Matt Thomas prudently ordered a reference print of his photograph of Elk in early morning light before ordering the large canvas he was interested in. Based on this first print, he asked us to make adjustments–particularly to lighten the shadowed area on the right side of the image. This required a bit more than the overall adjustments to color balance, contrast, and tonal range that is included in our basic image processing service–though that was our starting point.
Once we had made these overall adjustments to Matt’s image, we thought the shadowed area was still too dark. So we created an additional adjustment layer to lighten the shadows further and then used a gradient mask so that the adjustment would only impact the shadowed area.
Once these adjustments were made we realized that a blue smudge that had been hidden in the darker image was now quite prominent. This was probably a lens flare caused by the intense morning light. We selected that area and then used Photoshop’s content aware fill command to create a realistic patch over the flare. A bit of extra work with the healing brush finished the fix.
Here are the original image and the image after our adjustments revealed the smudge: