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Underexposed on a Cheap Camera :-(

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Old 08-04-2005, 03:45 AM
Noah Noah is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 10

Thanks much all for the great input and your work on the picture.

Caitlin, that's an excellent point, thanks. You even manage to get some of the texture, destroyed by Neat Image, from the couch back with your method. I plan to attempt what you've done and also to desaturate the grey tones to get rid of the chroma artifacting that your method reintroduced and I'm thinking it'll be a rap...unless, of course, anyone else has any great ideas to move it even further forward after I post the next try.
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Old 08-04-2005, 03:58 AM
Noah Noah is offline
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Originally Posted by Hephaestos
First step was screen copies. I used five (!) here, that got the background looking right exposure-wise. Foreground was by then overexposed so I put on a black/white gradient fill layer to cover that.
Hmm the screen technique is a great one if you don't have the shadows/highlights from Photoshop CS or CS2. But I'd suggest when you try it in the future you might want to mask out the forground rather than letting it become washed out then correcting afterward.

You seem to have lost a bit of the color from the child in the front's skin showing through her shirt, for instance. Not a great detail, granted, but no need to loose anything if you create a selection around the forground subjects and then take that out of each or your effects with a white bucket fill on a layer mask or invert the selection and just apply everything to said inverted selection leaving the forground subjects out.

Another thing you might consider trying is to turn up the saturation when you apply multiple screen effects. I think it gets lowered and has to be corrected some if you use it several times. (I'm a newb. If I'm wrong, please feel free to point it out. )

Originally Posted by Hephaestos
Next stamped the visible layers and ran despeckle, then sharpened with a 1-px high-pass overlay, then stamped again and ran neatimage.
I'm not positive on this, but I'd suggest you might get better results running Neat Image before you do any of this. Otherwise you're editing heavily artifacted pixels which may become amplified and even harder to correct. Also if you have a neat image profile for a given camera or device, or can find one on the web site, then I suspect it'd apply much better before any manipulation in a photo editing program than afterward.

Thanks much for your help. I hope I was able to offer something helpful in return.
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Old 08-04-2005, 05:19 AM
Noah Noah is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 10
Retouch 3

Ok, just finished with version 3. Really starting to shape up nicely thanks to all the great help you folks have provided. :-) Am learning a lot. So glad to have stumbled upon this site.

As you suggested, Caitlen, I superimposed my first retouch on the second one. I put it on with a very low overall opacity just to allow a bit of the original texture and such to come back into the whole layer. But, with a second copy of the retouch 1 layer, I used a layer mask to selectively add in more to places like Grandma's face and the textures on the couch. I love how that brought back some of the real features but no longer looks near as fuzzy as it did in the original picture. Great insight there on your part.

Turned out I didn't even need to desaturate the carpets and walls for chroma this time since I only applied a very light amount of the first fix to them and it wasn't enough (at least w/ my cheap-o monitor) to add an offensive chroma artifact.

Then I did a light lasso/cut/paste/screen on the bright spots on her eyes to bring out a bit of shine and proceeded to the byRo Graphics Eq (I love this little action you put together byRo, thanks a million.) and did a bit of soft light sharpening to selected areas (Again layer mask. Learned about that from a tutorial I read here. Changes everything!) to accentuate details like the separation between teeth, some of the facial features, and a bit on the pillows on the couch.

In all I'm very well pleased with this learning experience. I'd be happy to hear of any more that could be done, as I'm sure there's always room for improvement. But I'm certain my cousin will be very happy indeed to see that one of his favorite pictures of Grandma and the kids is now actually worth printing.

Thanks a bunch,

Attached Images
File Type: jpg Grandma-at-Play-Retouch-3RP.jpg (98.8 KB, 25 views)
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Old 08-04-2005, 07:02 AM
Craig Walters's Avatar
Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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But I'm certain my cousin will be very happy indeed to see that one of his favorite pictures of Grandma and the kids is now actually worth printing.
and that's when you know it's done. well done, noah!

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Old 08-07-2005, 02:59 PM
freddieanne's Avatar
freddieanne freddieanne is offline
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Location: Salt Lake City, UT
Posts: 73

You've worked wonders! You and your cousin should be very pleased.

My only suggestion would be to rotate it a little. It's just a personal thing, but I find it more pleasing when things look level and plumb. I've taken the liberty and attached an example. (2nd attachment)

Again, very nicely done.

Attached Images
File Type: jpg Grandma-at-Play-Retouch-3RP.jpg (98.8 KB, 4 views)
File Type: jpg Grandma-at-Play-Rotated.jpg (94.3 KB, 6 views)
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