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Lighting

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  #1  
Old 07-27-2007, 02:19 PM
Charlene5 Charlene5 is offline
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Lighting

I've started this photo three times and junked it three times because I can't get the lighting (to my eye) right. All the studio portraits were done by this same photographer and he (I'm assuming it's a he, this is 1918) is very fond of side lighting. I end up with a very harsh light to shadow thing. In a different shot (and different sitting) I was able to calm it down with a gradient but this one has me frustrated.

If I bring up the murk in the background the combination of baby in white suit and side lighting just explodes on the left side of the picture. It isn't exactly blown but there's no contrast. I've fiddled with curves and levels and now want to take a hammer to Photoshop.

Suggestions please to save my sanity?

MJ
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  #2  
Old 07-27-2007, 02:47 PM
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Swampy Swampy is offline
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Re: Lighting

Did you try working on the lighness channel in LAB mode?
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  #3  
Old 07-27-2007, 03:42 PM
Charlene5 Charlene5 is offline
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Re: Lighting

Quote:
Originally Posted by Swampy View Post
Did you try working on the lighness channel in LAB mode?
I thought, "What a good idea!" and charged off to try it. I've discovered that I don't know how. Would you please get me started? Every time I tried to isolate the lightness channel and do something with it the selection reverted back to all three components.

MJ
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Old 07-27-2007, 07:17 PM
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Daviskw Daviskw is offline
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Re: Lighting

Hi there

I spent just a few minutes with your pic...as you can tell...lol but why not open and adjust exposure in ACR. You can brighten then use the recovery slider to bring back lost highlights.

Butch
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  #5  
Old 07-27-2007, 08:59 PM
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Swampy Swampy is offline
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Re: Lighting

Duplicate your image (Image>>Duplicate) and this will give you a separate file to work on. Then Image>>Mode>>LAB. Go to channels, select the lightness channel and do a levels adjustment until you get something you like, Select all, copy.

Now go back to your 1st (RGB) document and convert it to a black and white. Then past. (it will be a new layer), play with the blend modes on the pasted "lightened layer".
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  #6  
Old 07-27-2007, 09:41 PM
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DCobb DCobb is offline
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Re: Lighting

My try on this picture. I did notice that the blue channel was damaged and replaced the blue with the green; however, this could also be addressed with the channel mixer.

dc
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  #7  
Old 07-27-2007, 10:47 PM
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byRo byRo is offline
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Re: Lighting

MJ, you can put you hammer away - this is, indeed, quite a difficult image to get a good result.
As you, rightly, observed the big problem is in the lighting.
Normally the subject will be light on a dark background - or dark on a light background. In this case we have lights and darks on a greyish background. So there's no easy way out.

- I used the Red and Green channels 50/50 to make a greyscale.
- Cleaned up the damage by cloning;
- Cleaned the noise using "Dust and Scratches", the median filter, blurring and adding noise (to the background) - all dutifully masked;
- Cleaned more noise in Neat Image;
- Made the missing parts of the boy's head using D & B layers;
- Did a vignette to darken (slightly) the outer background, then anther to darken the bottom part;
- Slight deGrunge;
- Masked "Razor sharpening".

Well, a bit of everything actually!

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  #8  
Old 07-28-2007, 07:20 AM
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Graphics23 Graphics23 is offline
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Re: Lighting

Outstanding job, Ro!

Very well done.

I'm gonna have to do some serious study of your methods, you've got some fantastic insights and techniques.

Regards,

Michael
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  #9  
Old 07-28-2007, 02:12 PM
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LonK LonK is online now
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Re: Lighting

I thought I'd give this a go, MJ. Other than standard stuff (cloning, airbrushing, dust removal, noise reduction, duotoning), I used local contrast adjustments and other subtle techniques to compress the contrast.
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Last edited by LonK; 07-28-2007 at 03:09 PM.
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  #10  
Old 07-28-2007, 09:22 PM
Charlene5 Charlene5 is offline
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Re: Lighting

Thought I'd post what I've done so far. It's literally taken me all day to get that much done. I hope that by the time that I know what I'm doing it'll be a faster process Grandma's face isn't done but the neckline is so it looks peculiar. I haven't done any refining or dodging and burning or putting back lost shadows and stuff like that. Dad's face took me the longest and I'm almost pleased with it. I reconstructed his boot after finding a picture of a similar one on the web. I started from the top of the photo and I'm working down.

LonK I tried and tried but I can't duplicate great that look you got on grandma's dress. The closest I can come is the airbrush darkening then going back to pick out the beadwork with a brush. Haven't tried that yet but I think it'll work.

byRo please move to Texas and become my personal tutor? I tried your deGrunge technique on another studio photo and it works a treat!!

Dee I ended up starting with the original scan with the tweaked LAB lightness channel duplicated twice and soft lighted on top of it. It gave a much better starting point and I thank you for the lesson.

DCobb and Daviskw you both did an outstanding job on some of the worst damage. I downloaded everyone's fixes and zoomed in and had a reall good look. Thank you ALL for your help and patience and generosity in sharing your knowledge and talent with a fumbling beginner

I've still not decided what to do about the background. My impulse is to junk it but I really ought to learn to do it properly.

Cheers,

MJ
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