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can you salvage a blown out image?

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  #1  
Old 04-22-2008, 01:54 AM
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harborimages harborimages is offline
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can you salvage a blown out image?

I blew out a few images on this wedding. Any chance of salvation with Photoshop?
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  #2  
Old 04-22-2008, 02:36 AM
12dstring 12dstring is offline
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Re: can you salvage a blown out image?

Hi,
This was the best I could do with them. There isn't really enough information in the overexposed parts to be able to retrieve. Maybe someone else will have better luck.
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Old 04-22-2008, 02:43 AM
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Re: can you salvage a blown out image?

got raw files?
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Old 04-22-2008, 02:47 AM
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mashny mashny is offline
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Re: can you salvage a blown out image?

Here's about ten minutes work. You can see there's still much to do with color correction and overall toning/lighting. I just wanted to make it a bit darker overall and bring out some of the blown out information. I copied the picture and chose a multiply blending mode, then copied part of the dress to a new layer and then copied that chunk to make it look like a dress. I then used the clone tool to clone over the areas that were obviously copied. Then I brought down the redness of the faces with a Hue/Saturation/Brightness adjustment layer (you can still see some yellow in the faces that needs to be taken care of), and used a curves layer to slightly darken the image overall. I then merged the layers (cmd-option-shift-e on the Mac), and created a clone layer above the merge. On this layer I added some skin tone to the woman's arm, some corduroy to the neck of the man's jacket, and other small edits.

As I said, this was about ten minute's worth of work. There's still a fair amount to do, but I just wanted to give you an idea of how to proceed.

Good luck with it.
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Old 04-23-2008, 01:39 AM
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harborimages harborimages is offline
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Re: can you salvage a blown out image?

Thank so much for your help. Wow. ten minutes is all it took you? I have a lot to learn. I am just wondering if there's even a chance of getting it to look good enough to show.
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Old 04-23-2008, 03:57 PM
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Re: can you salvage a blown out image?

When you say "show," do you mean show to a client or just put in a frame for friends or family? The image can easily be fixed to the point where it can be put in a frame. The reason I chose to work on one rather than both, is that the one I chose seemed more salvageable than the other. If I were going to try to fix the second, I would clone some of the texture of the dress from the first and work from there. In the other picture, the gentleman is quite salvageable.

The gentleman's hand in this picture, however, is probably too blown out to fix. If you have another picture of his hand in a similar position, use that, otherwise look for a useable hand via a Google search; when photo editing/retouching, the rule is "beg, borrow, steal" any information you can to get the results you want: I once worked on a picture of my dad's cat sitting in his lap. Because of the way a cat's retina reflects light, the eye was blown out. I copied my dad's eyes to a new layer, made them a bit smaller, and "donated" them to the cat. Looking at the picture, you would never suspect a thing.

As a rule of thumb, anytime you see a picture that is overexposed, copy the layer and apply a Multiply blending mode. If it is underexposed, copy and apply a Screen blending mode. This won't always work, but it's often a good starting point.

If you don't already have it, buy a copy of Katrin Eismann's Photoshop Retouching and Restoration book: http://www.amazon.com/Photoshop-Rest...8983264&sr=8-1. Many retouchers on this site have learned a great deal from it and, for myself, it was the only Photoshop book I found useful when I began learning Photoshop several years ago. Though I've read it twice (and done many of the examples she provides via downloadable files), it continues to be an invaluable reference.

Good luck!
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Old 04-24-2008, 02:58 PM
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albatrosss albatrosss is offline
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Re: can you salvage a blown out image?

I went a little overboard. Know that this is NOT what you want but since I finished it I thought that I would post it anyway. I realize it is sloppy in many places but what the heck I' far from proud.
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Old 04-25-2008, 09:47 PM
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Re: can you salvage a blown out image?

No, sorry. The image from mashny is as good as it gets. I tried several other techniques and ended up with a similar image.

Unfortunately, Photoshop cannot create something from nothing. Those blown out whites do not contain any data. So, his shoulder and her left side would simply have to be recreated using other image data, or a paint-in effort.

Surprisingly, when you have numerous other images (like from a wedding shoot) you can usually find other good parts and blend them in with no tell-tale signs of it ever being done. That is where Photoshop shines. So, if you really had to have these, you could arrange for someone to do it professionally. However, if you have numerous other shots, it may not be worth the cost and effort.

Regards,
Tommy
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