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Photo Restoration Repairing damaged photos

white balance

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Old 09-19-2005, 06:20 PM
Nacoya Nacoya is offline
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 89
white balance


i'm having real trouble deciding whether there is a white balance problem on this pic. I took loads at the world rowing regatta but the weather was so bad they are all useless as is. I'm trying to touch up but can't decide if this is right or not. The overall feel is right for the conditions of the day but i can't help feeling there is a blueness about the loch that isn't right in my mild retouch.

Comments please........

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Old 09-19-2005, 07:17 PM
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byRo byRo is offline
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Hi Nacoya,

I'm not sure that the problem here is colour balance. I see two things...
- the histogram is very bunched up a one point, which makes for strange, flat areas;
- the bright reds seem strange, rather exaggerated.

Here's some tricks that I like to use.....
1) Copy the original layer, run Image>Adjustments>Equalize. Tone down the opacity to around 15% - now the image got a bit more interesting;
2) Use my constrained Brightness / Contrast ajustment here to get better contrast without running into clipping;

For the Reds
1) Hue / Saturation adjustment layer, Reds, saturation -40;
2) Hue / Saturation adjustment layer, (all), saturation +40;

Doesn't make for a wonderful photo, but worth a try.

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Old 09-19-2005, 07:48 PM
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Panpan Panpan is offline
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The water would not reflect a blue sky on an overcast day, so I neutralized the cast on the foreground water with the levels middle dropper.

I agree with Rô that the saturation is a bit much. I decreased it by 20 units.

I increased local contrast (unsharp mask, radius 100, strength 20%) and sharpened.

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Old 09-20-2005, 06:31 AM
edgework edgework is offline
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Hi Ro, PanPan

I took a totally different approach but wound up with virtually the same results as you, Ro, with the exception that I think my water is a bit more neutral. I see a slight green cast in your water. As for the reds, I think the difficulty is not so much that they are too saturated, but that the rest of the image is too dull.

I used LAB curves. PanPan, you need to look again at the contrast curve you used. It appears to be a standard "S" curve, the result being that you've ignored the detail in the background, already dense to start with, now plugged up entirely. There are really three areas of interest that need to be enhanced: the water, The faces in front and everything else. There are highlights but not a lot is happening there, and the ranges of the other areas don't overlap much, so there are ample opportunities to hide the flat pixels. The lightness curve I used shows the three areas where I steepened the slope, and the corresponding spots where I let things flatten out.

In the same curve, I pushed the red towards neutral. Then with a second curve, I did an overall color enhancement by pulling the anchor points of the a and b channels in towards the center, 20 units each. I then pulled the yellow anchor of the b curve back a point or two because the water was reading a bit on the yellowish side. The light shirts in the background are reading heavily blue. Since the van does not show a cast, I let the blue shirts stay as they are, since taking their tone as a cast made everything else much more complicated.
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Old 09-20-2005, 01:10 PM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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well, i didnt like the gray water, so i changed it. from there, you could make other changes as needed and wanted.

the workflow was magic wand set to rgb somewhere in the 20 to 30 range tolerance. that gave me a selection which i then set to edit mode to fine tune the mask.
promoted the mask to a new layer, and applied the Fast Fix plugin to change the color and contrast and lowered the sat a tiny bit.
flattened all layers.

depending on the final look you wanted you could then alter other things. i didnt.

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Old 09-20-2005, 03:14 PM
Nacoya Nacoya is offline
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Posts: 89
Thanks guys Where to start ???

just printing them out as i'm sure my tft isn't helping much. I just never know when it's set right. For all i know i could be looking at green and the rest of the world see pink ... { note to self : must acquire a crt for comparison}.

byRo - the histogram - i have a few hundred pics all with that similar profile. I guess that's what you get with a large chunk of flat grey water in the picture. I had just kinna accepted that, and was trying best i could to get some kind of recognisable image without pushing it too far. I like the equalise trick. Gives the water some life/texture.

It's really difficult for me as i know how i want them to look but that just ain't going to happen. So i'll have to come up with a happy medium and go with that. I think that at least if i can - using the great help from you guys - decide on the 'best' colour, texture and vibrance of the water then if i aim to get the water in the other pics as close to that I might at least introduce some consistency.

As usual everyone has given very useful input. It could be a long night whilst i try out your suggestions for myself.

I had originally intended to put together a gallery of pics from this event but when i did retouch some and put them together in a gallery they all looked sooo different (water and sky and brightness/contrast etc) that i felt it was too crappy to publish.

Mother nature ... grrrrrrrr . it was glorious sunshine in the week leading up to the event.

I think i'll try this one next as there is a bit more going on.

Thanks again guys,

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Old 09-20-2005, 04:16 PM
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realaqu realaqu is offline
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My two cents,

The main problem of this picture is the midtone lack of contranst, the picture is too flat, so I use my mid tone selection method to select the mid-tone to increase the contrast, the lightness on original picture is not well balanced too. so I use a levels adjustment layer to do this part. the bank is too dark, so I use another curve adjustment layer to get some details back. the last step is adjusting colors to match believable colors.

I marked the problems on the picture.

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Last edited by realaqu; 09-20-2005 at 04:25 PM.
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