PowerRetouche -fixing image with partial overexposure?

Comments and discussions about 8bf plugins which can be use in various applications like Photoshop, Paint Shop Pro or Photo-Paint
marliz
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PowerRetouche -fixing image with partial overexposure?

Postby marliz » Wed Oct 27, 2004 4:32 am

I am trying the demo "Power Retouche and it seems to be a powerful set of filters, but over my head. I have several old photos where part of the picture has badly faded or was over exposed and can't figure out how to correct just that part without effecting the rest of the picture. trying to separate it with selections makes the parts unbalanced. I've tried reading the help but am having a hard time understandint it.

Is there an easier plug in to work with, or a site with clearly presented tutorials that will help me understand how to use Power Retouche for this.

I've tried several of the filters and the whole program looks like it will need a high learning curve. Doesn anyone know if the results are worth the time to learn it, and are they that much better than using photoshop CS's features?

I hate to buy this expensive plug in unless it will really make a major difference in working with old black and white photos and a lot of snapshots that need some adjustments, especially for flesh tones.

Hoping you can advise...
Thank you,
Peggy

HaraldHeim
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Postby HaraldHeim » Wed Oct 27, 2004 12:15 pm

If you only want to affect a part of an image, you need to create a selection (preferrably a feathered one).

In the case of shadow removal it can happen that the brightened shadows make the image look a bit unbalanced with too many midtones. In such a case you have several options: You can try to increase the contrast of the overall image, brighten the shadow areas only or you can do a less extreme shadow removal.

Highlight regain on the other hand is much more difficult. While there are a lot of details in shadows, details are usually burned in the highlights. So if these areas are completely white there is nothing you can do to recover them.

In my experience the Highlight & Shadows filter of Photoshop CS can help in several cases, but doesn't work that good on some images. I may even trash the saturation of an image in some cases. Nevertheless I would try it first.

The PowerRetouche Dynamic Range Compression plugin may work better in some cases. It works in a similar way as the Highlight/Shadows features of my own ColorWasher plugin.

I will be writting about Shadow/Highlight plugins in my column in the Digital Photo Effects magazine in issue 21, which will become available in January 2005. So I have already spend a lot of time investigating this topic.

Anyway, if you send me the image, I may be able to give you some tips on how to correct it.

marliz
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fixing image with partial overexposure?

Postby marliz » Wed Oct 27, 2004 5:48 pm

Thank you so much for responding. You've answered my question concerning the picture I'm trying to salvage. The highlights were either blown out when the picture was taken or have become that way over time, so the chances of getting any information form them is nil.

I have a lot of old photos that have parts of faces in shadow and parts in sun and find those difficult to work with. I haven't tried the Color Washer plugin. I'll look for a demo. I've used Photoshop's Highlights and Shadows filters a number of times, but find that I often don't like the effect because it seems "flat." Now that you mention it, it could well be that it's effected the saturation.

Will the Digital Photo Effects magazine be on sale in most Barnes and Nobles stores, do you think? I would really like to read your article.

Thanks again!
Peggy

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Postby HaraldHeim » Thu Oct 28, 2004 11:25 am

Yes, Photoshop's Shadows/Highlihgts filter sometimes removes or boosts the saturation too much, which can't be fixed in several cases.

Yes, I have seen provious issues of the magazine sold in Barnes and Nobles stores. I assume that you are from the USA. In the USA the mentioned issue will be sold one or two month later, so it should become available in February 2005 or later.

sylvia

Postby sylvia » Sun Oct 31, 2004 7:24 pm

Have you tried the Digital Sho Professional plugin? I find it quite useful for this kind of problem. You can download a trial version at:
http://www.asf.com/products/plugins/sho ... SHOPRO.asp
Good luck,
Sylvia

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Postby HaraldHeim » Sun Oct 31, 2004 7:44 pm

SHO Pro looks nice, but it produces artifacts in high contrast areas. The old SHO plugin did better in that matter, but had other problems.

Harry Porter
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Postby Harry Porter » Mon Nov 01, 2004 2:55 pm

I used to use this method for a badly exposed picture, before PScs - Highlights and Shadows.

You have to adjust the settings a little, but at times this can have excellent results!!

Make a copy of the picture on a new layer
Image -Adjustments - Desaturate
Image -Adjustments - Invert
Change the layer properties to overlay - adjust opacity to taste!!
Apply Filter > Gaussian blur - adjust to taste

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Postby HaraldHeim » Mon Nov 01, 2004 3:18 pm

You describe a method that is known as "Digital Contrast Masking". It can work nice on some images, but it has some drawbacks:

1. It can produce halos of the size of the used Gaussian Blur at hard contrast edges.

2. It isn't able to lift deep shadows, only lighter shadows.

3. Using "Overlay" instead of "Soft Light" will change saturation, which isn't always what you want.


Photoshop CS's Shadows/Highlight filter on the other hand uses a method which I would call "Brightness Mask". It avoids halos, but still has problems with really deep shadows and can trash the saturation of an image.


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