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MBChamberlain 09-08-2009 11:50 AM

Hair Mini-Challenge
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Hey all,

I shot a wedding last week, and the bride's sister died pink streaks in her hair the day before the wedding (and removed them the day after). The bride asked if there was anything I could do to remove the pink streaks so they did not detract from the photos.

And there in lies the challenge, removing pink streaks is an easy task, but how do you come up with a time efficient method of doing it to over 100 photos (when the wedding colors are pink and silver)? My final solution allowed me to remove the streaks in an average of 27 seconds per photo.

I had to try a couple of methods before I found one that gave me the results I was looking for. Here is an original and final, see what you can come up with, and be sure to post your results, how you did it, and how long your method took to apply to this photo.

I'll post my solution in a few days.


madclark 09-08-2009 01:02 PM

Re: Hair Mini-Challenge
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Not enough time to do a good job but here's my suggestion:

1. Add a new layer in Hue mode, streak over colors from the hair otherwise and blend away the purple, don't worry about being messy but flow the color in the same direction of the hair.

2. Hide the layer temporarily. Use Select>Color Range and choose the purple. Show the layer and use the selection to make a mask on the worst of the color, the go back and refine the mask to catch anything you hadn't gotten perfected with the color range.

3. Add a Hue/Saturation layer and bring down the saturation and raise the lightness and mask over the darkest areas of purple.

Took less than 5 minutes.


chas18052 09-08-2009 01:07 PM

Re: Hair Mini-Challenge
1 Attachment(s)
made new layer/sampled hair/painted all the hair at 100%/ changed blending mode to color.

Der_W 09-09-2009 11:54 AM

Re: Hair Mini-Challenge
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For an action I'd go up to "Select"-"Color Range", select the violets with a tolerance of about 100 and change their color using a new fill layer set to "Hue" on the selection.

MiningArt 09-09-2009 01:27 PM

Re: Hair Mini-Challenge
1 Attachment(s)
Select gray, black, skin, invert selection, black-brown/white gradient fill. Not very long. I guess I made the hair a little to dark, but there is no hint of purple left.

MBChamberlain 09-10-2009 01:51 AM

Re: Hair Mini-Challenge
Good thoughts so far, but there are a couple of issues with each method.

Madclark, excellent technique but it is too slow. At 5 minutes per photo I'd have to charge the client over $1000 for this, the goal is to produce a method fast enough that it can be done as part of the standard retouching that is included. In this case, only an hour of the included retouching remained.

Chas, simple and straightforward, but has the problem if damaging the dynamic range of the hair, leaving you with the appearance of a bad dye job, rather than natural, undyed blonde hair.

Der, you suggest an action, but the photos are taken under different lighting conditions, some with her in the background out of focus, etc etc... Plus there is the added problem of the pink streaks in her hair matching the flowers, vests, and decor. If you look carefully, your result also contains the tell tale signs of being edited as the color is still visible along the edges of the streaks. You'd have to follow Madclark's suggestion of refining the mask which throws you back into the too long category.

Mining art, while a gradient fill (I assume you mean a gradient map given the look of the image) is effective for a lot of coloring tasks, it would be very difficult to produce unnoticeable results across dozens of images without considerable adjustment to each image (again the time issue).

Good initiative all, but all "in the box" answers. The key to any challenge like this is thinking outside the norm. Use tools for purposes they were never intended for. Sneak up to the problem from the side and pounce. Remember, "Necessity is the mother of invention, but photography is its crazy uncle."


MiningArt 09-10-2009 05:14 AM

Re: Hair Mini-Challenge
1 Attachment(s)
purple+yellow=brown. Apply a yellow mask to the hair. After the proper settings are found all the pictures should come out the same.

ray12 09-12-2009 11:46 PM

Re: Hair Mini-Challenge
I have posted a video response to this challenge rather than a text response. I will be showing a non destructive way... using adjustment layers... to remove the hair coloring.

Im just experimenting with this video technology thing...Im new at if im making any big mistakes dont feel shy about letting me know.

Here is the video tutorial:

MiningArt 09-13-2009 12:43 AM

Re: Hair Mini-Challenge
Nice job with your video Ray12. I think he has found something faster than hand painting though. It will be interesting to see his method.

mistermonday 09-16-2009 07:06 AM

Re: Hair Mini-Challenge
MB, so far no one seems to have come up with a really fast solution to the problem. It has been 8 days so we are all eager to see your 27 sec. fix. Are you ready to post it?
Thanks & Regards,

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