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Hey, so I took this using a tripod on my grandparent's pool deck. The sun was in everyone's eyes and it was just all around a bad picture. Anyways, in regards to the lighting, or lack of it on certain family members faces wearing hats, what can I do? I dont have any photo editing software besides Picasa.

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Actually the image is under exposed and has a lot of noise that I noticed after opening the file. Really need to raise the exposure and fill light maybe. Use a curve or level adjustment. There is gimp, is a free image manipulation that will allow you to do these edits and much more. I'm sure there are other free software out there that will help you with this. Good luck!

The best way to take this shot is to have everyone in total shade (no light spots) and use a fill flash to lighten the faces.  Even better would be on an overcast day but that wasn't the case.  I think Terry did the best that can be done on the recovery.

Ron is spot on here and his advice is perfect. In the future, have the sun at the subjects back, turn the flash on and set the "Exposure Compensation" to around -1. Test this and then adjust the compensation until you get a good, evenly lighted, scene, then do your portraits (the operative here is "Test" and "Test" and Test"). Your sucess rate will be very high and clients/family will enjoy the results as well. And those wearing hats ... tip them back, it will make them appear friendlier, and you'll get high-lights in their eyes (this is a must in all portraiture).

Terry - nice work on his image, even if it was a quickie.

Thanks everyone SO much. I know this was an horrendus shot, but i was VERY nervous about taking this shot. It was incredibly windy and I had to set my tripod in front of a pool.....I dont think I need to clarify what I was nervous about. Terry, thank you for attempting to fix my screw up, I have started trying to learn gimp, and I've achieved a similar result. I can't seem to be able to fix the man in the far corner's face fully, but it should be ok. There were really no places to take a group shot with a tripod, the yard is all hills. It's just for my family, nothing really so important that the edited version wont suffice. Thanks again.

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