View Full Version : "I Worked Hard"

10-26-2011, 03:13 AM
My oldest daughter, Maddy, made the "Principal's Honor Roll List",and they had a small ceremony tonight. They were on a dark stage only lit by a projector that was showing words of encouragement behind them. I was about 40-50 ft away and fighting the rapid movement of the kids, the bad lighting, and just trying to get Maddy to look at me with a smile.

When I get home and upload, I wasn't too happy with any of the shots (over exposed, under exposed, OOF, etc). I realized this shot had "I Worked Hard" broadcast on their certificates from the projector.

It was a little soft in her eyes and under exposed. Luckily her face was lit up from the projector.

In the first example, I did a little sharpening on her eyes and blurred everything but her face and the two certificates.

The second example, I sharpened the eyes, increased the contrast and brightness, and increased the saturation some.

What do you think? I would like to get the best I can out of this shot for my wife. I can upload the original if you want, if you have any advice

10-26-2011, 03:42 AM
I like your second one better. What would happen if you adjusted the white balance, or lowered the saturation on just the red channel? Seems a bit too much on the red side.

Your daughter looks very happy - congratulations on being a proud dad for her achievements!

10-26-2011, 09:42 AM
Shot 1 is quite underexposed and should have been corrected at the time of shooting, not in post. The "gift" of digital photography is the instant feedback. This image must have been dark on the LCD screen, no?

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In this case, you could simply have added more exposure after you saw the underexposure either on your camera's screen or through the histogram.

The post processing on any image will always be significantly harder if the exposure is seriously off.

Your daughter is a cutie!

10-26-2011, 06:39 PM
these situations are hard I know and I think you did okay. Don't be afraid to bump up your iso in these situations.

10-26-2011, 08:29 PM
these situations are hard I know and I think you did okay. Don't be afraid to bump up your iso in these situations.

It was a hard shot because they treated like a Hollywood movie premier. They walked down a very bright "red carpet" area and up on the dark stage. I had about about 60 seconds to try and get off some shots. I just need to set my camera in all automatic when shooting my girls like this. I did throw the ISO in auto at the end, but it was too late.

10-27-2011, 05:06 AM
It's hard not to panic at times like this. Best bet is to slow do and try and get 1 or 2 good shots rather than lots of average shots. Easier said than done when working under pressure I know :)

10-27-2011, 10:55 AM
One thing I learned from my own kids growing up is these incidents only happen once. If you are not in the first few rows then walk up to a point where you can get a couple of good shots. Most parents will do it and won't begrudge you being in their way for 30 seconds. If they do, oh well, you get to catch your moment.

10-27-2011, 11:41 AM
I wasn't thinking of the pressure factor here....
Andrew gives good advice here on walking straight up to the stage the next time an event like this happens.

10-27-2011, 12:30 PM
It's funny how the pressure can get you though. I know when I was at an event for my son last spring I didn't have enough faith in my abilities so I flipped the camera to aperture priority in the hopes that the camera wouldn't screw up as badly as I might. I should have had more faith. As it turned out I ended up with a slightly blurry image since the shutter speed dropped so low that minor camera shake came into play. Maybe the new version of Photoshop will fix that for me but in the meantime I just need to have more confidence in my abilities when I'm in a "pressure" situation.