Quick photo edit in DPP

With record temperatures in the UK for April, there’s been plenty of opportunity to shoot sunset lit photos, and just recently I shot a short session for a new model.

The sun was right at the horizon and casting lovely long shadows and also giving very warm skintones, and I knew that shooting RAW would give me plenty of flexibility to determine the final look of my images.

Sunlit model - as shot

Sunlit model - as shot

This was shot with the Standard Picture Style, and automatic white balance. I used the spot meter to meter from the model’s face to get the exposure. In many ways this is how I remember the scene looked and certainly shows the warmth of the setting sun on the model.

DPP tools with adjustments to sunlit model photo

DPP tools with adjustments to sunlit model photo

There were several elements of the picture I wanted to adjust, first was the overall colour balance and second was the brightness.

White balance

My first adjustment was to the white balance as I wanted to change the skin tones to be a little less red, so I switched to the Kelvin white balance and moved the slider to the left and stopped at 4200K. DPP, like the EOS cameras applies white balance in a very clever way, if you leave it automatic white balance then different parts of the frame can have different white balance. Using Kelvin is the only way to apply the exact same white balance across the whole frame.

Increase the brightness

The histogram showed that actually the image was underexposed. To correct this I moved the right hand side of the histogram in towards the peak. This brightened the whole frame, and with highlight alert in DPP you can see if you push the highlights too far.

Adjust contrast

I almost had the image I wanted, but it needed a little less contrast than the standard picture style provided. To see how low I could go I changed to the Faithful picture style, this flattened the contast a lot but also helped the look of the colours too. I added a litle bit of contrast back in as the faithful picture style is very flat. I finished off by moving the highlight and shadows elements to put a bit more contrast in the highlights and a bit less in the shadows to make the image below.

Sunlit model - DPP adjusted image

Sunlit model - DPP adjusted image