I need to adjust my eyes!

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Ladybugsteph's picture
Joined: 06/21/06
Posts: 2977
I need to adjust my eyes!

Sorry I have been absent lately. We're getting ready for a huge move, and I haven't had much time to keep up with everything I normally do. I have still be taking a photo a day for my 365 project (in my siggy in case you're interested), but they've definitely been mostly snaps lately.

I'm really trying to work on my brightness issues, and yesterday I had a bit of downtime while the kids were napping. This particular one (from more than a week ago lol!) I was working on directional lighting (see my previous post). I shot from the opposite direction, and I like the results much better.

To double check myself, I did Amber's little trick that she showed me in yet another previous thread, and the skin sample was so close to the white sample. So I brought down the brightness. I think that I need to train my eyes to see it darker, because this just looks so dark to me! I'd love to know what you think.

1/640 2.5 ISO 200 50mm

And just because I've grown to like b&w's a lot lately...

TracyF's picture
Joined: 08/14/06
Posts: 2352

I'm glad to see you back, Steph... been missing you around here!

It's funny that the image looks too dark to you, because it looks just about perfect to me. I think you did a great job with the directional light, too.

AmberBella's picture
Joined: 02/15/07
Posts: 1831

Looks pretty close to me. There is a lot of room to make it a bit brighter. Also...I'd add some red, that would make it feel less "dull".

Your issue with brightness could also be a computer calibration issue. There are several things that can cause problems when viewing an image's brightness. Do you edit on a desktop or a laptop?

shadow_grey's picture
Joined: 05/03/12
Posts: 581

I struggle with brightness too. I might have gone a little brighter on this, but it looks pretty good as is.

Ladybugsteph's picture
Joined: 06/21/06
Posts: 2977

I edit on a laptop, which I know is not exactly the best for editing. I think that I need to train my eyes to see darker rather than brighter. I'm just so used to editing bright. I'm glad to hear that this is good. It's a step in the right direction for me.

AmberBella's picture
Joined: 02/15/07
Posts: 1831

Yeah...if you don't have the exact right viewing angle on any screen your image will appear darker or brighter than it actually is. It is very difficult to make sure you are viewing at the exact right angle on a screen that moves!

If you have Photoshop CS2 or above I'd use the CYMK percentages to check your skin brightness and color balance every time. If my C% is below 5% I really worry and I like to keep the C% between 5-15% for fair skin. That would mean that the M should be between 10-30% and the Y just slightly higher than the M. K should ideally be 0% for skin except when dealing with darker skinned people and sometimes in the shadows.

If you have Elements you have to check numbers based on RGB....I don't know off hand what the ideal RGB numbers are. Though I do know that the G should be about 20 points higher than the B. When checking skin with RGB....the higher the R number, the brighter the skin. It's probably wise to keep that R number below 250...and probably better to keep it below 240.

Amy_&_Eva's picture
Joined: 08/23/07
Posts: 2378

I agree it could be a tad brighter but it's close. Smile

sadieruth's picture
Joined: 06/09/05
Posts: 6178

I agree with the others, and here lately I have been noticing that when I sit lower than my screen everything is dark, so when I edit, I edit too bright. Then I stand up and I realize it's wayyyyy too bright. Randall is working on building me a bookshelf/desk for my computer, but for now it's on the bar or table.

Also, this is a tad bit dark, but I do like brighter edits, so I don't have any advice b/c what I like may not be "correct."

Ladybugsteph's picture
Joined: 06/21/06
Posts: 2977

Thank you all!

Amber, I have Elements. I'll definitely keep an eye on my numbers.

And I have to say, that the more I look at it, the more it's looking natural to me. I'm just going to have to keep practicing and training my eyes Smile

Amy_&_Eva's picture
Joined: 08/23/07
Posts: 2378

That's what I do, I strive to get the lighting in the photo to look the way it does with our eyes. It makes you realize how amazing the human eye is!