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Brightening & Bringing Up Detail in a Landscape

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  #1  
Old 04-26-2008, 08:20 PM
One4UAll One4UAll is offline
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Brightening & Bringing Up Detail in a Landscape

Some yrs ago, I took this photo of a mesa in Monument Valley. It was with a 645 film camera and scanned with no adjustments at 16-bit depth. It's about a 162 MB file.

I created a Background layer copy (which doubled file size) and applied Levels to bring it up to what you see. I would like to bring out more detail in the clouds, reduce the haze in the mesa & bring in some detail from that, & brighten (enhance) the plants in the foreground because they look pretty dull.

There may be a noise problem & I do have Neat Image.

BTW, there may be some advantage to make a copy of the file, then make that an 8-bit file, do the adjustments on that file & then apply that to the 16-bit file. Seems I read something about that some time ago. It doesn't take much to get to a half GB file at the rate I'm going.

Whatever comments, advice will be sincerely appreciated.
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File Type: jpg 1810715-Master-(16)-copy.jpg (198.3 KB, 132 views)
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Old 04-26-2008, 09:58 PM
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lurch lurch is offline
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Re: Brightening & Bringing Up Detail in a Landscap

Hi One4,

You've got your work cut out for you on this one, I fear, unless your 16-bit scan is a lot more tractable than the jpeg posted. I was about to declare that there was no useful information in the mesa but tried one more thing and it worked.

I always try to suppress noise as much as possible first thing. Most (but not all) of the time it seems to make subsequent work easier. I do this in Lab, with Noise Ninja. Neat Image will do just as well, I'm sure. My approach is to profile each channel separately and de-noise each one with different settings. That way I can get really aggressive on the a and the b for color noise while doing as little damage as possible to the detail in the L.

You probably tried all the standard Lab moves, as I did without much (any?) success. What finally brought out detail was a curves adjustment layer with everything but the mesa masked out (built the mask from the Lab b channel). Took each of the color channels and pulled the dark and light points in to just touch the histogram - same move you'd do in levels; I just prefer curves. Lowered the opacity on the adjustment layer to taste. To bring out the sky a bit, I added a new layer and set it to luminosity. To that I applied the red channel from the background layer masked by itself.

That's as far as I went. Bringing out detail also brought out some lens fog or flare, and produced a mesa that is greenish on the left end and purplish in the right. And the mesa got pretty noisy. Might not happen on the 16-bit file. But it's a start. And getting this far won't make your file grow hugely. Would love to see what you come up with.

<C>
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  #3  
Old 04-26-2008, 10:21 PM
pixelzombie pixelzombie is offline
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Re: Brightening & Bringing Up Detail in a Landscap

if you use photoshop cs3 you can use adjustment layers with 16 bit images which will keep your file size very reasonable...
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Old 04-26-2008, 10:54 PM
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crazyfly1 crazyfly1 is offline
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Re: Brightening & Bringing Up Detail in a Landscap

one4uall,
I took a run at it. Great picture. Mine is obviously way overdone, I just wanted to see what's there. Lots of sky, great color in the field.
Definatly work this one in 16 bit.
Bring into Photoshop cs3 as smart object and use smart filters to save your doubling file size with layers.
Most of what I did I did in ACR in just a couple minutes.

By the way, if you put the origional up on webshots or something I think a lot of us would have fun working this one with you.
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File Type: jpg 1810715-Master-%2816%-copy.jpg (97.8 KB, 98 views)

Last edited by crazyfly1; 04-26-2008 at 10:57 PM. Reason: Afterthought
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Old 04-26-2008, 11:29 PM
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0lBaldy 0lBaldy is offline
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Re: Brightening & Bringing Up Detail in a Landscap

You might check this forum: http://www.retouchpro.com/forums/hdr-hdri-tone-mapping/
and try a HDR
After the simulated HDR I used Imagenomic for the noise a couple times and masked the areas I wanted left alone on this sample you provided. Also did some selective hue/saturation adjustments.. I am sure that on the original 16bit it would look a lot better
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File Type: jpg 1810715-MaAA.jpg (96.6 KB, 83 views)

Last edited by 0lBaldy; 04-26-2008 at 11:31 PM. Reason: grammer
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Old 04-27-2008, 02:32 PM
One4UAll One4UAll is offline
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Re: Brightening & Bringing Up Detail in a Landscap

Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyfly1 View Post
one4uall,
I took a run at it. Great picture. Mine is obviously way overdone, I just wanted to see what's there. Lots of sky, great color in the field.
Definatly work this one in 16 bit.
Bring into Photoshop cs3 as smart object and use smart filters to save your doubling file size with layers.
Most of what I did I did in ACR in just a couple minutes.

By the way, if you put the origional up on webshots or something I think a lot of us would have fun working this one with you.
I'm providing the original image, warts and all, if I can get the URL to PhotoBuckets to work.

David
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  #7  
Old 04-27-2008, 02:41 PM
One4UAll One4UAll is offline
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Re: Brightening & Bringing Up Detail in a Landscap

I have PSCS. With so many references to CS3, not only to this image, but other problem images I've been submitting, I suppose I ought to finally upgrade.
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Old 04-27-2008, 04:04 PM
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womanmarine womanmarine is offline
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Re: Brightening & Bringing Up Detail in a Landscap

I attempted this from your first posted version. Used curvemeister and a Russell Brown technique.

I didn't go far enough, so will now try the original.
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File Type: jpg 1810715-Master-(16)-copy1 (Medium).jpg (82.6 KB, 46 views)
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Old 04-27-2008, 04:26 PM
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grannysdc grannysdc is offline
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Re: Brightening & Bringing Up Detail in a Landscap

Using PS7 but thought I would give it a try also...
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File Type: jpg Mesa.jpg (98.8 KB, 44 views)
File Type: jpg Mesa-Workflow.jpg (95.6 KB, 10 views)
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  #10  
Old 04-27-2008, 10:03 PM
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Frank Lopes Frank Lopes is offline
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Re: Brightening & Bringing Up Detail in a Landscap

Would you consider a b&w photo?

Just my two cents:

The image is under-exposed by at least 3 or 4 stops
Probably because of the compression applied where you have it hosted, it has many jpg artifacts that make it hard to clean and bring out detail

I tried to fix it in color and even still I could bring out the details in the mountain, it also brought out all kinds of strange color shifts, light bands and artifacts that I didn't want.

So I tried b&w and this is what I got. I also replaced the sky.

Quote:
Originally Posted by One4UAll View Post
...
Some yrs ago, I took this photo of a mesa in Monument Valley. Whatever comments, advice will be sincerely appreciated.
...
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File Type: jpg mountain.jpg (77.4 KB, 49 views)
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