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  • uniform background and printing

    Hi,

    I'm new here - I've been lurking and learning for a while in this great forum. I could use some advice with an image I'm working on.

    I've already done major repair work on this image, but I'm stuck with the background:

    What can I do to the background on this picture, so I can be *certain* that the background in the upper half of the picture comes out black?

    I've tried darkening the background, and it works fairly well on my inkjet printer, but I suspect much of the "blackness" has more to do with the ink absorption of the matte photo paper than the image having a background that will print properly in a shop, where I have much less control over paper used etc.

    I also tried "replacing" the background with a gradient, but it looks totally artificial.

    I've attached the picture and also a close-up, so you can see what the background looks like close up.

    I hope someone has an idea.

    Angela
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Re: uniform background and printing

    Hi Angela, I used the burn tool on your background.
    Ray
    Attached Files

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: uniform background and printing

      Is this something like you had in mind?

      The first thing I did was to run the image through Neat Image. The background is going to look fake unless you remove the noise from the woman or leave the noise in the background. I went half way on both.

      I removed the woman from the background and used levels to darken. I used a gradient on the lower half. I could actually make it black-black but as you said it looks artificial. I added noise to the background and applied a G-Blur. I then used un-sharp mask on the woman and dress.
      Attached Files
      Last edited by duwayne; 04-10-2007, 10:00 PM.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: uniform background and printing

        Originally posted by des151
        Hi Angela, I used the burn tool on your background.
        Ray
        Thanks Ray. I guess the burn tool could be a successful strategy in dealing with the gradient at the bottom of the dress - I hadn't thought of that. The separation between foreground and background looks a little to extreme to me. I got a similar result when I replaced the background with a black one.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: uniform background and printing

          Originally posted by duwayne
          Is this something like you had in mind?

          The first thing I did was to run the image through Neat Image. The background is hoing to look fake unless you remove the noise from the woman or leave the noise in the background. I went half way on both.

          I removed the woman from the background and used levels to darken. I used a gradient on the lower half. I could actually make it black-black but as you said it looks artificial. I added noise to the background and applied a G-Blur. I then used un-sharp mask on the woman and dress.
          duwayne,

          I really like this. In fact, I didn't know the image could come out looking like this! I would have never thought to try a noise reduction on the face. I think you just got me unstuck - many thanks.

          P.S. I have attached the original, so you can see how far it's come. Very gratifying to be able to restore such priceless treasures.
          Attached Files

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: uniform background and printing

            nice one, duwayne.

            i did something similar.

            duplicate background layer.

            select out the background

            add noise and blur

            change duplicate layer to soft light.

            invert selection

            digital camera noise removal.

            unselect

            added curves adjustment layer. moved the lower left dot straight right a bit.
            Attached Files

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: uniform background and printing

              Hi Angela, you did a very nice repair work.
              The background you could modify using the black/gray/white points in the level adjustments (masking parts you don’t want to be altered). The gray section needs some noise reduction.
              Attached Files

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: uniform background and printing

                looks good, chillin.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: uniform background and printing

                  Hi

                  levels correction to get absolute black at the top
                  new layer softlight make a gradient on it from black to none starts from the bottom to the shoulders
                  chanege blending to get back details (blend.jpg)
                  burning tool around the lady (more carefully than i did, i've lost some detail of the hair sorry)

                  saby
                  Attached Files

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: uniform background and printing

                    Originally posted by Kraellin
                    i did something similar.
                    duplicate background layer.
                    select out the background
                    add noise and blur (...)
                    *That* was exactly what I was originally trying to achieve - before I heard of the Neat Image filter. Thank you. Now I have several things to try out.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: uniform background and printing

                      Originally posted by chillin
                      Hi Angela, you did a very nice repair work.
                      The background you could modify using the black/gray/white points in the level adjustments (masking parts you don’t want to be altered). The gray section needs some noise reduction.
                      Thanks, chillin. I used to do retouching on paper. It's the digital way I'm not used to.

                      Ohhhh....yours also looks great! Another method I hadn't even thought of (I had only been fiddling with the layer options) and the result seem to lie somewhere in the middle between duwayne's and Craig's. I like how the dress stays totally intact that way. Thanks!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: uniform background and printing

                        Originally posted by saby
                        Hi

                        levels correction to get absolute black at the top
                        new layer softlight make a gradient on it from black to none starts from the bottom to the shoulders
                        chanege blending to get back details (blend.jpg)
                        burning tool around the lady (more carefully than i did, i've lost some detail of the hair sorry)

                        saby
                        Thanks, Saby. I'm amazed how different they all look. Your's looks different yet again - also very nice. I guess I'll have to print them all out to see what they look like on paper.

                        I'm going to try all those things in the coming week and will upload the final result. Thanks for everybody's input - much appreciated

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: uniform background and printing

                          you're welcome, angela

                          oh, and welcome to RP.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: uniform background and printing

                            Hi all,

                            Sorry for the long silence and thanks for the welcome. I'm finally ready to show you how my photo ended up looking!

                            I've experimented with and incorporated a lot of your ideas - almost all, I believe!

                            I used the Neat Image filter, which is a PS plug-in I can only recommend! I'd never heard of it before.

                            After reducing the noise on the person, I used Craig's tip to add noise and then blur it on the background. (Another new one for me!)

                            I did use a gradient on the bottom, but opted for Saby's black-> transparent softlight gradient.

                            Fiddled with the layers and the burn tool the rest and after so many printing test I'm now confident the background will come out black.

                            Thanks so much for everybody's input - I've learned so much. Can't wait to see my neighbor's face now (it's his grandmother)!
                            Attached Files

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: uniform background and printing

                              very nicely done, angela. and thanks for sharing your results

                              Comment

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