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Blown Highlights

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  #1  
Old 02-19-2006, 03:26 AM
John Lawton John Lawton is offline
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Blown Highlights

Can anyone give me some help with this photograph, it has blown out highlights, whats the best way to disguise the problem. Many thanks.
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Old 02-19-2006, 03:29 AM
Jeronimas Jeronimas is offline
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First of all, I think that image is too small to work with it
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Old 02-19-2006, 04:42 AM
Cassidy Cassidy is offline
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Yes the thumbnail really is a bit small to be articulate however one idea is to use the shadow highlight adjustment

2nd image is shadow/highlight adjustment and then a bit of sharpening.
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File Type: jpg ScreenShot001.jpg (52.5 KB, 16 views)
File Type: jpg Img0004copy.jpg (8.6 KB, 44 views)

Last edited by Cassidy; 02-19-2006 at 07:14 AM.
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Old 02-19-2006, 10:14 AM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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john,

welcome to RP.

and yes, the image needs to be resized. roughly 600 x 800 pixels is sort of a standard here. it's a not a fixed thing, but does make for easier viewing.

as for disguising the blown out areas, the best way is to simply fix them. this usually means a bit of hand painting, however, and not everyone wants to go to that length.

you can also try to adjust the blown out areas, rgb 255, 255, 255, to something less in value and this will reduce the effect a bit. 'curves' is a good way to do this. by dragging the highs downwards you can turn an rgb 255, 255, 255, into something like rgb 240, 240, 240 fairly easily. it's not the best way to fix the image, but it would reduce, disguise, the effect a bit.

craig
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Old 02-19-2006, 11:16 AM
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mistermonday mistermonday is offline
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Blown Out

John, welcome to RP. It is not essential for this image, but for future postings you should upload a much larger size image.
The 1st thing I do with these images is tone down the highlights to bring the image contrast into a normal range. As Jeronimas has pointed out, the Shadow/Highlight adjustment in PS is excellent. I prefer to use a Curve. In this case I brought the high point 255 down to 235. I then found the darkest spot on the men and pulled that down. When making contrast adjustments to images that are very high key or very low key, you should focus on adjusting the main subject as correctly as you can as other parts of the image do not matter as much or at all. A screenshot to this point is attached below.
After bring the image into a more reasonable range, you can restore some color in the blown out areas by selecting a color and painting it in with a soft brush in Color Mode. I would recommend actually adding a new blank layer on top of the background, painting on the layer and changing the blend mode to color. That way if you want to make changes quickly you can erase or delete the layer.
Regards, Murray
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Old 02-19-2006, 12:10 PM
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LonK LonK is offline
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You didn't mention what editor/tools you have. My editor, PhotoImpact, has a tool called Dynamic Range Extension that works pretty good for this type of thing. This took just a few seconds. Hard to really say, as the original is too small, but...
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  #7  
Old 02-19-2006, 12:26 PM
John Lawton John Lawton is offline
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Blown Highlights

First of all my apologies for the size of the problem photo, it's my first upload and I wasn't too sure as to what size it should be, hopefully next time I'll get it right. Many thanks for the help, I can see from the examples and advice that the photo can be rescued, I suppose the best advice would be to get the exposure right at the time of taking the photo.
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Old 02-19-2006, 06:47 PM
Mike Mike is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Lawton
First of all my apologies for the size of the problem photo, it's my first upload and I wasn't too sure as to what size it should be, hopefully next time I'll get it right. Many thanks for the help, I can see from the examples and advice that the photo can be rescued, I suppose the best advice would be to get the exposure right at the time of taking the photo.
Amen, or at least shoot in RAW if you can.
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Old 02-20-2006, 05:38 AM
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PatrickB PatrickB is offline
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I use to do two major steps:

Creating a couple of overlay layers to see what can be rescued from the shadow and highlights part. If there is something, great. Then I simply paint into the blown out areas with the surrounding color. Works quite well on portraits but might be painful on other pictures. Give it a go and see if it helps!
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  #10  
Old 02-20-2006, 12:27 PM
edgework edgework is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PatrickB
I use to do two major steps:

Creating a couple of overlay layers to see what can be rescued from the shadow and highlights part. If there is something, great. Then I simply paint into the blown out areas with the surrounding color. Works quite well on portraits but might be painful on other pictures. Give it a go and see if it helps!
One of the more obscure features of the LAB color space is the fact that, unlike RGB and CMYK, absolute brightness and darkness can have color. In spaces that are actually meant to be viewed on monitors or printed on paper, as you approach the extremes of the value range, things go to neutral. Not so with LAB. You can have a value of pure white in the lightness channel, but also an intense red, blue green or yellow in the a and b channels. Photoshop can't display those actual colors, even though LAB will cheerfully let you spec them, so it does the next best thing, which is to split the difference. The trick is to apply the color using Color mode, rather than Normal.

If you apply a tone in Color mode in RGB or CMYK, to blown out pixels, you will get nothing but blown-out pixels. In LAB, you get tone, and often, it's a quite usable version of the nearby tones you probably sampled. You will definitely get something besides blown-out pixels, and usually you can apply the healing brush to bring back some texture to the area. And, since it's not really the actual LAB color, which is impossible, it's already an RGB compromise, by virture of the fact that it's actually being displayed on your monitor. So converting back to RGB retains everything you see.

Usually you get a smoother transition between normal tones and the blown-out tones with this trick than you would by simply painting colors in Normal mode.
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