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Underexposed: Can this be saved?

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  #1  
Old 09-11-2005, 08:58 PM
pjstaley's Avatar
pjstaley pjstaley is offline
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Underexposed: Can this be saved?

I would appreciate any input in regard to how I might restore this image.
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  #2  
Old 09-11-2005, 10:20 PM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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hi pjstaley,

and welcome to RP.

to start, i ran the fast fix plugin and desaturated and brightened a bit.
i then ran a contrast/lightness adjustment layer for contrast and to brighten some more
then i added a curves adjustment layer and brought up the darks and the midtones.

and that was all i did for now.

the image needs cleaning and some jpg artifact removal now and then another look under some of those same adjustment layers.

Craig
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Old 09-11-2005, 11:15 PM
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pjstaley pjstaley is offline
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fast fix plugin

Hi Craig,
It's just amazing what great results you get in such a short amount of time. I just posted this a few hours ago! I have heard mention of this "fast fix plug in" on more than one occasion. It sounds like something I might be interested in. Where might I locate it?
PJ

Last edited by pjstaley; 09-11-2005 at 11:20 PM. Reason: Addendum...
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  #4  
Old 09-12-2005, 12:16 AM
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A desaturation, and then a little bit of contrast/brightness adjustment in Lab Color mode.

Yes, I'll probably be experimenting with it a lot now. :P
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Old 09-12-2005, 12:48 AM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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pj,

thanks that took about 10 minutes or less. the clean up may take longer

just do a search in the forums on 'fast fix' or 'fotomatic'. if the forums dont show it, try google.

Craig
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Old 09-12-2005, 12:56 AM
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pjstaley pjstaley is offline
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How'd you do that?

I mean really? RooB, that just takes my breath away! How'd you do that? I've tried everything I can think of and still only got results I was disappointed in. I don't know if I should give up because I'll never be as talented as you all are or strive to this seemingly unattainable goal of being able to turbo boost to a solution with the speed of light like you and Craig and Flora. I'm depressed now.
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Old 09-12-2005, 01:44 AM
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CJ Swartz CJ Swartz is offline
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PJ, it can seem like a long time when you're just starting out, but just think of it as a fun way to spend your time -- learning a craft that will take years to perfect, but learning each week how to do some things better. There are some photos that will never look really good no matter who works on them, but most of them can look better -- if they can look recognizable to the people who know and love them, that's a good thing! When you can make the image and the subjects look realistic and whole again -- that's a great thing!

We're all learning here, and always will be -- so be depressed, then pick up your tools and start again.

I tried a number of things to save the color, but gave up and desaturated. I replaced the Blue channel with the Lightness channel from LAB mode. Tried to improve contrast with Curves, and did several layer blends with softened features to try to reduce some of the artifacts. Use the Patch tool to eliminate the obvious spots in the clothing and background.
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  #8  
Old 09-12-2005, 01:48 AM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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pj,

we all go through that. i still go through it. the thing is, i KNOW i shld be able to do all this...ALL of it, but i cant...not yet, anyways. comparing oneself to others, whether they're good and you're 'bad', or they're bad and you're good...it's a crash waiting to happen. compare yourself to yourself. i could do this yesterday, and NOW i can do this much more! that's how you win! and if today you can do less than yesterday....then go back to yesterday and figure out what you changed that didnt work

here's another run-through on your pic. added some more steps.

here's the deal; your picture is basically there. it's just kind of covered up with red and darkness, primarily. so, we remove the red. we do that by 'de-saturating' the picture; meaning simply, we remove ALL color. that's what i used Fast Fix for. that leaves a somewhat dark black and white.

so, we want to brighten it up. several ways to do that. you could use 'curves', Fast Fix, or contrast/lighten, as examples. i used both contrast/lighten.

but, the black/white relationship is kinda goofy still. so, i added curves. this allows you to adjust the relative values of red, green and blue on each channel, or, all of them at once on the master channel. these 'channels' are just a way of sorting differences so that they can be individually worked on, if necessary. so, with curves and since this is just now a black and white image, i used the master channel to lighten some of the darks and darken some of the lights and bring the mid tones up a bit.

that was all with the first image i posted. in this second one i did more, but it would probably confuse you for now. learn the basics. drill them, practice them!! ask questions! try to work within your level of expertise, but push yourself up to the next level as you can. working on extremely difficult images can be frustrating as all get out. trust me on that one

and i'm flattered that you would put me in the same category as flora. frankly, she's way over me in talent and skill on most things.

one of the best ways to learn the tools is to just take images off the web and practice on them. just find decent looking images and see if you cant improve them. take some semi-decent photographs you have at home and just work to improve them a bit. the image you posted here isnt REAL tough, but it's not a real easy one either. there are lots of things involved in cleaning that one up. find some simple ones and work your way up. and, if you find yourself picking up the computer with the intent of bashing it against something or someone.... go take a walk

Craig
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  #9  
Old 09-12-2005, 02:00 AM
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I stumbled into that-- and I was pretty surprised-- I know absolutely nothing about Lab Color mode (Image->Mode->Lab Color), yet it amazes me what just playing around with the lightness layer's contrast/brightness can achieve.

The steps I followed were--

1. De-saturate (my favorite command, really)
2. Image->Mode->Lab Color.
3. Adjusted the contrast/brightness of the lightness layer until I saw something acceptable.
4. Create a quick mask so I could brighten up the viginette (it was a quickie, hence the little white circle in the middle).

Of course, I could be doing things half backwards here, since I know nothing about what I'm doing in that mode. :P

And there's no such thing as surrender in Photoshop-- when I see someone like Flora or Phyllis work, and they just blow me away, that just means I need to learn more and practice more to catch up to their ninja-like skill. But at the same time, I know it takes a long time to master the art. With time and persistance comes experience, with experience comes results, with Roob.... comes a heck of a lot of luck. :P

So, don't worry about what other people do-- we all started not knowing what we were doing (I still don't), been frustrated over our results, had sleepless nights staring at a picture wondering how the heck to fix it.

Put it this way, the more mistakes you make the more you learn.

Now.....
*hides in the shadows to observe the Photoshop ninjas when they approach*
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  #10  
Old 09-12-2005, 05:01 AM
Cassidy Cassidy is offline
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I thought I'd have a go at this one, and after duplicating the image and applying it in screen mode I adjusted the levels and then the contrast. Looking at this pic up close, it seemed rather pixelated and having read about the program neat image, I ran it though the downloaded limited version and was quite amazed at what a good job it did. I then patched the photo a little and then did a mild high pass on a new duplicate in overlay mode.
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