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Did I overdo it?

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  #1  
Old 07-09-2010, 02:34 PM
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jd3wolfe jd3wolfe is offline
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Did I overdo it?

In my attempt to eliminate the splotchy solid black areas in this photo, I think I have lost some detail and too much contrast. Should I not be so concerned with the uneven black areas? What would you do? I have researched books, forums, & websites but yet to find a good fix. The quality of scan I had to work with was not good but nothing I could do about that.
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File Type: jpg My_Mom_s_Family2.jpg (97.7 KB, 92 views)
File Type: jpg My_Mom_s_Family-copy-2.jpg (96.4 KB, 93 views)
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  #2  
Old 07-09-2010, 06:00 PM
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0lBaldy 0lBaldy is offline
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Re: Did I overdo it?

Just a personal opinion but I think you overdid it just a tad

I did a good levels using the gray, black, white points
Lowered the brightness of the white quite a bit (to bring back some details)
Used the history brush set to multiply and low opacity (Around 10) to darken some of the highlights on the faces and hands
used Noiseware to reduce some noise
sharpened

For the black splotchiness.. you could use the smudge brush to even things out quite a bit..

I think my version may be just a bit to dark also.... Tis all a matter of taste...
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Old 07-10-2010, 05:35 AM
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Re: Did I overdo it?

I agree with 0lBaldy about overdoing it a bit in the contrast and the shadows.

I wouldn'g go as dark in the highlights as 0lBaldy did ... and I wouldn't go any darker than the example below in the shadows.

I found that using Neat Image + a bit of noise only on the shadows helped with the splotchy areas.

To prevent solid black or white blocks while adjusting the contrast in an image here is a 'priceless' tip by Katrin Eismann:
"Open the Levels/Curves Dialog Box:

  • Double click on the White eyedropper. A 'Select White Target' color label appears above the color picker.
  • Change the B Value in the HSB scale from 100% to 95-96% ... click OK.
  • Double click on the Black eyedropper. A 'Select Shadow Target' color label appears above the color picker.
  • Change the B Value in the HSB scale from 0% to 5-6% ... click OK.
  • Close your Curves/Levels Dialog box and click yes on the 'Save new Target colors as defaults' window. These changed values will now become the Black and White default targets for both, Curves and Levels even if applied to only one of them.
By setting the White Target Color to 95-96% you will hold slight tonality in your whitest whites and the Black Target Color 5-6% will hold shadow information in the darkest parts of the image.

The generic 95% highlights and 5% shadow values are a safe place to start to avoid printing highlights without tone (paper white) or shadows that are so dark with ink that you can't see any detail in them."

Hope this helps.

P.S. beside a light sharpening, I didn't do any restoration on the image..
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  #4  
Old 07-10-2010, 08:07 PM
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jd3wolfe jd3wolfe is offline
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Re: Did I overdo it?

Thank you all for the help. I am definitely going to download Neat Image. Did the trick from Katrin Eismann come from her Restoration & Retouching book? I have the 3rd edition but I don't recall the process. I think I see so many good things to try I use too many. So, all you did, Flora, was adjust the contrast through a Levels/Curve adjustment, use Neat Image and sharpen it?
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Old 07-11-2010, 12:36 AM
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Flora Flora is offline
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Re: Did I overdo it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jd3wolfe View Post
..Flora, was adjust the contrast through a Levels/Curve adjustment, use Neat Image and sharpen it?
Not exactly... To improve the contrast I did the following:
  • Duplicated the background layer
  • *Desaturated the duplicate (Ctrl+Shift+U)
  • Inverted the desaturated layer (Ctrl+I) and changed its mode to Soft Light
  • Opened the Hue/Saturation dialog box (Ctrl+U) and decreased the 'Lightness' (-70 for this picture)
  • Merged Visible and run a Shadow/Highlight adjustment layer. (Values in Attachment 1)
To improve the splotchy areas:
  • Selected the shadows, copied the selection on a new layer and run Neat Image (I use Neat Image ... but I think that any noise removing software would do the job) on it (see Tutorial)
  • Added some noise to the 'shadows' layer.
To finish:
  • Sharpened the image
  • Levels adjustment layer to slightly increase the contrast.
A snapshot of my workflow in Attachment 2
* I desaturated the image because, while trying to improve the contrast, I noticed a pinkish colour cast that, in my opinion, didn't do anything for the image.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jd3wolfe View Post
...Did the trick from Katrin Eismann come from her Restoration & Retouching book? I have the 3rd edition but I don't recall the process.
I do not have the 3rd edition of Katrin Eismann Restoration & Retouching book, but I found out that it is there as well:
Chapter 2 - Improving Tone and Contrast - Mastering Tonality with Levels on page 43
Hope this helps.
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File Type: jpg SNAP-039.jpg (108.9 KB, 13 views)
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  #6  
Old 07-11-2010, 01:57 PM
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Re: Did I overdo it?

Thanks, Flora. You have been extremely helpful!
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Old 07-12-2010, 06:52 PM
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Flora Flora is offline
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Re: Did I overdo it?

Thank you for your feedback jd3wolfe!

Glad I could be of help!
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