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Help w/ Retouching Photo

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  #1  
Old 04-26-2004, 12:22 PM
christine66 christine66 is offline
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Help w/ Retouching Photo

Could someone please check out this picture that was taken by a novice?

http://tinyurl.com/32qu8

It was obviously taken with poor lighting. It is from an amateur with (I'm assuming) your basic 2.1 megapizel digital camera. The picture-taker just wants me to clean it up and remove the background to put this image on her website (I blackened out the middle design to protect her privacy).

In using Photoshop 7, I'm just going in and adjusting the levels, which washes out the right side of the pillow and gives it a yellowish overcast on the midtones. It doesn't have to be perfect. I just know my job could be easier (cleaning this image up) if she took the picture with better lighting.

Any suggestions on what I can tell her as far as taking the picture? (Such as time of day that allows the best natural light in a well-lit room, etc...?) Remember, this is a novice consumer, and I am not going to tell her to "get professional" with proper lighting equipment, etc. There's got to be some simple picture-taking techniques that she can do when she's taking them.

Any suggestions?

Christine
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Old 04-26-2004, 12:35 PM
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kiska kiska is offline
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Try this action. It's adjustable. Katrin Eisman's flash fill. How do I attach it???

kiska
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Old 04-26-2004, 12:40 PM
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Chip Hildreth Chip Hildreth is offline
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I assume you will be getting more of these or that the picture taker can re-shoot.

Have them set-up roughly the same way, same kind of light from the window and place a white reflector, maybe a poster size piece of foam core to the subject's left to fill in the shadows (they can vary the distance between subject and reflector to adjust the amount of fill). The window light is pretty harsh and killing some of the texture on the right. If they could move the whole set, reflector, pillow and camera, further away from the window it would take out some of the ranginess and the camera's auto-exposure should behave a little better.

This is, by the way, a solid technique for shooting lots of subjects... diffuse window lighting (single light source) and a reflector to back fill the shadows. What you don't want in this situation is on camera flash, it will flatten the subject out.
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Old 04-26-2004, 03:01 PM
christine66 christine66 is offline
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Thanks, Chip! I am going to try that myself!

Kiska, I'm eager to see what that attachment is you are talking about (?).... I have never heard of Katrin Eisman, but while perusing the site, I understand she is a guru in this area and has a book out. I think I will have to visit my local bookstore. But is her technique anywhere posted here?

Christine
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Old 04-26-2004, 03:34 PM
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kiska kiska is offline
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It could be. I tried to attach the action. Manage attachs. would not read the extension.atn. I don't know how to make it a .zip and I don't remember where I got it. help??

kiska

I FOUND IT. Go to www.atncentral.com/download.htm. It's under the heading 'Editing and Highlight Tools'. It's free

Last edited by kiska; 04-26-2004 at 04:00 PM. Reason: found action
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Old 04-26-2004, 09:52 PM
christine66 christine66 is offline
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Wow, Kiska! Thanks so much for taking the time to get that over to me! I can't wait to play around with it! (I just love "actions"!)

Christine
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Old 04-27-2004, 01:20 PM
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Gary Richardson Gary Richardson is offline
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Christine, you don't really say too much when you say you want to clean up the image, what are you trying to achieve with this, and what type of help are you looking for. When you adjusted with levels, were you trying to enhance contrast, even out tone and reduce contrast, expand dynamic range, what ?
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Old 04-27-2004, 05:02 PM
christine66 christine66 is offline
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Gary, to answer your question, I am just trying to lighten it up and color correct it the best I can to make it more visually appealing. I am not the original picture taker, and the picture is being emailed to me to delete the background and to just brighten up the image (just basic cleanup work... this picture is going to be for web viewing... not print, and doesn't have to be perfect... just better than what it is!)

The original came over to me very dark and had much yellowing and cast shadows, and also appears to be quite grainy. Since I am going to be getting more of these types of pictures to work on, I want to tell the (amateur) picture-taker the best way to take these pictures from the get-go to make my life easier in cleaning them up.

My question really, would be geared toward the photography end of it. (Like how Chip answered. Anything to add?) What is the best suggestion I can give to her that would result in a "better" picture without such harsh shadowing and off-balance tonal ranges. (I'm guessing she took these pictures too late in the day?)

I tried the technique mentioned above (the action), but it made the subject too washed out.

Thanks,

Christine
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  #9  
Old 04-28-2004, 06:20 AM
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Flora Flora is offline
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Hi Christine,

I can't help you with tips on taking a good picture, but I had a go at your picture with Photoshop .... Is this more or less what you had in mind?

Given the nature of the subject ... I decided for a soft look ....

Please, let me know if you are interested on how I got there...

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File Type: jpg F_example(1).jpg (98.7 KB, 38 views)
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Old 04-28-2004, 06:47 AM
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kiska kiska is offline
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I played with the lighting only. Sorry the fill flash didn't work.

Flora, I think it's sad but very wise of you to be less open with your techniques.

kiska
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File Type: jpg pillow.jpg (96.2 KB, 15 views)
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