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Photo Restoration Repairing damaged photos

help with blown highlights

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  #1  
Old 06-02-2007, 06:18 PM
Michelle K Michelle K is offline
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help with blown highlights

Hello,

This photo is half and half. The lower half corrected has nice tone and the upper part is blown out. I'm not sure how to bring back the tone and do something with the blown out sky.

Any suggestions would help.

Thanks,
Michelle
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  #2  
Old 06-02-2007, 06:52 PM
unimatrix001 unimatrix001 is offline
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Re: help with blown highlights

not sure what program you are using but you can select the highlights in photoshop cs2 by pressing ctrl alt and the tilde keys at the same time and copy to a new layer and set blending mode to multiply.. that should darken the highlights just alittle if more is needed dupe the layer again and reduce opacity
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  #3  
Old 06-02-2007, 07:16 PM
Michelle K Michelle K is offline
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Re: help with blown highlights

I'm using photoshop cs2. Can I use this technique just for the top portion of the photo?
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  #4  
Old 06-02-2007, 08:11 PM
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Dave.Cox Dave.Cox is offline
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Re: help with blown highlights

Yes you can, Create a mask with the gradient tool to mask out the portion that you don't want adjusted. On the mask layer, black will block the adjustment, and white will allow it to show.
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  #5  
Old 06-03-2007, 09:33 AM
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Gary Richardson Gary Richardson is offline
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Re: help with blown highlights

had a quick go with your picture.

Applied a Levels adjustment layer to image and adjusted to darken top part of image to how I wanted it, then masked it to reveal lower half, tweaked it a touch to get even tone.

Flattened image.

Duplicated to new layer and extracted figures from top layer.

New layer in between the two and pasted a sky into it. Adjusted sky lighting to suit lighting of figures. Added a touch of noise to simulate grain.

Cloned over some of the blown out hair areas.
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  #6  
Old 06-03-2007, 04:47 PM
Michelle K Michelle K is offline
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Re: help with blown highlights

That's really Nice. Thanks for working on the photo. I like how you were able to match the tone to the lower and upper half. Wish I could replicate it. I'm not really sure I can do it. I'll give it a go with your description you left with the photo.

Thanks,
Michelle
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  #7  
Old 06-04-2007, 03:33 AM
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Gary Richardson Gary Richardson is offline
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Re: help with blown highlights

Hi Michelle,

Glad you liked the picture.

If you need more detailed instructions let me know and I'll post them.
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  #8  
Old 06-04-2007, 06:45 AM
Michelle K Michelle K is offline
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Re: help with blown highlights

I'd love more details.
Thanks!!
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  #9  
Old 06-04-2007, 02:11 PM
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Gary Richardson Gary Richardson is offline
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Re: help with blown highlights

OK, here goes.

First duplicate your image, so you should now have 2 identical layers, all work is to be done using the top layer, the bottom (background) layer is left untouched as a reference.

So top layer is now active. Create a levels adjustment layer (this will be above the duplicate layer) and adjust the middle slider to darken the image. Not too important to get it just right at the moment, as we'll come back and re-adjust things later.

By default adjustment layers come with an empty layer mask. Click on the mask to make it active. Now select the Gradient Tool (Alt+Click on Paint Bucket), set the foreground and background colours to black and white, then draw a gradient from top to bottom. This should even out the tone between top and bottom of the picture. If it makes things worse, draw the gradient from bottom to top. Experiment a little with where you start and stop your gradient till you get the best result. You're just trying to get a good "Join" between top and bottom.

If you need to re-adjust the top half of the picture, to darken or lighten it (and you probably will), click on the adjustment layer (not on the mask) and adjust the sliders till you get things as you want them.

I don't have the settings I used, as I deleted the file once I'd posted it (I've only got a small hard drive on my computer and I fill it up too quickly if I don't clear things).

Once you've got things as you'd like them, deselect the Background layer, then Merge Visible layers.

You should now have 2 layers again, the background (original) and a copy which has had the tone equalised.

At this point, set history brush sample point to the last action in the History palette. (open History palette and click on the square to the left of the last action).

Click on the copy layer to make it active, then choose Filter > Extract.

Extract the figures from the picture. I find the Extract tool doesn't always do the best of jobs, but you can paint back any missing bits using the history brush (which is why we set the sample point), and erase any bits you don't want with the eraser tool.

I usually insert a plain grey layer under the extracted layer, as it makes it easier to see any faults. (Be careful to ensure the "Extracted Figures" layer is active when you're working with the History Brush, it's all to easy to find you've "painted" things onto the grey layer and then you'll have to do it all again.

Once you've got the figures as you'd want them, delete the grey layer, it's done its job.

Now you'll need to copy and paste a sky (or whatever new background you want) on a layer beneath the extracted figures.

If it's a colour pic (which is what I used), just de-saturate it. Adjust the brightness and contrast using levels (You can use an adjustment layer if you wish) I worked directly on the sky layer. I then added some noise using the Noise filter to simulate the graininess of the original, I used Uniform, Monochromatic, set to about 3%.

Lastly, I merged all the visible layers, then created a new blank layer. Then working on that layer using a soft clone brush, set to approx 50%, I cloned over the blown out areas in the woman's hair, using samples taken from the darker hair areas. I always clone on a separate layer as it's easy to erase any mistakes. Don't forget you can adjust the layer opacity for fine adjustment as well.

Think that's about all the detail I have, I tend to adjust things by eye, so it's hard to give any more detail, hope this helps you.

Last edited by Gary Richardson; 06-04-2007 at 02:22 PM.
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  #10  
Old 06-04-2007, 08:28 PM
yuccaview yuccaview is offline
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Re: help with blown highlights

You could also just use the quick mask with the gradient tool.Very simple and very fast.
Click on the quick mask select the gradient tool, click at the top of the photo and drag down a bit.This is a graduated mask then click out of the mask and you have a selection, then go into levels and adjust the very light areas till
they look right.Then deselect and adjust the entire image to your tast.You can always use the history brush to bring back something that went too far.Then
run outside with your digital camera shoot some sky run back in and drop the sky in and you are done.
Don
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