Composition, Lighting Help

I believe there are issues with lighting/post processing here but I am having a hard time moving forward. I want to brighten it but I’d like it remain a late evening/night scene. I have tried adding point lights on the lanterns but I did not like the result. Any help is very much appreciated!
Render 11.2|572x500

One quick way is “Dodge & Burn” technique in image editing app…


for 3D rendering is a little bit more complicated especially without knowing details…

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Ah, I was hoping I could fix it in post and this is a huge help, thank you.

I am not sure I like the dodge and burn technique, not because I am against post pro, but because I like the atmosphere of the gates and cemetery in background. The dodge and burn looks good from a distance but not with close inspection. Also I think that the main light source should come through the gates.

I think you should try and get some of the magic there is in the background to come through the gates and cast a moon shadow into the foreground with maybe very slight gate patterned god rays towards the girl.

I can see there is a distinct moon reflection on the gates that seems to point to the girl but that light does not influence the foreground as if it has been washed away.

The foreground seems «washed out» (maybe from early post pro) I would keep it darker in the unimportant areas and try to focus the girl more. That is why the dodge and burn does work because it gives more contrast, but my eyes are drawn immediately to the lamps on the left.

The candle lamps for me should be a much warmer colour without actually casting casting much light, be careful so they do not distract from the focal point, you could always rearrange them if they do. For me the lamps on the left are too bright or cast too much light.

You have made a very interesting scene it just needs a push on the lighting side.

Just my opinion :slight_smile:

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Kindly remember this quote from one of the great masters of silver-film photography, Ansel Adams: “the image is captured in the camera, but it is made in the darkroom.” Ansel bequeathed to a photography school in Tuscon, AZ a tremendous number of his negatives, along with “master lessons,” and from all of these we can quite clearly see the difference between “the images that he is now quite famous for” … so much for ‘photorealistic’ … and “the negatives that his camera actually saw.”

So: “these negatives initial renders look quite good …”

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