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Black & White

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  • Black & White

    To do this I used Neat Image, Surface Blur, and Blur Tool to get rid of the noise and other stuff. I used the Channel Mixer to get to b&w and Curves to enhance the tonal range. With overlay gray layers I darkened the floor and bench. Finally, I used both conventional and hiraloam sharpening methods to finish it off.

    When doing this I usually worry that I have gone overboard with one thing or the other, be it blurring or shapening or contrast enhancement. Generally, I think this came out alright.
    Attached Files

  • #2
    I would say the image is too smooth and looks manipulated. The contrast is also too strong (you have lost detail in the shadows).
    If you lay this on a layer, over your original, and let some of the original image show through, I think it would look just right.


    • #3

      i'm a little curious as to why you're posting this again in a new thread. why not use the old thread where this originated and keep the continuity of the work. i see others do this once in a while and it always puzzles and even confuses me a bit.

      i think vikki has this pretty much right here. where you've cleaned things up VERY nicely, you may have gone overboard just a touch, particularly on the contrast. i'll only add that, that may not be all bad if you're planning to print. prints tend to lose a bit of resolution, even with the better printers we have today. so, that stark contrast may actually bleed down a bit in a printing and be ok that way. would be interesting to see.



      • #4
        Thanks for the comment. You are both mentioning areas where I am always unsure about but are also very subjective.

        Regarding the smoothness of the image, it was really messed up in the original and in order to get that stuff out I didn't see many options open to me other than making it a bit too smooth. It was one or the other and I made a choice.

        I am sorry if I posted this before on another thread. I would have removed that if I had remembered. This correction is completely different than the previous one at least in terms of the methods used. I took some time out to practice a bit and then tried it again.

        I will be printing this eventually.

        I tend to error to the side of too contrasty in general. I try to come up with what I think is good and then decrease it a bit although I didn't do that here. That should just be a rule for me. I do have a full tonal range and I did not blow-out any whites or plug up any blacks.


        • #5
          First, I do have to say that you actually did a very good job on this, and really, how it looks it so subjective, it's hard to please us all, and if you're happy with it, and if you're doing it for someone else, and they're happy, well, that's what matters.

          You can take the image and duplicate it, then do the following, and it will help it some.

          Anyway, on this particular image, add 1.11 noise using the gaussian selection... That will introduce noise to get rid of the 'too smooth' look.

          Then, use gaussian blur at a setting of 0.1 to soften the noise.

          Change the Layer to Lighten...

          Change the Layer's opacity to 70%, this will lessen the effect, but it will still make it look 'more photographic', and not so touched up.

          I know that some will think this may sound crazy, but we generally think of photos as having 'some' noise in them, so if it looks too perfect and you want it 'not so perfect', this will make it look more accepting to us.

          It's just a thought, and you can salt and pepper to taste, 'specially if you are working on another size.



          • #6
            I took a quick shot. Ran the original through NeatImage to reduce the paper texture and noise. I think I used "reduce 1/2 the noise". You need some to keep the image from looking very "flat".
            Attached Files


            • #7
              Recrisp. I like that idea and I'll give it a go and see where it gets me.

              Duwayne, that is leaving way too much noise behind for my tastes. I can't say which is the preferred way but for me, if I'm going to err, I'm going to do it on the smooth side.


              • #8
                I printed the picture out and could really see that it was too contrasty once it got down on ink. I used the tip to add noise given by recrisp although I had to use higher numbers for it to be visible to me. I also blended a duplicate layer in screen mode at 40% and it looked much better down on ink. I wish I could get more definition out of the hair of the mother and son but I just don't think that is possible without drawing it in and I don't want to be doing that. Anyways, here's what I came up with.
                Attached Files


                • #9
                  All of the things you are trying now (adding noise, screen mode) really aren't the best way to go. Your original has the detail and noise/grain you need. The problem is that the techniques you've used to smooth out the image and increase the contrast are just too strong, and you've applied them over the entire image. You have lost detail that cannot be brought back unless you work from the original. Below is crop of yours next to the original (adjusted). Notice that there is hardly any detail remaining in your version compared to the original.
                  Attached Files


                  • #10
                    I agree with Vikki actually, and I only said what I said because I was assuming that you liked the one that you did. I assumed that 'what you want', is maybe 'not what we might want to see', so I tried to make your corrected one work a little better, but normally I would've started out a different way, and not so much contrast in it, or smoothing.

                    I took the original image and played around with it early this morning to see what was there as far as shadow and highlight detail, and I saw more than what you ended up with. (I didn't save it, now I wish I did) Personally, I thought it looked better not so contrasty, but yours has it's own charm too, it's all in how you preceive it, and like I said earlier, do what you like if you can get away with it.

                    One thing too, the lady's dress, and the kid's shorts are splotchy, I don't think this was in their clothes when the photograph was taken, so that would need to be removed by cloning, painting, etc.

                    You may want to take the original image into Shadow/Highlight to get the detail you want, like Vikki mentioned, there is considerably more in the highlights, and 'some' in the darks areas too. You may be tired of fixing this particular one, and if so, maybe on the next one you can try all of this information given by everyone. I really think you're doing good though, but just slightly too much, and that over-processed look just makes it look a little too 'retouched', but the clean-up etc., that looks pretty good to me.



                    • #11
                      I remendered a technique I used a few weeks ago when a client said the restored version looked "too new". I blended my final version with the original. Put the original on the bottom layer with the restored version on a layer about it. Blending mode to normal. Opacity to 65-70%. Yields a very natural looking photo. Client loved it..
                      Attached Files


                      • #12
                        I understand what you all are saying. Some of the damage in the image was so great that I really didn't see any alternative in the methods I used. I agree that I should not have used those same methods across the entire image however to get rid of even the slightest bit of noise which is what I did.

                        If you look at the fingers of the mother in the original or the forearm of the baby you will see what I am talking about. It is also located in the chin of the mother. In my opinion this has to be totally eliminated. By bringing it back a little bit from the original, I'm just bringing back something that should not be there. This is different than standard noise though.

                        The noise of this image isn't actually noise as much as it is a pattern from the original print which makes it especially difficult to get rid of by normal noise reduction methods that I am aware of. I know some of the methods used to get rid of this in the scanning of the image but have not used them.

                        This image is actually of my mother, uncle, and Gma so it is not for a client. I am just using it as practice. I did use the shadow/highlight to get some of that detail back in the shoes and baby's dress and that worked alright.

                        I don't think I will redo this one for now as I am pretty happy with it despite it's imperfections but it is good to hear from all of you so that I may use your advice in the future on other images or if I decide to redo this one at a later date. I think it looks better because of what all of you recommended and that I did improve with my own odd methods.

                        Thanks again.


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