How do a shoot and adjust an image where my subject is against a bright background?

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A problem that continues to plague me is the photo of people in the foreground (my subject) with a lighter sky in the background. Can you suggest tutorials or written instructions (or particular presets/products that are best for) making my subject better exposed/presented, while reducing the background to a more compatible exposure/lightness?
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Bruce Fritch

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Posted 4 years ago

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a lot of cameras have a face detection/focusing mode when combined with matrix metering will expose the face within a certain zone (you can use tools like or to find how how the areas within a frame are really exposed /sensor raw channels saturated/ in raw and learn how your exposure metering actually working - Adobe products are not quite suitable for such research)... sometimes if you want to have a certain look you need to use a flash to light up the faces (but then in some cases it means big powerful flash, etc)...
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Rob Cole

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I agree with DP HOME that in general the solution consists of:

* increased exposure, whether by automatic or manual means.
* using flash (or another form of supplemental light) for additional subject light.

But also, if you can, position yourself so more light is on your subject, if possible.

Once you've taken the shot, then the rest can be done in Lr, consider:
* -contrast and/or +exposure -highlights +shadows...

If global adjustments not cutting it, you can supplement with locals, and if necessary, take into Photoshop or NX2 for more sophisticated masking..

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Steve Sprengel, Champion

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