White Bird, Dark Background. Lighten Background?

Started Jul 17, 2013 | Discussions thread
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lehill
lehill Veteran Member • Posts: 3,773
White Bird, Dark Background. Lighten Background?

I run into a lot of Snowy Egrets and it's a bit of a fun challenge to expose correctly to avoid blowing them out. What I do is pay attention to the camera histogram and adjust exposure compensation so the bright white of the egret is to the far right.

Most of the time the egret turns out fine but the background winds up dark and dull like the example below:

Snowy Egret walks on a kelp bed.

I'd like to brighten up the background and have tried luminosity masks in Photoshop CS4 with mixed results. Does anyone have a better technique or even just some thoughts of what might work better?

I've uploaded a full-sized dng file (20MB) here . Please play as you will.

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Lance H

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