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Colorizing a Black and White: a request from a Drag Racing Buddy

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  #1  
Old 09-23-2006, 06:28 PM
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pctalent pctalent is offline
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Colorizing a Black and White: a request from a Drag Racing Buddy

Thanks for the nice Birthday email, folks! It's nice to be born...sure beats the alternative! Here is a project I decided today is finished. I am a contributor to Draglist.com, and I have made a lot of friends over there from all over the world...we share a passion for drag racing and Draglist is the keeper of statistics and information on the subject with over 10,000 links that provide an online encyclopedia on the sport. Although schooled in art and music, I grew up in a culture of hot rods...drag race cars and people. To make a long story as short as possible, my buddy Doc in St. Louis had this picture of his uncle Curt Wasson match racing the King Cuda in Tulsa back in the late 60s, when Funny Cars were just beginning to come into their own as a legitimate class of drag race car. Curt unfortunately lost his life a few years later in a traffic accident while riding his motorcycle, and Doc has to this day held him up as his life's role model and hero. I have taken in Curt's vibe from the pictures Doc showed us of him, and he was an outstanding man. I can see why Doc loved the guy...he was a free spirit and risk-taker and a very kind and generous fellow to those he loved...So, Doc posted the picture and said "I wish I had this in color"....Ding, I downloaded it and began a lengthy and sometimes frustrating colorizing of the snapshot. I am not extremely pleased with the results for a number of reasons, mostly that it looks surreal instead of real. I used brushes and paint bucket at 10% opacity and liberally schlepped the background with the blur tool until it looked sorta like the cars were blasting off the line at around 60 mph, which they did...supercharged, nitro-burning fiberglass-bodied cars with tube chassis went extremely fast from a standing start, even back then. Anyway, that, and Curt's choice of colors...gold-leaf lettering on a solid bright-yellow car...I downloaded some gold leaf from a Google image search, outlined the letters over the gold leaf, copied from the gold layer and pasted back in, then went into layer styles and did the bevel-emboss, inner glow, outline etc and made the layers 75% transparent...whew...it was tedious...and this is what I came up with. Doc is happy, that's all I care about for him, but I'm ready to take my lumps in here for what I did...I was referred to this site a while back by the administrator of Draglist, who told me there were a lot of people like myself here...well, once I joined and saw what you guys can do, I thought, I hope they don't laugh me out of the place! As it turns out, you're great folks. Here are the before and after links. The thumbnail thing wouldn't work that well on this deal. Check 'em out at Glowfoto if you'd like to see this. Thanks, everybody have a great weekend! John
Doc's pic:
http://img4.glowfoto.com/images/2006...622097543T.jpg
My color version:
http://img3.glowfoto.com/images/2006...239239616T.jpg

Last edited by pctalent; 09-23-2006 at 06:49 PM.
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Old 09-24-2006, 07:23 AM
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Swampy Swampy is offline
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Re: Drag Racing Buddy Project

Very good job!
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Old 09-24-2006, 10:21 AM
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pctalent pctalent is offline
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Re: Drag Racing Buddy Project

Thanks, Swampy. I got in there this morning and remembered to do Auto Levels, Auto Color and Auto Contrast, and I think it might have made a difference. I put a couple of white swabs on Curt's fenders and roof; I also applied a little gradient to the sky, which I can take out if I don't like it tomorrow...I don't know if this happens to you folks, but when I work on something for a long time, I am so close to it, I end up going inside of it and I don't see it from out here anymore...I'm in there mingling around in the crowd, walking over to the time-slip booth, etc, and I am no longer objective with it. Anyway, here's this morning's version...John
http://img3.glowfoto.com/images/2006...907352776T.jpg
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Old 09-24-2006, 12:45 PM
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DannyRaphael DannyRaphael is offline
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Re: Drag Racing Buddy Project

Hey, John...

Welcome to RetouchPRO. Nice job on the colorization. Brings back pleasant memories of when I was a lad "wishing" I had a hot car like these.

FYI: I retitled and moved your thread from "photo art" forum to "photo retouching," where it will attract more eyeballs.

~Danny~
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Old 09-24-2006, 02:43 PM
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pctalent pctalent is offline
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Re: Colorizing a Black and White: a request from a Drag Racing Buddy

Thanks, Danny...good call! JB
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