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pre-emptive strike

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  • pre-emptive strike

    thought i'd ask for help before i get in way deep in time and frustration

    have here two pix, son-in-law and daughter, want to combne as first anniv. gift; i am less than an hour into it, and can see it might be harder than i thought; specially wonder how i should handle the lighting; he was in bright outdoor light, she wasn't.

    then there's that lovely 70's matte texture, esp. on him.

    any thoughts you have will be valuable to me.

    wish me luck

    Attached Files

  • #2
    Stage one looks good. I would consider flattening the composition, applying a general gaussian blur to soften the edges, take a history snapshot,revert to original and use the history brush to selectively apply blur to the sharp contrast areas. Perhaps playing around with the duotone or tritone modes might be productive also. No idea at all for a background. Of course, giving it an overall aged, sepia tone and using the hipass filter at around 3.9 or so, changing blend mode to overlay might prove interesting---that way the texture of the one photo might be less noticable. Just some musings... Tom


    • #3
      Hi Kathleen,

      What a great idea! I see what you mean about the different lighting. I downloaded your image and played around with it a bit. First I selected the boy's face and the arm around his neck and lowered the contrast substantially - I had to increase the brightness a bit too. I did this to reduce the harsh shadows.(Looking at it now, I think I lowered the contrast too much.) Then I selected the girl's face and used an omni light (Filters->Render->Lighting Effects in PS6) with the point source on the upper left of her head. I used the burn tool to darken her eye sockets a little, then the dodge tool to lighten her cheeks and tip of nose. Then I copied her head to a new layer so I could add a shadow effect under her chin.

      I've included a copy of the before/after of just the heads here. I don't like how I increased the texture of the boy's picture, but I think that's because I lowered the contrast a little too much. Just an idea of how you might work with it, but by no means an "expert" opinion - I was just fooling around for a few minutes to see what I could do with the few tools I'm familiar with.

      Have fun - looks like a great project!

      Attached Files


      • #4
        hey jeanie

        you are a sweetheart to take the time with it - i like what you did and will use your ideas.

        and you know what else you prompted me to do? - crop more of it. I really wanted the horsie in it, but that's not really the heart of the matter and the more of them i put in it the longer it will take and they'll be here tuesday. yikes. back to the old drawing board.



        • #5
          You did a great job of helping Kathleen out. Just a little observation though, the girl's hair is close to the same color as his so it would also require the highlights as his has to keep it from looking dark brown. Like the way your shaded her face and lightened his.

          Do the best you can and remember when you are dealing with vast lighting differences you may not get it perfect but paying attention to the details will certainly help. Love the whole idea and I know we will all be eager to hear their response. I know they are going to just love it. What a wonderful idea.


          • #6
            hey dj, jeanie

            i forgot to give credit where credit is due.

            the first time i ever checked out the gallery @ this site, there was, i reckon there still is, an entry that unites two childhood pictures, in that case seamlessly. i'm sure the idea was planted then.

            there are almost no childhood pix of my boyo, i am grateful for the fat little arm of his twin slung around his neck that i can pass off as my girl's.


            • #7
              Hey, beg, borrow and steal where ever you can, I say. I think you might be able to borrow some highlights from his hair too for her and look at where his face shadows are and copy from him a bit. Think of him as a model to pattern from to get her shadows closer to the real situation.


              • #8
                Looks like you've given yourself quite a challenge! You did a fine job of matching up the sizes, that can be tough!
                If I were doing this, I would try to match them up by working on them each seperately first. I would probably use a technique to lighten up the shadows on the boy first.
                Another thing I noticed, one picture is more in focus than the other. So I would probaby sharpen one, or blur the other a bit, to try and match that up.
                I might try desaturating a copy of each and work on that, as I think it's easier to see the shadows and light without the color. Then I would go back and add the color layer later.
                I also like to flip the image horizontaly, just to get a fresh look. Sometimes that helps to see whether it looks patched together or not. I fix any areas that look off, and then flip it back.
                Good luck to you!


                • #9
                  it was a good way to start the day, to read what you said, vikki, and know i had already done some of it. made me feel like i'm going in the right direction.

                  but i hadn't flipped, i did see a couple more things when i did that. i first read that technique in drawing on the left side of the brain; i'll never forget how amazed i was @ the relative greater accuracy it provided drawing from another picture

                  gonna attach what i've got so far; if anybody has any guidance, esp on background, i'll be grateful. i need to wrap it up pretty soon and switch into cooking and cleaning mode. included wed. shot, cuz i always like to know the rest of the story.
                  Attached Files


                  • #10
                    I think it's great Kathleen. I know they are going to love it. I think it is even better with the heads only.
                    Last edited by DJ Dubovsky; 10-15-2001, 09:57 AM.


                    • #11
                      I think you've done a great job! As for the background, I don't have any really great ideas. You don't want the background to distract from the subject, so it has to be subtle. At first I was thinking flowers or bushes/trees, but with the sepia tone, I'm afraid those will be either too distracting (if in focus) or unrecognizable (if blurred). What about a mottled background like you see on so many "formal" portraits? Try rendering clouds with colors you already have in the photo. (You'll probably need to add some noise after that too.) Other than that, I'm sorry I don't have any great ideas.



                      • #12
                        I loved that book!!( I still have it.)
                        It's nice to the the couple grown up.

                        My suggestion for the background:
                        The shape of this photo has the perfect outline of a heart. I would put the grassy background back in, and put it in a heart shaped frame, or, if you couldn't find a frame, use a heart shaped matting within a regular frame.

                        The only thing that bothered me about the photo, was that her forehead it so white now.......but, if someone hadn't remembered the original they might not notice.


                        • #13
                          thanks for the encouragement, all. the cooking's mostly done, the cleaning can wait so i will spend my evening tinkering with it.

                          i like your mottledy background thought, jeanie, will try it.

                          her white forhead bothered me too vikki. i have gotten it some darker. am going to toy with heart-shaped computer mat; i already have a round frame it will go in; no time to have a real one cut.

                          thanks ladies and tom for all your help



                          • #14

                            they loved it.

                            final form not a lot different than last upload, used jeanie's cloudy background idea. at the last minute, i remembered a little art-nouveau flat shallow metal bowl (for want of a better word - actually more like an ashtray) i had that my daughter always coveted, bout 1/2 in deep. i used that for the frame. i guess it's one of those things you'd just have to see, but it worked great.

                            anyway, it was very satisfying all the way around. thanks again!


                            • #15
                              I'm glad you let us know how it was recieved. That sure makes all the work worth the effort. I think I can picture the frame and I think that was a great idea to use a sentimental object from her childhood. This turned out to be quite an hierloom you created. DJ


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