your suggestion of adjusting exposure first, then applied other corrections including cleaning up the orange residue (see the actual original below), then made the same color corrections. Below is the second attempt.

Completely unaltererd original
Name:  7A9D0455_RD.jpg
Views: 2282
Size:  180.5 KB

Cropped & corrected with John's suggestion about correcting exposure first.
Name:  babygirl_rclc_expc_rd.jpg
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Size:  187.0 KB
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Old May 6, 2011, 5:09 PM   #4
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A possible pp. Denoising the image is important.

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Old May 6, 2011, 5:43 PM   #5
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A possible pp. Denoising the image is important.
Yes, I was so focused on color correction I didn't apply any NR. Here it is with Noiseware Pro applied.

Name:  babygirl_rclc_expc_NR_rd.jpg
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Old May 7, 2011, 3:35 AM   #6
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Nice correction. It doesn't hurt that your model is indeed a "beautiful baby girl." She has stolen my heart just looking at your image. Too cute!
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Old May 7, 2011, 2:42 PM   #7
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Nice correction. It doesn't hurt that your model is indeed a "beautiful baby girl." She has stolen my heart just looking at your image. Too cute!
Thanks for the compliment. I'm extremely weak when it comes to using photoshop so I can always used feedback. As far as the subject, it's hard to go wrong when they're that adorable.
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