Washed out face on black background...

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by DevilDog, Mar 18, 2006.

  1. DevilDog macrumors regular


    Dec 12, 2005
    When you take a picture of somebody and it's dark out, the camera tries to compensate for the darkness so the face gets real bright (even without flash) so I just wondered how you get the face to look normal... even the color is affected. Is it best to 'adjust lighting' or 'adjust color' and which category of each (in photoshop)? You guys (or girls) know an infinite amount more than me about this and I wondered if anybody would stoop to help me with this probably simple problem. :eek:
  2. letterbox macrumors regular

    Apr 13, 2004
    your problem is an exposure issue, something that can't really be corrected in photoshop, unless you were shooting RAW (versus jpeg).

    i'm going to assume your camera doesn't shoot RAW. are you editing in elements? i ask, because i am not familiar with an adjust lighting option. anyways, in ps cs2, use adjustments/exposure... and that should get you in the right direction, after using that, you can use the levels or curves to pull it all together.

    but, what you really want to know, is how to take photos that don't have this problem. the problem is most likely that your camera is seeing all the dark around and as you said, over compensating by blowing out what little light areas there are.

    if you are using the auto mode on your camera, meter off the person's face, by this i mean point the center of the camera at the person's face, and hold the shutter down half way. the camera will look to see what the amount of light available is, and make it's exposure adjustments based on that. so, by metering off the face you sorta trick the camera into not seeing the darkness, thereby getting a proper exposure. so, the process would be, point center of camera at subjects face (or the whitest part of the photo), hold down shutter half way (don't release) and wait for it to adjust (you'll hear some movement in the camera), take the shot.

    otherwise, use manual mode and meter off the face and make adjustments to get the correct lighting.

    that's all, hopefully that helps.

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