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Photo Retouching "Improving" photos, post-production, correction, etc.

Uneven Exposure

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  #1  
Old 07-05-2005, 06:50 AM
simon29 simon29 is offline
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Uneven Exposure

I have been using my digital camera to take pictures of my dad's old photos. What I find is that many times I have sections of the photo that appear oddly underexposed. I would like to even up the contrast across the entire print. I am a newbie at using Photoshop 6. Thanks in advance for your help.
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Old 07-05-2005, 08:46 AM
Ken Fournelle Ken Fournelle is offline
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I am wondering of you are not getting reflections off the print because it is curled or from fold lines that give you surfaces that will reflect the light.

How are you copying these prints? Are you copying them on a photo copy stand with lights? You may want to try and copy them through a clean, flat glass pane that will flatten the image.

k
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Old 07-05-2005, 01:23 PM
Craig Walters's Avatar
Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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simon,

welcome to the forums

i'm assuming from what you said and the way you said it, that your photo that you take isnt matching up with the original photo, in which case do what ken said. but also, move your camera back just a bit more and take in the whole photo plus a little extra. you can crop out the extra in photoshop. this will reduce the possibility and slur of a not quite true camera lens. i had a camera once that did exactly this. if you took a picture of a picture the round lens taking a picture of a square or retangular image somehow would blur at the corners of the original. but that shldnt account for any underexposure.

however, what it looks like to me is you're getting overexposure, not under. this could be caused as ken explains it. it could also have to do with camera settings. the cheaper digital cameras have limited settings, often just an 'indoors/outdoors' type exposure setting. you can correct for this with artificial lighting indoors, or take your copying process outdoors. general house lighting makes for poor camera lighting, even with a flash. in fact, if you're using a flash that may well be where you're getting the overexposure.

also, if you're trying to use a 50 mm lens to do this with you're going to get some distortion, i would think, at that close of a range. if it's a digital zoom it might be ok, but it would depend on the camera. also, be aware of camera shading, where the body of the camera casts its own shadow on the original as you're taking it.

if at all possible, the best way would be with a scanner of 300 dpi or better. this eliminates all the lighting, distance, distortion and blurring problems.

but, it's not real clear exactly what you mean here. so, maybe a bit more detail about exactly what you're doing and what the problem is would help.

Craig
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Old 07-05-2005, 01:49 PM
Mike Mike is offline
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In the example that you have shown, the whitish/gray area is silvering. Simply put the image is going away due to chemical reactions.

To copy this and get away from this effect, you need to use a cross polorized lighting setup, this is where you place polorizing sheets over your light sources and a polorizing filter over your camera lens. You then dial in the amount of correction you need to eliminate the reflections.

Copying a print with this kind of problem can be done on a scanner by scanning in different orintations then merging the scans in PS. In the time it takes you to do that one can copy a whole bunch of these with a camera.

If you do not have and do not want to set up such a copying setup, try asking a photo studio in your area if they have something like this. If they do not know what "double polorized lighting" is, then try another!

Mike
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Old 07-05-2005, 05:22 PM
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Gary Richardson Gary Richardson is offline
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Hi Simon, would agree with the others about correcting things as much as possible in the scanning operation.

However I've had a quick go with your image. (Its a bit late here 12.20 am) so if you want to know what I did, I'll post later. (Still needs work).
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  #6  
Old 07-05-2005, 06:09 PM
simon29 simon29 is offline
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Smile

Hi. Thanks for the responses.

I am shooting these slightly larger with a digital camera set on the macro setting. I am not using lights. I have tried to keep the prints flat but this one, in particular, is in bad shape. Using a glass plate to flatten the print is a good idea. I will try that.

I have not been happy with the results from scanning some of the prints. I can't always borrow the prints. I will keep at that also.

Gary - Thanks for having a go with the print. I would appreciate learning the steps that you followed.

Thank you, everyone, for your replies.
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Old 07-05-2005, 08:14 PM
Mike Mike is offline
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Not using lights is part of your problem, you cannot control the light, only react to what is there. Using a sheet of glass may prove to add more to the problem than help.

Mike
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Old 07-06-2005, 12:30 AM
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Gary Richardson Gary Richardson is offline
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Hi Simon,

I'm a bit more awake now.

OK, I first duplicated your image to a new layer, and de-saturated it.

Then I used quick mask to make a rough selection round the faded area to the left of the girl (didn't bother with the area under the porch roof). Applied gaussian blur to the rubylith mask to soften the selection, then copied and pasted to new layer. Applied levels adjustment to make it match rest of image.
Finally fine tuned by adjusting layer opacity a little.

New layer, and cloned out light area under porch (seeing it was basically dark with no detail this seemed the easiest way).

Flattened Image.

New layer, and cloned out cracks and other major blemishes.

New layer set to soft light blend and filled with 50% grey. Using soft black brush set to about 5-10% opacity painted around boy's face and head, to darken it, also mis-matched area of girls hair.

Lastly did levels adj on whole image to up the contrast a little.

There's still a few minor blemishes that need cloning out, but it was a bit of a rush job done late, so I'll get back to them shortly.

Hope this helps.
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  #9  
Old 07-07-2005, 06:56 AM
simon29 simon29 is offline
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Thumbs down

Gary:
Thanks for having a go with the picture. I haven't had a chance to try your technique but I will try and follow your directions. I would like to improve this picture because it is one of the few that we have from this time. Thanks again for your help.
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