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Mottled skin after darkening - solution?

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Old 08-06-2008, 07:34 AM
Verywierd's Avatar
Verywierd Verywierd is offline
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Re: Mottled skin after darkening - solution?

As Edgework said, there are lots of ways to do the job. It all depends on need. The advantage of the method I suggested (and not just making a duplicate layer or painting on a blank) is that it is fairly subtle and automatically targets the darker areas (or light areas if done in reverse). It is also easy to undo and to adjust in terms of intensity. Playing with opacity using this method actually evens out the difference between light and dark areas. Screen and Multiply mode have a more overall effect (everything simultaneously becomes lighter or darker) and makes it harder to blend the edges of the adjusted area.

Originally Posted by schMick View Post
Thanks Verywierd! Sounds like a really interesting method. Def going to try that one out. So that's used with an overlay blending mode you say? I've been doing screen and multiply brushing at low opacities on 2 layers with masks. Similar result?


Last edited by Verywierd; 08-06-2008 at 07:41 AM.
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Old 08-06-2008, 09:35 AM
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Flora Flora is offline
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Re: Mottled skin after darkening - solution?

Hi again Michael,

Originally Posted by schMick
Hi FLORA. For someone who seems to say it like it is, you do seem to want to imply quite a bit. What a welcome.
... believe it or not, mine was a genuine welcome... and I am really sorry if I gave you a different impression ...

Originally Posted by schMick
......and thought that a description of my issue would be enough to convey what was going on. IE: I've darkened a lot -> Blotchy skin. Anyone who it's happened to before would know what I'm talking about. Anyone else would be guessing. I was simply requesting comments from people who've experienced it.
Sorry to disappoint you again here, but blotchy skin in an image isn't necessarily caused by darkening .... can be caused by many factors i.e. the concentration of a particular colour in that specific place ... and since, after working with Photoshop for years I came to realize that each image has a life of its own, I feel quite confident to say that a technique that works wonders for one ... may be totally useless for anther picture presenting a similar problem... That's why a simple explanation of a specific problem would result in the request to post an example of it..
Originally Posted by schMick
To my eye the pic (compressed as it is) shows exactly what I've described.
The forum seems to have compressed it even more by more than 2/3ds for some strange reason! I haven't had the best of luck with hosting sites which is why I attached the web size images.
...That's my point exactly ... when I opened the image in Photoshop and zoomed in at 200-300% all I could see were JPG artefacts which could be very easily eliminated with a Noise removing filter... (view attachment)... which doesn't work just as well on 'genuine blotches' ...
Originally Posted by schMick
I certainly don't expect anyone to do my work for me.
...I never even thought you did...
Originally Posted by schMick
The replies I've received are quite helpful and manageable, despite heading in a different direction than I thought (woohoo). I'm a little at a loss as to why you think the information I've provided isn't adequate for those who it's happened to.
Originally Posted by Flora
....I came to realize that each image has a life of its own, I feel quite confident to say that a technique that works wonders for one ... may be totally useless for anther picture presenting a similar problem...
... and I'm only talking because it has happened to me often enough ...
Originally Posted by schMick
Perhaps I've had too long a day with too little food and am unduly touchy. Maybe I've misunderstood something???
Michael .....seems 'we' have started on the wrong foot (or maybe I've started ....) .... and I'm very sorry for that ....I probably overreacted because, for me, posts of the kind: Hi ... can anyone show me how to restore a picture? ... and nothing else added or request for help where the image posted is the size of a stamp are a regular occurrence.
But the bottom line here is what I wrote on my previous post : "Pleeeeeeeeease give us a real chance to help you! "
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Old 08-10-2008, 04:31 PM
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TommyO TommyO is offline
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Re: Mottled skin after darkening - solution?

Nice image by the way.
I guess if it were me, I would be interested in determining more about the source of the "blotches". Since we don't have a high res original (before post processing) to look at, we cannot tell you. But, you can determine it for yourself. You sound like you've been in this for a while, so you know the drill.... don't fix in PS what you can fix in the camera.

The blotches could be one of many things:
1. noise from the camera, created when the ISO is too high;
2. data loss from Photoshop editing.
> look at your histogram:
- spikes are from too much compression of a range;
- holes are from too much expansion of a range, or destructive edits;
> stay in 16-bit mode as long as you can before converting to 8-bit:
- of course, do as much in Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) as you can;
- remain in 16-bit mode in PS as long as possible before converting to 8-bit.
3. Color noise, again from any of the above;
4. Compression artifacts (not likely).

I would bet on #2. A serious photographer would not likely miss the others. So, examine your workflow to see if you can make changes. It's time for all of us that grew up under 8-bit digital imaging to start making changes in our workflows, to allow for retaining as much 16-bit data as possible. Until PS and PC's in general catch their OS & app's up to be fully 16-bit or higher, we must adjust.

Again, shoot RAW, do as much as possible in ACR, then stay in 16-bit mode as long as possible in PS. You will eventually have to convert to 8-bit to use some of the filters and tools not available to 16-bit images.

Best of luck and hope we did not offend you too much. (Flora is great and a wealth of information. Hope you guys forgive and forget !)
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