Thursday, November 4, 2010

Bounce Flash

This example is really bounce flash and photojournalism.  It comes from an attempted environmental portrait, a chef in a restaurant kitchen, where almost everything was working against me: multiple source lighting, very small space, windowless, busy background, rickety out of shape shelves, heavy rain outdoors, and hot ranges at my back.  The beer and Lamb kebab helped a bit.  This image was only a test but the owner and his manager wanted a copy.  I was relatively sure I could fix the lighting in Photoshop or Lightroom and not violate any journalism rules.  Punch read more to see the how it turned out.


The right side was way over exposed by the bounce and the left appeared a bit under.  After importing to Lightroom, I opened the file in Development.   I adjusted the global exposure with all my attention on the center area and I ignored the right and left sides. 

Next I pulled a negative exposure gradient from the right to the center.  I held down the shift key to make the application level.  Then I adjusted the intensity until the split lighting was more balanced. 

On the left side I pulled a slightly positive exposure gradient to the center to approximately match the right . 

I added a small gradient from the bottom and then fiddled with the intensity and area of all gradients until they looked pleasing.  Next I cropped the frame.  The last adjustment was to paint down the exposure of the background (and those lovely white clamshells) to emphasize the foreground.  The final step was to export a .jpg to email.

I'm not saying I'm happy with this, but Lightroom can do a lot of improvement in a short time.

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