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retouching the sisters

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Old 07-21-2002, 07:02 PM
airubin airubin is offline
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: New York City
Posts: 79
retouching the sisters

My mother-in-law recently died at the age of 101. Naturally, a byproduct is old family pictures. I

I’ve been asked to retouch pictures of my wife and her two older sisters. There are from the late 50’s and mid 60’s. Margie, the middle sister is the one that I’ve started with. The early result is fairly good, but I feel that it should be much better.

The before and after images can be seen here: This is the family photo site. Click on the sister’s link.

Or you can go directly there.

I adjusted the image with level and curves layers. I then added layers for the dress and the skin. I used the brush tool for both of them.

I first tried the healing brush, but I did not see any change. Also, the cloning tool did not have any effect. I suspect that I’m missing something here.

I would like to make the black in the dress more uniform. I can notice the effect of the brushing, even though it is not very severe.

The background is acceptable, but I’d like to have had better control over getting it to blend better.

I would also prefer more contrast in the hair and to have a sharper outline of the skin relative to the background.

All comments and suggestions are welcome.

How do I get the url's to be active links?


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Old 07-21-2002, 08:11 PM
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Jakaleena Jakaleena is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Posts: 709
What an incredibly beautiful young woman! I couldn't resist a bit of playing around with it.

First I desaturated it to make it B/W

For just the repairs, I only did a bit of cloning. One thing that might have caused problems with your cloning could be your layers. If you are trying to clone on the layers instead of the original BG layer, you might check to see that the Use All Layers box is checked so your brushes can pick up from the underlying layer. The trick I use when cloning is to not have my brush opacity set at 100%. On this, I used a very soft brush set to 50% opacity and gradually feathered in my cloning to match the surrounding areas. You may even need to use a lower opacity if leaving clone tracks is a problem for you. I also used a bit of dodging on the graduated areas in the background to make them blend together more seamlessly.

I did away with what must have been her arms since they were very pixelated in the copy I collected from your site. If you have a better version, you can probably fix them up.

I left the dress alone since I felt that the density differences were caused by folds in the fabric and gave it some depth.

I also increased the contrast by 10 to separate her more from the background.

I selected just the hair and adjusted the levels to get a little more depth.

Then I gave it a warmer sepia tone using Hue/Saturation on colorize.

But I couldn't resist going further, so I colored her. I thought the dress looked like taffeta or silk or something and I just had to give it some sparkle...
Attached Images
File Type: jpg margie.jpg (49.0 KB, 75 views)
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Old 07-21-2002, 09:11 PM
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DannyRaphael DannyRaphael is offline
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Location: Near Seattle, Washington, USA
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Thumbs down

Jak... You do such nice work.

And I learned something here. Although I usually use a soft brush for cloning, it's normally at 100%. Appreciate that pointer.

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Old 07-21-2002, 09:26 PM
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Jakaleena Jakaleena is offline
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Thank ya, Danny....
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Old 07-22-2002, 08:17 AM
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Ed_L Ed_L is offline
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Location: northwest Indiana, about 45 minutes from Chicago, IL
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I agree... Jak does great work. And using the cloning tool at less than 100% usually makes a great deal of difference. If others are reading this, and you usually use 100%, try using 50% or even lower if you have trouble with track marks. The soft brush also makes things much easier.

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Old 07-22-2002, 09:00 AM
airubin airubin is offline
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: New York City
Posts: 79

Thanks for the great info. I won't be able to get back to it for a few days, but I'll have a lot to work on. I have two more sisters with similar problems.

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Old 07-22-2002, 10:31 AM
Meeklo Meeklo is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Toronto - Canada
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Airubin I think you did a great job yourself on the photo. Its got a nice light Sepia tone to it which I think you should try to maintain.

I played a bit with it, only adding a 10% ApplyImage/Overlay in Photoshop. It brought back a bit detail and depth to the hair without over saturating the picture.
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Old 07-22-2002, 05:01 PM
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Bob Walden Bob Walden is offline
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Location: northern Il
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Jak, why desaturate instead of using channels?

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Old 07-22-2002, 05:22 PM
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Sanda Sanda is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Sydney Australia
Posts: 573
great tip about the cloning brush set at 50% opacity. I also use a soft brush but like Danny I rarely think of changing it for 100%. I'm going to remember this tip I'm sure it will become very useful.
Oh by the way, you did a wonderful job on the photo. Very impressive.
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Old 07-22-2002, 07:23 PM
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Mike Needham Mike Needham is offline
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Posts: 543
Well whilst loads of help has come your way and others have trod the path I add my effort - although my quadtone rather hid the blouse my technique was to make a selection of the top and feather it by 1 pixel, then I made a new layer adjustment for levels and pumped up the gamma so I could see the all the shading in the black, it turned out fairly blocky with artifacts, so I used the smudge tool to blend the areas together, with the selection still active I added noise back into the blouse.

I might also add, that I would be tempted to crop the photo where her shoulder slope ends, mainly because the composition as is looks slightly as if she has no arms.

I cleaned up background using the patch tool, ran an unsharpen mask twice and then converted it to quadtone. also forgot to mention i discarded the levels adjustment layer
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File Type: jpg margie-quad.jpg (10.6 KB, 32 views)
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