Technocrat Tuesday: Making the best from the worse

by Kevin Marshall January. 16, 2007 6272 views

Making the best from the worse

Lets face it, sometimes the pictures we take go BADLY wrong! (and I mean royally wrong)

Lets take an example. I was working on a shoot in Potters Bar (Near London) with a model, and at the most needed moment, the batteries on the remote trigger went (this was noticed after a few shots)

The cynic would dismiss this shot as totally useless and would dump it without a thought (first shot)

A lot of us use Photoshop, Paint Shop Pro, Lightroom and the like… so lets exploit these images…

Stage 1- Is there ANYTHING left to recover? In most cases, a camera sensor is very sensitive so no matter what, there’s a high chance its recovered something. For Photoshop users who are using JPGs, hit that wonderful auto levels function. For Lightroom users, there is a wonderful “AUTO” expose and tone function. Hammer it and see what happens

Stage 2 – If your luck has held, and everything has gone right, then at this point, you should have something resembling what you took infront of you… except its probably got a lot of lines and its very pixelated (a sign of camera noise). Image noise can be corrected if you wish – Use Noise Ninja or Neat Image to reduce the noise… or alternately…

Stage 3- Apply filters

This is where the filters can come in useful, as they can completely change an image, and it’s a time to experiment.

For me, I have taken the image, and applied in variations such as the Auto White Balance, A Blue/Yellow filter, A Velvia Filter and finally a Cyanotype filter, with the exposure pegged back a little so the blue is not so dominant.

1 - According to the eye, there's nothing there. But according to the histogram there is….
2 - Auto Levels.. and bingo! there's an image there. It is very grainy so it can be cleaned or edited
3 - Light levels are adjusted properly, brining out more human tones
4 - A Yellow and Blue filter - not perfect, but nicer
5 - Velvia - Deeper contrasts.. but not ideal for this image
6 - A Cyanotype image, and the exposure corrected downwards.

Image notes: Taken on a Canon 20D, f8, 28-105mm lens. Hotshoe did not trigger flashead. Captured as a CR2 file and processed using Lightroom

Computer says something might be there…

levels brought out

Light levels correct

Filtered Yellow/Blue



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Christine 12 years, 8 months ago

That is amazing!

12 years, 8 months ago Edited