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Well, I guess I asked for it

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  • Well, I guess I asked for it

    Was wishing I could get a new chalenge and boy did I get one. My son got this image from a friend of his. He wants me to fix the problems and enlarge it. This image was a poor picture when it was taken and age hasn't been kind to it either.

    The blown out background shouldn't be too hard to deal with. I can probably replace the upper background area. The very dark skin to me is a real big problem. That's what I have started working on first, and I am not comming up with any good ideas. Should I start Dodging the skin? The woman's legs are the least damaged, but their faces and her arm are terrible.

    So, here I am again asking for help. What's the best approach to fixing this mess?
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Kevin, you could start with a duplicate layer set on Screen layer blending, then add a layer mask and paint back in some of the highlighted areas that get "blown out". I think this helps with the dark faces and one of her legs and you can help even out the lighting on the man's face.
    Attached Files


    • #3
      Thanks CJ. I am a little dumb when it comes to layer masks. You make a selection based on color selection and then do exactly what?



      • #4
        This is sort of along the same lines as CJ's advice.
        Duplicate the layer
        Lighten the image in the amount needed to lighten the faces.
        Take a snapshot.
        "Undo" the lighting step
        In your History palette, select the "lightened" snapshot.
        Using the history brush (soft edge), paint the areas that are too dark.
        Hope that helps.


        • #5
          Hi Kevin,
          Check this forum link for removing shadows



          • #6
            My first thought was the same as CJ's, and I think it works fine. Here's another technique that might also have some merit. Duplicated the background layer, desaturate, invert. Changed the blending mode to overlay, then ran gaussian blur at 4.0 on the image you posted. If you try it with a higher resolution, you'll have to play with the settings for the blur.

            Attached Files
            Last edited by Ed_L; 11-12-2002, 07:57 PM.


            • #7
              Kevin, we're not "dumb" when we haven't learned a technique -- we just haven't had the fun of learning it yet

              Please ask me more questions if you need after listening to my explanation and taking a look at Doug's tutorial on masking. It's a wonderfully helpful tool once you start getting the hang of it, so now is a great time to start!

              I duped the original layer TWICE and set the top layer to "Screen" layer blend. Then I added a layer mask (WHITE - to REVEAL ALL - it shows ALL the effects of the Screening effect ) to THAT layer. Then click on the mask (so that you're not painting directly on the photo layer), choose a paint brush that is small and use 20-30% opacity, choose BLACK to paint on the layer mask where the screening effect has made it too light. If you miss a stroke, don't worry, because all you have to do is switch your colors and paint with WHITE to paint it back in -- the mask just lets YOU control how much of the screen effect you want and where you want it! You can even click on the color pallette and make a gray that lets you lighten/darken at a different rate. Use the paint brush to paint around their hair (where it blew out in highlights, and darken parts of her dress back in -- you can even things out by painting with both white and black in areas to match lighting a bit more. When you're finished and like your result, APPLY the layer mask and merge the top layer with the second layer. This still leaves your original layer untouched, and you can view the difference between the before and after.

              Don't worry if it doesn't seem to make sense at first (it certainly took me a while to "get it") -- keep trying and asking and looking at tutorials -- layer masks are a big help once we start learning how to use them. Even if you don't use them for this photo, this is a great time to add them to your toolchest. I've added several other tutorials -- perhaps one or more will fill in some of your questions.

              Doug's Tutorial on Layer Masks

              Ben Willmore Tip on Layer Masks

              Photoshop Guru - layer masks and clipping groups

              Russell Brown -- sharpening with layer mask Choose the Sharpening tip -- it uses layer masking, and Russell Brown is good!
              Last edited by CJ Swartz; 11-10-2002, 01:34 PM.


              • #8
                Thanks for all the tips guys. I guess I will take CJ's advice too and go through the tutoirals and the other links mentioned. I need to get these tools down pat so I can get better at this. Sorry for being weak on some of these proceedures. I have a good ways to go if I ever hope to make money doing this.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by KevinBE
                  I need to get these tools down pat so I can get better at this. Sorry for being weak on some of these proceedures.

                  I don't have any ambitions to make money doing this, but if it's any consolation, there are tons of techniques I have to learn too. This is the place to do it.



                  • #10
                    Hi Ed, guess I was talking figuratively. I was thinking that if I was doing this for money that I was making about $0.10 per hour ha ha. And you are right, this is the place to do it!


                    • #11
                      Thought I would give an update and see if my progress is going in the right direction. I've been learning quite a lot in this project. I feel like a plastic surgeon trying to reconstruct their faces and hair. I learned that there is no data in a blown out area and nothing you try will have any effect on it. I have been recreating the missing areas with a combination of the clone brush to get color followed up with the healing patch to add structure. It seems to be working and I think I have most of the missing areas ready to get the final tone correction, which will be no small feat either.

                      I copied his left ear, flipped it 180 degrees and attached it to his right side and it looks a lot better than what was left of his right ear. I still have a lot more to do.
                      Attached Files


                      • #12
                        Kevin - I think the goal would be to let it be natural - but easy to look at. The light is coming from behind the couple, over the shoulder. The clothes and ground - everything is lit the same way - I think you just want to make it easier to see - as opposed to a complete "restoration". This is my try at it.

                        1) Copied background to new layer, changed new layer to screen mode, added layer mask to layer and painted on the layer mask areas I didn't want lighter

                        2) Multiple curves layers tweaking contrast and detail, each with mask to show curves effect where I wanted it to show. Until i had built up a hopefully natural look.

                        3) Flattened and cloned to smooth our rough areas on neck and a couple of spots that came out too dark under the nose.

                        Quite frankly, I don't think I could make it alot better, although there is probably some little things that could be done. The hard part is getting enough seperation and contrast in the face while keeping a natural / not garrish look. If this is confusing I can email you the photoshop file with the layers so you can see it in detail...

                        This is not a right or wrong kind of think, I am just climbing out of the preverbial box to say "what do we want this to look like"? However you envision it is what you should work towards.

                        Good Luck!, Roger
                        Attached Files


                        • #13
                          I think you're right. After looking at the image this morning I can see I may have gone too far. I'll re-group and come at from a different angle. It's frustrating to not be able to correct all that's wrong with this picture.


                          • #14
                            Hey Kevin

                            To me, part of it's charm is the old look - very candid and real. If you want to go in a different direction for something beautiful you could look at turning it into a painting - keep the lighting the same but work the detail until you get the look you love. Just don't loose the shape and the depth of the lighting that is now there.

                            I don't know very many of the painting techniques - although I do know one person that does a great job working the detail of photographs with the art history brush (use small brushes), all of the grain of the original gets smushed - gives a semi-watercolor look. You could then go back over it to add colors... so many choices... Good Luck!



                            • #15
                              Here I am again, hopefully going in the right direction now. Let me know what you think, please. Also would you replace the background or leave it as is?
                              Attached Files


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