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removing red cast

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  • removing red cast

    Hello, Can someone help me please. A friend asked me to remove a very red cast from a photo of her parents that was not lost in the flood last year. After using a color balance layer to add cyan to the shadows, highlites and midtones ;and a small adjustment on a curves layer I got this result. Which is an improvement over the original photo covered with red cast. But now their faces look grey. I know her eyes were grey and his were blue and he wore a navy blue suit. How can I improve the color some more ? I haven't done colorizing . And am intimidated when I see the gorgeous results some folks like Jak. get. Any suggestions would be welcome. Thanks. JR
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Hi Cinderella,

    I would be helpful if you could also post the original photo. That said, instead of starting by doing a color balance adjustment, I would use the black/gray/white eyedroppers of a levels adjustment layer first. Are you familiar with that method of color balancing a photo? If not, I'll post a more detailed explanation.


    P.S. Please don't be intimidated when you see "gorgeous results". I have found all of the "experts" (and I put this in quotes because the reality is that everyone here is still learning and searching for better ways to accomplish things) at RetouchPro to be very willing to offer advice and tips from their experience. I know I will be forever grateful that this site exists because I learned just about all that I know right here at RP!


    • #3
      Thanks for your reply. I have not used the technique you mentioned so let me know if you think it would get better results. Here's the original . JR
      Attached Files


      • #4
        Hi Cinderella,

        Instead of me typing everything, I found an expert who already has. Here is a tutorial on color correction by Julianne Kost.

        One addition to her technique is to use the Threshold adjustment layer to help you set the darkest and lightest points in an image. Many times your eyes will fool you as to what is really the darkest or lightest area in a photo. So, using the Threshold adjustment, you can move the slider to the left until you can't see any black. Then, move it to the right slowly until you just start to see black. Then set a Color Sampler point by holding down the shift key as you click in the black area. Next, move the Threshold slider to the right until you can't see any white. Slowly move the slider back to the left until you start to see white and set another color sampler point. Cancel out of the Threshold adjustment layer. The color sampler points should remain. (If they don't just click on the eye dropper tool and they'll appear.)

        Then, continue with the rest of Julianne's tutorial.

        I tried this quickly with both the before/after images you posted and I got better results with the "original" one. One thing is that the images you posted have quite a bit of JPEG compression (sometimes can't be helped with the 100KB limit) and since the red channel is the most damaged, adjusting the shadow and highlight points really exagerrated the JPEG compression in the red channel. I assume this won't be an issue for you with the actual image you're working on.

        Hope this helps!



        • #5
          Thought I'd lost the image I was working on, but I was wrong. So, here it is with nothing other than the color correction technique discussed above. Not perfect by any means, but hopefully a little improvement.

          I also cropped a small section and pulled out each channel to show you what I mean about the JPEG compression in the red channel being exaggerated.

          Attached Files


          • #6
            Hi Cinderella,

            The redness is indeed a problem, but as Jeaniesa points out the jpeg effect is very bad, and this makes it difficult to even begin.

            I ran a test where I went into curves and used the neutral eyedropper tool to see what I could get. Clicking near the man's ear brought about good (but not great) correction of the red problem. But the faces were very spotty and looked like just too much for me to deal with.

            So I started over, except this time I nuked the red channel with a jpeg cleanup tool. Then repeated the curves eyedropper step. The difference was gigantic (thought it still needs work).

            I've attached an image that shows the red channel after I nuked it, and the result that comes from this and the curves operation. His face is still a little cyan, and the whole thing needs more work, but at least I felt like I had something to work with.

            The jpeg tool I use is one I got from PhotoDeluxe, and it also works in Photoshop. But I think there might be others. Also, I tried sharpening the nuked channel, and increasing its contrast of the nuked channel but I saw no difference. So I left it vague.

            BTW, if you can get a version of this picture that does not suffer from this jpeg blocking, you would be well ahead.
            Attached Files


            • #7
              Hi Cinderella,

     is another approach to try fixing your problem picture:

              1) Opened Hue&Saturation and strongly decreased the Red saturation.

              2) Duplicated the Layer, Blending -> Soft Light to increase lights and shadows.

              3) Used the Curves to add a bit more 'consistency'.

              4) Very lightly blurred the image to fade the JPG artifacts a bit and completely desaturated the picture.

              From the on, creating a new Layer for each task and using the Airbrush (Mode -> Color, Opacity 5-30%) I selectively painted over the various parts of the image experimenting with the blending of each layer until I was satisfied with the results. Finally, I sharpened the image a bit.

              I concentrated on the Lady only and didn't do much 'clean up'... I don't know if the colours are the right ones ....

              P.S...I fully agree with Jeanie about the "experts" and the magic of RP!
              For me, Photoshop (my drug of choice ), is, on top of everything else, a very therapeutic hobby since, because of a very difficult patch I'm going through, I'm 'stuck at home most of the time... Like Jeanie, I learnt (and still learning!!!) most of what I know about working on images right here at RP.
              Attached Files


              • #8
                Thank you one and all for these techniques which I am going to try. Will let you know how my photot turns out. Here I go !!!


                • #9
                  This is fascinating. I've tried each technique and while my results are not as good as yours they are better than what I had. Since I am not working with a compressed JPG file I don't have the jpeg problem.
                  Jeaniesca, Thanks for pointing me at that tut. All was going well till I had to select midtones (sigh). My end result does not have a nice skin tone like yours. Thanks for showing me the channel selections.

                  Flora , could you tell me why you desaturated after your color adjustments. Just curious to know if you could have begun with this step . I am going to get brave and try colorizing. Your result was great, even with jaggies .I too am learning so much at RP.

                  Andy I will try your technique again.
                  I am going to start over again. Back to you later.
                  Thank you all. JR


                  • #10

                    Thank you so much for your kindness......


                    With hindsight you are right ... I could've desaturated immediately .... The reason why I didn't do it, was that I wanted to see if there was any of the original colour left to work on... The result I got was a very blotchy (jpg artifacts) 'pinkish' brown all over the image and knowing that:
                    ...he wore a navy blue suit...
                    .... I knew it was wrong .... that's when I decided to desaturate and colorize the picture from scratch ....
                    Last edited by Flora; 05-06-2003, 07:39 PM.


                    • #11

                      Here's my contribution. I didn't work on any damage, just the color problem - I hand colored it.

                      I replaced the red channel with the L channel from Lab Mode and then adjusted that new channel to give more depth. I converted to grayscale and then sepia toned in duotone.

                      I selected all areas to be colored and saved the selections. After adding the color I wanted on separate layers, I did a hue/sat adjustment to both the new color layers and the original background layer underneath in just the selected areas until I had the look I wanted. I also made a few levels adjustments to the original layer in just the selected areas.

                      Finally, I selected just the background and did a hue/sat adjustment to add more depth and separate them from the background.
                      Attached Files


                      • #12
                        Nice work (as always) Jak!

                        Cinderella, I too often have trouble with the midtones eyedropper. Sometimes I just have to get it close, then (still in Levels) adjust the middle slider in each individual channel by manually tweaking it to get what I want. And sometimes I have to add an additional adjustment layer to fine-tune just a part of the image (using a mask) - most often skin tones. Once you understand the basics, then it's easier to fine tune because you have some idea of what's actually happening when you move the sliders.



                        • #13
                          using digital roc &sho plus a little burning in
                          Attached Files


                          • #14
                            Hi all, the trials continue. Here is my version of a combination of the techniques described by Jean, Flora and Andy.

                            Thanks Jak for doing such a beautiful colorization. I tried to do some this AM.

                            What I am learning is there is no quick and easy way to get rid of the dreaded red cast and I need to spend a LOT more time practicing and understanding(?) the various methods.

                            Thanks again for all the help and inspiration. Now I'm going to look at the instructions for sending a photo to RP. I know they are here somewhere. Not finding them. Am using PS "Save for Web" medium quality 640x480 (approx) .

                            Hey Mark, What an interesting version of the Boyles. What is dig roc and sho??? Thanks for your photo.

                            Have a nice day ya'll.
                            Attached Files


                            • #15
                              Hi Jak, I took a look at the L channel from Lab Mode and see how much crisper it is. So then I duplicated the file. And tried to move +shift the L channel from the Lab file onto the selected red channel in the other RGB file. This didn't work. Sooooooo could you be so kind as to tell me how you replace the red with L??????
                              Thanking you again. JR


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