Correction of photos in backlight

After studying this lesson, you will learn how to correct photos taken in backlight (that is, against a source of light).

In photographs of people taken against the sun (or another bright light source), they are usually obscured, since the dynamic range of the camera matrix is ​​not sufficient for simultaneously displaying such a spread in brightness levels. If the photo turned out not purely black silhouettes of people, but at least a little different facial features and colors, you can try to save it. In case the figures of people are completely black, it is already impossible to restore anything.

I want to introduce you to the methods of correction of such photos, borrowed from the master classes of Chris Orvig.

Step 1. Open our photo and make a copy of the layer by clicking CTRL +J.

Step 2. Apply the command Image – Correction – Light / Shadows (Image – Adjustment – Shadows / Highlights).

Settings in each case, you need to choose your own.
As you can see, the image is clarified. But we do not need the shadows and dark areas to be weakened throughout the image! We are only interested in the cyclist. Here we will need the following reception

Step 3. Choose in the menu Selection – Color Range (Selection – Color Range)

Select the White substrate option at the bottom of the window. This will allow you to immediately see which part of the image we are selecting. Now click the pipette on the dark areas of the cyclist. If you need to add some range to the selection, use the pipette with the + sign. Also do not forget about the parameter Scatter (Fuzziness). We achieve the selection of the figure of a cyclist. If something unnecessary gets into the selection area – it’s okay, in the next step we will fix it. Apply the command and get the selected area.

Step 4. Now click iconmasks at the bottom of the layers palette.

This action will create a layer mask according to our selection. Therefore, the effect will manifest itself selectively, only on the figure of the cyclist.

Black brush You can draw on the mask layer layer areas that accidentally fell into the selection (for example, grass).

Step 5. To further improve the image, let’s give it more contrast and juiciness.
First, change the blending mode of the upper layer to Lightening (Screen). Adjust the opacity.

Step 6. Next, make a copy of the top layer by clicking CTRL +J. Change the blending mode to Soft light (Soft Light). The figure of the cyclist acquired a deeper color and contrast, with a good study of light and dark areas.

Further actions are at your discretion. You can make a small color correction using the Curves, Levels adjustment layer or others. You can also apply any effects from other lessons.

I wish you all creative inspiration and success.
Author: Evgeny Kartashov (on materials of master-classes of Chris Orvig).

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