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Faded background

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  #1  
Old 10-07-2007, 10:16 AM
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lcramer53 lcramer53 is offline
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Faded background

While studying Katrin Eisman's restoration & retouching book, I tried to apply some of her techniques to the attached photo (from Library of Congress, Chicago's 1893 world's fair). The buildings in the background are very faded compared to the foreground. I did a threshold layer to determine black and white points, applied levels and curves adjustment layers but as the background became more pronounced, the foreground was way too pronounced so I masked out the foreground to try to get the picture more uniform. I'm just wondering if there's a better way and if this could be improved further. Thanks.
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File Type: jpg chgwrldfair.jpg (90.7 KB, 57 views)
File Type: jpg chgwrldfairBW2.jpg (192.7 KB, 62 views)
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  #2  
Old 10-07-2007, 10:21 AM
Cassidy Cassidy is offline
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Re: Faded background

Masking would definitely do it, but a gradient in overlay blending mode could also do the job but would not be as defined and also brings out a lot of other problems in the picture, but once again this could be masked. Another method you could use is to create a new layer, place it in overlay blending mode and use a black paint brush to bring out the background. To erase mistakes you use the 50% grey brush
Attached Images
File Type: jpg ScreenShot001.jpg (118.8 KB, 25 views)
File Type: jpg ScreenShot002.jpg (101.6 KB, 46 views)

Last edited by Cassidy; 10-07-2007 at 10:29 AM.
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  #3  
Old 10-07-2007, 10:50 AM
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Re: Faded background

I like that a lot better, Cassidy. I worked on this yesterday and honestly don't remember everything else that I tried, I mean, I thought that I did experiment with the gradient overlay, but it didn't seem to come out as well as yours, probably needed to change the opacity and blending of the layer. I'm not worried about correcting the noise in the background, just concentrating on the background buildings for now. Thanks so much for your input!
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  #4  
Old 10-07-2007, 11:20 AM
Cassidy Cassidy is offline
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Re: Faded background

Susie, make sure your gradient is black to transparent, not black to white
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  #5  
Old 10-07-2007, 11:31 AM
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lcramer53 lcramer53 is offline
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Re: Faded background

Cassidy, thanks, that probably explains what I did wrong with the gradient layer, I'm sure that I did it as black to white! Thank you!
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  #6  
Old 10-07-2007, 04:16 PM
Tassie D Tassie D is offline
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Re: Faded background

I had a quick go just selecting the faded area and dragging the brightness & contrast curves down.
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File Type: jpg Image4.jpg (85.2 KB, 37 views)
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  #7  
Old 10-07-2007, 05:33 PM
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Re: Faded background

I think some masking & selective D&B would help.
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File Type: jpg chgwrldfairChill.jpg (195.0 KB, 32 views)
File Type: jpg chgwrldfairlevels.jpg (94.7 KB, 12 views)
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  #8  
Old 10-07-2007, 06:56 PM
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lurch lurch is offline
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Re: Faded background

Been practicing using channel blending and calculations to make masks, and managed to do this one without using any other kind - though it took two curves layers to get the tones within shouting distance of balanced. in the end everything was too dark so I used a low opacity adjustment layer set to screen mode to tone it back a tad. Made for an enjoyable afternoon.

<C>
Attached Images
File Type: jpg chgwrldfair.jpg (99.4 KB, 30 views)
File Type: jpg grab.jpg (61.1 KB, 8 views)
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  #9  
Old 10-08-2007, 07:41 AM
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Dave.Cox Dave.Cox is offline
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Re: Faded background

Susie, for my taste, I really like the one that you did. Even the faded background to the top left. It seems to just fit the scene and gives a feeling of fading into the fog. I wouldn't change it at all.

Lurch, yours look pretty good too, but I think it's a bit too much in the shadows. Of course, that just my humble opinion.
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  #10  
Old 10-08-2007, 09:19 AM
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lcramer53 lcramer53 is offline
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Re: Faded background

Dave, your comment made me so happy.

Tassie, Chillin and Carole, I think that everyone achieved what I had set out to do, bring out the background and I was amazed at the different avenues that everyone took. When does a person know when to stop? I mean, maybe what I like isn't what someone else likes, is there a 'general' rule of thumb when it comes to restoring?

My result is kind of like my chili recipe, I want to keep trying to do better . Here's my re-do.
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File Type: jpg chgwrldfair3.jpg (198.6 KB, 24 views)
File Type: jpg chgwrldpaltt.jpg (57.5 KB, 9 views)
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