Before & After #31 / Salvaging an Over Exposed Photo

Early on in your photography journey, did you ever walk out of a shaded area and into a much brigher area and forget to change your settings while shooting on full manual? Pretty sure it happened to me once or twice. My friend Philicity from Epic Impressions Photography contacted me last week about a particular photo she needed from a scenario like I just mentioned. Alot of people's first instinct is to just convert to black and white, but then you just have a poorly exposed black and white photo too. Awhile back I wrote about the importance of shooting RAW and not jpeg alone. If the below photo were a jpeg, I probably wouldn't even have attempted to edit it all. Scrap it, reshoot if necessary. But! Philicity had the RAW file! Click read more to see how the image on the left ended up looking like it does on the right. :)

So here's a larger image of the original. This is the straight out of camera RAW file with not a single tweak. No detail!

First thing that popped to mind of course was to take two different exposures in Lightroom and then merge them in Photoshop. Below is the first exposure, cropped, (screen shot from lightroom), bringing back a very small amount of detail that's better than nothing, and clearly ruining the rest of the photo. Next, you'll see the two photos I took into photoshop, side by side.

After combining the two photos above (the shed from the left, the subject from the right), it looks like the below. Still in pretty bad shape. There's hot spots on her skin, and when you try to bring them back any way you know how, well, it just turns those spots gray.

So the next step is very similar to the last tutorial I posted regarding changing the ocean color. My apologies for not having screen shots of the rest of the steps - writing tutorials out is still sort of new to me ;) Just pick a skin color nearby the hotspots and use the same coloring technique, adjusting opacity to taste. After that, I wanted more texture...a more urban type look all around. So to avoid more drab splotchiness trying to bring highlights back, I grabbed a texture from Jessica Drossin. The texture was a blue and gold color originally, but I knew my final photo would be pinkish and gray, so I slightly desaturated the texture. Jessica has numerous places on the web to show you how to use textures, but here's a video on youtube. Then, tone the photo to your liking. I used one of my own vintage actions. Here's the final photo!

I really enjoying editing and have even edited some of my clients' personal photos. So, if you need any help, feel free to contact me below and I'll see what I can do!

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