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Photo Retouching "Improving" photos, post-production, correction, etc.

can anyone help me with this photo?

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Old 12-03-2013, 07:09 AM
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ray12 ray12 is offline
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Posts: 313
Re: can anyone help me with this photo?

To best lighten images like this you can use adjustment layers in Photoshop. Your image is an excellent candidate for correcting with adjustment layers.

Adjustment layers are clean, clear, transparent adjustments that dont block out any original picture elements...but they allow you to selectively lighten specific areas under complete visual control. Magazine retouchers use this technique to make the exposures on an image perfect in every part of an image...heres how:

The first step would be to put an adjustment layer above the original image. Adjustment layers are created with the half moon icon at the bottom of the layers pallet itself. Start with the "levels" adjustment first. Once you create that layer you will see the levels adjustment thumbnail box...move the center slider under the histogram to the left till the shadows in your kids faces lightens up quite a bit. Then... do a control or command "I" to invert the white mask into a black mask...this will hide the lightening effect you just created. Not to worry. Bring back the lightening effect selectively by selecting the mask on the layer... and then taking a very soft, very low opacity 5%, white brush and painting on the faces...(remember to "select" the mask so there is a white outline around the black mask) this will lighten the image everywhere you paint in white on the picture. NOW...paint on the faces in the image till they lighten up exactly like you want them!!! You can reduce or remove the lightening effect by painting on that same mask with black. This gives you complete placement control of the lightening...and the more white you add in...the brighter the effect will become. You can do a second layer if you need more lightening with no problems bacause these layers are transparent and dont hurt the image below.

You can also do a curve adjustment layer next... above the levels layer. Just go to the half circle icon on the layers pallet again and select curves. Pull the center point of the curve up and to the left...that will lighten your whole image...lighten it more than you need. Do a control or command I to Invert the mask from white to black...(the lightening now disappears temporarily) then paint on the mask with a very low opacity soft white brush at 4-6% opacity. Paint exactly where you need the lightening effect to take place...and the more white you paint on the mask...the more the image will be lightened in that spot. This technique gives you control of where the lightening is applied and by how much it is lightened. Remember that you can reverse the lightening effects by painting on the mask with a black brush.

This will most likely fix your lightening issues if you paint gently with some patience. If you are left with a color cast that you dont like you can PM me and I can tell you how to make curves and levels that will remove magenta or other color shadows, or color casts, or splotches...its this same process as above...but with the curves being used as color changer layers...instead of brightness correction layers.

Best of luck

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Old 12-17-2013, 09:35 AM
saigon80 saigon80 is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2013
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Re: can anyone help me with this photo?

Originally Posted by mistermonday View Post
Is this the type of lightening you are looking for?
Cheers, Murray
I really love your editting. Please tell me (a novice) your steps to get that look. Thanks in advance!
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Old 12-17-2013, 05:05 PM
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mistermonday mistermonday is offline
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Re: can anyone help me with this photo?

Originally Posted by saigon80 View Post
I really love your editting. Please tell me (a novice) your steps to get that look. Thanks in advance!
I just opened the image in Adobe Camera RAW, increased the Exposure, adjusted the Shadow & Highlight sliders to fine tune the shadows and highlights, added some clarity, contrast, and vibrance. I did that a month ago so I no longer have the exact settings.
Cheers, Murray
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Old 12-18-2013, 12:15 AM
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chillin chillin is offline
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Re: can anyone help me with this photo?

Selective curves adjustments could help.
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