Photographic tip – glare

wpid-wpid-DSC_0379.jpg@66.7RGB_8-2011-02-23-20-41-2011-02-23-20-41.jpgI love photography even though I’m a rank amateur at it. I enjoy everything about it… composing the shot, learning the equipment, seeing how different things affect the shot, and post production.

It’s easy to get in a hurry and take a photo that’s somewhat less than great but guess what? Sometimes you don’t need an expensive polarizing filter to save an otherwise awful picture. Take this one for example:

wpid-wpid-DSC_03791.jpg@66.7RGB_8-2011-02-23-20-41-2011-02-23-20-411.jpg

It was a cloudy day but there was plenty of light to create enough glare to make this a terrible shot. In Photoshop (or other similar programs) you can check the Levels and you would see something like this:

wpid-wpid-Levels-2011-02-23-20-41-2011-02-23-20-41.jpg

This shows us that all of the luminance information in this picture is entirely in the neighborhood of bland. No lights and no darks to speak of make it a plain and boring picture.

By adjusting the levels using the indicators directly under the histogram you can make it much better. Here’s my adjustment:

wpid-wpid-Levels-1-2011-02-23-20-41-2011-02-23-20-41.jpg

As you can see, I brought the lower slider up closer to the darkest part of the photo and the lights down to the brightest parts. This means that the darkest part of the picture under the rock edges will now be almost black and the brightest part of the picture that’s in the bubbles/seafoam will be almost white. This in essence stretches the limited information in the picture over a wider spread of luminance.

Here’s the final result with only the Layer adjustments shown above:

wpid-wpid-DSC_0379.jpg@66.7RGB_8-1-2011-02-23-20-41-2011-02-23-20-41.jpg

Obviously taking the best picture possible in the camera is our goal but a wide array of mistakes can be covered by a bit of patience in your favorite photo editing program. At least now we can see the turtle I intended to shoot and not so much of the seemingly murky water which was really clouds and glare.

If you would like to see how to fix a picture you took feel free to send it to me and I’ll see what I can do! I’m no professional but I have learned a lot from some great instructors so we’ll work it together.

Send your image to jim-at-Jimscomputing_dot_com with the title “Photo Touchup” and I’ll let you know if I choose it to post about here!

Leave a Reply