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Is this beyond help?

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  #1  
Old 10-27-2007, 01:13 PM
Marni48 Marni48 is offline
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Is this beyond help?

Well, still in scanning mode and going crazy. I have picked up a ton of ideas here and many have worked out great, you all are wonderful and I am so in awe and hope to learn from all of you.

This is a photo that is a group that were taken of my daughters graduation. Unfortunately, they all were so dark and I don't know if they can be saved. I have tried using a layer, screen but it didn't do much of anything. Is this beyond help?

Thanks
Marni
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  #2  
Old 10-27-2007, 03:02 PM
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CJ Swartz CJ Swartz is offline
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Re: Is this beyond help?

Well, sometimes a hint of what the event was like is enough to bring back our memories of the event, so hopefully you can bring back that much or more. Are all the other photos as dark (underexposed) as this one?

I tried a few things, and there may be something that someone else does that can bring back more, but for this result let me tell you what I did.

I copied the original layer twice and desaturated the top layer, then inverted it and set the layer blend to Overlay - blurred that layer a bit with Gaussian blur till it brought out a bit more detail. You can reduce the opacity of the top layer a bit to see if that makes a difference to you also. Then I merged the two top layers, giving me an improved copy of the original (which is still safely sitting as the Background layer). Then I added a Levels adjustment layer to the corrected copy and brought out some more detail. I added a Color Balance adjustment layer and a Selective Color layer to work on reducing the cyan in the image. I haven't looked at your past posts to see what editing software you work with, or what experience, if any, you have at editing, so don't be put off if I'm saying things that don't make sense to you. If you know how to do them, great! If you don't know how to do them, then that's just something new to learn, and that's why we're all here!

Layers could be added above this layer - in overlay or soft light layer mode, and work could be done to lighten and/or darken specific areas - using a white (to lighten) or black (to darken) brush at low opacity. I tried Shadows/Highlights, but it didn't seem to work real well, although that might be my fault. I may try it after the saturation mask I did and see if it helps.

Oh, yes, and I used a Noise reduction program (fixing underexposure often leads to added noise in the photo) - used Noiseware by Imagenomic.
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Last edited by CJ Swartz; 10-27-2007 at 03:13 PM.
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Old 10-27-2007, 07:17 PM
Marni48 Marni48 is offline
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Re: Is this beyond help?

Thanks so much for the try. Unfortunately all of the pix are the same and I have been struggling with them all day. I understand most of what you said and I am going to try to see what I can come up with using some of the things you suggest. I converted them to LAB and wondered if there is a way to just print the LAB channel or just one channel? I can find some information in one of the channels and nothing in some of the others. This sure is a mess, but that is about the way with a lot of my photos.
I am stuggeling also with a lousy monitor and a company (Dell) who can't even tell me what the temp of the equipment is. I don't have the cash to buy a Spyder and have to rely on my vision and a few online graphs to try to calibrate it as best as I can. Is Adobe Gamma a bad one to use?
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Old 10-27-2007, 07:55 PM
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CJ Swartz CJ Swartz is offline
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Re: Is this beyond help?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marni48 View Post
...wondered if there is a way to just print the LAB channel or just one channel? I can find some information in one of the channels and nothing in some of the others.
Yes, if you find one channel that looks better, you can print that, or work with it as a grayscale / b/w image to see if you can make it better. The color is going to be "off" in an underexposed photo anyway, and turning it into a b/w is a good strategy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marni48 View Post
...lousy monitor and a company (Dell) who can't even tell me what the temp of the equipment is. I don't have the cash to buy a Spyder and have to rely on my vision and a few online graphs to try to calibrate it as best as I can. Is Adobe Gamma a bad one to use?
Lots of us have been there/done that! If you don't have a bunch of money free for your "photoshop habit", then just work with what you have -- your "eye" for color will probably be fine, and you'll get told by someone if it's "way off". Adobe Gamma is how I started and lots of other people too, I think since it's free and does work. Just work on practicing your skills and don't worry too much about all the "stuff" that you wish you had -- if you stay with photo editing/retouching/restoration for a while, you'll start saving some money for whatever you think you need most. If you do some work here and people tell you that the colors are way off, or it's too dark/too light - that will help you figure out how to calibrate your monitor until you can afford to get a Spyder, etc. There are also some rules for skin color etc, that you can learn to do "by the numbers" (per Dan Margulis) -- some color-blind retouchers can do good work (I have read) by the numbers.
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Old 10-27-2007, 08:20 PM
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Juergen D Juergen D is offline
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Re: Is this beyond help?

Here is my take on it. Nothing to write home about. I ran it through ACR 4.2 and then NeatImage.

Juergen
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  #6  
Old 10-31-2007, 12:24 PM
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Swampy Swampy is offline
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Re: Is this beyond help?

Hi, Marni!

I don't know if I've achieved much different that those who have gone before, but here's my effort. So much noise and grain. When you correct for that you lose much of what detail is there.
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  #7  
Old 10-31-2007, 02:49 PM
Marni48 Marni48 is offline
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Re: Is this beyond help?

Thanks Dee Dee, I appreciate the try, it is a mess isn't it !!!! marni
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