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Overexposed face

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  • Overexposed face

    I've started this photo and have done some work on it already. The one thing that is really bothering me is that both women faces are overexposed. Is there a way I can just work on a small part of a picture and fix that?

    Here is the picture.

    Thanx in advance
    Last edited by Shoff; 08-08-2004, 08:20 AM.

  • #2
    Hi Shoff, dealing with badly blown out areas is always difficult as there is little detail to work with, so results may not be as good as you would like, however, I've had a quick play with your image and attached an image.

    To do this I created a levels adjustment layer and adjusted to get a reasonable detail on the faces. This of course darkened the rest of the image too much, so apply a total layer mask, then using a soft white brush paint on the mask in the area of the two women's faces to reveal the darkened effect.

    The faces were still a little without colour, so I created a new layer set to normal blend, and painted in colour sampled from the good areas of the women's faces, then adjusted opacity of layer for best effect. Lastly I added grain to this layer to allow for skin texture.

    Hope this helps you to find your own way to do this picture.
    Attached Files


    • #3
      Thanx Gary,
      I basically understood what you did, but since I'm new at this the details of how you did allude me. If it's not to much trouble can you break down the steps so I can leanr how to do this myself?

      Thanx again so much


      • #4

        I concur with Gary when he says that it's difficult in dealing with badly blown out areas where there is little detail to work with.

        For your photograph I did the following:

        1. I felt in addition to areas that were blown out there were other areas to dark (like the curtain) so the first thing I did was capture the luminicity of the dark areas: (ctrl + alt + ~) then inverted it (shift + ctrl + i). I then created a new layer (ctrl + j) from it, and set the blending mode of the new layer to screen (to lighten up the dark areas).

        2. Next I created a layer mask, and with a soft black brush at around 50% opacity I painted in areas that were lightened too much by the screen blending mode (like the faces).

        3. I then created a new blank layer and applied "merged/visible" to get a new top layer based on all the layers below it.

        4. Then I captured the luminicity (ctrl + alt + ~) of the lighter areas and created a new layer (ctrl + j) from it.

        5. I set the blending mode of this layer to multiply to darken the bright areas. I created a layer mask and with a soft black brush with an opacity of ~50% I painted areas that had been darkened too much by the multiply blending mode.

        6. Lastly I created a new blank layer and set the blending mode to color. I took a color sample from the mans face, and with a soft brush at 30% opacity I painted the womens faces and arm until a I go a reasonable skin color.

        Hope this helps,

        Attached Files
        Last edited by ajcutler; 08-08-2004, 02:19 PM.


        • #5
          Thanx so much. I'm going to try to reproduce what you did, so if and when this happens again I''ll know how to do it.

          Here is a copy of the original. Since I did work on the one you saw I thought it would be good for you to see it before I did anything.

          Here are the seetings I used for the scan
          Professional Mode
          48 bit color
          Best Res
          1200 Dpi

          Thanx again
          Last edited by Shoff; 08-08-2004, 04:22 PM.


          • #6

            Hi Schoff!

            This is my attempt at repairing your photo. One thing I have learned while working with computer programs that you have purchased, you can't break your computer by playing around with the program and you really can't mess up the program, so . . . experiment, experiment, experiment! If you don't have a book to show you step by step how to do something, just try something! You have an idea of where you want to go and you have such wonderful tools to work with in PS, use them. But first, take the time to learn what each of your tools can do and I'll bet you a million bucks you'll be doing things you never thought you could in no time. I'm having a ball experimenting! I didn't do any of the things that the other guys suggested, but that's the beauty of PS, there are so many ways to get the results you want! Painting with light is great for me, and you'll find your "nich" that gets you where you want to go too! One book that I have found invaluable is Katrin Eismann's Photoshop restoration and retouching if you're really serious about photo restoration. Aren't these folks the greatest! I've gotten some great suggestions from them also. Good luck in your endeavors!


            • #7

              Hi Schoff! I thought I would give you a quick solution to your problem...the attached thumbnail has not been color corrected or anything else done to it, just the following:

              First, make copy of your background layer. On your new layer, use your lasso tool to make a loose selection around the areas that are overexposed (the women's faces and the one woman's arm in this case) making sure you have the "add to selection" button clicked on the tool bar. Then go to Image>Copy Merged, then Image>Paste Into. This creates a new layer with just the selected areas on it. Change the mode of this layer to Multiply, then reduce the opacity (I used 42%, but you can vary this, of course) This makes an "overlay", if you will, of only the areas you need to darken.

              Then add a layer mask to your new layer and use black to "paint out" the extra bits around the faces that shouldn't be so dark.

              Once you get the faces leveled out you can use a levels or curves adjustment layer to correct the color balance, but that's another ball of wax! There are some wonderful tutorials about that (and everything else!) here!

              As Ms. Bay said, there are numerous ways to fix any problem in PS! This one comes from Katrin Eismann's Photoshop Restoration and Repair, which I strongly recommend!

              If you have any questions, just holler! Some wise soul will surely come to your rescue, as they have to mine!

              Attached Files


              • #8
                Everyone here so far has been great. And I'm sure I'll be asking a billion questions. Hope you don't get sick of me.

                Thanx again everyone


                • #9
                  Hi Shoff,

                  You did quite well in removing the strong colour cast in your picture, the contrast is a bit too strong, though, presenting some blown out areas.

                  I had a go at your picture too.

                  After colour-correcting it I followed Method 2 and 3 as described in my tutorial to bring out more details in the women's faces.

                  Let me know if you'd like a more detailed description of the steps I took.

                  Attached Files


                  • #10
                    Very nice Flora. Thanx


                    • #11
                      Hi Shoff,

                      Sorry I'm a bit late getting back to your question. Sure no problem. (I'm using Photoshop 7, if you're using other image editor you may have to modify some of this to suit your programme).

                      1. Create levels adjustment layer. (Layer-New Adjustment Layer-Levels), select RGB channel, adjust centre arrow to right to darken image. You are only interested here in darkening the faces to the level you wish. Click OK.

                      2. To add a total layer mask, click on the layer palette, then Alt Click on the layer mask symbol (2nd from left). This will give you a black mask to the right of the adjustment layer in your layer palette.

                      3. Click on the black layer mask to select it. Select the brush tool, and set foreground colour to white. Use a soft brush. Now paint around the womens faces. This will expose the adjustment layer in those areas. ie. it will darken the faces.

                      4. Create a new layer and set its blend mode to normal.

                      5. Select the brush tool. To sample colour that you wish to use to colour the faces, move the brush over a good area on the face, then Alt Click and it will set this colour as foreground. Now paint colour onto the blown out areas.

                      6. Fine adjustment of the effect can be achieved by varying the opacity of the colour layer.

                      7. Finally add grain to the faces by applying the grain filter (I used soft grain).

                      Hope this helps you.


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