View Full Version : Forgot the flash

17-07-2011, 1:28pm
My daughter had her year 12 formal the other day and I took this photo of her but forgot to turn on the flash so the colours are washed out and quite yellow (as is the room it was taken in).


Its a nice picture of her and I was wondering how to fix the colours up. I messed around a bit with photoshop but I'm new to it and not sure what to do.
I'd appreciate any help.

17-07-2011, 1:35pm
Even if you hadn't forgotten to turn on flash I doubt it would have worked, as your ISO was set to a blistering 3200 and aperture to f/5.6. I suspect that the 1/10 sec exposure time might have contributed a tad of motion blur to the general softness of the picture. As for what you can do in Photoshop, well, I can have a look and get back to you.

17-07-2011, 1:48pm
Well, given only what you can do with the jpeg here - and you might be able to work a bit on the raw file - the result below looked OK on my monitor. Hope it still does here. Steps are listed. The Photoshop version is CS2. Hope it helps. Am.

Auto levels
Shadow/Highs: 50, 30 only
Smart Sharpen: 50%, 1px; fade 50%
Air-brush: Sample forehead just below bright reflection, paint Normal, 50% to reduce glare.

17-07-2011, 2:36pm
Without knowing what software you use or the competency level at editing you have:

- performed noise reduction
- darkened background
- lightened your daughters face
- applied a 'glamour glow' blur
- whitened her teeth
- sharpened around eyes and mouth
- applied a levels adjustment (including setting white point)
- applied a warming filter
- overall sharpen


Based on using a JPG of less than 200kb, it is going to be hard to create a super version of this, but hopefully on the full size photo it would be better. You will never get this to perfect, but it can be improved upon a lot.

You also have the option to use the noise of the high ISO to your advantage and convert the photo to monochrome with a vignette.


17-07-2011, 4:40pm
Had a play , Dont know what you think , Gave it the Scott Kelby remove colour cast treatment , in PS , Go Image>Adjust> Match Colour, Click on the Neutralize box , Shadow Highlites, Knocked out the Yellow and blues in Hue Saturation , A denoise and sharpen,

17-07-2011, 5:08pm

Open in ACR.
Set White Balance
Fill Light
Sharpen and Noise Reduction
Set Curves
Adjustment Brush to lighten Eyes
Open in CS5
Add Layer
Apply Cooling Filter
Erase the background Filter
Flatten Layer
Auto Contrast



17-07-2011, 5:09pm
Probably could have fixed the forehead and done more work on the eyes, but it is only a small JPG anyway.

17-07-2011, 6:17pm
I only have PS Elements 5 but I had a go.

1. Removed colour cast using white eyedropper on lower certificate BG
2. Lightened shadows 10%
3. Increased brightness +5
4. Increased contrast +10
5. Auto levels (auto seemed to give the best result)
6. played with the adjust for skin tone til I liked the end result.75381

17-07-2011, 6:45pm
Thanks everyone for spending the time trying to fix this up. I'm a newbie on photoshop and just didn't know what to do, everthing I did just didn't look right so you've given me a lot to think about and I'll follow some of them up with the raw file and post it here.
The camera settings may seem a bit odd but I took the photo on auto without the flash as she was hurrying to get out the door.
Thanks again

17-07-2011, 7:54pm
Yeeoff, did you shoot in raw format, by any chance?

17-07-2011, 8:24pm
My effort:


17-07-2011, 9:47pm
My question is:

Why are they having their y12 formal so soon? :scrtch:

17-07-2011, 10:29pm
Looks good Damo and yes I did shoot this in raw.
They are having their formal now so they're not distracted by it at exam time at the end of the year. Judging by how much she and her friends were distracted I think it was a pretty good thing.

17-07-2011, 10:37pm
Looks good Damo and yes I did shoot this in raw.
In that case, it would be a good idea to give us a crack at it. Send it to yourself via mailbigfile (http://www.mailbigfile.com/free/), then post the link here.

18-07-2011, 2:30pm
Yeeoff, in case you hadn't considered it, you might like to crop this to a head-and-shoulders portrait to remove this distracting background elements near the bottom of the frame. And maybe a slight crop down the left to remove the slanting edge of the gold frame in the background (I find it a bit distracting being so close to the edge of the image).


20-07-2011, 6:48pm
Thanks for the offer Damo but I wanted to have a crack at this myself and have been enjoying the advice and ideas fro everyone. I'm new to photoshop and thought it would be a good exercise for me, the trouble was knowing where to start. I'll get back to it on the weekend when I have more time and post the results.
Thanks again