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Removing a Facial Shadow

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  #1  
Old 01-09-2010, 11:50 PM
kaishantelle kaishantelle is offline
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Removing a Facial Shadow

Hey,

I usually work with film. But my friend needed head shots, so I went ahead and did them digitally. She was late so we couldn't work inside cause my windows are south east facing and the sun was on the other side of the house. So we braved the cold and went outside. Between rushing and the sunset i was left with some very inconvenient shadows on her face.

Do you have a step by step method to get rid of them? I am a totally noob to photoshop.

Thanks!
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Old 01-10-2010, 08:14 AM
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flexmanta flexmanta is offline
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Re: Removing a Facial Shadow

Basiclly what you want to do is modify the value of some pixels as you leave the other intact. The actual opening of the shadows can be approached in many ways, but the selecting of the values that you need to lighten is what you need to consider here.

There is an adjustment in photoshop that does well in lighting darkening parts of the photo based on it's original luminosiy value. That is the "shadows & highlights" adjusment. It provides control over shadows as well as over highlights. Amount of lighting, and range covered by each slider. That is the first metod you can try to use, and here's an example:

In the example i took it up a notch so that you can see what this adjustment does. It is located under the adjustments menu. Duplicate your layer so that you preserve the original in case you want to go back (ctrl+j). Open the s&h adjustment. Focus on the shadows part of the panel. You have 3 sliders. See what they all do, it's pretty intuitive. When doing this, you bring the original shadows closer to the highlights, and you might loose some contrast. That is why, if you hit "more options" you are given the possibility to recover some of the lost contrast with a slider as well as recovering some of the color in case it was washed away by the way s&h works.


There are other methods such as using different blend-modes or cuves and levels. Having in mind that you only want to lighten the shadows, there will have to be a selecting of some sort, and there are soooo many ways to do it that they wouldn't fit in a single post. Try to find some info about luminosity masks, the blend if command, and the basic use of the curves adjustment.

ps: Congratulations for going digital. You won't go back.
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Last edited by flexmanta; 01-10-2010 at 08:20 AM.
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Old 01-10-2010, 03:48 PM
kaishantelle kaishantelle is offline
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Re: Removing a Facial Shadow

thanks. I tinkered around with it a bit but I'm wasn't able to get rid of that shadow of the finger.

i'm getting rather frustrated
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Old 01-10-2010, 04:49 PM
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flexmanta flexmanta is offline
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Re: Removing a Facial Shadow

i dont know what finger you mean... see, sometimes these things need to be thought beforehand. Depending on where you live and the time of the day, the ratio between shadows and lit areas can sometimes be of various stops. Yes light will be softer, but shadows are shadows. In the worst case scenario, and using a camera that you are not familiar with, you can still pop up the built in flash at it's minimum FEC to open up those shadows. The problem in this particular case is that the shadows are completely blue. If they were of the same color as the lit areas, there could be a way to, not only light them up, but also to maintain the color. In this case, shifting color of the shadow so steeply can cause banding.

SO!
your only option in this case is to paint in what is not there.... although im sure there are more ways to tackle this particular problem, but they are beyond my skills.

Clone in some skin from lit areas. And most importantly, have in mind that hard light is not a bad thing... but if it is for you and the photo you are trying to achieve, consider it before pressing the shutter.
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Old 01-11-2010, 01:17 AM
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grannysdc grannysdc is offline
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Re: Removing a Facial Shadow

kaishantelle, Welcome to RetouchPRO

I just wanted to see what I could quickly do with your photo to get rid of the shadows.. mostly done with the healing brush with a little skin texture added back.. I played with the shadow color using the Replace color tool, and toned down the yellow and reds using a hue/saturation layer.. I also lightened the pupils and shined/darkened the lips ..

Keep in mind that I would not submit this 'repair/fix' for a clients head shot (this was only a quick fix, and you can readily tell that it has been 'repaired/fixed', not very well done and certainly not finished ( I mean the part I did! ))... that said, unless your Photoshop skills are imperceptible.. and If it is going to be used as a professional head shot or used in a portfolio or at go see.. with the shallow depth of field of the head shot (very soft) plus the finger shadow needing to be fixed on a fast turn around, and even though she is a pretty girl and the photo has potential,... I would not use this particular photo nor attempt any repairs if it is going to be judged by professional screeners, it could possibly hinder rather than help.. What I would do is write this picture off as an "OOPS!" and use it only for practice or her personal use..

Jeez, I just re-read what I wrote and it sounds very critical.. Sorry it was not meant to be mean spirited just my thoughts

Please keep in mind that I am only trying to help.... others may totally disagree with me

I am looking forward to seeing more of your work, I think you have exhibited a lot of potential, based upon your submission
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