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need help w/ color loss? shift? bad photographer? Ha!

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  #1  
Old 08-06-2005, 02:34 AM
Tabby M.'s Avatar
Tabby M. Tabby M. is offline
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Unhappy need help w/ color loss? shift? bad photographer? Ha!

Hi everyone, I'm new here and also to retouching. My friend wanted me to 'fix' her photo from 1980. She's Cuban and her husband is Peruvian but somehow when I use either Photoshop LE 5.0 or Gimp's Levels 'black and white' eye droppers, I end up with two people who have blue or purple lips, and their clothes melt into the awful backdrop. I am not sure they would have worn clothes that are so similar in style to the backdrop but then it WAS 1980 and mauve was in style. Any ideas of what to do next? I am a total beginner so curves, masks and layers are still foreign to me. (But I am willing to learn.) It seems the photo is really over-exposed in the middle and since they are cut off on the sides, I'd like to think it is just a crappy photographer that is causing the problem---Ha! I'd appreciate any thoughts. Tabby
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  #2  
Old 08-06-2005, 09:23 AM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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hi tabby m. and welcome to RP

i'm a bit curious here. why the split in the image and could you post the original that's not split? and what do you mean by 'cut off at the sides'?

photoshop L.E. 5.0 is a bit lightweight. you wont be able to do a number of things there. the gimp shld be fine for a lot of things, however. learning what all these tools are and what they do is key. i mean, imagine a carpenter that didnt know how to use a saw. it's the same with graphic editing. i forget what help the gimp has, but i'm sure it has some. clear up the terminology with a glossary or a 'definitions' if available. play with each item until you've got it. things like layers, curves and masks are going to come up in many of the tutorials you may read. clear up the words and what each item does in practice... and then go practice....a lot!

you've got a good basic start to your image. but obviously you recognize there's more you could maybe do. the woman's face has a bit too much cyan in it. the man's face is a bit dark and a bit too 'noisy'. the woman's chest is a bit washed out (too bright/white) and the baby's face is uneven is tone. you've also got some blue/cyan problems in the baby's extremities. all these things take their own treatment and that's where things like masks and layers and selections come in.

i'll give you some quick definitions and analogies to see if we cant get you started. layers are almost exactly what they imply in the name. think of your original image as if it were a piece of paper. it's one layer. now, you can add other pieces of paper on top of that one. each piece of new paper is a new layer. the great thing about layers is that your overall image look can change with each layer you add, depending on what you do. but the overall image will represent ALL the layers combined. thus, if you had a picture of a cat as your basic layer and put another picture of a dog over the top of the cat, you would see the dog. but, if you reduced the opacity of the layer with the dog, the cat would be begin to show through as well. if you reduced the opacity of the layer with the dog to 0, then only the cat would show. that make sense?

so, in your picture you posted here, if you put a blank layer over the top of your picture and painted it where the woman's face is, and you painted that area red and then lowered the opacity of the red layer, the woman's face would start to show and you would see the red color as if it were part of the woman's face, thus coloring it a bit.

in general, the layers have a priority. the one on top is going to be seen first and foremost and affect all the layers beneath it, just as you would see it first if these were stacked up on top of each other. but, as stated above, each layer has an adjustable opacity/transparency setting, a slider which allows any given layer to be more or less transparent. 0 is completely transparent. 100 is completely opaque. so, you might have 10 layers for a given image and each set with a different opacity allowing each layer to influence the look of the overall image.

ok, still with me? masks are a bit different. masks are like having a layer with an adjustable opacity setting IN that layer. the mask is IN the same layer as whatever the image is in that layer. and EVERY pixel of the MASK can be set to a different opacity. the mask itself comes in 256 shades of gray. any pixel of the mask can be set to any of these 256 shades of gray, from complete black, which is 0, to complete white, which is 255. the darker the shade, the more that gets masked. the whiter the shade, the less that gets masked. this mask affects the image within the same layer. it's again like pieces of paper, but this time your basic piece of paper (the basic image) has an individual pixel opacity/transparency setting (the mask). so, in the image you posted here, you could make another layer of your original layer and then apply a mask to this duplicate layer. you could then edit the mask itself and make all the areas of the mask black except those of the woman's face and you could make all the area of her face white. remember, when you edit the mask you're not changing the image in the layer, you're just changing the mask sitting on top of it in that layer.

when you then turned off editing the mask and painted on that layer, only the woman's face would be altered. all the rest of that layer is masked in black which doesnt allow any changes. it masks it. actually, an easier way to think of masks is in the real world sense of what a mask is. if you wear a halloween mask, you have cutouts for the eyes and nostrils and so on, but you also have areas you cant see through. the cutout areas are like the white and the other is like black. you can 'see' through the cutouts, the white. you cant see through the non-cutouts, the black. but, i also said you have 256 shades in this mask, from complete black to complete white. well, the shades represent a scale of opacity/transparency. the lighter it is the more transparent it is. the darker it is, the less transparent. so, if you put a gray in there with a value of 127, that is half opaque and half transparent and so some of what you paint over this mask will show through, but not all.

ok, this post is getting a bit long and i didnt originally mean for this to be so long...my definition of 'quick'

anyways, ask questions. the folks here are quite helpful. this is a great learning site. and again, welcome to RP.

Craig
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  #3  
Old 08-06-2005, 10:08 AM
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1STLITE 1STLITE is offline
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I don't really have any advice to offer as of yet, but to let you know that all my baby pictures are exactly like this. I wonder doeds anyone know what was going on in late 70s/early 80s that all these portrait prints turned out looking like this?

Another weird hting is that my lips also turned purple after color correcting. I will go play with it and see if there is some easy way to fix it, and let you know what I find.

This really is strange, don't you think? I am a big WHY person, and woudl love to know if anyone here knows why?

Dawn
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  #4  
Old 08-06-2005, 10:52 AM
fat0n3s fat0n3s is offline
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Quote:
I don't really have any advice to offer as of yet, but to let you know that all my baby pictures are exactly like this. I wonder doeds anyone know what was going on in late 70s/early 80s that all these portrait prints turned out looking like this?
This maybe a false statement, but what I've been told is they used to use photopaper that had a certain acid in it. At first the photos would look great, but over time, that acid in the paper would discolor the pictures, like you see above.
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Old 08-06-2005, 11:34 AM
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nebgranny nebgranny is offline
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Hi Tabby.
I am by no means a big help here. I did however take your picture you did , and made a few adjustments to it , it seemed to clear the faces up a little. I took it into psp9 and used the noise reduction tool and it helped a little with clarity. Just playing with it a little. BTW Welcome to the forum!! Neb
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Old 08-06-2005, 01:48 PM
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Cameraken Cameraken is offline
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Hi Tabby
Welcome to RP

Well it’s not perfect but it is a start

I think pictures fade like this because of the dyes used fading at different rates.

Joined, Levels, Colour Correct, Neat Image and a Bit of Painting

Ken
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  #7  
Old 08-07-2005, 12:39 PM
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Tabby M. Tabby M. is offline
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why the photo was split

I should have mentioned that it was an 11" X 14" photo and wouldn't fit on my scanner so I scanned the two ends of it separately, and then also laid it on the scanner and just scanned what I could get of it, to have a nearly- complete photo to 'practice' on. When I finshed it, I will have to stitch the two halves back together and then get a Kinkos or some place to print it out for me so she has a corrected 11" x 14".
What I meant by the sides being cut off, the baby's hand and the mom's shoulder extends out of the frame. I do a lot of portrait photography and for a group shot, I never cut any of the person's body off except legs. Maybe it's just a personal preference on my part.
It's fascinating to see one of you come up with a greenish-blue background, I always thought it was tropical, but maybe it wasn't!
Anyway I printed out the replies so I can STUDY them -- I have a lot to learn.
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Old 08-07-2005, 01:23 PM
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Cameraken Cameraken is offline
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Tabby

I guessed this was the reason the picture was in two halves. I worked from the two halves and joined them.
The background did have some red in it but it was mainly on the branches so that’s my bit of painting where I removed it. As I thought it was part of the red cast.

You may find it easier to copy this with a camera as it will save the stitching

Ken
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  #9  
Old 08-07-2005, 03:18 PM
vino vino is offline
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Here is another attempt.

looks OK in Black & Whte
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  #10  
Old 08-07-2005, 06:19 PM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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ok, thanks tabby.

Craig
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