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Grandma is Back with More Damage to Light Areas

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  #1  
Old 07-17-2007, 07:42 PM
Charlene5 Charlene5 is offline
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Grandma is Back with More Damage to Light Areas

Next photo I do I [I]promise[I] I'll choose one that I DO know how to fix In the meantime...

I started this one today. (I'm only posting a portion of the picture.) So far all I've done is clean up the worst spots and damage on the figures. I replaced the background and cleaned up the faded skirt. I'm faced with a sort of similar problem that I had with the sky only the fix for that one didn't work very well for this one. How to I get rid of (or minimize) the darker gray blotches on Grandma's blouse and my dad's - what do you call that, a chemise?? It's damage that went across the whole picture which is why I replaced the background. I tried painting it out over many layers but it looked painted even with noise and blurring. I'm stumped.

Cheers,

MJ who is going to have to start paying y'all as tutors!!
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File Type: jpg Grandma-and-Dad-for-Web.jpg (97.1 KB, 113 views)
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Old 07-17-2007, 10:48 PM
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DCobb DCobb is offline
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Re: Grandma is Back with More Damage to Light Areas

Your picture really looks nice. If I were to see your original image I might be able to detect what you are talking about. Yes, I do see a little gray but it appears to me more like the shadow you would get from the natural curves in the fabric. I did increase the contrast a little using levels. Things like that are personal choices. I just happen to prefer more contrast in an image.

One thing I did try was to convert the picture to the RGB colorspace and the go to selective color under the image menu and and there at the top you have a drop down menu of colors. Try selecting Black, white, and neutral. Move the Black slider at the bottom and see if that in any way takes out some of the gray you see.

dc

Last edited by DCobb; 07-17-2007 at 10:58 PM.
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Old 07-18-2007, 12:13 AM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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Re: Grandma is Back with More Damage to Light Areas

charlene,

nice pic.

there's several ways of handling the blouse and probably more than i'm aware of. but before that, i'd brighten the image a bit. a little brightness/contrast adjustment layer would be good here.

for the blouse, i airbrushed on a blank layer, then guassian blurred. i did this on the same layer several times. it's the blurring that makes it look not so much like painted on. and i prefer airbrushing over a normal brush, since this gives you less density to have to deal with. just a light spray over the target areas and you dont even have to be that precise because you're going to blur. keep the opacity way down, like 3% or less for most attempts.

when you've got the blurring done and the blouse is how you like it, on that same layer take your eraser brush and set it to about 20 or so and go around the outside edges of the blouse and clean up the overspill from the blurring.

that's one way to do it. you could also mask/select the individual shades and alter the shades that way. or, you could try a masking/selection of just the blouse and do a highlights/midtones/darks filter to try balancing. you could also select the blouse and try a curves adjustment layer, though on this one, that might be a little tricky.

i just happen to like the airbrush method because it gives me more control over individual areas. by doing everything on a blank layer, i can even erase or partially erase any airbrushing i dont like and then blur everything to smooth it out.

i also did the same thing on the faces, but on a new blank layer. new problem = new layer.

so, is this somewhat what you were after?
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Old 07-18-2007, 02:40 PM
Charlene5 Charlene5 is offline
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Re: Grandma is Back with More Damage to Light Areas

Thank you DC and Kraellin! I've posted the finished photo in my gallery. I didn't explain what I was trying to do very well did I ? After I brought up the curves enough to see into the dark murk of the photograph, the places where there should be a smooth transition from highlight to shadow popped out in the form of blobs. It reminded me of those old paint by the number kits.

I did some fiddling with the selective color and that took care of the minor stuff. I'd never much used the airbrush but it's fast becoming a new favorite. I did 17 layers to correct the blouse and baby dress and another 8 on the faces. My problem is that I want it all to go away instantly and I get impatient when the progress is so minute on each level. I added back a small amount of noise after the blur step. I did some dodging and burning here and there and finally decided it was finished. That's another problem for me - deciding when to quit. I read something last night in Kate Eismann's book that I'll keep in mind:

"You don't have to fix it all. There are times you may notice that as you zoom in further and further on an image, you find more and more to repair. If you have your image sized for output and the view set to 100%, it's a pretty safe bet that if you can't see it on the screen you won't see it on the print."

You've been so generous with your help and I want to give something back. It's something I learned from an art professor years ago. (I was an art major for the sole reason that it required the least amount of science and math. I suck at both.) If you know something is wrong with a composition but can't put your finger on it, turn it upside down and look. By doing that your left brain gets confused looking at an unfamiliar form and your right brain will kick in and show you the problem area. Works for me most every time! When I turned Grandma and Dad upside down I decided they needed a bit more contrast. Thanks, Kraellin for reminding me of that!

Cheers,
MJ
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Old 07-18-2007, 02:48 PM
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lurch lurch is offline
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Re: Grandma is Back with More Damage to Light Areas

MJ, you've done a stellar job on that image. Looks like it just came out of the developer.

<C>
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Old 07-18-2007, 09:12 PM
Charlene5 Charlene5 is offline
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Re: Grandma is Back with More Damage to Light Areas

Thanks, Lurch! You made my day. Coming from someone who knows what they're doing it's high praise indeed.

MJ
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Old 07-18-2007, 10:11 PM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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Re: Grandma is Back with More Damage to Light Areas

you're welcome, charlene

when you say 'in your gallery' do mean your gallery space here on retouch or somewhere else?

also, that trick your prof taught you also works when you've been working on an image for a long time. there is a tendency to lose track of what your image really looks like after working on it for a long stretch. i do this all the time and then post what i have. i come back later and find it doesnt look at all like i thought it did. so, the trick is to walk away or to take a completely new look at it. one way to do that is to turn the image upside down or flip it or both. it basically gives you a completely fresh start.

also, one other little trick with the airbrushing is to do some, gaussian blur and then on that same layer, add some more and blur again. thus, you often dont need 17 new layers it doesnt always work that way, but often does.
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Old 07-19-2007, 12:03 AM
Charlene5 Charlene5 is offline
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Re: Grandma is Back with More Damage to Light Areas

Craig - I meant my gallery space here. The only other gallery space I have is my refrigerator door

MJ
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Old 07-19-2007, 05:21 AM
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Graphics23 Graphics23 is offline
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Re: Grandma is Back with More Damage to Light Areas

Charlene5: I agree with Lurch, very well done! That's a great picture and you did an excellent job. Have you considered colorizing it? Would you have any objection to me giving it a go?

Kraellin: Good job with your take as well. Nice walkthrough too. You've inspired me to revisit the airbrush as I haven't used it in a while.

Regards,

Michael
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  #10  
Old 07-19-2007, 11:48 AM
Charlene5 Charlene5 is offline
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Re: Grandma is Back with More Damage to Light Areas

Quote:
Originally Posted by Graphics23 View Post
Charlene5: I agree with Lurch, very well done! That's a great picture and you did an excellent job. Have you considered colorizing it? Would you have any objection to me giving it a go?
Not at all, Michael Grandma (I was told) had auburn hair - the kind that looks brown at first glance but blooms with red and gold highlights in the sun. My dad was a strawberry blonde with hazel eyes that sometimes looked green or blue-ish.

I look forward to seeing your work!

MJ
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