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Photo Restoration Repairing damaged photos

Problem: Bad Case Of Lens Flare

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  #1  
Old 04-12-2006, 11:16 AM
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Problem: Bad Case Of Lens Flare

This photo has me stumped. As you can see the bottom and bottom-right have a pretty severe lens flare. I've tried my usual technique of using the illuminousity mask and layers to put the density and contrast back, but I can't get an acceptable result. I think the problem here is that the overall photo is very contrasty while the lens flare area is very flat.

Anyone have a technique for this?
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Old 04-12-2006, 12:42 PM
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Here's my 5 minute attempt. I used a gradient in Quick Mask to make a selection that favored the bottom of the image. After adding some contrast in Levels, I went into each channel individually and used the Burn tool (midtones) to darken just the areas that stood out as flare. Not perfect, but an improvement?
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Old 04-12-2006, 12:50 PM
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This might give you some direction.

I desaturated the entire photo then used a Selective Color adjustment on the neutrals and added black until I brought the affected flare areas into proximity of the other tonal ranges.

Then paint black/white on the Adjustment's mask with a soft low opacity brush to apply or remove the adjustment from selected areas.

I also did some smart sharpen on the tomb marker inscription to make it a little more readable then re cropped.
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Old 04-12-2006, 12:51 PM
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It is better.. My technique was not going anywhere. Your method is not in my book of techniques so I think I'll practice it. Thanks.
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Old 04-12-2006, 12:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swampy
This might give you some direction.

I desaturated the entire photo then used a Selective Color adjustment on the neutrals and added black until I brought the affected flare areas into proximity of the other tonal ranges.

Then paint black/white on the Adjustment's mask with a soft low opacity brush to apply or remove the adjustment from selected areas.
If I understand correctly, you essentially did a 'selective' 'darken' on the mid-range tones?
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Old 04-12-2006, 02:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MisterJP
Here's my 5 minute attempt. I used a gradient in Quick Mask to make a selection that favored the bottom of the image. After adding some contrast in Levels, I went into each channel individually and used the Burn tool (midtones) to darken just the areas that stood out as flare. Not perfect, but an improvement?

Exactly what I would have done! Nice job! Looks good, just needs some slight tweaking!
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Old 04-12-2006, 02:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blue dog
If I understand correctly, you essentially did a 'selective' 'darken' on the mid-range tones?
Yes,,, Since the flare occures in what appears to be the mid-tones (neutrals) you can selectivly work on those through the pop up color selector in the Select Color adjustment. You get a range of Whites/Nutrals/Blacks. Choosing the neutrals allows you to just add more black to those tones. Then you can paint in/or out through the mask to fine tune it. :-)

I started painting with a large soft brush at 10% opacity.

Having a duplicate copy of the original file helps show you the areas that need to be tweaked on the mask.

One thing about your photo, the flare was not in critical areas (a face for example) so this is a relativly easy adjustment.
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Old 04-12-2006, 02:52 PM
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Right. I had only developed one (1 1/2) technique to deal with flare and it wasn't working. It builds detail and contrast using layers of Illumination which is the high end. What I really failed to do was identify the problem as being mid-range.

Thanks a bunch.

I'll put this up for critique when I get it restored.
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Old 04-12-2006, 06:12 PM
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Klaatu Baradda Klaatu Baradda is offline
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This isn't really a "lens flare" but rather a chemical fading or a light leak in the camera. The "splotchiness" of it is the most difficult aspect to deal with as well as the clipped shadows and highlights. Can't really do anything with information that is essentially missing (except "make it up!").

Some basic things we did to this was to take it into LAB, copy the L channel and paste it into a new layer and set the blending mode to Luminosity. Then Copied, Multiplied it and then duplicated the Multiply layer until the bottom half was sufficiently darkened. We could have just used Curves or Levels on this, but Multiply does a nicer job of increasing the color dynamics.

Next we merged these Multiply layers and masked the resulting layer so we could selectively paint away the areas that were too dark.

Did some sharpening on the L channel and placed a Gradient Map adjustment layer on top to equalize the color. A little dodging and burning to try and "make up" some of the missing details.

http://img142.imageshack.us/img142/7...hotolab0qe.jpg
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Old 04-12-2006, 07:42 PM
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You are right. The same defect appears all four of the grave-side pictures that I have. A light leak is a better explaination. There are also chemical blue streaks from improper washing. (I have to keep reminding myself that in 1920-1940 things were soo different. This person started taking pictures during the depression because he was unemployed for most of it.) Uncoated lenses is a big problem. Generally cheap equipment, at least in this case. AND he used water out of a pump with no treatment or filtration! Poor storage conditions - no A/C, no refrigerator, at least for the chemicals. Finally, he didn't get to enlarge his mistakes, he only made contact prints.)

I haven't used Lab but I have heard enough that I intend to investigate it. However, your method and results look alot like mine, that I was not happy with. (Its hard to really say without a larger work than I can open side by side with mine in PS.)

The method I used was to use the luminescence mask and build multiple layers until you get it right. I've successfully done this using multiply or soft light. I've also done an inversion and used screen mode. On this pic I couldn't get a good result. The Blacks were too dense in relationship to the normal range of the picture.

Earlier someone showed a better result. She got that by building the mid-range. I haven't got back to the pic yet, but I am at least temporarily convinced that is the real problem and that when I saw "lens flare" I jumped too quick and missed the real problem.

Do you agree that hers is a better result? I realize that is a matter of taste and I may feel different when I actually get in PS and start experiementing with some of these suggestions.

Thanks for the advice.
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