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how to fix a big red band

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Old 08-08-2001, 11:20 AM
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how to fix a big red band

By kathleen on Wednesday, July 25, 2001 - 11:59 am:

i am working on a color snapshot from the 70's, shot in bright sunlight that has a big fat reddish magenta band across the middle quarter . it goes across faces, clothes and some foliage.

i am working in ps 5.5. i tried selecting the band and working on an hsb adjustment layer; working in a selective color adjustment layer, in which i think i had the most promising results, mostly by cutting amt of magenta and red in the neutrals. i am confused by the difference between working in the neutral channel adjusting the magenta slider, and working in the red or magenta channel. seems like neutral yields the best results, but i'm wondering if one way is more for fine tuning and the other more "macro".

also tried filling a new layer with inverse color and using color blend mode and a gradient mask.

of the channels, the red is the best (least banding) and the blue is the worst. i tried replacing the blue channel with the lightness channel, but that just changed the shade of the band

i am beginning to doubt i can ever get it looking right, at least not without spending more time than i have. it is my own photo, and based on it, i think i would prob. turn down any request to do fix similar for others.

i am feeling my way along and wonder if there is any technique i am overlooking.

any help would be appreciated. thanks kathleen

By Doug Nelson (doug) on Wednesday, July 25, 2001 - 12:32 pm:

The band is red, yet the red channel shows the least banding? It sounds like it's not really a case of red banding, but of a lack of blue (and perhaps green) in that band.

I wonder if there is any way to rebuild the blue channel by comparing it to the red channel? This involves calculations, which is my absolute worst area (this is, of course, based on an RGB model)

Any chance of seeing the image? Can you provide a URL?

By kathleen on Wednesday, July 25, 2001 - 01:12 pm:

wow, that was quick! i am grateful. let me see if this works

all i know about calculations i read with fear and trembling in k.e.'s book.

when fooling with hsb and selective color adj layer, working in the red yielded the most results, yellow and green some, the others didn't show any difference no matter what i did w/ the sliders. the band shows black in the blue channel.

By DJ Dubovsky on Wednesday, July 25, 2001 - 06:31 pm:

Hi Kathleen,

Try this, it works pretty good on situations like this. Change the file to CYMK. Go to channels and make the magenta active then click on the visible eye of the CYMK channel to make all channels visible. Select the airbrush and choose the green from the top rows of the swatches pallete (it's the opposite to magenta) Make the opacity around 10 percent and carefully color out the magenta until the photo colors start to match. (It will still be darker than the unaffected area but you can correct that at the end) This may leave things a little yellower than you want. Then select the yellow channel and choose the violet (same opacity) to color out some of the yellow in the faces and shirts and the discolored part of the table. You should start to see the colors resemble the unaffected areas. Finally select the area that was in the band of red with a high feather amount (depends on your file size) and go to the CYMK channel and make a levels, curves or b/c adjustment to lighten the area where the red band was and increase the contrast until it matches the area outside the selection. It should turn out pretty good. Let me know if you have sucess with that technique. Just becareful not to over due painting the channels. Good Luck


By kathleen on Thursday, July 26, 2001 - 12:40 am:

Hey DJ,

I am so excited to have something to try, and I think I actually understand what you said. Plan to try it first thing in the am. thanks bunches!


By thomasgeorge on Thursday, July 26, 2001 - 12:22 pm:

Kathleen, You might also try masking the red band,layer via copy and experiment with hue/saturation, color balance and so on then flattening. This isnt as comprehensive as DJ suggests but occasionally I've had some good results doing this. Be sure to give the mask a 3-5 feather setting. Good luck, Tom

By kathleen on Thursday, July 26, 2001 - 07:28 pm:

hey dj

that was fun! i am relatively pleased w/ outcome, i posted it if you have time to look. 'taint perfect but it's a lot better. it sure is easy to get happy with the paintbrush, i turned the opacity down to 5. ultimately added a color layer and painted some in it because there were parts i just couldn't get right.

i never knew you could paint with colors in the channels, so i count that a major lesson. When you are int channels and you do a curves adjustment on an individual channel, is that no more and no less than being in layers and doing an adjustment layer and clicking on the different channels within that?

can you hazard a guess how long it would have taken you to do? i got rather carried away, i would guess i put in more than 2 hrs. i trust the learning curve will level out some day. (but i hope it won't remove all the contrast from my life) : ) and faster than ever with help like this. thanks so much


ps to tom: thanks for your suggestion. i couldn't get anything satisfactory when i tried, but it prob would have been faster. : )

By DJ Dubovsky on Thursday, July 26, 2001 - 10:11 pm:

Hi Kathleen,
I saw your results. Not bad for just taking a crack at it. It takes some practice not to get too carried away as you can see. It's not something I would resort to unless in extreme discoloration cases like that. I had the same problem with a couple of my own photos when I first started doing this 4 years ago. It almost made me quit photoshop altogether because I got so frustrated. So I can identify with your troubles. I read about this technique and gave it a try. It took several hours of tweeking to get things the way I wanted it but it was the only thing that worked. Actually before I wrote the message on how to fix your problem, I hope you don't mind, I copied your photo from the site just to see if it would work first. It took me about 20 minutes but I didn't do final touch ups. I still got some pretty good results. Glad I could help.

By DJ Dubovsky on Thursday, July 26, 2001 - 10:26 pm:

Hi Kathleen,
Sorry, In answer to your question about curves and channels etc. I am not entirely sure. It seems like it would be the same thing doesn't it? Photoshop is full of several ways to do the same thing and I am by no means a photoshop guru. You could try it and see what happens I guess. Good Luck.

By Doug Nelson (doug) on Thursday, July 26, 2001 - 10:38 pm:

Very nice work, Kathleen (even though you totally blew a great potential challenge )

By Ed Ladendorf (ed) on Friday, July 27, 2001 - 12:32 pm:

Very good! I think you're about ready to teach a class .


By kathleen on Friday, July 27, 2001 - 12:55 pm:

g'wan with your bad self. thank you. = )

i actually wondered about that, should have asked you first. to think, something from my hall of awful photos could qualify as a challenge! makes an underachiever right proud!

of course i don't mind! wish i could see what you did. thanks for all your help.

By DJ Dubovsky on Friday, July 27, 2001 - 06:12 pm:

OK Kathleen
You can check it out at this site.
Don't expect anything better than what you did. You did an excellent job with it. You're welcome.

By kathleen on Saturday, July 28, 2001 - 07:34 am:

hey dj, that link says i'm not you and i can't come in. but i was looking to know some other place where you can post photos, so it answered another question for me. k

By DJ Dubovsky on Saturday, July 28, 2001 - 02:05 pm:

Sorry Kathleen,
I never tried to post photos on the web like that before so I thought all I had to do was copy the address at the top. I seem to get on ok so I thought others could. Try this instead and let me know if it works. I had to click on the thumb nail twice to get a full size but maybe you won't have to. {

Hey here's a photo guide page. It lists all the free online photo places. It tells what each site has to offer and if they have any hidden gimicks. It's how I found the site I posted on.
Hope this helps. Sorry again for sending you on a wild goose chase but as I said it was my first time.

By kathleen on Monday, July 30, 2001 - 01:34 am:

hey dj,
yep, worked just fine. i was real encouraged that our results were similar, hope that i am eventually able to achieve them in a shorter time.

thanks so much for all the time you took to help me, trust you will be repaid in kind. and thanks for the site link, too!


By DJ Dubovsky on Monday, July 30, 2001 - 12:59 pm:

You're very welcome Kathleen. I was happy to help.
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