Constructive Feedback Friday

I'm sorry I've been missing in action on Keep It Together this week! Nothing's been terribly wrong or incredibly busy since Monday (thank goodness!) that has kept me from blogging. I have, however, been spending almost all of my free time reading "The Other Boleyn Girl" by Philipa Gregory. I never thought I was a reader that enjoyed historical fiction, but I seriously can't put it down! And I loved Nefertitti and the Heretic Queen, too! And also Lisa See's "Snow Flower and the Secret Fan". I guess maybe I do like historical fiction novels :)

Anyway, I've been too busy reading to complete the last two assignments on "I Heart Faces" by the deadline. I have enjoyed looking at everyone else's entries though! Hopefully my camera will be back around my neck this weekend where it belongs and my nose will be out of a book!

Today I'll be posting a photo on "I Heart Faces" to ask for some constructive criticism on editing my photos when I didn't properly expose them in my camera. This photo definitely needs help!

f/ 1.8
ISO 1600
50 mm lens

It was late at night in doors, so the only light I had going for me was the energy efficient bulbs from the chandelier over the table. I had taken other pictures in this series that were properly exposed according to my light meter, but as Jaina's head came up to look at me, I moved my camera slightly and didn't look again at the light meter reading before I depressed the shutter.

Now, I know how to brighten the photo by using fill light in my Picasa program. That's easy. And I can also brighten it in my GIMP program.

But... UGH! The coloring! I had my white balance set to "auto" and it never does well with my energy efficient light bulbs in my house! How do I fix this problem with editing? And more importantly, how do I fix this problem within my camera to prevent it from happening?

This is what "auto fix" coloring does from Picasa:

Any and all feedback is welcome!


  1. I know nothing about editing. I have been trying to learn but get frustrated. I can't even figure out Gimp. You are amazing. I hope you get the help you need.

  2. i know this was sort of a fluke with her moving around, but i'd say, in the future, to watch the ISO and keep it lower than 1600, and instead adjusting your shutter speed down. for instance, f 1.8 is great for letting in maximum light for your lens, but a shutter speed of 1/800 is so fast, it's hard to get light to the sensor in time, espeically indoors at night. by selecting that slower shutter speed, hopefully no lower than 125 or so though, with kids, you will get more light in (shutter open longer) without having to raise the ISO quite so high, which gives grainier results with off-colors.

    THAT SAID- i think your improvements were great! i love where it ended up! and beyond they great improvements you've made, there's not probably much more you can do and maintain a natural look- just embrace that sometimes great moments aren't going to be technically "perfect", but they're priceless nonetheless!


  3. White balance has always been an issue for me....and unfortunately I'm not the best at correcting it in post, so I splurged $80 on an Expodisc (, and it's helped me a ton!

    Your editing program didn't do a *terrible* job with the wb correction, and sometimes even if it's not quite right, it will bring your image to a point where you can adjust it from there!

  4. I thought you did great with your edit. With Picasa, it's almost an automatic for me to go to Tuning and then do the magic adjustment for Highlights. It might help a bit..? I don't know how Gimp works, but with the coloring, you might be able to do more adjustments on CS4.

  5. I worked with your capture in GIMP for you. I like to use the program the submitter has :D I assumed you don't have and scripts and just worked with the tools within Gimp.

    The key is to work on layers, layers, layers. This way you can fade out as you need to :D

    - screen layer x2 faded as necessary
    - rose tint hue layer (faded)
    - unsharp mask whole image on a separate layer and faded it out until it looked natural.
    - dodge eyes lightly
    - lightly burn the shiny areas on her face to blend them down.
    - erase hue layer from the background with a layer mask (thereby making the subject come forward more).
    - Cropped with Golden Sections & to a 7X5

    I'm sure that's not all in the right order, but it gives you an idea what I did :D

    I hope you like it :D

  6. I agree with Megan. Always try to expose the shot as if you had no post processing program. You don't want to rely on that. A good photo is a properly exposed one. It will show more depth, shadows and highlights.

    You should study up on histograms, that would help out alot.

    I always try to use between 60-125 for indoor shots on the shutter. Adjust the white balance accordingly etc.

    Good luck Jessie, your doing great. :)

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  8. I looked at my edit on my PC today and thought it was WAY too yellow, so I had another go. Normally I might have used a script or two on this, but I resisted!

    Here's the link;

  9. I just wanted to stop and leave a comment. I was looking at my stats and found a link from your blog here. So sweet of you to include me on your list of blogs you follow. I'm humbled that you've done so and that you have me amongst some great photographers!

    Regarding your WB, maybe invest in an expo disc and learn to do manual WB. I was amazed at the difference in my photos once I went to manual WB!

  10. I'm so bad at this, but I think I like the auto fix one better. I don't know that my opinion counts though! I do really want to read The Other Boelyn girl, I've heard great things about that book and I loved the movie!

  11. Anonymous3:58 PM

    Thank you for the positive comment on my "Feedback Friday" picture! Helps me keep on keeping on! :)

  12. Hi! She is so cute! I would definately say your shutterspeed was to fast to let enough light in. I think the trade off to having such a fast shutterspeed was having to bump your ISO really high. It still came out dark though. I would try a much slower shutterspeed for an indoor shot, like that. In my house, I like to aim to get it up to 1/125 but I cannot always do that and I am not willing to go higher than ISO 400. For white balance, shooting in RAW would enable you to easily set it after the shot. It's super easy but if you prefer not to have to do the processing, then I would try manual white balance.


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