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colour balance, brightness and tones...help

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  #1  
Old 05-05-2005, 04:45 AM
Nacoya Nacoya is offline
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colour balance, brightness and tones...help

Hiya,

Trying something a little different this time but yet another old photo. Not as badly damaged as the last one and this time absolutely no negative. Pic of someones uncle long since gone, but i want to enhance for his mother.

I've got bigger pic but i've resized for the purpose of the forum.

First pic is the starting point, second is where i'm at. I need some help in making sure that i get the optimised balances right, colour, brightness etc to get the best out of this picture so any help/ walkthrough much appreciated. I know it's a matter of experience which i don't have yet but what looks 'acceptable' to me might be miles off the mark to a more trained eye.

Please see what you think and any hints/help i'll apply to the larger image i'm working on.

Touch up i can do ok it's geting the basics i need help with..

enough waffle..

cheers,

nacoya
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File Type: jpg Arthur_master_small.jpg (91.8 KB, 48 views)
File Type: jpg ArthurA_small.jpg (97.7 KB, 48 views)
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  #2  
Old 05-05-2005, 06:16 AM
byRo's Avatar
byRo byRo is offline
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Hi there, Nacoya,

Before getting into comments about colors etc. I would like to call attention to another point.
When you tell somebody that you've "fixed" the photo, they may find distracting the distortion of the door. Nobody would complain about this in the original, but now they may.

There are a lot of vertical lines in the image - you could try straightening them up.

Have fun!
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  #3  
Old 05-05-2005, 03:08 PM
Nacoya Nacoya is offline
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Thanks byro, will have a closer look.

Anyone else want to have a go at helping..just let me know what you recommend or show me and i'll try and apply it to the larger copy i have etc...as i really want to get this as good as i can...

cheers,

nacoya
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  #4  
Old 05-05-2005, 03:51 PM
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Duv Duv is offline
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I know some members just eyeball but I go by the numbers and then adjust to suit.

In you image, you try to identify true white, grey and black points. Using Threshold, you can identify where the brightest and darkest parts of the image are. I wasn' t sure if the dark points were black, so I concentrated on the whites and greys. I placed one market on the white doorframe (I'm assuming it's white or close to it). I placed another market on the grey in his hair. Then I used Curves to make the numbers equal. For highlights you should generally increase the lower values to the highes, midtones adjust to the middle value and shadows adjust to the lowest value. Seldom I find when I do a color correction does the skin tone look right. Selecting the face and arms I usually change to CMYK and change the percentages to reflect a small amount of Cyan and slightly more yellow than magenta for Caucasian.
Let me know if you have any questions.

Cheers
Dave
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File Type: jpg D-Arthur_master_small.jpg (72.7 KB, 37 views)
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  #5  
Old 05-05-2005, 04:36 PM
Nacoya Nacoya is offline
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Excellent Dave ..

Using the 'numbers' would be my preferred route as i think that would give me a target but as i'm new to this i'm not sure i follow how.

I'm with you up 'till using the curves to make the numbers equal. I've selected the 2 points using the sampler tool and opened the adjustments>curves then what. ie..how exactly do i make which numbers equal.

The modification in cmyk mode to maximise the skin tones i understand so it's just the curves bit i need help with...(famous last words..lol)
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  #6  
Old 05-05-2005, 09:04 PM
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Duv Duv is offline
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OK, so the highlight I get is R 229, G 222, B 168. Your numbers may be different. So you want to bring the green and blue values up to 229, right? There's different way to make the adjustments, one way is to go into the green channel in Curves and pull it up slightly to change 222 to 229. OR, click anywhere on the Curve line, then highlite the input box and put 222 and then Highlite the output box and put 229.

Then in the midtones, I get R 130, G 154, B 87. Again, your numbers might be different. This time, balance to the middle number which is 130 (almost half way between 0 and 255, middle grey, which is pretty cool)

Please keep in mind that I am not the best communicator, so let's work thru this together.

Enough, get back.
Dave
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  #7  
Old 05-05-2005, 09:26 PM
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Flora Flora is offline
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Hi Nacoya,

had a go at your picture ... to quote Dave, I'm one of the 'members that just eyeball'

I first used the Levels on each individual Channel for a basic correction of colour, tone and contrast. (attachment 2 > Background Copy)

I, then, created a Level Adjustment Layer to further correct the skin tone which, after the first correction had remained a 'muddy cyan' (working on the Layer Mask, I inverted it > Ctrl+I, so it became black and with a soft white brush, I painted over face and arms). (attachment 2 > Levels 1)

Input Levels:

Red: 0, 1,06, 214
Green: 0, 0,83, 255
Blue: 21, 0.80, 255

Finally I used a Selective Colors adjustment Layer to further correct/enhance colours and contrast a bit...

Reds:
Cyan: +22
Magenta: +18
Yellow: -18
Black: +48

Yellows:
Cyan: +3
Magenta: +21
Yellow: -9
Black: +26

Whites:
Cyan: 0
Magenta: 0
Yellow: -14
Black: -36

Neutrals:
Cyan: 0
Magenta: 0
Yellow: -6
Black: +9

Great job Dave .... I'll have to re-try those numbers sooner or later ....
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File Type: jpg F_Arthur_master_small.jpg (98.2 KB, 41 views)
File Type: jpg F_ArthurLayers.jpg (83.8 KB, 21 views)
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  #8  
Old 05-06-2005, 08:28 AM
Nacoya Nacoya is offline
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hiya everyone,

firstly thanks for taking the time to help..

Ok i've sorted the colours using dave's 'by numbers' method (and a bit of 'by eye' if truth be told) and i'm relatively happy at this point with that.

I am now trying to get the skin right but i'm struggling on 2 counts.

Firstly, is the accurate selection of the areas. I tried your suggestion flora but i found that i was not accurate enough and the colour changes spilled into the surrounding areas. Probably if i took more time and used a different size brush etc i'd get there.

Anyway i ended up enlarging and using the magnetic lasso to make the selection but again i'm not happy with the areas at the hair and neck. Also having made the selection and applied some changes(by eye) i notice that arthurs eyes have gone magenta ish as well. So i suspect i have to exclude them somehow from the selection.

I am also working with the large image.

I have attached a reduced image of where i'm at now.

I have only modified the face tones and am trying to guess what the colours would have been as i don't want him to go too 'lobster' on me ..

I want to get the colours sorted then i can get rid of the scratches and dust etc...

I'm just waffling here but any suggestions on the selection method and keeping the eyes accurate would be great before i can move on to the next stage...and any comments about my attempt at colour correction..

thanks again..

nacoya
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File Type: jpg N2_Arthur_master.jpg (78.9 KB, 18 views)
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  #9  
Old 05-06-2005, 09:23 AM
Duv's Avatar
Duv Duv is offline
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Generally, I find the Lasso a pretty lousy tool for selection. My preferred methhod is using the Path tool which has a bit of a learning curve to use well but in this case where you want to isolate the eyes, I would suggest using Quick Mask. Zooming in you can get some incredible edge detail. I agree there is too much Cyan in the skin and needs to be either reduced or have the Magenta/Yellow increased. It looks like Flora has done both.

Flora, I don't think you ever need to worry about working by the numbers. That's for us mere mortals. How you play with all those sliders will forever baffle me. Even if I got lucky and did it once, I don't think that I could repeat it. Numbers is my safety net. Perfect execution, as always.

Cheers
Dave
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  #10  
Old 05-06-2005, 01:43 PM
Nacoya Nacoya is offline
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Still having problems recognising the extra cyan and removing it to get the skin right. Guess i don't have the experienced eye.

I have at least cleaned up most of the scratches etc ........

I think i've probably gone as far as i can go. I can keep changing things but can't decide when it's right.
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File Type: jpg N3_Arthur_master.jpg (79.8 KB, 12 views)
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