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  • old color

    This is an old photo and what I've done to touch it up. It's not badly damaged. The color is just dull and faded looking. I don't know that anything I did necessarily made it look that much brighter in color. I welcome your critiques.

    Thank you,

    Sylvia Morris
    [email protected]
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Very cute kids! For some reason the original (left) looks quite blurred. What adjustments have you made?

    I would suggest:

    A levels adjustment, possibly try to brighten the shadowy area by the TV. I wouldn't crop out the TV because it's an important part of the picture (it shows the photo's time period).

    Enhance the green in the tree needles, either by increasing the saturation or even blending in some dark green color.

    Increase the saturation of the blue in the clothing so that it jumps out.

    Maybe add a hint of dark red to the wood flooring (perhaps fill it with 10% pure red).

    I'm not positive, but sister's face looks a tad blown out to me. You could try multiplying it (duplicate the image to a second layer, mask everything but her face, select "multiply" for blend option).

    Attached Files
    Last edited by Ken Rogers; 12-15-2005, 11:32 PM.


    • #3
      I used Levels. When you say lighten the shadowy area around the TV, how do you recommend I approach this? Keep in mind I am very new to Photoshop and struggling to learn the various ways of doing things. I like the idea of increasing the green color in the tree but I don't know how to increase the green in the tree without increasing the saturation in the whole picture. Would I be using the paint brush with 10% opacity to add red to the floor color? The last suggestion about the face is way over my head at this point and would first like to tackle your first suggestions before taking on that one.

      Sylvia Morris


      • #4
        ...possibly try to brighten the shadowy area by the TV.
        I would recommend the Image>Adjustments>Shadow & Highlight feature. This way you can increase the brightness of only the darkest areas. You won't have this tool if using Photoshop 7 or earlier, so as an alternative, either use the levels sliders, or curves.

        Enhance the green in the tree needles by increasing the saturation...
        Use the Image>Adjustments>Replace Color feature for this. Experiment with this tool, as it is a very effective way of selecting parts of an image (such as your tree) and making color changes to it.

        Maybe add a hint of dark red to the wood flooring (perhaps fill it with 10% pure red).
        1) Select the entire floor area with your favorite selection tool (I used the Magic Wand found in the toolbar).
        2) Change your foreground color to red. You will find both your foreground and background colors located at the bottom of your toolbar. Double-click to change these colors.
        3) Use the Edit>Fill feature set to 10% foreground color (red). You can adjust this to your taste.

        ...sister's face looks a tad blown out to me. You could try multiplying it...
        There are a few ways to do this. Here's my way.

        1) Select the "blown out" areas of the faces (I recommend using a mask and a soft brush, but if that's over your head, just use your favorite selection tool.
        2) Edit>Copy.
        3) Edit>Paste. Steps 2 and 3 have created a second layer.
        4) If you look at your Layers Palette (Windows>Layers) you will see that this new layer is set to Normal by default. Change this to Multiply. You will initially be disappointed by the charred facial appearance. Reduce this layer's opacity to about 30% and it should look a whole lot better.

        I hope this helps you out. Let me know if I can further clarify any of this for you. Best of luck!

        Last edited by Ken Rogers; 12-16-2005, 03:33 PM.


        • #5

          First, I have Photoshop 7 so I don't have Shadows and Highlights on my Menu. It sort of sounds like I might could do what you're talking about with Variations but it looks very complex to work with.

          I really like the Replace Color feature. However, when using it to add more green to the tree, it invaribly adds a little green to another part of the picture that I don't want green added to. In this case, it's the TV screen. I've tried many different selection areas and the very best one picks up a small area of the TV screen. I'm thinking there are 2 possible ways to approach this problem. Is there a way to select out the tree and then use the replace color tool only on the tree or go ahead and let the replace color took discolor the TV screen green and then clone over that part of the screen to put it back to it's natural color.

          What is your input on this?


          • #6
            You could try selecting the general area of the tree with a rectangular marquee before doing the replace colour so as to exclude the tv


            • #7
              I encountered this too, and I did exactly as Cassidy suggested. As for your other comment, the "Variations" feature is pretty straightforward to work with. It shows your image surrounded by color "variations" that can be applied with a single click. However, to brighten a dark area of an image, I'd experiment with Levels, or better still, Curves. You only want to brighten the shadowy areas, without brightening what's already bright. There's a thousand Levels / Curves tutorials online so I won't ramble on about them here.

              Last edited by Ken Rogers; 12-17-2005, 12:17 PM.


              • #8
                Great Tip Cassidy

                I love that tip Cassidy! What a great tip! I love my new greener tree. I'm posting the results. What do you guys think? Be good teachers and be sure to redirect me if I'm getting off track. Be sure to glance at the original if you want to see the difference.


                Sylvia Morris
                Attached Files


                • #9
                  that's much better. now add a just a touch more saturation to the tree.



                  • #10

                    The image looks slightly blurred to me. I'm not sure why. Are you seeing this too? At the top of this thread you posted one that looked focused and one with a slight blur.



                    • #11
                      2 questions

                      I'm attaching a .gif of the progress I've made with this picture. I love my green tree. I don't know how to lighten the shadowy area around the TV without over lightening the right side of the picture and Ken, what do you mean when you say the face is "blown out" looking. Thank you all for your help.

                      Sylvia Morris
                      Attached Files


                      • #12
                        I did some AB curve steepening in lab and some dodge/burn on the green and blue channels in RGB to bring out the tree. I also sharpened a little... perhaps too much.
                        Attached Files


                        • #13

                          when we say 'blown out' we mean way too white as if over-exposed.

                          as for the shadows on the corner, you could use a gradient mask and/or selection on that area and lighten.

                          nice job so far... keep goin



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