Archive for the ‘photoshop techniques’ Category
Photo Restoration – Tackling Underwater Images
You arrived back from the scuba diving holiday of a lifetime and … oh your photos are not what you thought, blue wishy-washy, lacking in punch and clarity. Sadly this is a property of water, it has the unfortunate ability to filter out the red spectrum of light and thus the further down you go the stronger the effect until eventually there is no red left in the available light. Your pictures will no doubt be a beautiful blue by now.
Correcting this effect is not as simple as it sounds. There is great deal of tweaking to be done. As your reds have completed disappeared it will be a good idea to check the channels of your image. Take a look at the red, it’s all but disappeared, it will probably be almost completely black and devoid of detail. Here it gets tricky, or at least finding the right combination of actions to take, requires some experience.
Basically the red channel is useless and needs to be recreated from scratch. We can borrow information from the green and blue channels to build one. Once this is done the reconstruction can begin. Sadly at this stage I cannot give a clear and concise procedural walk through, as each image has to be treated differently. I did try and produce an action for this but alas whilst working well for some images it ruined others and have therefore concluded it way more involved than my simplistic explanation.
I have seen this technique put to very good use and I will be back with the ins and outs once my schedule allows me to bring to you the mysteries of photo restoration and the science that fixes those underwater blues.
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A useful tool in any photo restoration is the vanishing point tool. Good for any perspective based restoration. Examples where to use this tool are for use with buildings or car parks, roads, paving, or windows, etc. In Photoshop CS2 / CS3 it is found under Filter/vanishing point form the top menu.
Basically it is a tool that allows you to draw a grid over your image and follow the lines of anything in perspective. In a recent image I removed some people from a car park with a large wooden clad building in the background.
The tool allows you to follow the vanishing perspective line along and clone along those lines. In the case of a wooden clad building the planks of wood along the buildings side get smaller as they go into the distance. People stand in the car park along side the building and are in the way.
With the vanishing point tool you can remove these people fairly simply by drawing the grid making sure it covers the people and a large enough area to sample the clone tool from. Keep the grid following the lines of perspective and if the grid turns blue you know you have done it right. To ensure the grid turns blue make sure your verticals are parallel to each other. Now when you clone over anything within the grid it can be cloned in perspective. Thus the planks down the side if the building are restored naturally over the people.
To tidy up the car park and to make sure the parking bays continue naturally through the image I added another plane to the perspective grid. You can drag out the handles from the grid to create another grid more or less at right angles (well in perspective terms anyway) and repeat the process in the car park.
Obviously there is more to it when it comes to cloning but by now your method of selection and cloning abilities should be up to scratch. Rebuilding the shrubs without repetitive patterns in them and any other flora and fauna to fill in the gaps.
Your done, congratulate yourself!
Hope this tip helps.
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Restoring any photo should be pleasure not a chore. If a water damaged photo should need restoring, perhaps one recovered from a flood or a rainy camping trip then provided it is dry it can be scanned and restored like any other damaged photo. Of course the extent of damage may mean you have to replace an entire background by using the method of selection I described in the importance of selection . Once you have cut out you subjects you can choose and replace the background. Should the subject not be a person but a landscape then it may be better to approach the restoration from another angle.
See if you can find out when the scene was, what country and what time of year, this may help with the types of trees, flowers and surroundings you may need to research before restoring the flood damage. You may even find a similar scene in a reference book or even live near by where you can glean clues as to what things may have looked like.
If it is an old photo with people in a scene and the water damage means some of the clothes or objects have been distorted or lost altogether within the image then you can again get researching. Perhaps the owner knows what the people were wearing or have another photo that is not damaged you can use for reference. Photos of the period will give you great references to fashion and clothing and what types of hardware was around at the time. You may need to replace a car, rake, wheel barrow or pram, get as inventive as you can.
You may well be up against some really challenging colour bleeds and awkward colour fades, but with the usual patch tool and some selective feathering around the bled colour on a separate layer you should be able to colour correct these fairly easily.
Remember with the power of Photoshop and skill anything is possible. If it looks like too much to take on then let the professionals tackle it for you. Remember no matter how bad it is even if it if is something you wouldn’t normally have taken a second look at dont throw it away it.
Once again good luck and remember, flooded photos are not flushed away memories but repairable ones.
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