My Son: thoughts on composition etc?

Started May 20, 2012 | Discussions thread
Overambitious
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Re: My Son: thoughts on composition etc?
In reply to apaflo, May 21, 2012

That is a GREAT shot!

Technically you've almost, but not quite, nailed it. Edit it with something where you can look at an histogram while working. The highlights on a person's face should be at values of about 230 to 250. Most portraits are best in the lower half of that, but some BW images are better a little higher. You lose the ability to see detail at anything above about 245 (and that is true for computer monitor displays and prints too). Your image has no highlights anywhere near that. If you increase brightness and contrast together, to get the highlights up at about 250 but keep contrast high enough that the blacks are still down below 20 or so, that image will have more pop.

Thanks for the comment. Much appreciated! I've been using Rawtherapee as i only have the freeware that came with my Nex5 (image data converter) which is limited in what it can do (i also have photoshop elements 6 but it can't handle the ARW files from my camera, and there is soooo much in the program i've not bothered to try to learn it!). RT does have a histogram but there are no numbers on the scale so i'm not sure how i would judge what 'value' the highlights should be at. In terms of what the shape of the histogram would look like, does this mean that the 'bell shape' is centred in the middle of the graph?

Thanks for you help, i really like the idea of having a few 'magic numbers' to aim at for PP!

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