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  • Lab damaged cover shot

    Hi RetouchPro

    This is my first post to this forum and RetouchPRO. I will try to be as relevant as possible.
    I'm a pro photographer in London. My project at the moment is making books of cities at dawn. This shot was taken 2 years ago and I was gutted as it was going to be a contender for the Venice at Dawn book cover. It got fogged on the rack at the lab. Stuff happens yah...
    I was wondering if it can be saved. I tried some restoration awhile back and failed miserably. I thought I would come here and ask for some pointers on how to get this looking fabulous and if you think it can actually reach that point. I've seen some incredible work done here, but I just don't know if this neg has enough info to even try to repair it. What do you think?
    Cheers
    Anthony Epes
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Re: Lab damaged cover shot

    I think it's relatively salvageable (depends on how large and "truthful" of color you want to be) because you have a pretty decent blue channel for detail (thought the left piers are pretty empty), and the color is open to interpretation and can be largely made up and painted in, as needed. We're only taking about shades of blue/red with spots of yellow/warmth for the lights.

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    • #3
      Re: Lab damaged cover shot

      Well I copied the layer and then used a curves adjustment layer and lowered the green channel. A gradient can be used to limit the effect to the grain area of the photo
      Attached Files

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      • #4
        Re: Lab damaged cover shot

        Thank you for the insight. I suppose what I'm looking for is a way to make the restoration happen without a lot of Brush work (an additive process?), which I'm lousy at, but by manipulating adjustment layers to get an even density with accurate colours. do you think it's possible without loads of painting?

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        • #5
          Re: Lab damaged cover shot

          Here is my attempt after 20 minutes invested. It's an ok result but nothing that would qualify for a cover shot. I suppose if I spent hours working on it....??
          Attached Files

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Lab damaged cover shot

            Originally posted by Stonyclaws View Post
            Here is my attempt after 20 minutes invested. It's an ok result but nothing that would qualify for a cover shot. I suppose if I spent hours working on it....??
            Hi Stonyclaws
            Looks like you have the process down for getting rid of the green. Unfortunately there may be detail that is lost that may not be recoverable.

            With such small images posted on the forum it would be difficult I believe for Forum members to comment on Cover Worthiness. You image on your end is ~135MB yet what we have on our end 1MB file and highly compressed JPEG with artifacts.

            I think at this point if you wanted more help you would need to provide a link to the PSD file to see if anything else could be done or 1005 crops or problem areas with more specific questions.

            Just my opinion of course.

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            • #7
              Re: Lab damaged cover shot

              Thank you for your help everyone.
              Anthony

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Lab damaged cover shot

                20 mins is not a lot of time for a cover shot. I wouldn't put any arbitrary time limits on yourself, if you care about the shot.

                FWIW, I can take it to a somewhat attractive point without any masks at all (below) but I'd still want to go in and fine-tune it with some masking and color work on the lights, etc.

                My advice is to have lunch, grab a favorite beverage of your choice, and play with it for a couple of hours and make yourself proud.
                Attached Files

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                • #9
                  Re: Lab damaged cover shot

                  Advice taken but with dinner. Cheers

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                  • #10
                    Re: Lab damaged cover shot

                    FWIW I'd revisit the scan and personally opt for high end drum scanner - then blend two scans of differing densities to maximise the detailing in the blown area. When the scans are as good as they can be, the retouch, as demonstrated should be straightforward.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Lab damaged cover shot

                      Pro photographer based in London wanting a cover shot for a book. Why risk time and trouble to recover the shot (it may be acceptable but...). How about a re shoot back to Venice via Heathrow for £250 return + £100 for cheap B&B Suggestion only slightly tongue in cheek

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                      • #12
                        Re: Lab damaged cover shot

                        @TonyW been back to Venice four times(£125 return) but could never get the pretty lights in the houses again. They were always unlit. This was a special morning.
                        I could always use my Lunar aurora photo for the cover. That was awesome indeed.
                        blog.anthonyepes.com if you want to see that one.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Lab damaged cover shot

                          First of all - channel mixer, then color correction(s), and color balance. I spent about 10 minutes, not perfect but you get the idea. Did not care for the overly blue color, but that can be added back with filters.
                          Attached Files

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                          • #14
                            Re: Lab damaged cover shot

                            Here it is darker. Image is salvageable if you spend some time on it.
                            Attached Files

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Lab damaged cover shot

                              Lab-1, photographer-0... Curious about why you are shooting on film? Not that film is bad (I shot many a roll since the mid-'70s myself), but this is a great example of something that can go wrong that is out of your control that most likely would not have happened with digital.

                              nrsm, nice recovery work! Pop a little more contrast in the repaired lower-left corner and I think it's good to go.

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