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Alternatives to Gamma Correct?
I have a lot of nice quality pics I've taken lately with my F30, without flash out of necessity. So some of the pics (especially with people in foreground) are pretty dark. Usually I just use gamma correction on Irfanview, but "real" photographers say that is a crude method and I should be using "levels" or something. Are there any free programs for "levels" / image brightening / post processing? I'd like to make some good prints of some of these. Thanks...

Comments (11)

You get pretty decent corrections from Picasa, free download from Google. Of course, it ain't photoshop, but it's free and it works good enough..

Comment #1

Thanks, I'll try Picasa. But anyone have any tips on how to brighten images properly?..

Comment #2

TurboC wrote:.

Thanks, I'll try Picasa. But anyone have any tips on how to brightenimages properly?.

Two step program:.

1. Take brighter images;.

2. Until you succeed with one, you have good brightening tools in Picasa, the simplest is "I am feeling lucky" ..

Comment #3

1.) Flash wasn't allowed. End of story..

2.) "Fill Light" in Picasa could be ok, but I am also hoping for something which can brighten selective parts of an image. I read that "Photoshop", "Essense", and "FX Foto" can do it but they aren't free. I've tried the "Kodak Perfectouch" service before but I don't like the results, they push it too far and make it look really fake. Hmm, why don't I just post one of the pics of interest: (I made a collage to show original, gamma, and Picasa's "Fill Light").

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

Fill Light is pretty nice, doesn't turn her into a ghost like a huge gamma correct would, so that's a massive improvement. But notice the other details in the image (ice, banners etc) which become too bright. I mean, I could live with "Fill Light" I just am still hoping for some kind of free program (I'm broke) with spot-brightening.....

Comment #4

That's quite a good result from Picasa..

The only free software I know of which goes beyond the basic image enhancement of Picasa is The Gimp:.

Http://gimp-win.sourceforge.net/stable.html..

Comment #5

A free program to try is Vicman Color Correction Wizard..

Also try the trial version of Ashampoo Photo Optimizer...

Comment #6

Thanks. Another question I had is - are there any good tools for monitor color adjustments? My monitor is decidedly dark... I tried the nVidia color correction wizard that comes with my video card, when I do what it says, it ends up HORRIBLY dark. So then I just set it's gamma a little higher. But I doubt I have anything close to "true" colors. That's kind of important, for knowing how to process the images, how far to lighten etc...

Comment #7

TurboC wrote:.

Thanks. Another question I had is - are there any good tools formonitor color adjustments? My monitor is decidedly dark... I triedthe nVidia color correction wizard that comes with my video card,when I do what it says, it ends up HORRIBLY dark. So then I just setits gamma a little higher. But I doubt I have anything close to"true" colors. That's kind of important, for knowing how to processthe images, how far to lighten etc..

Hmm, you have a situation here  On my screen your corrected images look too bright. Here's my take:.

Before using a hardware colorimeter I hand-calibrated my screens with decent results for quite a while. Prerequisites: good eyes, good monitor, patience, a photo lab which will print your images unadjusted..

1. Process some images which contain the subjects you have most problems with. For most that would be some human skin, green grass, blue sky, a red object.2. Return everything to factory settings3. Adjust a pleasing contrast and brightness on the monitor.

4. Play with the calibration software. I used two: adobe gamma and my monitor's Samnsung natural color or something. The last one was better. Adjust the gamma for the individual color channels until you are happy. Then, crosscheck with the prints.



Regarding your images. You could expose for the subject - but that would blow your background. It would look a bit better than the blownup in software, but... that's it..

You could use GIMP, as another poster suggested. Or, you could look hard on the CDs that came with your hardware: camera, scanner, monitor, webcam, etc. You might find a copy of photoshop elements, which I believe will much better solve your problem...

Comment #8

Devnull wrote:.

You could use GIMP, as another poster suggested. Or, you could lookhard on the CDs that came with your hardware: camera, scanner,monitor, webcam, etc. You might find a copy of photoshop elements,which I believe will much better solve your problem..

I agree that Elements would be ideal, and you're right - it used to be supplied with some scanners and also, if I recall correctly, Canon DSLRs. But I haven't seen that for some time - hardly surprising as prices have fallen so far now that a decent scanner is hardly any more money than a copy of Elements!..

Comment #9

You should learn to use 'curves' instead of gamma correction..

Superficially this seems the same thing, but it is actually different..

I'd also suggest you look at LightZone for processing images. The mechanism for adjusting levels and brightness is quite different and somewhat more intuitive than curves ( or gamma ). In addition it's arguably more in tune with the way the technology actually works..

It's also useful to select the area you want to be affected by changes. This allows you to manipulate the very dark areas, for example, without affect the bright areas at all. Can be tricky to get a realistic looking result, but can also be worth the effort sometimes..

Also note that if you use layers you can mix them in different ways to achieve very good effect..

StephenG.

Pentax K100DFuji S5200Fuji E900PCLinuxOS..

Comment #10

This is a very bad photo, to begin with. For some reason, her face is darker than her arm? Is it in a shadow? If so, move her a little or try placing a reflector in the light to bounce some into her face? Next, it's underexposed (the ice is gray, not white), so you need to increase the exposure, either at the time the pic was taken (preferably) or in PP..

The Picassa effort was rather good, but I'd first correct the overall exposure issue and THEN apply a bit less shadow correction..

I took your original and processed it with PSE5. I did some selections on her face to make it a bit brighter. I also warmed up the color just a tad..

Charlie DavisNikon 5700 & Sony R1HomePage: http://www.1derful.infoBridge Blog: http://www.here-ugo.com/BridgeBlog/..

Comment #11

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.

 

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