Processing and Retouching a Candid Flash Photo

The photo shown below (left) was taken during a nighttime patio party. It was one of those “hey look at the camera and shoot” moments.  I used a camera mounted flash with a diffuser and everything set on Auto. The pose looked great, but those hot spots and the background did not look so good. In addition, the eyes and teeth looked dull and yellow. The young woman actually has very white teeth and sparkling eyes. After reviewing the image, I felt I could make some minor adjustments without taking away from the candid pose and changing the real appearance of the subject. Both photos were cropped to fit an 8x10 print.

Original Image: Camera: Nikon D80, Lens: Nikkor 18-200mm f3.5-56 VR, Exposure: White Balance set on Auto, Aperture Priority, 1/60 at f5.6, Focal Length: 90mm (135 at 35mm equivalent), SB-800 flash mounted on camera. Note hot spots on face from flash and distracting background.

Processed and retouched image: Corrected white balance for flash exposure, softened skin texture and removed hot spots, whitened eyes and teeth, sharpened hair and eyes, and replaced distracting background with a marbled color matching background. The photo was also slightly cropped.

Click on image for larger view.


© Fred Henstridge Photography, Menifee, California. All Rights Reserved.