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Too much shadow!

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  • Too much shadow!

    Could someone please offer some advice on what to do with this photo. I have been given the task of taking the shadow out of the left hand side and can't for the life of me figure out how to do it without ruining the entire image...
    Any help would be teriffic.
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Hi! Welcome to RP - glad you joined us...

    I'm hoping that you have a cleaner, less pixellated, image. I'm guessing that this one was overly pixellated because of the posting size restrictions here.

    Here's what I did:

    I used the lasso tool to select the shadowed area, making sure I was placing my selection just at the edge of the shadow falloff.

    I switched to quick mask and blurred the mask using gaussian blur until the edges were very soft. You can see this mask-blur method in a couple of the tutorials. It is part of the process in "Smoothing Unwanted Textures" and "Easy Vignetting"

    I exited quick mask and used levels to adjust the area inside the selection.

    When the shadow borders receded, I deselected and repeated the process, making my subsequent selections smaller to match the receded shadow area.

    I did this until there was very little shadow left, and then I selected the area again and adjusted the contrast.

    Finally, I used the paint tool to very lightly blend in the wall paint, clothing, etc. and used the dodge & burn tools to touch up any remaining problem areas.

    It should produce better results with a batter image and a little more time and care than just my 3 minute whiz-bang gallop through it...

    Hope this helps you out some!
    Attached Files


    • #3
      Hi guybrush - welcome to RetouchPro!

      Wow - this is a tough picture. I really hope that you have a better quality scan of this photo (and that this isn't from a digital camera), because the JPEG compression in the shadow area has created a block pattern that will be just about impossible to get rid of otherwise.

      That said, it is possible to lighten the shadow without affecting the rest of the photo. You have to either use selections like Jak did or layer masks like I explain below.

      I used the "fill flash" technique described in this thread. However, because the shadow was so dark, I had to apply it 4-5 times.

      Each time I applied it, I used a layer mask on the "fill layer" to mask out the areas that were not affected by the shadow. Then flattened the image and applied again. The layer mask was crucial, otherwise the "OK areas of the image got way too light.

      One effect of the fill flash technique is that it seems to increase the saturation of the area it affects. So, after the second time of applying the effect, I started reducing the saturation of the fill layer before flattening.

      I did not fix the wall like Jak did, though that is certainly possible.

      Please let me know if this isn't clear.

      Attached Files


      • #4
        Here's my vs. If you don't think the colors are not bright enough you can layer with the others.
        Attached Files
        Last edited by ; 06-27-2002, 12:52 PM.


        • #5
          But Greg - how did you do it? Specifically, how did you get rid of the "blocks"?


          • #6
            There you go, asking technical questions......................

            I used PSP 7 because I can use it better. I spit it into RGB, and worked on the green layer, thru the others away. PSP has some GREAT photo tools that no other proggy has, so I used some of them, Clarify, Edge preserving smooth, adjusted gamma. The way I did it, I couldn't get any more sat. or it would look phony, so left it low key. When in a darkend room or outside at nite, colors strart to go away for the human eye, camera too.
            So you can't really have the intense colors like some did.
            Your luck if you can get a decent image at all. You know a lot of this could be prevented if folks would just learn how to use their cameras.


            • #7
              If folks learned to use their cameras, we'd be out of work.


              • #8
                Not me.


                • #9
                  vanity will never die. There will always be a need for a retoucher. There always has been a need. Even in idealized sculpture.


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