PP-ing really dark images


martellkr

New Member
Jul 11, 2010
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#1
Hi guys,

Was at the esplanade walking around and happened to stumble upon some dancers from Cambodia (for the dans festival i think)... and flash isnt allowed. not to mention the only flash i have is the built-in one.

so needless to say, i got some pretty dark images, only reason why i'm not deleting them as of yet is because some of them are of the dancers smiling at the camera just for me. :bsmilie:

Anyone knows an optimal way to PP these really n00b images? I tried playing with the levels, brightness/contrast, lighting effects... But these just turn out too grainy.







Thank you!
 

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giantcanopy

Senior Member
Feb 11, 2007
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SG
#2
Hi martellkr, the pictures are too underexposed and any form of salvage will not give u an equivalent clean take with proper exposure, and it may not give you all the details from the shadows as desired

If you have the raw file, try to see if you can lift some details from adjustment, but there will be a limit to how much you can retrieve as well.

The graininess can do with abit of noise reduction with the trade off of smearing some details.

Ryan
 

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martellkr

New Member
Jul 11, 2010
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#3
Thanks Ryan.

Just another qn if I may, what would you do in this situation?
The lighting's behind the subject, no flash allowed and you're on handheld.
 

Buggy

New Member
Aug 16, 2004
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Woodlands
#4
try playing with shadows/highlights option in ps, but as ryan mentioned.. there's a limitation.

approach from another angle is the best bet, and if it permits.
 

wdEvA

Senior Member
Sep 1, 2006
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etanphotography.com
#5
Thanks Ryan.

Just another qn if I may, what would you do in this situation?
The lighting's behind the subject, no flash allowed and you're on handheld.
shoot at ur highest ISO and do noise reduction during PP.
I rather have a shot that is noisy, then one that can't be seen.
 

#6
Thanks Ryan.

Just another qn if I may, what would you do in this situation?
The lighting's behind the subject, no flash allowed and you're on handheld.
Perhaps go High on the ISO, large on the aperture and maybe use a lens with VR/IS capability to improve your chances. If you really need to shoot under such circumstances, at least bring a tripod or monopod, it'll be of good help.
 

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daredevil123

Moderator
Staff member
Oct 25, 2005
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lil red dot
#7
Thanks Ryan.

Just another qn if I may, what would you do in this situation?
The lighting's behind the subject, no flash allowed and you're on handheld.
On top of what others have mentioned, you have to play with your metering modes as well. You metered the entire scene I presume (by using evaluative or matrix). For your situation doing spot metering on the face of the subject, will expose the faces of the dancers properly. But do note that due to the dark subjects, the shutter speed may be long, which you have to counter with what the others mentioned here... larger aperture, higher ISO... etc etc etc...
 

night86mare

Deregistered
Aug 25, 2006
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#8
if shadow detail is gone, i.e. pure black is attained, then you won't be able to rescue.

RAW will help by just a bit, perhaps a stop or so, but don't think it will create miracles here.
 

farbird

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Jan 14, 2004
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#9
I use linux's free apps

Gimp with UFRAW.

use UFRAW to increase the exposure first, then use GIMP to denoise and sharpen.
 

daredevil123

Moderator
Staff member
Oct 25, 2005
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lil red dot
#10
I use linux's free apps

Gimp with UFRAW.

use UFRAW to increase the exposure first, then use GIMP to denoise and sharpen.
There is a limit to how much exposure you can bring up with a pleasing result.
 

Sep 17, 2008
3,656
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#11
what is not there, will not be there.
what was there, but was wiped out, will not be there also.

i doubt u can save the photos. sorry to say that
 

pinholecam

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Staff member
Jul 23, 2007
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#12
I tried playing with your image in PP, but its too far down and no detail is retained in the dark areas.

Next time try to just expose for the lit up areas. Very often we humans operate with ambient lighting that can still be captured on a camera. Its just the shadow areas that the camera gets fooled into thinking that it needs to expose for as well.
High ISO and noise is better than no photo. At least with the former you can convert to B/W; do aggressive NR or add more grain and make it part of the effect.
 

DrSpock

New Member
Mar 12, 2009
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Warp back to Simei
#13
From what I observe, even if flash is not allowed it can't be that dark for the normal eyes to see so it must be the settings on your cam that created the dark photos.

What I'll do is (assuming you are using the kit lens) try achieve the 'slowest', most bearable SS possible (widest A and highest ISO) and ask the subject to keep still for 1 sec while you take your shot with hand/body resting on a solid stationary place.

If all else not possible then go buy a f1.4 or 2.8 lens with VC/VR/IS/Etc on a monopod, nx time you'll get a perfect picture:bsmilie:
 

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