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Me and brother: what does it need?

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  #1  
Old 08-09-2008, 10:44 AM
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timmy1729 timmy1729 is offline
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Newbie Me and brother: what does it need?

Well, this is of me and my brother. I'm the fat-cheeked baby. I thought that I would fix this up and give a print of it to my brother. The only problem is that I don't know what all this needs to make it look its best. I don't know where to begin. I included the original, one with levels correction, and one with levels correction that I added a contrast mask afterwards. I just can't seem to do much good for it. Most of what I tried made it look cartoon-ish.
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File Type: jpg TD-Original.jpg (99.2 KB, 68 views)
File Type: jpg TD-Levels.jpg (97.1 KB, 47 views)
File Type: jpg TD-contrast-levels.jpg (99.8 KB, 64 views)
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  #2  
Old 08-09-2008, 11:28 AM
Cassidy Cassidy is offline
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Re: Me and brother: what does it need?

You've done a fine job but i don't like the contrast mask personally, I did an auto colour and then duplicated the merged layers, copied again and did a high pass at 1.2 in overlay mode to reduce a little of the fuzziness and then adjusted the midranges using levels
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File Type: jpg TD-Original copy.jpg (46.9 KB, 49 views)
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  #3  
Old 08-09-2008, 01:02 PM
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TommyO TommyO is offline
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Re: Me and brother: what does it need?

Timmy,
I too like your first retouched (TD-Levels) image better. It is moving in the right direction.

Good work from Cassidy, so use that image as a target.

Two things you could also work on:
1. The lighting is uneven and distracting. By adding another adjustment layer, inverting the mask and using a white gradient on the left you can blend the lighting on that side better.
2. The image was originally out of focus. So, you should work on trying to sharpen the areas our eyes are drawn to, light you and your brother. Work mostly on eyes, nose, mouth, hands, feet.. as those are what most people perceive as important in their brain when viewing people. If the rest is a bit out, we don't care as much.
3. Place color markers where important (whites, blacks, mid-tones) and ensure that those colors don't pick up a cast. Viewers don't notice color casts in other colors so much. But, we quickly pick up casts in whites or blacks. They should remain close to even in their three color channels, i.e. white should be roughly 243,243,243.... if it's off a tad (243,241,245) no bid deal. But, a 238,239,255 would certainly indicate a blue color cast and we would notice. Sometimes you may have to paint adjustments out on the mask to prevent casts in particular areas.

Good luck with it and post your results !
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Old 08-09-2008, 02:39 PM
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Re: Me and brother: what does it need?

TommyO:
Thanks for the suggestions. Could you explain them further? In your first one, what mask should I invert and what type of adjustment layer? Sorry for the n00b questions!

Thanks for your help everyone!
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  #5  
Old 08-09-2008, 04:13 PM
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0lBaldy 0lBaldy is offline
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Re: Me and brother: what does it need?

Cropped
levels
noise reduction
color corections
softened background
smoothed skin
did a little painting on pants
faded the healing tool on the heads N hair
sharpened
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File Type: jpg TD-Origworking-OlBaldy.jpg (97.1 KB, 40 views)
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  #6  
Old 08-09-2008, 08:06 PM
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TommyO TommyO is offline
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Re: Me and brother: what does it need?

Timmy,
I'd be glad to elaborate some....

On an image like this, where there is no damage, just color issues, your workflow would follow something similar to OlBaldy's example.
- overall tonality;
- color correction;
- minor fixes;
- sharpening.

What I spoke of would be best applied in the tonality step.

After copying your background layer (preserving the original bkgrd), many people would add a levels layer to make minor adjustments to the histogram. Once completed, you would then target some other issues with tonality, like the harsh dark left side.

To adjust that problem, you might create a Curves adj. layer, which will create a white mask. Since the white mask will apply the curves to the entire image, we will let it do it but then invert the mask and add the gradient to apply to just the left side.

Steps:
- Copy the background layer to be safe.
- Add the Levels adj. layer. You'll notice the left and right side of the histogram don't quite meet the edges. You can adjust the left and right slider to just meet the edge of the histogram. Also, the mid-range tones are dull, so you can move the middle slider to the left a smidge. Also, the whites in the image are dull. So, you can select the white point eye dropper (right) and select a spot in the image that should really be white. In this example, there is an abundance of good whites to choose from. So, click on a highlight on the diaper, or his t-shirt. Done.
- Now, add the Curves adj. layer. Without getting too fancy or picky, grab a point on the curve about 3/4 down (or just below) on the curve and move it to the NorthEast a small amount. Do so until you are satisfied with the tone of the left edge. Ignore the rest as we'll mask it out.
- Hit Ctrl-I (Cmd-I for mac) to invert the mask.
- Hit D to set your colors to default, then hit X to change white to the foreground color.
- Click on the Gradient tool, then check the drop-down and ensure it's set to the second box, Foreground to Transparent.
- Now simply click and hold somewhere just outside the upper left corner of the image, and drag to about the boys middle shirt button... and let go.
- Wallah ! a gradient on a mask ! You can click-hold-drag again to apply additional gradients as needed, or Ctrl-Z and undo it and try again.

With just a little practice it becomes fast and easy. This is used very often. In fact, it can be used in reverse to create focus on the center of the image, darkening the sides. But, it is often used in flash photos where the flash falls off and darkens the edges. Just a nice way to even things out .
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  #7  
Old 08-10-2008, 04:38 AM
duwayne duwayne is offline
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Re: Me and brother: what does it need?

Just my take. Used Neat Image to reduce noise, Local Contrast Enhancement to boost contrast, high-pass sharpening and color correction. I had to separate the children, couch and back wall and adjust the color for each section independently.
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File Type: jpg TD-Original-a.jpg (76.8 KB, 29 views)
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  #8  
Old 08-10-2008, 08:18 AM
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Verywierd Verywierd is offline
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Re: Me and brother: what does it need?

Like duwayne, I adjusted various areas for brightness, contrast and saturation separately. Did the same (separate areas) for sharpening and noise removal. Some correction of blemishes and spots by hand and adjustment of light direction.
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File Type: jpg fix-TD-Original copy-640.jpg (88.4 KB, 21 views)
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  #9  
Old 08-10-2008, 10:22 AM
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timmy1729 timmy1729 is offline
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Re: Me and brother: what does it need?

Thank you all very much for your suggestions and examples! I don't remember where I found this website listed, but I was lucky to do so. Everyone here is so generous! I will try out all these suggestions and post what I come up with. Late last night I was experimenting with making a selection of the background(I love the magnetic lasso), airbrushing white over the dark areas with different opacity and flow settings, then using a high-radius gaussian blur to lighten the background and not make it look fake. It was looking halfway decent. Thanks everyone!
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  #10  
Old 08-12-2008, 04:00 PM
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timmy1729 timmy1729 is offline
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Newbie Re: Me and brother: what does it need?

Ok, everybody. Here is what I came up with after hours of playing around with it. My only concern is my poor bald head in this picture. Does it look natural or, if not, can you tell me how to make my head look normal?

So, what do you think?
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File Type: jpg Final-RetouchPro.jpg (97.7 KB, 22 views)
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