Tag: Retouch

Extreme Color

Here’s a fun image I made recently, and I thought it would be worth describing the processing process a little.

This is the original image, straight-out-of-camera.

I always shoot in Raw+Jpg, so I usually like to take the Raw image into Adobe Camera Raw for some quick processing (usually less than 5 mins, though this one admittedly took longer).  This is what I got after running it through Camera Raw:
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This was another Christmas Card we did this year:

There was a fair amount of compositing work that was done.

  • Had to cutout holes in the door where the windows were, to see through to the pictures behind.
  • Recolored the house in the background to have more contrast and more of a blue color.
  • Painted some snow falling with an irregularly-shaped brush that had scattering settings on it to make more than one flake at a time with different sizes and rotations.
  • Painted some snow onto the windowsills with a simple white brush.  By painting it on a layer behind the door, it wasn’t necessary to get the edges of the windows perfect.
  • Rotated the people pictures to work together.
  • Cutout the people from their backgrounds by painting black into a mask for the areas we don’t want to see.
  • Scaled and shifted everyone appropriately to get the right size relationships for their distance from the camera.
  • Recolored the children to feel like they were all in the same lighting, and colored the parents with more blue to look more like they are outside.
  • Added more books to the stack by copying a few and pasting them with different sizes and coloring.
  • Darkened the bottom of the image more so the text would show up better over it.
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Cleaning up distractions

Wedding picture retouchThis picture is an example of where you have to just take a picture fast, while you have the moment, and you don’t have time to adjust the background or you’ll miss your chance.  Sometimes it’s just easier to come in with Photoshop afterwards in these cases.

Here are the things done to enhance the image:

  • Cloned out the restroom sign in the background so it wasn’t distracting
  • Recolored the front left wall to be the same color as the rest of the walls (again, to not be distracting, and pull your eye away from the focal point)
  • Brought up shadows in general a bit, and then painted some subtle brightness on their faces with a soft big brush.
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Rescuing a Dark Image

Dark Image to BWWhen I first saw this image, I really thought there was no hope, but after playing with it for a few minutes in Adobe Camera Raw, I realized there was a lot of information in those shadows, mostly because I shot in Raw format.  I’ve actually started shooting Raw+Jpg in most cases because then I have a processed image ready to go if I want it, but I also have the ability to do more extreme work with the Raw image if there’s a need to.  When I got it brightened up, I realized there was some nice contrast between her bright face and the dark background, and her darker body and the lighter background, which would read well as a black & white image.  Here’s the process I went through to get to the After image:

  • Pulled the exposure WAY up.
  • Did some custom manipulations during the Black & White conversion, such as making the oranges brighter to give better contrast.
  • Got rid of most of the noise.  By adjusting the exposure level so much, a lot of noise was revealed.  Some came out in ACR, and then I use the Noise Ninja plugin inside of Photoshop to go the rest of the way.
  • A little bit of split-toning.  I pushed the shadows into the blue range, and the highlights more into the yellow range.  Just for fun.

To see more of these before & after images in a gallery, go on over to the babynounce facebook page!

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We’ve now started to also do photo retouching as a standalone service!  We can do color correction/enhancement, black & white conversion, replacing people or objects, adding effects, and any other types of image manipulation.

Color Enhancement Example

We’re now trying to build up our gallery of samples of photo retouching, and are looking for some good images to work on for free.  To find out how to get involved, click on the “Continue Reading” link:

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