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Critique and suggestions on a Polaroid

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  #1  
Old 03-17-2006, 10:54 AM
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bart_hickman bart_hickman is offline
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Critique and suggestions on a Polaroid

I friend brought me a polaroid he would like fixed up. Is has scratches and fingerprints, but the worse problem is simply that it's a polaroid and thus very blurry. I attached a crop from the original (he only cares about their heads and upper bodies) and what I did to try to clean it up.

My cleanup consists of auto color and levels, curve boost to shadows (brightens their faces without blowing the wall), color balance, USM radius ~60 to clear it up, followed by a couple of passes of USM for sharpening, healing to remove scratches, Ro's bandstop face-smoothing method, and a vignette. As if that all wasn't enough, I ran it through PSP nosie reduction AND Picture Cooler which simply sharpens the high-contrast edges.

I would appreciate your learned analysis and suggestions.

Bart
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File Type: jpg polaroid_orig.jpg (83.3 KB, 69 views)
File Type: jpg filtered_POLAROID_TWEAK.jpg (96.0 KB, 80 views)
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Old 03-17-2006, 04:10 PM
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mistermonday mistermonday is offline
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Hi Bart,
I chose a route which favored a less processed look. I began by duplicating the image and applying the Red Channel of the backgroung layer to the duplicate layer resulting in a grayscale layer. I sharpened that layer and cleaned it up a it (noise reduction, clone tool).Then changed its blend mode to Luminosity. There did a curve adjustment to pull up the mid tones and boosted the saturation. Finally used the sharpen tool to bring back some of the detail in the faces. The remaining scratches still need to be cleaned up but it is a little better than the original.
Regards, Murray
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File Type: jpg polaroid_Rev MM.jpg (88.0 KB, 63 views)
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Old 03-18-2006, 12:01 AM
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Hi Murray,

Thanks. I agree--mine looks too processed. I think I'll back off and hit it more conservatively.

Bart
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Old 03-18-2006, 06:29 AM
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philbach philbach is offline
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Polaroid Fix UP

I took a different path and switched to a Lab Mode. Increased the lightness, and the saturation. I also used Shadow Highlights. Back to RGB and Neat Image and various descratching filters.
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File Type: jpg Polaroid3.jpg (28.7 KB, 21 views)

Last edited by philbach; 03-21-2006 at 02:55 PM.
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Old 03-18-2006, 01:18 PM
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bart_hickman bart_hickman is offline
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I finally sat down last night to look at what you did and using the red channel was an excellent idea--it's nice and quiet.

Bart
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Old 03-18-2006, 01:35 PM
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Hi Bart

Not an easy one.
I extracted the luminosity then sharpened it and healed the faces

When the luminosity looked ok I put back the colour
Then several more layers to colour, clone etc.

Ken
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File Type: jpg Ken_polaroid_orig.jpg (99.2 KB, 45 views)
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Old 03-18-2006, 10:26 PM
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bart_hickman bart_hickman is offline
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Thanks Ken!

I tried printing some of these and I'm finding that images that appear over-processed on the computer screen come out looking more natural on paper--probably because the paper prints are small (and for this particular job, they won't be printed as large as they show up on my monitor.) I found it interesting--I should probably go learn more about color management to minimize surprises like this.

Bart
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Old 03-19-2006, 02:12 PM
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philbach philbach is offline
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Print looks different

Bart another possibility is your computer monitor has not been calibrated.
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Old 03-20-2006, 01:04 AM
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bart_hickman bart_hickman is offline
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Hi Phil,

I thought of that and checked--it's still calibrated.

The color of the pictures matches the printer pretty well, it's just that the relative smallness and un-brightness of a printed picture seems to not draw my attention to the artifacts as easily. The largest I can even print anything is 8x11, which is still a lot smaller than my monitor. The guy I'm doing this for will only want it at 4x6 at the most.

I also imagine if I used a standard studio light to shine on the photos, they might look worse.

Thanks,
Bart
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  #10  
Old 03-21-2006, 12:31 AM
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Hi Bart

Like Murray I favor the less processed look. I deleted all but the red channel which I sharpened with the unsharp mask. My document was then in Multichannel mode and I converted it back to RGB (first going to Grayscale and then RGB - because you can't go Multichannel to RGB). I then took a snapshot of the document and created a new document from that. Then I went back to the original document (as I had opened it) and adjusted the color using levels and selective color (toned down the black in the neutrals a bit). When the color was to my liking I flattened it and dragged a copy over to my new document I had created from the red channel and changed the blend mode to color. I flattened those two layers again, made a copy and did some healing and cloning. I tried putting it through noise filters but they only softened the hair too much and it looked false somehow. Eventually I just settled for two passes of the despeckle filter.

Regards Syd
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File Type: jpg Polaroid-Couple.jpg (99.2 KB, 35 views)
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