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Any advice on removing a dark shadow from baby's face

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  #1  
Old 10-16-2007, 08:45 PM
lej lej is offline
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Any advice on removing a dark shadow from baby's face

Hi

It was careless of me not to have noticed the shadow in the first place but I was ankle deep in children on an excursion. I have a nice photo of a mother and child and have spent hours searching online forums looking for the 'holy grail' - how to best fix the shadow across the baby's head. I have spent many hours longer than is warranted for this photo but I am teased by the feeling that there is something else I could have done. I have tried quick masking and changing the levels or setting the blending mode to Screen, as was suggested for a similar problem on another forum, but nothing has really looked right. Changing the levels in the shadowed area worked quite well, but by time I cloned away the edges, I ended up cloning pretty much the whole problem area. On screen it doesn't look too bad, but printed it looked very obviously touched up and I've lost the translucency of the skin. Attached are the before and after. Any advice would be much appreciated. (I am using Photoshop 7.0)

Thanks
Attached Images
File Type: jpg BabyCroppedBefore.jpg (99.0 KB, 109 views)
File Type: jpg BabyCroppedAfter.jpg (99.0 KB, 102 views)

Last edited by lej; 10-17-2007 at 02:52 PM.
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  #2  
Old 10-18-2007, 10:11 AM
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Flora Flora is offline
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Re: Any advice on removing a dark shadow from baby's face

Hi lej,

Welcome to RetouchPRO!!!

I'm in a big hurry right now...

If my restoration prints better, I'll write a detailed explanation on how I did it.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg F_BabyCroppedBefore.jpg (193.2 KB, 122 views)
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  #3  
Old 10-18-2007, 10:13 PM
lej lej is offline
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Re: Any advice on removing a dark shadow from baby's face

Hi Flora

Thank you so much for looking at my problem. I think your attempt looks great and would love to know what approach you took so that I can try it.

I love this site - the challenges section is amazing - I can't stop browsing them!

Cheers
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  #4  
Old 10-19-2007, 12:34 AM
BillFrey BillFrey is offline
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Re: Any advice on removing a dark shadow from baby's face

I gave it a try also. It seems to me that with some careful lightening and colorizing one can achieve a reasonable result. Working on a larger size would help also.

I went to LAB and lightened the L channel.
Went back to RGB.
Colorized, skin smoothing, and added noise.
Also used levels layers to selectively add depth.

Not perfect, but it gives one hope that more can be done with more time.

Good luck.
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File Type: jpg BabyCroppedBeforeedit2.jpg (92.9 KB, 73 views)
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  #5  
Old 10-19-2007, 03:38 AM
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Dionysus Dionysus is offline
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Re: Any advice on removing a dark shadow from baby's face

I think everybody did great work on this! I'm impressed. That's a hard retouch in my opinion. Bill you rock!
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Old 10-19-2007, 07:19 AM
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Flora Flora is offline
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Re: Any advice on removing a dark shadow from baby's face

lej, Dionysus,

thank you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dionysus
That's a hard retouch in my opinion.
Yep... I couldn't agree more...removing such dark shadows, from an otherwise well lit face, in a natural/believable way is always a very tricky procedure.

When compared to the rest of the image, I found that the most common problems in such restorations are:
  • Flatness of skin and contours
  • Wrong lighting
  • Lack of, or wrong Shadows
  • Noise
  • Wrong colour
  • Lack of a natural 3D 'feeling'
  • Contrast
  • Sharpness

Here is what I did:

1) REMOVING THE SHADOW
  • Selected the dark area on the baby's face and copied my selection on a new Layer Ctrl+J.

  • Inverted the new layer (Ctrl+I), set its blending to Soft Light and used a Hue/Saturation adjustment on it (Ctrl+U) .... (the values I used and the result of this procedure in Attachment 1)

  • Copied this layer, set the copy's blending to Overlay and lowered the Opacity to 25-30%.

  • Created a Levels Adjustment Layer for brightening a bit more

  • Used Patch Tool and Heal Brush to remove/blend-in the edge of my correction so far.

This helped removing the darkest shadow while still leaving a hint of the natural curves of the baby's head and hair line.

2) ENHANCING AND FINISHING
  • Used a Selective Colors Adjustment Layer, on the baby's face only, to adjust the colour.

  • Used several blank layers set to: Color, Multiply, Soft Light and Overlay to correct the colour, add depth, shadows and highlights... (tutorial here ... just scroll down the page to the 'BLANK/EMPTY LAYERS SET TO....' paragraph)

  • Matched the noise.

  • Used USM to lightly sharpen.

Hope this helps..
Attached Images
File Type: jpg SNAP-0012.jpg (147.5 KB, 56 views)
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  #7  
Old 10-19-2007, 12:00 PM
BillFrey BillFrey is offline
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Re: Any advice on removing a dark shadow from baby's face

Thank you, Dionysus! I agree, it is a tricky and difficult retouch.
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  #8  
Old 10-19-2007, 04:45 PM
lej lej is offline
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Re: Any advice on removing a dark shadow from baby's face

Thanks again to everyone who has contributed advice. Flora, I have printed your steps and your tutorial on the other baby and I am going to practise these techniques. I most commonly retouch red eye, remove blemishes, remove extraneous objects, cut a 'good' person out of one photo and insert it into the photo where they are the only one with their eyes shut, etc. These more sophisticated types of retouches, such as blending modes, colourising, and remodelling skin, other than cloning, are all areas I have to learn. I really do appreciate your taking the time to provide such detailed instructions.


Cheers


Lynley
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  #9  
Old 10-20-2007, 04:56 AM
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Flora Flora is offline
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Re: Any advice on removing a dark shadow from baby's face

Quote:
Originally Posted by lej View Post
I love this site - the challenges section is amazing - I can't stop browsing them!
That's exactly how I got 'hooked'
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  #10  
Old 10-20-2007, 10:59 AM
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Daviskw Daviskw is offline
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Re: Any advice on removing a dark shadow from baby's face

I'm so glad Flora is spending more time on the forum....

Anyway I gave it a try as well

I matched luminosity the best I could then used the healing brush and color layers

The brow was hard for me... I wish Flora would say how she did it.

I just used a small clone brush and sampled in the hair.. then pulled lines. Added a little shading.

I liked leaving the shadow on the wall.

Butch
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File Type: jpg Image_3.jpg (97.4 KB, 32 views)

Last edited by Daviskw; 10-20-2007 at 11:42 AM.
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