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Black on Black

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  #1  
Old 10-13-2004, 03:39 PM
CascoGraFX CascoGraFX is offline
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Black on Black

This image was e-mailed to me for inclusion on a benefit poster for a local VFW Post (they hold a Cancer Fund Benefit every fall and this is one of the performers). It was taken with one of those "throw-away" cameras. He is wearing (you guessed it) black! Any ideas on how to lighten this up without losing what little definition there is? Even if it's just the face, that would be fine. As an aside, I can read PS CS help files until my eyes fall out but you folks can cut through the "chaff" so succinctly that when I click on "Photoshop CS Help" in my favorites folder, I am directed here. Thank you one and all.
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File Type: jpg Steve2.jpg (87.8 KB, 44 views)
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  #2  
Old 10-13-2004, 05:47 PM
imrtun imrtun is offline
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I'm sure someone can do better than this but this is what I cam up with.

http://img40.exs.cx/img40/213/blackonblack2.png
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  #3  
Old 10-13-2004, 06:56 PM
Janet Petty's Avatar
Janet Petty Janet Petty is offline
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black on black

First off, this image is such low resolution that it makes working with it difficult. Second, there appears to be a large circle such as might be made by a watermark on the picture. I made no attempt to get rid of it. Third, while lightening the picture was not difficult, keeping the .jpg noise under control was. What I have here is lightened about as far as I'm willing to go without further compromising quality (such that it is). If I were braver and had more time, I might employ Grain Surgery or Neat Image. However, that is something you can do yourself.

Lightening accomplished by using curves rather than levels. I found a grey point (don't ask me where) and worked from there. I made a small attempt to decrease the terrible noise by changing to Lab mode and blurring the color channels. I also created a duplicate layer, used median and gaussian blur then blended that copy with color mode.

I'm sure others are better suited to repair this photo.

Janet
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File Type: jpg Steve2.jpg (60.0 KB, 25 views)

Last edited by Janet Petty; 10-13-2004 at 07:11 PM.
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Old 10-13-2004, 06:58 PM
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T Paul T Paul is offline
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A great candidate for PhotoShop CS's shadow/highlight filter...

1. Duplicate Image

2. Apply Shadow/Highlight Filter
Image>Adjustments>Shadow/Highlight

Shadows:
Amount 30
Tonal Width 47
Radius 30

Highlights:
Amount 0
Tonal Width 0
Radius 0

Adjustments:
Color Correction -32
Midtone Contrast +16

3. I then used the lasso tool to select the background on the original image and duplicate it. Place this layer above the Shadow/Highlight layer. This will make the background darker than the subject. I also applied a slight Gaussian blur to the background to help soften it.

4. Next I ran the image through a noise suppression program to reduce the noise.

5. I applied a Curves Adjustment layer to brighten the image

6. Finally I applied Unsharp Mask

Note if you want to lighten this further you could apply the Shadow/Highlight filter again or try duplicating the image and setting the overlay mode to screen. Then adjust the opacity to your liking.
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File Type: jpg dark3.jpg (36.1 KB, 48 views)

Last edited by T Paul; 10-14-2004 at 10:36 AM.
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Old 10-13-2004, 07:00 PM
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Janet Petty Janet Petty is offline
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Great job T. as always!
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  #6  
Old 10-13-2004, 07:06 PM
T Paul's Avatar
T Paul T Paul is offline
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Thanks Janet!

Don't hesitate to try your hand at it. Practicing is a great way to refine your skills.

~T
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  #7  
Old 10-14-2004, 04:26 AM
imrtun imrtun is offline
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I just tried removing some of the noise on his jacket, I used the undither tool in corel with 40 as the amount. Here is the new image.

http://img41.exs.cx/img41/213/blackonblack2.png

Last edited by imrtun; 10-14-2004 at 02:12 PM.
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  #8  
Old 10-14-2004, 11:57 AM
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Flora Flora is offline
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Hi everybody,

Great results with this picture!

imrtun
great technique!

I tried this:
  • I duplicated the Background Layer (Blending = Screen).
  • I duplicated the 'Screen Layer' twice more. (Now the details were more visible)
  • Used the 'Set Grey Point' of the Curves dialog box on a point of the jacket to minimize the 'magenta/reddish cast.
  • Merged Visible. (here is how to do it without losing the underlying Layers).
  • I used Selective Colors to correct the colours.
  • I used the Curves to enhance tone and contrast.
  • I used a combination of Neat Image and Gaussian blur to minimize the noise trying not to lose too many details in the process.
  • Finally, I used USM to enhance the contrast a bit and to sharpen the image.

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File Type: jpg F_Steve2.jpg (99.9 KB, 39 views)

Last edited by Flora; 10-14-2004 at 12:06 PM.
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  #9  
Old 10-14-2004, 02:07 PM
imrtun imrtun is offline
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Thank you Flora!

I like how you've managed to keep his skin tone and colour!

EDIT:
I had another try, http://img36.exs.cx/img36/3656/backonblack2_2.png The remaining noise was removed with the blend tool in Corel with an amount of 10 and 20% transparency. I also tried to keep some of the colour by masking parts of the original image and placing them ontop of my retouched image with the object (think there called layers in PS) set to colour and colour balance settings to Cyan-Red -6, Magenta-Green 15, Yellow-Blue 21. I also unticked the shadows box when doing this.

Hope that made some sense to the many PS users out there!

Last edited by imrtun; 10-14-2004 at 03:23 PM.
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  #10  
Old 10-15-2004, 05:39 AM
CascoGraFX CascoGraFX is offline
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Black on Black revisited

Thank you all so much for your guidance, especially Flora & imrtun. Your procedures are clear, concise and, more than presenting solutions to an immediate problem, you gave me an understanding of some of the intricacies (and the basics) of Photoshop...far more than the books by Eismann or Caplin. Thank you again...will post my results later today after just a few more tweaks.
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