Old 10-22-2010, 05:34 PM   #1
Paul Ash
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 13
Default Underexposed?

Hi there,

New to RP (had 2 photos selected of 12 or so attempts thus far). I realise the low-light, low angle shot isn't exactly the winning ticket on RP but my latest rejection is for underexposure.


Is this shot that bad?

Would appreciate any advice.


Paul, Johannesburg, SA
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Old 10-22-2010, 06:42 PM   #2
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Hi Paul,

I don't have Photoshop on the computer I'm on at the moment, so I can't see what the histogram for this shot looks like. Looking at the deep, deep shadow on that second hopper however, I would say the Screener is correct.

If you are not currently using the histogram feature of your postprocessing program, I highly suggest doing that. Unless you have a calibrated monitor, trying to adjust shots purely by eye is risky. This shot looks as if it might need an overall increase in exposure, followed by some adjustments to the blacks and shadows sliders to get some definition in those dark areas. I'm sure the shadows near that second hopper weren't nearly as dark in real life as this image suggests. Adjusting the blacks and using some shadow reduction will make it look a bit more like it would have to the human eye.

While you are at it, you may want to mess with the color balance. The shot has a reddish cast which you will need to address as well.

My RP stuff is here.

Link to my Flickr Albums. Lots of Steam Railroad stuff there from all over the US.
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Old 10-25-2010, 12:50 PM   #3
Paul Ash
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Join Date: Oct 2010
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Hi Kevin,

Thanks for the advice, all good. I was concerned about the reddish cast - you can really see it in the clouds - so I de-saturated the image a bit, which gave quite a nice effect although not one that RP will be keen on, I don't think.

Otherwise, I haven't worked on the image at all. It was shot on a partly-cloudy day, with a Nikon FM2 on Kodak Portra 160VC, and then scanned at a pro lab, and not very well at that.

I'll rescan the orginal neg myself and do some further playing around in Photoshop. Digital is a whole new game for me and I'm having to relearn photography, thanks to my burning desire to get my name on RP.

cheers and thanks
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Old 10-26-2010, 06:35 PM   #4
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Posts: 243

Hi Paul

I can only say "ditto" to Kevin's comments, the shot is definitely too dark and that second hopper in shadow is a problem. Agree about using the histogram, I have found it has made a huge difefrence to my own results.

Keep trying!

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