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Interesting negative issue

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  • Interesting negative issue

    Hi all,

    I have another image here that would really like some advice on. It is a picture of my Dad and his grandparents in the Azores. The original scan I have is relatively dark down towards the bottom of the image and I will attach it to this post.

    I added a levels adjustment layer, and opened up the shadows to look at what was there. When I did open the shadows, I noticed something interesting that I am not sure how to approach. It would seem that something happened to the negative, as there are two distinct areas I can see tha seem to have been developed at different rates or something(you'll have to excuse me as I'm not a photographer and have never developed film.) My Dad used to develop all his own film.

    In any case, my first instinct was to open it up, and then use a gradient to smooth out the transition, but if you look at the picture you will see on the left side, it starts lower on my great-grandmother's dress than on the right side on my great-grandfather's pants.

    I'm not sure how to proceed.



    P.S. - Doesn't my great grandmother look like a peach??

  • #2
    Here's the first image......
    Attached Files


    • #3
      And here is the second image with the shadows opened up...


      Attached Files


      • #4
        You can add gradient in any angle, not necessarily vertically or horizontally.In case you find that the darkness is varying along many angles, you can duplicate the main background layer that many times.To each of these layers add a layer mask.You can use the gradient tool at an angle(corresponding to one of the darkness variation) on these layer masks.After you do this, you can fine tune it by using blending modes like multiply etc and use appropriate opacity for each of the layers. Then merge all these layers.


        • #5
          The attached image was a *very* quick fix, and could have been much better with a little more effort. I made a duplicate layer, and set the mode to "screen". This lightened the whole image. Then I added a layer mask, and filled it with black. This brought me back to the look of the original. Painting with white on the layer mask brought out more detail and lightened the dark areas of the image. If you use this technique, use a large *soft* brush at a low opacity (maybe 5% - 20%). If you find that there is an abrupt difference between the two areas, paint with black to undo the "screen" effect (make that area darker), or paint with white to add the "screen" effect (make that area lighter). With some images it might require an additional duplicate layer or two, using the same methods. Some images do not lend themselves very well to this technique. Good luck

          Attached Files


          • #6
            Tim, with the second picture you posted - the one you manipulated - you've pretty much built yourself a mask with which to use as a selection to try to fix the problems you're having.
            You're half-way home. If you don't know how to use this as a selection, pm me and I'll explain it.


            ps. great photo


            • #7
              Thanks for the tips and help guys. I'm swamped with work and will try to work on this image at some point this week. I'll post up my progress as I go along.



              • #8
                OK...I couldn't resist. Using the curves adjustment layer that opened up the shadows, I added a gradient to smooth out the transistion. I then used Ed's suggestion, and using a large soft brush set to about 10% opacity and painting with black tried to smooth the transition even more. I only spent about ten mintues on this but am interested in your feedback.

                Attached Files


                • #9
                  Hey Tim, what a difference! Nice job.



                  • #10
                    Hi Tim!

                    You did a wonderful job in lifting the shadows .... but I couldn't resist playing with it ... hope you don't mind

                    1) Slightly changing Col's technique for removing shadows, (which can be found here) I created a new Layer on top of the background, changed its Blending to Soft Light and filled it with white.

                    2) Duplicated the 'White Layer' , adjusted the Opacity of the second one and added a Layer Mask to both of them.

                    3) I used a gradient (black to transparent) on both masks "to smooth out the transition".

                    4) I further corrected the transition by adding empty Layers (blending Soft Light/Overlay) and painting black/white on the areas I wanted to improve, using a very fuzzy brush (Opacity 5-10%)
                    Attached Files


                    • #11
                      Beautiful Job Flora!!

                      Your version came out beautiful! I'm going to give your technique a go.




                      • #12
                        Thanks for your comment, Tim .... Glad You liked it!


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