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iPhoto is telling me that the exposure needs to be corrected.  When it corrects it though it looks too yellow and light.  And when I look at the histograms, it is skewed to the left.  Help with figuring out how much exposure compensation to apply.  Any tips on how to figure out how under/overexposed a shot is?  Thanks everyone!

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Looking at this image on my monitor I don't see a need to correct for the exposure. Are they saying it's too dark or too light? Also, are you sending them a file color profile of "sRGB" or "Adobe RGB?" Not that either one of these will make much of a difference in the exposure, but might in the color correction area. I do find the composition to be excellent, and you have a catch-light in the eye which makes the bird more alive. In all a very pleasig and delightful image.

I like the edit Ron made to the image - nice work Ron.

I've never felt comfortable relying on the histogram in the camera nor in PS. For critical work I always use a hand held light meter and then adjust my camera accordingly. However, you are using a P&S camera and not a DSLR so we're in two different worlds here. My thought would be to carry a "Gray Card" and shoot that first then the subject, giving you a place to start in post processing. You'll find that there many ways to interpret an image for color balance and luminance, if you like the way an image looks and the lab doesn't ... "what do they know?" Remember, labs work for us, not us for them.

Mike, it looks ok but a bit flat because everything is in the low to mid range tones.  If you use curves and move the highlight (top right corner) to the left to bring them up it will add more pop to the picture.  I did it here as an example.

Mike,

Mac screens are not any lighter or brighter than PC's, i have both running on the same monitor and they are identical?

Check your gamma setting, if it is 1.8, switch it to 2.2 which is standard.

The other thing would be to calibrate your screen.

The histogram does a very good job at determining tonal ranges in images, try using the black, white and neutral points in curves for color correction.

White balance is always best done in the Raw file before exporting to 'PS'

Gary, thanks for that information which should help Mike.  I only use a PC but I have a calibrated monitor so he might not see exactly what I see.

Your welcome Ron,

i did away with third party calibration a while ago and invested in the Eizo Coloredge CG275W:

http://www.eizo.com/global/products/coloredge/cg275w/index.html

It's basically a 'reference monitor' so the colors are pretty much perfect with any ICC color profile and it self calibrates using internal hardware and not the graphics card which takes away all headaches :)

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