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Advice: Flash didn't go off

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  • Advice: Flash didn't go off

    I'm posting this image on behalf of Greg Szczyrbak, who graciously loaned this pic to me for the photo-art forum.

    He's very new to Photoshop and wondered what could be done to improve this image.

    If you post an image, please post some relatively basic instructions on what you did.


    Attached Files

  • #2
    I just tried the fill-in flash technique from Katrin Eismann's book:

    1. Open the image (baby-peek-a-boo.jpg)
    2. Duplicate the image (Image -> Duplicate) to get baby-peek-a-boo copy.jpg
    3. WITH THIS COPY IMAGE, convert to greyscale (Image -> Mode -> Grayscale)
    4. STILL WITH THE COPY IMAGE, apply some Gaussian Blur (Filter -> Blur -> Gaussian Blur). At this size of image I used a 3 pixel radius; if you were working on a larger scan you might want to go up to 4, 5 or even 6 pixels.
    5. STILL WITH THE COPY IMAGE, invert the image (Image -> Adjust -> Invert)
    6. GO BACK TO THE ORIGINAL IMAGE (i.e. baby-peek-a-boo.jpg). Load the grey channel of the copy image as a selection (Select -> Load Selection) - under Source, Document dhould be "baby-peek-a-boo copy" and Channel should be "Gray"
    7. STILL WITH THE ORIGINAL IMAGE, copy the selection to a new layer (Layer 1) by hitting Control-J.
    8. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE LAYER 1 ACTIVATED. Fill layer (Edit -> Fill) - Contents use 50% Gray, Blending Mode Color Dodge, Opacity 100%, make sure the Preserve Transparency box is checked ON.
    9. If desired, adjust the opacity of Layer 1.
    10. Flatten image (Layer -> Flatten Image).

    There was quite a lot of compression in the posted image, which has affected the result in a couple of places, but following these steps with a high-res scan should produce good results.
    Attached Files


    • #3
      Like Leah said - there was quite a bit of "compression damage" to the photo which I didn't attempt to fix, but as far as the flash goes -
      I duplicated the image and put it in screen mode then used an alpha channel to paint the screen mode into the dark areas. There were a few areas where it was discolored, so I used a color layer to paint back in some more natural color.
      Attached Files


      • #4
        thanks for thew assistance...

        I am the photographer/father. I'm looking forward to trying some things out. I have the original saved as 3 megapixel, fine compression JPG. I made it smaller for the web so it wouldn't take forever to download. Hopefully I should be able to work with that.

        Thanks again.


        • #5
          Contrast masking works very well on this image.

          Contrast masking in PSP.
          Contrast masking in PS.


          • #6
            Originally posted by Leah
            I just tried the fill-in flash technique from Katrin Eismann's book:
            6. GO BACK TO THE ORIGINAL IMAGE (i.e. baby-peek-a-boo.jpg). Load the grey channel of the copy image as a selection (Select -> Load Selection) - under Source, Document dhould be "baby-peek-a-boo copy" and Channel should be "Gray"
            I don't understand what is happening when this step is done. How can a greyscale image have a grey channel, the whole image is grey. Do you know what actually is being done?

            feivel thanks


            • #7
              It does have a grey channel. In fact. unless you've played around creating new alpha channels, it ONLY has a grey channel. If you follow along with the steps and pull down the down-arrow thingy then Gray is the only option at that point. You're using the grey channel (for these purposes, == lightness) of the greyscale image as a selection mask.

              I just specified that the Channel box should say Gray because

              (1) when I am a beginner and following along with a step-by-step I like to know what goes in all the boxes, even if they are the default/only available settings. This is probably a sign of deep fundamental insecurity but I'm going to inflict it on everyone else anyway...

              (2) in Katrin's book she refers to it as the "black" channel, which confused me when I was trying this technique (I confuse easily, in addition to the insecurity thing). So I wanted to be sure and specify that the box actually says Gray (in PS7, anyway)

              (3) often when I'm using this technique for real I have a whole bunch of copies of the same image open ("XXXX", "XXXX copy", "XXXX copy 2"... etc.) that I'm trying out different things with. It's very easy to pick the wrong one to use when loading a selection, so making a point of checking that the grey channel is selected is a double-check that I've picked the correct image in the "Document" box. If there isn't a grey channel listed then I've accidentally picked a non-greyscale source (d'oh!).


              • #8
                thanks leah, I am very new to PS although I am spending lots of time learning it, I was trying to follow your steps mentally here at work where I don't have PS. I got stuck at that step because I couldn't understand what exactly was occurring.
                I'm sure when I actually try it it will become transparent (Ihope not really transparent, that would mean I hit the wrong button)

                Your description was quite clear


                • #9


                  Couldn't resist having a go with this charming shot! Firstly, I don't think the shot need anything done - you can't beat natural lighting... IMHO

                  Have a look at the attached - it's as much as I feel comfortable changing the look of the shot.

                  Basically worked with adjustment levels and then created two layers, the top one of which was 'screen' with 33% opacity.

                  Hope you like the result - I really like the shot; well done (Greig should switch off his flash more often ;-)

                  Attached Files


                  • #10
                    Had to try this as well - just removing the toys in the background.
                    Attached Files


                    • #11
                      the shot = luck

                      My favorite advantage of digital cameras is the fact I can can just keep taking shots all day long without having to worry about cost of processing.

                      Sometimes you just get lucky. This is one out of a set of maybe 25 pictures.


                      • #12

                        Welcome and WELL DONE (both times). Glad you found us from so far away. Hope to see more of your handiwork.

                        - - - - - - -

                        RE: An action perhaps based on the steps Leah posted?
                        Sure looks possible. I'll take a look.

                        - - - - - - -
                        Thanks to Chiquitita, Al and Leah for their advice.

                        ReouchPRO "pros" to the rescue -- and to Greg for letting us lend a hand.



                        • #13

                          I love this picture and wanted to see what I could do with it. I am working with PSP 8 beta.

                          I duplicated layers. On one I used the automatic contrast filter enhancement, and on the one above it, I used curves.

                          Then I erased the too light area on the curves layer, so that you have the foreground lightened, and the background close to the original contrast.

                          I also used the Alien Skin Image Doctor JPEG repair and a bit of the soften brush to help clean up the image before saving it.

                          Attached Files


                          • #14
                            I liked this so much, that I wanted to play with it a bit more. I also did a bit with histogram on this one. Its colors are a bit brighter.

                            After duplicating this layer, I used the softness filter, and then used the eraser brush lightly over the face and especially over the eyes, to keep that in focus.

                            Attached Files


                            • #15

                              Welcome to RetouchPRO and thanks for trying out PSP8 on this.

                              A little off topic, but what do you think of PSP8 so far?